Home, away from home
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

To take the pulse of Canada's bold campaign to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees, Ian Brown gets to know the Suleyman family - formerly of Aleppo, now of Toronto - and the intrepid sponsors who helped them get here. In the process, he ponders what it means to be Canadian in 2016

Aliye El Huseyin, a Syrian refugee, arrived by plane in Toronto on Feb. 29, with her husband, Omer Suleyman, and their three children, after a 14-hour flight from Ankara and an equally long drive from Mardin, the city in southeast Turkey where they had lived since fleeing the catastrophe of Aleppo.

They were carrying everything they owned, in five 20kilogram bags: 1,500 Syrian lira (under $10, all the money they had); three nested Syrian coffee pots and three kilos of Syrian coffee; four kilos of Syrian tea; a Tupperware container of her favourite seasonings (cardamom and mint and cumin and cinnamon and za'atar, because someone told her she'd never find them in Canada); a bar of Aleppo's famous olive-oil soap; her Koran, previously her grandmother's; 20-odd hijab headscarves, including her favourite white satin square with a field of red and blue and pink and gold flowers, and the black one she had worn, at the suggestion of her father, to prevent her being kidnapped, when ISIS moved into Aleppo; a tiny embroidered bag of Syrian soil; the family's few clothes; their Single Journey to Canada documents, and their Syrian identity cards; five cartons of Turkish cigarettes; a cracked cellphone containing the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of everyone she knew; a wrinkled postcard of Aleppo's Citadel, which has been around since the third millennium BC; a set of delicate white and gold Turkish coffee cups; and, tucked carefully away, the keys and deed to her apartment in Aleppo.

It was a big, Syrian-style apartment, 2,100 square feet, with a second-storey balcony from which she watched the uprising in Syria become the civil war she fled.

The apartment was still the centre of her psychological universe. One of her sisters, Iman, had lived there with her during the war. Her brother had a place across the street.

The apartment had been looted, appliances included, after the family fled. But it was still intact, still standing, and she still owned it, and so part of her was still there. A photograph of the apartment was her screen saver (since replaced; it upset her daughter), and also her ID photo on WhatsApp, which all the refugee Syrians use to stay in touch, no matter where they are.

She messaged or texted her sister and family in Turkey and Syria countless times every day. But it was the apartment that seemed to remind her most concretely that she came from somewhere.

Three months later, on June 6, the first day of Ramadan, Aliye and her family have invited some friends to their new apartment in Toronto. It's a south-facing twobedroom - you can see downtown, and the lake, and the CN Tower - albeit well under half the size of the one in Aleppo, on the 12th floor of a high rise on Lawrence Avenue East in Scarborough, a neighbourhood with a longstanding Middle Eastern population. Sixty years ago, when the people of Toronto were more monochromatic than they are now, the area was known as Lawrence of Arabia.

Aliye, 38, and Omer, 46, have cooked 25 dishes for their guests, to break the day's fast on the first night of Ramadan. The table's as crowded as the apartment: turretshaped lamb patties cooked with mint and pine nuts, rice with toasted almonds, aubergines stuffed with lamb and rice. That's for openers. Aliye is a gifted cook, and Omer made his living for a while as a chef in Turkey. Live Ramadan services from Saudi Arabia are playing in the background, on the TV.

They've invited the core of their sponsor group, the private citizens who stepped up last fall as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees, helping to make Canada the second-most-generous country in the world last year in terms of all resettled refugees, after the United States. (Which doesn't change the fact that 86 per cent of all refugees are still hosted by poor and developing countries.) Now that there are more than 60 million displaced human beings wandering the globe (according to the UN this month, one out of every 113 people on Earth), Aliye and her sponsors are embarked on one of the more daring (some would say risky) civic experiments this country has undertaken, a project that asks sharp questions in the age of non-stop second-wave terrorism in the time of Trump and Orlando and Brexit: Who can be Canadian? Should some people not qualify? How much do refugees have to behave like other Canadians?

And what does being Canadian mean any more, anyway?

It's a gorgeous evening washed with the grave light that follows a thunderstorm. A rainbow has appeared off the eastern end of the balcony. It's too corny to be true, but it is true.

Aliye is sipping water and nibbling dates - the traditional way to break the Ramadan fast, because that's how Mohammed broke his - when her phone rings. Her ring tone is the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer. It's not one of the two new iPhones her sponsors have donated, but her old, cracked phone, the one that contains her past in Syria, the place she still longs for.

She looks down at the phone. It's a WhatsApp message from a former teacher in Aleppo, before Aliye had to abandon her studies, in nursing, to feed her family. Aliye hasn't heard from her in a long time. But the bombing has been especially fierce in Syria these past few days. When the cracked phone comes to life, the news can go either way.

Aliye presses the screen, reads. Syria is seven hours ahead; it is the middle of the night there.

A bomb has hit her apartment this morning.

She starts to weep, quietly, as is her habit, wiping tears behind her hijab before they have a chance to be seen.

They can be seen anyway. Now, this new place, high in this new building in this new city in this new country she does not yet know, is the only home she has to be from.

Whatever else an outsider might call the band of Torontonians who sponsored Aliye and Omer Suleyman as refugees - privileged bleeding hearts and citizens who don't know how else to address an unsolvable world are two options that come to mind - the sincerity of their commitment is undeniable: They had begun talking about adopting a Syrian family last June, three months before three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach and the soon-to-beelected Mr. Trudeau promised to take in 25,000 Syrians. They had no illusions about themselves: The sponsors were, as one of their number put it, "the most earnest group of people you've ever met."

There were 20 of them in all, with a core group of six: uppermiddle-class professional types (doctors, lawyers, teachers, advertising executives, social workers, architects) who lived in Hillcrest, a comfortable but unflashy neighbourhood near St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst Street in midtown Toronto (average household income: $116,008).

Their tastes tended to hydrangeas, good furniture, and paintings of the Canadian landscape.

The Hillcrest group had coalesced around John Sewell, the left-leaning former mayor of Toronto, after he mentioned to his neighbour, Mary McConville, a formidably organized 68-yearold former executive director of the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto, and her husband, Lawrence Marshman, 72, a retired high-school vice-principal, that he wanted to sponsor some Syrian refugees.

From there, the group began to grow like a rogue Virginia creeper. Mary's daughter had walked Mr. Sewell's dogs, as had Jane and David Gotlib's boys; through them, Mary knew of (but did not know) Jane. Jane, in turn, knew neighbours Mary didn't: A lot of people in the group were private types, and met for the first time at its first meeting. Mary and Lawence were Catholics, others were Anglicans and Jews; none of that mattered.

By midautumn the Rosedale United Church was teaching the group how best to resettle refugees. There are three ways this can happen: as privately sponsored refugees (PSRs: Canada is the only country whose immigration laws mandate its citizens' right to do this); as federalgovernment-assisted refugees (GARs, no private involvement); and, in rarer cases involving disabilities and unusual needs, through a combination of the two known as BVORs, for Blended Visa Office-Referred refugees.

Rosedale United's congregation had been sponsoring refugees privately for 15 years. "Everything says refugees do better coming through the community groups than they do coming through the government," Doug Norris, the church's minister, explained one morning. The main reason is money. The federal government gives a family a minimum of $25,000, to cover a year of resettlement in Toronto. The Rosedale United team won't consider a private sponsor that has less than $40,000 (for which the church is allowed to issue tax receipts). Of the promised 25,000 Syrian refugees who arrived by the end of February, only a third were purely private sponsorships. (Many thousands more are currently coming through the system.)

Which was ironic, because raising private money for the Syrians turned out to be as easy as melting butter in a pan. The Hillcrest group had $40,000 in hand in a scant six weeks (no one knew how much anyone else in the group had given). Other groups moved just as quickly. A posse led by Valerie Pringle, the broadcaster, bagged $130,000 with a single group e-mail she sent to 50 people. Not that anyone was being competitive, but photos of freshly furnished flats began to make the rounds on the Internet, as groups compared their handiwork. And it wasn't just Torontonians who stepped up. Among other communities across the country, Cape Bretoners put in a request for 1,000 refugees.

But the first wave of Syrians had only just arrived in December when the tide begin to ebb.

Many families that had been expected to arrive by then, it was learned, would not be showing up until February, or even a year later. Various culprits were fingered for the delay: processing slowdowns at the supply end in Turkey and Jordan, the famously stubborn bureaucracy of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, the unequalled number of refugees being pushed through the suddenly overburdened Canadian pipeline, and - this was equally important - the sheer number of sponsors who had stepped forward to absorb the available refugees. More than one settlement agency warned that the government had promised too many refugees too soon.

There were even claims that Syrians were one cause of the delays: Some didn't want to move as far away as Canada.

The chronic constipation of the global immigration system, however, wasn't about to stop Mary McConville and company. They could have organized D-Day over recess. They split zygotically into a slew of subcommittees: liaison, logistics, housing, finance, education, resources, employment.

While Mary and others scoured potential apartments in four neighbourhoods, Lawrence and his team searched for schools.

Heated debate - or, given the well-bred nature of the group, a lightly steamed argument - broke out over whether the Suleymans should live close to the group, which would mean good connections to the support network but a dearth of halal butchers and Arabic-speaking classroom assistants - a choice favoured by Mr. Sewell - or closer to an Arabic-speaking community. The latter view prevailed.

Meanwhile, Jane Gotlib and others solicited furniture and clothes from volunteers. So much stuff was proffered, she created a registry to track what the Suleymans still needed. "We had to say, if the line item is filled, we don't want another one. People just want to get rid of their stuff so they can go out and get more stuff," one of her team observed.

Jamie Goad, an architect in the group, convinced his partners to donate furniture from a model suite in a condo development, whereupon a dazzling white leather couch with orange throw pillows and a co-ordinated rug materialized in the new Suleyman apartment, to say nothing of dining-room furniture and groovy coffee tables and four semi-abstract landscapes in soothing blues and greens. Other gifts and purchases netted a wall hanging, a queen bed, bunk beds, curtains, bedsheets, a microwave, dishes, pots, pans, blender and Cuisinart. "They were turning away carpets because they didn't go with the couch," a group member remembers. They stocked the refrigerator, too, from a Middle Eastern supermarket.

No wonder Aliye and Omer Suleyman and their three children, Esra, who turns 13 next week, Meram, 8, and Suleyman, 6, were installed in a fully outfitted apartment the afternoon after they arrived.

But the group was just getting started. The six core members met every two weeks, with twopage written agendas and e-mailed follow-ups. Medical checkups and immunizations?

Arranged and chauffeured. ESL lessons? Booked. After three years of war stress and no dental care, the Suleymans, like many Syrians, were experiencing a crisis of their own: The group instantly raised another $6,500 for all their dental work, but a dentist pal of the group's refused to take payment. Omer got a new set of teeth.

"It's a bit like being a parent," Ms. McConville said, and you could tell she liked having that challenge all over again. Most of the group put in four to five hours a week at the outset; the core were committing more than 20 hours each. Every other weekend saw a new outing, and a full report on the outing afterward: the zoo, a farmers' market (at minus-30 degrees), the Aga Khan Museum (a hit), the Ontario Science Centre, a streetcar ride around downtown with Mr. Sewell.

David Gotlib, a psychiatrist and software developer, handled phones and computers and WiFi.

He is a total and discerning gearhead. In his third-floor study, arrayed and lit up around his computer, are the original helm and operational panels of the USS Enterprise used in the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series, one of his long-time obsessions. David saw a direct connection between distant galaxies and the Syrians: "Star Trek," he explained, "is about building a utopian place where they've eliminated hunger, want and need from everyday life, and have dedicated themselves to improving the world and the lives of others."

And the budget! Thanks to private sponsorship, the budget was a miracle. Life in the city is expensive. The Suleyman's rent is $1,270 a month. Let's say food costs another $800 a month; then there's subway passes and tickets, $367; incidentals and clothing, $300; telephone, $132 for two plans; Internet and cable, $85; medicines and medical costs, $100; hydro, $80. To offset that, the government pays refugees like the Suleymans a $1,486 monthly stipend, for six months (government-sponsored refugees get it for a year), and $1,350 a month in ongoing child tax credits. That would leave them in the hole. But the group tops up the total, to make sure the family has $2,000 a month, after Omer and Aliye have paid the rent.

"We said, 'If you don't spend the $2,000, keep it,' " Jamie Goad told me at one of the group's monthly meetings. "But we don't know if they're saving it." To ask, he felt, would be intrusive and condescending: There is a thin line between doing too little and too much. It's a dilemma the group discusses a lot, the need to be careful, as Ms. McConville puts it, "not to overwhelm the family with our privilege, to be mindful of our personal needs to do good." Oh, they were definitely liberals.

But if the Suleymans don't spend their child tax credits (Aliye is famously frugal) and if they don't send extra money back to Syria ("They've asked us so many times if they can," a member of the finance committee says), and if they are lucky and don't have any major unexpected outlays, they could - and please note the extreme conditionality of the phrasing - have somewhere between $12,000 and $18,000 as a cushion at the end of their first year in Canada, just as the group steps away, financially.

They'll need it. "Without our contribution," Mr. Goad said, "they'll both need full-time minimum-wage jobs to have the same level of income they have now with our contribution."

Will Omer and Aliye be able to survive outside the group's reassuring embrace? Without, especially, its generous financial support? That was the Hillcrest group's only other disagreement: Some thought the core members were coddling the family - a habit all the settlement agencies warned against. The Suleymans rarely took the subway, for instance, because the core group drove them pretty much everywhere.

Mary knew it was an issue.

"We want them to become independent," she said. "We want them to do that. But it's [a matter of] judging if they're ready."

One complicating factor was that the Suleymans were becoming friends, even family.

As the spring progressed, Aliye began to remove her hijab in Mary and Jane's company in the apartment. "It makes me start to cry even thinking about it," Ms. McConville said. She couldn't say why. Of course, they didn't tell anyone else in the group. They didn't want the others to feel left out.

Aliye and Omer spend five mornings a week in ESL classes at the Gooderham Learning Centre, a converted school in Scarborough.

(Roughly two-thirds of government-sponsored Syrian refugees and a third of the privately sponsored ones speak no English or French.) The halls are unnaturally quiet and peaceful: There are people from all over the world here, and no one group can understand the others.

The incoming class of Syrians was so big by March that an extra class was added. Omer is Beginner Level 1. (University-level Eng-

lish is Level 9. Journalists operate at Level 12 - just saying.) Celia, his teacher, is a lively woman in her 60s. She uses pictures geared to practical life to promote taskbased learning. There are nine people in the class, from such places as Cameroon, Pakistan and Yemen. Only one person, from South America, can read the Western alphabet.

Celia introduces today's lesson, a script with pictures in which a man named Jerry has the flu. "Jerry is the name of the person," Celia says. "Jerry."

"Jerry," the class repeats.

"He has diarrhea, too," Celia says. "He goes to the bathroom all the time!"

"Poo!" someone says.

"What does he do?" Celia asks again.

Very softly, so softly you can barely hear him, Omer says: "Telephone?" Which is not the worst answer! Who hasn't had the urge to call the doctor at certain moments of extreme indisposability? No one is grasping the concept of diarrhea, however, so Celia makes them repeat the word, loudly, six times.

"Di-ah-ree-ah,' she says.

"DI-AH-REE-AH!" the class chants.



Finally, one of the women interrupts. "Excuse me. Diarrhea is - vomiting?" Celia: "No! Vomiting is [miming] bleeeaaagghhh."

Again, the woman interrupts.

"Teacher? Die-rhea?" Celia points to a picture of a toilet.

"Ah, okay! Thank you, teacher!"

Celia writes I have the runs. I have diarrhea on the board. Omer writes it down in his notebook.

This goes on for half a day, five days a week. ESL programmers hope the newcomers will stay in class at least six months and as long as two years to acquire workable English skills.

Celia has no doubt that Omer - whose formal schooling ended after Grade 8 - will speak, and maybe write, in English. He's bright, and not afraid to put up his hand and make mistakes. "If he goes to work [sooner], he may be able to speak the language.

But he will not be able to read and write if he drops this for work." Postwar Greek and Italian immigrants were urged to work as soon as they arrived, hence their frequently broken English thereafter.

The group uses volunteer translators to converse with Omer and Aliye, which adds a layer of complexity to the simplest appointment. In a pinch, everyone falls back on WhatsApp and SayHi, cellphone apps that automatically translate short bursts of English into Arabic and vice versa.

But the apps default to the Arabic of the Koran, which is archaic and obscure. One out of three translations hits the mark. One afternoon, I met a Syrian man named Yasir Shaghouri. He's a cement artisan - he can make concrete look like wood or marble or a copse of trees, or anything else. "We create these in the residences of wealthy people," he told me, via SayHi, which translated his sentence as only the often anti-capitalist Koran would: "We make this in the homes of idiots."

The sponsors photograph the Suleymans wherever they go in the city, and the Suleymans smile in every shot. Without the ability to speak directly, however, it can be hard to know how well they are settling in. But the Suleymans are full of bracing surprises.

When Omer and Aliye register for their health cards, the clerk asks if they want to be organ donors. Islamic scholars are divided on the permissibility of organ transplants, although compassion and saving a life trump doctrine. For that reason live transplants tend to be more common in Islamic societies than the use of organs that have been harvested from dead bodies. It's a rich and complicated subject. In any event, Aliye declines.

But Omer says yes. Aliye speaks to him in Arabic, and explains the situation, as she sometimes does. The translator checks twice, as well, to make sure Omer knows what is being asked of him. But Omer says yes again.

"This is what they do here, in Canada," Omer replies. "I am in Canada."

Other transitions can be more resistant. One evening, I met a Syrian refugee who told me the hardest thing to get used to in Canada was "the universal freedom that we've seen. When I go to the bus stop and see people smooching, I don't think this is freedom. This is immaturity.

Freedom is no assaults, not being harassed. That's freedom."

For her part, Aliye says, "I like the fact that I can practise my religion here and still be part of life and society." She may not feel comfortable speaking the language, but she completely grasps the principles of the place she has come to.

Of course there is an alternate, more integrationist - some would say more American - approach to resettling the Syrians, which is to make them just like everyone else. Some Syrians want this more than their sponsors do.

This afternoon, we're in a living room in the Annex in downtown Toronto, a traditional spawning ground of urban liberalism. A group of sponsors is sitting at a thick glass dining table.

They have raised $55,000, have filled out a ream of forms, have requested a needy family, and, like many other groups, have waited longer than anyone anticipated for their family to arrive in Canada: So many sponsors have stepped forward, they have been informed, that needy families are in short supply. In lieu of waiting any longer, Lifeline Syria, an organization that matches sponsors to refugee families, has convinced them to support, instead, an incoming family with relatives already in Toronto. Today the group is meeting the relatives for the first time.

Richard - who doesn't want his last name used, because of the sensitivity of the subject - has lived in Canada since 1988.

His family was originally from Aleppo. His wife, Roula, joined him in 2001. He was a doctor in Syria and Europe, did postgraduate fellowships and research at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children, and now runs a medicalexecutive recruitment business. He's a smart guy who speaks five languages, all very quickly. He has already sponsored Roula's brother to Canada; now, with the help of the group, he's bringing another brother, the brother's wife, their three children, and Roula's mother, whom Roula hasn't seen in seven years.

Richard is looking over the budget that the group has prepared.

"You don't have cable," he notes.

"I didn't think cable was necessary," a guy in the group says, surprised.

"They've been in a refugee camp for three years," Richard says. "They need cable." It'll help them learn English.

An undeserved hint of shame passes across the sponsor's face.

But Richard has already moved on. "Have you found an apartment?" They've been looking, the fellow replies, and have seen threebedroom places for $1,600 a month.

"Where?" Richard asks.

"Eglinton and Oakwood."

"Oh, come on!" he snaps.

"They can't live there! It's a terrible neighbourhood!"

Whereupon Richard designates the boundaries of an acceptable neighbourhood for his incoming Syrian brother-in-law, which is the neighbourhood in and around Toronto's tony, and not especially Syrian, Forest Hill.

After he, his wife and their kids have driven off, one of the group sends an e-mail to another group member: So much for the huddled masses! A week later, in his downtown Toronto office, Richard is unapologetic. He wants his brother-in-law to get a good job, which means speaking English and acting like a Canadian. "For safety, Canada is the place," he says. But it comes at a price. Life is different here. "In Canada, it's stress for the money. The social life here is not the same. You work, work, work. That's Canada." That's why he doesn't want his brother-in-law and his family living near other Syrians. "I don't want him to be in the same category as immigrants who, 40 years later, still don't speak the language."

"If you ask me," Roula says, "I would prefer to stay near Syrian people."

"Then they're not going to learn anything," her husband replies. "I think if you're going to be Canadian, you should be with Canadians, act like a Canadian, speak like a Canadian. And be friends with Canadians." He pauses. "Yes, that's a middleclass view. Yes. You get better by being with better." He doesn't want his family dismissed as second-class, the way Arabs often are in Belgium and Germany; he wants Syrians seen as equals, with equal opportunities. "If you want to be successful in this country, you have to stay outside your community, and work with other communities, and with other cultures."

Let me take you briefly to the other end of the chain of refugee being, to a cramped budget motel in the heart of Toronto's downtown Chinatown. This is not a crisp, two-bedroom apartment furnished in the latest style. But it is where Shadi Qablawi and hundreds of others spent weeks with their wives and children when they arrived in Canada, because they were refugees without private sponsors.

Government-sponsored refugees tend to be poorer than privately sponsored ones. (Short explanation: Money buys access.)

They spend more time in refugee camps. They tend to be less educated than privately sponsored families - 40 per cent of the government-assisted refugees under 14 who have settled in Canada have no education, and 68 per cent of the adults have only high school or less.

Under normal circumstances, arriving in Canada as a government-sponsored refugee is a daunting, somewhat doleful, but predictable experience. The federal government contracts an outside agency to resettle the GARs. The refugees arrive and live in an airport hotel for a few days while the agency finds them an apartment and delivers a standard set of furniture: one velour armchair with matching sofa and loveseat, depending on the size of the family; one hideous faux-McIntosh metal-andglass dining table and six chairs; bed frames and mattresses. It's not a huge package, but there are lots of public agencies to help the newcomers settle in.

But the Syrian resettlement crisis of 2016 was not a normal circumstance. The government had made an election boast, and the public had responded in kind; settlement agencies were overwhelmed. There especially weren't enough apartments to go around: By the end of February, almost half the Syrian refugees who had arrived in Canada in the previous three months hadn't found permanent housing. And so, many government-assisted refugees spent a month and more in budget hotels near the airport, and downtown. They got to know each other, made friendships, they ate for free, but it wasn't walking into a furnished apartment surrounded by people longing to be your friend.

Yet, it was also in the downtown motels that the Syrian GARs met the Torontonians who saved them. There was nothing planned about this, which is possibly why every Syrian I met who passed through the hellish hotels spoke of their saviours the same way: They said Allah sent them.

Victoria Johnson was one of the first of the saviours.

A mother and successful textile designer, Ms. Johnson had helped a group of fellow parents raise $45,000 to privately sponsor a Syrian family. She, too, was waiting for this much-delayed family and trying to maintain her enthusiasm for the Syrian refugee cause when she began to hear stories of packed downtown hotels.

Ms. Johnson started hanging around the lobbies of the hotels, talking to the settlement agencies and taking down the names and numbers of the refugees.

They all seemed to have Syrian or Lebanese phone numbers.

Then she called John Sewell - she'd heard he was involved in a sponsorship group - and other friends she knew who were impatiently waiting for their backed-up families to arrive. She developed a checklist of tasks she could perform for the de facto second-class refugees: help them find an apartment and become its guarantor; get some food in the fridge for their first days in their new apartment; take them to their medical appointments The list got longer quickly.

In one of the downtown hotels, Virginia met Shadi Qablawi. He seemed to know everyone. He'd been living in the hotel with his

wife, his three children, his mother, and his little sister, for 40 days. Ms. Johnson introduced him to a couple who helped him find an apartment.

He was from Damascus. Middle-class men from Damascus tended to be able to speak more English, and Mr. Qablawi was Level 3 in ESL. In Damascus he had worked as a cook, a taxi driver, and an electrician. He lived in a mixed neighbourhood of Sunnis (of which he was one) and Alawites, the Shia clan of President Bashar al-Assad. (Between 60 and 80 per cent of Syria's Muslims are Sunnis.) In June of 2012, one of Shadi's Alawite neighbours went away for a few days, and someone burned his house down. Then the Assad regime came for vengeance. Mr. Qablawi was tipped off, and slipped away with his family the morning of the day the army arrived. At least 25 people died in the ensuing slaughter. Witnesses who examined their remains said the victims' hands had been tied behind their backs while they were burned alive.

How does that happen?

Shadi Qablawi went to the south of Syria, and made his way from there into Jordan. Nothing is far from anything else in the Middle East, one legacy of the cavalier way colonial powers carved up the region after the First World War. (The Syrians see Canada as dauntingly huge by comparison.) A Jordanian let him live in an unfinished apartment, and he found a job in a gas station. Six months in, he registered as a refugee with the UN.

Three and a half years after that, his number came up. A processing officer asked him whether he would consider moving to Canada.

What did you think of Canada, I asked him. "I see Canada, is good. I heard about Canada, very good. High income, very good.

And America, very much murder.

Here is peace, and government control country." I loved listening to his English; it was full of pace and space. What he liked most about "this country, it has rules."

With the stipend he receives for himself and his wife and his mother and sister, plus tax credits for his three children, and by shopping at No Frills and visiting the food bank every week, the Qablawis can afford, for now, to live in a two-bedroom high-rise apartment in the west end of Toronto, and go to school every morning to learn English. Not all the government-funded refugees are so fortunate.

One evening in the east end, out on the Danforth, past the mosque and the Dollarama store, where the cash-for-gold stores begin to proliferate, in a building that sat up above the rest of the street like a giant brown wall, I met a government refugee named Asaad Al Jawabrih. He and his family had spent a month in the hotels, and had been saved by another of Virginia Johnson's good Samaritans.

Asaad had been a farmer and casual truck driver in Syria, and now, in Toronto, at 27, with a 20year-old wife and three children, had no trade to speak of. "I want to learn a trade that doesn't take a long time to learn," he told me.

I wanted to tell him it usually doesn't work that way here, but I didn't have the heart.

He receives roughly $3,100 a month from the government allowance and child tax credits.

But rent takes $1,400. When the allowance of $1,600 runs out next February, after a year, social assistance will kick in, at 25-percent less than the stipend, if he doesn't have a job. He had a haunted look in his eyes whenever the conversation turned to money, but (like every other Syrian I met) thinks Justin Trudeau is a hero. If you ask him if his wife might work, he will say, "I think she does better looking after the kids." The youngest is four months old, too young to be in daycare - which means his mother can't even attend ESL classes. Thanks to the good Samaritan's sponsorship group, a tutor comes to the apartment instead.

They all want to go forward, as much as the YouTube videos of prewar Syria they play over and over on their phones pull them back. Just talking about Syria pains Mr. Qablawi. His brotherin-law's wife has been missing there for two years. People in Damascus are eating grass to survive. At least 20 of his friends have died in the uprising, including his best friend, who happened to be visiting a nearby town when the army invaded, and as a result wasn't able to see his wife and children for two years. He was eventually shot by an army sniper. His name was Mahmoud. "He stayed in Syria," Mr. Qablawi said, "and I came to Canada."

Here, where everyone has less of a past, he can look forward. He recently passed the test for his driver's licence, on the fourth try.

("The problem is not the driving," he says. "I know how to drive. But here you have laws.") He recently reached Level 4 in ESL, and is keen to get to Level 7, which he hopes will help him obtain his Canadian electrician's ticket: He's looking for an electrician he can apprentice to. "I must learn, to take better job. If I go to work now, I can take $11 an hour. But I will stay forever $11 or $12 an hour. But if I learn electrician, in two or three months, I will earn a lot more." He'll be a poster child for the middle-class dream, if the rules let him move that quickly. He is even beginning to question whether he will ever return to Syria, as so many refugees long to. "Now, we begin from zero here. So if I came from zero to seven here, why go back to zero again? But in Canada, if I arrive to seven, maybe I will go to 10."

And if he doesn't? How long will Shadi Qablawi and Asaad Al Jawabrih and Omer Suleyman and Yasir Shaghouri have to be here before they can feel they belong here? And if they don't - if they cannot feed their families, if they cannot find meaningful work, if they cannot feel themselves rising toward a decent standard of living in the lust of want that is North American capitalist life, and see their children begin to integrate into the Canadian dream - is there any danger they might become radicalized?

That possibility, remote as it is, is part of what makes the Canadian resettlement of Syrian refugees such a daring civic experiment.

"Both Muslim and non-Muslim communities will say that integration is the most important thing," Virginia Johnson points out. "So they need to connect

The things they carried

1. Soil that Aliye scooped up on her last day in her homeland, preserved for three years in Turkey and carried to Canada.

2. Omer and Aliye's Syrian identity cards. Every Syrian over 14 must carry their identification at all times.

3. One of the matching set of coffee cups Aliye brought from Turkey. She was told they were Syrian, "but God knows. The more important thing is that it reminds me of my culture." They have gotten a lot of use: She brought three kilos of Syrian coffee as well.

4. Spices and herbs from Syria - za'atar, mint, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes - mailed to the family in Turkey, to be carried to Canada, "because someone told me I would never find them here," Aliye says.

5. Aliye's cracked and worn phone from Syria contains her old life - names, addresses, numbers and e-mails of everyone she knew before coming to Canada.

6. The keys for the beloved, 2,100-square-foot apartment in Aleppo - to the building, to the main door to the apartment; and to Aliye's parents' house.

7. Ticket stubs from the 14-hour flight to Toronto from Ankara.

8. Aliye's Koran, given to her by her grandmother.

It has fallen open to this page, which urges Muslims to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Aliye now believes she will make the trip herself one day.

9. A Xerox of Aliye's worn and treasured postcard of Aleppo's famous Citadel, carried from Syria.

The writing across the paper contains phonetic instructions for how to say, in English: "Can I speak with someone in Arabic, please?"

10. Eight-year-old Meram had to leave her beloved Barbies behind. The family's sponsors bought her this model, which she named Jane, after one of them.

11. Aliye's favourite hijab, in satin, carried from Syria. It was made in Turkey where hijabs that cost $2 sell for $25 in Toronto, much to Aliye's shock.

12. Cookies flavoured with dates and fruit that are traditionally offered to visitors after the evening meal during the last three days of Ramadan.

13. Handmade olive-oil soap (for which Aleppo is famous) brought by Aliye to give as a gift.

14. Turkish cigarettes - Omer came with five cartons, and was down to his last pack when Aliye's sister, Iman, arrived in June to replenish his supply. He plans to stop smoking, via a patch, when Ramadan ends.

15. A gold ring purchased in Turkey to replace the wedding band Aliye had to sell, with all her other jewellery. "When I'm wearing it," she says, "I remember I have a family and a husband."

with their old culture and the new one. They need to be exposed to their new culture while remaining connected to their old one." Shadi Qablawi told her so himself, when he discovered there were three other Syrian families living in his new west-end building. "Just right," he said. "Not too many, not too few. I don't want to be only surrounded by Syrian culture."

Playwright Michael Healey, another impatient private sponsor who decided to help government-assisted refugees, noticed the shade of that fear when he first told people he was helping a Syrian family settle. "That fear is the fear of the other," he told me one evening. "And the only thing that assuages that fear is familiarity. I spent so much time with them, I know that they're not a sleeper cell. The only thing that overcomes the fear of the other is the thing beyond tolerance - a degree of intimacy. Once you get to know somebody, that kind of fear subsides. And what's the project of Canada if not that?

This is a stolen land taken over by immigrants who are only here through increased immigration.

And so you'd better get right with the other, because that includes you."

When visitors come to the apartment to chat, Aliye cooks, regardless of whether they want to eat: sambousek (spiced meat in baked pastry), kibbeh (spiced meat in fried pastry, even better), fatoosh (bread salad), hummus, labneh (strained yogurt), crowns of new romaine standing in big glass bowls of tabbouleh.

She also cries. It never lasts long, is always discreet, but it happens regularly. Mary McConville wonders if it's trauma from the war. Thirteen-year-old Esra laughs when it happens, though she tries to hide that: a nervous reaction to a sad reaction. Esra seems impossibly poised, but Aliye worries most about her: She is bright but shy and hasn't been to school for three years because of the war, and is now 13 going into Grade 7. Lively Meram, who is a math whiz, speaks the best English. Suleyman is in senior kindergarten and also good at math and wants to be Batman or possibly Spider-Man - so far he is undecided. Aliye hopes they all become doctors. She wants them "to give something back."

Her crying is unpredictable, like a new leak in the plumbing.

Everything about her speaks to her openness, her warmth, her stout capability: She has deep brown eyes, an instant smile, a slightly goofy but ready laugh. In a group, on an outing, Omer explores ahead, scouting the perimeter, while Aliye holds the centre, engaging and talking.

It's now May, almost three months into the adventure: Settlement counsellors say this is when the dip comes for newly arrived refugees. The adrenalin wears off, and the narrow future in the unknown place looms longest. The sun comes out again - the phrase the counsellors use - at nine months.

Aliye knows she has a lot to look forward to. Her sister Iman is coming; that's thrilling. They speak every day, "continuously," she says, about "everything." She and Omer are learning to pay their own bills - "It's exciting," she says, and you have to admire them for that - while the sponsorship group is monitoring the family assiduously. True, Omer worried about finding work every night when his head hit the pil.

low. Aliye scoffed and told him it would be okay. And in fact, he recently found part-time work in the kitchen of a fast-food chain.

Even the weather is warming up.

Today, in the bright living room of her pleasant apartment, Aliye is explaining how she got to Toronto. She had never before left Aleppo, Syria's largest city (two million inhabitants) and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth, a famously cosmopolitan trading centre at the terminus of the ancient trans-orient spice route supplying Venice and the Ottoman Empire. It's mentioned in the Bible, many times.

Janine di Giovanni, the war correspondent who wrote The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches From Syria, claims the entire Syrian war has been writ small in the fight for Aleppo. Theoretically, the conflict was between Bashar al-Assad's regime, shored up by Hezbollah, and a roster of opponents that changed almost daily; but ordinary Syrians were caught between them. The first pro-democracy protests produced a brutal response from the Assad regime. A young woman in Aleppo at the beginning of the war told Ms. di Giovanni of being arrested for putting up revolutionary posters. She was stripped, blindfolded, tied to a chair, and told she would be passed from man to man.

Before long, snipers on all sides made it potentially deadly to go to work or poke your head above a balcony. People developed theories about how many walls were necessary to stop a bullet or a missile (three), which in a Syrian apartment often made the bathroom the safest place to live and sleep.

Then came the barrel bombings. There was no gas to cook bread, no electricity to watch TV or power a cellphone. People scoured public garbage bins for food.

By the two-year point of the civil war, Omer was sleeping at work, to avoid the perilous commute; he saw Aliye once a fortnight at most, to give her his paycheque. One morning, returning to work, a sniper's bullet missed his head by inches. Aliye said, "Go: I'd rather not have you here at all than not know whether you are safe from day to day."

He left to work full-time in Lebanon. He didn't see Aliye for nine months. She stayed on in the Aleppo hospital where she worked as a nurse, but found repairing wounds without anesthetic brutal, and twice barely escaped being kidnapped with Suleyman as they made their way back and forth through the streets. Rebel armies of all descriptions were snatching women and children - she claims to have seen it many times with her own eyes - and forcing them to pay bribes to be released. In her sister Iman's building, a local faction of extremists commandeered an entire floor to house the women they kidnapped, whom they then raped at will.

One day a bomb went off unexpectedly and Suleyman, who was 3, fell from a second-floor balcony and landed hard on his wrist.

At the hospital, the doctors wanted to amputate his arm. Aliye took him to a private doctor instead, who splinted his arm and saved it. She cries quietly describing the event, even though he is fine - he doesn't like anyone to touch his hand, but he's fine - just as she cries describing the death of friends or her father's recent heart attack in Aleppo, or even Mary McConville's immense generosity.

A year and three months after Omer's departure for Lebanon, Aliye's father handed her a sum of money and told her to use it to leave Syria. "It was so bad in Aleppo, and very dangerous," she remembers, as if apologizing for abandoning the Citadel. "My father got a loan, and put me in a car, and said, 'Just go.' " Omer had no idea this was happening; they had no way to contact each other. "We had to go through so many villages to get to the border. And everybody wanted to exploit us." She gave the last of the escape money her father had given her to a man who claimed to have a deal with a Turkish border guard, but he disappeared with the cash, leaving her on the Syrian side of the border with three children in the middle of the night. She was about to turn back when another traveller advised her that she would be killed or kidnapped if she did.

She started to cross over, and crawl under, the razor wire at the border. Meram cut her leg and screamed, and the Turkish guards began firing into the darkness. (Sixty Syrian refugees have died crossing the border into Turkey this year, 11 last week alone.)

At one point, lying in a gully, hiding the children under her body, a border guard's boot a few feet from her face, Aliye told the children to stop breathing. She cries again at this part of the story.

And then, somehow, they were through. They were lost, but they kept walking until they came to asphalt and heard a dog barking.

"We have to follow the barking dog," Aliye told the children.

More tears.

And yet. Despite these memories, she hankers to return to Syria. She and Omer - who later joined them from Lebanon - argue about it in their goodnatured way.

"People come here, they live here for 20, 30 years. Why would you want to go back?" Omer asks.

"Nobody can stop me if I go," she replies.

"Yeah, you can go," Omer says.

"But I don't want you to go."

Even at the airport in Ankara, on their last day before coming to Canada, she thought of turning back to the struggle. The great struggle, I mean, the one everyone fights, between the human capacity for evil that allows some people to burn other people alive, and the capacity for good that tries to stop them.

Some people must fight that battle standing right next to the ones who have chosen to let evil win, while others fight it almost as fiercely from far away, in wellkept houses with hydrangeas and paintings.

Look, there is a lot I have not told you that I encountered in my weeks with the Syrian refugees and their minders. I have not told you about the moment Iman and her family arrived at the airport in Toronto at the beginning of June, and how Osman, her youngest son, ran to the high glass barrier between him and his Aunt Aliye, and how Aliye, not a tall woman, somehow reached over and pulled him into her arms and they both exploded into tears with an intensity I have never seen before, so fierce with longing and relief, and how everything seemed to be a step closer to happiness for Aliye after that; or about the way Omer held his younger brother Ahmed, who is Iman's husband, for the longest, longest, longest time after he walked through the arrival gate; or how both couples bunked down in the same room at Iman's new apartment that first night, and stayed up until 5 a.m. talking; and how Omer and Ahmed played soccer a day later at a picnic as if they'd never stopped; about how sublime the normal and the everyday can seem. I have not described the forensic firmness of the gorilla grip Mary McConville and Jane Gotlib exert on plans and details, or the way Aliye says "grrroop" for group, and "Merrry" for Mary, and "Chane" for Jane; or the mild crush many of the women in the group seemed to have on Ghassan Shamseddine, the slim Lebanese translator they used, who was handsome and urbane and, they said, was able to relate both to the refugees and to them. I have not mentioned the desperate boredom in Asaad Al Jawabrih's eyes, as he longed for something useful to do, while his squirming children and young, beautiful wife clamoured for his attention in their empty apartment with the pictures hung crazy high, so the kids couldn't wreck them; or the way all the magnetic coloured fridge alphabets and young children's board books donated to help the refugees learn English gave their apartments a jolly Romper Room air, as if recess were always just around the corner. I haven't mentioned the spotlessness of a Muslim kitchen; or the way latecomers to evening prayers at the Masjid Usman mosque in Pickering, on the suburban rim of Toronto, touched their ears and joined the rows of kneeling men, after hours of packing welcome kits for the Syrian refugees; or how, after watching those dozen people in hijabs and skullcaps fill plastic laundry baskets with oil and pita and onions and spices and rice, and buckets with cleaning supplies and mops and toiletries and Korans and prayer rugs, it becomes increasingly difficult to even imagine a Toronto mosque as an antiWestern indoctrination centre. I haven't described the countless bikes and strollers and coffee mugs and VCRs - VCRs! - and stuffed animals and rubber boots and boxes of detergent and skates and catcher's mitts (really? a catcher's mitt?) and board games and 20-piece kitchen knife sets that have been donated to the Syrians, all of which make you think Canadians are generous people until the sheer number and sameness of the objects exhausts you and makes you see how unbelievably spoiled we are. All those things happened, too.

What I will tell you about is the Saturday afternoon Jane and her boys took the Suleymans to see the bats and the dinosaurs at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Omer walked ahead, filming everything - "It's like live coverage," Ghassan, the translator, said, laughing - while Aliye examined the diagrams and exhibits. The kids touched everything they were allowed to touch.

They loved the stuffed lion, and the birds. Aliye became pensive in front of the reconstructed mastodon, a hairy elephant that lived in North America 12,000 years ago, which is a long time even by the high historical standards of the Middle East. "I am thinking about how lucky my kids are to have this opportunity, versus the kids in Syria," she said. Meanwhile, Omer was obsessed with the fish in the Great Lakes Marsh exhibit. It turns out a lot of Syrians love to fish.

Then Jane said: "We're gonna hit Egypt, and leave." She looked tired.

Outside on the street - it was one of those weird freezing days Toronto had this spring, colder in May than it ever gets in Syria - Suleyman spotted a souvenir shop. One of those places chockablock with Canadian flags and maple-sugar candy and ceramic Mounties. He immediately started to sing O Canada. I am not making this up. Will Gotlib, Jane's 15-year-old son, a fan of movies and space and vast, sophisticated Lego structures, was watching him from a doorway.

"I have a very different experience, looking after my relatives' kids," he said. "With these ones, it feels like you're" - he searched around for the words - "making them happy a different kind of way. Also, you're showing it to them for the first time." He paused again. "It's like you're returning to your own childhood, that sense of wonder."

I thought he got that right.

Like having a chance to do it over, a new way.

Ian Brown is a feature writer with The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

Photography by Liam Maloney

.. Above, the five members of the Suleyman family, clockwise from top, middle: Omer, 46, wife Aliye, 38, daughter Meram, 8, son Suleyman, 6, and daughter Esra, 13 next week..

Some of the Hillcrest-group sponsors of the Suleyman family: Jane Gotlib (left), Mary McConville, Lawrence Marshman, Carrie Clark and Catherine Tanner.

Some of the images on the cellphone the family brought to Canada, from left: A photograph of the apartment building the Suleymans left in Aleppo that was sent to them just hours after it was struck by a bomb on June 6, the first day of Ramadan; Aliye as a child (she was 6, on her first day at school); daughter Esra, 12, after visiting her aunt, Iman, shortly before leaving Turkey for Canada; Aliye and Omer with son Suleyman, 6, and a flight attendant over the Atlantic during the long flight from Ankara.

She's 41, weighs 4,000 kilos, and is at the centre of a bitter fight about the rights of captive animals in a dangerous world. Jana G. Pruden delves into the fraught world of Lucy, the Edmonton Zoo's greatest draw, and heftiest liability
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

The elephant house is squat and made of concrete, with windows of bullet-proof glass and gates of heavy steel. Its design reflects the reality of securing animals so strong they can break through bars and fences, so smart and deft they can use their trunks to open latches and doors. The house is linked to three outdoor pens - a large enclosure for the Edmonton Valley Zoo, though some would argue still far too small for an elephant.

On a sunny Thursday afternoon, both the elephant house and its outdoor pens are empty. Packs of parents wheel strollers and follow stampeding children into the building to find only a desolate barn, then wheel out again, disappointed, into the sunshine.

"I haven't seen her for the past three weeks," one woman says, a little girl tugging on her hand.

A man with two small children calls to a zoo worker unloading a bale of hay from the back of a pickup truck. "Is the elephant coming back today?" he asks.

The worker shrugs. "I don't know," he says, then drives away.

A small crowd gathers at the display of black-tailed prairie dogs nearby, hoping maybe the elephant will return while they wait. The prairie dogs are important. They are a crucial part of the ecosystem in North America, and now nearly extinct, their population and habitat only 1 per cent of what it once was. The prairie dogs pop up on their hind legs; they pose and scurry. The crowd watches for a moment, then begins to break apart. The prairie dogs are cute, but they are not elephants. They are not Lucy.

A subject of controversy, lawsuits - and silence

Lucy is 41 years old. She weighs around 4,000 kilograms, about as much as three small cars. She is one of Canada's last remaining zoo elephants and, living in Edmonton, is thought to be the northernmost elephant in the world. She has been alone since the city's other elephant, Samantha, was moved to North Carolina in 2007.

Depending on whom you believe, Lucy is comfortable and content living at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, where she is deeply bonded with the humans who work with her, and receiving excellent care. Or, she is lonely and miserable, existing in a state that is nothing less than animal abuse, even torture.

Alone, in a northern environment, Lucy may be the most controversial elephant on the continent. A movement to have Lucy relocated has been ongoing for two decades, and one online petition has garnered more than a quarter-million signatures. The Friends of Lucy Facebook page counts nearly 12,000 members, and there is a website,, entirely devoted to moving her. City and zoo officials maintain Lucy has a breathing problem serious enough that she could die if she were moved.

Celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Joan Jett and William Shatner have weighed into the debate over her future. "Let me add my voice to the crescendo of voices asking for some relief in the fate of your beloved elephant, Lucy," Mr. Shatner wrote, in a letter to the city in 2009. "In a way, it's none of our business - Edmonton can capably take care of its own. Yet, in a larger sense, these extraordinary animals are everybody's responsibility."

Bob Barker, the retired game-show host and animal activist, has repeatedly offered to pay to have Lucy relocated to an American elephant sanctuary, and has called her the most tragic zoo elephant he knows.

Long the Valley Zoo's most powerful draw, Lucy may now be its most visible liability. Allegations of her mistreatment are inextricably linked to the zoo's reputation and image, and the controversy surrounding her has been a persistent issue for the City of Edmonton, which owns and operates the facility.

Though Lucy used to appear regularly in local papers and TV newscasts interacting with visitors and staff, playing, and painting pictures, today she is primarily the focus of stories about lawsuits and protests. The zoo's former logo, the profile of an elephant, was abandoned in 2011.

The City of Edmonton denied repeated requests to speak about Lucy. City spokeswoman Katherine Heath-Eves wrote in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail that no city or zoo officials would grant an interview, because "each time attention is brought to Lucy in the media, our staff are threatened by members of the animal rights/ wellness community." Multiple former and current zoo employees who have worked with Lucy did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, or declined outright to comment for this story.

Lucy is Edmonton's largest resident, and also its hardest to talk about. She is, quite literally, the elephant in the room.

The historic allure of 'charismatic megafauna'

The Edmonton Valley Zoo opened in 1959 on a 107-acre tract of land in Laurier Park, an area of forested valley west of the city's downtown. It was largely a "children's zoo" at first, a popular concept at the time, with a nursery-rhyme theme that included a statue of Humpty Dumpty at the entrance and a Three Little Pigs fairy-tale scene populated with live pigs. There was a carousel and miniature train, a tinny soundtrack of children's and classical music emanating from five speakers on the grounds.

The zoo was the vision of the Edmonton Zoological Society, whose members had a goal of building one of the finest animal attractions on the continent, a place that would "draw more patrons than any other sport or entertainment."

More than 115,000 people visited the zoo the first month it opened. By the summer of 1960, the zoo boasted 130 birds and 89 animals, including penguins, otters, owls, black lambs, bear cubs and a deodorized skunk, all tended by a human contingent of three men and 10 teenagers.

Even before the zoo opened to the public, plans were under way to add elephants and monkeys to the menagerie. The animals top the list of what are known as "charismatic megafauna," species that draw humans with their intelligence, behaviour and emotional connection. As a 1954 news story noted, "These are considered a zoo's main attractions and once they are established the directors believe public support will keep the zoo going."

The zoo had been open for nearly two decades by the time Lucy arrived on May 19, 1977. She was estimated to be two years old - an orphaned Asian elephant from Sri Lanka who had been purchased from a German animal dealer for $10,000. Her name was Skanik, but in Edmonton she would be known as Lucy.

As expected, Lucy was a big draw. The Calgary Zoo had gotten three elephants from Sri Lanka a year earlier, but Lucy was the first in Edmonton, and some in the city would never have seen a live elephant outside a movie or television show, or the stops of a travelling circus. (In one particularly notable incident in 1926, 14 circus elephants stampeded at Edmonton's train station after being frightened by a dog, with six escaping into the nearby neighbourhoods of Glenora and Oliver.)

Lucy was charming and clever. She soon taught herself to touch the electric fence around her pen with a log to avoid being shocked, a technique she later used to break the fence around her enclosure two or three times every summer. She appeared affectionate and considerate with the staff who worked with her. One trainer described how Lucy would put her head on the trainer's shoulder every morning, as though giving her a hug. When being bathed and tended, Lucy moved her feet slowly, seemingly to avoid accidentally hurting those working with her.

Speaking to a reporter from the Edmonton Journal in 1996, zoo worker Dean Treichel described how Lucy learned to playfully back him up against the fence until he dropped her bowl of treats on the ground. He was effusive as he described both her looks and her personality. "She's a wonderful animal, she really is," he said then. "You won't find a better animal in North America."

A failure to mate, and questions about captivity

But while Lucy's relationships with the humans around her appeared to grow deep, her interactions with other elephants were less successful.

She was twice trucked to the Calgary Zoo in failed attempts at mating her. Edmonton zoo staff have said in public talks that the matriarch of the Calgary herd never accepted her and that she was rejected by the other females. Lucy, in turn, wasn't interested in Bandara, the 6,000pound male with whom she was intended to mate. Staff say the trips made Lucy physically ill, and on one occasion, she became so agitated that she punched a hole in the side of the trailer being used to transport her. Trainer David Leeb said in 1989 that if Lucy had become pregnant in Calgary they would have had to leave her there for two years while she gestated, because transporting her was so stressful that she could have miscarried the baby.

"It failed miserably," he said.

Lucy remained the only elephant at the Valley Zoo until 1989, when the city brought an orphaned one-and-half-year-old African elephant from Zimbabwe. News stories from the time put a positive spin on the relationship between the two, describing how Samantha, the "friendly orphan," was tugging on Lucy's "maternal heartstrings and slowly melting her glacial aloofness." But zoo staff now say Lucy never fully warmed up to Samantha, and appeared to become jealous or angry when people paid too much attention to the younger elephant. As trainer Sandy Karpluk told a newspaper reporter about Lucy in the spring of 1989, "She has good days and bad days."

And while Lucy and Samantha continued to be powerful attractions, the mood around the zoo - and around elephants in captivity more generally - was beginning to change. As the zoo sought nearly $2-million for a new elephant house in the mid-1990s, then-mayor Bill Smith said he felt it was time for the city to consider getting out of the zoo business entirely. With people increasingly able to see animals in their natural environment on television, Mr. Smith said he believed "the days of zoos are numbered."

"I personally have some concerns about zoos and where they are going," he said then. "There's an awful lot of people who feel we shouldn't be caging or locking up animals."

Mayor Smith's feelings echoed a broader sentiment swelling across North America, where people were increasingly raising questions about the ethics of keeping wild animals in captivity - particularly large, intelligent, emotionally complex animals such as elephants. Eight people had been stomped or gored to death by elephants in the United States in the five years from 1989 to 1994, most while working with elephants at zoos or circuses. Some people were questioning whether it had to do with how the animals were being held: a sudden, violent rebellion against an unnatural life spent in captivity.

A column in the Los Angeles Times in the fall of 1994 declared that elephant handling was statistically "the most dangerous profession" in the United States, with one in 600 people who worked with elephants in that country killed by the animals in an average year.

"Elephant attacks are on the rise," the column said, "prompting hand-wringing and soul-searching among officials at zoos and circuses across the nation over how to better manage these intelligent, powerful, moody and misunderstood land giants."

Alan Roocroft, then the chief elephant handler at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, was quoted in that column saying he believed having elephants in captivity was "contrary to how they should be kept for their wellbeing," and could result in abnormal behaviour and aggression. (Mr. Roocroft had himself been investigated for participating in the beating of an elephant in 1988, but it was ruled to be a discipline technique "accepted in the animal training profession" at the time.)

"We are now asking ourselves, 'Can we continue to do this?' " said Mr. Roocroft, in 1994. "Are we being fair to the species?"

Those questions are still being asked today. Once the star attractions of zoos and circuses, elephants have become a flashpoint in the debate around animals in captivity and performance, and around the role of wild animals in a rapidly changing world.

In the time Lucy has been in Edmonton, the human population of the planet has doubled to 7.4 billion, and people are increasingly encroaching onto land where animals once lived. There are few places left for any animal to roam free, least of all animals that take the space and resources of an elephant. And elephants remain a valuable commodity. In Africa, an elephant is being killed by poachers every 15 minutes for its tusks.

Toby Styles, a retired zookeeper who worked with elephants throughout his lengthy career, says most wild elephants don't live to see their fifth birthday. "Ideally, they'd all live in the wild, and we'd all go see them," he says. "But the world has got trouble right now."

This past April, after 145 years of using elephants in performance, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed its last shows with elephants, citing concerted pressure from animal-rights groups. In early June, the Royal Canadian Circus announced that it would not be bringing elephants on its Canadian tour for the first time in 30 years - again, because of activist pressure.

The fatal shooting of a gorilla after a child got into a zoo enclosure in Cincinnati in May has also renewed broader debate around zoos and animals in captivity. "Yet again," began a statement released by the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after the incident, "captivity has taken an animal's life."

From Bob Barker, a charge of 'physical torture'

Bob Barker's voice is smooth and confident, and, when elephants are the subject, strong with purpose.

The long-time host of The Price is Right has emerged as the celebrity face of the movement to relocate Canadian elephants to sanctuaries in the United States, his name almost inextricably linked to the issue of zoo elephants, and to Lucy. He responds to an interview request within minutes.

"I like to talk about elephants," he says, when he gets on the phone. "I like to help elephants. And I hope you do, too."

Mr. Barker has personally offered to pay to have Lucy moved, and has travelled twice to Edmonton to see her. But if city officials hoped those meetings would convince him that she is comfortable and properly cared for in Edmonton, their plan didn't work.

"Anybody who knows anything about elephants knows she's miserable," Mr. Barker says. "I don't care if you are in South Dakota or in Guam or wherever you are. If you know anything about elephants, you know Lucy is miserable."

In fact, Mr. Barker left Edmonton even more convinced that Lucy had to be relocated to a southern sanctuary, where she can live in a natural environment with other elephants. He points to the bitter Canadian cold, to the starkness of the elephant house, and, most of all, to the fact that she is alone, as evidence that she is not only unhappy in Edmonton but that she is suffering.

"All over the world, experts will agree that elephants are animals that must be with other elephants in order to be happy," says Mr. Barker. "Just that alone, even if it weren't too cold, even if she didn't have to spend so much time inside, all of the other physical torture, actually, that she goes through. If everything else was much, much better, she would still be miserably unhappy because elephants are very companionable. They want to be with other elephants."

Mr. Barker was a driving force behind the campaign to move the last three Toronto Zoo elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif., in 2013. After two years of argument between city councillors, zoo officials, and PAWS, Mr. Barker paid nearly $1-million to have the elephants transported south to the sprawling sanctuary, which is intended to mirror a more natural habitat.

In passing the motion to move the elephants in late 2012, Toronto city council urged Edmonton's council to do the same with Lucy, sparking a terse, cross-country confrontation between the municipal governments.

Then-mayor of Edmonton Stephen Mandel called the motion by Toronto city council "ridiculous" and disrespectful, and said he was personally offended by the implication that city administrators would not do what was best for Lucy.

"We have been told repeatedly, repeatedly that this particular wonderful addition to our city would die if we shipped her out," he said in November, 2012. "Is the philosophy important, to send Lucy south, or to keep her here where she's healthy?"

At one point, Mr. Barker offered the city $100,000 to let another veterinarian examine Lucy, which Mr. Mandel turned down, calling it "bribing."

Mr. Barker said he had "never been so unfortunate as to have to deal with people like the government of Edmonton" and that he didn't know whether Mr. Mandel was "a complete dictator or what." Mr. Mandel said Bob Barker needed a job.

A veterinarian is compared to Josef Mengele

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is one of four accredited facilities in Canada that still have elephants, and is the last in Western Canada, after the Calgary zoo's were moved south in 2013 and 2014. There are 21 elephants among the facilities: 16 at African Lion Safari in Ontario; two each at Zoo Parc Safari and Granby Zoo in Quebec; Lucy in Edmonton.

The accreditation agency of Canada's zoos and aquariums, CAZA, now dictates that elephants must be kept with other elephants, but a special variance was granted for Lucy in 2009 on medical and welfare grounds.

The late Dr. Milton Ness, Lucy's veterinarian at the zoo from 2007 to 2014, was a strong advocate for keeping Lucy in Edmonton, framing it as a matter of life and death. "I believe it's time to clearly establish, on the public record, that I will not concede to any campaign which demands Lucy be moved, because to do so would put her life at risk ..." he wrote, in a letter published in the Edmonton Journal in 2009. "Lucy is not just any elephant. She is a particular elephant with unique issues and needs."

American veterinary consultant James Oosterhuis, who has been examining Lucy for the past 14 years, has also repeatedly recommended against moving her because of a respiratory problem in her trunk that causes her to have to breathe through her mouth, even after mild exertion.

"I'm very fearful that if she were put in a stressful situation of a long move, be it by air or by truck, that we could very easily have a respiratory crisis develop with her, and that would not be a very good outcome," he said, in a video made by the City of Edmonton at the time of an examination in March, 2015.

His report from that time describes Lucy as "calm and well adjusted in her current situation" and says that Edmonton zoo staff act as her "herd members," providing her physical care, exercise and mental stimulation. He notes that Lucy walks with staff daily on zoo grounds, and that the zoo has a heated exercise barn she can use when it is deemed too cold for her to be outside in the winter.

Dr. Oosterhuis declined to speak further to The Globe and Mail about Lucy or the controversy around her and said all the relevant information is in his reports, which are publicly available.

Those campaigning to have Lucy moved have repeatedly called for her to be examined by other veterinarians, arguing that Dr. Oosterhuis also believed that a solitary elephant in an Alaska zoo should not be moved, and that that elephant has since been successfully relocated to the PAWS facility.

In her e-mailed statement, city spokeswoman Katherine Heath-Eves says that the zoo "routinely consults with elephant experts from around the globe to ensure that Lucy is receiving the best possible care."

"Most experts who have examined Lucy have chosen not to lend their names to their findings for fear of harassment from activists," she wrote. She did not elaborate on the experts' findings.

Edmonton Police Service spokesman Scott Pattison said no incidents of harassment or threats have been reported to police in relation to Lucy, and though there was one report of an altercation that led to a "pushing match," no charges were laid.

Still, feelings around Lucy run strong, and there is no doubt the debate around her welfare can get very heated - and very personal. In 2009, the zoo cancelled a series of events with Lucy, because of e-mails the zoo received. "They weren't necessarily open threats," said zoo employee Dean Treichel, at the time. "But this is a very controversial subject."

In some online posts and videos, those who work with Lucy are described as, among other things, "sick ignorant uncaring assholes" and "cruel hearted bitches." Lucy is compared to a "prisoner of war."

When Dr. Ness, the veterinarian, died suddenly after running a half-marathon in 2014, his death drew harsh comments by some on social media, all related to his work with Lucy. Responding to a story about his death on the Friends of Lucy Facebook page, one person wrote: "It's like the American army being sorry that the Nazi Dr. Mengele died."

The risks of relocation

In May, 2003, the Greater Vancouver Zoo sent their lone elephant, Tina, to an animal sanctuary in Tennessee after an emotional debate. She died at the sanctuary just less than a year later.

For Bruce Burton, a veterinarian who had worked with Tina during her 30 years at the zoo, the death raised serious questions about whether it had been right to move her from what she knew to an unfamiliar environment, even a nicer one. "It would be like, without being too anthropomorphic, taking one of us and putting us in the middle of Europe or in the middle of some other country where you don't know anybody," he says. "Is that really what you want, or do you want to be around the people that you know?"

While it is impossible to fully understand the emotional life of an elephant, Mr. Burton says he knew from working closely with Tina that she was very attached to people at the zoo. He recalled how she picked one of her former trainers out of a crowd at a goodbye event, and reached her trunk out to touch him, though they hadn't seen each other for 20 years.

But, while Mr. Burton was against the move, he says he was also open to the idea of the life Tina could have in a sanctuary. At the time of the move, the woman who ran the sanctuary painted an idyllic picture of Tina's future, telling a reporter that the other elephants would "touch and caress her and bond immediately."

It sounded wonderful, but Mr. Burton said he learned after Tina's death that she didn't adapt well to the new environment. "She didn't wander around and bask in the trees and the sunlight and frolic with all the other elephants that were down there. I was told that she never left the building that she was in," he said. "Then I said, well, it would have been better for her to have stayed here than to have been moved into strange circumstances."

One of the Toronto Zoo elephants, Iringa, had to be euthanized in July, 2015, less than two years after being moved to the PAWS sanctuary, after what was described at the time as a history of degenerative joint and foot disease. A Chicago Zoo elephant, Wankie, died after becoming ill during her transport to a Utah zoo in 2005, to be with other elephants in a warmer climate.

Of course, Tina, Iringa and Wankie all may have died anyway: Each had significant health problems long before they were moved. Tina and Wankie were in their mid-30s, and Iringa was 46, old for an elephant in captivity. Many other elephants are relocated successfully, and go on to live long lives in their new environment.

Ed Stewart, president and co-founder of the PAWS sanctuary in California, says the other two Toronto elephants, Thika and Toka, are doing "really well" at the sanctuary, and are still in the process of being gently integrated into the herd. Thika, who was born in captivity, is sometimes still "a little confused about elephants," he says, but will likely be fully introduced in the coming weeks.

There are eight elephants at PAWS, including Maggie, who had been transferred from Alaska nine years ago. Mr. Stewart says many of the same concerns that have been raised about Lucy were raised about Maggie - including that she was a "people elephant" who had been with humans most of her life, and wouldn't know how to deal with other elephants. But Mr. Stewart says that, after arriving at PAWS, Maggie "went right into the middle of the group and has been in the middle of the group ever since." He says the same thing could happen with Lucy.

Or maybe not.

"There's no guarantee she's going to come out of the trailer and run to the other elephants and everybody will live happily ever after," he says. "But I think she's still young enough that it is well worth a try."

But the stakes are high, and the answers uncertain. Mr. Burton admits he still doesn't know if moving Tina was the right thing to do for her, taking her individual needs as an animal into account.

"I regret that she was moved, but if she had died here, I would have felt bad, too," he said. "And then we would have been kicking ourselves thinking, why didn't we move her?"

There are some, including Bob Barker, who say it may be better for Lucy to die en route to a preserve than to continue living in Edmonton the way she is - even that she would have been better off to die an orphan in freedom in Sri Lanka than to have spent her life in captivity.

"If she did die during the trip, it would probably be better," Mr. Barker says. "She'd be better off than going through torture up there."

Toby Styles has heard those arguments about Lucy, and elephants overall. He disagrees. "I've seen them die," he says. "And no. They wouldn't be better to die in freedom."

Are zoos a necessity?

In the 1970s, Toby Styles accompanied three elephants and a black rhinoceros on a two-week journey to North America on a Polish freighter, during the same wave of elephant import that saw Lucy brought to Edmonton.

"I tell people, there was a choice: These animals could either leave Africa and come to Europe or North America and live their lives, or they would be shot. That's what was happening," Mr. Styles says. "There wasn't enough room, and they were culling them to make room for people."

Mr. Styles grew up around wild animals in Banff, and worked at the Alberta Game Farm outside Edmonton in the 1960s, before going on to work at zoos in Calgary and Toronto. By the time he retired from the Toronto Zoo in 2000, he would be known by some in that city as Mr. Zoo, the public face of the facility. At times, he says he was under police watch because of threats from animal activists.

Mr. Styles worked with more than 50 elephants in the course of his career, and met and examined Lucy, whom he describes as "a great, gentle soul." He says for a time, he could see a picture of any elephant in North America and know which one it was. The ways elephants have affected his life are profound, personal. He met his wife through an elephant. His daughter is named after one. He likes to joke that there are two kinds of animals: elephants and everything else.

"I'm always sad people didn't get to know elephants like I knew them," he says. "To sit and talk to them, and get talked back to. The relationship is very hard to describe. A big elephant can be 12,000 pounds, and you develop a real relationship. You feed them and bathe them and tickle them."

While the free contact he enjoyed with elephants - and which is still used with Lucy - is now rare (a more restricted contact has since become the standard for working with zoo elephants), he says the value of being able to see an animal in person remains profound. He recalls a fellow zookeeper's story about a little girl not wanting to leave the elephant house at the Bronx Zoo, even when her mother pointed out they had an elephant DVD at home they could watch any time.

"She told her mother, 'But this one is big,' " he said, recounting the story. He remembers seeing an elephant for the first time himself at a circus in the 1940s.

"When you see an elephant, you know what an elephant is. And it's the things you know that you care about."

CAZA executive director Massimo Bergamini says he sees the future of zoos and aquariums in building meaningful connections between people and nature, and then using those connections to change attitudes and behaviours. He gives the example of using aquariums to teach children about the threat posed by plastic garbage in the oceans, and hopefully, make them care.

Mr. Bergamini points to a 1974 study that showed two to three animal species being lost to extinction every year. Now, he says, even by conservative estimates there are two or three disappearing every day. He points out that there are now many species that wouldn't exist if it weren't for zoos.

"That's our reality," he says. "Where we come from, what we believe is that we absolutely need zoos."

But Mr. Stewart, at PAWS, says that if the aim of zoos is education and conservation, it hasn't worked. Elephants have been on display at zoos and circuses throughout the world for 150 years, but the threats they face individually and as a species remain dire. Millions of people have seen Lucy in the time she has been in Edmonton, but has it really made a difference? "The only thing elephants in captivity have taught us," he says, "is that they don't belong in captivity."

Instead, Mr. Stewart says that he believes the key to saving elephants and other species may rest in economic innovation - finding ways to make it economically viable for countries to preserve remaining habitats, and stop the spread of human development into those areas.

"Trying to weigh economics against habitat, the habitat eventually loses," he says. "And once it loses, it's gone."

A Lucy light brigade

People start to gather near the elephant house well before the Saturday-morning talk is set to begin. It is the one time of the week when you know Lucy will be there, when she will not be out walking, or in her winter barn, or somewhere else on the sprawling grounds, out of public sight. She can be surprisingly hard to find, especially for an elephant.

Those filling the bleachers know her by name. Children call out for her restlessly, barely distracted by the packaged snacks doled out by their parents, or by the sight of the snow leopard blinking languidly in a pen across the way. They are not appeased until Lucy's silhouette finally appears in the door of the barn, almost filling it with her bulk.

The movement to have Lucy relocated ebbs and flows in the public eye, but it always continues. Lucy is never forgotten. E-mails and letters stream in to politicians; campaigns are planned and considered. There are tweets and Facebook posts. The California-based group In Defense of Animals has inducted the Valley Zoo into its Hall of Shame, and PETA recently included the zoo on its list of "Highway Hellholes" for keeping Lucy alone. In recent weeks, there was a candlelight vigil and a "light brigade," illuminating the words "Save Lucy" above a busy freeway overpass in Edmonton. With social media, a single photo, sometimes even the mention of her name, is enough to get the controversy roiling again.

The City of Edmonton web page for the zoo features a separate "Lucy News" link, which goes to a video of a 2015 veterinary examination and a series of documents related to her health and welfare. The zoo recently released a new pamphlet entitled Let's Crush the Myths. "The Edmonton Valley Zoo is home to an Asian elephant named Lucy who has been the subject of great attention," the pamphlet reads. "Most of it comes from inflammatory and inaccurate campaigns by activists on the local, national, and international levels. We believe you deserve the facts on Lucy's health and well-being."

Mr. Bergamini, CAZA's executive director, says the organization has a new policy that requires independent, third-party assessments be done every year in cases where there have been variances of zoo standards, as was done to allow Lucy to be kept alone. He said Lucy's first assessment is being done this summer, and is being performed by an experienced British veterinarian who has particular expertise working with a lone female Asian elephant. He added that CAZA specifically looked for an expert outside North America, and one with "unimpeachable qualifications."

"We wanted to make sure this was seen to be done right," he said.

Ed Stewart says he regularly gets e-mails at the PAWS sanctuary asking about Lucy, many of which are from people angry and frustrated that she is still in Edmonton. He says there are extremists on both sides. "It's a fight right now," he says. "People yell at me all the time that I'm not doing anything about Lucy."

Mr. Stewart says he would like to see a summit-style meeting, where all sides work together in a positive way to look at options for moving Lucy, whether to a sanctuary or to another zoo in a warmer climate, and where she would not be alone. He says a plan could include gradually training Lucy to be inside a transport container, to see if she could be made calm enough to make the journey to a new facility.

"And if they can't do it, then they can't do it," he said. "But at least they've tried."

He said Lucy "might surprise everybody."

Now 41, and showing her age

Two keepers bathe Lucy outdoors in front of a watching crowd at the Saturday-morning talk. As they work, a zoo employee talks about elephants, about the dangers of poaching and ivory, and deforestation. She tells them about Lucy, about her teeth and her poop, about the life she has led in the zoo in Edmonton.

The zoo celebrated Lucy's 41st birthday on Canada Day. The sign in front of her enclosure lists the average age of an Asian elephant at less than 45. The mottled pink on the edges of her ears and trunk show signs of her age, like a human's hair turning grey. City officials have said elephants are not part of their plan for the zoo's future. Lucy was Edmonton's first elephant, and she will most likely be its last.

The keepers pat and caress her with their hands, rubbing her trunk, talking to her with words the crowd cannot hear. Some of them have been working with Lucy for years, decades. The topography of her skin is all lines and wrinkles, like a map of the world from space. It is thick, but soft enough that even a mosquito can draw blood. She flutters her ears, and blinks in the sunlight, then smoothly coils her trunk around a hose, and brings the stream of water to her mouth to drink.

"There's Lucy," a little girl says, pointing out from the crowd. "She's the best elephant in the world."


Jana G. Pruden is a reporter with The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

Alone, and in a northern environment, Lucy is not the only elephant whose rights have gone under the microscope: In April, after 145 years, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed its last shows with elephants; two months later, the Royal Canadian Circus announced that it would not be bringing elephants on its Canadian tour for the first time in 30 years.

Photography by Amber Braken

Those who support Lucy's remaining at the Edmonton Valley zoo note that, in Africa, an elephant is being killed by poachers every 15 minutes for their tusks; those who advocate for her transfer cite concerns about her fragile health.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B7

This is the first instalment of a series on Canada's economy and its shift away from resources

Before there was a Canada, there were the resources.

The Europeans arrived in this harsh, untamed land more or less by mistake, looking for a shortcut to the Far East; but the abundance of natural wealth lured them back. The fish and furs and trees, the ores within the earth, the vast expanses of rich soil - the natural resources were the reason people came here, stayed, formed the communities and towns and cities that eventually banded into a country.

"The present Dominion emerged not in spite of geography but because of it," wrote economic historian Harold Innis in 1930 in The Fur Trade in Canada, perhaps the most influential examination of Canada's economic development ever written.

The land was, simply, Canada's greatest competitive advantage in the global economy. The more mechanization opened up that land, the bigger an advantage it became. The way that advantage has taken form evolved as the Canadian economy grew and matured through the breakneck technological revolution of the 20th century and into the 21st, but the increasingly rich and complex economic house we have built still has, at its foundations, our natural resources. If we had any doubts, the heady rise and painful fall of the Canadian energy sector, and the reverberations throughout the national economy, have put an exclamation mark on the point. Resources remain central to the country's economic dialogue.

And there's no question that Canada has greatly prospered from its resource wealth. But critics have argued for much of Canada's history that this "staples" economy, with its dependency on export markets, has skewed our economic policy-making, left us susceptible to foreign appetites, and impeded the development of a more robust, self-sustaining domestic economy. We have remained prone to booms and busts that periodically whipsaw our wellbeing and redivide our nation between haves and have-nots.

This is Canada's "staples trap," as famed Canadian economist Mel Watkins coined it in his seminal 1963 paper, "A Staple Theory of Economic Growth": The tendency for the country to tilt its economic resources and policies in support of one particularly indemand staple or another that, inevitably, leaves the economy struggling when the staple falls out of global favour. Some modern economists would dismiss Mr. Watkins's staples theories as quaint historical artifacts in a Canadian economy that has grown more mature and complex over the past five decades. But our experience with our recent national love affair with oil - and its heartbreaking, economy-shaking end - raises some profound questions about our economic future.

"We bet the farm on oil prices staying high and rising, but that hasn't happened and, it would seem, is unlikely to in any near future," said Mr. Watkins, 84, in a recent interview via e-mail.

"We need to go back to the 1970s when there was genuine debate in Canada about industrial policy transcending staples. We opted for persistence, and signed freetrade agreements that had that effect," Mr. Watkins said. "Increasingly, growth in Canada has been powered by bitumen. When that stalls, as it now has, the Canadian economy mopes along."

Canada enters its 150th year of nationhood facing a major economic restructuring, as it weans itself off its latest dependence on natural resources. Beyond that, some are asking whether this long and painful reconstruction doesn't present a timely opportunity - to once and for all break the 400-year dominance of resource exploitation and exportation.

With rising questions about the future growth of goods trade, the emergence of potentially massively disruptive technologies, and - perhaps most critically - increasing doubts about the longterm viability of non-renewable resource production in the face of climate change, the time may be ripe to set the country's economy off in a new direction.

But if resource exports have always been our natural comparative advantage and economic engine, then where does Canada go from here? What's the next stage of maturity for the economy - and are we prepared for it?

"Is Canada unable to grow at a satisfactory rate unless exports lead, or able to do so but relieved of the necessity until now by good luck?" Mr. Watkins asked in his famous paper. More than a half-century later, his question has taken on a new urgency.

The long drift away, and the backslide If Harold Innis is considered the father of the staples theory, Mel Watkins is certainly its revered stepfather. His 1963 paper, both a description and a critique of Canada's resource-dependent economic development, formed the basis of economic and political debates at the core of this country's industrial policy for more than 50 years. Progressives on the left embraced his ideas as a call to arms for a more activist, even protectionist, approach to nurturing diversification of the country's industries away from the traditional resource base. Freemarketers on the right dismissed his theory as a description of a Canada of the past, which may have begun rooted in its resources but had naturally grown out of that early stage to become a modern, diversified industrial economy by the time Mr. Watkins published his famous paper.

There may be some truth to both.

Although natural resources have never strayed far from our national economic consciousness, it could be argued that their overall footprint on the Canadian economy was in long-term decline for decades. When Mr. Innis published The Fur Trade in Canada, in the early days of the Great Depression, agriculture accounted for one-third of the country's total employment. By the time Mr. Watkins wrote his famous follow-up to Mr. Innis's work, it was down to 10 per cent; today, it's less than 2 per cent. The mining business reached its peak, as a share of employment, in the mid-1950s.

For a while, the manufacturing sector surged to the fore. In the postwar boom of the 1950s, more than one-quarter of the country's workers were employed in factories. Some economists have argued that manufacturing was a natural extension of the staple economy, as the same conditions that made Canada a great exporter of things like wheat and wood - critically, abundant and fastflowing waterways that powered grain and lumber mills and provided ready transportation systems - proved perfect for generating the electricity for factories and the routes to transport their output, while the resource base delivered the raw materials for a new value-added export economy.

"By 1999, the five high-valueadded sectors (automotive, aerospace and other transportation equipment, machinery, electronics, and consumer products) together accounted for almost 60 per cent of Canada's goods exports, while the primary sectors (agriculture, energy, mining and forestry) accounted for just one-quarter," wrote Jim Stanford, perhaps the country's bestknown labour economist, in a recent paper published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy. "Canada had largely escaped its legacy as a supplier of unprocessed 'staples' to the rest of the world."

But by the turn of the 21st century, manufacturing's share of employment had fallen to 15 per cent; today, it's less than 10 per cent. And this wasn't the result of increased automation; manufacturing's share of gross domestic product also declined, from nearly one-quarter in the early 1960s to about 11 per cent now.

The country's goods-producing economy has been gradually supplanted by the rise of services - a wide range of economic activities from retail to financial services to education and health and government. Fifty years ago, services made up about 55 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product; today, they account for 70 per cent.

Despite the decline in the relative size of resource-based goods in the economy, a series of factors in the past quarter-century or so converged to reassert natural resources as the cornerstone of Canada's economic growth. In the wake of the Canada-U.S. and North American free-trade deals of the late 1980s and early 1990s, trade surged as a percentage of GDP - and the vast bulk of the gains came from resources.

A broader wave of global trade liberalization at the same time added to the momentum. As trade barriers fell, emerging markets such as China rapidly expanded in global trade, capitalizing on their low costs for manufacturing export goods. While this put pressure on higher-cost manufacturers in Canada and elsewhere, it also accelerated China's rapid growth and urbanization - which drove booming demand for raw materials from the likes of Canada. Increased global competition caused nations to gravitate to their comparative advantages - and Canada's embarrassing wealth of natural resources rose to the surface once again.

Exports of metal ores and minerals have more than doubled, by volume, since the 21st century began; energy export volumes have increased more than 55 per cent. Those two resource sectors alone accounted for nearly twothirds of Canada's real growth in goods exports in the past 15 years.

(By contrast, export volumes in the auto sector have fallen 11 per cent in that time.) The mining and oil and gas extraction sector, which makes up about 8 per cent of Canada's GDP, accounted for nearly 20 per cent of nominal GDP growth in the decade prior to the 2008-09 recession.

"The global commodities boom shifted capital and policy attention toward extractive industries," Mr. Stanford said.

"Canada's economy has been moving down, rather than up, the economic value chain."

Oil's makeover of Canada's economy History may look back on the oil boom era as a spectacular but brief detour in Canada's economic evolution away from its resource dependence. But that detour diverted an enormous amount of money and human resources into the energy sector - and that has resulted in significant change in Canada's economic structure.

In the five years between the recession and the collapse of global oil prices, the oil and gas extraction business accounted for two-thirds of Canada's capital spending growth. With the sector, the country's capital spending increased 38 per cent from 2010 to 2014; without it, growth was just 18 per cent. By 2014, oil and gas extraction made up more than one-quarter of the country's capital spending.

But oil's collapse has put a dramatic end to that investment trend. The Bank of Canada projects that capital spending in the energy sector this year will be down 60 per cent from two years ago. As the country's economic activity rotates gradually away from the now-depressed energy sector and toward other, healthier areas of the economy, investment money will increasingly resurface in other sectors where opportunities lie - but it's going to be a slow process. The central bank said in its most recent Monetary Policy Report, in April, that this "complex adjustment" will take "several years" to unfold, suggesting that it will have "important consequences for the growth of potential output" until at least 2019.

In addition to all the investment money that flooded into the energy sector, there was also a massive flow of human capital - workers from all corners of the country who rushed to high-paying jobs in producing regions.

Over the past 20 years, the net interprovincial migration to Alberta (people moving there from other provinces minus people leaving Alberta for other provinces) totalled nearly a halfmillion; the only other province in that time with a net inflow from other provinces was British Columbia, with about 100,000.

The eight other provinces, combined, suffered net interprovincial outflows of nearly 600,000.

The resource boom, driven as it was by surging demand from Asia in general and China in particular, tilted the flow of workers dramatically toward the western end of the country. Overall population growth in Alberta and British Columbia since 1995 has been 36 per cent - twice the rate of the rest of the country.

More than a year into the commodity downturn, there is evidence that this flow of humanity has begun to reverse: In each of the past two quarters, more people moved out of Alberta than moved in - the first time that has happened, outside of a national recession, in more than two decades. But as long as the re-allocation of investment capital will take, the reversal of provincial labour migration should take much longer; people and families don't relocate anywhere nearly as quickly as money. Even in the face of the oil shock, more people still moved into Alberta from other provinces last year than moved out.

Still, the Canadian economy outside of the resource sector is holding up rather well in the face of oil's collapse. The Bank of Canada noted in a January report that in roughly the first year of the oil shock (November, 2014, to late 2015), there was a striking divergence between the pummelled economies in oil-producing provinces (unemployment rate up 2.5 percentage points, housing starts down 33 per cent, retail sales down 4.3 per cent) and the rest of the country (unemployment rate unchanged, housing starts down 3 per cent, retail sales up 2.7 per cent).

This may be evidence that Canada's broader economy isn't as beholden to its staple exports as it once was - or, at least, that oil doesn't have that same grip on the country that dominant resources of the past had.

"Oil as a staple stacks up poorly in generating widespread growth within Canada compared to, say, the fisheries or wheat," Mr. Watkins argued. "Bitumen has not been a national east-west staple.

Its linkages are much more northsouth in terms of both inputs to production and of distribution by pipelines." As a result, he said, "The bust of the oil economy has not wreaked destruction on the rest of the economy."

But what has emerged from the oil era is a problematic rift in the modern Canadian economy between the resource and nonresource sectors. The economy, both during the oil boom and after the bust, has looked really more like two economies determined to go in opposite directions.

"Our careening back toward resource extraction in the past 10 or 15 years has gotten us to the point where we're neither here nor there," said Dimitry Anastakis, professor of Canadian economic history at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont. "We've gone from hewers of wood and drawers of water, to a more industrialized economy, to now this kind of a seesaw back and forth."

Supercycle at an end, trade at crossroads It looks unlikely that in the future, Canada will be able to take the same resource-paved roads to prosperity that brought the economy to where it is today. The global commodity supercycle, which fuelled record prices for Canadian resources, may well be over.

The notion of a supercycle is that every once in a while, a large and lengthy expansion and urbanization of a global economic power fuels a sustained boom in demand for natural resources that can last for decades. The world went through one such supercycle around the end of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, reflecting the emergence of the United States as an industrial power. It went through another in the decades after the Second World War, amid the reconstruction of Europe and the rise of the Japanese economy.

And it went through one for much of the past two decades, with China's explosive modernization.

But now China's economic expansion has not only slowed, but is being steered into a new phase by the Communist country's economic planners. The country is making the transition from its stage of rapid urban industrial build-up to a more mature, stable, slower-growth economy that will rely more on self-sustained consumer demand and less on the kind of massive transformations that fed the supercycle.

As China's once-insatiable appetite for raw materials fades, commodities appear to have shifted onto the long downside of the supercycle. Commodity prices may be doomed to a long, sideways drift at relatively tame levels that could last for decades.

For the oil and gas business, the long-term prospects look even more grim. The growing global momentum for green energy looks poised to steadily erode demand for fossil fuels over the coming decades. We may one day look back on the oil-price collapse of 2014-15 as the beginning of the end for the industry.

"With climate change, the fat is now truly in the fire," Mr. Watkins said.

It might also be just the kick in the pants Canada needs to start setting its economy on a new, less energy-export-dependent growth path, he suggested. "The case for transformative policy is now utterly compelling."

But after years leaning our investment capital, labour and even our political policy toward natural-resource exports, it may take a serious overhaul, not just in our economic structure but in our national way of thinking, to change course away from oil and other export commodities and align with a global economy that is struggling to recreate itself after the global financial crisis and Great Recession.

The post-financial-crisis era has raised questions about the future of goods exports. After years of strong growth thanks to the worldwide trend toward trade liberalization, global growth in goods export volumes since the financial crisis has been persistently far below historical norms, and well below growth in global gross domestic product. The trade of goods has been shrinking as a component of the world's economic activity.

"Globalization fuelled an irrational exuberance that lasted five to seven years. We've spent the past seven years working that off," said Peter Hall, chief economist at Export Development Canada. "We're at a turning point," he argued. "I don't believe we're in a new normal."

But it's notable that Canada's goods exports stalled even before the financial crisis. Over the past 15 years, volumes have grown by an average of less than 1 per cent a year - despite the commodity boom and the signing of nearly a dozen free-trade agreements during that time. Some experts have suggested that traditional trade deals to lower tariffs and improve access to foreign markets may have gone about as far as they can go in terms of expanding demand for Canada's goods. And as the recent Brexit vote in Britain and the presidential campaign in the United States have vividly demonstrated, there is a rising mood of economic isolationism that raises questions about the direction of future trade negotiations.

"At the very least, we should be open to the possibility that FTAs are not a magic bullet for Canada's trade ailments," Mr. Stanford wrote in his paper.

And indeed, the nature of the global economy may be on the cusp of a dramatic change that will make the past norms of global commerce look quaint. Transformative technologies that are only now beginning to emerge - things like fintech and artificial intelligence - promise profound and highly unpredictable changes to the global economic landscape in the coming decades.

"People are just not getting the disruptions that are coming in the economy," said Dan Trefler, professor of economics at the University of Toronto. "It's like being on a railroad crossing and a train is about to slam into us."

The innovation agenda The future, many experts say, may be based more on our country's base in knowledge than in natural resources.

Exports of services have grown at nearly double the pace of goods over the past 15 years. For much of the world's history, services have, by their very nature, been restricted to their domestic economies. But thanks to leaps in digital technology and global connectivity, many high-value services - things like financial services, engineering and architecture, accounting and management, data analysis and software development - have become not only exportable, but instantly so.

"Globalization and digitization has changed everything," Prof. Anastakis said.

A high-profile example of this sort of shift came last month, when General Motors of Canada unveiled plans to hire up to 750 new employees at its massive Oshawa, Ont., facilities - not production-line workers building cars, but rather engineers who will research and design the hightech, digitally integrated vehicles of the future.

On hand for that announcement was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose new government has pledged to make innovation the cornerstone of its economic growth plan. The government outlined its innovation agenda, albeit only in very general terms, in an announcement two weeks ago, following up on Mr. Trudeau's pledge on the global stage at the Davos economic summit in January to rebrand Canada as a global hub for technology and advanced skills.

"My predecessor [Stephen Harper] wanted you to know Canada for its resources. I want you to know Canadians for our resourcefulness," Mr. Trudeau said, thus coining a new mantra for Canada's future economic aspirations.

Many of those involved in commodities production are, understandably, not nearly so willing to consign the resource story to our national past. Nevertheless, there is clear potential to tap into our expertise and skill sets in the increasingly high-tech and datadriven business of resource exploitation, to open new markets and new areas of business. Oilpipeline giant Enbridge, for example, is making an aggressive shift toward renewable energy technologies, investing more than $1-billion in the past seven months on wind-energy projects.

Alberta's recent budget earmarked $3.4-billion over the next five years to fund "large scale renewable energy, bioenergy and technology" in an effort to diversify its huge energy industry.

The pursuit of a national innovation strategy is widely applauded by economic experts, and most agree that it's something for which Canada is, at least in theory, well-suited. The country has many qualities that are generally believed to foster innovation: A highly educated and culturally diverse population, and relatively good income equality and economic mobility among its citizens. The country also has a highly sophisticated, stable and reliable financial sector to help grease the funding wheels for innovation.

But Canada has a long way to go. The Conference Board of Canada ranks our country only ninth out of 16 peer nations in innovation, citing in particular Canada's lacklustre public and private spending on research and development. On the Global Innovation Index, released annually by Cornell University, the INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization (a UN agency), Canada ranks a modest 14th out of 34 OECD countries.

Critics charge that our economic focus on resource exploration and exportation during the commodity boom has proven incompatible with an innovation agenda - something that will have to change.

"If we are to take advantage of the transformational opportunities that progressive technology enables, we need to invest in the skills acquisition that will drive that," said entrepreneur Bryan de Lottinville. His rapidly growing Calgary-based Benevity Inc., which provides software-driven services managing corporate charitablegiving programs, has been struggling to find enough people with the right skill sets to fill its needs in Calgary's resource-centric work force. He argues that the entire country has put too little focus and funding into high-tech education and skills development.

"We have to invest meaningfully in a long-term approach to this stuff if we want to diversify our economy. It's not something that we can only do while the price of oil is low."

Associated Graphic





Shaking up Scotiabank
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B6

TORONTO -- The dizzying run of executive departures started early, and for more than two years, rarely seemed to let up.

Three months before Brian Porter took over as Bank of Nova Scotia's chief executive officer, in November, 2013, senior leaders around him started to make tracks. Chief risk officer Rob Pitfield was the first to say farewell, announcing plans to leave in August of that year.

Then, the exits picked up. Chief operating officer Sabi Marwah retired the following spring, followed soon by Chris Hodgson, the head of wealth management.

Executive turnover is expected under any new CEO. It is also common for company veterans to retire when a new reign begins.

But the shakeup at Scotiabank was something bigger, and some of the departures weren't selfimposed. One year into Mr. Porter's tenure, the new leader was out a CRO, a COO, a wealth management head, a capital markets co-head, a marketing chief and two regional leaders - one for Mexico, the other for Latin America, both of which are key markets for Canada's third-largest, and most international, chartered bank.

It didn't end there. The biggest shock came in June, 2015, when Anatol von Hahn left. Mr. von Hahn ran Canadian banking and wealth, Scotiabank's largest unit.

He was well liked by the people under him; most important, he was one of the last major holdouts from the former executive regime. Mr. von Hahn's presence had helped to dispel worries that Mr. Porter was out to purge the old guard, according to multiple sources.

In many ways, Mr. Porter's presence in the corner office marked a shift from the past. His predecessor, Rick Waugh, was known for his outgoing nature and an almost-familial approach to management. Dismissals were rare.

One former employee, now an executive at a rival bank, remarked that he never saw anyone get fired during his time at Scotiabank.

By most measures, the Waugh era had been a successful one. A constant string of acquistions worth at least $11-billion had expanded the bank's global footprint and helped increase its business at home. And Scotiabank, like Canada's other banks, was in the midst of an impressive streak of record financial results. The bank's annual profit more than doubled during his tenure, to $6.7-billion.

But Mr. Porter, who had risen through Scotiabank's capital markets arm and is widely viewed as being more measured and technocratic than his predecessor, also found a bank facing significant headwinds. He believed his company had been too frugal when it came to investments in technology, and he believed parts of the management group had grown soft. In one internal company presentation, the bank's culture was described as "overly collegial." The same slides show a demand for "clearer accountability." To help overhaul the bank, Mr. Porter brought in consultants from McKinsey & Co.

Until now, Mr. Porter has publicly offered few specifics about his strategy, sparking uncertainty about his vision - especially in the wake of the departures of eight of the bank's 10 most senior leaders. But with most of the restructuring behind him, the CEO opened up in an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail.

"Change is always difficult - particularly in an organization that hadn't had change for a period of time," he explained during a lengthy conversation.

"But I also have to sit back and say, 'Okay, so-and-so has been in this job for a period of time, and they're having trouble adapting to the pace of technological change. Maybe there is more risk inherent in having them in that position than taking them out.' " The cuts - 1,500 jobs were targeted in 2014 and 2015, with hundreds following in 2016 - cost $523-million in restructuring charges and are largely designed to help the bank embrace a digital future, as well as save hundreds of millions of dollars in annual operating costs. Technological threats are mounting as upstarts and established Silicon Valley giants invade everything from online lending to wealth management and payments, putting new pressure on Canada's Big Six banks.

"We're in the technology business," Mr. Porter says of the paradigm shift. "Our product happens to be banking, but largely that's delivered through technology."

To adapt, he has added more technology expertise to his executive team and poured resources into everything from mobile development to analytics.

Scotiabank's rivals are in the same race. Canada's six largest banks incurred over $1-billion in pretax restructuring charges in 2015, and nearly $2-billion over the past two years. On top of the technological shifts that are forcing them to question their costly bricks-and-mortar branch strategies, they are contending with a weak domestic economy, stubbornly low interest rates and Canadian households who can't afford to borrow much more after years of access to cheap funds and large mortgages.

Amid such upheaval, some of the skepticism about Mr. Porter's moves is starting to lift. Peter Routledge, an equity analyst at National Bank Financial, says he was initially puzzled by all of the personnel changes within the bank, but he's starting to come around. "I'm more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt," he said. "The more I dive into this whole challenge from financial technology companies, the more I become aware of just how big a threat this is."

Still, Mr. Porter's changes stand out. While most of the Big Six have taken steps to cut costs and remake their businesses for an increasingly tech-driven world, Mr. Porter's reinvention of Scotiabank has arguably been the most drastic. In less than three years, the new CEO has built an entirely new executive team and imposed a new digital mantra - all while repositioning the bank's strategy in crucial international markets, which account for a third of its revenue.

With so much on the line, Bay Street is watching closely, looking for answers to the question: What exactly is Brian Porter trying to build?


In June, a half-dozen senior Scotiabank executives gathered in a boardroom at the bank's "Rapid Lab" technology centre - a hivedoff, open-concept enclave of white boards and sticky notes within the bank's Toronto headquarters, where engineers, designers and computer scientists are devising new ways for customers to do their banking online.

"This doesn't look like Scotiabank, but this is Scotiabank," said James O'Sullivan, group head of Canadian banking, who replaced Mr. von Hahn. "Increasingly, this is what our space looks like as we figure out how to deliver a better customer experience."

While he could very well have been talking about the physical room, he was referring to the novel business relationship that brought all of the executives together: Scotiabank was announcing a partnership with an outside firm - Kabbage Inc., a U.S.-based company with an online lending platform - as part of the bank's new approach to digital banking.

The partnership gives smallbusiness customers in Canada and Mexico the ability to apply online for loans of up to $100,000 and get access to the funds in as little as seven minutes, marking a monumental shift in how a traditional bank engages with its customers.

It also offered an opportunity to take a direct shot at small online lenders that are sprouting up in hopes of carving out chunks of the big banks' businesses. One of them, Toronto-based Lendified, was started by two Scotiabank executives Mr. Porter had let go: Kevin Clark and Troy Wright.

Mr. Porter has promised that Scotiabank will not be disrupted by upstarts, and backed up the words with efforts to revitalize the bank's dowdy branches and lacklustre online offerings.

It's been an uphill battle.

"They are not leaders from an investment perspective, and they have not been leaders in any aspect of technology for the last 15 or 20 years," said Chris Ford, a partner at Capco, a global technology consultancy that works with a number of big banks.

Mr. Porter's mission is to change that.

"There was a saying around here: The second mouse gets the cheese," he said of Scotiabank's historic aversion to tech spending. "There's no advantage to being a first mover.

"I think that largely fit the times; I'm not saying that as a criticism. We all read stories about bank so-and-so, or investment bank ABC, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars on technology and didn't get anything for it."

But he believes that strategy won't work in this era. Scotiabank's efficiency ratio for its Canadian banking division, which delivers nearly half its total profit, helps explain why. The metric measures expenses as a percentage of total revenue, and Scotiabank, which is known for supposedly low costs, comes in at 51 per cent. Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank, meanwhile, boast ratios of 44 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively.

At an investor day in 2014 shortly after he became CEO, Mr. Porter made it clear he wants to catch up.

"Being frugal is not the same as being efficient," he said, and that's become a mantra since. By skimping on costs, a bank may miss technology investments that speed things up in the long run, such as the time it takes to approve new mortgage applications - a crucial step in the middle of a housing boom.

Another of his missions: opening the doors to partners, instead of ignoring invitations to collaborate with outside expertise. "We don't think we can do it all ourselves. We like having partners," he says. And he believes that outsiders should like Scotiabank. "A lot of fintech companies don't want to be regulated like banks, for obvious reasons. They want a partner like us."

However, Scotiabank is also committed to beefing up its technology capabilities in-house. Its co-heads of information technology, Kyle McNamara and Michael Zerbs, combine deep banking experience with tech smarts. Mr. Zerbs, for one, hailed from Algorithmics Inc., a successful riskmanagement technology shop that was absorbed into International Business Machines Inc. Under them, 350 staff will soon decamp to the bank's off-campus Digital Factory in Toronto's east end.

To drive home the importance of these initiatives, Scotiabank sent its executives and board of directors on a tour of Silicon Valley last September. At Cisco Systems Inc., the tour group saw how a large business can drive innovation; at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, they heard about how technology can disrupt established industries; and at Wells Fargo & Co.'s digital innovation lab, they saw first-hand how financial technology can help consumers.

Over all, the mission is to improve the customer experience, which is something most lenders have been slow to embrace.

"Banks were bastions of stability and security," said Paul Battista, a consultant at Ernst & Young.

"There was nothing about the customer in any of the design, in any of the architecture. Some of these core systems have literally been around for decades - 30, 40 years."

The same goes for bank branches, many of which now appear to be out-of-touch with customers who are increasingly making dayto-day transactions on their phones. Changes include modernized branches with smaller footprints, and new online services that allow customers to open accounts in about five minutes and sign up for credit cards in just two minutes.

Some observers are noting the shift. In June, Forrester Research awarded Scotiabank - along with rival Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce - the highest overall score among the five biggest banks for mobile banking functionality.

Bay Street is paying attention, too.

"There is a growing confidence that Scotia will make more strategic investments and will start to do things they have not done historically," Capco's Mr. Ford said.


Despite the sweeping nature of these changes, they comprise only one piece of a much bigger puzzle. When Mr. Porter took over, his first order of business was to make fixes beyond the bank's home borders.

"I knew when I got this position, the first thing we had to do was something in the international bank, given that we'd been very acquisitive," he said.

More than any other Canadian bank, Scotiabank is known for its international footprint. During the 1960s, the lender planted flags in Asia. In the 1970s, it aggressively started expanding under the leadership of CEO Cedric Ritchie, who moved the bank into 40 countries across the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. Today, Scotiabank operates in 56 countries and employs nearly 90,000 people.

Some of the bank's foreign endeavours have caused suffering ("Argentina" is still considered a dirty word internally after its economy cratered in 2002, eventually leading to a $540-million writedown), but most have worked out well - and that gave previous management a good reason to keep expanding beyond Canada.

Mr. Waugh had been particularly acquisitive. During his tenure, he inked deals worth billions, most of which came post-financial crisis. Some of his biggest acquisitions were at home, buying a 37-per-cent stake in CI Financial Corp. from Sun Life Financial in 2008 for $2.3-billion, and later acquiring DundeeWealth in two tranches for $2.6billion. Capping off his tenure, he bought ING Bank Canada (now known as Tangerine) for $1.9-billion in 2012.

But foreign acquisitions were also prevalent. In the five-year span from 2006 to 2011, he struck 22 international deals totalling $5.2-billion. One of the highlights: acquiring a 51-per-cent stake in Colombia's Banco Colpatria in 2011, hoping to cash in on the country's new-found political calm after years of drug-related feuds.

Following such rapid expansion, Mr. Porter felt the need to streamline the bank's global strategy. Since Scotiabank started bulking up in Latin America in the 1990s, there had been some overlap among its deals. The branch networks in some countries, for one, weren't always entirely complementary. In the Caribbean, the bank was spread across 25 islands, many of which had distinct economies and government rules, making it hard to benefit from scale. And at a high level, Scotiabank was rather stretched globally - owning everything from a stake in Thailand's Thanachart Bank to a business banking unit in Egypt.

To start, he detailed a new international focus, emphasizing the bank's presence in the Pacific Alliance countries of Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. They all share the same characteristics - growing middle classes and promising economic expansion (though Colombia's is starting to falter amid the commodity crash).

Then he announced the restructuring in the fall of 2014 that slashed 1,000 international jobs and 120 branches - something many people expected. Analysts had long noted the efficiency ratios in Latin America weren't particularly appealing. More recently, the bank announced it is looking at strategic options for the Thanachart Bank stake.

What raised eyebrows was the extent of the personnel changes - both abroad and at home. The new CEO replaced two regional heads and targeted the rungs below the group executives, cutting the number of executive vice-presidents to 16 from 23. Mr. Porter held no punches, either.

Robin Hibberd, who used to run Canadian retail products, is a close friend of the CEO's quasichief of staff, Randy Lyons. The personal connection didn't seem to matter.

More departures - some voluntary, others not - were announced in the spring of 2015, including Mr. Clark, senior vice-president for global transaction banking, and Lisa Ritchie, senior vice-president of customer insights, who went to Sun Life Financial. Then came the news about Mr. von Hahn's exit, marking a shift at the highest level of Canadian banking.

Those who hoped things would finally calm down last summer were surprised to hear the capital markets arm was targeted in the fall, with departures that included the head of investment banking.

This past February, capital markets head Mike Durland retired.

Of the bank's 10 highest-ranking leaders at the end of Mr. Waugh's run, only two remain: Mr. Porter, and Dieter Jentsch, who once ran international banking, and is now heading the capital markets portfolio.

Because the turnover has been so extensive, there are questions about how much expertise - both in banking and internal culture - has walked out the door.

"There's no loss of institutional memory," Mr. Porter argues, adding the average tenure of Scotiabank experience around the management table is 24 years. He pivots to say the lender is actually beefing up. One hire he's especially proud of is Ignacio (Nacho) Deschamps, who was brought on as a strategic adviser for digital banking in December, 2015.

Before joining, Mr. Deschamps ran BBVA Bancomer, Mexico's largest bank, and a month after starting at Scotiabank, he took over the international portfolio.

Additional hires in Latin America include Enrique Zorrilla, who now runs Mexico and used to work for Citibank's Banamex unit there.

"You're always going to get a bit of sour grapes; I get that," Mr. Porter says of any frustration about the turnover. But he promises there weren't any personal vendettas. "I felt very strongly about this, and others did, too, on the board, that the bank was too inward-looking," he explained.

"We hadn't brought a lot of outsiders into this bank for a long period of time. I'm not sure that's a healthy thing."

Mr. Porter wouldn't say anything about his relationship with his predecessor and its effect on staffing decisions. "I don't get into Rick versus Brian. There are different managers for different times." (Mr. Waugh also declined to comment.)

But he did stress there was a strategy behind all of the changes.

"We made a lot of the jobs at the SVP, EVP levels bigger jobs with richer experiences," he said, noting that those who remain now often have five direct reports instead of three. "They've got more accountability, they've got more authority."

While the new CEO has largely worn the title of axeman, board chair Tom O'Neill backs his CEO.

"The HR committee and the board were fully apprised" of the departures, he said, and the decisions were "subject to our approval."

Mr. O'Neill added: "Don't think it's blind board approval with management dictating, because that's absolutely not how it happened."


Even for those embracing the changes at Scotiabank, one crucial question hangs over Mr. Porter's restructuring: Has it all been implemented too quickly?

"There's an optimal amount [of change] any organization can take," said Mr. Routledge, the National Bank analyst. "There's a speed limit."

Employees must also buy into the vision, or morale can become a major problem. On this front, Mr. Porter said he is attentive to what the masses think. "My major focus has been on communication and dealing with the anxiety.

Part of my job, and the board's job, and the management team's job, is to manage the pace of change. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew."

The CEO also argues that, despite the level of change, it has been spaced out. "It sounds like a lot, but we've been at this for three years-plus," he said, adding that he started working on the plans when he was made president in 2012.

It's possible that those who gripe may not realize how much is at risk in not adapting. What worked before the smartphone, when banks controlled the dominant distribution channel - their branches - may not work for the next 10 years, a revolution with the real potential of eating into the Canadian banking segments and their sometimes-40-per-cent returns on equity.

Traditional banking norms have also changed. For the past decade, Canadian banks have benefited from a lending boom fuelled by ever-lower interest rates. That party is largely over, in part because rates can't go any lower, and also because domestic households are tapped out on debt.

Banks are also grappling with heavy regulatory demands that force them to hold extra capital, restraining how much free cash can be reinvested in future growth.

"The fact the banks have reported nearly $2-billion in restructuring charges in the past two years is evidence of a much tougher revenue environment," said Rob Wessel, a former Bay Street analyst who run runs an asset manager that specializes in global financial institutions, "causing all of them to focus intensely on expense reduction, which invariably includes painful staff reductions."

Or maybe his critics are right and Mr. Porter has taken it too far. It's likely too early to judge. Bank CEOs are often in their roles for a decade, if not longer, and outsiders' opinions of them often change during the long arc of history.

Former RBC CEO Gord Nixon endured three years of heat for dithering when he took over in 2001. Fed up, he famously fired three of his top executives on the same day in 2004, and then restructured the bank by removing scores of middle managers. When he retired in 2014, he was highly praised.

Even within Scotiabank, the views on former CEOs have ebbed and flowed. During the late 1990s - when RBC tried to combine with Bank of Montreal and TD tried to tie itself up with CIBC - former Scotiabank CEO Peter Godsoe was caught flatfooted, the only leader of a Big Five bank without a deal.

People started referring to him as "Dead Man Walking." Then, Ottawa slapped down the merger proposals and Mr. Godsoe went on to earn nearly every accolade you could imagine.

What will ultimately vindicate, or eviscerate, Mr. Porter are the bank's results.

"The market judges every CEO's performance with long-term share-price performance," Mr. Wessel said. "If Brian's changes support higher long-term earnings growth and [returns on equity], the market will ultimately judge them favourably."


Operating in 56 countries and employing nearly 90,000 people around the world, Scotiabank is known for its international footprint. Brian Porter's strategy since becoming CEO has focused on the so-called Pacific Alliance: Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. Here are some key stats from the region:


GDP growth*: 2% Branches: 200+ Employees: 5,500+ Annual profit**: $216-million

Colombia GDP growth: 2.5% Branches: 175+ Employees: 6,000+ Profit: $178-million


GDP growth: 4.4% Branches: 300+ Employees: 11,000+ Profit: $465-million


GDP growth: 2.6% Branches: 850+ Employees: 13,000+ Profit: $353-million *Year-over-year change in the first quarter of 2016. **Scotiabank's fiscal 2015 Source: Bloomberg, company reports

Associated Graphic

Shareholders and employees watch Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter speak at the firm's annual general meeting on April 9, 2015.



Pedestrians walk by a Scotiabank in Santiago.


Bogota is seen from the air.


A Scotiabank entrance is seen in Lima.

A Scotiabank building seen in Mexico City.


Indigenous communities lose men as well as women - to addiction, poverty and life on the street. Adriana Barton profiles the Dudes Club, a unique approach that not only heals the body but has found a way to restore the soul
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

VANCOUVER -- Every other Thursday, Elvis Harry Wilson steps into a windowless bunker of a room that shuts out the traffic noise and open drug dealing in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Mr. Wilson is short and nimble at 56, with shaggy grey hair and dark eyes that crinkle when he smiles. He never learned to read, but knows his numbers well enough to join the bingo game that's about to start. The smell of popcorn fills the air as 50 men crowd around the folding tables for a shot at the prize - a $10 Starbucks gift card. But that's not the only reason they are here.

The makeshift bingo hall is the headquarters of the Dudes Club, a health group for men living in one of Canada's poorest postal codes. In the club, men of all ages gather to share a hot meal, get a free haircut and swap stories about topics that make most men shudder: gallstones, erectile dysfunction, sexual abuse.

More than two-thirds of them are indigenous. Like countless other First Nations men, they struggle with poverty, addiction and disease. Across the country, men have left their reserves in search of work, only to find that jobs and social connections are hard to come by in the city.

The unlucky ones wind up in Canada's roughest neighbourhoods, penniless and alone. As they sink into a life of petty crime and substance abuse, or fall ill with diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis C, they abandon their roles as fathers and spouses. They avoid contacting their families, often for years, out of shame. They join the ranks of Canada's "missing" indigenous men.

But here, at the kind of place where men don't hesitate to say, "I love you guys," the Dudes are taking steps to improve their health and turn their lives around.

Now in its sixth year, the program is beginning to spread. It has sparked three satellite groups in British Columbia, and is drawing interest from communities across the country and around the world.

Could male bonding be the key to helping indigenous men heal - or is the club's success rooted in something deeper?

Mr. Wilson lives across the street from the Dudes Club, which is housed in the Vancouver Native Health Society (VNHS), established in 1991 to provide medical and social services to the indigenous community. His room is the size of a walk-in closet, but he counts himself lucky to have snagged a spot at the Orwell, a century-old hotel that has been converted into a housing facility.

He was homeless when he started joking around with the front-door staff. "I nagged at them every day, asking if they had my room ready." He grins. "I love it here."

He has a hot plate, TV, minifridge. On the wall above his narrow bed hangs a drawing of a wolf - his father was from the Wolf Clan of the Gitxsan tribe in northern B.C. Beside it is a sketch of his namesake, Elvis Presley. Yes, Elvis is his real name. He whips out his medical card as proof.

Mr. Wilson started taking part in the club a couple of months before his last time in hospital: Two years ago, after a bender, he tumbled down 18 steps and blacked out for three days. "I was lucky I didn't break my neck."

This time, he did not go back to drinking. "I started taking those antidepressant pills," he says, pausing for a sip of tonight's meal, hamburger soup. Now, he continues, "I don't have no anger for anybody. I talk to people, help them out."

While he credits his doctor for putting him on antidepressants, many of his fellow Dudes members say the meetings have encouraged them to try something new - and to take better care of themselves than they ever have before.

Getting help, and giving it

The Dudes Club delivers health care with a healing-circle vibe. Volunteer organizers, including the group's medical director, Paul Gross, offer the meeting every two weeks on a budget of just $15,000 a year. Elders offer guidance and lead prayers in Musqueam, the language of the First Nation whose unceded territory includes Vancouver. Dr. Gross then asks the men to name a health topic they would like to discuss. A team of social workers, physicians and street nurses circulate to answer any questions the men may have between bites of bannock frybread.

The Dudes Club grew out of a 2010 forum at the VNHS that was organized to determine the health needs of men in the area.

Those who attended, having learned of the event by word of mouth, identified loneliness and isolation as their top concerns.

"The men wanted this group," Dr. Gross says. "That's why it works." They chose the club's name, which is short for Downtown Urban Knights Defending Equality and Solidarity.

Having their own group helps men let their guard down - and learn to both give and receive help, says Henry Charles, the club's official elder.

"Here," he says, "the guys don't have to be macho."

Movember money helps

Since joining the group, many of the Dudes have found stable housing, enrolled in detox programs, reconnected with family members on reserves, and sought treatment for medical conditions such as HIV, Dr. Gross says. "Many had not seen a doctor in years."

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are evaluating the program as part of a threeyear, $270,000 study financed by Movember Canada, the mustache-powered charity dedicated to men's health. While it would be impossible to prove that the Dudes Club alone has changed men's lives, the researchers have conducted surveys and interviews with 150 of those who have taken part in recent years. Based on this data, they have identified a "dose effect" - the more the men take part, the higher they rate in their confidence to address their own health issues and to support others in need.

One-third of the club is nonnative - of Asian and African as well as Caucasian descent. The UBC survey shows that all report their well-being has improved.

But the indigenous men express even greater trust in the group's health-care team, and greater motivation to connect with their cultural and spiritual heritage.

The Dudes model is unique, says Barry Lavallee, director of the Centre for Aboriginal Health Education at the University of Manitoba. Health services for indigenous people typically focus on women, says Dr. Lavallee, a physician and member of Manitoba's Saulteaux and Métis communities. "What this program demonstrates is that these men don't want to be ill and, quoteunquote, marginalized."

Tapping into an age-old notion

Indigenous men, especially those who have suffered abuse, tend to avoid such institutions as hospitals and medical clinics, even when they urgently need care, Dr. Gross says.

Two months ago, researchers at the UBC's Okanagan campus released a study examining why indigenous people tend to be wary of Canada's health-care system. Those who had received primary care in the B.C. Interior said they felt they weren't being listened to or believed, and weren't permitted to include traditional healing practices. Health-care buildings even reminded them of residential schools. Instead of seeking medical attention, many suffer in the streets.

In the Downtown Eastside, marginalized residents are dying at eight times the rate of other Canadians, and the majority are indigenous. More often than not, their early deaths are due to treatable conditions such as psychosis and hepatitis C, and not drug overdose, according to a study published last fall in the medical journal BMJ.

The Dudes group bridges two worlds, says Sandy Lambert, an adviser who acts as the group's external liaison. The club draws men to the VNHS walk-in clinic, where care workers can become familiar faces. They also encourage Dudes to take advantage of nearby services that offer support for substance abuse, housing and job training, Mr. Lambert adds, "but we don't force them to do anything."

The Dudes' support team talks about health in terms of the aboriginal medicine wheel, which describes a state of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. Wellness is a powerful concept for indigenous men, with deep roots in their heritage, says Mr. Lambert, a member of the Tallcree First Nation in Northern Alberta. At the Dudes Club, "men seem to understand that."

Won't 'victimize myself again'

Dudes meetings have a laid-back feel, but there are ground rules: no intoxication and no weapons allowed. What happens here, stays here, says Richard Teague, one of the group's facilitators.

"And we don't want to hear no discrimination or snide remarks about the colour of your skin."

Tonight, instead of the usual talk about diabetes or flu shots, the Dudes have a guest speaker: Wilfred Sampson, a 58-year-old Gitxsan carver who sells his work in some of Vancouver's finer art galleries.

Mr. Sampson stands up and shares his memory of being pulled out of his mother's arms at the age of 4, "kicking and screaming," and being put into a residential school. He describes his rage as a teenager who wound up an alcoholic in juvenile detention.

It's a familiar story for these men, but they listen, spellbound, especially when he gets to the part about deciding to prove that people who said things like "dirty drunken Indian" were wrong. "I was always stubborn," he says, "so I quit drinking 31 years ago, and I haven't been back to jail."

"Way to go, brother," someone pipes up. Mr. Sampson waits for the clapping to stop. Then he tells the men that wood carving helped him focus on the beauty in the world instead of the abuse he had suffered at home and at school. "I don't want to victimize myself again by thinking of the bad memories."

He pulls out a smooth cedar sculpture shaped like the sun and holds it up with a wide smile. The men move in for a closer look. "That's really good," one of them says. "Awesome, awesome," another chimes in.

After the excitement dies down, Dr. Gross takes the floor.

Carving helped Mr. Sampson turn his life around, he says, and then asks: "What gives you a sense of meaning and purpose in your life?" No one has a ready answer. It's a question that some may never have asked themselves before.

Alternate model of masculinity

For indigenous men, getting support to think about what they value in life - and what it means to be a man - is a crucial step in healing, says the University of Manitoba's Dr. Lavallee. Spending time with First Nations elders helps to remind them that "warriorship is not what you see in Hollywood," he adds. "The roles are really around family."

Recently, the Dudes put together what Dr. Gross calls a "masculinity flip chart." Under the heading "real man," they wrote: "fierce," "sex god," "master/control." But a second list, labelled "good man," included such ideas as "raising kids," "non-violence," "compassion" and "no fear of emotions."

When aboriginal men reclaim this alternate model of masculinity, there are ripple effects, Dr. Lavallee says. In Canada, nearly half of children under 14 in foster care are indigenous. To reduce those numbers, "we need to not only support mothers," he says, but also "create space for the dads to go back to their ancestral responsibility to care for family."

Many of these men grew up with little experience of family.

Elvis Wilson was born on a reserve to alcoholic parents. "Mom and Dad made home brew," he says. "I started drinking at four years old." He developed tuberculosis around the same age, and local authorities took him away.

"I don't hardly remember my mother."

Mr. Wilson spent seven years in a residential school in Port Alberni, on Vancouver Island. He lost every word of the Gitxsan language. "They would put soap down your throat when you'd talk it." He got the strap on his hand every day, and says he was sexually assaulted by men who worked at the school.

In 2005, he received $203,000 in compensation for residentialschool abuse. He spent $145,000 of it to buy a house in Victoria for his older sister Margie, the only family member who had looked after him on school holidays.

"She was having trouble paying her rent."

He had his own struggles. For decades, he abused alcohol and crack cocaine. He had nightmares of people screaming, and frequent thoughts of suicide. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). "I had so much hate and anger inside me." One night in 2007, he swallowed 50 sleeping pills. "I almost died."

Today, he says, "I'm proud I'm still alive."

Health by association

David Joseph Hauck also considers himself lucky. The retired construction worker of Cree and Métis descent recently began treatment for hepatitis C, a disease he had ignored for more than a decade while he was using intravenous drugs. "I used to think, 'I'll just die of it.' " Mr. Hauck, 64, is suave and well-spoken, and wears blue-tinted glasses that give him a hipster look. He also has a Grade 8 education, stopped using street drugs just five years ago, and admits alcohol is still a problem.

"I can easily go through a twolitre bottle of cider every day of the week."

Unlike most of the Dudes, he has never lived in the Downtown Eastside; for 12 years, he has rented the same basement apartment in a neighbourhood farther east.

But it was through the club that he learned about a hepatitis-C support group that meets on the floor below. This eventually led him to a nearby clinic offering a fully subsidized, $95,000 treatment for the disease.

"It's because of the Dudes Club that I was even in the building."

Speaking to a global need

The program's three spinoff groups have been running for more than a year in Northern B.C. - in Smithers and nearby Moricetown as well as in Prince George, several hours to the southeast. While they differ slightly (one has younger members; another does not explore a health topic at every meeting), all are showing successes similar to that of the original, says Dr. Gross, who hopes to take the concept national.

At 35, he has worked as a physician in the Downtown Eastside for seven years. His gentle manner and Pierrot-shaped face belie his grit. Although he has two toddlers at home, he has volunteered more than 15 hours a month for the past five years to support the Dudes as they "address their demons," he says.

Now he is working with members to create an online toolkit to help other communities set up similar programs far and wide.

The interest is there. Last November, in New Zealand, UBC researchers presented the Dudes model to an international gathering of indigenous leaders.

They were accompanied by Bill Mussell, author of Warrior-Caregivers: Understanding the Challenges and Healing of First Nations Men. He says leaders in New Zealand kept asking for more details about the Dudes Club, because "around the world, very little programming is done that addresses the challenges facing [indigenous] men."

Social connection is the key to the model's success, says Mr. Mussell, also an adviser to the First Peoples Wellness Circle (formerly the Native Mental Health Association of Canada). When indigenous people are disconnected from their cultural identities and languages, he says, "we are totally lost."

For younger men, too

The Dudes Club is not all good times, though. At one meeting, two men in charge of making cheeseburgers grumble in the kitchen. "These facilities aren't big enough," one of them says.

"The stove is no good."

Meanwhile, a man in his 20s with a black tuque pulled low to his eyebrows stomps up and down the meeting room. He punches a balloon taped to the wall. Startled, a dog in the room starts barking.

The guy is a regular, says Mr. Teague, the facilitator. "He's always like that, half drunk."

Tonight the young man is yelling things like "You fuckin' nigger."

One of the Dudes shuffles over to report him for violating the club's code. "Did you see that shit?" he asks.

Mr. Teague points out that wrestling a man out of the room could damage the club's open-arms reputation. "We've never had to do that, not in five years." He leaves it up to outreach worker Eric Schweig to talk the guy down.

Mr. Schweig volunteers in the neighbourhood in between acting roles, such as that of a corrupt chief on the APTN series Blackstone. Of mixed descent (Inuit, Chippewa, Dene and European), he made his name as Uncas in the 1992 movie version of The Last of the Mohicans. But at 48, with his scruffy jeans and tattooed biceps, he does not stand out here.

The drunk man's father has been dealing drugs for 25 years, Mr. Schweig says. The son is 27, "and he's fucking his life away."

People tend to give men like him a wide berth, he adds, "but that's not what they need." Instead, "you get closer."

So, Mr. Schweig walks up to the man and makes small talk, asking about his dad. They chat. He gives him a hug. Before long, the younger man strolls away, stops to pet the dog, and sits down.

Later, he gives Mr. Schweig a fist bump as he leaves.

Several weeks later, the lad shows up at another meeting, drunk again. Dudes members caution against talking to him alone. He has a reputation for drinking "rubby" (rubbing alcohol). "It changes you - you get angry, bolder," one man says.

But it turns out that, one on one, "Carl G" - he won't give his full name - likes to chat. He doesn't remember acting up the last time he was here. He loves dogs, rap music. He takes out his phone to play Real Native, a music clip he composed in a friend's studio. "I made the beat, I made the hi-hat."

Mr. Schweig is not related to him, but when he walks by, Carl calls out: "Hey, Uncle, come show me some love real quick."

Carl was a latchkey kid, Mr. Schweig says later. "He's lonely."

Asked why he hangs out in a group of mostly middle-aged men, Carl says simply that "it's a place to go."

But as Mr. Schweig points out, "he keeps coming back."

'We're just like brothers'

David Hauck, the 64-year-old with hep C, has good news. He was nervous the day before, because his doctor's office had left a message for him to call. But when he did, he learned that his viral load for the disease had dropped to zero. "I was so surprised," he says, "I started to cry."

A month later, Mr. Hauck is thinking about his next step. He has been asked to join the steering committee of VANDU (Vancouver and Area Network of Drug Users), a group that works on harm reduction. Since his health has improved, he says, "I'm getting to enjoy the peer role."

He doesn't live nearby, but Mr. Hauck spends most of his time in the Downtown Eastside, checking out local services, reading at the library, and hanging out at the Dudes Club, "because I enjoy the friendships I've made... Even a high-five to me means a lot."

Mr. Wilson says the bonding is real: "We're just like brothers, all of us." Back when he had nowhere to sleep but a bedbug-infested mattress in a nearby church, other men used to steal from him, he says.

Now, like Mr. Hauck, he runs into friends wherever he goes, whether lining up for a free meal (sausage and eggs are his favourite) or washing windows for $5 an hour at the Life Skills Centre around the corner.

As Mr. Wilson finishes a last bite of an ice-cream sandwich, one of the Dudes starts sweeping the floor. Then, the men gather in a circle, arms linked to shoulders. Dr. Gross thanks everyone who helped tonight.

Mr. Charles, the elder, says a prayer in Musqueam (he is one of only six Musqueam people still fluent in their language). The Dudes lower their heads - the gentle sounds, such as hych'ka (thanks), have meaning to these men even if they don't understand all the words.

Mr. Charles closes the meeting in English. "Take care of each other," he says. "It's cold out there."

Adriana Barton is a Vancouverbased reporter at The Globe and Mail who focuses on health issues.

Associated Graphic

Club rules are simple, says Richard Teague, above, downing an ice-cream sandwich at a Dudes meeting: No intoxication, no weapons and 'no discrimination or snide remarks about the colour of your skin.'

Photography by Rafal Gerszak

Clockwise from lower left: Richard Teague with his ice-cream sandwich; Gitxsan carver Wilfred Sampson with his 'awesome' cedar sun (his work is sold in some of Vancouver's finer art galleries but, as he tells the club, at 4 he was pulled from his mother's arms 'kicking and screaming,' and put into a residential school), and Dudes member Paul Michaud greets a friend.

Every meeting includes a meal: Derek Dean, top left, and Curtis T are on kitchen duty and, top right, the hearty soup they have prepared and the fresh-baked bannock that will accompany it. Above: Loneliness plagues many on the street, so camaraderie is key to the club's success. One younger man seems a little out of place, but 'he keeps coming back.'

As a health club, Dudes is all about taking care of yourself: Some members prefer to cut their own hair, top left, while others have Elmer Azak Nisg'a do it for them. Top right, Robert McMillan was a founding member in 2010, and bingo is a popular draw (there are prizes) - here Henry Williams models club attire while playing a game.

Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A10

LONDON, NICE, ISTANBUL -- It was just before dawn on the morning of July 15, and I was trying to explain to my six-year-old daughter why - instead of a planned day at the park - I was suddenly heading to the airport to catch a flight to a city called Nice.

"A bad man hurt a lot of people in France," was the best explanation I could come up with. As I watched her turn the news over in her head, disappointment spreading on her face, I realized it was a sentence I'd uttered three times in 18 months.

Barely 36 hours later, I called her from a sun-baked plaza in the historic old city of Nice. That day in the park would have to be postponed again. Some men with guns had tried to take over the government in Turkey. Instead of coming home, Daddy was flying somewhere else.

More bad men, more people hurt.

After we hung up, I contemplated how little sense any of this must make to her.

She's not alone. All of us - including and especially the political and economic elites who have long stood atop this suddenly wobbly pyramid - have been left reeling by events.

A "period of instability" is upon us, historian Margaret MacMillan told me this week, one that has parallels to the pre-war periods of the 20th century that she's written acclaimed books about.

Future historians are likely to judge today's leaders on whether they seek to calm - or simply take advantage of - the choppy waters that we're in.

Anger at the system

Rarely, it seems, has the world spun so rapidly, have events felt so out of control.

The headlines blur into one another, feeding the sense of a world in chaos. The war in Syria bleeds into the refugee crisis.

The refugees' march into Europe boosts politicians on the nationalist right. The truck attack in France is followed by the shooting of police in Louisiana. Then it's a man with an axe on a train in Germany. On Friday, it was a shooting at a mall in Munich. "Brexit" in Britain is knocked from the top of the news by a putsch attempt in Turkey.

They seem like disconnected events. But what links the British who voted to quit the European Union with the Turks who gathered in a public square on Wednesday to cheer the imposition of a state of emergency is their anger at how the system has worked until now.

Brexit was won in the small cities and towns of England, places where globalization has meant de-industrialization, the closing of factories and the transfer of work to cheaper locales overseas. The phenomenon was exacerbated by an influx of job-seekers from Eastern Europe who made competition for remaining jobs even stiffer.

Leave voters didn't change their minds when the elites told them Brexit would batter housing prices, or the stock market.

To many, the idea that the elites, people who owned property and shares, would take a turn suffering sounded just about right.

In Turkey, the supporters of the ruling Justice and Development (or AK) Party hail from - broadly speaking - the poor, conservative, and deeply devout half of Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may stand today accused of repression and massive corruption, but his followers remember his humble upbringing as the kid who sold lemonade and buns on the streets of Istanbul to help his family make ends meet.

AK Party loyalists recall how he was removed as the mayor of Istanbul in 1998 and jailed for reciting a poem that included the lines "the mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." Mr. Erdogan is the head of their Islamist revolution against the affluent secularists.

Those cheering Brexit in Britain, and welcoming a state of emergency in Turkey, were the ships that were supposed to be lifted by the rising tide of globalization, a promise that proved cruelly incorrect.

They are now finding satisfaction in defeating their ruling classes, the people who believed those countries, and the world, were theirs to rule.

It's the same live wire that connects an Islamic State-inspired attack in Europe to a racially motivated shooting rampage in the U.S. The perpetrators are - almost always - those who felt they have very little left to lose in their lives. The cause they choose is almost a footnote to their act of anarchy.

Hours before the chaos broke out in Nice, I was sitting in a lecture hall at the London School of Economics, listening to Canada's International Trade Minster Chrystia Freeland talk about Brexit, and the isolationist mood spreading around the world.

"This is a complex, fraught moment," she understated. She said she saw "deglobalization" taking place all around the planet. "We are living in a time when in many countries in the Western industrialized world, maybe most countries in the Western industrialized world, there is a tremendous popular backlash against international trade, against immigration, against what you might call open society."

Our societies are fracturing into tribes. In Britain, it's Leavers versus Remainers. In Turkey, the failed coup has cleaved society into Erdoganites and Gulenists (after the movement accused of supporting the failed putsch). Almost everywhere, lines are being drawn between immigrants and the native-born. Black and white. Us and them.

And the tribes are turning on one another.

As we sped towards the airport in Nice, my taxi driver told me how it all looked from where he sat.

France, he began, needed to close its doors to immigrants. The country's Muslims, he said, should be deported to Devil's Island - the Napoleon III-era penal colony off the coast of South America - until authorities could figure out which ones were safe and which ones were dangerous.

I stared out the window, biting my lip.

Such talk was madness. But madness is spreading these days. My taxi driver's rhetoric wasn't too far off from Donald Trump's talk of banning all Muslims from travelling to the United States until authorities can "figure out what is going on." In the wake of the Bastille Day attack in Nice, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen - who leads most opinion polls ahead of presidential elections next year - said it was time for the country to declare "war against the scourge of Islamist fundamentalism."

"Before, many people hesitated to vote for Madame Le Pen. Now, after this, I find myself agreeing with her," the driver told me.

He was angry. All of Nice was. The grief in the city was qualitatively different from the reaction in Paris after the shooting and bomb attacks that targeted restaurants, bars and a sports stadium last November, and the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office and a kosher deli 10 months before that.

Back then, there was a determination not to let the horrific assaults divide the country. France's founding principles of liberté, égalité, fraternité were not to be shaken by the acts of a few terrorists. Parisians rallied on Place de la République after each attack, though more nervously the second time, to show their solidarity as a society.

Raw fury overwhelmed such gestures in Nice. Mourners booed Prime Minister Manuel Valls when he came to lay a wreath on Promenade des Anglais, the seafront boulevard where Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian immigrant, had driven his rented 19-tonne truck into the crowds of children, women and men watching the Bastille Day fireworks.

"This was worse than bullets," 55-year-old Michelle Prost told me, with tears streaming down her face as she laid flowers on the promenade the day after the attacks.

"Driving a vehicle over people, symbolically it means 'I will crush you.'"

Fear of each other

The anger is just as raw on the streets of Istanbul. When I arrive on Sunday night, Taksim Square - the heart of the city's European half - is filled with tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters of Mr. Erdogan. Having faced down the coup attempt 36 hours earlier, the mood swings between celebratory and furious.

Upbeat music plays from atop a bus parked in the middle of the square, and the people on the square smile and dance.

But when the loudspeakers fall silent, the crowd takes matters in a very different direction.

Chants of "I will sacrifice my life for the motherland" are followed by calls for other people's blood. "We want executions!" comes the public cry.

The rage is understandable. At least 270 people (including 24 putschists) were killed in the furious fighting that caused the coup's collapse. Horrifying videos posted online show tanks driving over people and cars on the streets of Istanbul during the dark hours of July 15 and 16. The country's parliament in Ankara was bombed from the air.

As soon as it was clear that he had survived the challenge to his rule, Mr. Erdogan asked his supporters to stay in the streets.

It soon became clear why. They were to showcase his support level as he launched a shockingly rapid purge of his enemies.

By the end of the week, some 9,000 soldiers and police - including more than 100 generals - were in jail on suspicion of taking part in the coup plot.

Tens of thousands of others - judges, prosecutors, provincial governors, teachers, university deans, journalists, religious instructors, ordinary civil servants - were out of their jobs because of suspected ties to Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based imam Mr. Erdogan believes inspired the putsch attempt. All civil servants and academics were banned from going abroad, lest any of Mr. Gulen's supporters try to flee.

The return of the death penalty - and its use against those convicted of taking part on the plot - now seems inevitable.

Criticism of the government dropped to a whisper. One analyst I interviewed asked me to put down my notebook - and turn off my mobile phone - before he would answer a question about whether the purges were going too far. Another critic, out of the country when the coup attempt happened, told me that he had decided to postpone his return to Turkey until he could see where the "escalating frenzy" was going.

And each night, Mr. Erdogan's supporters came back into Taksim Square to cheer him on as he built what he called in speeches "New Turkey." They stayed in the square and kept cheering even as Mr. Erdogan announced a three-month state of emergency. AK Party supporters know they're not the ones who need to fear a president who can make laws by decree.

But Mr. Erdogan and the AK Party represent just one of Turkey's warring tribes.

Walking across Taksim Square in the afternoon - which is relatively empty during the day, before filling with AK Party supporters each night - I paused to chat with Haydar Uyumaz, a 53-year-old who has made a living selling Turkish flags in an array of sizes. Soccer matches and election time are the best for business, he told me, chuckling to add "and coups." He said he'd never sold as many flags in such a short period as the 200 he'd sold over the previous 48 hours.

Our conversation was interrupted by young Kurdish man, who suggested Mr. Uyumaz would have a hard time selling flags in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.

More than 1,200 people have been killed, and 350,000 others driven from their homes, since the conflict between the Turkish army and the separatist PKK re-erupted last summer after several years of relative peace.

"If this is the New Turkey that President Erdogan is talking about, we are going backwards," said Abdullah Demir, a 27year-old from the region of Mardin, which has seen some of the heaviest fighting. As he spoke, a young man wearing one Turkish flag as a bandana and another as a cape approached and glowered at Mr. Demir. But Mr. Demir kept talking. "Three years ago, Turks and Kurds were friendly to each other in Istanbul. But every year, we feel less and less like brothers."

Across the border from that war, of course, is the other one. The swirling storm that has seen Turkey's neighbours Syria and Iraq fracture along ethnic and sectarian lines. Sunnis versus Shias. Arabs versus Kurds. And the so-called Islamic State against everyone. (IS has claimed that both Mr. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the Nice attacker, and Muhammad Riyad, the Afghan asylum-seeker who injured five people with an axe on a German train, were its "soldiers.") Turkey has been waist-deep in Syria's civil war since its outbreak in 2011. The AK Party has informal ties to the Muslim Brotherhood movement that had then just toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt.

Syria looked to be next, and Mr. Erdogan - who looked poised to emerge with Ottomanesque clout in the region - was quick to back the Sunni-dominated uprising against the Alawite-dominated regime of Bashar al-Assad.

From the outset of the conflict in Syria, Turkey supported the army defectors who became the Free Syrian Army. Fatefully, Ankara also allowed others opposed to the Assad regime - including the radical jihadists who became IS - to use Turkish soil as something of a rear base.

Now Turkey is among the countries at war with IS. NATO uses Turkey's Incirlik airbase to launch air strikes against the self-declared caliphate, and IS has hit back with a string of suicide bombings around the country - including last month's attack on Istanbul's main airport - that have left more than 200 people dead.

Turkey is now hosting a staggering 2.7 million refugees from Syria's war. There are fears that the chaos could spill across the border in other ways as well.

At the other end of Taksim Square from where Mr. Uyumaz was selling his flags, I spotted two teenage sisters glowering with anger at the Ataturk Cultural Centre, which sits at the eastern end of the plaza.

The building is named after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, who remains an icon among this country's secular citizens.

This week the cultural centre bore the scars of the attempted coup. Many of the windows facing Taksim Square were shattered by sonic booms as low-flying fighter jets buzzed over the centre of Istanbul.

In the aftermath, two large portraits of Mr. Erdogan were hung from its facade.

"No, no, never. It should be Ataturk hanging from there," said one of the sisters, 18-year-old Selcan Eraslan. She and her sister were Alevis, a sect of Shia Islam, and worried that Turkey's official secularism was about to crumble.

Ms. Eraslan, who said she opposed the coup attempt, lives in the Gazi neighbourhood of Istanbul, where police have had to break up violent clashes this week between AK Party supporters and Alevi residents.

"There will be an ethnic fight between the Sunnis and the Alevis," she said, staring at Mr. Erdogan's posters on the Ataturk Cultural Centre. "Civil war is coming, for sure."

When it all started

What was most shocking about the recent spate of headline-seizing events - and deeply unsettling when you consider them as a chain - was how no one seemed to have seen any of it coming.

The pollsters and pundits predicted Britain would vote, by a comfortable margin, to remain part of the EU. The attack in Nice succeeded in part because many French police were given the Bastille Day holiday off after being on high alert through the country's month-long hosting of the European soccer championships.

Turkey's intelligence services detected something might be amiss only a few hours before tanks starting moving toward Istanbul's bridges and airports.

And six months ago, nobody thought Donald Trump stood a chance of becoming president of the United States.

My week alone took me from one country, France, that would extend its state of emergency - imposed after the November attacks in Paris - while I was in Nice, to another, Turkey, that would declare postcoup state of emergency and suspend some civil liberties while I was in Istanbul.

"We've had a number of shocks," said Prof. MacMillan, the warden of St. Anthony's College at Oxford University. "Some of it is coincidence, but I think it's making everyone rather jittery, thinking is everything coming unstuck."

Future historians, she said, may look at the "period of instability" as beginning with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., and the subsequent launching of the global "war on terror," including the fateful U.S.-British decision to invade Iraq. The accelerant, Prof. MacMillan, said was the 2008 financial crisis.

"The impact of 2008 - the economies may have recovered more or less, the banking system may have recovered, more or less, but I think it really shook people's faith in those who were running the economy. I think that's fed into this feeling that people aren't being listened to. It's a dangerous sort of mood."

The economic dislocation also makes it easier for groups like IS to convert people to their brand of hatred. Attacks like those carried out by Mr. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel and Mr. Riyad in turn feed the popular anger that is lifting the Trumps and Le Pens. It's time to build more walls, to make it hard again to cross borders. It's a vicious cycle.

Radicals thrive when governments can no longer meet the standard-of-living expectations of their citizens, Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, told me.

"The world seems to have reached a critical point in terms of creating a large enough pool of 'losers' - those who lost out on globalization, who lost out on technology, who lost out on free trade - to create the undercurrents of this instability."

Meanwhile, the U.S., which Mr. Ulgen said lost much of its global authority during the twin disasters of the Iraq invasion and the 2008 financial crisis, is no longer willing or able to play the role of global policeman. From afar - as street violence escalates and Mr. Trump is crowned the Republic Party's candidate for the White House - American-style capitalism and democracy no longer looks like a model worth pursuing.

In other words, the old world order has come unglued. Globalization led and regulated by the U.S. is now considered a failure. People around the world are seeking the safety of their tribes.

"In troubled times, there's a tendency to turn inwards and say 'at least we understand our own people.' There's also a tendency, which is very unfortunate, to demonize others for whatever reason. It happened in Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s, and it happened in other times in other places," said Prof. MacMillan, whose most recent book is The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914.

History rhymes, rather than repeats, as Mark Twain reputedly said. We're not yet on any irreversible course towards something worse. But we could end up there fast.

"Things go wrong and things can go wrong very quickly, we know that. It took Europe five weeks in the summer of 1914 to go from a fairly stable peace to all-out war," Prof. MacMillan continued. "If things go wrong, we'll look back and say this was a time that led to greater instability."

My daughter, I realized at the end of a long and worrying week, used to always ask "Why?" when I told her that that something crazy had happened, and that I had to get on a plane.

Not this time. She was sad to hear that France, a country she loves to visit, had been attacked again. She found it strange that some soldiers in Turkey, where her aunt and uncle used to work, thought they should take over the government.

But she didn't ask why either event had occurred.

Perhaps, like the rest of us, she's gotten used to a world spinning dangerously out of control.

Follow me on Twitter: @markmackinnon

Associated Graphic

Nice, France, July 14.


Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S., July 18.


Turkey, July 20.


London, June 23.


Meet Douglas Gardham, the hardest-working novelist you've never heard of. Mark Medley goes on the road with the would-be king of CanLit
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

On a recent Saturday evening, Douglas Gardham is sitting behind the wheel of his black Acura TL, on a highway west of Toronto, making his way back to Alliston, the small town where he lives. The road is slick from the rainstorm that passed through the area earlier that afternoon, and traffic is relatively light. The radio is off, and the car, for the moment, is quiet. He seems tired. It's almost 10 p.m., and it has been, for Gardham, a long day; he'd arrived home just after one that morning, having spent the previous week-and-a-half in Mexico with his wife, where they celebrated their 30th anniversary, and left his house at 10 a.m. to drive to a Chapters bookstore in a big-box shopping mall on the border of Oakville and Mississauga. He spent the subsequent nine hours standing behind a small table, near the entrance, hawking his two self-published books to strangers.

"It was a better day than I thought it would be," he says, his eyes darting between the road ahead and the rear-view mirror. "I didn't think we'd get to that number."

He sold 29 books that day, surpassing the 16 sales he averages at each event. This is Gardham's career.

Every weekend for the past three years, with very few exceptions, Douglas Gardham has travelled to a different bookstore, from British Columbia to New England, to sell his books. Three years ago, just after his first novel, The Actor, was published, he quit his full-time job of 20 years to try and make it as a writer. By his own estimate, he's driven more than 115,000 kilometres during his travels, which have undoubtedly cost him much more than he's earned. This weekend, he'll be in London; next weekend, it'll be Peterborough; at the end of the month, he'll visit Toronto. He has events booked through the rest of 2016. When I ask, as we leave Mississauga behind, how long he can keep this schedule up, he doesn't hesitate at all before answering.

"I can't see myself stopping."

You've probably never heard of Douglas Gardham. I'd never heard of him, either, when, a little more than three years ago, he e-mailed me out of the blue.

He'd just published The Actor, which he'd been working on since 1998, and was trying to drum up some media attention. As a rule, I rarely write about self-published books - there are too many, they are largely terrible and most of them are not readily available in bookstores. I told him to send me a copy of the book, though I had no intention of writing about it.

Over the months - and eventually years - that followed I began to think of Gardham as my benevolent stalker; he sent me regular updates, links to blog posts he'd written, interviews he'd conducted with small-town papers and radio stations and tagged me in tweets, which often included a photograph of Gardham, taken in whichever bookstore he happened to be visiting that weekend, smiling and holding up copies of The Actor and The Drive In, a short-story collection he published in late 2014. Most authors publicizing a new book spend a month or two spreading the word, but Gardham kept going and going. Last year, while visiting in-laws in Ottawa, I spotted him at the Chapters in Kanata; I watched from a distance, pretending to flip through a magazine, as he greeted everyone who walked by, fascinated by this author who was in the midst of a seemingly endless book tour. I felt sorry for him, to be honest, but I also admired his commitment.

Finally, a few months ago, after receiving one of his newsletters and realizing it had been three years since he'd first contacted me, I could no longer help myself.

Who was Douglas Gardham?

We meet at the Indigo at Bay and Bloor in Toronto one Saturday in June. Gardham, who is 54 years old, has been told he looks like a slightly younger Bill Murray, although I'd describe him as John C.

Reilly's older brother. He's wearing olive slacks and a purple plaid shirt and, when I arrive, is in the midst of preparing for the day.

(He goes on to sell 18 books.) He shakes my hand with a child-like giddiness, and we sit and chat in a nearby Starbucks, agreeing how strange it is to be finally meeting after all these years. I apologize for taking so long to interview him, and he laughs.

"I didn't have a clue what I was doing," he says of his early media outreach. "I had to come to the realization [that] I'd been writing most of my life, but from the world's perspective, I'd just started."

The Actor, a bizarre, David Lynch-like thriller about obsession, delusion and determination, tells the story of a man named Ethan Jones who, still haunted by the disappearance of his college girlfriend years earlier, moves to Hollywood to try and become a star. It's a novel about pursuing dreams, about never losing faith - lines include "You just can't stand there and expect something to happen" and "You only get to go through [life] once, you know.

You got to make it count" - and it's difficult not to draw parallels between Gardham's life and that of his protagonist. Ethan, even when his career is floundering, is constantly telling people, "You won't forget me," and to remember his name because "you'll hear it again someday."

"I've talked to so many people who are not necessarily doing what they want to do," he says.

"They have something inside them that they would like to do but they just can't. And that's how The Actor was originally written - the idea of someone getting out from what they were doing and chasing a dream."

Gardham was born in Toronto in 1962. His mother was an elementary school teacher who became a stay-at-home mom after the birth of Gardham and his two younger siblings, while his father worked for Bank of Nova Scotia. The family moved from town to town - Oshawa, Kitchener, Petrolia - before settling in Markham. Gardham was a talented athlete - "If you talk to my father today, he would still say [I] could have played professional hockey" - and an avid musician (his high school band was named Atlantis; they make a cameo in The Actor).

After graduating from Carleton with a degree in mechanical engineering, he moved to Toronto, where he worked for the Ministry of Transportation by day and played the occasional open-mic night, although his dreams of becoming a musician ended at the Free Times Cafe on College Street.

"I invited a bunch of friends one night and it was just a disaster," he recalls. "I was so embarrassed.

That's actually when I started to write short stories." (The Gift, one of the stories collected in The Drive In, dates from this era.)

He bounced around, from city to city - Toronto, Cambridge and, finally, Alliston - and job to job - a computer company, a snowplough manufacturer and Husky Injection Molding Systems, where he spent two decades. The entire time he was leading what he calls "a double life."

"Engineering is not particularly creative, and there's a reason," he says. "You want the planes to stay in the air, boats to float, wheels to stay on your car. You don't want to get creative in those areas. So, for me, writing was always that outlet."

His first novel, which he wrote on the bus to and from work, was called H20 and was about an engineer working for a lawnmower company who invents a hydrogen-powered car that threatens the oil industry and leads to the abduction of his wife. A second novel, with the working title Misunderstood, concerned a man who learns of a sexual assault only to realize "he's closer to it than he thought he was." His third novel was The Actor.

After completing a manuscript in 2000, Gardham then tried to find a literary agent or publisher, sending the novel to several of the big American imprints.

"I knew nothing," he admits. "I would get rejection after rejection. I can remember being in Bolton" - where Husky is based - "and literally phoning New York from a pay phone to see whether they'd looked at my submission or not."

He put the novel aside for a while, writing short stories instead, but "it never went away.

It would just eat away [at me].

And every two or three years, it would come back and say something like, 'Is this it?' "Finally, after a decade of frustration, he turned to iUniverse, the Indianabased publishing service that has released some eventual bestsellers, including Lisa Genova's Still Alice and, here in Canada, The Best Laid Plans, by Terry Fallis.

The novel was published in April, 2013; the following month, Gardham was asked to transfer to a new position at Husky, something he had little interest in doing. "I really felt like I had something special and I couldn't let it go any more," he says. So, during a meeting with colleagues, he asked them to search for his name and The Actor on the Internet.

"'Wow, an author with your name.' That was the first response. I said, 'That's actually me.

That's my book.' "His last day of work was May 31, 2013; his friends held a book launch for him the next day.

I visit Gardham in Alliston on a Monday afternoon in late June.

He lives in a spacious suburban house with his wife, Laura, a personal trainer. (They have a son who lives in Toronto and a daughter who lives in Vancouver.)

Upstairs, he shows me his office, the walls hidden by bookshelves showing off his wide-ranging taste in books: Nino Ricci and Alice Munro shelved next to Joe Hill; Jonathan Franzen's Farther Away next to Neil Pasricha's The Book of Awesome; two copies of Vincent Lam's Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures; Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries and Ron MacLean's Cornered; Claire Tomalin's biography of Charles Dickens and Walter Isaacson's biography of Albert Einstein; Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler and Stephen King.

"I wouldn't be here without King or Robertson Davies," he says as I study the spines. "It was King that inspired me through his 'Constant Reader' notes that I could actually write, and Davies always said writing is more about diligence and discipline than anything else."

Gardham is disciplined in his diligence. He held his first signing in the summer of 2013 and has since then done more than 125 events. The weekend before we first met in Toronto, he'd been in Massachusetts and Vermont; the following weekend, he drove up to Sudbury for the day, arriving back home at three in the morning. He sold 27 books that day.

"I think Doug probably does more signings at Chapters-Indigo than any other author in Canada," says Keith Ogorek, the senior vice-president of marketing at Author Solutions, the parent company of iUniverse. "I don't know what his motivation is. I don't know how he's wired - I haven't seen his Briggs-Myers [personality test] or anything so I don't know why he does it."

Gardham's wife, Laura, describes her husband as "an introvert," and Gardham himself initially dismissed the idea of doing in-store events, saying, "I'm the guy that comes in the store [and] goes to the shelf and looks at books. I'm not the guy that's coming to the table."

The table is always flanked by a banner, about seven feet tall, which Gardham printed at Home Depot and which features both the covers, and short blurbs about, his two books. He will stand there - and he is adamant about this part, saying "if you're not famous, and you don't have a lineup at your book signing, stand up!" - for hours on end, rarely, if ever, taking a break. He brings snacks from home. He greets everyone who walks by with a cheerful hello, and always brings a stack of business cards to hand out to those who listen to his "20second elevator pitch," which he has delivered tens of thousands of times.

"The Actor is the story of a young man's journey of self-discovery and overcoming the trauma of a personal tragedy in his life, which he does in a somewhat unique way - by chasing a dream," he says, delivering it like an infomercial voice-over when I ask him to try it out on me.

"Except the dream isn't quite what it seems. It's a story of love and hardship, persistence and overwhelming joy. It reads like a thriller but it's more than that.

And the tagline for the book is 'The Actor can portray anything you can imagine.' "Both times I watched him at work, he sold a book within the first five minutes; he happily signed their copies when the customers returned from the cashier.

He often asks them to pose for a photo, which he will post on social media. The days can be long, and sometimes boring, but "it's a privilege and good fortune to actually do something that I just never really thought was going to happen."

Gardham has an admittedly scattershot approach to publicity; the bookstore events are just one part of it. He blogs, updates his Facebook page and sends out an eclectic collection of tweets to his 86,000 followers. "I think you have to be everywhere. You have to consider almost everything. I know some things work and some things don't." Numerous times, he tells me how little he knows about the publishing industry, but this ignorance serves him well.

"You're not supposed to call Heather Reisman?" he asks me at one point. "Why not?" .

Gardham has already written his next two novels, The Musician, which he hopes to publish next year, and The Author; together, they form a trilogy. Despite his relative success with self-publishing - he's sold more than 4,000 books in total, a solid number for Canada - he very much hopes to land a "traditional" publisher. He talks of reaching "the next level."

He's planning more events in the United States, calling it "wideopen territory." And although he's visited many bookstores multiple times, he still sees potential growth closer to home. "There's what, 3.5 million people in the [Greater Toronto Area]? My last number was 4,300 books [sold]. I have a long way to go."

Just how long he'll be able to go remains uncertain. His life, he admits, "was planned and predictable before. It's not like that any more." When I ask him about finances, he says, in the business world, "you're usually five-plus years before you actually break even." He's been at it for more than three. Writing is his only source of income, and currently, "I'm relying on savings that we've got. But we're not far off." He can't imagine going back to work. "If you're not willing to give up everything for it, you don't want it bad enough."

Laura says that while "I really, really want it to work for him, because it's something that he cares deeply about, of course I have concerns." Such as? "That it won't be sustainable. The books have got to hit a tipping point.

One of these books has got to fly.

It's got to go big in order for him to make a living as an author."

But even if he gives up everything, success is not guaranteed.

We're sitting at his kitchen table, having just returned from lunch at his local diner, and I ask him if he ever considers that.

"You can strive for something as much as you want but there's no guarantee it's going to pay off in the end," I say.

That spending almost every Saturday for three years on the road is not enough. That saying hello to strangers 500 times in one afternoon is not enough. That quitting your job is not enough.

That visiting bookstores from Belleville to Brampton to Burlington is not enough. That writing is not enough. That none of it is enough.

"You just don't know what's going to happen," he says. "But not to try, and to wish you had, is a whole other category. And I've had enough of that to know."

Associated Graphic


Douglas Gardham has held more than 125 book signings at stores across Canada and the U.S. On average, he sells 16 copies per event.

Self-published Canadian author Doug Gardham speaks with Jonathan Lewis during his 129th book signing in Toronto.


Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A10

As the rest of Britain reels from the consequences of the June 23 referendum vote to leave the European Union, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is calmly and confidently leading her nation on a path many hope will see Scots remain in the EU - and probably leave the United Kingdom, Mark MacKinnon writes. In the wake of the shocking Brexit result, a second referendum on Scottish independence, unthinkable just months ago, is now widely expected to become a reality, with a very different outcome from the first.

'I think the benefits of Britishness have just disappeared,' says one man, part of the majority of Scots who voted to remain in the EU

The first hours of June 24 were bewildering. The United Kingdom, shockingly, had just voted to quit the European Union.

Prime Minister David Cameron immediately announced his resignation, and no one - least of all the politicians who had campaigned in favour of a so-called "Brexit" - seemed to have any idea what would happen next.

The contrast couldn't have been clearer as Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took to the podium in Edinburgh, wearing her trademark red suit and looking - unlike the emotionally drained Mr. Cameron and the deer-in-headlights Vote Leave leader Boris Johnson - like she had slept well the night before.

Scotland, Ms. Sturgeon said in measured tones, had chosen a different direction from the rest of the U.K., voting 62 per cent in favour of staying in Europe. It would be "democratically unacceptable," she said, for Scots to be pulled out of the EU when their choice to stay had been made so clear.

And, unlike the politicians in London, the Leader of the separatist Scottish National Party knew what she wanted to do about it.

That plan is now rapidly being executed. While most of the world has been focused on the falling markets and political drama in London - where the ruling Conservative Party is at war over who should succeed Mr. Cameron, and the opposition Labour Party is in similar crisis - Ms. Sturgeon sought and received a mandate from Scotland's parliament allowing her to negotiate directly with EU leaders in Brussels, effectively decoupling Scotland's foreign policy from England's for the first time since the Act of Union in 1707.

A day later she held a one-onone meeting with European Commission President JeanClaude Juncker, a man who previously avoided those seeking secession from the EU's member states. But after the Brexit vote, a spokesman said Mr. Juncker had "a very open door" for Ms. Sturgeon.

Back home, Ms. Sturgeon formed a panel of experts she tasked with advising her government how Scotland can best protect its decision to remain inside the EU. While the panel is impressively non-partisan, the widespread expectation in Edinburgh is that it will come back to Ms. Sturgeon with the recommendation she anticipates: that Scotland will need to seek independence from the U.K. in order to keep its place in Europe.

That, of course, fits very nicely with what Ms. Sturgeon wants to do anyway. Though Scottish voters rejected the idea of independence in a referendum held less than two years ago, Ms. Sturgeon has called the idea of a new vote "highly likely" within the two-year period that the terms of the U.K.'s withdrawal will be negotiated (the two-year clock begins whenever the British government invokes Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, the clause allowing member states to voluntarily leave the union). Ms. Sturgeon has already asked civil servants to begin drafting the legislation necessary for another referendum on independence.

What's surprising is how little resistance there is in Scotland to the idea of another vote so soon after the last one, which saw 55 per cent of Scots vote to stay in the U.K. and which Ms. Sturgeon promised at the time would settle the issue for a generation. But Ms. Sturgeon says the prospect of Britain leaving the EU "represents a significant and a material change of the circumstances" from 2014. Most here agree: Brexit changes everything.

Even the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, which fought on the No side during the 2014 referendum on Scotland's independence, backed Ms. Sturgeon's request for a mandate to negotiate directly with Brussels. The Scottish Conservative Party was left as the lonely voice reminding that Scotland was - at the moment - still part of the United Kingdom.

There's also a sense on the streets that many of those who voted against independence two years ago are now willing to see Scotland go it alone if it means they can keep their EU citizenship. A series of opinion polls carried out in the past week show support for Scottish independence has spiked to somewhere between 54 and 59 per cent since Vote Leave's Pyrrhic win.

"Nicola Sturgeon's speech on [June 24] was not written in the early hours. She was ready," said Jan Eichhorn, a political science lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. "Their goal is very clear.

They want the entire EU debate to be connected to the debate about Scotland's future. And they've succeeded."

The success is attributed almost entirely to the 45-year-old Ms. Sturgeon, who has been described as "pitch perfect" in her response to both the Brexit vote, and the accompanying antiimmigrant mood swirling in England.

Before she raised the independence option, the First Minister first attacked the "fear and hate" spread by the Vote Leave campaign, then reached out to immigrants from Europe and beyond who were worried about their futures after the Brexit result.

"You remain welcome here, Scotland is your home," she said.

"Your contribution is valued."

"What we've seen in the past few days is her presenting herself as a national figure, above party interests," said David Torrance, who has written biographies of both Ms. Sturgeon and her predecessor, Alex Salmond. "She's presenting herself as a de Gaulle figure - she's the mother of the nation."

Mr. Torrance said even the opposition seems to recognize that this is Ms. Sturgeon's moment.

"They know that if they set themselves against the mother of the nation, the children will be unhappy."

On the rainy Wednesday when Ms. Sturgeon was making the rounds in Brussels, a crowd of several thousand people gathered in the rain outside Scotland's postmodern parliament building in the heart of Edinburgh to shout their support for whatever their leader does next.

"In Nicola we trust," read one handmade sign held aloft in the crowd. "Scotland loves the EU," read another.

"She's the only leader who's actually leading. I just want to hug her," said Lauren Stonebanks, a 36-year-old Scot of mixed-race descent who said she has been frightened by the postBrexit mood in the country (she says a woman approached her on an Edinburgh bus after the result and told her to "get your passport, you're ... going home").

Her own sign read "Help us Nicola Sturgeon, you're our only hope."

There have been, and will be, larger demonstrations in London, another part of the U.K. that voted heavily to remain in the EU.

Londoners feel angry and lost about the likelihood of having to leave the EU, and losing the freedoms and opportunities that come with membership.

The difference in Edinburgh was the mood. People here were just as stunned to see Britain vote itself out of the 28-country bloc. But the closing of one door has very obviously opened another.

"Personally, I feel like this means there's a better chance Scotland will be independent," said Julie Huggan, a 23-year-old photography student, as the crowd chanted "Scotland in Europe" around her.

Most who attended the rally outside parliament said they had voted Yes in the 2014 independence referendum. But Edinburgh two years ago was No country, with this fairy-tale city of castles and cobblestones - and a thriving tourist industry that most often arrives by train from London - voting 61 per cent in favour of staying in the union (grittier Glasgow, in contrast, voted 53 per cent Yes to independence).

The mood in the Scottish capital has taken a dramatic swing since the Brexit vote. Edinburgh revealed itself on June 23 as the most pro-EU city in Britain, with 74.4 per cent backing the Remain side.

Now, Edinburgh is being forced to choose between the two unions that it is proudly a part of.

And some of those who voted No in 2014 say they're not sure they would do so again in the wake of the Brexit decision.

John Edward, who worked as a spokesman for the Scotland Stronger in Europe campaign in the run-up to the recent referendum, said the EU was the decisive issue that persuaded him to vote No to independence in 2014. Back then, he said, he didn't feel the SNP had done enough to guarantee Scots wouldn't lose their EU citizenship if they voted for independence. The risks, he decided, were simply too high.

Now, it's staying in the U.K. that suddenly looks like the riskier proposition.

"Brexit has given everybody free licence to think about the alternative," Mr. Edward said, during an interview in which he repeatedly threw his arms up in the air in exasperation at the proBrexit vote in England and Wales.

"I had somebody say to me on Friday morning [June 24] 'I think today is the day I stopped being British.' I think the benefits of Britishness have just disappeared."

Mr. Edward said he wasn't yet comfortable with thinking of himself as a separatist. But he said he and many other No voters from 2014 were now leaning that way.

"Sturgeon has been very clever.

She's not playing the separatist card. She's just saying [leaving the EU] isn't in our interests. I think that will bring a lot of people over [to independence] who previously didn't see the attraction of it."

Richard Kerley, a professor of management at Queen Margaret University, said Ms. Sturgeon and the SNP would still have a difficult case to make to Scottish voters in the case of a second independence referendum. The manifesto the SNP presented to voters in 2014 now looks shockingly naive, with plans for an expanded welfare state that was to be paid for by a gusher of revenue from the North Sea oil industry.

The oil price was hovering around $100 (U.S.) a barrel at the time, twice its current level. The collapsing price, which has caused a halt in new exploration and triggered thousands of job losses in Scotland's northeast, would have left a hole billions of dollars wide in the SNP's budget.

Stuart McDonald, a Yes Scotland strategist during the 2014 referendum campaign who now sits as an SNP MP at the House of Commons in London, admitted the party would need to put a very different - and likely less optimistic - manifesto to the public if another independence vote were called. And, he cautioned, the SNP would only call a referendum it felt certain to win.

"We're all conscious of the fact that if we lose another referendum now, it puts independence in a back corner for a significant period of time," he said.

But just when the economic argument appeared to have been won by the unionist camp, along came the Brexit vote, which sent markets tumbling and raised long-term worries about the economic stability of Britain.

A Brexit would also cost Scotland more than $1-billion in EU subsidies scheduled to be paid out over the next six years.

Back in 2014, the choice was between the cloudy dream of an independent Scotland - with its future membership in the EU one of the uncertainties - and the stability of staying part of the U.K.

Now, it's suddenly possible to portray a Scottish declaration of independence as a less risky option than staying inside a U.K. that has baffled the world with its new course.

Ms. Sturgeon's trip to Brussels has raised hopes that the EU might welcome an independent Scotland, and perhaps even allow it to take over the Britain's membership as a "successor state."

And while the Spanish and French governments - worried that Scotland could inspire Catalan and Basque separatists to follow its lead - said they would oppose any process that treated Scotland as anything other than part of the U.K., they were lonely voices this week.

Alyn Smith, an SNP member of the European Parliament, earned a standing ovation in Brussels for a speech pleading with the EU to remember Scotland had voted to stay in.

"Please, remember this: Scotland, did not let you down," he said, his voice rising to a passionate shout. "Do not let Scotland down now."

Ms. Sturgeon, thus far, has spoken of another independence vote as just an option that events have forced her to put on the table.

But inside the SNP and the wider nationalist movement, there's a growing sense - and excitement - that their moment, a second chance few expected, has come.

"It doesn't just feel like we're heading for another referendum - we're heading for independence," said Lesley Riddoch, a columnist for the National newspaper, an outlet founded after the 2014 vote to promote the separatist argument.

After the 2014 defeat, Ms. Riddoch and other independence backers took to referring to themselves as "The 45" (as in, among the 45 per cent who voted Yes to independence) both as a badge of honour and as a reminder of how close they had come to achieving their dream.

"Now there are two numbers," Ms. Riddoch said. "There's the 45, which is the number we got last time, and there's the 62, which is the [percentage] of people who voted to stay in Europe. As long as we can stay close to the 62, we're cooking with gas."

And that's where Ms. Sturgeon's expert panel and its slow and careful look at Scotland's options comes in. While many SNP supporters would like to see the next independence vote called as soon as possible - while London is still reeling from the shock of the Brexit vote - Ms. Sturgeon wants the 62 per cent to feel like she's acting for all of them, not just the 45.

It's a slow and careful approach that many in the SNP say they have a hard time imagining Mr. Salmond, her more impetuous predecessor, using. But while Mr. Salmond is revered within the party for carrying Scotland's nationalists so close to their goal in 2014, the more cautious Ms. Sturgeon is seen as the right personality to win over unionist voters who may now be wavering between their British and European identities.

Ms. Sturgeon, who grew up in small-town west Scotland, spent four years as a lawyer before running for and winning a seat in the first elections to Scotland's devolved parliament in 1999.

Despite being "a political animal to her fingertips," her biographer said Ms. Sturgeon had a knack for understanding - and then positioning herself as part of - the Scottish political mainstream.

"She even uses Scots vernacular. She says 'I'm gonnae do this,' rather than 'I'm going to,'" Mr. Torrance said. "It's a small thing, but it resonates with voters. They see her as someone they can associate with, rather than a politician."

Her followers toe the line she's set. There's no referendum to talk about now. Nothing has been decided.

But ask them where they think Scotland is heading and you get the rarest commodity on these islands, depressed and traumatized by last week's vote for a Brexit: an excited smile.

"We never envisioned this happening, but here we are again," said Gail Ross, an SNP member of Scottish Parliament.

"To say what's going to happen two years down the line - I don't think anybody can say what's going to happen in two days....

But these are historic times that we're living through."

Follow me on Twitter: @markmackinnon

Associated Graphic

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says it would be 'democratically unacceptable' for Scots to be pulled out of the European Union after they voted 62 per cent in favour of remaining.


'People were doing the three weeks on, one week off. Well, they're just not going out any more'
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B6

CALGARY, SURREY, B.C. -- This is part of an occasional series on Canada's economy and its shift away from resources.

Lee Cronin saw the end of his time in Alberta coming. In 2015, he made a base wage of $42 an hour on the rigs, but the lucrative overtime pay he collected as a derrickhand started to dry up as the lower oil price became more entrenched.

After spending the better part of seven years flying from his home in British Columbia to his jobs in the oil patch, Mr. Cronin, 42, saw his hours dwindle and the frequency of his flights significantly decrease.

The pickup truck he kept at the airport park-and-ride in Edmonton was suddenly doing little more than racking up parking fees. After one particularly long spell away from Alberta, he recalls paying more than $800.

Then, in January, the work came to a halt altogether.

"It's feast or famine out there. I knew that," Mr. Cronin said during a break from his new job in B.C. "We were making very good money. Then things slowed right down to a snail's pace."

Now Mr. Cronin works at the Teal-Jones lumber mill in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, along with others who have left Alberta's oil bust. But he makes less than half of the base wage he earned on the rigs.

He and his co-workers are part of a small but growing contingent who are leaving Alberta for other, more economically robust provinces. The low price of crude and the resulting loss of tens of thousands of oil-patch jobs has now set off a new wave of interprovincial migration that is reshaping the configuration of Canada's labour force.

"We're right at the turning point now," as Canadians uproot in search of work wherever they can find it, said BMO Nesbitt Burns senior economist Robert Kavcic.

"You tend to see changes like this happen about six months to a year after you see big shifts in the labour market," such as the extensive job cuts in Alberta, he said.

The current migration from Alberta is part of a broader trend of Canadians becoming increasingly mobile in the search for work, according to the Bank of Canada.

"Labour is being more efficiently reallocated to the regions of the country that have the tightest labour markets and away from those with excess labour supply," said the central bank's recent report, Canadian Labour Market Dispersion: Mind the (Shrinking) Gap.

The excess labour supply is currently concentrated in Alberta, where long-time residents are contemplating packing up and moving out - sometimes back to hometowns they haven't lived in for decades. Fly-in/fly-out workers from B.C., Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada who once earned big Alberta paycheques are setting aside their nomadic lifestyle to find what are often more modest-paying jobs closer to home. Some are just waiting until their children finish school or they sell their home before heading to strong labour markets in British Columbia and Ontario.

While the province once attracted migrants from across the country, and immigrants from around the world, economic heft has - at least for the time being - shifted elsewhere.

"It's just a complete turnaround from what we've been used to over the past decade or so," Mr. Kavcic said.

Alberta today is a province humbled by low global commodity prices - particularly for oil, which began its price slide in mid-2014. The Conference Board of Canada says the price slump means the province will remain in recession this year, with its economy contracting by 2 per cent in 2016. The wildfires that hit the Fort McMurray region in May could add to the economic woes of the province. Longer term, concerns about the ability to build new pipelines, having access to international crude and natural gas markets beyond the United States, and the restraint that could be placed on the energy industry in an increasingly low-carbon world, also weigh on the province.

People have voted with their feet. Alberta's long-standing status as a net gainer of people from other provinces officially ended late last year.

According to Statistics Canada, Alberta had a net loss of 977 people to all the other provinces in late 2015, and another 1,788 in the first three months of this year.

This is the first time the province has been a net loser in recent memory, save for several months during the global financial crisis in 2009 - and that was really just a blip in the long-term trend of people moving to Alberta. When it comes to significant numbers, Alberta hasn't lost people to other parts of the country since the early 1990s, a time when energy prices just started to rise out of the deep hole of the previous decade. Alberta was a net loser of tens of thousands of people between 1983 and 1988.

But now that the province has seen two years of lower energy prices, the question is whether this is the thin edge of a wedge, and the beginning of a larger movement of people to other provinces.

British Columbia, with jobs in forestry, construction, transportation and real estate, is becoming a destination of choice, and employment statistics show why.

B.C.'s unemployment rate is 5.9 per cent, the lowest provincially.

In June, the number of people employed grew by 70,000, or a 3-per-cent increase, the fastest growth among the provinces.

More B.C. residents moved to Alberta than the other way around from 2011 to 2013, but the trend began reversing in the third quarter of 2014 as the B.C. economy stayed steady. Last year, as Alberta's economy slumped, British Columbia saw a net gain of about 5,400 people from its next-door neighbour.

In many Alberta communities with strong ties to the resource sector, there are significant numbers of relative newcomers - drawn to the province for work during the boom years. For those without strong ties to the province, the end of their employment could mean there's nothing to keep them in Alberta. "People will head back to where they came from," said University of Western Ontario sociologist Michael Haan, who studies migration.

"It's not just about oil. Because some of the biggest movements in and out of Alberta were not necessarily oil workers - they were people who were working in construction," Prof. Haan said.

Work of all sorts has dried up.

In Statistics Canada's Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region, which includes Fort McMurray and oil sands production, the unemployment rate for all of 2015 was 7.9 per cent, compared with 4.7 per cent in 2014. Alberta as a whole has continued to see its unemployment rate creep up, going to 7.9 per cent in June from the 5.8 per cent registered one year earlier.

Layoffs have become a weekly norm. The provincial government, which requires Albertabased companies to report plans to lay off 50 or more employees at once, says the number of group termination notices was 27 in 2013, 35 in 2014, and hit 116 in 2015. So far in 2016, there have been 50 notices. May was an especially brutal month, with 2,460 Alberta workers laid off in just nine group terminations.

For Alberta's energy sector, and those industries reliant on it, there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. The Conference Board says the slow recovery in oil prices should ease the number of layoffs and cuts to capital budgets in the oil and gas sectors in the coming months.

The wildfire that burned a tenth of Fort McMurray and temporarily shuttered oil sands operations in the region could add to the march out of Alberta as some people choose not to go back to the region. However, the rebuilding effort will likely boost the number of jobs available in the province, and help with the modest economic recovery predicted for 2017, if commodity prices stabilize or rise.

But interprovincial migration numbers reported by Statistics Canada likely understate the magnitude of the shift taking place.

During the boom years, Alberta's work force included a sizable "shadow population" of people living in camps or in other temporary accommodation while working long hours in energy sector jobs. Like Mr. Cronin, after days or weeks of work, they would fly back home for a break at their primary residences in other provinces.

Frequent flights, including charters, between Atlantic Canada and Fort McMurray - the flyin/fly-out capital of Canada - made a mobile work force possible. But now those trips have plummeted. For instance, Fort McMurray's international airport reported a 62-per-cent decrease in charter flights between March 2015 and February 2016.

"People were doing the three weeks on, one week off. Well, they're just not going out any more," says New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, whose province's unemployment rate has gone up to about 10 per cent in recent months - a trend he attributes in part to some of his province's residents losing their Alberta-based jobs.

This year has also seen reports about a seemingly inexplicable jump in Kelowna, B.C.'s unemployment rate, while building permits, housing starts and other economic indicators are up. The Okanagan Lake city's unemployment rate sat at 7.5 per cent in June but earlier in the year had topped Edmonton and Calgary.

Kelowna's mayor and others say the uptick in unemployment is due at least in part to the downturn in Alberta, and the potentially thousands of B.C.southern interior residents who lost their commuter jobs in the oil patch.

Statistics Canada says the number of "interprovincial employees" working in Canada (those who live in one province but work in another) at any given time is directly linked to the price of oil. In 2011, the most recent year that numbers are available, Statistics Canada reported that about 3 per cent of Canada's paid work force were interprovincial employees, with more than a quarter of those at work in Alberta.

Alberta's unemployed now includes another restless group: Those who have lost their jobs and want to leave but have to wait. Some don't want to leave the home they know, some can't sell their house for a price they like and some wanted to see their children finish the school year.

For most of the seven years that Grande Prairie, Alta. was her home, Crystal-Dawn Dolen, 34, had never had trouble finding work. She worked as a pit boss at a casino and then was a sales rep for a company that provides car breathalyzers. But in January she was laid off. A few months later, still unable to find steady work, she and her 13-year-old son packed up and moved to her brother's home in Edmonton.

There, Ms. Dolen has found a part-time retail job. But the situation isn't permanent. With her son done the school year in Alberta, she is preparing to move next month to the Langley area in British Columbia - to stay with a friend until they get settled.

She knows housing costs are significantly higher in the Lower Mainland, but she believes with B.C.'s strong economy she will be able to find some kind of customer service-oriented job.

"Working and not getting laid off - and being stable - that's what I'm looking for."

Just a couple of decades ago, the country saw big differences between employment rates in different provinces. These differences between regions and jurisdictions were more pronounced here than they were in other countries, such as the United States.

But according to a March report from the Bank of Canada, differences between provincial labour markets have levelled. And the central bank said it's not about stronger employment growth in previously weak regions of the country; it's because regional population growth has increasingly taken place in response to labour market conditions.

"Despite the impacts of commodity price booms from 2003 to 2008 and 2010 to 2014, the 2008 Great Recession, and the recent sharp decline in commodity prices on the Canadian economy, Canada's provincial labour markets are less dissimilar today than at any point in at least the past 35 years," said the report by Bank of Canada economists David Amirault and Naveen Rai.

In London, Ont., Prof. Haan notes that while most people prefer to remain in the province of their birth, there are a number of factors that make moving away, or travelling regularly for work in another province, more palatable today.

Flights are significantly less expensive, when adjusted for inflation, than they were in past decades. Technology allows people to easily research job postings on the other side of the country, as well as keep in touch with family members and friends living far away. These considerations are especially relevant for younger workers, whose roots might not be as deep as those of older workers, he said.

While that labour mobility once saw Alberta gaining people at the expense of other provinces, economic forces are now pushing people toward Ontario and B.C. - the provinces that will lead Canada's economic growth this year.

Ian Pohanke, 31, graduated from high school in Surrey in 2003 before he moved to Alberta and worked his way up and ran his own welding business based in Calgary.

"Never been so rich, never been so broke," he said. "I had this dream of chasing the oil money in Alberta. I have some older cousins and family that live up in northern Alberta, and heard their stories."

Mr. Pohanke has moved back into his parents' Surrey home, returning to his old bedroom that had been converted into a guest room. Seven of his B.C.

friends also flocked to Alberta after high school. Mr. Pohanke is the last to return. "I made it the longest and everyone else is back," he said. He's now a mill worker along with Mr. Cronin.

Asked whether they would return to Alberta, Mr. Cronin and Mr. Pohanke joked that they couldn't really say, given that their boss was within earshot.

Logan Jones, 26, also a former energy-sector worker, is now the general manager of a small unit at Teal-Jones that is producing shingle-siding panels from western red cedar, hoping to find a niche in the U.S. market by making a higher-quality product.

Mr. Jones, who graduated from high school in B.C.'s Fraser Valley, spent 18 months at rigs in Alberta and B.C. The former roughneck moved back to his home province in April, 2014 - before the energy industry downturn.

Praising the work ethic of Mr.Cronin and Mr. Pohanke, Mr.Jones said their time in Alberta helped shape his two employees.

"You learn how to work hard, and in the cold."

Associated Graphic


Lee Cronin stands at the Teal-Jones Group lumber mill in Surrey, B.C., where he now works after oil patch work dried up. He makes less than half his previous wage.


Crystal-Dawn Dolen lost her job in January. She plans to move to Langley, B.C., where she believes she will find work.


Logan Jones, a unit general manager at the Teal-Jones mill, moved back to B.C. in April, 2014, before the oil downturn.


I married a refugee - and she did pretty well
John Ralston Saul wonders why all Canadians don't see how new arrivals boost the economy - and do more to help them fit in
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

One of my great-grandfathers came from a family so poor that his parents abandoned him in Trafalgar Square. He somehow ended up in the hands of the Canadian Pacific Railway, was sent from London to Canada as an indentured child - a virtual slave - and began his new life as one of those little boys running messages up and down the transcontinental trains.

He ended up driving the trains - chief engineers, I believe they were called. His son became a doctor in Winnipeg, then ran the St. Boniface Hospital. His daughter married a businessman, Merle Saul, my grandfather - and perhaps more successful as a hockey player. He played rover, a position for the fastest, most agile. His grandfather had immigrated to Montreal in the 1840s to work on the great Victoria Bridge. He was an illiterate stonemason and ended up in Camden East, west of Kingston, Ont., with a 100-acre land grant. More important, he became a very successful builder.

His youngest son married the descendant of United Empire Loyalists - that is, a family of refugees who'd arrived from the United States in the 1780s having lost everything. They seem to have built solid, if unremarkable, lives in and around the neighbouring town of Napanee.

In any case, that youngest son and his new wife moved out to Winnipeg in the 1890s, and did well - Saul and Irish, builders of large stone buildings.

His grandson, my father, left university in 1940 to volunteer for the Winnipeg Rifles and found himself landing in the first wave on D-Day. He had already married a girl he fell in love with in England while waiting to be sent to fight - a war bride. Fortyeight thousand of them came to Canada as young wives, bringing 21,000 Canadian babies and small children with them. Immigrants. I call them the refugees of love. They had left family and country to follow their husbands to a land they didn't know.

As for me, I married a refugee who arrived here as a small child. They had lost everything, and she did pretty well.

All of these are immigrant stories; a surprising number are refugee stories. All people making their way. Contributing. Some are ordinary stories. Some extraordinary. The small abandoned boy in Trafalgar Square.

The young woman following a man to a country she knew only through him. The young man running up the beach of Normandy on the cusp of history.

The little refugee girl becoming governor-general.

So, when I hear people debating the economics of immigration and refugees, I am always surprised.

Speaking for my own family, trickling in here over two and a half centuries, we all arrived with nothing, except my mother who arrived with a little boy, my older brother. So, yes, some of us arrived with families, the core of Canada's success. And we brought our ambitions, our skills, our talents, our hopes. And we made our way.

Our stories have key shared elements. We were all products of the public school system, all people without privilege, and the Canadian system gave support to each to help with the transition. It seems to me that, from the immigrant point of view, Canada has been built in good part by people who arrived in need, received some form of support, and reinvented themselves. For several centuries much of that support came from Indigenous peoples, who were, in effect, the government of what is now called Canada.

Upholding a fine tradition

I thought about these stories when Adrienne Clarkson and I were at a Toronto airport terminal, greeting government-sponsored Syrian refugees as they left their plane. Most of the adults were farmers or mechanics or drivers or bakers, or had had other jobs requiring skills, but not a lot of education. There were some teachers. Not many.

Twenty-seven thousand Syrians so far; by this year's end, perhaps 50,000. This is the tradition of Canadian refugee policy at its best. Somewhere between 30,000 and 70,000 at a time: the Vietnamese boat people in 1979-80, the Czechs in 1968, the Hungarians in 1956, the Vietnam War non-consenting Americans, Chileans, Ismailis, Tamils. That refugee tradition goes back to the almost 50,000 United Empire Loyalists in the 18th century.

With Syria, Canada made a very specific choice - to take families in exile in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Because of the terrible rates of refugee drownings in the Mediterranean, we often forget that those with some money and often more education have tended to take the European route. It requires resources to make your way through the military and political blockages, through the human smugglers; even if the reality is highly dangerous.

By taking families, we have reached out to the young, who have been unable to go to school for years. This is the exact opposite of the now-defunct Immigrant Investor Program and the suspended Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program which, stripped of rhetoric, were about selling citizenship. They were devoid of the ethical core that goes with citizenship. And immigration to Canada is meant to be about just that. Citizenship.

If we are honest with ourselves, we know that immigration and citizenship have never been, at their core, linked to money.

Some come with finances - but most have little or none. And we have had a growing number of highly educated immigrants. But what makes our system work, including its economics, is the ethical idea that immigration is inextricably bound to citizenship and therefore to belonging. That idea of belonging is not tied to conformity - to the idea that we must melt into a mold which will make us all the same.

If anything, it is our comfort with difference that produces economic drive, just as it has fed scientific innovation. And a cultural flowering - almost a third of those to win the Giller Prize for fiction have been foreign born. More than a third of some 18,000 Canada Research Chairs at universities across the country are foreign born. These are not utilitarian outcomes. They are attached to the complex Canadian idea of belonging, which brings these pieces together.

Let me go back to the economy. The numbers are startlingly clear. After four to seven years here, the likelihood a new Canadian will own a business overtakes that of someone Canadian born.

These may be smaller companies, but as Statistics Canada points out, after a generation, corporations are calculated in the Canadian-born category. And so we miss something special.

As co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, I follow this closely. My own sense is that the way we do our numbers is causing us to miss a revolutionary phenomenon - the rebirth of an economy of multigenerational, private, family-owned corporations. And these are largely the creation of new Canadians. In the lead up to the 6 Degrees Citizen Space gathering in Toronto in September, we are studying this phenomenon in partnership with the Centre for International Governance Innovation and The VanCity Group.

The astonishing thing is that studies everywhere in the West - by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the European Union, by American universities - all demonstrate the positive economic force of immigration, whether it be its effect on growth, innovation or wealth creation. They all show that, financially, immigrants contribute more to social services than they receive. But there is an equally clear negative factor. The more this positive reality is treated as a utilitarian outcome separated from culture and from how diversity works, the more those who see themselves as custodians of the country's past become frightened and convinced that money is flowing out; that immigration is an economic negative. This utilitarian error lays at the heart of Brexit, but also that of the rising fear, populism and racism in the United States and continental Europe.

This utilitarian approach has been the EU's biggest mistake.

But utilitarianism has also had effects in Canada beyond the Immigrant Investor Program, as well as beyond the rampant misuse over the last decade of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Certain corporate sectoral lobbies want cheap labour unattached to social responsibility.

They have pushed Canada to adopt policies inspired by the failed and socially disastrous European guest-worker policies.

There was a bit of an ethical pushback near the end of the Stephen Harper era. And it is true that very limited parts of the foreign workers program are useful to precise sectors and workers, if strictly and justly administered.

But the main contradiction remains - at its core, the policy denies the essential ethical link between immigration and citizenship.

And it highlights a risk: that we may be on the edge forgetting that immigration to Canada has mainly been based on strong public and citizen support, to ensure a fast start for newcomers.

This idea goes back to the sustained welcome given by Indigenous peoples, the New France support for immigrants and the Canadian colonial support for the Loyalists. Over the centuries this support was often a mix of government investment and citizen adoption of earlier arrivals by their own community. The decision to welcome the Syrians reminds us of that long history of public and citizen support.

Why would we forget what works? Because utilitarian economics attacks as wasteful costs what we used to see as public investments in the country's future. Utilitarianism takes us back to attitudes that produced the exploitation of Chinese railway workers, which in turn led to the head tax. Yet all of us, all our families, benefited from the reality of public investment in immigration and citizenship.

Much more we could do

What would this mean today?

What are we not doing, or not doing enough?

First, we seem to forget that our society and our economy were built from 1850 on the wealth of public education.

Today that simple strategy is more important than ever. In an urban society, newcomers need to adjust much faster. Immigration often comes with language difficulties and cultural complexities. Both require much smaller classes for students. A monolithic group of middle-class children can get by in classes of 30 students. A complex school with many newcomers needs classes of 20 at the most and a greater emphasis on all those adjustment phenomena. That means more teachers. Many more.

And volunteer mentoring programs like Pathways to Education have a strategic role to play. Canada is a world leader in volunteerism, but these kids, whose parents are themselves struggling with language and adjustment, need the support of established citizens. This is about much more than simple tutoring.

And while it is true that new Canadians are above-average creators of companies and some of our large corporations have serious diversity programs, other companies as well as our schools, colleges, universities and governments are lagging behind in support programs.

There are not nearly enough courses available on how our bureaucracies work, on regulatory structures, on business law, on the culture of business in Canada. There seems to be little understanding in the big urban centres that new Canadian entrepreneurs often prefer to install themselves in suburbs or smaller cities. This requires a different approach to training programs.

As I looked through the many studies which have been done, the message keeps coming back to the lack of professional networks. I was left with the sense that basic things are not being done - or not done enough. Have chambers of commerce thrown themselves into helping new Canadians find their way? Are business schools - so obsessed with overcharging for their services - reaching out to help new Canadians get started? Who is providing easily available advice on professional norms, on how people act in business situations?

Treat each other? In a very good Maytree and Metcalf Foundation report, we learn of initiatives being taken in the Netherlands and in Finland. In a Conference Board of Canada report, it is clear that businesses still do not take advantage of the language skills of new Canadians when it comes to international possibilities.

And despite enormous pressure to change over the years, professional self-regulating bodies continue to grumble and to obstruct when it comes to the equivalence of foreign qualifications. This can be seen as a way to protect their advantages. By limiting membership in their profession, they limit competition. This is classic protectionism.

Those old self-regulation models of the professions are increasingly an obstacle to maximizing the contributions of new Canadians. Germany - the champion of tough professional standards! - is now moving ahead of Canada by setting up clear, efficient equivalency rules for immigrating professionals.

In spite of all these problems, immigrants and new citizens continue to be important drivers of our economy. And they quickly become participants in society, and catch on to the volunteerism ethic. But Canada has never been a place of economic ease or easily shared well-being. If it works, it is because we have designed social agreements and public policies to support individual action.

It is fashionable to insist that everything changes. And some things do change. But social behaviour and its economic outcomes are pretty stable factors in all societies. The Canadian idea that an immigrant is a citizen in the making is tied to the idea of both public support and volunteerism. And all of this makes it possible and essential that we will adjust and act aggressively to ensure that new citizens get their chance. At this point, I would say that they are making their effort, while our constituted society is lagging behind.

John Ralston Saul is the author of The Collapse of Globalism (2005), which predicted much of today's international economic strife, as well as the return of aggressive nationalism and populism. He is president emeritus of PEN International and co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

Associated Graphic

Dutch arrivals in the 1920s: 'What makes our system work,' writes John Ralston Saul, 'is the ethical idea that immigration is inexplicably bound to citizenship.'


CRAFT GIN Crushing on juniper like the rest of this city? Create your own custom bottle in a boozy classroom and live the spirit's centuries-old history during what might be the city's most sophisticated pub crawl
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T1

LONDON -- I'm rushing up London's Portobello Road on a Friday afternoon in spring, dodging shoppers and strollers as I zig-zag from sidewalk to road and back again hunting for a bar. The Portobello Star is the latest in a long line of alcohol-serving establishments situated in the same building since 1740. History aside, what it's really known for nowadays is its gin - and in particular, its Ginstitute, a three-hour workshop that covers the spirit's past and present, and lets participants concoct their own custom gin, a prospect so enticing that the classes are frequently sold out.

Luckily for me, though, I managed to snag a spot during this long weekend getaway in the British capital, albeit on the same day I arrive from Toronto on the red-eye, meaning I'm sleep-deprived, slightly frazzled from navigating the London Underground and on the edge of running late thanks to the extreme optimism of Google Maps.

The organizers recommend arriving at least 15 minutes early, and I can see why: My fellow students are already seated at high wooden tables in the dim and cozy space, half-finished gin and tonics in hand. I settle onto a stool and a server brings me my own. It's the bar's own Portobello Road London dry gin, mixed in a tall glass with Fever-Tree tonic and garnished with a slice of grapefruit. I catch my breath and take a sip, and am quickly refreshed by the triple-whammy of sugar, citrus and bubbles, followed soon after by a buzz from the alcohol.

Like everywhere else food trends travel, London is in the midst of a gin renaissance. Since Sipsmith acquired a license in 2009 - it was the first in the city since the venerable Beefeater earned its own in 1862 - the number of gin-makers has skyrocketed. (It took Sipsmith 18 months of persistent door-knocking to earn said license, partly because the relevant government department didn't really know how to create one.)

What makes London's distilleries different is the city's turbulent, centuries-long relationship with the spirit it borrowed from the Dutch, then made its own. And I'm here to untangle the complicated history of the beverage, to learn what makes a gin, and to taste some of the best gins local distilleries have to offer.

At the Ginstitute, our group of 10 files up a narrow staircase and through a nondescript door to enter our first classroom. The small, dark space is furnished with red velvet stools and low wooden tables topped with thick white candles. Glassfronted cabinets holding vintage gin bottles and cocktail manuals are mounted on two walls; on a third, an etched glass mirror in honour of the gin palaces of yore reads "The Ginstitute: Proud Purveyors of London Spirit" in gaudy gold lettering surrounded by curlicues and floral designs.

Behind the bar, lead Ginstitute instructor (and Portobello Gin co-owner) Jake Burger, sporting the requisite craft-distiller's beard, is putting the final touches on a round of Tom Collinses - that's gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water - and we each take one before seating ourselves in a sedate semi-circle as he launches into a rapidfire history of gin.

In brief, and with a certain amount of fable mixed in with the facts: Italian monks were preserving juniper berries in spirits for medicine by the 12th century, a concoction that was enhanced by distillers in the Netherlands. English troops sent to the continent to fight in the Eighty Years' War brought the drink home in the early 17th century, but it was William of Orange banning the import of French spirits that truly made homegrown distilling soar. In 1702, half a million gallons of gin were produced in England; by 1727 - the peak of the "Gin Craze" - that figure had risen to five million. The drink was blamed for social problems and higher death rates, which led to legislation aimed at curbing consumption. (Given the degree to which gin - sold in bars, out of barrels - was doctored with turpentine, alum powder and sulfuric acid, the horror stories are easy to believe.)

Early gins were sweet and aromatic to hide the off-putting flavour of the base spirit. But by the early 19th century, thanks to the invention of the column still (and higher-proof alcohol), there was a shift in gin-making style, with botanicals used purely for flavour rather than their masking abilities. It's here that the London dry style enters the scene - "dry" refers to the lack of added sugar - conveniently around the same time as the invention of commercial tonic water, based on the mixture of lime, sugar, water and gin British soldiers in India added to quinine to make the anti-malarial palatable.

Gin continued to be popular on both sides of the Atlantic through the golden age of cocktails, but started to fall out of favour in the 1950s as vodka's popularity soared - until the recent craft era. Unlike whisky, gin doesn't need to be aged, and unlike vodka, it leaves plenty of room for creative expression, meaning it's the perfect figurehead with which to launch one's microdistillery. Which brings us back to Portobello Road.

Jake is working as he talks, scooping ice into glasses and squeezing lemons for our next round of G&Ts, this time with premium 1724 tonic water, made with quinine sourced from the Andes. (He admits to stocking grocery-store tonic at home.) The students, two glasses of study material in, have gotten much more animated, and a debate breaks out about the merits of Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire, and the pros and cons of big companies purchasing microdistilleries. "We'd all like to be bought out and retire to the Caribbean," Jake says, only partly in jest, as he hands out our drinks and hustles us upstairs for the creative portion of the evening.

"The secret to a good gin is good progression of flavour," he begins, explaining that besides the essential juniper berries, three other ingredients are typically used for the sake of tradition: coriander seed, angelica root and orris root. Beyond that, it's up to the distiller's imagination, though the idea is to create four waves of flavour: a predominant juniper taste, clean and lively top notes (citrus or coriander), softer spices and florals, then a finish of more powerful, insistent flavours like lavender or fennel.

As he talks, he passes around each ingredient, and we crush juniper berries in our fingers, inhaling the scent, and chew on sweet, woody chunks of licorice root.

The list of possible botanicals is turning into a blur - six kinds of citrus, two teas, seven peppers and spices, even asparagus and rose - and I seize onto Jake's suggestion to work around a theme when creating my own gin.

We're not going to start playing with the still, so the shelves are lined with glass jars of single-botanical spirits to be mixed into our custom blends. Nor is Jake about to let us create something we won't want to drink, so as we take turns reading out our lists of ingredients, he works out the percentages himself, and suggests tweaks when he isn't quite pleased with a combination. (I'm unreasonably proud when he approves my Hong Kong-inspired blend of the four main botanicals plus dried orange, smoky lapsang souchong tea and pink peppercorns.) We do get to pour the various spirits from the test tubes that he fills into our bottles, though, after which he passes around a tasting glass of each person's creation for us to sniff and sip before sealing the bottles and slapping on the labels - our very own gins to take home, kept on file so we can reorder any time we want. "Dry, good for a martini," he says of mine as he shakes my hand. "Very good - we all passed today."

Sixteen hours later, the previous night's gin surely cleared out of my system, I'm on the other side of town at the Peg & Patriot in Bethnal Green, to meet "Cocktail Kate" and my group for the Gin Journey - basically a pub crawl with a tour guide. The decor here is sophisticatedmeets-hipster, walls, padded banquettes and velvet chairs in the same slate grey, the bar trimmed in gold with bare bulbs hanging above. Kate, draped in a scarf dotted with stills like she's the priestess of booze, comes over and introduces herself, writing the social media handles of the day on the chalkboard table so we can tag our posts and compete for prizes, then introduces our group to the theme of the afternoon - tasting and enjoying gin.

"When you're tasting spirits, it's an attack on all your senses," she says, holding a glass up to the light and swirling as she judges the gin's legs, noting that thinner varieties tend to be citrusy, while those that cling to the glass's sides will be heavy in oily botanicals such as angelica root and cinnamon. We dutifully pick up our own glasses and imitate her gestures, taking a sniff and then adding a drop of water to open up the aromas, then smelling again. Finally, we get to taste - "get it all over your tastebuds," she directs, "you want to get every note" - and I'm struck by the long licorice-y aftertaste, convinced I wouldn't have noticed it pre-Ginstitute.

It's early in the day and there are many gins to try, so I pace myself as we go from bar to bar, each time sampling a gin both straight and in a cocktail, and getting more and more friendly with the rest of the group as we go. We settle into a rhythm, Kate enthusiastically and entertainingly explaining the history of gin in her Liverpudlian accent, peppering her speech with jokes and random facts and tossing tiny bottles of gin as prizes to those who can answer her questions the fastest. We learn that the early Greeks fed juniper berries to athletes, debate the flavours of each gin, eat tacos in Banksy's former garage while Drake's Hotline Bling plays overhead, and find out that the Beefeater brand gives its namesakes at the Tower of London (though they're officially called Yeomen Warders) a bottle each for Christmas every year.

At our final bar, Callooh Callay, we toast our journey with pretty blue drinks, the bar's take on the Aviation, with lemon, maraschino and crème de violette. The atmosphere here is relaxed, and perhaps I'm a little bit drunk, but I raise my glass in a silent toast to the immigration officer who let me into this country. "I've got quite into gin lately," he had said.

"I wish I could join you."

The writer participated in the Ginstitute and the Gin Journey as a guest. They did not review or approve this article.


Visit the Ginstitute for the three-hour Gin Blending Experience ($190 a person) or the two-hour Masterclass ($104 a person), during which you'll learn to mix five classic gin cocktails - or simply drop by the Portobello Star for a cocktail from their extensive menu.

171 Portobello Rd., The Gin Journey (from $78) takes you on a guided excursion through five top cocktail bars in London, Manchester, Liverpool or Edinburgh, including transportation, a gin sample and cocktail at each stop. Additional options include a London Negroni Journey ($104) and a summer-only Botanical Journey in Liverpool ($52), during which participants enjoy a gin tasting, sample cocktails and blend their own gin. Prefer to mosey in and out of bars and distilleries on your own time? Download and print the London Gin Trail map from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, which features 12 gin destinations across the city.


Tucked away on a side lane just off Fleet Street, the City of London Distillery serves up cocktails, drinks and snacks as well as offering tours, tastings and workshops. 22-24 Bride Lane, For cocktails that are as much artwork as beverage, book a table at Oriole, a trendy new bar found incongruously downstairs from the U.K.'s biggest wholesale meat market.

Speakeasy-style live music - think jazz, blues and swing - starts every night at 9. East Poultry Ave., Smithfield Markets, Tasting menus are the draw at the London Gin Bar, where you can sit and sample an array of gins - focus on small batch, overproof, sloe or the whole flavour spectrum - or test your tastebuds with a blind tasting. 22 Great Chapel St.,


London's coolest bar might just be Dandelyan in the Mondrian Hotel at Sea Containers, the second bar run by Ryan Chetiyawardana, who was named international bartender of the year for 2015 at Tales of the Cocktail. Not only does staying at the riverside Mondrian make it easy to stumble to bed after last call, but should you need a nightcap, minibars are stocked with some of the bar's bottled cocktails. Rooms from $338,

The summer-only "gin safari" at family-owned luxury hotel The Goring - the closest hotel to Buckingham Palace, with royal guests to match - is more than just a place to sip your G&T. Guests can snack on gin-inspired bites and enjoy cocktails created by Hepple Gin in a garden planted with botanicals such as juniper, Douglas fir, lovage and blackcurrant. Rooms from $747; - Kat Tancock

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Dandelyan is one of the many bars in London at which one can acquire a taste for the definitively British spirit, gin, which has entered into something of a renaissance in recent years.


What brings bands back together
Groups such as Wolf Parade break up all the time. But what, Josh O'Kane asks, compels them to give it another go?
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R5

The pack arrives one by one.

Dan Boeckner walks on stage in a black blazer and picks up the most expensive guitar he's ever bought: a Lee Ranaldo Jazzmaster. Dante DeCaro follows, then Arlen Thompson, assuming his place behind a wolf-adorned drum kit. Spencer Krug finally emerges from stage right, leaning behind his keyboard rack on a Gibraltar stool. "Hello," he says, raising a Labatt 50 to the Lee's Palace crowd. "It's been a while."

And so begins Wolf Parade's first Toronto show in more than five years.

Krug starts plunking the notes to the song Soldier's Grin, kicking his stool back as the band joins him. DeCaro, feet planted, twists his torso and bass with Thompson's rhythm as Boeckner begins to sing. They grin and dance like old friends, drunk on a wedding dance-floor after years apart.

Boeckner eventually throws himself into his guitar, writhing around stage, before he, Krug and DeCaro sing the final line: "Rooted to the place that you sprang from."

The last time Wolf Parade played Toronto, they didn't look rooted at all. At the Sound Academy in November, 2010, the guys stood further apart, mostly facing the audience. There was an air of uncertainty; Krug's setlist was frantically scrawled on a paper plate. And as they prepared for their final encore, Boeckner made an announcement: "This is the last song we're ever gonna play."

The next morning, Wolf Parade confirmed they were going on an indefinite hiatus. With other projects to work on, they no longer needed the band whose three records since 2005 drew attention to their clashing, cacophonous, elating songs. Wolf Parade had taken its members to a place where their music spoke for itself.

Yet here in 2016, Wolf Parade is playing together and looking happier than ever. They've put out a new EP, plan to record a full album later this year, and booked shows through September - including a stop at WayHome Music & Arts festival north of Toronto this weekend. Bands part ways all the time. But what makes a band get back together?

When he's on tour, Krug has these little visions. Threads emerge from his body, pulling him in different directions. The threads are red; he is not sure why. They're tentacles of tension, each connected to another member of the band and tour crew, each reminding him why they are in that that far-flung city. The band is nothing when not a unit.

Every day on the road, the future of Wolf Parade - or any band - requires the daily respooling of these threads against the pull of individual whims, energy levels and hangovers.

These are the type of thoughts that left Krug exhausted by the end of 2010, at the end of what he and the band call "Wolf Parade 1.0."

"Things just stopped being fun," Thompson says the morning after the third of five Toronto concerts, as the band eats battered haddock and club sandwiches. "People were just losing heart. The decision was to put it on the shelf before it got so bad that the possibility of it happening again was going to close."

"Yeah," Krug says. "We were on the precipice of -" "Ruining stuff," Boeckner says.

Krug continues: "Ruining friendships, ruining a good artistic ..."

"Collaboration," Boeckner says.

(Even while discussing their own breakup, the band can't stop talking over each other like bestfriends clamouring to tell the same story.) "If we had tried to fix our problems by making another record," Krug says, finally getting a sentence in, "it would have been a pretty shitty record." He lists off reasons for the hiatus: "Our side projects, people's health, all kinds of things. But all really human things. I don't hold it against myself or anyone else in the band for getting sick of each other. You see them all the time, and all their behaviour affects your day-to-day life."

Hence the red threads. They started pulling at Krug as early as 2003, when Wolf Parade formed in Montreal. After a string of increasingly popular EPs, Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock scouted the band for the venerable Seattle label Sub Pop, and they recorded most of an album with him. From that came 2005's Apologies to the Queen Mary, a 12song missive of manic pop and post-punk that, in the wake of Arcade Fire's success made Wolf Parade a staple of mid-2000s indie rock.

For a few guys just happy to play music, they were thrilled.

But they were unorganized. On an early tour, when their van's bald summer tires couldn't handle the slippery roads of a Toronto blizzard, they decided not to play, staying in to watch Chronicles of Riddick instead - and forgetting to tell their booking agent to cancel the show. The need for management didn't occur to them; Thompson handled the accounting and most else was ad hoc. They rode the tide of early Internet fame, but shunned the Web in interviews and the modern world in song.

The band put out two more albums on Sub Pop, At Mount Zoomer in 2008 and Expo 86 in 2010. But the follies of Wolf Parade 1.0 continued: Hadji Bakara suddenly left the band to study for a literature doctorate in Chicago. Forgetting to take press photos for Expo, they had a friend shoot them on tour. Critical response plateaued. There were side-projects, people at home and egos to manage. Living the dream wasn't as easy as it sounded.

In late 2010, Wolf Parade's European tour manager set them up in a conference hotel in Maidstone, an hour southeast of London. There was space there, both between each member and from the stages where they did their work. It was a good place to have a death-knell band meeting.

The members portray their decision to part ways in civil terms, but it's hard to imagine the Maidstone meeting was drama-free.

They were burnt out and needed to do something about it. "I have always wanted, and continue to want, to have a career in music," Boeckner says. "But not at the expense of my friendships, the people I work with, the music itself. Everybody in this band has a cutoff point. Nobody's a brutally harsh careerist."

After announcing a hiatus, they played a handful of final shows, including a Vancouver send-off capped with a cover of Knockin' on Heaven's Door, half the audience on stage, and a final proclamation from Boeckner: "The important thing is that we haven't learned anything at all in six years."

But they had. For the band's chief songwriters, anyway, Wolf Parade opened enough doors to get by making music. Boeckner was chanelling his jittery Springsteenian urges into Handsome Furs with his then-partner, Alexei Perry. Following their breakup, he formed Divine Fits with Spoon's Britt Daniel, then launched the punky new-wave group Operators. Krug, Wolf Parade's auteurin-chief, needed to vary his creativity, making psych-prog music, marimba music, organ music, krautrock music and solo piano music under the guises of Sunset Rubdown and Moonface.

It takes time, temporal distance, to make a band come together again, free of the stressors that pried it apart. In the past few years, a number of Canadian bands returned from the dead: Land of Talk, Death from Above 1979, the Constantines, the Unicorns, even the cartoon band Prozzäk.

The shapeshifting Toronto collective Broken Social Scene announced a hiatus in 2011, but just revealed they're making a new record. "I really wanted to shut it down," says Kevin Drew, one of the band's masterminds, but "we never left." Broken Social Scene kept calling them all back to the stage for occasional shows.

And after the mass shooting last November at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, BSS's members immediately started calling one another.

"We wanted to be with the audience," Drew says. "For right now, we thought, 'Let's put the family back together and go out on the road.' " The band sometimes felt like a multiheaded hydra fighting with itself, with tensions and scheduling conflicts always arising. But they decided to make it work again.

"In a world that's dying for connection while thinking it has strong connections," Drew says, "there's nothing like being in front of an audience, and being there together."

Joining Wolf Parade at the WayHome Music & Arts Festival this weekend is New York electropunk band LCD Soundsystem, which also broke up in 2011, and also announced its return to stages this past January. In a letter to fans, LCD frontman James Murphy wrote that he recognized people would be angry at his band's return. Many had poured their hearts and money into the band's final blowout at Madison Square Garden.

Five years later, after spending some time with his old bandmates and weighing the options in front of them, Murphy picked this one: "Make an LCD record with your friends, who want to make said record, and deal with whatever fall out together."

What happened to LCD Soundsystem and Broken Social Scene sounds a lot like what happened to Wolf Parade.

After announcing their hiatus, the members of Wolf Parade scattered from Montreal. Though they weren't clamouring for a reason to get back together, geographic convenience proved to be a helpful accelerant. Krug eventually moved to Vancouver Island, settling in Cobble Hill near his partner's parents.

Thompson, now an electrician with two kids, was in Nanaimo.

And DeCaro was there, too, running a studio in Shawnigan Lake.

On a Moonface tour a few years back, Krug and DeCaro stayed with Boeckner in his home in San Jose. "I had such a lovely time with you guys in my place," Boeckner says at lunch, faking sarcasm but really meaning it. In truth, he realized he missed being around them. And in the fall of 2014, he discreetly visited Vancouver Island.

They made no band-related promises: This was four old pals getting together in a room that happened to have instruments in it. It was "a very organic, slow process," Boeckner says.

Thompson says he worried there wouldn't be a spark, and it didn't happen the first try. But when they got together again, Krug says, the old flames shot up: jamming turned into songwriting, which turned into "Okay, we're going to do this."

Sometimes a band needs to break up. That doesn't mean it has to be forever.

Wolf Parade announced its return in January. A day later, they announced multinight residencies in Toronto, New York and London.

"And then one day, were like, 'Ooookay, we gotta remember our old songs,' " Krug says. This was more of a hurdle than expected. "It was sort of this weird - vulnerability, almost? - for me to have to sing I'll Believe in Anything for the first time in six years in front of these guys." That intimacy is visible from the audience each night in Toronto. They're turned toward each other, playing for one another, rather than playing because they have to. They're smiling. They've grown closer, too, with Boeckner and DeCaro leaning together like Springsteen and Clarence Clemons.

Playing long residencies is something Wolf Parade always wanted to do, but bookers insisted they shuffle from city to city.

The three shows they announced in Toronto sold out so quickly the band added another pair. New York sold out, too. Festival organizers took notice. Risen from the dead, Wolf Parade became a bigger ticket. "Festivals maybe had contextualized Wolf Parade in a dollar amount they didn't totally understand until New York and Toronto sold out," Boeckner says.

The residency demand "definitely helped" WayHome's organizers in deciding to book the band in a prime evening slot this weekend, festival producer Ryan Howes says. Halifax's early-July Gridlock Festival already had most of its acts booked when Wolf Parade announced its reunion, but its co-founder Jeremy MacNeil was left in awe when he saw the week-long sellouts; they became the fest's final headliners.

"We definitely saw the biggest crowd of the weekend," MacNeil says.

It's easy to dismiss band reunions as cash grabs. Many are. But Wolf Parade never made all that much money. Sure, they're going to make money being Wolf Parade again. But they're all in their late 30s now, old enough that they need to make money to justify it.

Boeckner's band Operators released their debut record Blue Wave this year, and Krug released a new Moonface record with his old Finnish friends in Siinai. Both had to take time off to make Wolf Parade happen. And Thompson?

"I've got two kids - I can't just go on tour for months at a time and not earn a living," he says. "Am I expecting to buy a Ferrari next year? No. I play in a mid-level indie rock band. But if I can do this, and pay my bills, that's a bonus."

This is one hallmark of Wolf Parade 2.0: sound reason. There's compassion, too - for one another and their needs, and not letting such things frustrate them.

"When the band first got popular, I was in my mid-twenties," Krug says. "Everyone is telling you how rad you are all the time, you feel like you deserve it or something. ... Now, looking back, I realize it was just all time and place. It was just a fluke. And I'm much more grateful about being in a band. Having this as a job, I realize how lucky we all are."

Associated Graphic

In May, Wolf Parade played a five-night residency at Lee's Palace in Toronto.


Denis Shapovalov, 17, is fresh off the biggest win of his life. He's trying to stay humble, but knows what he wants: 'I want to be like Milos one day,' the Wimbledon junior champ tells Rachel Brady in Vaughan, Ont.
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

In a crowd of bouncy, excited kids, there stood young Denis Shapovalov, staring up at Roger Federer.

The fair-haired little boy from Richmond Hill, Ont., squirmed eagerly as the Swiss tennis star navigated through a hefty throng of fans at Toronto's Rogers Cup, scribbling autographs. Then just as the tennis-crazy kid thought his turn would arrive, Federer gave the crowd a parting smile and was whisked away. Shapovalov burst into tears.

Today, Shapovalov tells that childhood story with a laugh. He's now 17 and the newly crowned junior Wimbledon champion - just the third Canadian in history to win a junior singles Grand Slam. He's back home for just two days after last Sunday's whirlwind experience at the All-England Club, so he's spending them with family at the small tennis academy they operate. The gregarious teen is now the No. 2-ranked junior in the world, and the same kids he's known at this academy for years look up at him now like he once did to Federer.

Today, Shapovalov is cool but unmistakeably excited as the little tennis campers mill around him. He's about to get his first opportunities on the ATP Tour. Federer was a junior Wimbledon champion, too - back in 1998 at age 16. But junior Slam winners don't always go on to successful pro careers.

Maybe Shapovalov will skyrocket up the rankings like Milos Raonic (one of his heroes) and Genie Bouchard once did, providing the country with mustwatch TV and building on this golden age for Canadian tennis.

His modest homegrown story is compelling: a talent cultivated by his mom, once a national team player in the former Soviet Union.

The likeable lefty appears to have the sort of fiery game, on-court charisma and poster-boy looks that could make him wildly marketable - if he produces on the big tour.

A junior slam title does open some doors. Shapovalov has an invitation to play Wimbledon qualifiers next year with the pros.

He has earned a wild card to his first ATP Tour event this weekend, the Citi Open in Washington. Later this month, the young Canadian will play at York University's Aviva Centre - a stone's throw from where he grew up - making his first Rogers Cup appearance.

But it's still just one chapter in the long, unpredictable and often gruelling tennis journey that first winds through events on the ITF Junior Circuit, ITF Futures and the ATP's Challenger Tour. Shapovalov is still a long way from competing weekly on the ATP Tour with the likes of Federer and Raonic. His ATP singles ranking is currently No. 372.

"I can remember watching Federer win Grand Slams on TV when I was a kid, trying to put myself in his shoes," said Shapovalov, seated with his parents in the office of their family-run tennis academy in Vaughan. They are below a framed photo of Shapovalov posing with the 17-time Grand Slam champion, taken two years ago when he lucked into being a lefty hitting partner for the star at Rogers Cup.

"My training is all paying off right now - I also won three Futures events this year and made the semis of a Challenger. I have so much confidence right now."

Many promising youngsters leave home for prestigious tennis academies in Europe or the United States, or as Raonic did, to train full time at Tennis Canada's National Training Centre in Montreal. Shapovalov stayed with his close-knit family to hone his skills, starting under the tutelage of his mother.

Tessa Shapovalova was a tennis standout herself on the national team in the former Soviet Union (Russian last names traditionally often add an 'a' at the end for women). As the Union was collapsing, she and husband Viktor moved to Tel Aviv, where she eventually coached. They had their first son Evgeniy there, then three years later, along came Denis.

"We liked Tel Aviv, but I felt it was dangerous there for the boys, so we left for Canada in 1999 right after Denis was born," said Shapovalova, who sports the same lean build and blond hair as her son.

"We came from Israel to Toronto with two little ones, and we didn't know anyone. I barely spoke English; Viktor not at all. Two weeks after we arrived, I got a job teaching tennis."

She began at the Richmond Hill Country Club and stayed about 10 years, also introducing her sons to the sport there.

"As soon as Denis grabbed a racquet at age 5, I couldn't move him off the court - he played with big kids, little kids, anyone," Shapovalova said. "I used to say to my older son at the end of the day, 'Want to hit with me?' and often he was tired after a long day and didn't want to. But Denis would say, 'Me, I will, Mom.' " The mother encouraged him to play a style that she felt suited his athleticism and assertiveness. She taught him to play aggressive, go to the net and make big shots.

"Opponents were lobbing balls over his head when he was a young boy going to the net, and I always told him, 'Denis, one day you will grow and you're going to get those,' " Shapovalova said.

"We never based it on results or winning back then. We asked him to play real tennis. We knew he would be tall and strong some day and the style would fit his personality."

At the age of 8, the strong youngster started separating his hands to hit one-handed backhand shots.

"A lot of people told me, 'You shouldn't let him do that; it's too difficult at this age,' " Shapovalova recalled. "I said, 'Well, he has this naturally, so let him do what he wants.' " The boy was fascinated with his mom's collection of trophies and medals and fixated on earning his own hardware. She lent him one of hers, telling him he could keep it only until he won one of his own. They stuck to their convictions about playing his game, regardless of results. Eventually the trophies came.

"I wasn't a kid who won every tournament I was playing and I think that helped me - it motivated me a lot to know what it felt like not to win," said Shapovalov, who today stands six feet tall. "I learned to absolutely love the feeling of winning a tough match on a tough point, or figuring out how to come back when I was down and win ugly. Walking off the court with a W just made me so happy."

The costs of his training and equipment were escalating, and they tried to get his name out there, hoping maybe a sponsor could help. They made video highlight reels to post on YouTube. The clips showed the 8-year-old scampering around the court in baggy shorts with a Federer-style bandana tied around his blond locks, banging back smooth-looking forehand shots and one-handed backhands with his mother on the other side of the net.

Tennis Canada invited him to do some training in Toronto in one of its junior national programs, so he did that, too, from ages 9 to 11.

"They had more of a group approach there, and my vision was a little different," Shapovalova said. "I'm a coach and I felt he needed more individual work instead."

As he improved, it became difficult to get her son enough court time at the Richmond Hill club, so she left her coaching job there.

Eventually the family decided to open its own academy, called Tessa Tennis, so he could train any time.

The small indoor facility opened in 2012 in an industrial neighbourhood in the northern Toronto suburb, and teaches kids in small-group settings. Viktor manages and operates the school, while Tessa is the head coach.

"I didn't think sending him off to another academy was the best way," Shapovalova said. "We wanted to keep Denis in a good environment at home and in regular school."

Denis Shapovalov would attend school by day in Richmond Hill and then head directly to the club after class, often eating dinner in the car, to train long into the evening. They even tried homeschooling for a couple of years.

"This place, it's become my second home, for sure," said Shapovalov, looking down and fiddling with the beaded bracelet he always wears, which reads DON'T STOP FIGHTING.

As he approached the age of 13, his training needs and strength on the court became too much for Tessa.

"After two hours of training with him, I was exhausted, and I still had to coach my other students," Shapovalova said. "I needed to separate the mother from the coach."

His parents began to build him a team. They hired Adriano Fuorivia, a former manager of tennis development for Tennis Canada, to be his personal coach and travel with Shapovalov while his parents stayed home to run the academy. Since Shapovalov hasn't officially signed an agent yet, Fuorivia's job extends beyond the court.

"I know it's not easy for a family to trust someone else when the parent has been the coach, but they put their trust in me to push him every day," said Fuorivia, still his coach four years later. "I have never worked with anyone near the level Denis has reached today, but we have a great working relationship. I'm the one with him 24 hours a day on the road, staying on top of what he eats and when he sleeps."

They added specialists who work with Tennis Canada's junior players - strength and conditioning coach Clement Golliet and Nicholas Martichenko, who provides injury rehabilitation.

Two sponsors have come on board to help the family with the weighty tennis costs. First, Andrzej Kepinski joined, a promoter of past events such as the Molson Tennis Challenge and McEnroe vs. Borg. He also advises the family as sponsors and agents come calling.

Then the husband-and-wife team Mary Pat and Bob Armstrong lent a hand. He's a former player who once received financial help himself, and is now the chairman of an investment firm; Mary Pat is the founder of several Ontario charities. Both Kepinski and the Armstrongs have a history of backing up-and-coming Canadian players.

Shapovalov remains a Grade 11 student at Stephen Lewis Secondary School in Thornhill, but now takes his studies online.

Results have followed on the court. He was Canada's U18 national outdoor champ last August. He's won three Futures titles so far in 2016 and lost in the semis of the Junior French Open (a loss which he says frustrated and then motivated him toward Wimbledon). He was also on the team that helped Canada win its first-ever Junior Davis Cup last December.

That three-player team, which also included rising stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Benjamin Sigouin, was "a special bunch," according to team captain Oded Jacob. Auger-Aliassime would go on to make the final of the junior French Open in June. The three close friends have pushed one another - all part of the next crop of Canadian talent.

Jacob was struck by the maturity of Shapovalov, who wrote the captain a long and gracious note after the victory, reflecting on everything he had learned during Junior Davis Cup.

"Denis has a lot of variety in his game, which allows him to create points from different areas of the court," Jacob said. "He's a vocal leader; he steps up in big moments and wants to win points on his terms. It's a beautiful mix that he has - an attractive style of play on court and a great personality, and he's very loyal to the people around him. It's so difficult to predict what's to come for any player, but when you win a junior slam, it's definitely a sign that you have something."

Shapovalov has yet to digest all that happened last Sunday. He hoisted the boys' trophy just before Andy Murray defeated Raonic in the men's final, then lost in the doubles final with Auger-Aliassime on a day some called the biggest in the history of Canadian tennis. There was a trophy ceremony with Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, a whirlwind tuxedo fitting, and a trip to the Wimbledon Champions Ball, where he had his photo taken with Murray.

"He looks good visually, he plays a really charismatic style of tennis and he's a good talker," tennis analyst Chris Bowers said on Sportsnet. "It makes me think that if this guy gets to the top, he will be a real character in the game."

Canadian media have bombarded Shapovalov with interview requests, but he couldn't squeeze in many before flying off to play in Washington.

"I'm trying to stay humble, because if I don't keep producing results, all of this goes away, so I want to focus on the people close to me - my family and my team, they mean everything to me," Shapovalov said. "I want to inspire younger kids, just like Milos inspired me. I want to be like Milos one day, playing in the final at Wimbledon."

Associated Graphic

Denis Shapovalov, who won the Wimbledon junior title last weekend, has a talent cultivated by his mom, once a national team player in the former Soviet Union.


Denis Shapovalov, 17, of Richmond Hill, Ont., moves to return to Alex De Minaur at Wimbledon during the boys' singles final on July 10.


Eccentric ultramarathoner ran across Canada
Known as the Spartan Tartan, he sometimes covered hundreds of kilometres just to get to the starting line
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S10

Al Howie ran the length of Great Britain and the breadth of Canada. He ran into the record books and then ran off into obscurity.

Mr. Howie, who has died at 70, scampered across deserts, jogged through prairies, scuttled over mountain passes. The Scottishborn athlete - one of the greatest runners in Canadian history - belonged to the small fraternity of ultramarathoners, runners who compete across vast distances for hours and days at a time.

Mr. Howie's feats were outlandish, the distances covered so outrageous as to be comical. He won six-day foot races in California and seven-day races in New York. He once completed a marathon in Edmonton only to run the 1,500 kilometres to Vancouver Island to compete in a marathon in Victoria. He also ran from Winnipeg to Ottawa, competing in marathons in both cities. Most famously, he ran across Canada for two gruelling months in 1991. Still, his feats rarely earned more than a brief paragraph in the daily newspapers.

Had his specialty been the 100metre dash, or the marathon - a mere jog in the park for Mr. Howie at 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 kilometres) - he would have been a household name in his adopted land. Instead, he spent much of his running career in near-penury, a workingman who earned his daily bread in the woods of British Columbia and whose weekends were spent in a pitiless pursuit.

Mr. Howie stood out as an eccentric even in the offbeat world of road runners. He was called the Spartan Tartan, known for wearing a tuque over long, flowing blond hair, his face covered by a bushy red beard. A T-shirt hung loose over a sinewy, 5-foot-8, 130-pound frame, while wee shorts decorated in a Union Flag motif revealed legs more spindly than powerful. He looked like a skinny Rob Roy, sounded like Scotty from Star Trek and had the prickly temperament of Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons. He liked to drink beer before a race, a habit that infuriated some of his lesser competitors, and was known to have more than one afterward. The beer helped ease the pain from blisters, he explained.

At times, his special skill seemed more curse than blessing.

"I have to admit," he told The New York Times, "there are days when I wish I was good at something a little easier, like darts or pool."

While other sports attracted corporate sponsors and large salaries, or offered fame worthy of an Olympic champion, ultramarathoning remained the purview of the indefatigably obsessed. Sponsorships and prize money were scarce. Competitions featuring runners going in circles around a track for a week do not make for good television.

"I run on resentment, angrily pounding the blacktop," he once wrote. "Why must I run on empty? Why do I get no support from my hometown? Mostly, I plod on because I have committed myself to this asphalt insanity and I simply don't know how to quit."

For his part, Mr. Howie felt less as if he were helping to popularize a fringe sport than that he had been born a century too late.

"From 1870 to 1890, six-day races were the thing," he told the journalist Jody Paterson.

"The top prize was $40,000, which would have been an incredible amount back then. If I'd have been alive then, I'd have been rich, a Gretzky."

Arthur John Howie was born in the Scottish coastal village of Saltcoats at war's end on Sept. 16, 1945, to Mary Armour (née Lochead) and Arthur John Ewing Howie, a mariner who later served as chief steward for a shipping line. Before marriage, his father had been an amateur boxer, his mother a club champion swimmer. Family vacations included walking tours of the Scottish countryside, the boy racing ahead of his siblings to place a valley rock atop the cairns that grace Caledonian hilltops.

Young Arthur became known as Alfie when a new boy at school mangled his name. The nickname stuck until the Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis composition Alfie became a hit in 1966, forcing a shortening to Al to avoid answering the inevitable, tiresome question, "What's it all about?" Scoring good marks at Ardrossan Academy, a secondary school, with little effort, Mr. Howie eschewed university for more hedonistic pursuits as a hippie enjoying the pleasures on offer in the late 1960s.

He worked for a time in a German factory, which provided enough income for an idyllic life in a Turkish fishing village until funds ran out.

A brief marriage to an American woman left him the single father of a son. When custody of the boy was challenged, Mr.

Howie and a woman with whom he then had a common-law relationship moved to her Toronto hometown. Mr. Howie adopted an assumed name until a settlement was reached with his former wife. He worked in a foundry in winter and as a stonemason in summer.

A daily three-pack habit of cigarettes proved difficult to quit.

One day, frustrated by cravings, Mr. Howie, on impulse, began jogging in street clothes. He travelled about 16 kilometres before stopping. "I took up running to get rid of my aggression," he once told the sportswriter Gare Joyce. A daily running regimen eased the symptoms of tobacco withdrawal.

One day, when his factory mates argued how long it would take a horse to travel from Toronto to Niagara Falls, Mr. Howie insisted he could do so in a day. They scoffed, yet he soon after successfully completed the 125-kilometre run.

He became a father again, this time to a daughter, though the relationship with her mother foundered. Mr. Howie moved to the West Coast, where he again adopted an unstructured life of whim and poverty.

After getting a job operating a crusher at a copper mine on Vancouver Island, he commuted the 20 km between town and mine pit by sneaker.

In time, Mr. Howie's escapades earned notice in British Columbia newspapers. When other people might drive, fly, or travel by bus between far-off cities, Mr. Howie ran, because it was cheap. He often slept under the stars. In 1978, he ran 500 km from Victoria to Port Hardy at the north end of Vancouver Island to raise money for charity. In 1979, he ran from Victoria to Prince George to race in a marathon. (Another competitor was an unknown Terry Fox, running his first marathon on an artificial leg just eight months before launching his cross-Canada Marathon of Hope. Rick Hansen raced in his wheelchair at the event, six years before the start of his Man in Motion world tour.) In 1980, Mr. Howie finished third in the Edmonton marathon before running to Vancouver Island, where he finished 14th in the Royal Victoria Marathon.

In 1983, he ran from Winnipeg to Parliament Hill on Ottawa, enduring black fly bites outside Wawa, Ont., that caused his face to swell. A sponsoring brewery covered $100 in daily expenses and provided free samples of their product in exchange for the runner wearing a promotional T-shirt and cap. A company official estimated Mr.

Howie consumed 18 bottles of their product daily. "Not that much," Mr. Howie insisted. That same year, he won a 100-kilometre race in Toronto in 7 hours 30 minutes 31 seconds, nearly 90 minutes faster than the previous record. His strategy in an endurance race was to go out at a blistering pace for the first mile to dispirit his competitors.

In 1987, he completed 1,422 laps on the track at Centennial Stadium at the University of Victoria to break a Swedish runner's mark for distance covered in a continuous run. Mr. Howie needed 104 hours 29 minutes 48 seconds. Told the record was his, he ran another 18 laps to cover the possibility of any miscalculation.

He ran from John o' Groats in Scotland to Land's End in Cornwall in 11 days 3 hours 18 minutes in 1988, bettering the previous mark by more than 22 hours. The record has since been eclipsed.

In 1989, he became the first runner to complete the New York Sri Chinmoy Ultra-Marathon, an unforgiving 2,100-kilometre endurance race with an 18-day time limit. Mr. Howie finished in 17 days 8 hours 25 minutes 34 seconds. After more than a fortnight of sleeping less than four hours each night, he allowed himself the indulgence of a six-hour nap, waking in time to greet the second-place finisher.

On June 21, 1991, Mr. Howie was joined at Mile Zero in Newfoundland by the mayor of St. John's, who ran alongside for the first kilometre of what would be a 7,295.5-km cross-continent odyssey. Within days, a scorching summer sun caused a severe burn to the skin on Mr. Howie's upper lip, which turned black and began to peel. Afterward, he wore long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, as well as a homemade cardboard chevron over his nose, leaving him looking like a child dressed up as a penguin. A great admirer of Mr. Fox and his thwarted quest, Mr. Howie knew as an able-bodied athlete he needed to do something special to gain attention.

He set a pace of running more than 100-kilometres each day, the equivalent of about twoand-a-half Boston Marathons.

Every day. For 72 consecutive days.

The grand trek ended to the skirl of bagpipes and the cheers from about 100 spectators as Mr. Howie plunged into the salt waters at the terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway in Victoria. His journey, called the Tomorrow Run '91, raised $527,400 for the Elks Club's Royal Purple Cross Fund for Children. Mr. Howie celebrated by downing two beers and glass of champagne. The feat gained him notice in the Guinness World Records book.

Incredibly, just two weeks later, he returned to New York to defend his title, breaking his own standard in the 2,100-km Sri Chinmoy race with a time of 16 days, 19 hours.

In 1993, Mr. Howie won the six-day Gibson Ranch Multi-Day Classic run in California. He completed 180, 120, 111, 115, 107 and 109 kms on successive days on a loop through a county park outside Sacramento. He ended his competitive career in 1999.

Mr. Howie battled health problems in his years as a runner. He said he was diagnosed with brain cancer, which he treated with a macrobiotic diet. He also developed diabetes, which he controlled by paying strict attention to blood-sugar levels.

What little money he earned in all his years of running came from labour as a mason, a scallop farmer, and as a tree planter, an arduous, piecework job that rewards single-minded obsessiveness and for which he was uniquely qualified.

"He was socially inept in many ways," said Claudia Cole, who married Mr. Howie in 1987 and from whom he was estranged.

"A lovely man, but he couldn't get the nuance of human action.

Same with dogs. He had to be warned if a dog's ears were back."

In recent years, Mr. Howie lived in an assisted-care facility on Vancouver Island.

Mr. Howie died on June 21 in Duncan, B.C. The cause of death is unknown, although he was in poor health with complications from diabetes. He leaves Ms. Cole. He also leaves a son, Gabriel Howie, of Ardrossan, Scotland, and a daughter, Dana Corfield, of Mississauga and Cusco, Peru, as well as an older sister, Elizabeth Howie, and a younger brother, Ian Howie, both of whom still live in Saltcoats.

In recent years, a journalist and a retired professor in Victoria campaigned to gain recognition for Mr. Howie's achievements, resulting so far in the runner being inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Mr. Howie is one of four athletes celebrated along the Dallas Road waterfront in Victoria, where a plaque at Mile Zero commemorates his cross-Canada trek. Nearby, a statue memorializes the great Terry Fox. Others honoured are disabled runner Steve Fonyo and swimmer Marilyn Bell, who conquered the Juan de Fuca Strait. Mr. Howie, the most obscure of the quartet, is among august company.

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Mr. Howie used to commute 20 kilometres on foot to his job operating a crusher at a copper mine because it was cheap.

Al Howie was an ultramarathoner, a runner who competed across vast distances for hours and days at a time. The sport, only for diehards, attracted few corporate sponsors and offered little in the way of prize money.

A haunted genius behind the camera
His emotionally powerful photos earned high praise from the top arbiters in his field, but mainstream popularity was elusive
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S12

Describing someone as "complicated" is usually the polite way of saying that he or she is "difficult." Van Gogh, Lucian Freud, Joan Crawford - artists all, all complicated, all difficult.

So, it seems, was the photographer and educator David Martin Heath, better known as Dave Heath, who died on June 27, his 85th birthday, after a fall down the stairs of his Toronto home.

Mr. Heath, who arrived in Canada from the United States in 1970, may not be as well-known to Canadians as photographers Yousuf Karsh or Edward Burtynsky. His career was a sort of bob-and-weave, with imminent but never-quite-arriving fame and various shades of obscurity.

This was the result, largely, of Mr. Heath's "chronic loner status," as one observer put it, plus a stubborn disavowal of what a former Heath student at Toronto's Ryerson University, his teaching post for a quarter-century, calls "the mainstream art photography world."

But among connoisseurs and historians of the medium, photographers and critics, Mr. Heath stands among the giants. One famous curator, John Szarkowski, "discoverer" of Diane Arbus and William Eggleston, lauded Mr. Heath's photos for their "great emotional force," for their combination of "the small-camera approach with a rare formal intensity and precision."

Mr. Heath saw his work, heavily oriented to superbly printed images of human faces and bodies in urban spaces, as being neither documentary nor photojournalism but rather "a manner of poetry or even of drawing (in the Rembrandtian sense)." He called it "lightness underlined with disquietude."

Today, a good first-edition copy of his signature work, the suite-like A Dialogue with Solitude, can sell for as much as $2,000 (U.S.). Years in preparation, it was published in 1965 in a run of only 1,400 copies. Then there is Multitude, Solitude: The Photographs of Dave Heath, a 330page retrospective monograph published last year to accompany a touring Heath exhibition, which opened in Philadelphia and went on to the NelsonAtkins Museum of Art, in Kansas City, Mo.

For Dave Heath, photography was a salvation. He was born, an only child, in Philadelphia on June 27, 1931. His father deserted the family when Dave was a year old.

At 4, his mother took him to the doorstep of her parents' home and left him there. She was never seen or heard from again. His grandparents chose not to take him in, and the next seven or eight years were a blur of foster homes, culminating in his admittance, at 12, to the Association for Jewish Children, a Philadelphia orphanage.

This would be his home for the next four years, and the place where he first encountered photography. Professional photographers, looking for happy/sad stories, would visit the orphanage to take pictures of the kids, including Dave. He liked what they did, and the things they carried.

In short order, he was lifting two dollars from the wallet of the orphanage director to clandestinely buy a cheap Falcon Miniature camera.

In May, 1947, he became enchanted with an eight-page photo yarn in Life magazine titled "Bad Boy's Story: An Unhappy Child Learns to Live at Peace with the World." It told the story of a 13-year-old foster child whose destructive, antisocial ways were ameliorated by a child-centred rehabilitation program in Seattle.

Here, notes Nelson-Atkins senior curator of photography Keith Davis, writing in Multitude, Solitude, was young Dave's decisive moment: In effect, the Life spread told his "own story ... in a medium that he was beginning to sense could also be his.

The two - life and medium - became inextricably linked."

He quickly became obsessed with photography, reading photo magazines and joining the high-school camera club. In 1947, he switched to a vocational school with a photography program, only to find it was restricted to ex-GIs who had served in the Second World War.

He became a commercial art major instead, but dropped out in late 1948, eventually moving in with his father, who had since remarried. The relationship never gelled, however, and the teenager went to live on his own, supporting himself as a busboy and darkroom technician.

By the age of 19, he was making regular visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with occasional forays to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Manhattan, N.Y. The art he appreciated most in those venues "was always predicated on a sense of personal and emotional connection," according to Mr. Davis. Art that Mr. Heath himself would later characterize as "inward and soulful and sad."

By this time, he was taking lots of pictures, mostly of "human interest" subjects, and developing a keen interest in photographic sequencing and series - an interest he would sustain for the rest of his artistic life.

In the fall of 1952, he made the first of what would eventually be four handmade photo books; 3, as the first was called, ran to 32 pages, including covers, and contained 52 original prints divided into three sequences - pictures of train passengers, pictures of hands, pictures of kids visiting a department-store Santa.

Less than a year later, with the Korean War raging, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Before heading overseas, he paid a quick visit to New York, where he somehow got Edward Steichen, influential "dean" of photography at MoMA, to look at his pictures.

Mr. Heath would recall that Mr. Steichen found the photos "banal" - although he agreed to buy one for MoMA's collection.

Six years later, he was buying six Heaths.

Mr. Heath returned to Philadelphia unscathed and with a bevy of photographs of his fellow soldiers, many of which found their way into his next two hand-made books, No Dancing in the Streets (1954) and In Search of Self: A Portfolio (1956).

He entered the Philadelphia Museum School of Art but lasted only two semesters before moving to Chicago. After working a little more than two years in a commercial studio there, he headed to New York.

Then as now, New York was the hub of American photography in all its idioms, and he seemed to revel in what it offered. He scored a series of jobs with some of the city's most successful commercial photographers and joined the Greenwich Village Camera Club, where he got to know the likes of Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand. In 1958, Mr. Heath had his first solo show, at the Seven Arts Coffee Gallery, a beatnik hangout visited regularly by Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The New York Times reviewed it, the critic enthusing that Mr. Heath was "destined for the top."

He also served as associate editor of Contemporary Photography magazine and, in 1963, John Szarkowski, MoMA's new director of photography, included 12 Heaths in a group show at the museum. By then, Mr. Heath was becoming known as a master of the darkroom, skilled at bleaching, burning, dodging and other techniques that resulted in lustrous, highcontrast prints.

It is Michael Torosian's view that "Dave authentically was one of the few prodigies in the history of photography. When he came to photography in his teens, even in his very earliest pictures, you can see an adeptness. And then relatively rapidly that facility turns into something very sophisticated. And all this without much tutoring or education. He was just incredibly driven, incredibly hungry."

Mr. Torosian knows his Heath.

He was the photographer's student at Ryerson University in the early 1970s and served as Mr. Heath's manager for many years starting in the mid-1980s, helping to renew interest in the photographer, not least by producing for his own Torontobased fine-art press, Lumiere, two superb limited-edition books about Mr. Heath, one in 1988, the other in 2004.

Perhaps most significant, in 2000, Mr. Torosian oversaw the return to print of Mr. Heath's masterwork, A Dialogue with Solitude. Called "the most important book by a photographer in the 1960s" by James Borcoman, one-time photo curator at the National Gallery of Canada and long-time Heath champion, the reprint was issued in three separate limited editions, all of which sold out.

Mr. Heath went on to accept teaching jobs at the Dayton Art Institute and Moore College of Art, a Philadelphia women's college. Eventually his concerns over the war in Vietnam and U.S. politics prompted him to move to Toronto. Ever restless, his artistic inclinations changed as well. He began rummaging around antique shops in search of yellowing snapshots and historical and vernacular pictures.

He developed an intense interest in Polaroids (ultimately taking more than 50,000 exposures) and later got a digital camera to shoot faces, in colour, on the street. In 1974, he began to keep a journal, which at the time of his death totalled at least 200 volumes, stuffed with his musings and troves of ephemera.

Yet through all this activity, he never found much solace from the demons of his childhood abandonment. "Dave was an extraordinarily depressed human being," Mr. Torosian noted. Indeed, "it was very important for Dave to be perceived as the quintessential suffering artist. I cannot stress this enough - that he was the victim of his life and that this fuelled his art."

As a teacher at Ryerson, Mr. Heath earned the admiration of fellow instructor/photographer Phil Bergerson and student/photographer Ruth Kaplan, among many others, for being "incredibly articulate about sequencing" and "really great at connecting you to the inner themes of your work and quickly analyzing the visual symbols of the photograph."

But he could be brusque, volatile, even abusive in the classroom. He frequently ran afoul of students, administrators and colleagues, particularly in his last eight or nine years at the school, where, as long-term Ryerson professor and curator Don Snyder remembers, "he unleashed more or lesser amounts of venom on almost everyone, myself included."

Mr. Bergerson, who teamtaught with Mr. Heath for three years in the mid-1980s, recalled: "I would tend to be the buffer zone in a lot of that tension with students. ... It would wear you out." By the time Mr. Heath reached mandatory retirement in 1996 he was, for all the employment stability Ryerson had provided, "very angry at the school and at the world," Mr. Snyder recalled. "Here was this genius person who has a problem that goes right back to his childhood, and he could not get from under it," Mr. Bergerson said.

But Michael Schreier, an Austrian-born artist, academic and curator who organized a wellregarded retrospective on Mr. Heath in 2013 at the Ottawa Art Gallery, said that as a Ryerson student in the early 1970s, he "thoroughly enjoyed the directness in his teaching." And Mr. Schreier held on to his relationship with Mr. Heath to the end, even becoming the owner of his contemporary collection.

"It was what a proper human relationship should be about - it is generosity, it is tenderness, it is confusion, it is anger, it is frustration, it is joy, it is the sublime insight we give each other."

Mr. Heath had few friends and his one marriage, when he was about 39, lasted less than 18 months. According to Mr. Torosian, "everybody in his life who held out a hand to help him, he ultimately bit that hand at one point or another."

Still, there were moments when he would show another side. Mr. Torosian, in fact, believes he saw him "at the happiest moment of his life." This was around 2005. Mr. Torosian wrote a profile of Mr. Heath for a magazine and offered it to him to read before it was submitted. The article (subsequently unpublished) concentrated on his early days in Philadelphia.

"Dave sat down and reads it very carefully, in total silence, and after 25 minutes, all of a sudden, he breaks out into this gleeful laughter," Mr. Torosian recalled. "I say, 'Dave, what are you so happy about?' And he says, 'This line, this line!' and he points to the page [which reads]: 'When I first met Dave Heath in the '70s he struck me as the only human being I'd ever met whose vocal cords were tuned in the key of melancholy.' He absolutely loved this characterization. This is how he wanted to be seen, this persona.

He was just beaming."

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Canadian photographer Dave Heath specialized in human faces and bodies, such as 'Self-portrait, Toronto, Ontario,' above, taken Jan. 29, 2002. His work was lauded by critics and included in MoMA.


Often seen as the spoiled brats of the fashion industry, online personalities can now charge a brand thousands arketing grows, Anya Georgijevic for a single post. But even as demand for influencer marketing Ge finds designers, ad execs and even the bloggers themselves wondering whether the days of swa swag for selfies are numbered
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L6

A couple of months ago, I received an unexpected offer. "On behalf of Fashion and Beauty Monitor, I'd like to welcome you to our invitation-only influencer network," it read. "Launching later this year, this exclusive hub will be a place for brands to discover and contact influencers for future project collaborations." I have about 5,500 Twitter followers, which is respectable, and just over 2,000 Instagram ones, which might as well be zero in the grand scheme of things. I seldom post on either of the channels, so I was puzzled about why I would even be on the radar of this "exclusive hub." I clicked on the link, and to my surprise, is a legitimate platform. It's a subscriber-only database of media, public relations and brand contacts, news and events that earns high praise from clients including Vogue China and Benefit Cosmetics.

Fashion and Beauty Monitor is just one of hundreds of similar agencies - including Influencer Marketing Agency (IMA), IZEA and Toronto-based Influicity - that compete for a slice of the influencer economy, which connects lifestyle brands and individuals with social media sway. Each has a roster of big-name clients, from beauty brands such as L'Oréal to athletic-wear labels such as Nike. In the last year, boutique versions of these shops have started to pop up. In Canada, Rock-It Promotions, a PR house, launched Fourth Floor Management, which represents names like Alexander Liang (he recently traveled to Rio de Janeiro with Paypal) and Gracie Carroll (she's appeared in video spots for President's Choice and Tide). Clutch PR's ClutchCollabs lineup includes VJ-turned mommy blogger Erica Ehm. Both round out their rosters with other social media personalities and content creators they deem authoritative in the digital realm.

The demand for these 21st century tastemakers is growing. According to Fashion and Beauty Monitor's "The Rise of Influencers" report produced in association with Econsultancy, 57 per cent of surveyed brands already have an influencer marketing strategy in place, with an additional 21 per cent planning to invest in one over the next 12 months. But, at the same time, some fashion brands and marketers who already engage with social media movers and shakers are growing increasingly skeptical about just how influential they actually are.

In the early years of the new millennium, the influencer phenomenon saw hoards of young women and men abandoning their day jobs to try their luck at social media fame. Reports of the original star bloggers, including Bryan Grey Yambao (a.k.a. Bryanboy), Rumi Neely (Fashion Toast) and Chiara Ferragni (The Blonde Salad), earning six to seven figures a year from preening and posting led to wave after wave of new online personalities. But it wasn't until the launch of rewardStyle in 2011 that fashion blogging-for-pay went mainstream. The Dallas-based affiliate network proved that there was money to be made through style's growing online footprint. Since its launch, it has generated over $1-billion in sales. To everyone's surprise, the network's top earning bloggers were young women who operated well outside the industry cliques in New York, London, Paris and Milan. "Random Fashion Blogger from Utah Makes $1 Million a Year," read one headline in 2014. The blogger in question, Rach Parcell, who runs Pink Peonies, embodies the girl-next-door persona coveted by brands such as J.Crew and Asos. Her fame and growing fortune signaled a shift away from more fashion-forward faces such as Tavi Gevinson (Style Rookie) and Susanna Lau (Style Bubble) and towards an era of commerciality when anyone with a camera and an Instagram account can, in theory, help make or break a brand.

"Everyone's an influencer," says Jay Strut, a Torontobased veteran fashion blogger, when we meet at the swish sushi spot Kasa Moto in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood. "This woman," he says pointing to a woman wearing a bright floral blouse, "is influencing me right now with her beautiful top. All you need, literally, is a voice." Strut, who gets whisked away to Milan and Paris by luxury brands like Balmain and Chanel, sees himself not as someone who generates sales for brands, but rather reinforces the idea of aspiration that's essential to a label's cachet. A permanent fixture on Toronto's fashion scene, the blogger doesn't do traditional advertising or affiliate links on his blog.

"There isn't one guy in this whole restaurant that's going to my website and saying, 'Oh, I'm gonna wear those tights, that low tank top and that gold chain. And women aren't coming to my page and saying 'Yes, I want to look like that tomorrow,'" he explains. "But, there are aspects of me - the freedom I have in my expression, my attitude towards things and my overall aesthetic - it's not relatable, but it's relatable." He doesn't sell clothes; he sells the fantasy.

A lack of a consistent way to measure digital return on investment doesn't stop brands from pursuing Strut in the hopes of reaching his 50,000-plus Instagram audience. While it's unclear which of the blogger's posts are paid for (Canada doesn't have the same strict disclosure policies that the Federal Trade Commission monitors in the United States), he seems to have an ongoing partnership with several luxury brands. Strut declined to disclose how much revenue his influencer gig generates, but scrolling through his social media feeds, all signs point to it being a lucrative career. Aside from an enviable collection of luxury handbags (including several Hermès Birkins and Kellys), the blogger recently purchased his fi rst condo in Toronto's Distillery District. Strut's celebrity has been boosted by personal appearance nal ap projects, from hosting a Google Hangout with Donatella Versace to DJing the H&M Eaton Centre flagship reopening party. His ability to draw a large audience in person, he tells me, proves his worth.

In a Digiday interview that went viral in May, an anonymous U.S.-based social media executive dismissed the value of influencers, explaining that it's all hype without any proof of ROI. "We threw too much money at them and did it too quickly. So in 2014, they were making $500 to show up and take some photos.

Then it became $1,500. Now it's hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said in the interview. The mystery source predicts that the influencer marketing bubble is about to burst: "Influencers are going to start disappearing. Brands are going to start realizing the amount of followers you have doesn't mean s--t."

The lack of goodwill between marketers and influencers isn't helped by the ongoing speculation that many influencers don't necessarily earn their following organically. "Even agencies that represent influencers can't always tell you if the influencers they represent have bought or earned their followers," says Lindsay Mattick, creative director and partner at Torontobased public relations firm Pomp & Circumstance. One of her clients, Ellie Mae, recently made news when Sophie Grégoire Trudeau wore one of the designer's jackets during the Prime Minister's state visit to Washington. For a young designer, it was a marketing coup and highlighted the power of a bona fide fashion influencer. "Web traffic spiked to over 1,200 international visitors daily for almost two weeks following Sophie wearing her," Mattick explains. "Ellie Mae gained four new retailers as a result, with three out of four picking up the 'Yazmin' [the jacket Grégoire Trudeau wore] as part of the buy."

While working on Ellie Mae's PR strategy, Mattick's team was shocked to learn that a few Toronto bloggers demanded payment and free product to sit front row at the designer's debut fashion show. "When that starts to happen, it feels pretty icky," says Mattick. "[It should be] different when you are asking someone to share a photo of Greek yogurt - and paying them for the exposure to their followers - and when you are inviting them to an upstart designer's first ever fashion show."

On the flip side, some bloggers have started to try to actively educate their followers and the brands who approach them about the costs associated with running a lifestyle blog, in an effort to justify their rates. In June, Justine Iaboni, who operates her social channels under the handle Jetset Justine, wrote a post about the "true cost" of blogging. She called out a long list of expenses (including transportation, office supplies, Internet service and rent) that most small businesses and freelancers have to build into their bottom line. More influencer-specific items she highlighted included expenses associated with personal grooming and professional photography. In order to stay relevant in the competitive media landscape, many influencers feel the need to produce higher quality content and present themselves to the online world looking as polished as an A-list celebrity. And with every jump in audience numbers, they feel more justified asking for the amount of cash needed to maintain their influencer persona. One top Canadian blogger who asked to remain anonymous told me that her rates go up with every new 5,000 followers.

Montreal-based designer Eliza Faulkner questions whether connecting with bloggers would be worthwhile, even if she could afford the rates set by influencers and their agencies. She tells me that the few times she has been featured on prominent blogs, she hasn't seen a huge surge in sales. "I still think traditional media packs more punch. Aside from the really big influencers, I'm not convinced it's as good as print. Magazines sit around for weeks or months while a blog post or an Instagram post is old news within minutes. I still get people emailing because they've seen something in the newspaper or a magazine," she adds.

Monetizing social media feeds has proven difficult overall. Last year, Pinterest and Instagram introduced click-to-buy features, but the result has been lukewarm at best. According to Sucharita Mulpuru, principal analyst at Forrester, a leading digital research and advisory company, the buy buttons generate such low sales that the number is negligible for most large brands.

"Retweets and likes/favourites by influencers are important, but it's difficult to get them at a volume where it generates big sales," Mulpuru explains. For small, more niche brands, she says, the instant buy feature could prove more useful: "Those companies are so small that social can be a huge part of their business. But we're talking about a very small scale. These are businesses where three orders a week may be a big deal."

Brands, both small and large, are becoming savvier about their own social strategies. Burberry, a label with 40 million followers on 20 different platforms recently announced its intention to directly monetize its digital audience, coinciding with the well-publicized changes to its seasonal marketing and production cycle, which will see product available for purchase as soon as it's unveiled on a runway or in ad campaigns. If it succeeds, Burberry will become the first major label to reap considerable and instant profit from its social audience, in essence cutting out the influencer as the online middleman between a brand and consumers.

More detailed data on influencers and their audiences is on its way too. In late May, Instagram announced the upcoming launch of Insights, the platform's analytics tool, which will measure top posts, reach, impressions and engagement along with details on followers like their gender, age and location. It would allow marketers to measure an account's value using consistent metrics. Some will probably be disappointed by the fi ndings. "Some brands are just mesmerized by the numbers," says Strut, who believes a website or blog holds more value than a social feed. "My dot com will transcend my @ sign."

As for me, I won't be joining the Fashion and Beauty Monitor influencer network and their "exclusive hub" of thousands. When I contacted the company to ask why I'd make a good candidate for their roster, a representative for the company would only say I was "hand-picked" by its team. It's a flattering proposition, but I think I'll stick to my day job.

Associated Graphic

IT-FLUENCERS Canadian online personalities like Alexander Liang (top left), Gracie Carroll (top right), Erica Ehm (far right) and Jay Strut (right) have turned their Instagram accounts into coveted outlets for lifestyle brands. International heavyweights in the social space include Bryan Grey Yambao (above) and Chiara Ferragni (top centre).

Ten things you must do in Toronto this summer
It's finally summer and the options for how to enjoy the lazy, hazy days ahead are boundless. Globe journalists share their favourite things to do - with and without kids - in this briefest of seasons
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M3

A quick dash for a quiet splash Dufferin Grove Park and Corktown Common are often overrun by sweaty urbanites seeking a kid-friendly water park, but a shady oasis awaits Toronto families willing to zip 15 minutes west down the Queensway and south on Brown's Line to Forty Second Street. Marie Curtis Park, a vast green space connected to the lakeshore's bike trail network, is a perfect hybrid of natural wildlife and unrestrained fun-zone, minus the hordes.

Parking is a snap if you arrive before 10 a.m. (the park is also a quick walk from Long Branch GO station), so unpack and unleash the kids on the giant splash pad installed a few years ago when the children's portion of the grounds received an overhaul.

Spread out a picnic blanket under a mature willow, or plop into one of the multihued Muskoka chairs ringing the playground.

Crave a more serene scene? Wander a few hundred metres down a gravel walkway, past towering trees and bobbing ducks to where Etobicoke Creek drains into Lake Ontario. Spend the afternoon skipping stones, counting sailboats or exploring a soonto-be naturalized conservation area adjacent to the park. Cap things off with a soft cone from an ice-cream truck lurking in the parking lot and hit the road - the kids might even sleep.

Stars under the stars On summery Sunday evenings, there's nothing nicer than grabbing a blanket and watching a movie under the stars at Christie Pits Park (750 Bloor St. W.) A grassy hill in the west-end park serves as a natural amphitheatre so there are good sightlines. And this year, which is the Christie Pits Film Festival's sixth, there's a new 40-foot-wide screen to see both lesser-known films and classics, including Steven Spielberg's Duel, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in Romeo + Juliet, Jim Carrey in The Truman Show and Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

There's also a short film or three before the main attraction, all of which explore the theme of isolation, confinement, escapism and perseverance.

As many as 1,000 people come to share in the urban magic so organizers suggest arriving around 6 p.m. to stake out a spot.

Pack a picnic (don't forget the popcorn!) or grab dinner from food vendors. Screenings start at sunset and run every Sunday night until Aug. 21, with Aug. 28 as a rain date. Films have captions for the hearing impaired.

Free, but donations encouraged.

Trains, planes and picnics If trains are your kid's thing, head downtown. The pedestrian bridge at Front and Portland offers safety mesh and two-way viewing of GO, UPX and Via trains (you might want to avoid weekday rush hour). On weekends, tack on a visit to the Toronto Railway Museum at Roundhouse Park (255 Bremner Blvd.), complete with vintage cabooses, museum and miniature railway ride. Alternatively, explore Corktown Common at 155 Bayview Ave. in the West Don Lands - it's a beautiful new park with a splash pad, play structures and broad views of the tracks.

For plane-spotters, it's hard to beat Coronation Park, by the Exhibition grounds at 711 Lake Shore Blvd. W. Its shaded lawn is perfect for picnicking - and just metres from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport's runway.

Or try the Cherry Beach Sports Fields at 275 Unwin Ave. in the Port Lands, directly under Porter's east-end approach path.

Even on cloudy days, the piratethemed playground is a winner.

Go jump in the lake Yes. You really can swim.

And you don't have to endure traffic snarls on the 400, nor pricey remote retreats to take a plunge. It's an instant mood-improver during those sweltering heat waves.

Eight of the city's supervised beaches qualify for the Blue Flag program, a globally recognized label given to beaches that meet standards that include water quality. Every day, from June to August, water quality is tested to determine E. coli counts. So far this year, testing from the beaches shows a near perfect record for safe swimming; last year, the beaches met or were cleaner than the threshold for 91 per cent of the season.

The Toronto Islands and eastend beaches in particular are glorious, after work or on weekends.

By early evening, it becomes downright magical. People shouldn't swim during and after storms, floods or heavy rainfall, events that can increase bacteria levels. To check in on test results, there's an app and website, updated daily ( tpha/beaches.html) or a recorded message at 416-392-7161.

Culture on a budget For those with budding thespians in the house, there are a host of ways for teens to get their theatre fix without breaking the bank.

Send them to High Park for Canadian Stage's Shakespeare in High Park, which is doing Hamlet and All's Well that Ends Well on alternating evenings until Sept. 4. It's relaxed and lovely and pay what you can.

Tickets for the Fringe Festival, which runs until July 10, are $12 a pop ($5 for Fringe Kids for the 12and-under set) or your teen could volunteer for a couple of shifts as an usher and get in free.

SummerWorks, a more professional curated festival from Aug. 4 to 14, has a similar volunteerfor-tickets plan. HipTix offers $5 tickets to certain shows for students 14 to 29 and Soulpepper has $5 rush tickets for those 21 and under. And further afield, the Stratford Festival has tickets - starting at $15 for 16- to 29-yearolds.

Paddle your way to bliss Let's say you want to have a special date this summer. You don't have time for a weekend getaway, but you do have two hours of babysitting. Grab a TTC token or your bike and head to Old Mill station. There, you'll find Toronto Adventures, where you can rent kayaks and canoes for two-hour time slots.

Pushing away from the grass, under a subway train rumbling across the graffitied overpass, it will give you a small thrill to do something you don't normally associate with city life. Then, paddling for mere minutes will lead to the real thrills - bulrushes, lagoons - hey, that's a beaver dam! And quietude. True, quiet, bliss. You'll admire a hawk in the sky, watch a blue heron take flight, spot white egrets and wonder why you didn't bring the kids. Then a few fancy treats will emerge, bites sneaked into your kayak for this special occasion, and you'll think, Oh, the kids are fine with the sitter. for kayak, canoe, paddle-boarding rentals and lessons, starting at $30 for two hours per kayak.

Get lost on purpose In the age of GPS, we rarely have an opportunity to enjoy the brain-bending sensation of getting deliberately lost. The William Meany Maze on Centre Island, which officially opened last year, offers an antidote for the overly oriented. The roughly 100-by-100-foot maze consists of some 1,200 cedar trees planted in a pattern that is designed to scramble your internal compass as you make your way to the centre and back again. Children find it hard to resist the beckoning green corridors.

Adults may find the challenge a bit trickier than it looks.

Named after the Calgary-based businessman who funded the project, the hedge maze recreates an earlier installation that was enjoyed for years until it fell into disrepair. It costs visitors nothing but their time and makes a welcome diversion from picnicking and other summer island fun. My daughters did it twice: once as explorers, once as competitors. They refused a third chance, preferring instead to let their memories of the maze remain murky, thereby extending the pleasure of not knowing which way to turn to a future visit.

Take a trip down memory lane At the end of my street sits an untidy assemblage of properties. Rather than neatly arranged in a straight row, two or three houses jostle against one another, sharing a backyard that's been divided, and subdivided again. The mystery of how they came to be was solved on a rainy-day trip to the City of Toronto Archives. That's where my 10-year-old son and I did a bit of micro-history research into our home's past, spooling microfilm rolls containing photos of old assessment records. A friendly librarian is available to help and the Archives, at 255 Spadina Rd., also publishes a pamphlet on how to research the history of your house.

We discovered that the first owner of our house lived there for more than two decades. Arthur was a "machinist," with a job at a factory on Dupont. He and his wife, Mabel, raised two children in the house, and sold it in the middle of the Depression. (I like to think it was not under duress.) But the assessment records also contain information about neighbouring properties. That blighted corner? It used to be a soccer field. In fact, a search of newspaper archives revealed that on May 24, 1924, Toronto played Montreal in a Victoria Day game right on that pitch. If I squint when walking by, I can almost see Arthur and his kids watching the game.

A festival of tasty treats One of my family's favourite takeout spots for dinner is on Gerrard Street East, in the heart of Little India. The kids adore the saag paneer with rice and the naans. We love that, too, and the spices infused into the vindaloo and the tandoori chicken.

Once a year, in the summertime, the street is cleared of traffic for a festival that brings some of our favourite foods to curbside stalls. The Festival of South Asia stretches a few blocks on Gerrard, inviting pedestrians to sample samosas, grilled corn on the cob gently massaged with chilli powder or some pani puri, a hollow puri crispbread filled with flavoured water and tamarind sauce. Or you can just wander the stretch of Gerrard while sipping on coconut water.

This year's festival runs July 16 and 17 from noon to 11 p.m. It's kid-friendly and has lots of entertainment. My favourite time is in the evening: The crowds thin slightly, the sun is not too hot and you can be entertained while eating dinner.

A market like no other Everything tastes better when you eat it outside. Or off a stick. These are principles that many hot-weather Asian cities instinctively understand - as evidenced by the bustling street markets in places such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. And, lucky for us, for one weekend a year, Torontonians have a little taste of these markets right here in the GTA, at the Markham Night It Up! market from July 15 to 17.

The event, which takes over the parking lot of the Markham Civic Centre, plays host to dozens of (mostly Asian) food vendors hawking everything from crunchy "tornado potatoes" to doughy Japanese takoyaki to charred lamb skewers. Among last year's vendors: the hugely-popular "Drink a fruit, from the fruit" (it's exactly what it sounds like), Ramen Burger and the stinky tofu stand - a street-market staple.

Because the market only runs one weekend every year, it gets very, very crowded.

So either go early, or go late. And be prepared to brave crowds. If you can't make it out to Markham, T&T Supermarket holds its own night market in the Port Lands the following weekend (July 22 to 24).

Associated Graphic




Among teenagers, screen time is on the rise. But, as Erin Anderssen reports, many members of that tech-immersed generation practise good social-media hygiene. Here's what they have to teach the rest of us about how, and when, to power down
Friday, July 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

It has now been 10 days since I looked at Facebook or scrolled through Twitter. Ten days since I viewed unnecessary sunsets or selfies. Ten days since I "liked," out of politeness, a swim meet/soccer game/graduation post about the offspring of a high-school acquaintance I haven't seen since high school. Ten days since I wasted three minutes watching a kitten/puppy/panda video.

Admittedly, scaring cats with cucumbers never gets old. But the morning I got sucked into watching a wolf stalk and then feast on a deer on the side of a highway, I knew things had gone too far. It was as if I was putting my free minutes out on the curb for anyone to grab. The space between the alarm going off and when you have to get up, those quiet moments on the bus, the slow scenes in a Netflix binge - they were all being scripted by somebody else's narrative.

So, on the recommendation of a few teenagers, I deleted the apps from my phone. Like freezing the credit card in a block of ice - the harder it is to reach, the more likely temptation can be resisted.

The idea of a social-media vacation isn't new, but this past spring, as I spent weeks interviewing members of Generation Z, I was struck by how high-school students spoke thoughtfully about the negative aspects of social media, the desire to control their time, and even the need to take self-imposed breaks from places such as Instagram and Snapchat - arguably the hub of their social lives.

They weren't doing it in the I-am-done-forever way that celebrities ditch Twitter in a tantrum and then return a week later. This was a purposeful, mental-health kind of retreat from all that digital noise. It fits with the larger theme of intentional online living: These older teens described unfriending people who were negative, scrubbing pictures they didn't like, logging off if the space became too tense.

And if the most Internet-immersed generation of teenagers has learned when to take a break, what's the lesson there for the rest of us?

For starters, let's not wag fingers too freely at those crazy kids. It's true that they are the biggest users, and the trend is continuing upward. A survey of Ontario students in Grades 7 to 12, released this week by the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, found that in 2015, two-thirds of students spent three or more hours a day in front of a screen. The survey included television, but 16 per cent of students also said they spent five or more hours a day just on social media - up from 11 per cent in 2013. But Canadians, as an overall group, rank as the Internet addicts of the Western world. We spend more time online than Americans, the British or Russians, according to comScore, a company that tracks these metrics around the world.

And, yes, in a big country, all this social-media activity allows us to keep up with Aunt Lucy's kids in Vancouver or your BFF's vacation plans, but, taken too far, that doesn't make us feel as good as we might think. Researchers call it the "Internet paradox" - the belief that while the Internet connects people, it also keeps people from really connecting.

(As it happens, many members of Gen Z insist that they would almost always rather speak to someone in person than communicate by text.)

Last November, a 2015 study by researchers at the University of British Columbia reported what most of us probably already knew: Envy is the engine of Facebook. A friend posts a picture of her fancy holiday or her brilliant kids, you respond by contributing your own glowing PR and the cycle goes on. And this is assuming that, unlike teenagers, your friends aren't tracking how quickly you liked their latest Instagram selfies, or, worse, leaving passive-aggressive comments for everyone to read - although let's be honest, adults are plenty capable of their own high-school drama.

"I don't think we are meant to be living life scrolling for hours online," observes Abena Miller, 17, of Edmonton. "It feels unnatural. And it's very superficial."

Abena logged off her socialmedia sites in the early spring. She was finding many of the conversations too negative or ideological, even if she was only a bystander to them - and they were shaping her opinion of people she otherwise liked. When we first spoke, she was a few weeks into her break and not sure how long it would last. "I have tried to replace it with something else, like reading," she told me. "I just have to remind myself that I didn't enjoy my time there."

For Mahima Mishra, a recent high school graduate in St. John's, it wasn't the tone of social media that had become a problem, it was how much of her day she devoted to it. "It's crazy how time-consuming it can be," she says.

Last spring, as school work, sports and activities piled up, Mahima pulled the plug - deleting Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat from her phone for several weeks.

(The trick, as the students explained, is to delete the apps, so you aren't tempted, but not your account, which would be permanent, and likely impossible anyway. Once online, always online.)

The daily demands were too high for Mahima. On Instagram, she says, the exchange rate is "like for like." That means taking five minutes every time you log on to go through the new pictures posted. "Having to do that in another hour? It's a real pain."

And she had started to question what she was getting out of it. "I felt it was all really fake - you are seeing everything that is happening, but there is no real one-on-one conversation. You're either liking a post, or liking a picture. Those kinds of things do build connections, but I don't really need that. I know who my friends are. Anyone who wants to talk to me can just text me."

The same decision was made by Mackenzie Corrigan, 17, of Ottawa, who, stressed about which university to choose and then thinking about exams, decided that she needed a break from social media.

"I am the type of person who expresses my opinion," she admits, explaining that this means she occasionally makes inadvisable comments, especially if she thinks one of her friends or her little sister is being maligned online. Then, she says, "you get very anxious waiting for the person to respond, or deciding what you are going to say back."

The whole environment "can get overwhelming," she says, especially when you start adding up the time you spend there. "I am always checking. I don't even realize it, but I am scrolling through Twitter, sometimes even while I am talking to my friends."

To break away, it wasn't enough for Mackenzie to delete her apps. She asked a close friend to change her passwords too, and not share them for two weeks, no matter how often she asked. (Her friend has asked the same favour of her.)

So, once you're off, how do you stay away (aside from divesting yourself of all your passwords to a trusted source)?

A study out of Cornell University in December, 2015, that tracked people who were participating in a global campaign to go 99 days without Facebook suggests a few factors that divide those who crack from those who stick it out. In particular, this included people who were less happy offline, those who used Facebook to manage how others saw them (and, therefore, saw a higher cost in going silent), and those who thought they were addicted.

One such participant in the study described, on the 10th day, dreaming about accidentally logging onto Facebook. Another noted, presumably with crushing disappointment, "they didn't even notice that I wasn't there.

No one called or e-mailed to ask what was up."

It's further evidence that Facebook is more about showcasing ourselves than it is about taking a deep interest in other people. A caveat: Several members of Generation Z claimed that a friend's sudden disappearance on social media would be immediately noted, and followed up by text.

In any event, Abena, Mahima and Mackenzie are all back on now. (And, to be clear, they never stopped texting.)

Abena returned to Facebook, but none of the other sites, only after defriending a dozen people who were contributing to the negative discourse. She doesn't go on it as much any more, preferring to text with her friends. "I simply put myself first," she says, "so if anything is stressful, I unfollow or unfriend."

Mahima observed that she didn't miss much, and that her friends were understanding of her absence. "It's not really questioned," she said. "Our generation knows how consumed we are on our phone."

The day Mackenzie logged back in, she spent her lunch hour scrolling through pictures, catching up. "I felt refreshed when I came back," she says.

But already she feels herself getting consumed by what's happening online. "Eventually I will have to take a break again."

Mackenzie points out that adults shouldn't be so quick to judge: She has seen the argumentative tone that can take over a Facebook conversation even among her mother's friends - and suggests that they could also take a step back. "I don't think it's just applicable to my generation."

Hayley Hamilton, a researcher at CAMH who specializes in youth mental health, agrees. She says a social-media vacation is a good idea for anyone noticing that scrolling on Facebook or tracking Twitter is affecting their mood. That means parents should keep an eye on their own social-media habits. "Social media is not just for the young any more," Hamilton says. "We shouldn't judge and make rules that don't apply to us."

On my end, it has been more than a week, the FOMO (fear of missing out) is fading, and I know the truth, without even taking a peek at my timeline: I have missed absolutely nothing of consequence.

However, I have gained at least an hour of my day. And most of that is spent enjoying the view, no longer doused with blue light, in blissful silence. After all, everyone else has their face in a screen.


Wondering if you're due for a social-media break? Find out how your screen time compares with others.


Minutes per week that Canadian adults over 18 spent online, across devices, according to the 2015 Canadian media usage trend study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada


Percentage of Canadians who use their smartphone while watching TV, according to 2015 report by comScore


The average minutes per month that Canadians spent watching online video - 5.1 more hours than their American counterparts, according to 2015 report by comScore .


Desktop hours spent online monthly in Canada - the highest in the world, according to 2015 report by comScore, compared with 35 hours in the United States and 33 hours in Britain .


Percentage of Ontario students in Grades 7 to 12 who say they spend five or more hours a day on social media.

Associated Graphic


Many young people claim that a friend's disappearance from social media would be immediately noted and followed up by a text.


Historian helped define modern Canada
Giant in his field stood behind Trudeau's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, believed in equal rights for linguistic and cultural minorities
Friday, July 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

We see Canada today through Ramsay Cook's eyes. More than any other historian of the last half of the 20th century, he defined Canada as we now live it, a definition forged in the place and time of his youth.

"All roads lead back to his childhood on the Prairies," maintains Donald Wright, biographer of the historian Donald Creighton, who is at work on a biography of Prof. Cook. "The Prairies were marked by pluralism, by difference. That's the world he knew. And when he went to write history, he couldn't write it from one perspective. It was impossible. It could only be written from multiple perspectives."

As Prof. Cook wrote in 1967: "Instead of constantly deploring our lack of national identity, we should attempt to understand and explain the regional, ethnic and class identities that we do have. It might be that it is in these limited identities that 'Canadianism' is found."

"He was a giant," his friend and fellow historian John English concludes. At a critical moment in the life of the nation, when Canada seemed on the brink of dissolution, Prof. Cook succeeded in explaining French Canada to the English and English Canada to the French, while insisting neither encompassed the multiethnic, multilinguistic and multiracial identities of the Canadian mosaic. That vision, shared by his friend Pierre Trudeau and others who rallied to rescue a splintering nation, won through.

Beyond that, he was a beloved husband, brother, father and grandfather, colleague and teacher. In the view of fellow historian and close friend Craig Brown, who first met Ramsay Cook when they were both students at University of Toronto in 1957, "he was just a great guy."

Prof. Cook died in Toronto on July 14, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

George Ramsay Cook was born almost 84 years earlier, on Nov. 28, 1931, in the small Saskatchewan community of Alameda, the son of Russell Cook - who became a United Church minister after, as his son put it, the family farm more or less blew away - and his wife, Lillie Ellen (née Young). The boy grew up in various Saskatchewan and Manitoba towns as the family was transferred from church to church.

Those small towns were marked by diversity and poverty. "We were very poor," he later recalled. "But we didn't know we were poor. The whole town was poor."

Each congregation contained Ukrainians, Swedes and other recently arrived European settlers, with a smattering of Chinese new arrivals, struggling to survive the Great Depression, imbuing in the youngster the "Christian symbolism and moral outrage," as he later put it, that fired prairie socialism.

And when flooding forced the evacuation of a nearby town, the Cooks temporarily sheltered a Franco-Manitoban family, Ramsay's first close experience with French Canadians as a linguistic minority.

In 1940, the Cooks spent a summer month on Vancouver Island, to be close to Ramsay's brother Vincent, who had joined the army to serve in the Second World War. Eight-year-old Ramsay was befriended by a local Japanese-Canadian youth, who taught the Prairie boy how to fish. Ramsay Cook's first, sharp lesson in ethnic prejudice came in 1942, when the Canadian government interned Japanese Canadians. He wondered for the rest of his life what became of his young friend.

He forged in those early years his lifelong passions for diving and swimming, for birdwatching and beating all comers at billiards. Small in stature, he was also hot-tempered, known as much for dropping his gloves as for passing the puck. School was both effortless and boring, and it took a stern parental command to convince him to attend United College (today the University of Winnipeg), where he slotted in a first-year history course only because his much-preferred chemistry class was in a far-away building and he was too lazy to make the commute.

By the end of the first term, he was hooked. "He discovered a new language that allowed him to make sense of the world," observes Prof. Wright, a historian at University of New Brunswick. By the late 1950s, he was writing his PhD thesis on the Winnipeg journalist J.W. Dafoe at University of Toronto under the supervision of Donald Creighton, then Canada's pre-eminent historian.

Prof. Creighton was the most influential member of a school of intellectuals who believed the Canadian identity emerged out of the exploitation of natural resources along the St. Lawrence River basin - the Laurentian thesis. He envisioned Canada as a British-forged national alternative to the United States. But though Prof. Creighton and Prof. Cook admired, respected and were genuinely fond of each other, Prof. Cook instinctively rejected his mentor's Laurentian view of Canada, because it couldn't encompass Quebec or explain the Prairies.

"There was something almost patricidal about their relationship," Prof. Wright observes. "Ramsay Cook over the course of his career unwrote Donald Creighton's Canada."

Specifically, he rejected both Quebec ethnic nationalism - which was evolving from its Catholic roots into a secular commitment to separatism - and what he detected as an equally obnoxious WASP nationalism rooted in Southern Ontario.

"Ramsay Cook distrusted nationalism with every ounce of his being," Prof. Wright says, because "it didn't conform to his lived experience on the Prairies" - a United Nations of ethnicities worshipping together in his father's church. For Prof. Cook, it was often said, the problem with Canada was not a lack of nationalism, but an excess of nationalisms in conflict. For him, Canada had too many nationalisms for its own good.

One weekend, Prof. Creighton invited his protégé, his wife, Eleanor, and their baby daughter, Margaret (a son, Markham, would come along later) to his cottage in Muskoka, where the teacher put the student to work at cottage repair. At one point, as Prof. Cook painted the cottage floors, the two got into an argument over Quebec so intense that Prof. Cook ended up literally painting himself into a corner.

Prof. Cook's antipathy to nationalism drew him in the early 1960s to Pierre Trudeau, then a public intellectual living in Quebec. When Mr. Trudeau entered federal politics, becoming Liberal leader in 1968, Prof. Cook set aside his social-democratic convictions and became a Liberal, helping to craft the 1968 Just Society speech and serving briefly in the Prime Minister's Office after Mr. Trudeau's election victory, before returning to academia, convinced that politics was not for him.

Already, he was a leading figure in the Canadian academy. Macmillan published Canada and the French-Canadian Question in 1966 when Prof. Cook was teaching at University of Toronto. For Thomas Axworthy, who served as Mr. Trudeau's principal secretary from 1981-84, Prof. Cook "will forever be remembered as the intellectual guide to a perplexed undergraduate in United College, Winnipeg, trying to make sense of Jean Lesage and René Lévesque and finding in Ramsay Cook a new approach that helped me connect the dots."

In the 1960s, Prof. Cook began writing a regular column in Le Devoir. Beleaguered Quebec federalists of the time looked to him to explain English Canada to them, even as he explained Quebec aspirations and grievances to impatient English Canadians. "He was a very major figure in that respect," John English says. And he argued as well, in books and in classrooms, for the right of linguistic and cultural minorities to equal respect within the Canadian mosaic.

Prof. Cook, whose master's thesis on the internment of Japanese Canadians warned against the dangerous overreach of the War Measures Act, found his friendship with Mr. Trudeau strained when the prime minister invoked the act during the October Crisis of 1970. Under heavy guard, Mr. Trudeau visited the Cooks at their home to explain himself. The two men were in deep discussion, Eleanor remembers, "when I accidentally blew a fuse with a big coffeepot and everything went black.

"Everyone fell silent - struck, I suppose, with a sense of realpolitik near at hand - except for Trudeau, who calmly continued talking."

But Prof. Cook celebrated Mr. Trudeau's Charter of Rights and Freedoms as one of the great moments in the life of Canada - not least because it guaranteed the education rights of linguistic minorities - and joined him in opposing the Meech Lake accord. As a historian, Prof. Cook gradually moved past the national question, investigating the social evolution of Canada (Canada 1896-1921: A Nation Transformed, co-written with Craig Brown) and the 19th-century clash of the religious and the secular. (The Regenerators: Social Criticism in Late Victorian English Canada, winner of the 1985 Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction). He retired to become professor emeritus at York University in 1996, having arrived there in 1969. By then he was deeply involved in rescuing the Dictionary of Canadian Biography from oblivion.

Launched in 1959, this landmark project seeks to chronicle the lives and times of Canadians from the year 1000 to the present in both official languages. But in the 1980s, with the original bequest that launched it exhausted, and government funding cut back, the project was on life support. Prof. Cook took over as general editor in 1989 and "very simply, he saved it," John English believes. "None of us knew he had it in him, but he went out and fundraised." Volumes 13 through 15, covering the years 1901 to 1930, were published on his watch, before Mr. English took over as general editor in 2006.

Ramsay Cook's last book, The Teeth of Time, arrived that same year, a poignant remembrance of his complicated friendship with Pierre Trudeau. By then the retired academic had collected a drawerful of honours, including the Tyrrell medal (Royal Society, 1975), the Order of the Sacred Treasure, bestowed by the Government of Japan in 1988 for his work in Japanese-Canadian studies, especially the internment, and the Molson Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Canada Council, 2005). He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1986.

Ramsay Cook leaves Eleanor (née Glen), his wife of 56 years, his two children and two grandchildren and his many friends and colleagues, who will remember him as a kind and generous man, whose occasional temper tempests soon blew over, as someone who always agreed to read what you had written, returning it promptly with corrections and encouraging words; as a clear and elegant writer and as a generous scholar who treated students and statesmen with equal courtesy.

For the two generations of historians whose understanding of Canada he helped shape, he is a landmark in the history of Canadian history. But he saw himself always, to the very end, as a small-town Prairie kid who, as Donald Wright has written, "hung out at the local pool hall playing snooker and smoking what he and his friends called two-centers, a single cigarette sold for two cents by a Chinese shopkeeper."

There were so many Canadas in that small town. Ramsay Cook sought to embrace them all.


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Associated Graphic

Ramsay Cook, seen in January, 1977, worked as a history professor at York University from 1969 to 1996. He became a professor emeritus at the school after his retirement.


Ramsay Cook, 8, is seen with a Japanese-Canadian friend who taught him to fish. Prof. Cook always wondered what happened to his friend after the internment of Japanese-Canadians in the 1940s.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

The price of solitude
Wondrous sights are plentiful in Myanmar, but travellers are not. Good news - if you're willing to forgo the bargains and comforts you typically find in Southeast Asia. And you should be, Drew Gough writes, because the privacy this new frontier offers is worth the premium
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T1

YANGON, MYANMAR -- We're all going to die. Surely this is the end.

The plane, a beat-up propeller number so old it has ashtrays built in, rattles its way toward Rangoon's airport, seat cushions and armrests falling into the aisles and overhead compartments bursting open. The engines sound wrong. With each inexplicable jolt, the passengers gasp and grip the space where their armrests once were.

The flight attendants are unconcerned, wobbling from side to side, pushing the drink cart and spilling coffee. This is business as usual on the morning flight from Thandwe, Myanmar, and its vast deserted Ngapali Beach on the Bay of Bengal to Rangoon. This Myanmar Airways plane - the national carrier! - is busted to bits. So why are we on it?

Time. It's less than a two-hour trip and covers the ground that would have taken more than 24 hours by bus, if the bus made it at all.

Myanmar, a country still in the early thralls of its tourism boom, is a land of unreliable transport: the trains derail on the old British lines and the buses break down on the terrible roads. With infinite time, the slow, bumpy route could make for interesting travel. But my partner and I have only three weeks in a country dense with unmissable sights, so these shaky flights are the convenient alternative. And like most other conveniences in Myanmar, they're expensive.

Expense is relative, of course, but in a region where incredible experiences have never cost much, prices in Myanmar are surprising. Those terrible domestic flights start at $100 (U.S.) a person but two weeks earlier, in January, we only paid $35, Canadian, for an international flight from Penang, Malaysia, to Singapore.

Hotels on the low end (a simple bed, desk, air conditioning that half-works, flickering Internet and an improvisational bathroom) start at $80 (U.S.) per night in Rangoon and Mandalay, but that amount would get you a hip four-star with a rooftop pool in Kuala Lumpur. High-end hotels, of which there are a few in Myanmar, start around $400 and don't hold a candle to hotels of a similar price-point (such as the Mandarin Oriental or the Kempinksi) in nearby Bangkok, which have better service and offer better-value-forlots-of-money.

A cheap approach doesn't really exist for foreign travellers. Burmese have exclusive access to budget hotels, many of which don't have permits to allow foreign guests. Locals pay less for those shaky flights, too, and like many places in the region, the tourist is left feeling like they're overpaying for something by virtue of being a tourist. But you do pay it, often gladly, precisely because this isn't Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam.

Burma, for now, is one of the world's last travel frontiers, a country that closed itself to the world shortly after its independence from the British by limiting tourist visas to 24 hours until 1990, and then, during its military junta years, it had a charismatic (not to mention imprisoned) activist discouraging foreign visitors. Tourist money, Aung San Suu Kyi insisted until 2010 when the country held its first elections in 20 years, was going straight to the general who ruled the country. Independent travel is encouraged, and her thawed stance on the boycott has open the floodgates. Since 2010, Myanmar has seen a substantial year-on-year rise in tourist numbers.

The payoff for the expense and inconvenience of travel in the country is immediate: You have your pick of majestic pagodas visited mostly by locals and saffronrobed monks, miles of empty beaches, complex and irritating cities, and lazy river boats with views of the crumbling once-cities of some forgotten age.


Just before sunrise, only the bats occupy the temples in Bagan. The taxi drops us a few hundred yards away and the driver points toward the temple's vague outline against the lightening sky.

Then he rolls up his window and immediately falls asleep, waiting for us to return. We trod through the smoky plain and, approaching the unnamed temple, can't at first find the stairs. Unlike some of the other 3,000 ninth- to 13thcentury temples from the defunct Kingdom of Pagan, this temple's stairs are internal, pitch black even in daylight. With our cellphone doubling as a flashlight we scramble up the steps, surrounded by squawking, restless bats, and are soon 50 metres above the Bagan Plain, waiting for the show.

The balloons start to pass as the dawn rises, the postcard image that's put Myanmar on the international tourist map. Bagan, a 100-square-kilometre archeological zone comprising the towns of Nyaung-U and New Bagan, is littered with these ancient temples that have stood, mostly, the tests of time, Mongol invasions and earthquakes. Each morning, dozens of hot-air balloons float on the calm drafts over the area, adding flecks of colour to the already stunning scene.

We're joined by a handful of others watching from the temple top, but otherwise, the vista is empty. This is the other side of the price versus experience dilemma: Opt for the cheaper way, find yourself even more alone and then justify your choice by noting, loudly, how the expensive option has only enhanced the view from the cheap seats.

After sunrise, the taxi drops us at a bike shop where we find one of Myanmar's only bargains: a $10-a-day electric scooter that delivers pure Burmese magic. Selfguided and moving quickly enough to generate a breeze to offset the heat, we scour the countryside to stare at as many of these glorious Buddhist monuments as a day allows. It's like Angkor Wat without the nearby comfortable town and the throngs of loud, shoeless Australians discovering themselves. And though Bagan has its share of postcard vendors and aggressive touts at some of the more popular sites, mostly it's spaced out and deserted, your own private fallen kingdom to explore.

Bagan is the most touristed region of Myanmar. It has the widest spread of sleeping and eating options. But it's hot, dusty and remote, so "most touristed" still means "mostly empty." The cost of getting in and out, of the hotels that have air conditioning and a private bathroom (however grim) is inflated and directly connected to that emptiness: There's no one here, so why not pay a little more?


Scattered across Asia are a handful of legendary, landmark hotels that formed a circuit for well-todo Europeans at the turn of the 20th century. These are the hotels with rooms named after former tenants, such that Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and Rudyard Kipling suites are ubiquitous throughout the great cities of Asia. Some hotels retain their elegance today (Raffles in Singapore, the Majestic in Kuala Lumpur); some faded then were carefully restored (the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Georgetown, Malaysia); and some sit on the brink of obscurity. The Strand Hotel in Yangon nearly fell into this last category. A colonial relic on a street choked with the city's unmoving traffic and opposite a construction site, the Strand is mercifully closed until midNovember for much-needed updates. Its legendary long bar was scuff-marked, its rooms worn down. When it reopens this fall, rooms will average around $360 in a city where a good bowl of noodles costs $1 and an average taxi ride $3.50.

In a similar state is the nearby Governor's Residence, run by Belmond, which operates luxury trains and cruises around the world. We arrive for afternoon tea on its expansive open-air veranda restaurant, and the concierge offers a tour of the musty, dank rooms. The fan-cooled mystique evaporates above 25 C, which Rangoon always is. We sweat through tasty tea, pasty sandwiches and melting desserts. It's a gorgeous hotel in desperate need of an airing out, and here rooms start around $300 in the wet season, doubling during the October through April high and shoulder seasons. This for the smell of mould and a fresh seasonal fruit plate every morning.

These luxury hotels (and the mid-range hotels in the $150$270/night range) are islands in a messy, thrilling and occasionally beautiful city. Rangoon is home to the gold and glittering Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the holy sites of Buddhism and, like Bagan 700 kilometres to the north, mostly devoid of tourists. It's easy to spend a hot afternoon hiding in the shade of its gilded temples watching supplicants circumnavigate the 27-tonne golden dome.

But to take it in, you have to leave your bubble and muck about in the reality of Rangoon, itself a fading colonial wonder.

You must hail a taxi among the armies of rats, peddlers and beggars, among the dusty construction workers and men and women hurrying to work in their long, colourful skirts. You must bake in the traffic, marvel at the right-hand drive chaos while peeking over high, stone fences at grand, palm-thronged wooden mansions. You must sweat, get coated in the local dirt and breathe in the resident madness before you can retreat to your overpriced oasis for a lukewarm shower that floods the bathroom.

But the mess here is also the lure. This is new, weird, rough.

Myanmar is hard to travel in, but you can just about manage it and keep your sanity if you simply fork out, be patient and see it before anyone else thinks to go.

Many have already beaten you to it. In 2014, Myanmar's Ministry of Hotels and Tourism reported three million foreign visitors. This past year reportedly saw 4.5-million, though these numbers are disputed by skeptical local media because they include day-tripping expats crossing from Thailand at land borders to get a new Thai tourist visa. Still, tourism in Myanmar is trending up, and fast.

There are few places in the world, let alone the region, with Myanmar's diversity of sights and its relative scarcity of travellers (scenic wonders not mentioned or mentioned only fleetingly here include Inle Lake, with its stilted villages and floating monasteries, markets and handicraft hawkers; the uninhabited Mergui (Myiek) Archipelago, one of the last ocean wildernesses; Ngapali Beach, surely the world's calmest tropical beach; the Irrawaddy River between Mandalay and Bagan, with its river cruises and endless views of abandoned medieval cities, some of which haven't been fully excavated). And while local food, beer and transit remain very cheap, Myanmar's tourism industry understands its precarious position as a hot destination, and charges accordingly for the rest of your stay.

People I spoke to in the tourist industry in Myanmar and Thailand acknowledge that a slide down toward region-appropriate pricing is coming, but the risk of waiting for the drop is arriving in a sanitized Myanmar that's flooded with tourists. Here's a frontier: Choose to go when it's rough or when it's cheap.

Associated Graphic

Fisherman look for their next catch on Inle Lake, one of Myanmar's many scenic must-see destinations.


Bagan, above, is a 100-square-kilometre archeological zone littered with ancient temples that have stood the tests of time, Mongol invasions and earthquakes. Below, a tout on bicycle tags along on a rickshaw tour of the unfinished stupa in Mingun, near Mandalay.


This summer, the Globe names, and celebrates, the most influential people in Canadian food - chefs and CEOs, farmers and winemakers, plus researchers, restaurateurs and, of course, eaters. In the first of a five-part series, meet The Faithful, the ones who are winning the long game: the first chef to make Indian food buzzy, the $11-billion cheese magnate, the first family of craft beer and more
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

Chris Ramsaroop, labour activist

It's 5 p.m. on an early summer day, and the truck I'm in is the only thing moving on a country road just southeast of Toronto. The truck passes a field of Christmas trees, two feet high in July, then a pair of teens sitting in the tall grass next to a horse, who crane their necks to watch this truck full of outsiders as it drives by.

A mailbox mounted on a post marks the entrance to a small house that is shared by migrant farm workers. Worker #1, a lean and muscular Jamaican man in his early 30s, waits by the road, cellphone in one hand, the other wrapped in a brace.

Chris Ramsaroop, a big guy, with a face framed by chunky glasses, a goatee and curly hair, steps out of the truck, shoes crunching on the gravel road. The 42-year-old founder of Justice for Migrant Workers spends his weeks working 9 to 5 as a legal clerk and his weekends in farm country, trying to make a difference for Canada's estimated 34,000 migrant farm workers.

Outside of the truck's air conditioning, it smells like manure. It's Canada Day. As we drove out of Toronto, it seemed like the whole city was out on the porch, the sidewalk or whatever plot of grass was available, grilling meat, sipping beer and otherwise luxuriating on Canada's birthday, a federal statutory holiday.

Here in farm country, people don't have the day off. Most workers are on eight-month contracts, brought here from Mexico mainly and the Caribbean through the federal Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. During that time, they usually work six days a week, 10 hours a day. They don't get stat holidays. They don't get overtime pay. When the growing and picking season is over, they go back to their own countries for four months or so. The time they work in Canada does not count toward earning legal, permanent residency.

And so Ramsaroop is working too. He reaches back into the truck to grab a folder filled with newspaper articles about farm labourers' rights. And then he listens, making notes, as Worker #1 describes how his hand was injured: He was moving boxes of Christmas trees, transplanting them from the nursery to the field. It's a job for five bodies, but there were only three around. A supervisor told them to do it anyway. Worker #1's hand got caught between the box and a machine.

He was taken to a doctor by his boss: The doctor shared Worker #1's medical records with his employer, and said an additional X-ray would be needed after three weeks. Worker #1 was never taken back to the doctor. I naively ask how any doctor would breach patient confidentiality by sharing a patient's medical records with their employer. Ramsaroop says it's less intentional malice than the way of life out here.

"Everybody thinks of migrant workers as the property of the employer."

Ramsaroop has been at this since 2001, when a wildcat strike in Leamington, Ont., opened his eyes to the harsh reality of migrant workers. There have been some wins in that time - Human Rights Tribunal rulings, one against a Kingsville, Ont., tomato farm where workers were referred to as "monkeys," and against a Wheatly, Ont.,fish processing plant where employees sexually harassed workers - but after each incident, the public's memory recedes.

Worker #1 is from Jamaica. He left his wife and child there to come here to work 60 hours a week in a field. But, like most migrant agricultural labourers, Worker #1 is expendable. He has been told that he and his hand are "becoming such a problem," and has been accused of exaggerating the injury. Employers can't force injured workers to leave. But they can make them miserable enough to voluntarily go home. Worker #1 was put on weeding, which requires crouching and two good hands.

"Two can play at that game," says Worker #1, who says he makes his bosses miserable in return "by showing up every day, ready to work." He's playing it nice. But he's simmering. Back home, he was a welder. His wife is a chemical engineer. Here, he is treated as someone's property.

Ramsaroop gives him the reading material and says he hopes to get a friendly doctor out here to have a look at the hand. He instructs Worker #1 to avoid voicing any desire to return home, which his employer might use as an excuse to break the work contract.

Before we climb back into the truck, he tells Worker #1 about a labour march, starting on Sept. 5 in Windsor and ending in Ottawa in early October. Ramsaroop has hopes that groups from each area will join for at least one leg of the journey.

We head to a nearby Tim Hortons, waiting to hear from Worker #2, who needs to be sure that the bosses have left for the day before he can talk to us. It's a long wait.

The labour activist avoids getting personal about his work.

But when pressed, he admits that his interest runs deep. "My family, on my mother's side, about four generations back, up to my grandmother, were indentured workers in Trinidad," Ramsaroop says. "After slavery ended, they brought over workers from India to work on the plantations. So my family, that's how they ended up in Trinidad.

They were bonded to a contract, very similar to today.

"They were given poverty wages. There were many injuries and sicknesses. The plantation owners would totally control the lives of the indentured workers.

And this is something we see today."

We've moved on to Wendy's when Worker #2 sends a text message that he is ready to talk.

Soon we are driving down another lonely country road.

Ramsaroop avoids going on farm property if he can help it.

But, as the sun dips over the horizon, sinking the farm into darkness, we get the all clear from Worker #2 to drive up to the barracks, a series of large, open-air buildings where 150 men sleep in just one room.

Worker #2 hops in the truck and starts giving Ramsaroop updates: There is a rumour that an inspector ordered the farm owner to rebuild one of the living quarters because of rotting wood.

Worker #2 is also from the Caribbean. He works part-time in the fields and part-time in the factory, maintaining the machines that sort and clean the fruit. As an agricultural worker, he is not supposed to be in the factory at all.

"When the company guys come to repair something, they have to pay," Worker #2 says.

"When we do it, they get it for less than half the price. I understand, you want your equipment fixed fast. You want your machinery to be working good.

But they rush us. Then they say we're taking too long. They don't speak to the company guys like that. They talk to us like we're prisoners."

Worker #2 has been coming to Canada as a Temporary Foreign Worker for 13 years. He works 60 hours a week, but cannot become a Canadian. Temporary Foreign Workers are legally tied to their employers: They can change jobs only with an agreement through both employers.

So, they effectively cannot quit their jobs and are considered AWOL if they attempt to find new work without permission.

Ramsaroop and Justice for Migrant Workers are campainging on two fronts. They want the federal government to grant migrant farm workers permanent immigration status on arrival. They also want the provincial government to enforce labour rights, including the health care that migrants are promised but often denied. They are trying to organize these temporary, vulnerable workers into a collective, for strength, and to reform provincial and federal laws so that farm work can be decent and dignified.

It's midnight. Worker #2 thanks us for listening and heads to bed. We drive off into the blackness.

Two towns over, we meet Worker #3 on a moonlit playground. He has never met Ramsaroop before. But even though he knows he'll probably get fired, he's compelled to speak up about the horrible conditions where he works.

Worker #3 has a phone full of images. There are videos of the fields where he is sent to pick cantaloupe, watermelon and strawberries without a mask, 30 minutes after they've been sprayed with pesticide.

He shows us the building where he sleeps with 34 other men. Each tiny bed is surrounded by a pile of laundry, stacked like sandbag walls for a moderate amount of privacy in the single room. The boots the men wear in the pesticide-laced field are stored in the same room.

Worker #3, a young, confident Caribbean man, shows us gruesome close-ups of bedbugs and says his supervisor laughed when told about the infestation.

He has been here two months and still hasn't received his OHIP card.

And, he says, he's willing to endure all of that. What he can't abide is the money he sees missing from his pay, hours shaved off that he has worked. And he fears he's in trouble with the bosses because they probably know he's made videos in the field.

After listening, Ramsaroop asks the most relevant question.

"How many are ready to stand up?" Worker #3 says he'll poke around, as discreetly as possible.

He knows he's in for a world of trouble if his employers hear of him organizing any kind of worker resistance. But he's fed up and believes that some of the others are too.

Ramsaroop gives him the rundown on what kind of help he can provide: documenting infractions, potential legal assistance and advising actions he can take without being terminated.

He asks Worker #3 to keep track of hours for as many workers as possible, and to snap a photo of the pesticide labels. Before we leave, he tells him about the march in September.

Ramsaroop says it's an endless frustration, organizing farm labourers. The temporary, contract nature of the work cycles resisters out of the system - and there is always a fresh crop of bodies on the way. Plus, farm workers can't unionize in Canada. That's why his ultimate goal is to have Ottawa change the 50year-old TFW program to offer citizenship and rights to the people who come here to pick our food, rather than continuing to rent their bodies for pennies on the dollar, until they're broken.

It's Friday night. On Saturday, Ramsaroop will be out here again, meeting with workers, hearing their stories, helping them access resources. On Sunday, he's hosting a birthday party for the daughter of a former field worker.

Most weekends and evenings, he's driving out to the fields, to meet people on the side of the road, in small-town Tim Hortons, bars or parking lots. He has no family outside his mother, no life outside of this. I ask what he does on his off time.

"I sleep," he says.

Associated Graphic

Chris Ramsaroop

'In the jungle, negative thoughts had a habit of conjuring things, of slipping their bounds and finding shape in the world.' Our summer reading series continues with an excerpt from Andrew Westoll's debut novel, The Jungle South of the Mountain
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R14

The letter arrived with the provisions, and when Stanley spotted it among the bags of cassava flour and the cans of beans and the bottles of palum he understood the rains were on their way. It was that time of year again, the last weeks of the dry season, when Maria penned her annual letter and Stanley braced himself for the deluge.

Before he'd unfurled his hammock for the night and cracked the rum, he had slipped the unopened letter and a fresh jugo of beer into his day pack. And now five hours had passed, the jungle had woken outside Camp Collymore, and Stanley was late for an appointment in the bush.

He pulled on his field gear, his binoculars, his machete, laced his boots, hefted his pack and unlatched the front door. Flipping on his headlamp he picked his way through the darkness to the bottom of Ant Hill, where the mist was thick and the river slid silently past his little beach. What harm could come from remembering? he thought to himself, as he always did on this day each year. But he knew the answer to this question: a great deal of harm could come from it, a very great deal. In the jungle, negative thoughts had a habit of conjuring things, of slipping their bounds and finding shape in the world. That's how Maria would have explained it. For Stanley, the harm of the memory would be more visceral: every year on this day his stomach turned to mush.

Turning east from the river onto the Voltzberg Trail he began the hike in. At Anyumara Falls, which were still just a trickle, he startled the capybara and her young at the water's edge. By the beam of his lamp Stanley watched the rodents nose the air, their plump bodies paralyzed with awareness. They were so still they might have been part of a natural history diorama - Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, World's Largest Rodent, Tropical Rainforest Biome, South America. Of all the things Stanley had discovered about prey animals - and the capybara was the definition of prey, the prized quarry of the anaconda - it was this capacity for stillness, this ability to appear carved from stone at the moment of greatest peril, that impressed him most. After following monkeys for so many years Stanley had cultivated a similar ability to remain calm and still for long periods, but he often wondered if this skill would actually translate into real poise under pressure, as it did for the capybara, or if stillness would simply abandon him when he needed it most.

Stanley flipped off his lamp, stepped offtrail and slipped quietly past the capybara.

This small ritual of courtesy had marked the beginning of his days for eight years now. When he and Maria had first walked the Voltz it had been Maria who had spotted the capybara at the falls. She had let out a gasp, gripped Stanley's arm, and in the darkness Stanley's initial reaction had been desirous, the pressure of his wife's fingers on his skin causing his insides to surge. But a moment later he had reached into his pocket, pulled out his notebook and set to work. They had arrived in Roosvallen only the day before and both were beyond exhilarated - the winding boat ride south from the coast that felt like they were slipping off the edge of the earth; their first evening in this forest, sitting around the campfire while their boss, the great Professor Collymore, pressed his case that this jungle was like no other; this capybara and her young, caught in the spotlight, a taxidermied family of four. This is our life, Stanley, Maria would say at moments like these, squeezing him tight.

This is our life.

Now, eight years on, Stanley recalled that encounter with the capybara with deep sadness. Because as Maria, awestruck, had narrowed the beam of her headlamp that morning, and as Stanley had scribbled the time and approximate location of those motionless rodents into his notebook, the pair had embodied one of the great ironies of the scientific enterprise: that out in the field, science does not make distinctions between the radicals and the rationalists, between those driven forward by the body and the spirit and those driven forward by the mind. For Maria, those capybara became members of a shared ecosystem that morning. For Stanley, those rodents became the project's first data point.

Up Kawati Top and down the other side Stanley took Domineestraat south. Here the jungle was at its thickest, and in the weeks since he'd last walked this trail the forest had made every effort to reclaim it.

Spiny creepers criss-crossed the path at headheight, several epiphytes had slipped from their moorings and drifted to the earth, and about halfway down the trail a fallen tree barred the way. Stanley decided against his machete and quietly rounded these obstacles, the only human-made sounds his breath, his footfalls and the occasional clank of his camp chair against his pack, while the forest around him built towards the dawn crescendo. The peeping tree frogs of every denomination, the purr of nocturnal insects nearing the end of their shifts, the far-off moan of a dove or a bush dog, Stanley had never been able to tell which. At the bottom of Domineestraat stood a lone heliconia plant. As he passed Stanley flicked open his knife and sliced off an impressive set of bracts, the half-heartshaped appendages seeming to glow in the dark they were such a brilliant red. Heliconia had been Maria's favourite.

On that first day in the jungle Stanley and Maria had bushwhacked for seven hours straight but had failed to find a single primate - no capuchins, no bearded sakis, not even a lowly squirrel monkey. Collymore had sent them out alone that morning to christen their new study site, to begin exploring and laying claim to the place that might one day become as productive as Corcovado or Manú. And now his protégés would return to camp with nothing to show for it.

Nothing? said Maria, when Stanley voiced these concerns. Sweetheart, open your eyes.

They had, of course, seen the menagerie that day. It had started with that capybara, then the caracara up on Kawati, then the trumpeter birds. And for the rest of the day, Stanley barely had time to stash his notebook before another wild feature of the jungle revealed itself. By midmorning they had spotted a tapir, an armadillo, two yellowfooted tortoises and the tail end of a giant anteater. During a water break Maria had noticed a kinkajou, or honey bear, peering down at them from the mid-canopy. Both were amateur ophidiologists - a result of having spent years chasing primates through rainforest environments - but they were only able to identify two of the twelve snakes they saw that day, the vicious bushmaster and the nasty fer-de-lance. There was something unique about this jungle, as Collymore claimed - something magical about the way it was put together. At noon the pair ate their lunch next to a large stand of heliconia, and as Stanley had reviewed his notes from the morning Maria had disappeared into this stand and reemerged five minutes later, a broad smile on her face and a long set of heliconia bracts in her hand. It had already fallen off, she said, before Stanley could accuse her, with gentle ridicule, of "defiling Mother Earth." They were just sitting there on the ground, she said, like little broken hearts.

That afternoon Maria had carried those bracts all the way back to Ant Hill. She had strung them up above their tent, and when Professor Collymore had returned from the river he had scoffed at the gesture. It's stunning, my dear, he had said, towelling himself off with an old T-shirt, his Scottish brogue echoing back from the canopy.

From the family Heliconiaceae. It will be rotten by morning.

South from Domineestraat now, Stanley carried his fresh heliconia with both hands, felt the satisfying heft of life still present in the plant, and soon the trail opened up into a grove of massive kankan trees. Their trunks were many feet across and their buttress roots nearly overlapped. Through the high canopy Stanley could see the mauve sky. I'm late, he thought. This should have been done before dawn. He walked faster, unencumbered now by the collapsing forest, his pack clanging through the grove, his route memorized, but as he neared his destination a lump formed in his throat. He slowed when he caught the glint of glass amid the roots of a particular tree. Flipping off his lamp and leaning the heliconia against a buttress, he dropped his gear and stood silently before the towering kankan.

At the foot of this tree stood a collection of empty beer bottles. In the dimness Stanley saw that a few of them had tipped over, so he reached down and righted them.

Eight empty bottles. Seven years since he'd lost his boy. Beneath this makeshift shrine, a few feet down in the soil, lay the remains of Stanley and Maria's only child.

Excerpt from The Jungle South of the Mountain by Andrew Westoll ©2016. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.


What inspired the book?

My protagonist, Stanley, inspired the book.

He appeared in my mind one night, as I was contemplating what might happen to a primatologist if he were left alone for too long in the rainforest. The next morning, aware that Stanley would require an adversary, I googled videos of harpy eagles attacking monkeys. The first hit was a shaky piece of footage depicting the moments immediately after a harpy attacked a troop of monkeys, and when I heard the breathless voice-over, the hairs went up on my neck. It was my voice: "Oh my God. Oh my God." I had shot this footage in 2001. The die was cast.

You've published two works of non-fiction, including the RBC Taylor Prize-winning The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary. Why fiction and why now?

I actually started out as an aspiring novelist, but when I discovered the power of creative non-fiction I was swept away by it. So I didn't consciously decide to start writing fiction this time around; I was just searching for a compelling story to tell.

Stanley's predicament simply forced its way past the other ideas I was mulling over. The story won out.

If the excerpt is any indication, this is a book that is once again concerned with the natural world. Why is this a theme you're continually drawn to?

The natural world is both the canvas and the medium of the scientist. And in a way, the same is true for a writer, at least metaphorically. We are all human animals concerned with the trials and tribulations of the human animal. Given my background in the biological sciences, and my abiding curiosity in the tension between rationalism and faith, I have a feeling that science and the natural world will always feature, to some extent, in my writing.

Associated Graphic


Judge to rule on entrapment conviction at month's end
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were high.

In June, 2013, the Muslim converts were at a hotel in the Okanagan city of Kelowna, where they were supposed to be working on a terrorist plan to kill revellers and first responders during an attack at the British Columbia Legislature grounds on Canada Day.

But the husband and wife, heroin addicts who had rarely ventured far from their Surrey basement suite and subsisted on social-assistance payments, spent much of their time smoking marijuana and playing video games.

It was on that trip, defence lawyers say, police "finally crossed over their own self-imposed line in the sand." It was then, the defence argues, that the RCMP went from investigating a crime to manufacturing one.

Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody were arrested on July 1, 2013, hours after they placed potentially explosive pressure-cooker devices outside the legislature in Victoria. The plot was international news. The couple were found guilty by a jury in June, 2015, of conspiring to murder persons unknown and making or possessing an explosive substance - in both cases for the benefit of or at the direction of a terrorist group.

But their convictions have not been entered. Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody have argued that they were victims of police entrapment and, a year after those arguments began, Justice Catherine Bruce of the B.C. Supreme Court is to deliver her decision at the end of this month.

The Public Prosecution Service says there have been entrapment motions in three Canadian terrorism cases; none was successful.

But there is one key distinction in this case: Instead of manipulating Mr. Nuttall into confessing a past crime, the officers tried to determine what he and Ms. Korody would be willing to do in the future.

The court heard that the RCMP began looking at Mr. Nuttall after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service told the force in early 2013 that he had tried to purchase potassium nitrate, which can be used in explosives.

The Mounties had been contacted about Mr. Nuttall before. A man he met at a mosque in 2011 told police that Mr. Nuttall had talked about fighting a holy war in Afghanistan.

RCMP tactics revolved around a Mr. Big sting - a technique in which undercover officers bring a target into a purported criminal operation and hope that target will confess to a past crime. An undercover RCMP officer approached Mr. Nuttall, pretending to look for a missing niece. The officer posed as an Arab businessman and Mr. Nuttall almost immediately told the Mountie that he had plans for jihad. Mr. Nuttall also claimed to be a hacker who could bring down the computer systems of the government of Israel.

Slightly more than three months later, the husband and wife were driven to Kelowna for the four-day trip that was intended to finalize the terrorist plot.

If the RCMP believed that the sting against Mr. Nuttall would be relatively simple, they were mistaken. Time and again he stymied undercover officers by offering terrorist plots that had little basis in reality. His plans included stealing a nuclear submarine and firing rockets across the U.S. border. He was so concerned that he would be killed at a meeting with the primary undercover officer in May - after he proposed hijacking a passenger train that no longer ran - he brought a paintball gun that had been modified to shoot marbles.

Even Justice Bruce has questioned Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody's intellects, last month referring to an incident in which the husband and wife tried to will themselves to forget a person's name.

The Crown argued that the police conduct Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody complain of would not have induced an average person to carry out the offences. It said it did not warrant a stay of proceedings.

Prosecutor Peter Eccles told the court last month that Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody set the pressurecooker devices to explode 15 minutes apart, not knowing that the RCMP had already rendered the devices inert. He said the couple wanted the first explosion to kill or maim innocent bystanders, and the second to target first responders and emergency personnel.

"They did it because they wanted to," Mr. Eccles said.

The leading entrapment case in this country was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1988.

Norman Mack had been convicted of trafficking, but he argued that he sold drugs only because of a police informant's persistence, use of threats and inducement of a large amount of money. Mr. Mack was a former drug user.

The court ruled in Mr. Mack's favour, setting his conviction aside and staying the proceedings. It said entrapment occurs when authorities provide a person an opportunity to commit an offence without reasonable suspicion the person is already engaged in criminal activity, and go so far as to induce the commission of that offence.

The court said factors that may be considered in determining whether police went too far include their persistence, use of deceit, fraud, trickery or reward, and the existence of any threats, implied or express.

Other factors include whether an average person in the position of the accused would have been induced into carrying out the crime, and whether the police exploited a person's particular vulnerability, such as a mental handicap or substance addiction.

Douglas Jevning, who was one of two lawyers representing Mr. Mack at the Supreme Court, said in an interview that while his client's case involved a drug offence nearly three decades ago, the ruling holds up today - even for a terrorism case.

"Either the police have a reasonable suspicion that the person that they targeted is engaged in criminal activity, or they don't.

And if they don't have a reasonable suspicion, and they offer the person an opportunity to commit an offence, and they engaged in the type of behaviour that [the Mack ruling] talks about ... I don't think it matters what the crime is," he said in an interview.

Mr. Jevning declined to comment on the case involving Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody.

Kent Roach, a professor at the University of Toronto faculty of law who has written about terrorism prosecutions, said one significant difference between entrapment laws in Canada and the United States is that juries decide entrapment south of the border. In Canada, the motion is decided by a judge, on a balance of probabilities.

Prof. Roach said juries are more prone to being influenced by the seriousness of an offence.

Perhaps the most well-known of the U.S. terrorism cases in which entrapment was alleged is that of the Newburgh Four. An HBO documentary about the case was released in 2014. The first man approached by an FBI informant initially refused to participate in an attack on an airbase. However, he later lost his job and agreed to participate for up to $250,000. Three other men also joined the plot after being promised a large payday. All four were convicted and handed mandatory and lengthy prison terms.

The sentencing judge did, however, offer some harsh words for law enforcement. The judge said the first man, James Cromitie, showed "buffoonery" that was "positively Shakespearean in scope." The judge went on to say "only the government could have made a terrorist out of him."

Lorne Dawson, co-director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society, said the use of undercover police or informants in stings is not as prevalent in this country as it is in the United States.

But Prof. Dawson, who also teaches at the University of Waterloo, said he believes that Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody's argument will fall short. He said they demonstrated their intent by planting the pressure-cooker devices, regardless of the help they received from police.

On Day 3 of the Kelowna trip, Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody briefly got down to work.

The primary undercover officer, at a meeting the afternoon before, told Mr. Nuttall that a significant amount of money had been spent and it did not come easy. He said it was from the hard work of other brothers, according to defence counsel's closing submission.

Defence lawyers say the Mountie also disparaged Mr. Nuttall's rocket plan and pushed the pressure-cooker plan on him. Mr.

Nuttall had been told on the drive to Kelowna that he would be given the explosive C4, and defence counsel said it was on this trip that police "openly advocated for one particular plan above all others ... with the result that it became their plan."

The Crown said Mr. Nuttall had agreed that the rocket plan was not feasible and wanted a larger body count than bombings in Boston a couple of months earlier in which pressure-cooker devices were used.

The day after the meeting, an audio recording captured Mr. Nuttall inside his hotel room telling Ms. Korody to research pipe bombs.

"I need this done. If this doesn't get done, we are done. Get it? We will be dropped. We will be deleted," he said, according to the defence submission. The submission was jointly filed by Marilyn Sandford, Mr. Nuttall's lawyer, and Mark Jetté, Ms. Korody's counsel.

This was not the only time Mr. Nuttall appeared to fear for his or Ms. Korody's life. In addition to the incident with the marble gun, he later told his wife that he worried they would end up "wearing cement galoshes at the bottom of the ocean." The Crown has said Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody were given opportunities to back out of the plot, but the defence has said the couple did not believe they could.

Ms. Sandford said her client and his wife lacked money, weapons and even a mode of transportation before they were approached by undercover police. They had few friends and were dependent on methadone.

She said the Mounties did not give adequate consideration to Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody's vulnerabilities. Both were highly suggestible, she said, noting Mr. Nuttall's belief in a conspiracy about chemtrails and Ms. Korody's mentions of being part of an "alien cult."

Mr. Eccles, the prosecutor, told the court that some of Mr. Nuttall's plots might have seemed impractical but that's how "lonewolf terrorists" operate - they start with "crazy ideas" and then settle on one.

He said a nurse in 2012 said Mr. Nuttall may have been "developmentally delayed" but he was not diagnosed with a mental illness.

There was even less evidence of a mental-health issue for Ms. Korody, he said.

Ms. Sandford acknowledged that the case involved a crime "that in 2016 I would expect the public would put very near the top, if not at the top, of their list of the most disturbing and alarming and serious of offences."

But she said the RCMP undertook "an unprecedented operation in the manner in which it interacted with vulnerable targets and the manner in which it resulted in the manufacture of a crime."

Associated Graphic

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody, seen in a still image taken from RCMP undercover video, argue they were victims of police entrapment.


Come together
A self-aware, often funny, incredibly insightful exploration of female pleasure
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R17

Closer: Notes from the Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality By Sarah Barmak Coach House Press, 165 pages, $14.95 T here are moments in Closer, Sarah Barmak's fascinating expedition to "the wild frontier of women's sexuality," that may leave you feeling shortchanged by your orgasms.

Maybe it's orgasm-champ Vanessa, who experiences seven different types and compares her arousal to a "murmuration of starlings." Maybe it's Veronica, whose face goes numb as she climaxes six times in 40 minutes, riding a tricked-out pommel horse named Sybarite at Burning Man, Nevada's annual festival of hedonism. Or maybe it's Barmak herself, who, during a therapeutic "yoni massage," describes a "thirsty, red-eyed crotch dragon" waking inside her. "Afterwards, I felt powerfully hungry, like I could eat two steaks," writes the Toronto journalist.

They are details offered up in Closer, an engrossing look at the state of female desire in 2016.

The title alludes to both the tense feeling before orgasm and the idea that we are on the brink of "deep realizations about the female body." Tracing the historical, cultural and scientific treatment of female sexuality, Barmak sees two realities colliding today: a porny mainstream aesthetic that has downgraded women's pleasure in favour of performance and a more feminist subculture resuscitating what actually makes women feel good - and a lot of it is pretty out there.

Before diving into the fun, fringy stuff, Barmak questions what, precisely, the sexual revolution has done for the quality of women's sex lives. In many ways, modern women have gotten the shaft - though the author deftly avoids such lame puns throughout her 165-page book. What she finds is that "a lot of ordinary women have a bad time in bed."

As she catalogues the ingredients for bad modern sex, Barmak is clear-eyed and doesn't moralize. Hardcore porn with coercive storylines is readily at hand online and often stands in for sex ed for its younger viewers.

The hyper-accelerated hookup culture promoted on Tinder means that extended, loving foreplay is becoming a fuzzy concept, if not a total waste of time for dating adults. Slut-shaming is alive and well, as women are encouraged to perform a pornified version of sexuality and then get slammed both when they fail to deliver on it, and when they deliver on it. We want women to be sexual, but in stupidly limiting ways. Never mind the rise of self-inflicted labiaplasty among women wishing to resemble porn stars, in effect mutilating the parts of their bodies made for pleasure. We set up these horribly depressing paradoxes for women, all designed to make them fail.

"Sex for the modern woman is not so much an enjoyable release of stress and tension, or a time to simply do whatever the fuck she wants, but another sphere in which to evaluate her performance," Barmak writes. "We think too much about whether we're doing something right, whether our partner is turned on or whether we look good."

But there is some cause for hope in all this mess. We are seeing a "reawakening of sex-positive feminism" and it is mercifully more fun than it sounds. Through first-hand immersion, Barmak discovers a wide array of "sexual naturalists" interested in a more femalecentred approach to sex. Straddling the disparate worlds of health care, therapy, spirituality, pornography and prostitution, this is "the art and craft of women's sexuality," writes Barmak, allowing, "It is weird, wonderful and at times bizarre."

Whether it's orgasmic meditation, group masturbation workshops, sensation-jolting mindfulness sessions, traumahealing vulva massage from female shamans or "ethical" porn, the point is to help women change their relationship with sex. These "seekers" have turned away from pharmacology and toward the holistic mindset espoused in current trends such as yoga, meditation and slow food. The idea is to treat pleasure as part of your overall health, and to tweak the social conditioning of sex as a goal-oriented performance: "Forget about orgasms. Forget about goals. Just enjoy what's in front of you. Take your time," Barmak suggests.

Whether sex-positive feminists will win the war against trillions of megapixels of woman-punishing porn online remains to be seen. Barmak argues that at the very least, these sexual subcultures are giving women another way of looking at themselves.

Thankfully, unlike that other recent feminist tome on female sexuality, the insufferably newagey and widely panned Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf, Barmak is highly self-aware - and the result is a very funny book.

She offers her adventures as a provocation, not a prescription: you'll find no Cosmo-esque demands for gymnastics or whipped cream here.

That approachability is important when dealing with a subject as fraught with insecurity as sex.

The stats are bleak: Britain's 2013 National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles of 15,000 adults from the ages of 16 to 74 found that 40 per cent of women don't feel motivated to have sex.

Some 16 per cent could not orgasm, or did so with difficulty. A 2015 Cosmo survey of 2,300 women found that just 57 per cent climaxed with their male partner, while those guys came 95 per cent of the time.

What's even more startling is that this brand of sexual inequality wasn't always so ingrained.

Barmak mines several ancient civilizations that actually dug female pleasure. Take the Sumerians, who worshipped women's "boats of heaven," or the medieval Tamils, who penned reverential poems about cunnilingus.

My favourite had to be the Taoists of the Han Dynasty, whose sex manuals recommended 45 minutes of foreplay before penetration - "truly a golden age of sexual detective work," Barmak quips. Compare this epic warm-up to what you see in made-by-men-for-men porn today: rarely a hint of foreplay, not on her person at least.

(Taoist tradition also offers an ominous warning to men "who ejaculate too often": you will age prematurely. Take note, PornHub subscribers.)

Sadly, long before online porn hijacked fantasy and female pleasure, "the party was over for the vulva," Barmak writes. Christianity treated it as impure: "Woman is defective and misbegotten" is a kind thing Thomas Aquinas once said. By the early 1900s, Freud did women another huge disservice, downgrading clitoral orgasms as "immature" while urging his female patients to have vaginal orgasms, with men.

From the fifties to the seventies, sex researchers such as Alfred Kinsey and Shere Hite conducted large-scale surveys that made one thing abundantly clear: Most women climax clitorally. Both of the researchers faced intense censure.

Indeed, in a long history of misunderstandings of female sexuality, the most pathetic failures involve basic anatomy. Barmak does an excellent job of cataloguing the absurd unfairness here. Six years after we'd mapped the entire human genome, a couple of French gynecologists finally got around to mapping out the clitoris in 3-D with a sonogram - in 2009. Turns out "The Real Clitoris" is not just a small pea, but an expansive organ with 8,000 nerve endings that sits under the skin "like an iceberg." The author feels cheated when she learns this, "like a blind man finally seeing a whole elephant when all he'd ever known was the tip of its trunk."

Jocular as Barmak is, it's a scathing indictment of sexist medicine, of our lack of interest in women's erogenous zones - the parts that don't produce children. To say nothing of the G-spot, or the more groundbreaking Italian research titled "Beyond the G-spot" that has located a "CUV complex" linking the clitoris, urethra and anterior vaginal wall. Good luck discussing any of this with your cluedout family doctor.

Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude is that studying sex - and women's wants, at that - is a waste of money. Today, when female desire is actually discussed, it is labelled as "complex" - our sexual organs "tricky puzzles, fleshy Rubik's cubes." This is yet another cop-out: if women's desire is forever shrouded in mystery, it means we can continue to ignore it. Or medicalize whatever we deem "dysfunctional," with "just for her" Viagrasubstitutes that come with troubling side effects. Incidentally, a woman's sexuality is still often labelled dysfunctional when her brain and body fail to behave like a dude's, when her desire isn't spontaneous or when she can't climax as quickly as her male partner, or, back to Freud, from penetration alone.

In researching and writing about female desire, Barmak and others before her show women what a fallacy it is to compare their sexuality to men's. They also show women that they are probably normal. In that, Closer is a valuable exercise, this in a world that still treats the entire subject as frivolous. Barmak describes a mortifying dinner party where a female guest guilts her for writing about orgasm at a time when women are staring down oppression and war. Why are we talking about orgasmic meditation when we could be talking about pay equity, domestic violence and abortion rights?

Ever self-aware, Barmak acknowledges that the "antics" in her book can certainly appear as the ultimate form of navel-gazing. Take the zeal with which orgasm champ Vanessa hounds doctors, counsellors, urologists and "a good pelvic-floor specialist" to help her when her orgasms suddenly sputter out. To even a liberal reader, the amount of time Vanessa devotes to coaxing her orgasms back can feel indulgent. But maybe that shows us the scope of the problem we have. Why are women rebuked when they give some thought to how satisfied they are with their sex lives? And who's the loser here, ultimately? Probably not the person having a great time with her body.

Discussions about female pleasure go well beyond simple hedonism, though. The best Canadian sex researchers now discuss pleasure as part of sexual health. It's also integral to the new focus on affirmative consent in our sexual assault laws. Today, we believe that consent should be enthusiastically communicated, but how do young women do that if they don't even know what turns them on, or aren't encouraged to find out? Pleasure, writes Barmak, "intersects with well-being, self-determination and consent."

Ultimately, when we deride conversations about female desire, we are shortchanging women and men. When we don't talk about what women actually want, porn takes over as teacher: "There may well be a kinder, gentler side to men's sexuality that is being erased in this culture," Barmak observes.

Among heterosexual couples, it is absolutely confounding that more men aren't into women's pleasure, overlooking that it will vastly heighten their own arousal. Barmak believes that if we accept the complexity of female desire and actually work to figure our partners out, our sex lives might become less "predictable and porn-mechanical" - and more hot.

In that, Closer is a provocation for women and men alike.

Zosia Bielski is features writer for The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

In part of her book Closer, author Sarah Barmak writes about how ancient civilizations treated female pleasure.


Brexit lessons for an anxious world
Economic integration is scary to those who have suffered its harshest consequences. But tearing apart the bonds that join us is a recipe for great danger, writes William A. Macdonald
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F2

For many people in Britain, Europe, and the United States, things are changing too fast - life is unfamiliar, and far from what it used to be. They no longer feel at home. While some may be doing well, others are not keeping up. These feelings of discontent and inequality underlie much of the political turmoil in these countries today and lead to three key questions: Is there a way for Britain and Europe to turn the shocking Brexit referendum result around? How long do they have? And will the U.S. avoid its own Brexit moment?

A dangerous time Dangerous moments require higher-than-usual levels of leadership and followership. In his recent story in The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane, Jonathan Rauch argues that the current world (never more connected, yet dangerously disconnected) has left U.S. leaders without the tools to bond with their followers. Britain, Europe and the United States all have great strengths. They would do well to re-establish the model of the U.S.-led postwar approach: Broaden the inclusive order in the world at home and abroad; contain what is not includable at any one moment; and act collectively, not unilaterally.

This model produced more peace and prosperity for more people than ever before in history. Trump and Brexit seek to undo that model.

The outer challenges in this global world are big, but the biggest come from within. The forces that created today's overreach have been at work for some 35 years. The counterforces they provoked have produced a populist politics with nothing better to offer - and likely very much worse.

Striking at the postwar foundations Brexit may not happen, should not happen, but could - maybe in some form is even likely to - happen. If it did, it would strike at the twin foundations of the post-1945 era - globalization and its inclusive world order, as well as a stable and prosperous Europe. It's imperative now to confront the rising centrifugal forces within the Western world.

Brexit must not become our generation's Munich. At Munich, France and Britain failed to confront the rising authoritarianism, racism, and expansionism of Germany. Now, the West must not fail to confront a different centrifugal political turmoil in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. Brexit is the biggest wake-up call since Munich, but, unlike Munich, the danger comes from ourselves, not from outsiders. Europe was saved from suicide by the U.S., and Europe's inclusive postwar journey is the foundation for 70 years of relative European peace and prosperity. The world cannot afford to have the U.S., Britain or Europe falter now.

Two bullets to dodge The world needs to dodge two bullets in 2016 - Brexit and Donald Trump. Both can be dodged if Mr. Trump does not win the U.S. presidency, or perhaps even if he does. If the leaders of Europe and Britain can delay Brexit, time could favour the Remain side even though 58.1 per cent of the ruling Conservatives voted to leave. Immigration is the touchy issue. A majority of the older and more numerous Britishers are bothered by increasing numbers of newcomers. The young generally hold the opposite view, but they failed to vote in sufficient numbers (36 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 voted, versus 80 per cent of those over 65).

Like separatism in Quebec, Brexit is largely a family quarrel in the U.K. Quebec separatism was primarily about different visions of Quebec - one inside Canada, one outside - not about Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Brexit is primarily about different visions of Britain - not Britain and Europe.

'He knew me' On the night U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt died, a man on a subway platform began to cry. "Did you know him?" a bystander asked. "No," the man replied, "but he knew me."

The elites know a lot about how to deal with world complexities, but they failed in Britain, Europe, and the U.S. to understand how today's world affects people less able to cope with it. Losing our sense of identity, our jobs and our money are powerful forces.

Austerity in both Europe and the U.K. has reinforced the sense of loss. In the U.S., the biggest challenge has been the increasing winners/losers, zero-sum, nocompromise approach of its politics.

The best mutual-accommodation techniques are objectivity and empathy - or, to use former Canadian prime minister John Turner's phrase, "free enterprise with a heart." That empathy was missing in the post-Ronald Reagan/Margaret Thatcher dominance of markets and globalization.

Where does Brexit stop?

The biggest question now is whether Brexit stops with Brexit or goes on to reinforce the centrifugal forces in the world. The first task is to contain the forces of Brexit and Trump. The second is to move beyond the creation of credit by central banks to real economic advance. The third is to abandon fiscal austerity in a world that is short on demand compared with supply. Three people are needed to meet the challenge: Theresa May, the new grownup U.K. prime minister; Hillary Clinton, internationally experienced and a good listener, and soon to be on the ballot for U.S. president; and Germany's broad-based Angela Merkel at her political best.

Short-term stakes matter. But the big stakes are containing the centrifugal forces. China needs - and knows it needs - a stable U.S. and Europe. Russia may not want to know it, but it needs that same stability, too. The whole world must see the high-stakes risk Brexit is as the first big postwar centrifugal force out of the gate in the West.

A divided country and weak politics The U.K. is a divided country: London, Scotland and Northern Ireland against the rest; and the old versus the young. Both major political parties are weak, but this could change under Ms. May: Labour is divided between Tony Blair's New Labour and its current hard-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

The Conservatives are divided between the Leave and Remain factions.

Once Theresa May settles into her job, there will be new opinion polls and new financial markets and economic developments.

Then, there will be a new U.S. president. Calm, common sense and patience will be the best approach until more Brexit political and economic fallout emerges.

Former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa privately told me and two senior Toronto business leaders, following the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, that even if Quebec voted to separate, it would not be able to do so. Quebec and Canada were too intertwined. The same may apply to Brexit. A more precise referendum defining the realistic choices may at some point become essential.

One thing is for sure: Brussels has been too intrusive. Two decades ago, for instance, an apple grown for centuries in the U.K. was banned; and teenagers who had paper routes were prevented from working weekends at supermarkets. At times, too, there may be small surges of too many migrants from Europe.

Brexit, if it happens, will further unbalance an already beset European Union. Right now, the EU needs less austerity and more flexibility; less bureaucracy and more control over internal migration. It also has to find a way to manage the unending flood of refugees.

These problems have to be worked out - collaboratively. The idea of a new European identity and the institutions of a new European superstate would benefit from rethinking - not just to avoid Brexit, but to better accommodate many of its other European members. Brexit is a British, an EU, and a global challenge.

For Canada: risk and opportunity Are we looking at the breakdown of the postwar era of peace and prosperity? There are threats from outside - austerity, terror.

ism, and millions of refugees - but the threat comes primarily from the elites and winners within Britain, Europe, and the U.S. who are not addressing what globalization has cost too many people inside their own countries. The threats call for a Franklin Roosevelt rather than a Winston Churchill.

Brexit sends many messages to the world - mostly of risk and danger, but also of opportunity for the EU to get onto a more sustainable structural and economic path. It also sends a message of risk and opportunity for Canada - to become the place where those with big aspirations can set up lives and businesses. Brexit could foreclose much of the anticipated future for Britain's younger people. If Canada adopted a lifetime capital-pool approach for ventures and investments that succeed, it would brand this country as the world capital of hardheaded economics and mutual accommodation.

Canada knows something about the power of centrifugal forces and the interaction of identity with the economy. In just 55 years, francophone Quebec emerged from premodern to postmodern status. Canada knows that a firm competitive stance tempered by flexibility is the ideal. It knows that strong identities can be made stronger if they make room for other identities. It knows that mutual accommodation can take a long time to achieve. The world would be wise to look closely at how Canada got to where it is today.

No more status quo Brexit is an extreme response to legitimate concerns. The Leave campaign was based on the false promise that Britain can have its cake and eat it too. The EU needs to use the Brexit vote to respond to the reality that large numbers of ordinary Europeans do not share the enthusiasm of the successful elites for "a utopia of Europe without nation states" - as a former Polish prime minister recently expressed it. The EU will remain in existential crisis until that problem is faced and until the austerity-based, slow-growth structural economics of the Eurozone is replaced by a more strongly and evenly balanced, growing Europe.

The status quo is not an option - that is the message of today's disconnecting populism in the U.S., Britain, and Europe. Some big rethinking is crucial before any potentially fateful action is initiated. Following three decades of disintegration, integration may have overreached in the European Union. But acceding to the forces that would pull nations apart is the wrong way forward.

William A. Macdonald is a Toronto writer who, to spark discussion of the nation's future, has created, with associate William R.K. Innes, The Canadian Narrative Project at

Associated Graphic

Once Theresa May settles into her job at 10 Downing, writes William A. Macdonald, calm, common sense and patience will be the best approach to the Brexit fallout.


Fear and loathing at the Johnny Depp Show
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

RAMA, ONT. -- Considering the odyssey of low-key stress and annoyance I endured to get here - involving, in rough order: grinding through weekend traffic out of Toronto, getting lost thanks to a baffling Google maps-guided detour that included a jaunt down an unpaved backcountry lane called Sugar Bush Road, dutifully slow.

ing though a "Turtle Crossing Zone," losing $65 at blackjack, being reprimanded by a security guard who materialized seemingly out of nowhere for snapping a photo of a Big Bang Theorybranded slot machine, and lumbering through a slow-moving security line winding across the gambling floor, past metal detectors and into the Casino Rama Entertainment Centre - I find it totally unacceptable for the band to arrive 20-minutes late to the stage.

When I grumble about the tardiness to the guy seated next to me, he shrugs: "Hey. It's rock 'n' roll."

Is it, though?

Can a concert by the made-up supergroup cover band the Hollywood Vampires, which includes shock-rock pioneer Alice Cooper on vocals and Aerosmith's Joe Perry on guitar, and which is also an indulgent vehicle for movie star/punchline/wannabe musician Johnny Depp, who also plays guitar and provides back-up vocals and mugs for photos, really rock 'n' roll?

Inasmuch as "rock 'n' roll" is now a hollow phrase, and more of a nostalgic concept of the bygone heydays of white men slugging Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and stealing music from black people and doing sex stuff in hotel rooms, then, yes. Sure.

This Hollywood Vampires cash-in concert tour stopping over in a casino ballroom owned by the Chippewas of Rama Mnjikaning First Nation in rural Ontario is as rock 'n' roll as a pair of Rolling Stones boxer shorts.

The show opened like a kids movie. Following a somewhat curious deployment of the trademark 20th Century Fox fanfare, there was a video introduction of an old dusty tome opening up to reveal an index of so-called "Hollywood Vampires" - bygone rock stars whose music the band will be playing tribute to: Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, The Who's Keith Moon and T. Rex's Marc Bolan. A mock-spooky voiceover track sets the tone. "They came ... They drank ... They died!"

It's easy to snarl at this as the tasteless romance of alcoholism and macho decadence. But I find that as you get older, such heady notions as "authenticity" matter less and less. Certainly nobody in the audience - from the woman howling, "I WANT SOME ROCK 'N' ROLLLLLLLL!!!!" and thrusting up and down like she's operating a bike pump, to the other woman with a jacket accessorized with not one but multiple spider broaches, to any of the literal thousands of others in this sea of black T-shirts airbrushed with skulls and hairsprayed beehives - seems to care.

Instead of Bowie and the Beatles and even Alice Cooper's own songs, the Hollywood Vampires could be playing Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring on kazoos and people would still be losing their minds.

Because as much as this is a big, broad, brain-dead rock show - or a parody of a big, broad, brain-dead rock show - this is the Johnny Depp Show.

"I was never really into him until Pirates of the Caribbean," says Carolyn Scheel, 36, sitting just outside Casino Rama's Dream Catcher Lounge.

Depp's mid-career turn from serious-enough thespian to blockbuster A-lister with 2003's first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was a key pivot for his celebrity.

Not only was he being paid many millions - "stupid money," as he once described it - to continually reprise his role as the swaggering swashbuckler Captain Jack Sparrow. But the role itself captured, in its own cartoony way, the essence of Depp's appeal.

He was playing a rascally, seductive, slightly camp version of a high seas brigand - who across actual maritime history were brutal marauders, murderers and rapists. Like Depp's own star persona, Sparrow is highly sexualized and exaggeratedly "dangerous" and "edgy" without seeming legitimately threatening.

Think also of Depp's earlier star turn in 1990's Edward Scissorhands, as a the titular monster who underneath his barbed, weaponized exterior was, as the posters put it, "an uncommonly gentle man."

"What I love about him," begins Nicole Thiel, a 25-year-old fan from Richmond Hill, Ont., emphasizing the "love" when I ask her what she likes about a Depp, "is that he's a little bit weird, which is good because I always felt a little bit weird. He made being weird cool."

It seems incongruous: the weirdo as the cool guy, the outsider as superstar. But it's part of Depp's stock-and-trade, playing maladjusted but impossibly handsome loners (What's Eating Gilbert Grape), mentally unstable lotharios (Don Juan DeMarco), gangsters (Public Enemies), riverrats (Chocolat) and part-time rogues (Mortdecai). He tempers his allure with a dash of danger, as fiction's consummate conglomerate of seductiveness and terror - the vampire.

On stage, Depp's aesthetic is spooky-chic. It's as if he was costume-designed by a tornado that ripped through a Spencer's gift store, a tattoo parlour and one of those Halloween costume outlets. He is wearing a billowy striped bodice under a clenched vest, fastened together with buckles and chains and belts and scarves and other superfluous, sartorial miscellany, his hair undercut and slicked back, like a cross between a preening pompadour and punk rock mohawk.

I'm pretty sure he's wearing shinguards under his pants, as if to give the illusion of form to his sacklike, genie-cut trousers. He is, every overaccessorized inch of him, the living embodiment of H.L. Mencken's contemptuous description of the male actor as, "the human clothes-horse, the nimble squire dames."

It's a shtick that's so effective that both Schell and Thier, among others, ponied up the money ($1,500 a person) for an exclusive "VIP Meet-and-Greet" package before the concert. "I'm old enough to know better than to spend this kind of money," Scheel says. "I don't get out much. This is my girls night. And I got to have a real conversation with Johnny Depp."

Such personal-seeming connections are the very stuff of the Johnny Depp Show. From my seat in the seventh row I watch as he mouths "hey" at his admirers, winks at them, waves at them - dainty little waves, where he just kind of flutter his fingers.

This Hollywood Vampires concert is, transparently, an opportunity to be in the same room as Depp. I mean it's not like Billy Bob Thornton's bluegrass band or Steve Martin's banjo albums, where the lines between an established star persona and their side project whims are clearly, painstakingly, drawn. With the Hollywood Vampires, the star and the music are one and the same.

It's here that this concert by a joke, made-up, rock 'n' roll supergroup, playing an auditorium that has previously hosted the likes of Grand Funk Railroad, Sha-Na-Na, and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his entourage of racist puppets, wades from the realm of the archly silly into the weeds of the actually sinister. It's as if all these fans, who are openly and proudly obsessional in their devotion, are gathered in solidarity for a man they refuse to admit they don't really know.

In May, the actress Amber Heard filed for divorce from Depp, ending a 15-month marriage that, the actress alleges, was marred by physical abuse.

Depp denied the allegations. He also had his two tattoos dedicated to Heard altered: a pin-up portrait of his ex-wife blacked out, and, across the knuckles of his right hand, the word SLIM (a term of endearment) altered to SCUM (less-so). The ranks of Hollywood Vampire fans, who are principally Depp fans, have formed behind their idol, keen to defend his honour.

"I never liked her, to be honest.

It's not a jealousy thing," says Thiel, when I ask her about Heard's allegations. "When she got to be in The Rum Diary with him, I was like, 'Ew, why does she get to be in a movie with him?' " Scheel seems similarly unruffled, observing that the timing of Heard's allegations "is suspicious," coming amid the former couple's custody battle over two Yorkshire terriers. Of course, it stands to reason that everyone who bothers showing up to a Depp concert a) don't believe that Depp is a wife beater; or b) just don't care.

Domestic abusers are in no short supply in rock music, from swaggering bad boys such as Scott Weiland, Vince Neil and Axl Rose, on back to beardo peacenik John Lennon. "Separate the art from the artist," you hear, and perhaps that's all well and good.

But what happens when the art is the artist? When this is the Johnny Depp Show and the artist in question is Johnny Depp?

"He's just not that kind of person," says Thiel, inflexible in her defence of Depp. "I know that it is absolutely not true. Look at the way he treats people around him.

He wouldn't hurt a fly. He's known for treating dogs better than most people treat their own children."

From the front row, Thiel found herself the object of her idol's gaze "He winked at me and blew me kisses. And I was like, 'I love you so much!' " And that's what the Johnny Depp Show is, if it's anything - a chance to upload a poorly lit, pixelated photo to Facebook and tell your friends that Depp blew a kiss and flapped his bejewelled hand in your vague direction.

This superstar. This celebrity.

This millionaire many-timesover. This eye-shadowed self-parody of outdated hard-rock coolness, all-too-nimble squire of dames, and purported beater of women.

It feels like a ritual of idolatry.

The shouting, selfies, singingalong, and pained cries of "JOHNNNNNYYYYYYYYYYY" help sustain a necessary fiction for the diehard fans, desperate to believe that the object of their obsession is weird-but-cool, dangerous-but-not-really, and, despite the allegations of battery and chucking a cellphone at his wife, still uncommonly gentle underneath it all. Somehow.

Associated Graphic

Johnny Depp and Robert DeLeo of the Hollywood Vampires play at Ontario's Casino Rama on July 8. With guitar in hand, Captain Jack Sparrow (a.k.a. Depp) bears a likeness to the Rolling Stones's Keith Richards.


'It was a fail-safe method of permitting cheating Russian athletes to compete while using performance-enhancing substances. I am supremely confident in our findings'
Independent investigator Richard McLaren confirms widespread doping by Russian athletes, Rachel Brady reports, and finds the Russian Ministry of Sport oversaw doping and sample-swapping program
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A6

An independent investigation led by a Canadian law professor has confirmed evidence of widespread doping by Russian athletes and a complex state-sponsored system to protect them. Now, Russia's participation in the upcoming Rio Olympics hangs in the balance.

At a Toronto hotel on Monday, University of Western Ontario law professor Richard McLaren presented findings of his independent probe into alleged manipulation of doping samples by Russian athletes. It presents a damning picture of doping across a number of sports and a complex cover-up that included details such as undercover agents dressed as plumbers and urine samples being switched through holes in a laboratory wall.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has called for a complete ban of Russian athletes at the upcoming Rio Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says its executive board will convene on Tuesday to decide how it will proceed.

The report says that WADA-accredited labs in Moscow and Sochi, Russia, were cogs being controlled by the Russian Ministry of Sport and were falsifying positive test results to protect doping Russian athletes. They had active assistance from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB, formerly known as the KGB) and the Centre of Sports Preparation.

Mr. McLaren was commissioned by WADA to lead an unbiased investigation after Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow's drug-testing laboratory, told The New York Times that he provided Russian athletes with steroids before the 2014 Sochi Olympics and helped switch tainted samples for clean ones through a concealed hole in the lab wall.

Mr. Rodchenkov, who is now living in the United States, said he was operating on instructions from Russia's Sport Ministry.

Over 57 days, Mr. McLaren's commission did interviews, reviewed hundreds of e-mails and secured data from hard drives, retrieved deleted documents and did forensic analysis. They found evidence on bottles that indicated certain urine samples had been tampered with.

"It was a fail-safe method of permitting cheating Russian athletes to compete while using performance-enhancing substances," Mr. McLaren said. "I am supremely confident in our findings."

The report says the Moscow lab operated a "disappearing positive methodology" in which positive drug tests were being falsely recorded as negative when filed with WADA, by direct order from Russian deputy minister of sport Yuri Nagornykh. It adds that lab staff did not have a choice in whether to be involved in the state-directed system.

The report says e-mails proved that Mr. Nagornykh, who was suspended on Monday, was advised of every positive test arising in the Moscow lab from 2011 onward via a liaison - and he would direct lab staff as to which tests were to be falsified.

Athletes who were saved via this process tended to be medal winners or athletes with lots of promise; while foreigners or less-promising Russian athletes were not saved.

The Sochi lab, according to the report, was swapping dirty urine samples for clean ones through a concealed hole in the wall of a secure testing area during the night. An FSB employee had access to the lab under the cover of being a plumbing employee.

The investigation found scratches and marks on the insides of some testing bottle caps, indicating they had been opened. They also found evidence in some cases that salt or water had been added to alter the urine. The report says the commission got a specialist in scratches and marks to use microscopic technology to prove that the sample collection bottles used could be opened without creating evidence that could be seen by the naked eye.

"The forensics evidence corroborates what Rodchenkov was saying," said Mr. McLaren, whose commission interviewed Mr. Rodchenkov numerous times. "I'm confident it was a truthful witness account."

The report includes a table that outlines all the sports involved in "disappearing positive" test results by Russian athletes. There were 30 sports listed and they spanned Summer and Winter Games. The most were found in athletics and weightlifting.

"At times it's exceedingly hard to believe in sport," Canadian Olympic sprint kayaker Adam van Koeverden said. "But at it's at times like this that it's important we continue to. I'm going paddling."

Mr. McLaren chose not to offer recommendations as to how WADA or the IOC should react to the information found in his report, even though in past independent commissions he's led, he has made recommendations.

Mr. McLaren said he had a short window to investigate these allegations because of the impending 2016 Rio Olympics, and that this was just a "slice" of what should be explored.

The report says the system was set up following what Russian sports authorities felt was an abysmal medal count by its athletes at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and was in place until August, 2015.

The report fuels debate over whether Russian athletes should be banned from competing next month in the Rio Olympics.

WADA called for a complete ban of Russian athletes in Rio and also wants Russian government officials to be denied access to international competitions, including the upcoming Olympics.

The anti-doping watchdog also calls on world governing bodies of sports implicated in the inquiry report to consider action against Russian national bodies.

The IOC, meanwhile, said it "will now carefully study the complex and detailed allegations, in particular with regard to the Russian Ministry of Sport."

"The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games," IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement. "Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organization implicated."

The statement said the IOC executive board would hold a conference call to discuss immediate sanctions surrounding the Rio Olympics.

Russian track athletes have already been banned from competing at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Several national anti-doping organizations, including those from Canada and the United States, were awaiting Mr. McLaren's findings to see if they would push for a total ban of the Russian team.

In a statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said officials named in the report would be removed from their positions pending a full investigation, but he called for "more objective fact-based information."

The results of an independent investigation into Russian doping allegations were unveiled in Toronto on Monday. Here, we explore some of the key people involved in the story.

Richard McLaren The senior law professor at the University of Western Ontario's law school is an experienced arbiter who has been involved in several high-profile doping and sports labour cases. In May, the World AntiDoping Agency (WADA) called upon him to lead an unbiased probe into accusations made about Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Mr. McLaren contributed to the 2007 Mitchell Report that investigated steroid use in Major League Baseball. He was among the arbitrators to hear cases for the United States Anti-Doping Agency, including accusations against sprinter Justin Gatlin and cyclists Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton. He's a long-time member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and serves as president of the International Basketball Federation's arbitration tribunal. He has also served as a salary arbitrator for the National Hockey League and the NHL Players' Association.

He's the founder of Innovative Dispute Resolution Ltd., and practises corporate and commercial law at McKenzie Lake Lawyers in London, Ont. WADA The World Anti-Doping Agency was created in 1999 through a collective initiative led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Its mandate is to promote, co-ordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports.

It is headquartered in Montreal with regional offices in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America. It receives half its funding from the IOC and the rest from various national governments.

The agency is responsible for the World Anti-Doping Code, a document that aims to harmonize anti-doping regulations in all sports and countries. It has been adopted by more than 600 sports organizations as well as the IOC and International Paralympic Committee. The code embodies an annually updated list of prohibited substances.

The agency has 34 WADA-accredited labs across the globe to conduct human doping-control sample analyses. It also operates a centralized Web-based Anti-Doping Administration & Management System that stores each athlete's lab results, whereabouts, therapeutic-use exemptions and rule violations history.

Grigory Rodchenkov This former director of Russia's Moscow and Sochi anti-doping labs is the whistle-blower in this case.

He told The New York Times and 60 Minutes in May that Russia was running a cover-up of doping and said he helped dozens of Russian athletes cheat at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. His testimonials served as the catalyst for WADA calling on Mr. McLaren to do an objective investigation. Mr. McLaren's commission interviewed him several times.

Mr. Rodchenkov admitted to destroying 1,417 samples in order to thwart a WADA visit to the Moscow lab. He also said he helped switch bad urine samples for clean ones, and he developed cocktails of banned substances - mixed with liquor - for Russia's Sport Ministry to feed its athletes.

He says he was forced to resign by the Russian government. Russian federal investigators opened a criminal case against him on charges of abuse of office. Fearing for his safety, he has since moved to the United States.

Yuri Nagornykh Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appointed Mr. Nagornykh as Russia's deputy minister of sport in 2010, following a poor showing for Russia at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. He is also a member of the Russian Olympic Committee and reports to Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko.

Mr. Nagornykh was critical to the smooth running of falsifying positive test results in Moscow, according to Mr. McLaren's report. The commission said it found proof Mr. Nagornykh was advised of every positive test arising at the Moscow lab from 2011 onward, and was the one to decide which athletes would benefit from a cover-up.

During a May news conference in Moscow, Mr. Nagornykh said there was no way that Russia could have manipulated doping samples in Sochi because of the presence of foreign observers. He also denied allegations that he had met regularly with Mr. Rodchenkov to discuss a secret doping program leading to the Sochi Olympics.

Associated Graphic

Richard McLaren's report says the Moscow lab, pictured in May, operated a methodology in which positive drug tests were being falsely recorded as negative when filed with WADA.


Appointment of Johnson and other prominent supporters of break from European Union to senior cabinet positions signals PM's intention to play hardball in talks on a new relationship
Thursday, July 14, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

LONDON -- Theresa May made sweeping changes within hours of being sworn in as British Prime Minister, firing the country's long-serving finance minister, appointing ardent Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary and creating the post of Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

It was a clear sign that Ms. May has broken from David Cameron's legacy, embraced Britain's decision to pull out of the European Union and plans to play hard ball in the upcoming negotiations with the EU on a new relationship.

She got to work right after a short meeting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. In brief remarks outside 10 Downing St., vacated hours earlier by Mr. Cameron, Ms. May spoke of healing the deep divisions in the country caused by last month's shock referendum vote.

"As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world, and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us," she said.

Ever since the referendum on June 23, there have been questions about whether Ms. May was committed to Brexit. She had supported keeping the country in the EU during the campaign, but played a minor role in it, unlike Mr. Cameron, who led the Remain side and stepped down after the vote.

But since winning the Conservative leadership on Monday, Ms.May made it clear that "Brexit means Brexit, and we're going to make a success of it."

She put her vision into practice, appointing Mr.Johnson and two other prominent Brexit supporters to senior cabinet posts: David Davis as the new Brexit minister and Liam Fox as the country's first Secretary of State for International Trade. And she replaced chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, a close confidante of Mr. Cameron who campaigned for the Remain side and came under fierce criticism for issuing a number of dire warnings about the economic turmoil Brexit would cause.

Mr. Johnson led the Vote Leave campaign and he had been seen as a potential front-runner to replace Mr. Cameron at the head of the Conservative Party.

But Mr. Johnson's leadership bid floundered and he backed Ms. May's rival in the race, Andrea Leadsom, who had also been active in the Vote Leave campaign. Ms. Leadsom pulled out unexpectedly this week amid controversy, clearing the way for a new leader to take power much earlier than had originally been anticipated.

Ms. May had not been expected to give Mr. Johnson a senior cabinet post. The fact that she did signals that she wants to keep the Brexit faction in the Conservative Party content.

However, Mr. Johnson, a former mayor of London, has no cabinet experience and he has only been an MP since the election last year. And he has a history of making gaffes including during the referendum campaign, when he made some derogatory comments about U.S. President Barack Obama, who visited Britain to support Mr. Cameron's call for the country to remain in the EU.

On Wednesday, Mr. Johnson took a diplomatic tone. "Clearly, now we have a massive opportunity in this country to make a great success of our new relationship with Europe and with the world, and I'm very excited to be asked to play a part in that," he said. "The United States will be at the front of the queue," he added in a crack at Mr. Obama's comment during the referendum that Britain would be at the "back of the queue" when it came to a trade deal if it voted for Brexit.

Mr. Davis has taken an even harder line on the EU. He has been a virulent critic, saying it has been beset by "a litany of failures" and suggesting Britain should have tariff-free access to the EU market without agreeing to the free movement of people, something EU leaders have vigorously opposed.

"Once the European nations realize that we are not going to budge on control of our borders, they will want to talk, in their own interest," he wrote recently. "There may be some complexities about rules of origin and narrowly based regulatory compliance for exports into the EU, but that is all manageable."

Mr. Fox, too, has been at the forefront of the Brexit debate for years, and he backed Ms. May's leadership bid. Britain has never had a trade minister because all of its trade arrangements were done through the EU. Mr. Fox will have to begin negotiating trade deals with other countries, including EU members, even though the country has virtually no experienced trade negotiators.

Ms. May did hand several key posts to her fellow Remain campaigners, including Amber Rudd, who became Home Secretary, the post Ms. May held for six years. That position involves overseeing policing, counterterrorism and immigration. Michael Fallon, who also supported Remain, kept his position as Defence Secretary.

Mr. Osborne had served as the country's finance minister throughout Mr. Cameron's six years as prime minister. His future had been in question since the referendum and he was not expected to have a major role in Ms. May's cabinet.

He resigned on Wednesday at the request of Ms.May, who replaced him with Philip Hammond, the outgoing foreign secretary. Mr. Hammond backed the Remain side during the referendum campaign, but he kept a much lower profile.

The appointment will affect Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. Mr. Osborne appointed Mr.Carney and agreed to the Canadian's request for a five-year term instead of eight. The two had a close working relationship and Mr. Carney has faced criticism for issuing similar warnings during the referendum campaign. Many on the Vote Leave side said Mr. Carney was acting on behalf of Mr. Osborne, but the Governor has insisted he was fulfilling his mandate to raise concerns about risks to the economy.

This week, a parliamentary committee demanded to see the minutes of private meetings between Mr.Carney and Mr. Osborne during the referendum campaign.

Ms. May got some kind words from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. She has suggested Scotland might hold another referendum on independence because it voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.

On Tuesday, Ms. Sturgeon softened her tone somewhat. The Brexit vote "provides a challenge but also provides an opportunity," she told a group of foreign journalists. "With imagination and political will, I believe it's possible to find a way of respecting those different mandates that exit across the United Kingdom."

And she hoped to work closely with Ms. May on Brexit, suggesting that women bring a different approach to leadership and problem solving.

"Do I believe that women have the ability to save the world?" she asked with a smile. "Yes, I do."


I will watch these exchanges from the backbenches. I will miss the roar of the crowd, I will miss the barbs from the opposition, but I will be willing you on.

And when I say willing you on, I don't just mean willing on the new prime minister at this dispatch box, or indeed, just willing on the frontbench defending the manifesto that I helped put together. But I mean willing all of you on, because people come here with huge passion for the issues they care about. They come here with great love for the constituencies that they represent. And also willing on this place. Because, yes, we can be pretty tough and test and challenge our leaders - perhaps more than some other countries - but that is something we should be proud of and we should keep at it, and I hope you will all keep at it, and I will will you on as you do.

The last thing I would say is that you can achieve a lot of things in politics.

You can get a lot of things done. And that in the end, the public service, the national interest, that is what it is all about. Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it. After all, as I once said, I was the future once.

David Cameron made his final appearance as Prime Minister in Parliament, turning the usually raucous prime minister's questions session into a time for praise, thanks, gentle ribbing, cheers - and a sprinkle of criticism.


The mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone means more than fighting these injustices. If you're from an ordinary working-class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realize. ... The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.

When we take the big calls, we will think not of the powerful, but you.

When we pass new laws, we will listen not to the mighty, but to you.

When it comes to taxes, we will prioritize not the wealthy, but you. When it comes to opportunity, we won't entrench the advantages of the fortunate few, we will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you. ... As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us.

That will be the mission of the government I lead and together we will build a better Britain.

Minutes after Mr. Cameron tendered his resignation to the Queen, Theresa May arrived at Buckingham Palace accompanied by her husband, Philip, and accepted the Queen's invitation to govern. Shortly after, Ms. May addressed Britain in front of 10 Downing St.

Associated Graphic

Boris Johnson leaves a meeting with new British Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing St. in London after being appointed Foreign Secretary on Wednesday.


David Cameron, accompanied by his wife, Samantha, daughters Nancy, centre, and Florence and son, Arthur, leaves number 10 Downing St. on his last day in office as Prime Minister on Wednesday.


New British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband, Philip May, wave from the steps of 10 Downing St. in London on Wednesday.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Curated in part by actor Steve Martin, the AGO's new Lawren Harris exhibition both celebrates and complicates the artist's legacy - and the legacy of the Group of Seven itself. James Adams reports on an ambitious effort to stir true patriot love
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

There used to be this widespread, near-mystical belief that to help build a healthy national identity and patriotic fervour in this country you needed to be exposed to a lot of Group of Seven paintings.

Here, the argument went, was an invigorating Canadian art: pure, untainted by foreign influence, wrested raw from the land and sky and delivered directly to canvas and beaverboard by men bearing sturdy Anglo-Saxon surnames like Jackson and Varley. It didn't matter what your generation was or country of origin or religion. You could be a Vietnamese boat person, a refugee from Biafra, a farmer who first tilled the Saskatchewan soil in 1925. All you had to do was behold Night, Pine Island; or Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay, and voilà! Your Canuck bona fides would get a tune-up even if you'd been around since birth. And if you hadn't, well, the exposure would get the citizenship alchemy a-burbling for sure. Not only were Group paintings good, they were good for you, the vitamins of nation-building, supplements for the northern soul.

One of the best places for pilgrims to experience the Group fresh and in the flesh, so to speak, was the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Previously known as the Art Gallery of Toronto, it had acquired paintings by the Group and its progenitor Tom Thomson early and often. Indeed, the Group's first show was held at what is now the AGO in May, 1920. To this day, the Toronto venue remains one in the trinity of sacred sites of Groupism, the others being the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the McMichael Collection in Kleinburg, Ont.

It's therefore entirely apt that, beginning this weekend, the AGO is hosting an exhibition of selected works by Group founder/éminence grise Lawren Harris that at once celebrates and complicates his legacy and, by extension, that of the Group.

Called The Idea of North, it's a rather peculiar, ungainly beast and all the more interesting for that. As many of you no doubt know, iterations of the show already have played the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This has been courtesy of the power and influence of American actor and writer Steve Martin, a long-time Harris devotee who, deeming Harris a talent deserving wider recognition in the United States, agreed three years ago to serve as lead curator for a touring exhibition.

It's Martin's thesis that Harris is less a regional artist than an internationalist, "an important modernist painter of the Americas" who deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper and Marsden Hartley.

And for Martin the work that best embodies this, that most transcends issues of national identity and nation-building, are the richly metaphysical paintings he did of the Rocky Mountains, the shores of Lake Superior and the Arctic between roughly 1921 and 1934. To this end, working with the AGO curator of Canadian art Andrew Hunter and Hammer deputy director Cynthia Burlingham, Martin proceeded to secure 31 top-notch loans, more than 70 per cent of them from the AGO, McMichael and NGC collections.

As a tight-focus introduction of the Harris oeuvre to U.S. audiences, The Idea of North seems to have been a success. Reviews were uniformly respectful and attendance strong.

But Andrew Hunter knew what worked in Beantown wouldn't necessarily work in Hogtown, even with the celebrity imprimatur of Martin and the fact the loans, in several instances, had never been shown together.

Beloved as Harris is, especially in Toronto, he is - almost a halfcentury after his death at 85 - very much a known commodity. So Hunter, in consultation with Martin and Burlingham, hit upon the idea of doing an expanded presentation at the AGO, one that would put Martin's selections at its heart but bracket these with other work - by Harris, by a photographer, by fellow Group member J.E.H. MacDonald, by American contemporaries of Harris such as Charles Burchfield and Rockwell Kent and by present-day Toronto artists.

Pace Martin, the plan was to "really situate Harris as a Toronto artist," says Hunter.

Indeed, Hunter's variation on the theme of The Idea of North argues that Harris's bold, sculptural depictions of mountains, icebergs and rocks, rendered in icy blues and emerald greens, pristine whites, russets and purples, were "a response to and a rejection of the conditions of the modern city."

In particular, Harris was deeply disturbed by the slum conditions of the Ward, a tightly packed neighbourhood of poor Jews, Chinese, blacks and other Toronto newcomers, located mere minutes away from the Ontario legislature, the University of Toronto - and Harris's own mansion on Queen's Park Crescent, where he lived with wife Trixie and their three children.

Harris regularly visited the Ward to sketch its rooming houses, factories and shacks, backstreets, warehouses and storefronts, often working the drawings up into paintings. Hunter includes at least 30 Harris building scenes (not all of them are from the Ward; some are from Northern Ontario; Halifax; Hamilton; Glace Bay, N.S.) in his presentation. The overall effect, though, is less one of revulsion, rage or even sadness than something approaching the picturesque, perhaps because Harris includes "no huddled masses yearning to breathe free," only the occasional human being.

The paintings as a result often read more like charming exercises in colour, light and form than social commentary or depictions of "sickly sin in a callow soul," to quote a (bad) Harris poem from 1922.

Much better at conveying the miseries of the Ward are the handful of photographs Hunter has included by Arthur Goss (1881-1940), Toronto's first official photographer. Much more effective, too, at conveying the vaporous funk and clatter of industrial Toronto is MacDonald's Tracks and Traffic from 1912.

The human figure is utterly absent in the mountain, Canadian Shield and Arctic paintings that fill the next two rooms.

They're the so-called "core" section of the exhibition, titled The Idealized North, and the ones most directly associated with Steve Martin. Yes, there are two canvases with evidence of human presence, Ice House, Coldwell, Lake Superior (1923) and Eskimo Tent, Pangnirtung, Baffin Island (1930) - but as exceptions they only prove the ruling aesthetic.

It's not that Harris and painter pal A.Y. Jackson didn't encounter any people when they took the S.S. Beothuk to Baffin Island in 1930. They encountered quite a few, in fact - Inuit mostly - whom Harris duly photographed. But when it came time to paint, he would have none of them.

It's as if Harris's spiritual quest, his search for ever-more refined, pure and exalted states, could be practised only by erasure, by "an ignoring of the wider social context," as Hunter puts it.

Smartly, Hunter restores the human figure to the scene by including some of Harris's Arctic photos.

Hunter effects another return in the exhibition's last section, a return to the Ward - but the Ward of the postwar era when the neighbourhood was largely levelled (erased!) to make way for the construction of the now-famous ultra-modern Toronto City Hall and surrounding plaza designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell (1910-64). Hunter includes photos of the site being excavated and mounts one of Harris's strongest abstract paintings, Poise (Composition 4), a 1936 canvas whose clean, fluid, space-age forms seem to represent both spiritual and material renewal in the city while uncannily anticipating the curves and swerves Revell would bring to his design decades later.

Of course, there are no humans or even humanoid shapes. And, of course, it's entirely a work of the imagination as Harris had forsaken Toronto in 1930 in the wake of a messy divorce, never to return to live here.

Believing that "historical art needs to be appreciated from a contemporary perspective," Hunter commissioned four Toronto artists to do original work for The Idea of North. The individual results are all intriguing - and not one of the projects is a painting.

Anique Jordan, who is AfricanCaribbean, presents two photobased colour works, 94 Chestnut at the Crossroads and Mas' at 94 Chestnut, both dealing with a key black institution, the British Methodist Episcopal Church, that Harris never seems to have gotten around to recording in his strolls through the Ward.

Ice Forms, American Falls, Niagara by Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier is just that: a hypnotic looped video still of the mighty cataract.

Dante's The Divine Comedy informs the last two projects: The Observer, by graphic novelist Nina Bunjevac, consists of three large laminated illustrated allegories, one of a homeless man sleeping underground at the Dundas subway stop (the eastern border of what used to be the Ward), another of shoppers ascending a staircase à la Oscar Schlemmer's Bauhaus Stairway and the last of skaters on the rink outside Toronto City Hall. Seven Sermons of the Dead: A Guide to Lawren Harris's Dream, by the Tin Can Forest collective (Pat Shewchuk and Marek Colek), is a witty sequence of images and mystical iconography contrasting the purgatory of the Ward with the paradisiacal sublime of the imaginary North.

Will The Idea of North make you a better Canadian, or stir you to an even greater investment in true patriot love? Probably not.

What it does, instead, is offer a complex and sophisticated reintroduction to Harris, bringing the man, his art and the movement he founded into a more 21st-century framework with all the messiness that entails.

The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris runs at the Art Gallery of Ontario through Sept. 18 ( Andrew Hunter has just published a companion volume to the exhibition titled In the Ward: Lawren Harris, Toronto and the Idea of North.

Associated Graphic

Lawren S. Harris, Isolation Peak, Rocky Mountains, 1930, oil on canvas, Hart House Permanent Collection, University of Toronto.


Red House and Yellow Sleigh, 1919, by Lawren Harris, who is the focal point of a new AGO exhibit.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

For 75 years, the spectacular location of Cape Breton's Keltic Lodge has impressed guests - but over the decades, the buildings and adjacent golf course fell into decline. Last month, the retreat unveiled the results of a $5-million makeover, phase one of a major overhaul. Guy Nicholson talks to key players about the staying power of this Martime jewel

If Atlantic Canada were embodied in a single hotel, it might well be the venerable Keltic Lodge in Ingonish, N.S. Perched on Middle Head, a jagged ribbon of rock between the Atlantic Ocean and the natural splendour of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the iconic lodge and its celebrated golf course, Highlands Links, were products of the Great Depression and the early-1900s effort to expand the national parks system. The resort, which marks 75 years in operation this month, came to represent Cape Breton Island the way Banff Springs epitomizes Alberta's Rockies.

That glory had faded in recent decades, but a revitalization is under way. The golf course has been on the mend for several years and the Keltic Lodge has just completed a $5-million facelift under the management of GolfNorth, an Ontario-based company owned by former BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie, which began leasing the property from Parks Canada in 2015. GolfNorth CEO Shawn Evans, Ingonishborn historian Ken Donovan and consulting golf architect Ian Andrew discuss how a Maritime icon came to be, and where it's headed.

The lodge and golf course were established as focal points for tourism development in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Why Ingonish and Middle Head?

Shawn Evans, CEO, GolfNorth Properties: It is located right inside the eastern gate and there was a history of "lodge lifestyle" there. Middle Head was purchased from the family of Henry Clay Corson, an American industrialist who was introduced to the property by Alexander Graham Bell. The Corsons' summer house is the template for every other building on the peninsula.

Ken Donovan, retired Canada Parks historian: Ingonish and Middle Head were chosen because of their timeless beauty. Angus L.

MacDonald, premier of Nova Scotia from 1933 to 1940, was looking for make-work construction projects during the Depression. The park and golf course were part of that broader context.

Ian Andrew, consulting golf architect for Highlands Links: [Canadian golf architect] Stanley Thompson conceived the idea of getting Parks Canada to build new courses as a make-work project ... he actually met with [prime minister] Mackenzie King. He sold it to the government as a way to take the hardesthit communities and put those people back to work. ... The government was interested because the fisheries were in distress and the communities were in decline.

Why have visitors come to see it as a special place?

Evans: The geography is truly unique; the aboriginal name for Ingonish means, roughly, "remarkable place." The scenery, the hospitality, the food, the outdoor lifestyle, the best course design by Canada's best golf designer - you couldn't recreate what's here.

Donovan: During the 1920s and 30s, grand hotels were considered essential to go with splendid golf courses: Think of St.

George's in Toronto and the Royal York, Jasper Park Lodge and Banff Springs, the Algonquin at St. Andrews, N.B. The Keltic fit right in there and there are many other examples in Canada and the United States. These properties were built on a grand scale - beautiful, iconic buildings set in special places with good ground for building golf courses.

Andrew: The golf course is an education into the unique geography found on the peninsula.

Planned or not, the long transitions between holes help to emphasize the differences between each unique geography.

The course unfolds like a series of chapters from a great book: a rolling headland with panoramic ocean views, forested highlands, the wide-open floodplain of the Clyburn River, views out to the ocean, then a walk past the church to a ramble over the rugged headland back toward the clubhouse, finishing on the 18th with two ocean views. Combined together, these chapters make for a wonderful journey through, or story of, the local landscape.

It may have been the right choice for tourism, but development wasn't universally popular.

Andrew: The golf course was going to be only on the peninsula, but there was no way to construct holes farther out on the point. [So Thompson] selected areas outside the national park for inclusion in the golf course.

Donovan: Approximately 30 families were expropriated to make way for the golf course; most of my ancestors' lands were taken.

Prior to expropriation, which began in 1936, the community had been gathered around the Catholic church up the Clyburn River Valley. After expropriation, the Irish Catholic community became more dispersed.

Andrew: Most ended up on the construction team, since it took a very long time for them to get reimbursed for the land. ... The wounds haven't healed, and frankly, I don't blame the families for feeling that way.

Evans: It's still a sore point, and many of our present staff are descendants of those farmers.

That said, Thompson employed 200 men for several years during the Depression, and used practically no powered equipment, in order to stretch out that work.

The lodge and golf course were operating by 1941 and saw their heyday after the Second World War. What were those years like?

Donovan: The golf course opened in 1941 but the back holes were closed during the war years.

Local residents whose land had been expropriated were allowed to come to get hay for their animals. After the war, tourism started to open up, with wealthy Americans and Upper Canadians visiting. The new lodge was built in 1952 and continued to be run as a government operation.

There was great pride taken to operate the hotel as a first-class operation with five-star dining, usually French cuisine. Service was impeccable at all levels. The Keltic Lodge was one of the premier hotel destinations in Atlantic Canada.

Evans: In 1941, the Corsons' summer house was the original lodge, along with some cottages.

In 1951, the present lodge building was opened, along with the Ceilidh Hall (a wartime recreation hall), which we fully renovated last winter. It's a wall of glass now ... but in the 1950s, it was the go-to place in Cape Breton. Many guests were Americans, escaping the heat of the eastern cities in those days before air conditioning. Most people came for a week at a time.

The chefs were all French.

What were the challenges of running a property of this scale in northern Cape Breton?

Evans: It's a rocky peninsula sticking several kilometres out into the Atlantic, on the opposite side of a 700-foot cape. The roads were so bad in the 1930s that Thompson never actually drove here. He always came back and forth from Prince Edward Island - where he was also building the Green Gables course - by boat, because it was faster. Staffing is still a challenge; we supply housing to 80 staff. It's a difficult environment to grow grass. The season is short and everything costs more here, except seafood.

Andrew: Short season, cold spring weather created by the ocean currents and limited local resources make it a tough place to operate a golf course as a business. It's always been remote. But the cost of staffing it using union employees became a real difficult issue in recent times as Parks Canada saw budgets pared back in their operations, and the costs could not be supported by the income.

When and how did decline set in?

Donovan: By 2006, the lodge was getting a little long in the tooth.

Former premier Rodney MacDonald, a Cape Bretoner, leased out the provincial hotels - Keltic Lodge, Digby Pines and Liscombe Lodge - to large American hotels with no experience running seasonal operations. They took their 20 per cent off the top and ran the lodge into the ground.

Evans: The place was still awesome. If anything, it got left behind. The classic lodge, like the classic CP hotels in the Fairmont chain (Banff/Royal York) never really went out of style. That building, along with the Highland Sitting Room and the Purple Thistle Dining Room, feel like something from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. As for every other building in the property, they didn't age gracefully - particularly the inn, which was built in the 1960s and looked like it. It's tough for any government, provincial or federal, to make the kind of capital investment that we have.

What restoration efforts have been made?

Evans: The rooms in the lodge were "demodernized" a few years ago. Carpets were removed and beautiful hardwood floors were exposed. The golf course has been steadily returned to its original state under Ian's guidance.

There was a redesign in the 1990s that most golf purists don't like to talk about - much of his work has been about undoing that.

The course now plays almost exactly as it did in 1941.

Donovan: [The golf work] was a renovation, not a restoration.

There was little or no historical research for this project on Thompson's original design. The restoration work done under Ian ... was based on comprehensive research. I know this because I was commissioned, as a Parks Canada historian, to do the research.

Andrew: We convinced Parks Canada to look at this as a historical landscape. This allowed us to clear all the historical corridors to grow better turf, make the course more playable and, most importantly, return all the ocean views. We restored all the bunkers back to their original locations and shapes, undoing all previous changes.

What are the long-term ambitions?

Evans: No. 1 destination in the country for golf, food and accommodations.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Associated Graphic

Keltic Lodge, located in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, got its start as a make-work project during the Depression.


Seen from the Keltic Lodge grounds, Cape Smokey rises from the Atlantic Ocean.


Rising up for real estate
'No generation before me has had a problem staying at home and raising kids, and now it's become a wealthy person's right'
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S7

Like a lot of people, Justin Fung is fed up with Vancouver's housing affordability crisis.

So he harnessed that anger into the formation of a non-partisan group called Housing Action for Local Taxpayers.

On Friday afternoon outside the Vancouver Art Gallery he and other HALT members spread the word to the public, that they need to pressure government to address continued offshore demand for real estate. They have started a Facebook page, a petition and they have plans for a rally.

The group of random strangers came together when they realized they shared common goals: to raise awareness about the housing crisis and to push for policy that protects citizens who live and pay taxes in B.C. Mr. Fung is also calling for the collection of data and for a ban on corporate and union donations to political parties. B.C. is one of the few provinces that allow such contributions.

"The reason I've been so adamantly a part of this group is to shine a light on this, to say [to government], 'What you guys are doing is wrong. It's corrupt.

You're not looking out for citizens.' Also to be a voice of a lot of that anger, and to make sure our voices get heard.

"I feel like the frustration has really boiled over. I don't think there is any sane person not upset who's not in the real estate industry."

A report this week by Royal LePage showed the aggregate house price in the region rose 24.6 per cent year over year. It forecasts that by year's end, prices will increase 27 per cent compared with 2015. Those figures hardly sound alarming any more, not when the average price of a house hovers at around $1.75-million in the region.

The report cites the influence of foreign buyers, defined as people who resided outside of the country for six months or longer.

"According to a survey of Royal LePage real estate advisers working in Greater Vancouver, 74 per cent believed that foreign ownership within the region had increased when compared to the same period last year," said the report.

It added that only 37 per cent of 161 advisers surveyed believed that foreign buying had an impact of less than 10 per cent.

Figures released this past week by the provincial government put the figure at 5 per cent.

HALT blames the government for failing to represent its taxpaying citizens. They say the province doesn't look at where foreign investment is coming from, and whether the buyers are also living and working in Canada, and paying taxes.

"Look at who's profiting from this foreign money - it's not me," Mr. Fung says. "I didn't get a 40-per-cent raise last year. The real estate developers are the guys controlling the purse strings to our government, and our governments aren't acting on behalf of their citizens. That's what got me upset."

Fenella Sung, who's part of another group, Friends of Hong Kong, says she wants to protect the city she's now devoted to since moving here 26 years ago from Hong Kong.

Like Mr. Fung, she too sees the problem as an overreliance on offshore money. Canadian citizenship has become less about forging bonds with the community than about a business transaction.

"When I came to Canada in the nineties, we all tried to think of how to integrate and how to be a good citizen. It is an entirely different atmosphere right now. We have governments that don't care whether you stay here or not, whether you integrate or not. It seems like the government just wants your money.

"And if those people buy property here, what's to complain about? If you look at it from their perspective, we really can't complain much because the system allows them to do it."

The emphasis on wealth over community frightens her. In her own South Granville neighbourhood, where she lives in a condo, she has seen many mom-and-pop stores close down and seniors move out of their apartments because they can no longer afford the neighbourhood.

"I'm really passionate about this issue because many of us came here from Hong Kong before, and we saw the same kind of cycle happening there.

And now we see the exact same evil forces following us, and it's not just money, but the mentality, the thinking, the behaviour, all these ways of doing things.

The values and everything that comes with the money is really scary."

Jonathan Lai grew up in Shaughnessy and spent the past 10 years working as a teacher for the Vancouver School Board.

Two years ago, he and his wife, an American, purchased a house in Blaine, Wash., because they couldn't afford a house in the Lower Mainland. They paid $430,000 (U.S.) for a 3,400square-foot house on four acres.

Mr. Lai commuted off and on between Blaine and a rental house in Langley.

When he looks at the neighbourhood where he grew up, he sees a community torn apart.

"In Shaughnessy now, there are walls between these huge monster homes, and empty neighbourhoods and no kids.

"I'm a Vancouverite, and all my friends are living in the Fraser Valley somewhere."

Now, Mr. Lai is planning to move to Utah, where he also has family, and where it's more affordable.

"I do think it's sad [to be leaving] because in order to build a strong sense of culture and community, it's important to have people who grew up in a city and the community, and who have an emotional and invested interest in being there long term."

HALT member Raymond Wong is a technologist with a wife and child who is worried that he'll also have to leave Vancouver if he wants to expand his family.

They currently live in a townhouse in Burnaby. He'd prefer to stay close to his parents, who've lived in Vancouver for more than 50 years.

"My parents are worried about not affording their property taxes," he says. "They are seniors now, they want me around. We'd like to keep our family together." Mr. Wong believes the government does not understand the growing outrage. It's not only young first-time buyers trying to get into the market, or renters trying to keep their homes who are angry. Those who already have housing equity are fed up, because the equity doesn't mean anything when you're worried about the future.

"I am a homeowner myself, and my parents are obviously homeowners - my colleagues, too. And we are not happy. Most of them don't care about equity.

They'd rather have their kids grow up and live in Vancouver and have regular normal life, not be forced out to who knows where."

Jennifer Lloyd, a part-time researcher and mother of two, is a HALT member because she's "fighting to save her city." Her family goes back several generations in Vancouver. She and her husband, both PhD graduates, are struggling to raise their family in a cramped condo.

"No generation before me has had a problem staying at home and raising kids, and now it's become a wealthy person's right," she says. "The fact is, the past 10 years has been exceptional in terms of prices. Vancouver hasn't always been this expensive."

Ms. Lloyd says other countries have introduced regulations to thwart foreign speculation, and yet when such action is discussed in Vancouver, there are charges of racism. It's unfair, and "a cruel thing," she says.

"There has to be an objective way to talk about this without accusing people of racism. It's incredibly offensive. Why would anybody want to be engaged in local politics if they are going to be branded a racist?" This past week, Mr. Fung also addressed media reports that said the blaming of offshore buyers for contributing to the crisis was racially motivated.

The idea that people oppose foreign real estate investment because of racism is based on the premise that those who feel they have the most to lose are of European and British descent.

But it disregards the diversity of people who've invested lifetimes here, who also feel they have a great deal to lose. They see the situation as an imbalance of power, of government catering to the monied class and ignoring its tax-paying constituents.

Also, labelling anyone a racist for suggesting that foreign money might be a culprit can create an irrational climate of fear.

South China Morning Post reporter Ian Young leaked a Canada Revenue Agency document this week that revealed a stunning lack of action taken by the agency regarding questionable activity by millionaire immigrants. His source revealed that, "CRA bureaucrats previously feared being labelled racist if they targeted low-income declarers buying real estate 'because the vast majority of these cases, involving high real estate values, involve Mainland Chinese.' " The bureaucrats should have simply done their jobs, regardless of the names on the files.

Ms. Sung says people should not be silenced by charges of racism because they take issue with massive inflows of global capital, or question signs of tax evasion or money laundering.

"I'm kind of surprised, because I thought we had gone beyond [the racism issue]," says Ms. Sung. "People are not really understanding the issue, the ones that are bringing this up. They try to silence people and try to use that as a tactic to avoid talking about the real issue. Maybe there are things they don't want to face. That kind of defeatist attitude bothers me."

Mr. Wong says the HALT group will help people focus on what matters.

"We need to educate people that our equity does not mean anything. You're not any richer."

Associated Graphic

Justin Fung, a member of HALT, Housing Action for Local Taxpayers, hopes to raise awareness about the housing crisis in Vancouver.


The peaceable kingdom in an increasingly populist world
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A4

OTTAWA -- Anti-immigrant resentment helped persuade 52 per cent of Britons to vote to leave the European Union last week. The man who will represent the Republican party in this year's U.S. presidential election spouts racist, nativist rhetoric to the cheers of millions of supporters. Farright parties promising to keep immigrants out and jobs in are on the rise from Poland to France. Newly inked free-trade agreements in Europe and the Pacific sit unratified. Anger, intolerance, suspicion, even hatred seem to be surging everywhere.

Except here. Why not here?

Why not Canada?

This peaceable kingdom is an oasis of openness in a world of closing doors. While other countries reject or threaten to reject people fleeing conflict, the new Liberal government airlifted 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada between December and February, with enthusiastic public support.

Immigration to Canada increased from an average of 217,000 annually during the Chrétien era to 255,000 annually under Stephen Harper, while the Trudeau government has set a target of 300,000 for 2016.

We don't just take in more immigrants, per capita, than any other country, we're taking in more than ever before, with almost no one complaining.

"Polls show that Canadians are much more positive toward immigration than other places, such as the U.S. or Europe," observes Rupa Banerjee, a professor at Ryerson University who studies immigration issues. She attributes that positive attitude to the points system, which encourages a diverse range of immigrants, and to a strong government emphasis on recruiting immigrants who bolster the economy.

On trade, Donald Trump vows to tear up the North American free-trade agreement and to launch a trade war against China if he is elected, while Britain has voted to leave the European Union. Canada's government, in contrast, recently signed trade agreements with the 28 nations of the European Union, the 12 countries that negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other countries in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe, with broad public support.

Even as insular, intolerant governments rise to power in places such as Poland and Hungary, or threaten to in other European nations and in the United States, the Canadian government moves to legalize marijuana, protect the rights of transgender Canadians and legislate conditions for a medically assisted death.

That forward-thinking approach to social policy is the principal reason this country ranks so highly in the Social Progress Index, which measures countries based on social and environmental indicators. Canada came in second in the latest annual survey, which was released this week.

Analysts in the United States and Europe have blamed the rise of nativist populism on a breach between globalist elites and economically stressed working- and lower-middle-class white voters.

But Canada continues to embrace diversity in every form: We have elected, without fuss, three female premiers (Christy Clark of B.C., Rachel Notley of Alberta and Kathleen Wynne of Ontario), two who are openly homosexual (Ms. Wynne and Wade MacLauchlan of PEI), and two who are indigenous (Peter Taptuna of Nunavut and Bob McLeod in Northwest Territories).

City councillors, mayors, MPPs and MLAs and Members of Parliament reflect (though not yet fully) Canada's amazing openheartedness.

So what is inoculating this country against the intolerance infecting other Western nations?

Part of the answer could lie in Quebec.

Since the days of the Quiet Revolution, French Canada has pursued a socially progressive, communitarian agenda. Quebec pioneered the modern public pension plan; Quebec legislated the first charter of human rights in Canada and was the first to protect sexual minorities within that charter; Quebec was the first to enact a government-directed child-care program.

"The anchor of Quebec might be a determining factor," in Canada's social inclusiveness, says Micheline Labelle, a sociologist at the University of Quebec at Montreal.

Even the sovereigntist movement that dominated Canada's political discourse for so many years "has a civic - versus ethnic - concept of nationalism and a world view based on openness," she believes.

The need to accommodate the sometimes-differing interests of English and French Canada also contributed to "that dynamic of compromise, based on each other's unique culture," that made it easier to integrate subsequent waves of immigrants from a host of differing cultures, says Mohammed Hashim, a Torontobased labour organizer who promotes greater inclusivity for Muslim Canadians.

"Visible minorities," as Statistics Canada calls them, now represent about 20 per cent of the Canadian population, concentrated in suburban ridings surrounding Toronto, Vancouver and other cities, making them a formidable voting bloc.

No surprise, then, that all major federal political parties compete in proclaiming their support for multiculturalism and ever-higher levels of immigration. Simply put, no federal politician can afford to spout anti-immigrant rhetoric because no government can get elected without them.

Another reason for Canada's openness toward the world involves the imperative of trade.

Our population is too small and dispersed to succeed as an internal market for everything we produce. Arguments about the need to close borders in order to husband jobs do less well here because so many Canadians know their own job depends on access to foreign markets.

"There's the realization that 35 million of us can't make it if we close our borders," observes Patrick Leblond, a University of Ottawa political scientist and senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

But we shouldn't be too smug.

Canada's enlightened immigration policy is as much the product of good luck as good management: Having three oceans for a border guarantees that Canada lets in only whom it wants to let in. And we let in only those who can contribute.

"When Canadians think of immigration, they often think of a professional from India who comes with an invitation from the government in hand, and is doing well and paying taxes," says Jeffrey Reitz, who studies immigration issues at the University of Toronto. "When Americans, for example, think of immigration they think of a Mexican who does not have an invitation, is working in low-paying jobs and possibly not paying taxes at all. So the immigrants are different."

That said, immigrants arriving to Canada more recently have struggled to find a footing. Studies show this generation of new arrivals is doing less well economically than the generation that came before. And there have been troubling incidents of public racism, such as an immigrant woman in London, Ont., who was allegedly assaulted last week by a shopper angry at her for wearing a hijab.

For Carla Peck, a University of Alberta education professor who studies attitudes toward diversity among the young, this points to the need "to have a meaningful, difficult conversation about the deeper issues - the very real issues - of individual and systemic discrimination, and oppression that people living in diverse societies experience."

And that conversation, she says, needs to start in school.

Economic challenges also strain the social fabric. In the past century, the economist Joseph Schumpeter talked about "creative destruction," the churn that accompanied the arrival of a new, disruptive technology.

Today, we are at Peak Schumpeter, with vast swaths of the economy transforming before our eyes. Netflix. Uber. Fintech. Amazon. Who has a landline any more? Who uses a travel agent?

And what will Apple or Google or Facebook invade next?

In this disruptive world, millennials live from contract to contract, the defined-benefit pension becomes the stuff of legend, and the guy flipping hamburgers who used to make Thunderbirds might look at a new arrival as competition, even a threat to whatever economic security he has left.

Prof. Banerjee worries about employers who are reluctant to hire immigrant workers because of a concern about language issues, or who treat foreign credentials with suspicion, or may simply be biased.

"Many immigrants are unable to find work in their field even though they are more educated and more qualified than ever before," she observes, stressing the need to educate employers in the competitive advantage they can enjoy by acquiring a more diverse work force.

Digital disruption also democratizes knowledge - we have the sum of human knowledge on our smartphones - even as it erodes the social buffers that protect and sustain communities, from the church or temple or mosque to the service club or political party, "the social institutions and cultural values that made it possible to have self-respect amid hardship," as The New York Times columnist David Brooks recently put it. Politics becomes more raw, a contest between competing ideologies with fewer and fewer buffers to smooth things out.

And let Canada never forget its own brief, alarming brush with populism - the troubled term of Rob Ford as Toronto mayor. Mr. Ford never attacked immigrants, at least publicly, but still ... .

Our peaceable kingdom remains vulnerable to the chaotic mix of innovation and disruption that is firing up voters in other countries. It's for all of us - politicians, pundits and public alike - to listen, really listen, to ona another, respect one another and not get carried away.

We only have to look next door or across the sea to know what will happen if we don't.


Social progress index, 2016 The 2016 Social Progress Index includes 133 countries covering 94 percent of the world's population with an additional 27 countries that provided results for 9 to 11 of the total 12 components. This brings total coverage to 99 percent of the world's population. Overall, if the world were a country, it would score 62.88 on the Social Progress Index, ranking between Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. Social progress is defined by three dimensions: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity. Below is the top five in each category. Very Low social progress is the bottom five.

Associated Graphic

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets a refugee from Syria during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill on Friday. Ottawa is planning to increase immigration to 300,000 a year.


'He was dressed like a gentleman though he had lost his gloves and he clutched his walking stick in one fist like a cudgel. A stain spotted his cuffs that might have been soot or mud but was not either.' Our summer reading series continues with a sneak peek of Steven Price's By Gaslight
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R14

He was the oldest son.

He wore his black moustaches long in the manner of an outlaw and his right thumb hooked at his hip where a Colt Navy should have hung.

He was not yet forty but already his left knee went stiff in a damp cold from an exploding Confederate shell at Antietam. He had been sixteen then and the shrapnel had stood out from his knee like a knuckle of extra bone while the dirt heaved and sprayed around him. Since that day he had twice been thought killed and twice come upon his would-be killers like an avenging spectre. He had shot twenty-three men and one boy outlaws all and only the boy's death did not trouble him. He entered banks with his head low, his eyebrows drawn close, his huge menacing hands empty as if fixed for strangling. When he lurched aboard crowded streetcars men instinctively pulled away and women followed him with their eyelashes, bonnets tipped low. He had not been at home more than a month at a stretch for five years now though he loved his wife and daughters, loved them with the fear a powerful man feels who is given to breaking things. He had long yellow teeth, a wide face, sunken eyes, pupils as dark as the twist of a man's intestines.


He loathed London. Its cobbled streets were filthy even to a man whose business was filth, who would take a saddle over a bed and huddle all night in a brothel's privy with his Colt drawn until the right arse stumbled in. Here he had seen nothing green in a month that was not holly or a cut bough carted in from a countryside he could not imagine. On Christmas he had watched the poor swarm a man in daylight, all clutched rags and greed; on New Year's he had seen a lady kick a watercress girl from the step of a carriage, then curse the child's blood spotting her laces. A rot ate its way through London, a wretchedness older and more brutal than any he had known in Chicago.

He was not the law. No matter. In America there was not a thief who did not fear him. By his own measure he feared no man living and only one man dead and that man his father.

It was a bitter January and that father six months buried when he descended at last into Bermondsey in search of an old operative of his father's, an old friend. Wading through the night's fog, another man's blood barnacling his knuckles, his own business in London nearly done.

He was dressed like a gentleman though he had lost his gloves and he clutched his walking stick in one fist like a cudgel. A stain spotted his cuffs that might have been soot or mud but was not either. He had been waiting for what passed for morning in this miserable winter and paused now in a narrow alley at the back of Snow Fields, opera hat collapsed in one hand, frost creaking in the timbers of the shopfronts, not sure it had come. Fog spilled over the cobblestones, foul and yellow and thick with coal fumes and a bitter stink that crusted the nostrils, scalded the back of the throat. That fog was everywhere, always, drifting through the streets and pulling apart low to the ground, a living thing. Some nights it gave off a low hiss, like steam escaping a valve.

Six weeks ago he had come to this city to interrogate a woman who last night after a long pursuit across Blackfriars Bridge had leaped the railing and vanished into the river. He thought of the darkness, the black water foaming outward, the slapping of the Yard sergeants' boots on the granite setts.

He could still feel the wet scrape of the bridge bollards against his wrists.

She had been living lawful in this city as if to pass for respectable and in this way absolve herself of a complicated life but as with anything it had not helped. She had been calling herself LeRoche but her real name was Reckitt and ten years earlier she had been an associate of the notorious cracksman and thief Edward Shade.

That man Shade was the one he really hunted and until last night the Reckitt woman had been his one certain lead.

She'd had small sharp teeth, long white fingers, a voice low and vicious and lovely.

The night faded, the streets began to fill. In the upper windows of the building across the street a pale sky glinted, reflected the watery silhouettes below, the passing shadows of the early horses hauling their wagons, the huddled cloth caps and woollens of the outsides perched on their sacks.

The iron-shod wheels chittering and squeaking in the cold. He coughed and lit a cigar and smoked in silence, his small deep-set eyes predatory as any cutthroat's.

After a time he ground the cigar under one heel and punched out his hat and put it on. He withdrew a revolver from his pocket and clicked it open and dialled through its chambers for something to do and when he could wait no longer he hitched up one shoulder and started across.

If asked he would say he had never met a dead nail didn't want to go straight. He would say no man on the blob met his own shadow and did not flinch. He would run a hand along his unshaved jaw and glower down at whatever reporter swayed in front of him and mutter some unprintable blasphemy in flash dialect and then he would lean over and casually rip that page from the reporter's ring-coil notebook. He would say lack of education is the beginning of the criminal underclass and both rights and laws are failing the country. A man is worth more than a horse any day though you would never guess it to see it. The cleverest jake he'd ever met was a sharper and the kindest jill a whore and the world takes all types. Only the soft-headed think a thing looks like what it is.

In truth he was about as square as a broken jaw but then he'd never met a cop any different so what was the problem and whose business was it anyway.

He did not go directly in but slipped instead down a side alley. Creatures stirred in the papered windows as he passed. The alley was a river of muck and he walked carefully. In openings in the wooden walls he glimpsed the small crouched shapes of children, all bones and knees, half dressed, their breath pluming out before them in the cold. They met his eyes boldly.

The fog was thinner here, the stink more savage and bitter. He ducked under a gate to a narrow passage, descended a crooked wooden staircase, and entered a nondescript door on the left.

In the sudden stillness he could hear the slosh of the river, thickening in the runoffs under the boards. The walls creaked, like the hold of a ship.

That rooming house smelled of old meat, of water-rotted wood. The lined wallpaper was thick with a sooty grime any cinderman might scrape with a blade for half a shilling. He was careful not to touch the railing as he made his way upstairs. On the third floor he stepped out from the unlit stairwell and counted off five doors and at the sixth he stopped. Out of the cold now his bruised knuckles had begun to ache. He did not knock but jigged the handle softly and found it was not locked. He looked back the way he had come and he waited a moment and then he opened the door.

Excerpted from By Gaslight by Steven Price. Copyright © 2016 Steven Price. Published by McClelland & Stewart, a division of Penguin Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.


By Gaslight clocks in at, oh, 750-odd pages. Can you sum it up in a sentence?

Hmm. How about: A panoramic view of the Victorian age, By Gaslight shifts from London to Cape Town to the American Civil War, following a detective's search to answer the question of who his father really was.

This excerpt paints a rather unflattering portrait of the city, but an extremely vivid one, too. What's your relationship like with London, and why is it such a rich setting a novelist?

I guess, to my mind, there are many Londons. London was arguably the first great modern world-city, a city that seemed bottomless, edgeless, a world in miniature with all the raw, beautiful, disturbing variety of humanity on display within it. People from all corners of the empire descended upon it; at every turn something new and strange could step from the shadows. And those shadows were everywhere. This excerpt is set in the grim riverside slums of Bermondsey; but By Gaslight wanders throughout the city, into the cleaner and wealthier streets as well.

We learn both nothing and everything about this man. What can you tell us about this unnamed character and how he fits into the novel?

This passage is taken from the opening pages. I wanted to leave this man unnamed at first, to let him walk the early pages of his book almost anonymous. He will prove to be William Pinkerton, the oldest son of Allan Pinkerton, legendary founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. This novel, in one sense, is the story of how William grapples with the recent death of his father, and the unfinished business of his life. Who was his father, really? It's a novel about our inheritance of grief, and about forgiveness, and learning to go on.

Associated Graphic


A true believer in print
Isabelle Marcoux Chair, Transcontinental Inc.
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B4

TORONTO -- Isabelle Marcoux's earliest apprenticeship in her family's business was long, sugary and occasionally monotonous.

In her childhood, at occasions such as Christmas and Easter, she and her two siblings would pile into the family car to visit her grandparents in Quebec's Beauce region, a three-hour drive from her Montreal home. Along the way, her father, Rémi - founder and patriarch of Transcontinental Inc., the printing giant she now steers as an adult - would turn off at the company's plants in SaintHyacinthe, Drummondville and Beauceville. "So it would actually take us nine hours to get to my grandparents' because my dad would stop. And we'd go in and we'd play between the paper rolls, and we'd buy chocolate from the vending machines," she says, adding with a laugh: "After the eighth hour, it got a bit tedious."

Ms. Marcoux, 46, now chairs the board of Transcontinental, having worked her way through the ranks of the business her father built and still watches over at age 75 as a member of the board. The printing company - easily Canada's largest - is also deeply invested in media, and has just reached its 40th birthday at a moment of upheaval for print media. Ms. Marcoux and Transcontinental are determined to navigate a precipitous decline in print's popularity while crafting plans to adapt and outlive the turmoil.

Throughout lunch at the newly revamped Café Boulud in Toronto's Four Seasons hotel, one of the phrases she returns to most often is "profound transformation."

Wearing a long-sleeved, buttondown apple green shirt, her coppery-brown hair tucked neatly behind her ears, Ms. Marcoux smiles and laughs easily and can seem disarming, almost shy. She doesn't do a lot of interviews. But she describes herself as an "A-plus-type" personality who doesn't sleep much and she is hard-headed when it comes to trying to make the business durable for the long haul.

She bears the added pressure of steering the company through its second generation, and planning for its third - Ms. Marcoux and her siblings have eight children among them. And she has never known a time when business and family weren't tightly intertwined. Her elder sister, Nathalie, used to work at Transcontinental and now manages the family holdings, her younger brother, Pierre, runs the company's business information and textbook publishing divisions, and her husband, François Olivier, is the company's CEO. Her daughter, Jeanne, 18, worked at the textbook publishing operation last summer and "she loves business ... we'll see."

This is Ms. Marcoux's first lunch at Café Boulud - she stays at the hotel often on her frequent business trips to Toronto, but usually lunches "in boardrooms or a sandwich on my way to the airport." She notes approvingly that menu items are listed in French and orders carrot and ginger soup with cilantro cream, followed by the omelette printanière - asparagus, herbs, wild leeks and cream cheese - plus sparking water, no ice, one lemon.

Ms. Marcoux plotted her course to the top of Transcontinental early on. Her father - "a tough guy" and "a real driver" - had put conditions on his children's entry into the family business: Earn two university degrees, speak three languages (French, English and Spanish in her case) and work three years elsewhere.

Raised and schooled in Montreal, Ms. Marcoux moved south as a teenager to board for one year at a New Hampshire prep school, Phillips Exeter Academy, circumventing Quebec's pre-university CEGEP system. She returned to McGill University to study economics and politics and landed a summer job at public-pension manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. That steered her off a career as an economist.

"It was a bit too analytical for me," she says.

Instead, she studied law and joined the mergers and acquisitions team at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, which proved a helpful stepping stone to Transcontinental in the late 1990s. The printing company had no acquisitions team, and Ms. Marcoux set about carving out her specialty, creating and then leading a new corporate development arm.

Not that it's been easy. "I think when you're the son-of, or the daughter-of, people scrutinize your moves," she says. "They test your leadership, they test your decision-making abilities, they test your judgment."

She has also been tested as a female executive in an industry where most of the deal makers are men. She says she inherited some of her father's toughness, learning to show confidence and be decisive. But she also says Transcontinental now works more on consensus-building than it did under her father, and she champions women inside the company - nearly 40 per cent of board members and 42 per cent of managers in its senior ranks are women.

Ms. Marcoux thrives in particular on negotiations to convince sellers that Transcontinental will "be good parents" for the companies they've built.

"And I think that we have been good owners for many acquisitions ... I think our average is better than worse," she says.

Transcontinental is back on the acquisition track, after a period of major streamlining and paying down debt. From 2007 to 2009, the company retooled its printing plants to be more efficient and require fewer hands to operate. It also moved away from labour-intensive investments in directmail marketing, sold its consumer magazines to TVA Group and doubled down on newspapers.

The company's staff count dipped from a peak of 12,500 in 2009 to 8,000 now.

The key is managing "for the long term," she says. "And sometimes it means shutting down a plant, and sometimes it means buying a new company. So it's not about keeping everyone, but it's about keeping an ultimate number of people working in our business."

Transcontinental owns more than 100 community newspapers as well as specialty titles such as Les Affaires, a subscription-based French business weekly, giving Ms. Marcoux a front-row seat for the financial woes afflicting media. "I believe journalism is so important, it's worrisome what's happening in our industry right now," she says, noting how hard she finds it watching journalists lose jobs - Transcontinental closed its last two English-language papers in Quebec, the West Island Chronicle and Westmount Examiner, last year.

Transcontinental has managed to stabilize revenue on the printing side - 22 large plants still generate 65 per cent of the company's $2-billion in annual revenue - by capturing new business, including contracts to print the Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette and, soon, the Toronto Star (it also prints The Globe and Mail).

Flyer printing has also remained stubbornly stable, with no major contracts lost: 84 per cent of people say they use them and only 10 per cent are reading them only in digital form, according to Transcontinental's research.

"However, we know that in the long term, we need to replace the revenues from print with something else," Ms. Marcoux says.

That has meant buying up companies in the flexible packaging industry. Everything from shredded cheese and yogurt to dog food and coffee sometimes comes wrapped in flexible packages printed on presses not unlike those that make newspapers or flyers. Over the past two years, Transcontinental has bought three U.S.-based companies - Capri Packaging, Ultra Flex Packaging Corp. and, just this week, paid $40-million (U.S.) for Robbie Manufacturing - and even before that latest purchase, the division had been chipping in 10 per cent of total revenue.

While investors have been fleeing Canadian companies with business models based on paper and ink - newspaper publisher Torstar Corp.'s stock price has plunged from $12.40 (Canadian) five years ago to $1.62 this week, while Postmedia Network Canada Corp.'s shares trade at 2 cents - Transcontinental still attracts some believers, and its stock price has risen over the past year.

Ms. Marcoux's main diversion - "my thing" - is mountain climbing. In winter, she has a holiday home near Mont Tremblant, which she scales on snowshoes at least twice a weekend (her record is four times in a weekend). In the summer, she hikes up MontOrford near a family retreat in the Eastern Townships.

It also gives her ample time to contemplate the steep climb ahead for the printing industry and its struggling clients. So, amid all the speculation about print's demise, how long does she believe print media has left? "I'm not making those predictions," she says, laughing again. "I think we have five to 10 good years, but my guess is as good as yours."


Age: 46 .

Education: Schooled mostly in Montreal; spent a year at Phillips Exeter Academy boarding school in New Hampshire before attending McGill University, earning a degree in economics and politics, then another in civil law.

Family: Daughter of Transcontinental founder Rémi Marcoux and Carmelle Marcoux; two siblings, Nathalie and Pierre; two children, Jeanne, 18, and Philippe, 16.

Board and charity work: Board member for George Weston Ltd., Power Corp. of Canada, Rogers Communications Inc. and the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation. She is co-chair of Centraide of Greater Montreal's fundraising campaign, and a cabinet member of campaigns for OLO Foundation and the Young Musicians of the World Foundation.

Favourite food: "Chocolate.


Best vacation spot: Hiking the desert in Chile.

When reading, print or digital? A mixture of both. "I receive The Globe and Mail at home, I read La Presse on the iPad and on weekends, I read both by print."

Who would you like to have lunch with? Hillary Clinton. "I think she's showing a lot of resilience despite everything that's been said about her and her past and all of that. I think she's a real fighter."

So you wouldn't be voting for Donald Trump? "I'm not sure any Canadian would."

Associated Graphic


A brazilliant analysis of a nation's ultrarich
With its accessible, in-depth look at class in Latin America's largest country, Brazillionaires is a vital book with few companions
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R18

Brazillionaires: Wealth, Power, Decadence, and Hope in an American Country By Alex Cuadros Spiegel & Grau, 368 pages, $37

On the night of April 17, I sat in the gallery of the lower chamber of Brazil's Congress, and watched members vote in favour of opening an impeachment trial of the President, Dilma Rousseff. The scene on the floor was wild - people cursed, spat and on four separate occasions set off confetti canons. But the spectacle just offstage, out of the view of the television cameras, was even more enthralling - and perhaps more instructive about what was happening in Brazil that night.

As the session went on, and votes piled up against Rousseff, who heads the Workers' Party, the families of opposition members thronged to the edge of the floor and giddily posed for pictures. The deputies were mostly men, nearly all of them white; their wives and daughters preened in stilettos and sequins, carrying giant designer handbags. Denouncing Rousseff in full force were the representatives of the conservative "three Bs" caucus - bullets, beef and Bibles - law-and-order hardliners, agrobusiness and evangelical Christians.

There was more than one father-son pair there to vote that night, and they represent the historic power brokers of this country, the people who have ruled Brazil through most of its history. The past 12 years of Workers' Party rule, when machinists and teachers and even a former domestic worker became lawmakers, were a sharp deviation, and there was a palpable sense in the room that power was shifting with each passing hour of the marathon vote. The traditional rulers felt their fortunes turning.

Tucked in my bag that night, although I never had time to read a page, was a review copy of Brazillionaires, by Alex Cuadros, a reporter from the United States who covered the billionaires beat for Bloomberg out of Sao Paulo. I don't know Cuadros personally, but we have friends in common in foreign correspondent circles, so I had known for some time of the book he was working on - and as Brazil's economy fell apart (a GDP contraction of more than 4 per cent is forecast for 2016) I thought that his years of work might be overtaken by events.

I was also skeptical of his premise - why, I wondered, write about billionaires, when the really significant story in Brazil, until the past few tumultuous months, was the country's success in moving 35 million people out of poverty. Brazil has racked up unprecedented progress improving social indicators in the past 12 years, using strategies that dozens of other countries have come here to try to understand better - surely that's more interesting than a handful of people living behind high walls and zipping off in their private aircraft to parties in Miami, But Cuadros's book, far from being rendered obsolete by the political and economic crisis, has become more relevant than ever.

It serves as both a playbook and a who's who for the seismic shift in power that just occurred here, a map of the tightly meshed relationships between politicians, media barons and the titans of the construction companies at the heart of the giant corruption scandal that contributed to Rousseff's fall. Brazillionaires is vital - and accessible - reading for anyone trying to decipher what just happened, and what may yet come, in Latin America's largest country.

Cuadros moved here from Colombia in 2010 and started out covering Brazil's markets. Before long, he was reassigned to the specific beat of the ultrarich - Bloomberg was already covering billionaires in other parts of the world but Cuadros would be breaking new ground in Brazil.

Some of the people who were on his list for scrutiny were wellknown: candidate No. 1 was Eike Batista, the eighth richest man in the world when Cuadros started his billionaires gig. Batista at the height of his success was like a caricature of a billionaire, married to a Playmate, with a one-ofa-kind luxury car parked in the living room of his mansion, constantly in the media trumpeting the soaring value of his oil company, his shipping company, his mining company. His story provides Cuadros with a sort of narrative arc, for Batista's fortunes imploded and by 2015 the cheerleader billionaire set a new record, as the world's most indebted person, more than a billion dollars in hock.

But the Batista story is less compelling than that of what Cuadros calls the "hidden billionaires," the ones he begins to ferret out as he follows the trails to the construction companies that built the highway outside his window or the concrete towers where he goes for interviews.

They own private companies that do not publish financial information, and they eschew Batista's flashy cars and pink silk neckties.

As Cuadros digs into their fortunes, he finds that many have dark origins: He compares a list of the wealthiest families with one of a list of key backers of the military dictatorship that seized power in 1964, with the express goal of preserving capitalism - and finds considerable overlap.

Roberto Marinho, for example, founded the Globo media empire, worked hand in glove with the dictators, and benefited accordingly; his sons are three of the country's billionaires today (and still control a huge swath of the media).

Cuadros shows how politics and public works are historically the most reliable routes to wealth in Brazil, facilitated by the wholesale transfer of public funds. As a person who has spent nearly every day of the past year trying to explain Brazil's political crisis and its economic implosion to a foreign audience, I wondered how Cuadros would manage that, at book length, and make it readable. He's pulled it off: Brazillionaires, its silly title notwithstanding, is gripping from the first page. And Cuadros proves to have a gift for elegant and straightforward explanations of some of the most befuddling aspects of the country's politics and economics. He lays out all the connections, between cheap state loans and big infrastructure programs and cabinet ministers who rewrite legislation to make it more accommodating. He provides a taxonomy of the way the media, private capital and the political elite co-exist as a system to maintain the power and privilege of the wealthy - you don't have to start wealthy but you have to acquire these alliances to be superrich and stay there. He takes his readers calmly through the labyrinthine, multibilliondollar graft scandal at Petrobras, now known by its police code name Lava Jato.

But perhaps more valuable, he explains how Brazilians at every social level view those relationships, and how they choose to interpret and ignore them. He digs into rouba mas faz, "he steals but he gets things done," the phrase Brazilians use for a dirty politician who delivers at least some level of a service to citizens - used not with resignation, but with admiration - for there is no point being rueful.

In addition to the forensic examination of Brazil, Cuadros also delves into what he calls the "squishier" aspects of billionaires: "How their minds worked and how they justified their wealth to themselves and the world." The existence and impact of the superrich raise questions pertinent far beyond Brazil, he points out - "whether it was just plain wrong to be so rich in a country this poor - or in any country ... Did the ultrarich take a society forward or hold it back?

Could billionaires create progress at all, or did progress simply create billionaires?" Some of the most fun bits of the book are the glimpses he provides into his quarry in their natural habitat. In Miami (where Brazil's wealthy bought one in 12 of the homes that changed hands in 2012, and many paid cash), he meets a man who runs a firm that caters to solving the problems of the ultrarich. The man has created "a Monopolylike game called 'Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves' - a reference to how fortunes built in the first generation tend to dissipate in the third," to give to the eight-yearold children of anxious billionaires. A real estate agent shows Cuadros a Rio penthouse where the living room wall has a mosaic made from the wings of thousands of exotic butterflies (certified by the environmental agency, he is assured. Certified what? Insane?) And he takes us with him as time as a spectator on the edge of this world starts to change him, too: "I heard myself using the word just like this: So-and-so is worth 'just' a hundred million dollars." He stalks Eike Batista so closely, as the impresario's promises begin to unravel, that "now and then he showed up in my dreams, and we were pals."

Brazillionaires is peopled almost entirely with men - women make fleeting appearances as trophy wives and heiress daughters - and while this reflects the demographics of powerful Brazil, the sheer absence of female voices is painful. (Cuadros notes that of 150 Brazilians worth at least a billion reais, none is black.)

Cuadros may have been prescient in that Brazil's crisis has made his book critical reading rather than irrelevant. The real beneficiary however is his reader - he's just the right mix of knowledgeable insider, and arch, critical outsider, and Brazillionaires is a welcome addition to the very sparse canon of good books about Brazil.

Stephanie Nolen is the Latin America correspondent for The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

A swimmer enjoys the pool at the upscale Pestana hotel overlooking Copacabana beach, which will be a site for various Olympic events, ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games.


Brazil's lawmakers celebrate after they reached the votes needed to impeach President Dilma Rousseff in April. The political turmoil in Brazil has made Alex Cuadros's Brazillionaires more relevant than ever.


Kids' crafts with style cred
Dave McGinn tapped Canadian makers for projects to keep kids (and parents) artfully occupied
Thursday, July 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L3


Make if you have: 2 hours to kill It's no mystery why young ones are natural crafters.

"Kids are really fearless. They don't have the apprehension about a new material or a new technique, they just go for it," says Rita Van Tassel, manager of the Lunenburg Makery, a crafting space in Lunenburg, N.S.

"Weaving is a traditional craft that people of various cultures across the globe have been practising for centuries. The beauty of it is that you don't need any fancy equipment or training to make some striking textured hangings. This small-size craft is lightweight, portable and can be done as easily in the back seat of a car as it can sitting under a tree."


Yarn leftovers or selected colours

Scrap cardboard (corrugated)

Branch or driftwood



Pencil Instructions Prepare the Loom 1. Cut out your loom from a piece of cardboard. Our piece is 14 centimeres by 18 cm (about 5 inches by 7 inches). Use a ruler to find the centre point on the top and bottom edges and mark it with a pencil, then measure out and mark regular intervals out from there. We marked every 1 cm for a total of 11 cm across.

Tip - You can use any size loom and make your marks closer together or farther apart, but the more strings you have the longer it's going to take to complete.

2. Use your scissors to cut a small slit in the cardboard at each of your marks.

3. The yarn you wrap around the loom and weave the rest of your strings on is called the warp. Prepare your warp by taping one end on the backside of the loom and then wrapping the yarn around the cardboard through each of the cut notches. When you get to the end, cut off your yarn and tape that end to the backside as well.

Weaving 1. The weaving can be done with just your fingers, but using a yarn needle or some kind of large-eye tool can make things much easier (and faster). We used an inexpensive metal bodkin (for threading elastics) and it worked great.

2. Basic weaving is accomplished with a very simple over/under approach. If you go over the first thread on your loom then you go under the next one, then over the next, then under, etc.

When you start or finish a piece of yarn, always leave a tail approx. 5 or 6 cm long. These ends will get secured in the final steps.

3. When you get to the end of a row, just start the next one up by continuing to alternate over and under - if you finish a row going under, then you start the next one by going over.

6 Tip - Be careful to not pull too hard on the side end warp threads as it will cause your weaving to pinch in the middle.

4. ALWAYS be squishing and compressing your threads toward the bottom of the loom. The tighter your rows, the more stable your final piece will be.

Staggering Colours 1. To create a staircase effect and to stagger colours, don't go all the way to the end of a row before you turn around. Stop one thread in on your warp and make this your new end point for two rows. Then stop another warp thread sooner and go for two rows, and so on.

2. Start your second colour where you want it and in the same way you did in the beginning - leave a tail and go over or under the threads below it. Go as far as the last warp thread in that row that has your first colour wrapped around it before turning around to go back. Both your colours should share that thread.

3. Continue working your way up row by row.

Tip - Some people find it easier in this technique to complete one colour and then go back and add the other, some people like working with both colours at once (two needles). Play with it and see what works for you.

Finishing Touches 1. When your loom is full, flip it over to the back and carefully cut through the centre of your warp threads.

2. Flip your loom back to the front and, working in pairs from one end of the loom, tie a double knot in the threads all the way across. Do this for the top and bottom.

3. You can now take your yarn needle and use it to tuck your tail ends through some of the woven rows on the backside. Trim any excess.

4. Use the ends of the tied yarn to now tie onto whatever branch or rod you want to use to suspend your hanging from. Get creative by adding an additional piece of yarn or string as a hanger or pom poms.

5. Hang on the wall and admire.


Make if you have: 40 minutes to kill "Kids are so open and expressive.

There's so little overthinking that goes into the process," says Annyen Lam, a Toronto-based artist, of crafting with kids.

"This simple project is based on the accordion fold, also known as the zigzag fold. Kids can creatively interpret the colours, lights and textures in a cityscape to make a mini-paper city of their own," she says. "They also have the opportunity to explore patterning, linework and bold colour combinations through a variety of drawing media."


Large sheet of paper or bristol board


Drawing tools (such as crayons, pencil crayons, markers, gel pens, pastels) Instructions 1. Cut a wide strip of paper. Fold your strip in half, then into quarters and eighths (if possible); this will give you the crease marks for an even accordion fold. Briefly unfold your strip, then refold one crease at a time, alternating between mountain and valley folds.

2. With scissors, cut building shapes on the top end of your accordion. Cut an upside-down "V" for a roof and thick rectangular shapes to make a building silhouette.

3. Decorate your paper city, colouring as much of it as possible. Explore a colourful palette and make patterns of windows, roofs, doors and lights.


Make it if you have: 1 hour to kill (Less if the sun is shining strong) The worst mistake people make when they're trying to get kids excited about crafting is also the most common, according to Arounna Khounnoraj, a multidisciplinary artist in Toronto and co-founder of Bookhou, a company that features handmade and small production pieces.

"People sort of dumb projects down and don't feel that the kids have the capability of doing more," says Khounnoraj, who recommends sun printing - using a special dye and sunlight to develop images on cloth - for all levels of experience.

"This is a great project to do with kids because there is no specific skill that is required and it's fun for them to go outside to forage for plants and planning and to watch how the sun creates the negative image, so it's a bit of science and art," she says.


Jacquard SolarFast dye

Jacquard SolarFast wash

Foam roller or brush

Palette or disposable plate

Packing tape

Wood or cardboard

Objects to solar print (we used botanical objects found outside such as sprigs, leaves and branches)

Cotton fabric (should be prewashed to remove any shrinking) Instructions

1. Take your cloth and tape the edges to a hard surface such as a piece of wood or cardboard.

2. Pour the solarfast dye onto a palette or disposable plate and use the foam roller to apply it evenly across the surface of the cloth. While the dye is still wet, lay out your botanical objects.

Try to choose objects that are not too thick.

3. Allow the objects to sit on the cloth for about 30 minutes in bright sunlight until the fabric darkens, you will notice the treated cloth slowly change colour before your eyes.

4. After the fabric darkens, remove the botanical objects and remove the tape from the cloth and soak in a sink with hot water with a few capfuls of the solarfast wash. Agitate the fabric in the water till the cloth feels clean. Hang to dry and iron if needed.


Make if you have: 5 minutes to kill According to Joseph Wu, a Vancouver-based origami artist, the key to crafting with kids is to build the activity around something they care about. Origami, he says, is well suited to the task since it's "so open-ended."

To wit: this ocean-inspired folding craft (who doesn't love a jellyfish?).

"This one's fun because it allows kids to use a destructive technique, crumpling, to create something beautiful," Wu says.

"Precision is not required, so younger children can participate.

Hung from a thread or string, these can make lovely decorations." Materials

Sheets of paper (81/2 by 11 in) that will hold a crease Instructions

1. Put your finger in the centre of a piece of paper. Crumple the paper up toward your finger, pressing tightly. Do not twist.

2. Reverse the paper inside out and again squeeze tightly. Repeat twice.

3. Hold the closed end in your fist. With your free hand fold the paper out and push it down over your fist.

4. Take the paper out and squeeze it. Holding the bottom in your fist, spread the top of the paper open. Squeeze it open and down, creating the circular top of the jelly.

5. Turn the paper over and open up the bottom slightly to create the tentacles of the jelly.

Associated Graphic




The White House 'adorned by a downright moron'
Marcus Gee imagines feisty H. L. Mencken at Trump's 'gaudy spectacle' in Cleveland
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F3

Somewhere up in the blue empyrean, H.L. Mencken is smiling. He warned it could turn out this way.

The cigar-chomping bad boy of American letters had a low opinion of the voting public. The "booboisie," as he called them, were too easily taken in by the scoundrels, quacks, charlatans and (his favourite label) mountebanks who populated U.S. politics in the early decades of the 20th century.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people," he wrote in 1920. "We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

A century later, with millions of Americans flocking to a reality-TV star who refers to the "7/11" terrorist attacks and chows down on a taco bowl while tweeting "I love Hispanics," Mencken's prophecy seems uncomfortably near fulfilment. Donald Trump's rube-rousing, fear-mongering speech at this week's Republican National Convention seemed to confirm all of his warnings about how demagogues manipulate a gullible electorate.

Was Mencken right about the booboisie? Is democracy too important to be left to the people? Are we wrong to assume that the voter, like the customer, is always right?

Loved Twain, prudes not so much

Henry Louis Mencken was born on Sept. 12, 1880, in Baltimore. He was destined to go into the family tobacco business but read Huckleberry Finn when he was 9 - "the most stupendous event of my whole life " - and glimpsed a different future.

When his father died, the 18-yearold put on his best suit and hung around the newsroom of the Baltimore Morning Herald night after night until the editors ran his first story, a five-line dispatch about a possible horse theft. He went on to become a renowned editor, columnist and critic with a scalding wit and a heroic output.

He reckoned he wrote 10 million words in all. He produced books on Friedrich Nietzsche and George Bernard Shaw, a pioneering study of English usage in the U.S. - The American Language - and helped to launch The American Mercury, a leading intellectual journal. He fought censorship, prudery and Prohibition. He deplored all do-gooders and world-savers. An idealist, he said, "is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." Puritanism was to him "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."

His views on democracy never changed. He considered most politicians swindlers and oafs. President Warren G. Harding (1921-23) was "a decent, harmless, laborious, hollowheaded mediocrity" with "the face of a moving-picture actor, the intelligence of a respectable agricultural implement dealer, and the imagination of a lodge joiner."

He was hardly kinder to Harding's successor, the somnolent Calvin Coolidge. If Coolidge had character, Mencken wrote, "then so has a castiron dog on a lawn."

His contempt for the voter was greater still. The average citizen finds the idea of liberty a bit alarming, Mencken wrote in his book, Notes on Democracy (1927). Instead of embracing freedom, "He longs for the warm, reassuring smell of the herd, and is willing to take the herdsman with it." The "lower orders," as he unashamedly called them, are only too ready to embrace the first saviour who comes along to whip them into a froth. "The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots."

It's delicious to imagine the things he would say about the spectacle unfolding south of the border. I Told You So, might be one. Election year 2016 seems to give proof to his famous saying that no one "has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."

'Arouse the fears of the mob'

Just think of the meal he would have made of Ted Cruz, the oily Texas senator who asked supporters to pray that God would "awaken the body of Christ that we might pull back from the abyss."

Mencken couldn't stand Bible thumpers. He threw some of his deadliest thunderbolts at William Jennings Bryan, the "Fundamentalist Pope" who ran for president three times and inveighed against the teaching of evolution at the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925.

Or consider what wicked fun Mencken would have had with Bernie Sanders, the grumpy Vermont Senator who fulminated against Wall Street billionaires in his race against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Good rabble-rousers, he wrote, "not only know how to arouse the fears of the mob; they also know how to awaken its envy, its dislike of privilege, its hatred of its betters."

And Donald Trump? One Mencken biographer, Fred Hobson, told me over the phone from North Carolina that, if he were alive today, he might actually be drawn to the thrice-married billionaire, who at least has the virtue of not being a po-faced moralizer - or, as Mencken, borrowing an Australianism, might have put it, a wowser.

On the other hand, he deplored breast-beating patriotism of the "Make America great again!" variety.

"One hears such pronunciamentos only from a dubious rabble of chautauqua orators, circus preachers, skyrocket politicians, bogus war heroes, half-witted pedagogues and professional uplifters, most of them with something to sell," he wrote.

Just as much, he loathed those who stir up fear of imagined enemies, as Mr. Trump did when he promised to ban Muslim visitors, erect a wall against Mexican migrants and stop "violence spilling across our borders."

Mencken wrote that the aim of politics is "to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins." The object, he said, is invariably to justify overriding individual rights and liberties. He saw it happen before his eyes during the First World War, when Washington rounded up enemy aliens and gagged the press. He complained that the Baltimore papers could not even report on a snow storm. He saw it again when authorities corralled suspected subversives during the Red Scare that followed the Russian Revolution.

He would not be the least surprised to see a leading candidate for president promise to torture terrorists and "take out" their families, laws and rights be damned. "Democracy," he wrote, "always seems bent on killing the thing it loves."

Of course, Mencken was a terrible crank, to put it mildly. He generalized about races and nationalities in a way that seems unforgivable today.

He had rancid opinions about Jews, opposed joining both world wars and scorned President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal, while Americans lined up at soup kitchens.

Not every government program is a swindle or every leader a cad. Not every mass movement is a mob.

Mencken offered no alternative to the vulgar mass democracy he deplored, except perhaps the rule of the "first-rate man." The trouble is that the man is more often Putin than Pericles. Graft, misrule, fearmongering, the trampling of rights - all of these are far worse in undemocratic countries.

But, then, Mencken didn't claim to be a political scientist. "I am not a constructive critic," he conceded.

Alistair Cooke, the late British-born journalist who edited a collection of Mencken's best stuff, said that he set out to be nothing less than "the native American Voltaire, the enemy of all puritanism, the heretic in the Sunday school, the one-man demolition crew of the genteel tradition, the unregenerate neighbourhood brat who stretches a string in the alley to trip the bourgeoisie on its pious homeward journey."

His rants about the dangers of populism seem as current as ever in this weird season when candidates for the world's most powerful office play on fears of the foreign and resentment of the rich. Except perhaps for on-air satirists like John Oliver, whose brilliant takedowns have a whiff of Mencken, there is no one around today to match his elegant savagery. Much of the American media still treats the "preposterous bladders" who disgrace the political stage with the "utmost gravity... as if they were so many Goethes." Voters by the millions still fall for their "buncombe" (another Mencken favourite, later spelled bunkum).

Anyone who waded into a crowd of Rob Ford supporters at the height of the late Toronto mayor's infamy emerged with ample reason to doubt the wisdom of the people. Thirtyfour per cent of voters still chose his brother, Doug, in the last local election. For that matter, a poll last fall found that 29 per cent of Americans - and 43 per cent of Republicans - persist in thinking President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

'Better than the best circus'

Mencken would have nodded knowingly - and shaken with mirth. "I enjoy democracy immensely," he wrote. "It is incomparably idiotic, hence incomparably amusing." A national political campaign was "better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and couple of hangings thrown in."

He was a regular at conventions from 1904 to 1948, the year a stroke cruelly robbed him of his power to read and write. He revelled in the silly speeches, the smoke-filled rooms, the delightful characters waiting to be skewered. The gaudy spectacle in Cleveland - Melania's blunder, Ted's revenge, Donald's "I alone" messianism - would surely have roused him to new heights of disdain.

What a shame he wasn't there, puffing on his cigars and hammering at his beloved Corona typewriter, to toss a few bombs at the booboisie.

Marcus Gee is a Globe columnist.

Associated Graphic

H.L. Mencken, here in the thick of another GOP convention, called one president 'a hollow-headed mediocrity.'


Increasing number of Canadians look to the sky
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S6

CALGARY -- It happens - people see a mysterious object hovering overhead, unfamiliar in origin, lit-up like a casino slot machine. And some of those people know the right person to call - a man in Manitoba whose home office is crammed with 5,000 books, 5,000 magazines and 17,000 files that include witness statements, videos and photographs. It is a vast information centre on a subject that polarizes people faster than a Donald Trump campaign promise.

That subject would be UFOs - unidentified flying objects - those things that move through the sky in silence while generating hundreds of calls and e-mails to Chris Rutkowski. The University of Manitoba communications officer has spent 30 years of his own time chronicling strange sightings. He has not only filled his home office, but has helped spawn a golden age of UFO reporting.

Now, more than ever, there are those among us willing to say they've witnessed something unexplained in the sky, something they've recorded on a mobile device and uploaded online for all to see. The Canadian UFO Survey, a Rutkowski initiative that began in 1989, keeps yearly tabs on reports of apparent UFO activity. In 2015, Montreal led the country with 97 reports of UFOs. Toronto had 78; Vancouver, 69. Five provinces had more sightings in 2015 than the year previously. They were Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where Calgary and Edmonton witnessed a combined 53 UFOs to emerge as sighting hot spots.

The most recent Canadian UFO Survey reported 1,267 sightings in the country last year, the secondhighest count after the 1,981 sightings in 2012. What does that say?

It may mean more people are looking to the sky and not feeling so ashamed when they say, "I want to believe."

"I wouldn't argue that," Mr. Rutkowski says, in connection with the Calgary-Edmonton sighting convergence, while acknowledging that British Columbia has also long been a perceived UFO hangout. (The most recent sighting came just this week from a man near Courtenay, B.C., close to the Comox military base.)

"I think more people are becoming interested in the subject, and there's generally been increased media coverage of astronomy and UFO stories," Mr. Rutkowski says. "When you get that one case with multiple witnesses and you have really good video or photographic evidence - even if one of those in 1,000 is truly unknown - that's incredible.

You just need that one case." Lisa Relland is also seeking the truth.

By day, she's a dental assistant in Edmonton. By night and on weekends, she is chief investigator for the Mutual UFO Network of Canada, as well as its provincial director for Alberta. The U.S. parent organization, MUFON, describes itself as "the oldest and largest civilian UFO-investigative organization in the United States."

As chief investigator of MUFON Canada, Ms. Relland examines the UFO reports she receives then assigns them to a field investigator closest to where the sighting occurred.

"You do your homework," says Ms. Relland, who checks to see if there were any previous sightings in the area and what happened in those cases, as part of her due diligence. "You exhaust all the known explanations before you start with the unknown."

Searching for evidence of a sighting takes a reporter's approach. There's the asking of the Five Ws - who, what, when, where, why. For seeing lights in the sky, you go through the narrative - what was the object's shape and colour, where was it seen, what time of day was it? What was the weather like? In what direction was it moving? Then it's time to go a little deeper and check with the local airport.

Investigators want to know flight plans for that time period. They call the nearest Canadian Forces base and ask if there were any military exercises on that date.

The viewer's parents, siblings, friends, neighbours are interviewed.

As believers and skeptics clash for credibility, some well-known voices are being heard. Last weekend in Brantford, Ont., former Toronto elementary-school principal Victor Viggiani told the first Canadian National Inquiry into UFOs (a conference held as part of the three-day Alien Cosmic Expo 2016) that he was making public NORAD documents that outlined, among other things, how two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets chased then gained contact with three UFOs at 35,000 feet. Mr.

Viggiani mentioned former Canadian defence minister Paul Hellyer, who has said publicly: "UFOs are as real as the airplanes flying overhead." Mr. Hellyer made that remark at a 2005 conference in Toronto. Following that, he spoke at a 2013 Citizen Hearing on Disclosure in Washington and repeated his beliefs. He was also a featured speaker at last weekend's conference in Ontario.

As for current politicians, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said that, if elected, she would like to "go into those files [on UFOs and Area 51, a secret Nevada military base reputed to be a major UFO hot spot] and hopefully make as much of that public as possible.

"If there's nothing there, then let's let people know there's nothing there."

Michael O'Reilly has come to a Calgary breakfast spot for coffee and an interview. The 67-year-old retiree is armed with evidence and a story to tell. First, though, we have to do some math.

"With all the space telescopes, [scientists] know that, in the Milky Way, there are between 500 billion to a trillion stars and planets," Mr. O'Reilly says. "And they also know that there are over 100 billion galaxies. So, if you do the math - simple multiplication - the law of probability dictates that we can't be alone."

Mr. O'Reilly doesn't come off as a tinfoil-hat-wearing UFO-gazer warning that the end is near.

Instead, he believes in challenging the explanations offered by officials who say "nothing to see here; just some swamp gas."

Mr. O'Reilly insists that what he saw July 29, 2013, at 10 a.m. MT wasn't swamp gas, or a weather balloon. He was driving north next to Calgary's Bow River when he saw an object hovering over the water. He parked his vehicle to get a closer look and described it as "a working piece of equipment, for a specific job. ... This was a couple of weeks after the floods. So I'm almost 100-per-cent confident it was going back and forth and mapping the flood plain."

Mr. O'Reilly took photos of the object before it quietly departed.

He says the craft moved so quickly it was near-impossible to get a clean shot of it. Mr. O'Reilly took his photos to an illustrator and asked if he could include more details of what the UFO looked like. The artist's rendition may be bang on, but it isn't expected to change the minds of those who say UFOs are bogus.

"You watch any newscast on UFOs, you can almost be guaranteed there will be three things: the theme music from either Star Wars, Star Trek or The Twilight Zone; little grey men; and 'Beam me up, Scotty' from Star Trek," Mr.

O'Reilly laments. "I've always believed there has to be something else out there in the universe."

There was a time when being a believer in UFOs could mean hospital orderlies hunting you down with a net and a straitjacket. But testimony from credible witnesses has moved the subject from backroom banter to mainstream discussions. Willy Big Smoke can attest to that.

As a member of the Tsuu T'ina Nation Police Service outside Calgary, Constable Big Smoke was called in January, 2013, to a house flooded by lights emanating from above. Homeowner Shirlene Memnook had been outside with her daughter when their dogs began barking. Once back inside, she began taking photos. "It was crazy," she says. "[The UFO and its lights] were really high up in the air."

Constable Big Smoke and his partner, Constable Roy Fairbrother, arrived at Ms. Memnook's residence too late to see the reported light show. It ended abruptly when several helicopters appeared and used spotlights to see what was happening on the ground. Constable Big Smoke saw the last helicopter before it flew off. He interviewed Ms. Memnook and took her photo card to make enhanced copies of what she had shot. The photos are grainy but show a series of odd light formations.

Three days later, Constable Big Smoke returned to where the UFOs had been reported and found a yellowish piece of material lying on the snow. He passed it along to the RCMP and was told there wasn't anything they could match it with. The material was then taken to the science and technology department at Calgary's Mount Royal University.

There it went to Deanna Renyk, manager of the department's Laboratory Resource Centre. She confirmed it to be "a fungi sample," but could not determine the exact species.

The veteran police officer learned one thing about his fungal sample - if you put it near a compass it makes the needle move.

"I've never seen that before," Constable Big Smoke says as he puts away file number 2013-97061.

"It makes you wonder what's going on up there."

As for what's going on down here, some of us are watching, always watching. Cellphones at the ready.

Associated Graphic

Michael O'Reilly, seen Tuesday, holds an artistic rendering of the UFO he says he sighted in 2013 at the top of a hill in northwestern Calgary. Mr. O'Reilly describes the object he saw as 'a working piece of equipment, for a specific job.'


London calling
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T4

LONDON -- Among the more disparate commemorations in Britain this year are the 90th birthday of Her Majesty and the 40th anniversary of punk music. A tenuous connection perhaps, but it was the Sex Pistols who released their version of God Save the Queen during her Silver Jubilee.

While the Queen is still going strong, punk seems to have faded.

I returned to London to see what remained of punk's famously gritty days. In my youth, which I now wish was more misspent, I once stumbled onto an early punk performance. Armed with a freshly issued Visa card and a $200 credit limit, I had flown to London where my friend Jane was spending a term off working in an Aussie bar.

On the advice of patrons, we found ourselves in a scuzzy bar in a non-touristy area of London.

The name and location is lost to us now, but I do remember the pub's backroom and its elevated stage where a group of malnourished, sun-deprived kids in torn clothes staggered about. The lead singer vomited, on-stage. I was pretty convinced that was a career-ender. Later, they went on to notoriety as the Sex Pistols. I remembered the floors were so sticky every step took on a Herman Munster stagger. "Hmmm.

Spit and cider pub. Which is what pubs were like then," says Stuart Bridgeman.

Since I was booked on a punk walking tour the next day, I did the equivalent of a cram session with Stuart to ground me in punk basics. Stuart is a friend who has worked in the London music scene for the past 25 years. He was with Food Music when they signed Blur and works now as a music "pusher" for Alan James PR, helping them get air time for up and coming groups.

He tells me that punk, which gets its name from "pub music" since many groups started by playing backrooms that could be rented cheaply, came from two massively different schools.

"England was in the toilet. It was a transitional time. Things were so bad both economically and musically that something needed to change," Stuart says.

"American punk was much more pretentious, more pseudo-intellectual and far more arty. But here it was far more political and from the street. It was a working class movement that was much grittier, much tougher."

If London had a musical map, 1970s punk was centred in and around Soho, which was then a low-rent district populated by sex shops and dodgy clubs. And that was where I was heading to see what remained of that gritty era.

The next day, I took Aidan McManus's Soho Punk Tour ( McManus is a proud working-class Londoner who grew up with punk music.

To commemorate the anniversary, he turned his encyclopedic knowledge into this walking tour to complement his other tours (Music Movies Murder & Mayhem, Gangland Soho, and Westerly Walk), subjects he says are "the history London ignores."

We met at the Tottenham Court Road tube station and McManus spent two hours sharing his passion for the scene in a fun, gritty, antidote-rich type of punk pilgrimage through Soho.

Our first stop was Denmark Street, London's Tin Pan Alley.

Music shops line this short block.

It's a place where you can buy anything from instruments to sheet music. Peeking through the No.Tom guitar shop window at No. 6, McManus points to a courtyard. Behind the ground floor window is where the Sex Pistols rehearsed. They lived in a rodentinfested room above. Next door, the Relentless building, was once a seedy hotel with in-room inhalers connected to a basement opium burner that glowed 24/7.

In the decades since the golden, gritty age of punk, Soho has been gentrified, bringing a certain respectability to former punk haunts. The old Marquee Club, where the Stones, David Bowie, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Billy Idol, Generation X and others performed and where the Pistols premiered God Save the Queen, has morphed into the Soho Lofts and a restaurant/bar/music club named for its address: 100 Wardour St.

Nearby, the Leicester Square Theatre was a punk venue called the Notre Dame Hall. It was notable not only for the performances it hosted but its location in the basement of a Catholic hospital.

The former Roxy at 41 Neill St., near Covent Garden, which everyone played at, is now a Speedo shop. The St Martin's School of Art, Charing Cross Road (the school moved and the building is now offices and condos), is where the Sex Pistols played their first gig. It was so bad the students booed and fists followed. There were other clashes between audiences, club owners and groups, such as the Teds (Teddy Boys), who more than once chased the Pistols to their solicitor's offices at 119 Oxford St. Once the HQ for the Sex Pistols, it's now a Clark's shoe store.

When not being chased, many punks hung out at Louise's Club, 61 Poland St. It was a lesbian afterhours bar run by an elderly French woman who dressed in men's clothing and didn't discriminate against punkers. The building now operates as the Milk & Honey members bar. Nonmembers are admitted by reservation (

The last of the old punk venues we visited was the 100 Club on Oxford Street. Curiously, it survives. Squeezed between the red front of an Anne Summers lingerie shop and the blue-and-white of a Boots drug store, is a respectable 10-foot-wide black granite slab and generic glass office-style door that looks like it should lead you to an accountant's office instead of a legendary music venue. Walk down the first set of steps and you start to feel the transition from Oxford Street sobriety to dodgy piss-up.

The 100 Club is a large basement room with a rural legion feel. The floor, ceiling and pillars are black. The chipped red walls are covered in framed photos and posters for past acts. A bar is cut into an end wall behind rows of yellow plastic stacking chairs. A modest stage faces an elevated, fortress-like DJ area. It was during the club's first punk festival that Sid Vicious, seeing how tightly packed the people were, invented "the Pogo," jumping up and down as a dance substitute. He later said, "It shows how gullible people are."

A week after I was there Eddie and the Hot Rods were booked.

Originally formed in 1975 Eddie and the Hot Rods were part of the first wave of Brit punkers. This is the band's fifth incarnation. Its one constant is that Barrie Masters has been the lead singer for all 41 years.

The tour over, I continued my exploration with an edible act of punk's gentrification. Chefs at The W Hotel, Leicester Square developed an Anarch-Tea. For my tea, served on a tiered cake stand made of vinyl albums, were cakes and sandwiches on punk themes.

The Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen was represented by a small marzipan crown sinking into a corner of a vanilla and almond Battenburg cake. A turquoise Mohawk rose from another cake to portray Sigue Sputnik's 21st Century Boy. Shut Up by the Stranglers was represented by a pair of strawberry mousse red lips. There were Gang of Four sandwiches (smoked salmon, cucumber, roast beef and horseradish, and cheese). In addition to tea, you could opt for champagne or a Lust for Life cocktail of cachaca, zesty lime, sugar and passion fruit.

Real punks might cringe, but seeing a YouTube video of a 60year-old Johnny Rotten wearing a camel-hair topcoat while revisiting scenes of the Sex Pistols' youthful infamy gave me permission to enjoy the W's tea.

First-wave punks may have gotten paunchy and pedestrian, but the music and movement once filled a need. This anniversary offered an unvarnished reconnection to old ideas and a laugh at some of punk's new-found respectability.

The writer was a guest of VisitBritain and WestJet. They did not review or approve this article.


Punk London events continue through the fall. Here are some of the highlights. For the full lineup visit

Being Punk, Museum of London, until July 28: This mini exhibit shares the fashions and stories of people who lived through the scene. It's just one of several Punk London events planned for the museum.; free

Punk 1976-78, British Library, until Oct. 2: This archive of fanzines, recordings, concert flyers and more explores punk's early days, beginning with the Sex Pistols. Time Out's review: "You get a sense of just how exciting and inspiring punk was before heroin and disillusionment killed it off."; free

Don Letts Presents Punk On Film, Aug. 1 to Aug. 31, BFI Southbank: Don Letts, a film director, musician and DJ who worked with such acts as the Clash and the Psychedelic Furs, curates this collection of films including Eraserhead, and - of course - Sid and Nancy.; £8.35£11.75

Joe Corre Burns His Punk Stuff, Nov. 26: In what is truly a punk move, the son of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren has said he will set memorabilia valued at £5-million ablaze. The location is yet to be confirmed.; free. - Staff

Associated Graphic

Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols enjoys the £30 Anarch-Tea, with cakes themed around iconic punk songs - including God Save the Queen: a red, white and blue Battenberg, complete with marzipan icing crown - at the W hotel in London.

Increasing number of Canadians look to the sky
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

CALGARY -- It happens - people see a mysterious object hovering overhead, unfamiliar in origin, lit up like a casino slot machine. And some of those people know the right person to call - a man in Manitoba whose home office is crammed with 5,000 books, 5,000 magazines and 17,000 files that include witness statements, videos and photographs. It is a vast information centre on a subject that polarizes people faster than a Donald Trump campaign promise.

That subject would be UFOs - unidentified flying objects - those things that move through the sky in silence while generating hundreds of calls and e-mails to Chris Rutkowski. The University of Manitoba communications officer has spent 30 years of his own time chronicling strange sightings. He has not only filled his home office, but has helped spawn a golden age of UFO reporting.

Now, more than ever, there are those among us willing to say they've witnessed something unexplained in the sky, something they've recorded on a mobile device and uploaded online for all to see. The Canadian UFO Survey, a Rutkowski initiative that began in 1989, keeps yearly tabs on reports of apparent UFO activity. In 2015, Montreal led the country with 97 reports of UFOs. Toronto had 78; Vancouver, 69. Five provinces had more sightings in 2015 than the year previously. They were Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where Calgary and Edmonton witnessed a combined 53 UFOs to emerge as a sighting hot spot.

The most recent Canadian UFO Survey reported 1,267 sightings in the country last year, the secondhighest count after the 1,981 sightings in 2012. What does that say?

It may mean more people are looking to the sky and not feeling so ashamed when they say, "I want to believe."

"I wouldn't argue that," Mr. Rutkowski says, in connection with the Calgary-Edmonton sighting convergence, while acknowledging that British Columbia has also long been a perceived UFO hangout. (The most recent sighting came just this week from a man near Courtenay, B.C., close to the Comox military base.) "I think more people are becoming interested in the subject, and there's generally been increased media coverage of astronomy and UFO stories," Mr. Rutkowski says.

"When you get that one case with multiple witnesses and you have really good video or photographic evidence - even if one of those in 1,000 is truly unknown - that's incredible.

You just need that one case."

Lisa Relland is also seeking the truth. By day, she's a dental assistant in Edmonton. By night and on weekends, she is chief investigator for the Mutual UFO Network of Canada, as well as its provincial director for Alberta. The U.S. parent organization, MUFON, describes itself as "the oldest and largest civilian UFOinvestigative organization in the United States."

As chief investigator of MUFON Canada, Ms. Relland examines the UFO reports she receives then assigns them to a field investigator closest to where the sighting occurred.

"You do your homework," says Ms. Relland, who checks to see if there were any previous sightings in the area and what happened in those cases, as part of her due diligence. "You exhaust all the known explanations before you start with the unknown."

Searching for evidence of a sighting takes a reporter's approach. There's the asking of the Five Ws - who, what, when, where, why.

For seeing lights in the sky, you go through the narrative - what was the object's shape and colour, where was it seen, what time of day was it? What was the weather like? In what direction was it moving? Then it's time to go a little deeper and check with the local airport.

Investigators want to know flight plans for that time period.

They call the nearest Canadian Forces base and ask if there were any military exercises on that date. The viewer's parents, siblings, friends, neighbours are interviewed.

As believers and skeptics clash for credibility, some well-known voices are being heard.

Last weekend in Brantford, Ont., former Toronto elementary-school principal Victor Viggiani told the first Canadian National Inquiry into UFOs (a conference held as part of the three-day Alien Cosmic Expo 2016) that he was making public NORAD documents that outlined, among other things, how two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets chased, then gained contact with three UFOs at 35,000 feet.

Mr. Viggiani mentioned former Canadian defence minister Paul Hellyer, who has said publicly: "UFOs are as real as the airplanes flying overhead." Mr. Hellyer made that remark at a 2005 conference in Toronto.

Following that, he spoke at a 2013 Citizen Hearing on Disclosure in Washington and repeated his beliefs. He was also a featured speaker at last weekend's conference in Ontario.

As for current politicians, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said that, if elected, she would like to "go into those files [on UFOs and Area 51, a secret Nevada military base reputed to be a major UFO hot spot] and hopefully make as much of that public as possible. If there's nothing there, then let's let people know there's nothing there."

Michael O'Reilly has come to a Calgary breakfast spot for coffee and an interview. The 67-yearold retiree is armed with evidence and a story to tell. First, though, we have to do some math.

"With all the space telescopes, [scientists] know that, in the Milky Way, there are between 500 billion to a trillion stars and planets," Mr. O'Reilly says. "And they also know that there are over 100 billion galaxies. So, if you do the math - simple multiplication - the law of probability dictates that we can't be alone."

Mr. O'Reilly doesn't come off as a tinfoil-hat-wearing UFO-gazer warning that the end is near.

Instead, he believes in challenging the explanations offered by officials who say "nothing to see here; just some swamp gas."

Mr. O'Reilly insists that what he saw July 29, 2013, at 10 a.m.

MT wasn't swamp gas, or a weather balloon.

He was driving north next to Calgary's Bow River when he saw an object hovering over the water.

He parked his vehicle to get a closer look and described it as "a working piece of equipment, for a specific job. ... This was a couple of weeks after the floods.

So I'm almost 100-per-cent confident it was going back and forth and mapping the flood plain."

Mr. O'Reilly took photos of the object before it quietly departed.

He says the craft moved so quickly it was near-impossible to get a clean shot of it. Mr. O'Reilly took his photos to an illustrator and asked if he could include more details of what the UFO looked like. The artist's rendition may be bang on but it isn't expected to change the minds of those who say UFOs are bogus.

"You watch any newscast on UFOs, you can almost be guaranteed there will be three things: the theme music from either Star Wars, Star Trek or The Twilight Zone; little grey men; and 'Beam me up, Scotty' from Star Trek," Mr. O'Reilly laments.

"I've always believed there has to be something else out there in the universe."

There was a time when being a believer in UFOs could mean hospital orderlies hunting you down with a net and a straitjacket. But testimony from credible witnesses has moved the subject from backroom banter to mainstream discussions. Willy Big Smoke can attest to that.

As a member of the Tsuu T'ina Nation Police Service outside Calgary, Constable Big Smoke was called in January, 2013, to a house flooded by lights emanating from above. Homeowner Shirlene Memnook had been outside with her daughter when their dogs began barking. Once back inside, she began taking photos. "It was crazy," she says.

"[The UFO and its lights] were really high up in the air."

Constable Big Smoke and his partner, Constable Roy Fairbrother, arrived at Ms. Memnook's residence too late to see the reported light show. It ended abruptly when several helicopters appeared and used spotlights to see what was happening on the ground. Constable Big Smoke saw the last helicopter before it flew off. He interviewed Ms. Memnook and took her photo card to make enhanced copies of what she had shot. The photos are grainy but show a series of odd light formations.

Three days later, Constable Big Smoke returned to where the UFOs had been reported and found a yellowish piece of material lying on the snow. He passed it along to the RCMP and was told there wasn't anything they could match it with. The material was then taken to the science and technology department at Calgary's Mount Royal University. There it went to Deanna Renyk, manager of the department's Laboratory Resource Centre. She confirmed it to be "a fungi sample," but could not determine the exact species.

The veteran police officer learned one thing about his fungal sample - if you put it near a compass it makes the needle move. "I've never seen that before," Constable Big Smoke says as he puts away file number 2013-97061. "It makes you wonder what's going on up there."

As for what's going on down here, some of us are watching, always watching. Cellphones at the ready.

Associated Graphic

Michael O'Reilly, seen Tuesday, holds an artistic rendering of the UFO he says he sighted in 2013 at the top of a hill in northwestern Calgary.


Garth Drabinsky's next act
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

For three days last week, musical-theatre producers and investors from Canada, the United States and as far afield as Europe gathered in a fourthfloor rehearsal room of the Elgin Theatre on Yonge Street in Toronto.

Teatro Proscenium LP, a new theatrical-production company, had invited them see the results of a six-week workshop of a new musical called Sousatzka, adapted from Bernice Rubens's 1962 novel about a Russian-American piano teacher and a child prodigy (and later turned into a movie starring Shirley MacLaine).

The theatrical talent both on and off stage was certainly designed to impress. Victoria Clark (Tony winner for The Light in the Piazza) played the title role, while Montego Glover (a Tony nominee for Memphis) and Tsidii Le Loka (the original Rafiki in The Lion King) were also in the cast.

Craig Lucas (also a Tony winner for The Light in the Piazza) wrote the adaptation - which moves part of the action to South Africa, while the songs were by the composer/lyricist team David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr., whose Broadway outings are 1983's Baby and 1996's Big. Two designers who just won Tony awards for Hamilton were also involved - Paul Tazewell (costumes) and Howell Binkley (lighting).

At the centre was a Canadian with a less sterling reputation than the artists he had assembled: Garth Drabinsky, the former Livent impresario, convicted of fraud and forgery in 2009 and still on parole.

Depending on who you talk to, Drabinsky might be described as anything from the "creative consultant" to the "artistic producer" of Teatro Proscenium, LP - which wants to produce Sousatzka at home in March, then export it to Broadway or London's West End.

"[Sousatzka] is entirely Garth's project - he invented it, he is shepherding all the artistic decisions," said Maltby, also known for supplying the English lyrics for Miss Saigon.

One producer familiar with the project estimates Sousatzka will cost at least $16-million (U.S) to get to Broadway. Can Teatro Proscenium raise that kind of money when the first news of the workshop leaked out under the headline "Convicted felon's new musical could be a big hit" in the New York Post?

Reached by phone this week, Drabinsky declined an interview, saying he plans to continue his policy of not talking to the press: "You haven't seen me give an interview in 20 years - or close to."

While on the line, however, he could not resist setting straight the New York Post article he deemed "erroneous" - although not, he made clear, the "could be a big hit" part of the headline.

"[The musical] really has nothing to do with the movie," he said. "I was involved in the financing of the movie way back at Cineplex - but it's really an adaptation from the book and it's entirely different."

As compelling as the story of Sousatzka might be, people are more interested right now in the drama of Drabinsky's attempted comeback. Livent was considered North America's largest live-theatre company in the 1990s, producing musicals in Toronto and New York such as Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Then Drabinsky and his former business partner Myron Gottlieb were convicted in 2009 for misstating Livent's financial position.

So how has the producer - stripped of his Order of Canada in 2012 and disbarred in 2014 - managed to attract and pay for Tonywinning talent 18 years after Livent went bankrupt, and with the legal repercussions of its collapse still making their way through the courts?

In part, it is because Richard Stursberg, the former head of CBC's English services, who worked with Drabinsky on a reality-TV series called Triple Sensation at the public broadcaster, is in charge of the money. He is chief executive officer of Teatro Proscenium - a limited partnership that was incorporated on Dec. 6, 2013, and is developing multiple musicals at the same time. Stursberg calls Drabinsky - despite the messy legal collapse of Livent - "without any question, the greatest producer of musicals in the history of the country."

According to Stursberg, Teatro came out of conversations he had with people who feel similarly (and are now limited partners in the company) when they realized Drabinsky wanted to get back on Broadway. "Since he had the appetite, we had to figure out how can we do this, bearing in mind all the baggage and history and whatnot," he explained.

That "whatnot" includes parole conditions that the Ontario Securities Commission says prevent Drabinsky from "owning or operating a business or being in a position of responsibility for the management of finances or investments for any other individual, charity, business or institution." Those conditions end in September, but the 66-year-old's legal troubles are not finished.

He is still awaiting a hearing with the OSC in February, 2017, on its bid to impose regulatory sanctions on Drabinsky based on his criminal conviction. At a prehearing conference held on June 27, he agreed that "until the conclusion of the commission's proceeding," he will "not own or operate a business" or "be in a position that that would entail the management, control or administration of finances or investments of any other individual, charity, business or institution."

Teatro's structure avoids breaking these conditions. Stursberg is the CEO, while Douglas Sedore, who works for Middlefield Properties, one of the limited partners in the venture, is the chief financial officer. Garth Drabinsky's brother, Cyril, is on the board, but Drabinsky, although the company is centred around his talents, is an employee.

"Doug Sedore and I sign all the cheques," Stursberg said. "[Garth Drabinsky's] not operating the business; I'm operating the business. He is, literally, the creative consultant. We have him on a contract."

Other partners in Teatro Proscenium include Stageventures, a consortium of investors led by Bernard Abrams that largely invests in Las Vegas shows, but has Broadway credits from Bonnie and Clyde to a revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Toronto lawyer Arthur M. Kraus; and Rick Chad, who runs Chad Management Group.

Chad, the only limited partner who spoke to The Globe and Mail on the record, said he was comfortable putting money from his family trust behind the Drabinsky brand - which he does not see as tarnished. "The money is being managed by numerous people - and we're using Garth as a resource," he said. "I've known Garth through his ups and downs for many years and worked with him at Livent.... I perceive him as actually being a very honourable man."

Conversations with producers and investors who have stayed away from Teatro (and did not want to go on the record) suggest there is still some concern about getting involved in a Broadwaybound venture with Drabinsky - who is the subject of an arrest warrant in the United States.

("Nothing will be forever," Chad said, mysteriously, of Drabinsky's inability to cross the border.)

But Adam Blanshay, who manages Just for Laughs Theatricals out of New York and London, said that many are willing to give Drabinsky another chance - and he, for one, recalls fondly the creative work that came out of Livent in the 1990s.

"That positive reputation hasn't necessarily vanished," said Blanshay, who along with Gilbert Rozon from JFL was invited to the Sousatzka workshop, but did not attend. "I'm sure people who engage in business with him will be so much the wiser. I wouldn't personally hesitate to discuss a project with him."

In addition to the question of whether Sousatzka will find backers is whether it would find enough audience to pay them back. It does seem an unusual choice of source material. Neither the book Madame Sousatzka, nor the film has high name recognition - and the musical's current title is hard to spell or pronounce.

And has Drabinsky kept up with Broadway trends since Livent's heyday in the 1990s?

Maltby suggested Sousatzka will be not be a throwback to the megamusicals of the 1990s - despite its literary source, globespanning plot and a cast of 37. "If that's what [Drabinsky's] famous for, everybody will be astonished at the focus and the simplicity of it," he said. "It's going to be very modern - the days of gigantic sets has sort of passed."

As with most of Livent's old shows, the creative team of Sousatzka is almost entirely U.S. and British talent - although Stursberg said about 50 per cent of the cast will be Canadian. (Stratford Festival star Tom Rooney participated last fall in a reading of Hard Times, a Teatro Proscenium project inspired by a song by Stephen Foster.)

Stursberg, who would not discuss specifics, said Teatro Proscenium has raised "significant money," and he believes Sousatzka's workshop presentations will attract enough investment to get it up in the new year. "I think it's fair to say that people were very excited and very moved, thrilled, by what it was that they saw," he said.

As for any questions investors might have about working with a "convicted felon," as the Post put it - they disappear when they see the quality of the work and the calibre of the talent, Stursberg said. "Surely, this is exactly what people want. A thing where Garth's creativity is not lost, but, at the same time, all of the arrangements with respect to financing and structure of what's going on respect exactly what it is that needs to be done - from the point of view of investors, quite apart from the issue of parole."

Time is now for auto workers' head
Jerry Dias National president, Unifor
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B3

TORONTO -- If there is ever a good time to go on strike against one of the Detroit Three auto makers, this might be it.

North American vehicle sales are torrid, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (Chrysler) are reporting their longest sustained run of profitability in years and the Canadian dollar is well below par with the U.S.buck, keeping labour costs lower in Canada than at the companies' U.S. plants.

So, as Unifor president Jerry Dias gears up to make sure GM's assembly plant keeps operating in Oshawa, Ont., save a Ford engine plant in Windsor, Ont., and win a promise of new investment at a Chrysler factory in Brampton, Ont., he has those bargaining chips in his pocket.

"If we can't solidify our footprint in this economic climate, then we'll never solidify," Mr.Dias says. "That's why I have no option. We have to fix it now.

It's not going to be sunnier three years down the road."

Dissecting the coming labour talks is only one reason for our lunch at Watermark Irish Pub on Toronto's waterfront, but the 90-minute conversation keeps veering back to that topic - in part because the negotiations that begin later this summer will represent the most significant challenge for Mr. Dias since he became Unifor's first president. The talks are critical to the future of the Detroit Three in Canada and, thus, a key segment of Unifor's membership.

The union is the product of a 2013 marriage between the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers, whose ranks Mr. Dias climbed.

(Editorial, advertising and circulation employees of The Globe and Mail are now members of Unifor.)

As he sips the first of two glasses of an Argentine malbec - paired with a rogan josh curry that he calls "my comfort food" - he reveals that he grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in the eastern Toronto suburb of Scarborough. To my shock, I realize that it was around the corner from the street where I lived until the age of 7.

"You've got to be freaking kidding me," he says when I mention the name of the street. He responds with the names of families that are still familiar.

We're a year apart in age, but it turns out we attended the same elementary school before my family moved across town.

Mr. Dias was born in Toronto after his parents left Guyana in the 1950s in the classic saga of families from impoverished countries seeking a better life in Canada. His father discovered the working part of that life at what was then de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. (now a Bombardier Inc. factory) and eventually became the head of Local 112 of the Canadian unit of the United Auto Workers.

It was a natural progression for that generation of workers to have their sons follow them into the factory and the union.

Mr. Dias eventually went to work at de Havilland, but he took a detour first. As graduation approached from Toronto's Neil McNeil High School, Mr.Dias decided he wanted to become a physical education teacher and study at the University of Windsor.

That did not go over well with his father. "He's not the world's most diplomatic man and he's not very shy to make his point, so he said to me: 'Have you lost your mind? We don't have any money. You're not going to Windsor and why would you even think about going there?' " So, he went to York University in Toronto instead, but stayed just one year. After working the following summer at de Havilland, he decided to stay.

He eventually followed in his father's footsteps in the union as well, but that journey also came in fits and starts. He was laid off by de Havilland in 1982 and joined the Metropolitan Toronto Labour Council, setting up unemployment help centres.

His mother was also a labour activist. His parents inspired in him a social conscience that he has extended beyond the union through his membership on the board of directors of Halton Women's Place. Every year, he participates in the shelter's high-heels walk, in which men walk in women's shoes to raise money and increase awareness of violence against women.

While still on layoff from de Havilland, he went to work at the General Motors of Canada Ltd. large van assembly plant in Scarborough and ended up on strike in the 1984 labour dispute that led to the Canadian division of the UAW splitting off and forming the CAW.

"I had the worst job in the plant. I had to put in the two front bucket seats, fasten the shoulder harnesses and put on the rear-view mirror. I busted my ass."

In the middle of the strike, he was recalled by de Havilland.

"When I got recalled, I swore that I'd be their best employee ever."

That vow aside, he became the union's plant chairman, then joined the national union and later became an assistant to CAW president Buzz Hargrove.

He ran for president of Unifor when CAW president Ken Lewenza, who followed Mr. Hargrove, decided that he didn't want to remain president long enough to manage the merger between the CAW and the CEP.

Following in their footsteps, Mr. Dias fires up union members easily at public events. He laughs hardly at all during our lunch, but he has such a deadpan delivery that it often takes a few seconds to realize that he's joking.

At the launch of the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan earlier this year, he got to the podium and told workers to move to the front and take the seats of management personnel who were sitting down. As the managers moved to give up their seats, he had to tell everyone that he was only joking.

The new union has flexed its muscles under Mr. Dias, encouraging its members last year to vote for anyone but Stephen Harper and the federal Conservatives. Unifor was also central to the campaign to turf Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti in favour of Hassan Yussuff.

"We're on a roll as an organization," he says.

Perhaps, but can Unifor stop the downsizing of the Detroit Three's Canadian operations?

Mr. Dias's job is to convince the companies that investing in this country makes sense even though Mexico offers rock-bottom wages, more than 40 freetrade agreements and a geographic position in the middle of the hemisphere with logistics advantages that Canada cannot match.

The answer to the question will come in September when the agreements with the companies expire and Mr. Dias learns whether Ford has a new engine program for Windsor or GM agrees to allocate vehicles to Oshawa and whether Fiat Chrysler will pony up new investment at its large-car plant in Brampton.

"I believe that Ford, GM and Chrysler are all listening to us very carefully because we are out there saying we need to find a solution or there's going to be a problem," he says.

"We're going to have a solution or we're going to have one hell of a fight."

He says he is "completely convinced" that GM is preparing to permanently halt vehicle production in Oshawa, where one plant is scheduled to close next and the other assembly plant has no new or replacement vehicles in the pipeline. He says he is equally convinced that he can change that plan.

It will be an intense two months of negotiations, with Unifor choosing one of the companies as the target for an agreement that will serve as a template for the other two auto makers in a process known as pattern bargaining.

Mr. Dias will manage to get a break from that intensity.

He owns a 13-metre power boat that is moored at a marina on the Toronto Islands. He can reach it in seven minutes via a tender that heads to the island from a spot next to where we're having lunch. The boat will serve as an escape during the talks - as it does now when Mr.Dias needs to get away.

"More than anything else, it's the atmosphere," he says. "I find it very peaceful and it's about as tranquil as you can get. When I'm over there for about half an hour, I completely decompress."

Even if the contracts are settled without a strike, he is likely to need some time for tranquillity once the talks end.


Age: 57 .

Education: Graduate of Neil McNeil High School in Toronto; one year at York University, also in Toronto .

Family: He won't discuss his family because of threats he has received.

First Job: Car jockey at Alex Irvine Motors Ltd. in Toronto's Scarborough community .

Drives: White 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe .

Reading: 5th Horseman, James Patterson; Shopping for Votes, Susan Delacourt .

Chances of a strike this fall: "Hopefully, not at all. I've been saying for 21/2 years if we don't have a solution, we're going to have a fight. I can't be any more crystal clear."

State of the union: "We're going to continue to be that voice for working-class people. It's been a hell of a three years, but it's been a good start."

Associated Graphic


Laws don't protect tenants, critics say
Majority of renters' complaints are directed to a phone line where records show the average hold time is 34 minutes
Monday, July 18, 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.

K ristina Lemieux feared her comfortable housing situation might change when the three-suite apartment complex she had lived in for five years was sold last summer. Ms. Lemieux, a freelance arts administrator, grew worried when her new landlord reached out quickly to all three tenants asking for an in-person meeting, telling them he preferred face-to-face interactions and didn't want to communicate via e-mail.

She became furious when, less than two weeks after the sale, he said he needed to increase their rents from around $1,100 a month to at least $1,800 a suite.

He needed the rent increase, he said, to get his $1.6-million investment back. If they didn't comply, he warned, he would use one of several loopholes that had helped him kick out tenants of previous buildings: by claiming he was moving in himself or needed them gone to do a major renovation of the units.

The threats prompted Ms. Lemieux to turn to the provincial agency in place to protect tenants' rights and settle disputes with landlords - a scenario that appears to be more common in a tight market in which some landlords have found creative ways to get around rules designed to limit rent increases and protect renters from eviction. Moreover, critics say the laws currently in place in British Columbia, which differ greatly between provinces, aren't strong enough to protect renters and even when tenants are abused, the system is slow and difficult to access.

At Ms. Lemiuex's building, she and another tenant vowed to dispute the eviction notice, while the third agreed to pay the higher rent. But Ms. Lemiuex's ally eventually decided it would be too stressful to spend the dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars to build a case for the Residential Tenancy Branch, leaving her to fight on her own.

Several months later, Ms. Lemieux became one of the minority of complainants to have her dispute resolved through the tenancy branch, which resulted in the arbitrator brokering a settlement that allowed her to stay for three extra months, including one month rent-free.

"If you lacked education or came from a disenfranchised part of society, there's no way you'd make it through the system - it's so complex," she said.

"I have the capacity to fight the system and I feel like it's my responsibility to not let it stand."

Still, she's now paying roughly 30 per cent more in rent a month since she moved and she's still chasing her previous landlord through the same system for a damage deposit she is confident she will never get back.

With vacancy rates hovering around zero, renters in the Vancouver region feel they often have little choice but to accept a landlords' terms, even if they're problematic - or illegal.

The situation appears to be a little better in Toronto - the country's next hottest realestate market - where advocates say more funding and stricter rules give tenants stronger protections. In B.C., legislation limits the amount landlords are able to increase rental rates for their current tenants. This year, that limit is 2.9 per cent, much lower than the average increases in rental rates across the province, which were 3.9 per cent higher in the Vancouver region in 2015 and almost 5 per cent in downtown Vancouver.

To get around those limits, some landlords have found loopholes to throw out tenants in order to chase bigger rents.

Those tactics include using fixed-term contracts, which allow landlords to demand entirely new leases - with unlimited rent increases - at the end of a specified time period, typically a year; so-called "renovictions," in which a landlord legally evicts a tenant for major renovations and then doubles or even triples the rent for whoever moves in next. Landlords can also evict a tenant if they, or a close family member, plan to move into the property.

Ontario, in contrast, gives renters the right to "security of tenure," which means that at the end of any lease, the tenancy automatically continues rolling month to month unless landlords have lawful reasons for eviction, such as moving in themselves or placing a close family member in the unit. And even if renters must vacate the unit for renovations, they must be invited back at roughly the same rate.

When disputes arise in B.C., aggrieved renters and landlords have access to only one bricksand-mortar RTB office, located in Burnaby. The majority of complaints are funnelled into a phone system where, recent government records show, almost a quarter of all callers abandon their attempts rather than wait the average hold time of 34 minutes.

In Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board has eight offices across the province, including five in and around Toronto.

Agencies in both provinces allow tenants to file at welfare offices across the province or electronically, though in B.C. tenants are required to register for an online provincial services account first.

Ken Hale, legal director at Toronto-based Advocacy Centre for Tenants, said one of the biggest differences between the two provinces is that Ontario adequately funds groups like his to help people struggling with the housing market's failure to provide enough affordable housing.

Provincial government funding allows the non-profit group to provide a full-time lawyer to help complainants at each of the eight branches in the Toronto region, as well as centres in London and Ottawa. It also offers up part-time lawyers for those participating in housing hearings held across the province's smaller communities, he said.

"Part of this is tenants need to educate themselves about what their rights are if they want to keep a roof over their head," Mr. Hale said.

Jane Mayfield, acting executive director at Vancouver's Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, says renters in B.C. find it difficult to learn how the system works and to navigate it because there is no legal aid available to them from the province. Instead, four or five non-profit organizations have taken that role, she says. Her organization, which is funded by the provincial and municipal governments, and the law foundations of B.C. and Ontario, usually prioritizes groups of renters, as opposed to individuals, in order to help the most people.

Mr. Hale says once tenants do get a hearing, the difference between the two provinces is stark.

In Ontario, every hearing, except those in remote rural areas, is held in person before an adjudicator who makes a legally enforceable decision.

Cases in B.C. are handled over the phone, which Mr. Hale says makes it "extremely difficult" to judge the credibility of both parties and have an appropriate exchange and review of documents.

David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord B.C., which represents the rental housing industry, praised the Residential Tenancy Branch for recently hiring three new arbitrators, and he said the agency is making progress on improving its technology.

Still, he said more work needs to be done by the branch, his association and others to better educate landlords and tenants so disputes can be resolved before they reach the hearing stage.

Calls to B.C.'s tenancy branch have increased in recent years, from 268,000 in the 2013-2014 fiscal year to roughly 307,000 in 2015-2016. Yet, the budget for the agency has stayed constant at about $8-million.

Rich Coleman, the provincial cabinet minister who has been in charge of the housing portfolio over the past 15 years, was unavailable for an interview. He has had that responsibility despite being rotated through several different cabinet positions over the years. A spokeswoman for his current ministry, Natural Gas Development, did not say why the tenancy branch's budget has flatlined for the past six years as calls have continued to rise.

The spokeswoman said application fees were raised from $50 to $100 at the start of the year.

That has brought in $585,000 extra this fiscal year, she said, which went toward new staff, increasing hearing capacity and decreasing hearing waiting times; and expanding online services and alternative dispute resolution options.

Vancouver New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert says his office in Vancouver's West End has had at least one constituent call or visit with a complaint regarding a landlord almost every day since he was first elected in 2008. Last year, the average rent in his constituency rose 6.1 per cent and a typical renter paid $1,274 for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Associated Graphic

Kristina Lemieux stands outside the Vancouver triplex where she was previously a renter. She received an eviction notice after the building was sold to a new owner, who told tenants the rent was being raised from $1,100 to $1,800 a suite.


Justin Lin, Hollywood's secret weapon
If you're a studio executive with a franchise in trouble, the director should be your first call. Barry Hertz talks with the Star Trek Beyond filmmaker who's transforming the industry
Friday, July 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

It was more than a decade ago that Justin Lin changed the face of Hollywood.

Back in 2005, Lin was a director still coasting on a great origin story: His second feature, Better Luck Tomorrow, was scrounged together with credit cards and a last-minute investment from none other than MC Hammer. The thriller went on to play Sundance, secure a theatrical release from Paramount's MTV Films and kick-start co-star John Cho's career. But Lin's C.V. since then wasn't exactly setting the world on fire. Aside from a documentary short, his only post-Tomorrow film had been Annapolis, the James Franco navy drama that sank at the box office.

So when Universal came around with the offer to direct a sequel to its flailing Fast and Furious franchise, Lin jumped at the chance - even though original stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster were long gone. Oh, and the film was slated to go direct-to-video. "We had done 2 Fast 2 Furious and the franchise was, pardon the pun, out of gas," recalls Jeff Kirschenbaum, former co-president of production for Universal Pictures. "So it was the movie that no one was paying attention to, and then Justin came in and was talking about, let's expand this to a global franchise.

He had that vision." Indeed, Lin took the challenge as an opportunity, crafting a wholly revamped version of the street-racing series, one that added a more multicultural cast, an emphasis on familial bonds and an embrace of high-octane, visually improbable stunts.

The result, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, was a stunning success - in North America but more importantly abroad, too, where it earned almost $100-million (U.S.), nearly twice its domestic take. The sharp, occasionally tongue-in-cheek film gave new life to the brand and set in motion a sea change across the industry as to how studios approached both global franchises (diversity was finally an asset) and sequels (namely that every brand, no matter how tarnished, was capable of being salvaged in the right hands). Hell, even Diesel was convinced to come back aboard.

And just like that, Lin found himself eight years later the hottest director in town, having delivered Universal three more Fast sequels, each more worldshaking than the last. The smart word was that if you were a studio with a tentpole franchise in trouble, Justin Lin should be your first call. Which is exactly how the filmmaker, now 44, found himself tasked with righting the ship of another beloved, but shaky, brand: Star Trek.

But with the release of Friday's Star Trek Beyond, Lin is also hoping to show the world that he's more than a mere studio mechanic, someone who can come in and get the intellectual property humming again. He wants audiences to know that his work is more personal than focusgrouped, that his ambitious drive stems from a professional vision more than a studio timetable - and that his is just one of the many diverse voices out there who can succeed when given the opportunity to do so.

"For the longest time, [Star Trek's] Sulu was the only AsianAmerican face that was on television as a human being. Usually you just saw an Asian face because there was an Asian reason," says Lin, whose family emigrated from Taiwan to California when he was a child. With his father running a fish and chips restaurant in Pasadena, the only time the Lins had together would be dinners at 10 p.m., followed by an episode of Star Trek at 11.

"Sulu was such a big part of my life that when I was able to start making films on my own, it was only a natural and organic thing for me to make films that reflected my world," the director adds. "Which was why, when I was trying to make Better Luck Tomorrow, people would give me crap for what I was doing, saying, 'Oh you can't have leads who are Asian! How are audiences going to relate to Asian faces?' That was ridiculous."

Lin, of course, didn't back down, and filled his Tomorrow cast with largely unknown Asian actors, including Cho and Sung Kang. The latter would eventually move over to the Fast films, which in Lin's hands became known for their uniquely diverse casts - which in turn attracted moviegoers who otherwise found themselves ignored on the big screen. "Maybe [diversity], that's a thing I don't consciously or strategically think about in my films, but it is something I take pride in," Lin says. "I want to reflect my world."

"Underneath Justin's movies there's always been that bent of pushing the cultural paradigm forward, in terms of representation," says Kirschenbaum, who worked with Lin on all his Fast films. "I remember we had a screening of Fast Five at the Director's Guild for an Asian film fest, and when we finished Justin was just mobbed, because he had [Kang's character] Han as one of the coolest and most handsome guys on screen, and he got the hottest girl - all in a mainstream action blockbuster. Han was not just an icon to that community, but to the world." It's that commitment to onscreen representation that serves as the through-line for Lin's filmography, from Fast's makeshift family of international muscle-head thieves to Trek's multicultural crew of space jockeys.

Still, despite Lin's strong thematic connections and nostalgic devotion to Trek, the decision to direct Beyond wasn't an easy one to make - especially given that he had just 18 months to turn the film around, from concept to finished product, in order to make its long-ago secured summer release date.

"I'm not sure something like that has even been attempted before," Lin says with a laugh. "I had three days to think it through, and for me it just became a purely emotional decision. At the end of the day, I had to put all the logistical craziness aside because I felt like this was worth the challenge. It was relentless, but in the greatest way possible."

Relentlessness is far from a new concept for Lin. Just as his father worked 364 days a year at the family restaurant (Thanksgiving was sacrosanct), Lin, too, refuses to slow down, using whatever down time he finds to direct television (Community, True Detective) and create websites (the Asian-American pop-culture site You Offend Me You Offend My Family).

"Whenever we had a day off - even on Thanksgiving, his favourite holiday - it was Justin and me working on how far we could take it," Diesel says in an e-mail to The Globe. "Success comes from 10 years of that mentality." Yet not even Lin's workaholic nature could persuade him to stick around the Fast films - he reportedly walked away from Furious 7 due to almost as tight a turnaround as Beyond required.

"It was a pretty emotional decision to walk away. It was my choice to say, as a filmmaker, that was eight years of my life - we were so close, our kids were growing up together, but I had to move on," Lin says. "When I sat down with Vin in 2005 for Tokyo Drift, we had talked about the mythology, where it was all going, and we've seen it all come to life. After Furious 6, that was a natural break for me. It was a good time to step away."

At least with the Fast films Lin was building his own mythology.

With Star Trek, he's wading into one of the more closely monitored mythos in modern culture.

"We're definitely respectful of that, but at the same time, I'm trying to embrace the essence of what makes Trek great, and also having to accept the mission statement of Trek, which is to be bold and push forward," Lin says.

"I think within the ideology of what Trek is, that it actually makes the daunting task of making something new more manageable, because it's part of Trek's very design to tackle new worlds and characters."

As Lin waits for the box-office receipts to either prove or disprove his Star Trek theory, the filmmaker is, of course, keeping himself busy. In addition to exploring the increasingly expanding sector of Mandarinlanguage entertainment (he cowrote and produced the feature Hollywood Adventures), Lin is overseeing TV series (Scorpion), developing remakes (Shaolin Temple, Lone Wolf and Cub) and working on a sequel to Space Jam, easily the most moribund franchise he's been tasked with reviving.

"These past 18 months were relentless in the greatest way, but I also feel like I'm starting a new chapter in my career, where the choices I make are going to be fun, yes, but I also have a family now and want to make sure my time is spent efficiently, too," Lin says. "I'm just so glad I'm here now."

Associated Graphic

Justin Lin brought new life to the Fast and Furious series before joining Star Trek, another flailing franchise.


Anton Yelchin, left, plays Chekov and Chris Pine stars as Captain Kirk in Star Trek Beyond, the latest film in the Star Trek franchise.

The power of love
Can disgraced journalist Jonah Lehrer redeem himself?
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R15

A Book About Love By Jonah Lehrer Simon & Schuster, 304 pages, $35

The temptation to take Jonah Lehrer to the woodshed presented itself immediately on hearing that he had a new book.

He is every working journalist's favourite villain: a precociously gifted science writer in the mould of Malcolm Gladwell whose gratingly impressive résumé became a shrine of schadenfreude when it emerged that he had plagiarized and fabricated his way through enough pieces to have two books pulped and his job at the New Yorker vacated.

Most famously, and to many most gallingly, he made up Bob Dylan quotes. Given the army of Dylanologists who know the bard's oeuvre down to the weird radio show he hosted, Lehrer may as well have invented bits of scripture.

This context looms heavily over A Book About Love. An author's note lays out his history of journalistic sin and the text wears its footnotes like a parolee's ankle bracelet. Lehrer's disgrace even provides the book with a rough schema: this is nominally a story about the redemptive power of love.

But if there are reversions to corner-cutting here, they are elusive. Anyway, Lehrer has found a way to partly transcend his reputation: There's too much in this book that's authentically and originally bad to mind much about the other stuff.

His thesis is that love is hard work. Love is a long marriage; love is getting over your hatred of the son who refuses to tie his shoes.

"Attachment theory," a controversial subdiscipline of psychology, provides his argument a scientific spine. The attachment theorists posit close human contact as an innate human need.

It is deeper than pleasure and comes from the yearning for succour during infancy (because of our big heads and our mothers' narrow birth canals, we are born prematurely and require longer and more attentive parental care than other animals).

Fortified by studies, Lehrer argues that the story of love as heedless passion peddled by Disney and Shakespeare is a destructive fairy tale.

At the outset, there appears to be reason for patience with this rather ambitious stance. It's in the nature of pop-science writing to pose at turning conventional wisdom on its head; sometimes - especially with Gladwell, master of the form - the approach yields real insight.

Meanwhile, the writerly skill that made Lehrer a publishing superstar by his mid-20s is on frequent display. He maintains the zippy pacing of a Netflix documentary and knows how to turn a phrase (describing the drudgery of raising small children as "inlaid with all sorts of tender pleasures" is nice).

Alas, sentence-by-sentence flair cannot redeem what is ultimately a facile exercise. The fatal problem with the book is that it attempts to pigeonhole love.

Trouble is, love won't fit.

Great writers recognize this. In the best romantic literature, it is fine-grained, flighty, particular.

That's what makes the theme inexhaustible: love is different every time.

Nothing better exemplifies Lehrer's basic failure to grasp this complexity than his crusade against Romeo and Juliet. The contempt he feels for these fictional characters verges on the pathological; maybe he was forced to read the play by a nasty high school English teacher.

How else to explain the trembling lower lip of passages such as this (just one of a half dozen muggings he inflicts on the first couple of Verona)? "Those teenagers pretended that love is a pleasure so intense it eclipses every pain," he writes. "They assumed that relationships provide their own forward momentum, and that finding an enduring love was simply a matter of falling for the right person. But that is a fantasy, a most dangerous myth."

Among the many problems with this analysis: It suggests Lehrer has not read all the way to the end. Far from assuming that enduring love is easy, Romeo and Juliet kill themselves out of heartbreak after their bond is shattered by a family feud. To make them paragons of larksome teenage romance is ridiculous.

Lehrer probably does know how Romeo and Juliet ends, and pointing out his aggressive misreading of the play would be petty if it wasn't part of a pattern. But the shallow, tendentious use of literature is at the heart of his book. For all his deftness summarizing a study, books seem to flummox the man.

John Updike's rich, tortured Maple stories are reduced to "a kind of longitudinal study."

Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust memoirist who survived Auschwitz and concluded that love is the salvation of man, earns this sniffy rebuke: "The power of the idea is not the idea itself, which is sappy and sentimental."

Jane Austen is treated more generously (Lehrer likes that "no sudden swells of dopamine and adrenalin occur in her novels," which will surprise the thousands of young women who have thrilled vicariously at Marianne's first encounter with Willoughby, but never mind).

The problem is that his applause for her subtlety exposes his lack of the same.

This, finally, is what offends about Lehrer's high-handedness with the canon. It's not merely that he is rude - it's that he seems to have learned nothing.

The book is studded with wonderful epigraphs by Larkin, Frost and Rimbaud, but none of their tentative wisdom seems to have seeped into Lehrer's consciousness.

A patina of science stands in for real human understanding.

At one point, he uses a line graph to demonstrate that, in marriages, "passion always fades" (his italics).

And too often he sounds like a newly landed extraterrestrial doing his best to imitate the Earthlings. "Sometimes," he writes, "love demands that spouses touch their partner in an affectionate way or say something nice."

This, meanwhile, may be the book's quintessential sentence: "Companionate love remains one of the grand mysteries of human nature. Nevertheless, we can see its underpinnings with carefully done fMRI studies of the brain." Lehrer's reliance on this sort of stuff - brain scans, and words such as "companionate" - would be easier to take if he showed a little more scientific rigour himself. The first step in any experiment, not to mention any argument, is defining your terms. Lehrer never properly defines what he means by "love," and his argument suffers for it.

It might be an understandable lapse: The word love is used to mean all kinds of things. But Lehrer draws a funny, oblong circle around his version, leaving out human infatuation - mere "limerence," he says, borrowing the clinical term - but including the mourning behaviour of elephants.

And then, in his quest for a unified theory of love, he conflates a crazy quilt of emotions.

Longing for an ex, devotion to a friend, protectiveness toward a sister, and newlywed euphoria are separated by as much as they have in common. To Lehrer, these differences hardly matter. When looked at "through the prism of attachment theory" the similarities between parental and romantic love become "inescapable," he says. The brain even spurts the same chemical during breastfeeding and sex! (You have permission to retch.)

This elision of difference between varieties of love isn't merely creepy. It's also an intellectual failure. The peculiarity of love tells us about being human, with all the turbulence and randomness that condition implies.

Montaigne understood this.

Writing of his youthful love, the aristocrat Étienne la Boétie, he sighed: "If you ask me why I loved him, I feel that it can only be explained by saying, because it was him, because it was me."

Lehrer quotes the great essayist; he's generous and apt with a quote. But the thought, in its simplicity, humility and mystery, mocks the pseudoscientific certainty that surrounds it.

All of this is veering dangerously close to saying Lehrer should have written another sort of book. That would be unfair: he is not a novelist or a poet or a philosopher. He is a journalist. Journalists have the right to address big themes, too.

But compare Lehrer's effort to another popular treatment of a daunting subject: Nothing to Be Frightened Of, a meditation on the idea of death by the English novelist Julian Barnes.

Its composition also had a personal impetus, and likewise drew on scientific and literary sources. But where Barnes's volume felt frustratingly piecemeal when I read it earlier this year, an erudite but incoherent stroll through the proverbial graveyard, it seems wondrously sane next to Lehrer's bombast.

Barnes didn't particularly seek, and acknowledged his failure to find, a great overarching theory of death. (Naturally.) Instead he offered the best thinking on the topic that he had come across in decades of reading, with tentative thoughts of his own providing a gloss.

With Lehrer, we instead get the kind of hubris that leads a person to make up Bob Dylan quotes - flashed not in brazen invention, but in the overweening sweep of his analysis and the glib dismissal of writers he would have done well to imitate.

Eric Andrew-Gee is a Globe and Mail reporter.

Associated Graphic

Accusations of plagiarisms and fabricated quotes led to two of Jonah Lehrer's books being pulped. With A Book About Love, Lehrer tries to redeem himself.


Erdogan turns to authoritarian tactics to punish opponents after failed coup
Monday, July 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

ISTANBUL -- Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan danced and listened to speeches long into Sunday night - and the early hours of Monday - on Istanbul's central Taksim Square, celebrating their weekend defeat of an attempted coup d'état.

But even as the defence of the country's democracy was being cheered, there were ominous signs that Turkey was lurching toward a different sort of authoritarianism as Mr. Erdogan used the hours after the failed coup to punish his political opponents.

Mr. Erdogan quickly accused his long-time rival Fethullah Gulen, a retired imam who lives in selfimposed exile in the United States, of inspiring the move against his rule, and vowed to eliminate what he called the "virus" of Mr. Gulen's supporters within Turkey's army and other state structures.

A roundup of alleged coup plotters within the military was followed by the unexpected announcement that 272 judges and prosecutors had also been detained. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told state media that 6,000 people - including more than 50 senior military officers - had been arrested around the country in connection with the attempted coup.

The crackdown - as well as allegations from government ministers that the United States had played a role in the attempted putsch - threw into question the future of a key NATO ally geographically wedged between the European Union, Russia and the Middle East. Operations at the Incirlik air base, which is in the south of the country and used by the U.S. planes to fly bombing missions against the Islamic State in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, were suspended for much of Saturday and Sunday.

Speaking at a funeral ceremony for some of those who had died during the fighting, Mr. Erdogan called on his supporters to defend their victory. "This is not a situation to let rest. We will not leave the squares. This is not just a 12-hour operation. We will continue determinedly."

The putsch attempt, which was launched Friday night only to collapse early Saturday morning, started to crumble when Mr. Erdogan - who won three consecutive terms as prime minister before winning election as president in 2014 - made an appeal on state television (via the FaceTime app on his mobile phone) for his backers to go into the streets.

Tens of thousands of ordinary citizens responded to Mr. Erdogan's iPhone appeal for support, as did loyal police and military units. The plotters surrendered following brutal clashes - that included coup supporters firing on crowds of unarmed demonstrators and a helicopter attack on parliament in Ankara - that left at least 290 people dead and 1,400 wounded.

Crucially, the army itself proved divided over the coup effort, and many of the soldiers involved were young and inexperienced.

Some had initially been told they were taking part in a drill.

The public celebrations that followed were tinged with revenge-taking. Crowds whipped surrendering soldiers with their belts and there were reports of coup supporters being lynched.

Photographs emerged on social media that appeared to show dozens of coup supporters, their wrists bound and many stripped to their underwear, lying back to back on the floor of a gymnasium. Among the dead, 100 were reported to be coup supporters.

Mr. Erdogan's own chief military adviser, Ali Yazici, was among those arrested in connection with the failed plot, as was General Bekir Ercan Van, the Turkish commander at Incirlik.

Even before the coup, Mr. Erdogan was frequently accused of growing authoritarianism. He had been pushing Turkey's parliament to adopt a new constitution that would concentrate more powers in the hands of the presidency.

Other constitutional changes could be in the offing. Mr. Erdogan - who was on vacation in the resort town of Marmaris when the coup attempt was launched - vowed the coup plotters would "pay a heavy price" and said the country should consider reestablishing the death penalty, which Turkey abolished in 2004 as part of a stalled bid to join the EU.

All of Turkey's opposition parties opposed the coup, saying they wanted to see Mr. Erdogan defeated at the ballot box, not removed by the military. But Suat Kiniklioglu, a former parliamentarian in Mr. Erdogan's Justice and Development Party who is now a critic of Mr. Erdogan's rule, said the President had emerged "strengthened exponentially" from the failed putsch.

"The coup was a blessing to him," Mr. Kiniklioglu told The Globe and Mail. "He emerged easily as a hero and now is likely to squash the remaining opposition as well as the few media outlets left."

There were also signs of a significant shift in Turkey's foreign policy, as Mr. Erdogan's government insinuated the U.S. government may have played a supporting role in the coup attempt. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin - who had not spoken to his Turkish counterpart since last November, when the Turkish military downed a Russian jet operating over Syria - called Mr. Erdogan on Sunday to express his support. The Turkish and Russian leaders are now expected to hold a face-to-face meeting in August.

Mr. Erdogan demanded the immediate extradition of Mr. Gulen to face trial in Turkey. "I call on the United States and President Barack Obama: Dear Mr. President, I told you this before.

Either arrest Fethullah Gulen, or return him to Turkey," Mr. Erdogan said upon his triumphant return to Istanbul's airport on Saturday morning.

Mr. Gulen denied involvement in the coup attempt and said it was "possible" that Mr. Erdogan had staged the events himself in order to justify the crackdown that has followed.

Mr. Gulen was an ally of Mr. Erdogan's until 2013, when Mr. Gulen's allies in the police and judiciary detained 52 members of the Justice and Development Party (better known by its Turkish acronym AKP) on corruption charges while Mr. Erdogan was out of the country. A furious Mr. Erdogan accused the 75-year-old Mr. Gulen of trying to establish a "parallel state." Police involved in the corruption investigation were fired and replaced with AKP loyalists.

The AKP is a moderate Islamist party, with loose ties to the regional Muslim Brotherhood movement. Mr. Gulen's rival Hizmet movement, which is also considered moderate in terms of the version of Islam it adheres to, has no formal structure but is believed to have millions of members in Turkey and around the world.

Many Turks believe the United States was ready to support the coup if it succeeded, a suspicion fuelled by the fact Washington waited several hours as events unfolded on Friday before expressing support for Turkey's elected government.

"You can't blame the people for thinking the Americans were behind this, because they didn't come out [and condemn the coup attempt] until it was clear the coup plotters had lost. A lot of Turkish people are very upset by that," Zeynep Jane Kandur, a journalist and member of Mr. Erdogan's AKP, said in an interview. She warned that relations with the United States and other Western countries would be damaged unless they gave "100 per cent support" to Mr. Erdogan.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States could only consider extraditing Mr. Gulen if Turkey produced evidence of his involvement.

"The United States is not harbouring anybody, we're not preventing anything from happening," Mr. Kerry told CNN. He said the U.S. government had not received a formal request to extradite Mr. Gulen. "We think it's irresponsible to have accusations of American involvement when we're simply waiting for their request, which we're absolutely prepared to act on, if it meets the legal standard."

The State Department said Mr. Kerry told Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during a phone call that "public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations."

The drama affected operations at Incirlik airbase, one of the most important hubs for U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State.

In addition to the closing of airspace to American warplanes, the Pentagon said the base was working off generators for part of the weekend after the outside supply of electricity was cut off.

Turkey was already considered a wobbly ally by some of its fellow NATO members, with Mr. Erdogan's government accused of having facilitated the rise of Islamic State, hoping the Sunni militant group would help bring about the downfall of Bashar alAssad's regime in neighbouring Syria.

Turkey is now one of the countries most threatened by IS. More than 200 people have been killed in a recent string of suicide bombings - including a June 28 attack on Istanbul airport - claimed by IS.

Despite that, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, whose country is still reeling from a truck attack in the city of Nice that killed 84 people on the Bastille Day holiday, said there were "suspicions" regarding Turkey's role as a partner in the fight against IS.

Speaking on French television, Mr. Ayrault also said the failed coup should not mean Mr. Erdogan now had a "blank cheque" to punish his political opponents.

"There cannot be purges, the rule of law must work."

Follow me on Twitter: @markmackinnon

Remember when Massey Hall was the brass ring for musicians?
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M1

Enrico Caruso crooned there.

Jack Dempsey put up his dukes there. And George Gershwin rhapsodized in blue there.

But next month it will be the successful but hardly illustrious indie-rockers Hidden Cameras playing history-laden Massey Hall, at a cut-rate price to boot.

The Massey stage used to be the brass ring for musicians, especially the singer-songwriter types. It was the house of Lightfoot, Joni and Neil - a Carnegie Hall-like aspiration and destination where a headlining gig was a dreamedof milestone for Canadian artists.

These days? Not so much. The Grand Old Lady on Shuter Street used to be discriminating, but in her dotage, she's happy to have any visitors at all. "The music business has changed," says veteran Toronto promoter Gary Topp. "And Massey is under the gun to put asses in seats."

Is that what it's come to for the hallowed Hall? People used to go there just to say they did.

Now, there are more music venues, more outdoor festivals, fewer headline acts that can fill the hall on their own, and fewer still that can afford to. But the Massey is finding ways to compete, albeit sometimes with nonmarquee names and bargain ticket prices."It's about introducing people to the hall for the first time," says Jesse Kumagai, who took up his post as the new director of programming, marketing and business development earlier this month, "both from the artist's side and the audience's side."

When Mr. Topp and Gary Cormier, together known as The Garys, were booking acts into Massey in the 1990s, there wasn't much competition. The concert landscape has crammed up considerably since, with major music festivals happening almost weekly in the summer. (Who would ever have dreamed of something called Festival 30 years ago?) The festival boom has probably crested, but concert rooms competing with the heritage property - owned by the non-profit Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall - crowd up the scene all year long. And more is to come: An ambitiously overhauled Sound Academy will be booking bands soon.

Another problem with Massey is that it's the biggest hall (capacity 2,600 or so) and one of the costliest too. Why would Rufus Wainwright, who previously performed his Rufus Does Judy concerts at Carnegie Hall and the London Palladium, bring the show to Massey when he could present it at the decommissioned Hearn Generating Station for this year's Luminato, instead?

"It's an awfully expensive place," Mr. Topp says of Massey, which is staffed by union crews.

"Unless you can fill it, promoters won't promote there. And there's not that many artists that can play that size venue."

And for many of the acts that can fill the hall at Victoria and Shuter streets, it makes more financial sense to play one night at bigger venues such as Molson Amphitheatre and Air Canada Centre rather than multiple shows at Massey.

In reaction to all the competition, one of the things Massey programmers have done is to establish the Live at Massey Hall series. Now in its third season, the popular program pairs Canadian indie acts on double bills at bargain ticket prices that bottom out at $18.94, a nod to the year the Victorian pile was first opened.

The concerts are elegantly filmed and viewable online.

Massey continues to operate even as it undergoes renovations that will intensify in 2019, when the building will shut down for an extended period.

Mr. Kumagai, the corporation's head of programming from 2003 to 2014, returned to the organization in an expanded role after a stint with the concert-biz colossus Live Nation Canada. He sees the Live at Massey series as a way to break down the barriers to getting in the venerable building.

"Putting on a concert here is more expensive for everyone involved," he says. "With this series, we're getting young people in here to be able to see a band in a proper listening room."

The ticket prices are partially subsidized, with grants coming from Ontario Media Development Corp. and Toronto-Dominion Bank, the lead sponsor for the series. And while the program is part of Massey's ongoing investment in artist growth and audience incubation, the concerts can be seen as a short-cut for emerging performers to get into the plush-seat venue.

"There are certain artists or groups that, when they play Massey Hall, you know they've arrived," says veteran Canadian music journalist Larry LeBlanc, who cites the gale-force folk-rocker Matt Andersen as one such example. "When he played there and filled it, I knew he'd come a long way."

Mr. Andersen, while benefiting from Massey's laudable system of nurturing ascending artists, did not make it into the hall through the Live at Massey series, and neither did Ron Sexsmith. The gifted songwriter dreamed of playing the hall ever since he moved to Toronto as a teenager, and resolved not to play Massey until he could do it as a headliner, not as a supporting act.

"I feel I've been working my whole life towards it," says Mr. Sexsmith, who made it to Massey under his own steam in 2006 and has headlined the hall multiple times since. "I feel whenever I step out on the stage, I have a right to be there. It's something to be worked for, and not something to be handed."

Bernie Finkelstein is a Canadian music executive and talent manager who, with business partner Bernie Fiedler, used to book artists into Massey when a different Trudeau was Prime Minister. He remembers getting singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan through the building's giant red doors for the first time in 1975. "I didn't want to see Murray in Massey without every seat sold. We waited until the right moment, because it was too important not to. For my artists and myself, Massey was a special place. It was the pinnacle."

As for Mr. Fiedler, who still books Gordon Lightfoot into Massey regularly, he traces the building's loss of gravitas back to 1982.

"The minute the Toronto Symphony Orchestra left, I saw Massey Hall's integrity slipping," says the former owner of the Riverboat folk club in Yorkville. "They started booking rock 'n' roll acts, which they would have never done before."

On Aug. 4, the next edition of the Live at Massey series pairs the art-rock provocateur Peaches and Joel Gibb's tuneful folk-rock jamboree Hidden Cameras. Asked if Massey's prestige has been lessened by discount seats, Mr. Kumagai shoots down the notion.

"I don't think it takes away from the artist's credibility or the importance of their music," he says. "The attendance for the shows is the sign that they have a right to be there."

One of Toronto's top talent agents agrees. "I don't think the program has cheapened anything," says Jack Ross, who mentions an unnamed female singer-songwriter who headlined the hall a few years ago but, because of the high cost of using the venue, came away with less money than the stage hands.

"Massey wasn't built for the elite.

It's a theatre for the masses."

In April, Newfoundland's Amelia Curran took part in the Live at Massey series, splitting the bill with the semi-active Rheostatics.

While she understands the venue's status, she doesn't believe in over-romanticizing it. "Playing there is something you want to happen when you're established on your own," she says. "It's a reward you get for working really hard for several decades."

"But then again," Ms. Curran continues, "are we holding this place too precious, and keeping it in this insular club? How else are artists and audiences going to meet in this great venue if we're keeping it on reserve?" Also weighing in is singer-songwriter Justin Rutledge, who has yet to headline the venue, but did share the stage there with Blue Rodeo - "one of the great nights in my life" - in 2006. He supports the Live at Massey program. "For $20, you're going to see your band," says the soft-voiced troubadour, who was born across the street at St. Michael's Hospital in 1979. "And as an artist, you're going to fill the room."

Packing the room, that's what it comes down to. When the businessman Hart Massey gifted the hall to the city in 1894, he stipulated many things, including an institutional mandate that the building be for "the largest number of people" to attend events "at a minimum cost of admission."

One hundred and 20 years later, his will is served, one turnstile click at a time.

Associated Graphic

Massey Hall, filled with guests for a Live at Massey Hall set, in 2014. For seating, Massey is the largest performance hall in Toronto.


An undated interior view of Massey Hall, complete with stained glass windows.


Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic has assembled a no-expenses-spared team around him as he goes full throttle to win a Grand Slam and capture the title of world No. 1. And he's not going to let Rio mosquitoes hinder his goals, Rachel Brady writes
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

On a day like today, it looks like Milos Raonic has it all. But the one thing he doesn't have consumes him every day - because it now seems closer than ever.

The Canadian tennis star strolls into a room packed with news cameras and adoring kids, ready to announce his support of a program for children with cerebral palsy. He's with his devoted parents Dusan and Vesna, his beautiful girlfriend, Canadian model Danielle Knudson, and one of the coaches from the world-class team he's built around himself, former No. 1 player Carlos Moya.

Raonic is in the middle of a whirlwind day back home in Toronto ahead of next week's Rogers Cup. It's been less than two weeks since he appeared in the Wimbledon final, and the magnetic player is in enormous demand.

During a week full of interviews, appearances and practices lined with cameras, the likeable star is now at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, bounding around like a boy as he plays sports and video games with its patients. Next he'll zip downtown and appear with Mayor John Tory at a pop-up tennis court in Nathan Phillips Square, flanked with autograph-seeking fans. Then he'll be whisked off to a VIP gathering for his biggest sponsor, New Balance.

Raonic is ranked No. 7 in the world and has earned $3.25-million in prize money this season - more than $12-million throughout his career. He seems to have everything a 25-year-old guy could want in life, but merely hovering in the top 10 of the ATP rankings doesn't cut it for him.

Now healthy and playing the best tennis of his career, his chase to be a Grand Slam champion and World No. 1 is in full throttle.

"I've got to get myself back in that position - back in a Slam final," said Raonic, sitting down to an interview with The Globe and Mail during a quiet moment at the hospital, reflecting back on his straight-sets loss to Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final. "When I do, I've got to be better, and I've got to make it count."

In the midst of a jam-packed summer with the U.S. Open just five weeks away, the 6-foot-5 star with the blistering serve made the difficult decision to pull out of the Rio Olympics. He feels he made the right call not to fly 10 hours to South America and compete in the eight-day Olympic tournament. But he's struggled to live with it, because wants to be there among Canada's athletes, as he was at the 2012 London Olympics. This time, he saw too many risks.

He was very leery about over-scheduling himself and jeopardizing the end of his ATP season. He was also worried about the illnesses he could get from the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Brazil and the birth defects it could cause to future offspring.

"Zika was something I was nervous about, because I thought about lots of things, like when I'd like to start a family or about getting the flu-like symptoms and losing a week or two or my preparations before the next Slam," Raonic said.

"The unknowns about Zika concerned me, and I've always had bad experiences with mosquitos.

You know when a group of people are outside and that one guy is getting bit by mosquitoes like crazy? That's me. It added tension for me."

With everything coming together for Raonic right now, he was scared of overextending himself with extra travel, matches and the emotional highs and lows of an Olympics. He's dealt with injuries to his back, feet and hip in the past. He made it to this year's Australian Open semi-finals, but limped through a loss to Murray with a leg injury.

"In my career, I've never had that continuous momentum when I get things going," Raonic said. "So right now I'm just trying to give myself that opportunity as best I can."

Raonic is sparing no expense to get to the top. He's been working with veteran coach Riccardo Piatti for a few years, but the Canadian has also added two former No. 1 singles stars to his team. John McEnroe recently came on board (although he won't be along in Toronto).

Moya has been working with Raonic since January.

"The chemistry is excellent when you watch them all work together," said his father, Dusan Raonic. "It's great to watch when they practise with Milos - they are having fun on the court, and it's really working."

The trend of super-coaches on the ATP Tour is hot. Stefan Edberg was helping Roger Federer, and now Boris Becker is working with Novak Djokovic, while Ivan Lendl is coaching Andy Murray.

"His agent approached me, but I wanted to talk to Milos first because I hadn't travelled in a long time and I have three kids, so I wanted to make sure he was really committed to reaching his goals before I said yes to working with him," said Moya, winner of the 1998 French Open.

"The first chat I had with him, I realized he had great potential and was very, very dedicated to his goal. A year ago if people heard Milos saying his goal was to be a Grand Slam champion and World No. 1, they might not have believed it was possible. I believed it when I talked him that day. I think people believe it now too."

Raonic brushes off the idea of too many cooks in the kitchen and says he's willing to listen to any advice the former champs have to offer.

"Carlos has helped me deal better with things off court so I don't drain myself so much, like tension and overthinking things on an off-day about the guy you play next," Raonic said.

"John is helping me get more intensity out of myself on the court. Some would perceive he was really robust and negative on court when he played, but he's actually not a negative person at all. He thinks I need to get the tension and nervous energy out that builds up and use it the right way. I think that helped me a lot throughout Queens and Wimbledon. When you have a guy big like me who has weapons and can express intensity, it can be daunting for an opponent to look over at me."

Raonic had Canada gripped as he rollicked to topple Roger Federer in a thrilling five-set Wimbledon semi-final, exorcising the ghosts of his loss to the Swiss superstar in the semis at the All-England Club two years earlier.

But two days later, it cut Raonic deep to lose in his first Grand Slam final, as 1.6 million Canadians tuned in for the most-watched men's tennis match in the nation's history.

Moya could relate to Raonic in the aftermath, having lost his first Slam final to Pete Sampras at age 20 in the 1997 Australian Open.

Moya views Raonic as "the No. 3 player in the race right now."

He believes that by keeping the towering player in a manageable number of tournaments this summer, he can be a serious contender at the U.S. Open.

"I think maybe the question isn't what does Milos need to do to win a Slam, but what does he need to do to beat Djokovic or Murray, because he's proven he can beat the other guys," Moya said. "It's clear to us what he needs to improve and we're working hard on that, but we're strictly keeping that between us.

We keep that very quiet. To beat those two guys, you need something a little different."

Murray, Federer and Rafael Nadal have all pulled out of the Rogers Cup. It's Raonic's best opportunity to win Canada's sole event on the ATP Tour. It's the only pro tennis event he ever attended as a spectator before he went pro. No Canadian has taken the title since Robert Bédard won the Canadian Open in 1955, 1957 and 1958.

This summer, his profile has reached peak popularity, but it's the hardware that Raonic craves.

"He's very popular, very big, the best Canadian player ever, the first Canadian in a Slam final. But this kind of glory isn't enough for Milos," Moya said.

"He wants to be No. 1 in the world and a Grand Slam champion, and we want to help him get there."

Associated Graphic

Milos Raonic celebrates his victory over Roger Federer in a thrilling five-set Wimbledon semi-final match in London on July 8.


Milos Raonic plays soccer with a child at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto on Thursday.


The most anticipated (Canadian) books of (the second half of) 2016
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R16

By Gaslight, by Steven Price, Aug. 23

brick-size page-turner from the Victoria poet (Anatomy of Keys) and novelist (Into That Darkness), By Gaslight is being compared to Michel Faber's masterful The Crimson Petal and the White. This epic literary thriller transports readers through the endless slums, twisting alleyways and gaudy mansions of 19th-century London, where two men join forces to track down an infamous criminal mastermind named Edward Shade.

The Best Kind of People, by Zoe Whittall, Aug. 27

Zoe Whittall is one of our sharpest observers of modern life, and it's been seven years since her last novel - far too long. In The Best Kind of People, a Connecticut family is rocked to its core when sexual-assault accusations are levelled against the father, George, a popular teacher at the local private school. Whittall's third novel interrogates the idea of family, and whether we must always stand by the people we love.

Stranger, by David Bergen, Sept. 6

What would you do to reunite with your child? In the Giller Prize-winning novelist's ninth novel - and in a departure from his recent fiction - a young Guatemalan woman named Iso heads northwards, through the mountains and deserts of Mexico and into a dystopian United States under strict military rule, in order to track down the daughter who has been stolen from her.

The Conjoined, by Jen Sookfong Lee, Sept. 13

How's this for a hook: Jessica, grieving the recent death of her mother, discovers the bodies of two dead teenage girls in her mother's freezer while cleaning out the house.

They turn out to be Casey and Jamie Cheng, foster children who lived with the family until they mysteriously went missing, forcing Jessica to question everything she thought she knew about her mother, and her own childhood.

King Baby, by Kate Beaton, Sept. 13

While she's best-known for her webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, cartoonist Kate Beaton's fabulous first picture book, The Princess and the Pony, introduced her to a whole new generation of readers. Parents loved it too, though they'll probably fall for her second picture book even quicker. As the title suggests, her latest concerns a newborn monarch who rules with a soother rather than a sword.

After James, by Michael Helm, Sept. 13

There's a lot going on in Michael Helm's first novel since 2010's Cities of Refuge. A puzzle of sorts, After James is divided into three novellalength narratives, each of which embraces and subverts a well-worn literary genre - horror, mystery and apocalyptic fiction. Filled with virologists, neuroscientists and literary detectives, and taking place around the world, After James promises to be, at the very least, one of the most interesting novels of the fall.

The Hidden Keys, by André Alexis, Sept. 19

Less than a year after winning the Giller Prize for Fifteen Dogs - the finest novel of 2015 - André Alexis returns with the third book in his "quincunx," this one a Treasure Island-inspired adventure featuring a thief named Tancred Palmieri searching for (meaning planning to steal) five mysterious objects that, once found, promise to lead him to riches beyond his wildest dreams.

The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue, Sept. 20

Emma Donoghue's latest, set in an Irish village in the mid-19th century, concerns a young woman named Anna who has been fasting for weeks but cannot seem to die. After the community devolves into a circus-like atmosphere - tourists come to see her, journalists arrive to tell her story - a nurse named Lib is summoned to determine whether the "miracle" is a result of divine intervention or a long con.

Don't I Know You?, by Marni Jackson, Sept. 27

One of Canada's most awardwinning journalists, Marni Jackson (The Mother Zone, Pain, Home Free) delivers her first work of fiction, Don't I Know You?, a novel-in-stories about a woman named Rose McEwan whose life intersects with a strange mix of celebrities, including Joni Mitchell, Meryl Streep, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and a canoe trip with Leonard Cohen, Taylor Swift and Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Hag-Seed, by Margaret Atwood, Oct. 11

In the latest entry in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which some of the world's best-loved authors reinterpret and reimagine some of the Bard's best-loved plays, Margaret Atwood unleashes her creative powers on The Tempest. (If you're wondering about the title, "hag-seed" is one of the insults the sorcerer Prospero lobs at his wretched slave, Caliban: "Hag-seed, hence!/ Fetch us in fuel; and be quick, thou'rt best,/ To answer other business.")

We Found a Hat, by Jon Klassen, Oct. 11

The most epic trilogy since Lord of the Rings comes to its heart-stopping conclusion.

Two turtles come across a handsome ten-gallon hat in the middle of the desert; only one can wear it. We Found a Hat is a surprisingly nuanced exploration of friendship, bargaining and millinery.

Bonus: You don't have to have read I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat to understand what's going on.

The Attention Merchants, by Tim Wu, Oct. 18

Want to watch a video on YouTube? Odds are you'll be subjected to an ad first. Trying to check out the latest on Twitter or Facebook? Good luck avoiding all that sponsored content. Wu, a McGill and Harvard-trained lawyer, and author of 2010's The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, looks at the fascinating history and disturbing future of everyone and everything that wants to get inside our heads.

99, by Wayne Gretzky, with Kirstie McLellan Day, Oct. 18

With apologies to Gordie Howe (R.I.P.), Wayne Gretzky is the greatest hockey player of all time. No. 99 finally delivers his long-awaited memoir, from his childhood in Brantford, Ont., to his recordsetting run with the Edmonton Oilers, to his trade to the Los Angeles Kings, to his life off the ice.

The Candidate, by Noah Richler, Oct. 18

In the lead-up to last fall's federal election, Noah Richler was recruited by the NDP to run in the riding of TorontoSt. Paul's. He had almost no hope of winning. Despite the fact there's no Hollywood ending - Richler finished third, with less than 15 per cent of the vote - the experience provided an up-closeand-personal view of Canadian politics, and, luckily for us, fodder for a memoir.

Canada, by Mike Myers, Oct. 22

Just in time for the sesquicentennial, Mike Myers - the man behind Shrek, Wayne Campbell, Austin Powers and Dr. Evil - delivers his first book, Canada, a love letter to his home and native land. It's actually one of two non-fiction offerings by Canadian comedians to be published this fall - the other, Norm Macdonald's Based on a True Story, is out in September.

Float, by Anne Carson, Oct. 25

Here's the publisher's description of Float: "The finished copy of this book will consist of 22 individual chapbooks with full-colour covers, which will be gathered together in a blue cover jacket and housed in a clear acetate slip case." Okay then. In any case, Anne Carson once again re-envisions what a book can be.

Waiting for First Light, by Roméo Dallaire, with Jessica Dee Humphreys, Oct. 25

After spending more than 30 years with the Canadian Armed Forces, Roméo Dallaire was given a medical dismissal in April, 2000, the result of post-traumatic stress brought on by his experiences during the Rwandan genocide, which he chronicled in Shake Hands with the Devil. In his latest memoir, he opens up about his struggles with PTSD in the years since.

The Witches of New York, by Ami McKay, Oct. 25

This might only be Ami McKay's third novel, but she has already become one of the country's most beloved storytellers. The Witches of New York is a semi-sequel to The Virgin Cure, in which that novel's heroine, Moth, now calling herself Adelaide Thom, opens a "tea shop" with a young witch that sell potions and other odds to the upper echelons of New York.

The Revenge of Analog, by David Sax, Nov. 8

Everything old is new again.

After publishing a pair of books devoted to food (Save the Deli and The Tastemakers), Toronto journalist David Sax's latest celebrates technology (and ideas) once thought on the verge of obsolescence, from vinyl and paper, to board games and books. There's a chapter on newspapers, right?

Testimony, by Robbie Robertson, Nov. 15

This fall sees the release of much-anticipated memoirs from the likes of Bruce Springsteen (called Born to Run, of course, and out in September) and Beach Boy Brian Wilson (I Am Brian Wilson, out in October). Here at home, legendary singer-songwriter Robbie Robertson writes about his childhood in Toronto and on the Six Nations Reserve to touring the world with the Band.

Businessman treated customers as friends
Innovative founder of Lee Valley Tools was an 'ethical capitalist' who shared his company's success with employees
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S11

Lee Valley Tools founder Leonard Lee was an entrepreneur and an innovator who shared his success by paying employees well, giving them a cut of the company's profits, and making sure they never experienced layoffs.

Mr. Lee raised eyebrows in the business community by promising that no executive in his company would make more than 10 times the wage of the lowestpaid worker, a ratio almost unheard of in Canadian industry.

The company has never laid off staff, and 25 per cent of pre-tax profits are paid out to employees each year as a bonus - with every worker getting the exact same cut.

"I get the same amount as the cleaner," Mr. Lee told The Globe and Mail in 2013 when he was the company's chairman, noting that empowered and properly compensated employees work hard to make customers happy.

"You get tremendous loyalty from employees if they enjoy their work and they are participating in the income and they have the authority that they need to execute their job," he said.

Mr. Lee, who died in hospital in Ottawa on July 7 at the age of 77, parlayed a small mail-order business into an empire that now sells about $150-million annually of woodworking and gardening tools, along with kitchen equipment, hardware and clothing. It has 19 retail stores across Canada in addition to its catalogue business, and 850 full time employees.

"He was an ethical capitalist," said his son Robin Lee, who took the reins as president of Lee Valley Tools when his father stepped back from direct management more than a decade ago.

His father's roots on a marginal Saskatchewan farm made him want to share the company's resources and give his workers as much security and autonomy as possible, Robin said.

Leonard Gordon Patrick Lee was born in Wadena, Sask., on July 17, 1938, and grew up in a log house with no electricity or running water. His parents were homesteaders - his father was from Ontario, his mother from England - who were trying to eke out a living on a poor piece of land.

"It was a very socialist rural farming community where you helped your neighbours and shared what you had because not everybody had good years all the time," Robin said. "[There were] very basic tenets of fairness and honesty and sharing."

Leonard's parents were intent that he and his three siblings would get a good education, and after high school he headed to Kingston to study at Royal Military College.

Eventually, he received an engineering diploma from Royal Roads Military College in Victoria and an economics degree from Queen's University in Kingston.

He then entered the federal civil service in 1963.

"My grandmother thought he'd won the lottery," Robin said, because a government job seemed so secure. Leonard had foreign affairs postings in Chicago and Lima, then did a six-year stint at the federal department of industry, trade and commerce.

But as his 40th birthday approached, Mr. Lee got antsy about the slow pace of decisionmaking in the civil service, which was becoming bigger and more bureaucratic.

"I wouldn't say I was suicidal when I was in government," he said in a 2008 interview. "But what was driving me crazy were the number of people who would say, 'I have 17 years, eight months, two weeks, two days, and seven hours before I retire.' I'm sure shorter sentences were being served in Alcatraz at the time."

In 1976 he and his wife, Lorraine, began a part-time mail order business in Ottawa selling cast-iron barrel stove kits, where parts and a door were bolted on a 45-gallon drum that had a hole cut in it.

"That's what heated the school I went to as a kid," Mr. Lee said.

"I wanted one for the shed on my farm and I tried marketing this."

The stove sales did well and built his confidence, prompting him to quit his government post and try another mail-order business. Lee Valley Tools was launched as a catalogue operation in 1978, partly stemming from his frustration about the difficulties he had had in finding specialized woodworking hand tools for his own use.

Mr. Lee approached Garry Chinn, an entrepreneur who ran a mail-order tool business in the United States called Garrett Wade, and the two collaborated on starting the Canadian operation. Mr. Chinn supplied the artwork for the first Lee Valley Tools catalogue, and he guaranteed Mr. Lee's debts to international tool suppliers, in return for a small share of the company.

"I liked the cut of his jib right off the bat," said Mr. Chinn, who remained a friend and colleague of Mr. Lee and is still a shareholder in Lee Valley Tools.

"He was always full of energy, full of beans, full of ideas ... he was constantly churning up new ideas and continued to do that right up until the end," Mr. Chinn said.

At first Lee Valley only sold tools made elsewhere, but that soon became frustrating to Mr. Lee. "If customers wanted changes made, he would try to deal directly with the manufacturer," his son Robin said. "But the hand-tool industry was very traditional at that point" and it was very difficult to get anything redesigned.

The company began to get some custom work on specialized tools done by outside fabricators, then eventually bought a machine shop in Ottawa to make the tools itself. Today it makes hundreds of unique products.

When Mr. Lee started the business, he thought he might employ as many as a dozen or 15 people - "that was his aspiration," Robin said. "To his delight it got completely out of control."

But the mail-order business had some rocky times. A lengthy postal strike in 1981 almost sank Lee Valley Tools, and prompted Mr. Lee to establish a chain of retail outlets to supplement the mail-dependent catalogue business. A new store was opened roughly every two years, a pace that has accelerated in recent years. He also started a publishing company to print books about woodworking and gardening.

In 1998, Mr. Lee made one of his most ambitious moves, establishing a new company to sell medical instruments, after an Ottawa plastic surgeon said he was using Lee Valley woodworking knives for surgery.

Canica Design Inc. made specialized scalpels and an innovative wound-closure system. But the difficulties of selling to the Canadian medical system proved frustrating, and the rights to the devices were eventually sold to a health-care product company in Barrie, Ont., in 2014.

The medical tools business was the enterprise "that he was most proud of and most disappointed by," Robin said. One product, used for preparing children for cleft palate surgery, was particularly innovative and gratified his father, he said.

In recent years, after Mr. Lee shifted management of Lee Valley Tools to his son, he altered his focus to designing and sourcing new tools with a small team at an office near his home in Almonte, Ont., about 50 kilometres southwest of Ottawa.

He was slowed by vascular dementia, which struck him initially about three years ago. In mid-2015, the company opened an old-fashioned hardware store on the ground floor of the Almonte office, where Mr. Lee could stay engaged with customers and maintain a social outlet.

He was there until last December, when his health had deteriorated to the point where he could no longer work actively.

Mr. Lee leaves his wife, Lorraine (née King); sons Robin and James; four grandchildren; brother Bob Lee and sister Faye Sundholm; and extended family.

Peter Gowdy, assistant manager at Lee Valley Tool's store on King Street in downtown Toronto, said some customers who have been shopping with the company for 30 years or more sometimes come in and reminisce about Mr. Lee. "They'll remember buying their first tools from Leonard out of his home," he said.

Mr. Lee's philosophy - to treat customers as friends - still pervades the business. His actions to provide fair compensation for employees and allow them to share in the profits keeps workers loyal, but it also appeals to customers, Mr. Gowdy said.

"That's something that our customers comment on a lot. They appreciate shopping here because they know the money is not all being funnelled to the top."

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

Leonard Lee, then chairman of Lee Valley Tools, strides through the company's Ottawa warehouse in October, 2013.


Mr. Lee in the mid-1990s, around the time he published his book, The Complete Guide to Sharpening.


Curtain call for head of Vancouver Opera
After 17 years, James Wright rebranded the company with a new facility but believes his legacy will be its stability
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R4

VANCOUVER -- James Wright remembers exactly where he was standing when he made a declaration during a 1988 visit to Vancouver.

He was in the West End, a few blocks from Stanley Park, when he turned to his friend and said: "I want to live here, right here, some day."

He was an American living in Alaska, running Anchorage Opera. His next job was running Opera Carolina in Charlotte, N.C.

When a search firm came calling about the opening for the general director position at Vancouver Opera, Wright remembered that moment a decade earlier. But he never thought he would end up spending the rest of his career here.

He did. Wright, now 66, retired on Thursday from Vancouver Opera, which he has led for 17 years. As he packed up his office last week, he reflected on his time at the company - high and low points, what's next for the company and what's next for him personally.

"It's the best job I've ever had - by far," Wright said in a recent interview in his office at the Michael & Inna O'Brian Centre for Vancouver Opera, which he opened in 2011, consolidating a number of VO (a branding that also happened under his watch) operations into a former warehouse space in East Vancouver.

"I just felt like I came home very early on."

The O'Brian Centre will certainly be one of Wright's most permanent stamps on the company, but when asked what he considers his legacy, he answered: stability - in the company leadership and at the board.

While that's valid, it's hard to think of a bigger change under his leadership than the decision to condense the traditional stagione opera season into a threeweek festival, which launches next year. The move has received mixed reviews, to say the least, but Wright remains confident in the decision.

"I feel as strongly as ever that it's the right thing to do," he said.

Wright joined the company in 1999. In 2002, he brought in music director Jonathan Darlington - who still holds that position (more stability).

An early test for Wright (and Darlington) was the 2004 production of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, when star U.S. soprano Deborah Voigt withdrew from the production about two weeks before opening night.

"Ms. Voigt was stretched too thin and exhausted," read a news release at the time. The production opened as scheduled - with soprano Carol Wilson in the role.

"You kick into gear," said Wright, when asked about the stress of that situation.

Even in uncertain times for opera, Wright has not gone the safe route. He has been a champion of bringing contemporary repertoire to the regional company - and also commissioning new work. Naomi's Road, based on the novel by Joy Kogawa, was commissioned after Wright read her novel Obasan and felt it would make a great opera for young audiences. A Veda Hille opera, Jack Pine, was also commissioned for children. John Estacio's Lillian Alling - another British Columbia story - became VO's first mainstage commission. Stickboy, based on B.C.based spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan's autobiographical novel, was another commission.

Community engagement has been a big priority of Wright's - bringing opera to new audiences in new ways: previews at the Carnegie Centre in the Downtown Eastside, where free dressrehearsal tickets are handed out to attendees (it's usually packed); programs at the Central Library and other venues; and taking opera to the suburbs with greatest-hits concerts. Vancouver also hosted the Opera America conference in 2013 - a big deal.

Other highlights of Wright's tenure include VO's First Nations-themed The Magic Flute and an ambitious new production of John Adams's Nixon in China, which premiered during the 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Naomi's Road, Jack Pine and Stickboy leave an educational legacy, with their school tours.

And VO's Nixon in China production continues to be staged by other international companies.

But Wright lists among his regrets the fact that VO's Magic Flute did not make it past the Vancouver stage (nor will it - save for the magnificent costumes, it's been destroyed now) and that Lillian Alling was never produced elsewhere.

"That's a disappointment because I think it's a really good piece. And I think other Canadian companies should do it."

On regrets, Wright also mentioned not having engaged more of a diverse audience.

"We've not done what I wanted to do while I was here with embracing Asia and Asian work and Asian artists," he said. "It seems to me we've still not grasped the advantage of where we are and how people think of the city. There's no exchange as there is financially, in business.

And we've never gotten a Vancouver-based ... Cantonese or Mandarin audience."

A production Wright hoped would attract that audience - Tan Dun's opera Tea: A Mirror of Soul - did not perform at the box office.

Wright's commitment to staging more contemporary opera was a valiant artistic endeavour, but did not always pay off in ticket sales. For instance, the past season's production of Dark Sisters - a contemporary opera about fundamentalist polygamy - was an "audience disaster," he said. "I think we hit 35 or 40 per cent of our goal."

VO's box-office challenges weren't limited to contemporary work. Even Puccini's Tosca, staged in 2013, sold only 71 per cent as many tickets as the Tosca VO staged in 2007.

Over all, single ticket sales of popular operas staged more than once between 2000 and 2015 - including Carmen and Madama Butterfly - were down on average just over 20 per cent. In another example, Lucia di Lammermoor was produced in 2000-01 and again in 2010-11.

Single ticket sales from the first to the second staging declined by 49 per cent, Wright says.

So what's an opera company to do? VO, like some others, took to staging some Broadwaytype musicals as part of the season - West Side Story, Evita and Sweeney Todd. While the latter disappointed at the box office, the other two were audience hits - especially Evita. That final production of Wright's reign set a record for highest ticket sales in dollars in the company's history.

"Is it a compromise to the old way? Absolutely," Wright said when asked about staging that kind of work as opposed to traditional or contemporary opera.

But it protects the core repertoire, he added. "It just feels like the world has changed and we've got to make it work."

If the opera world has changed, VO is trying to change with it. Last year, in a shocker, the company announced that it would be moving after the 201516 season to a festival model.

While some people understood the rationale and acknowledged the company's tough position as well as the budgetary - and other - advantages of a festival model, others were vehemently opposed - most notably and vocally, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra music director Bramwell Tovey.

It was a challenging time, but Wright contends audiences will ultimately be onside. And he says the company absolutely had to do something. "We're aging out and we haven't found a way to capture a younger and different audience - hence festival."

The move to the festival model has meant some employment cuts. The company has lost five full-time positions (but gained a few contracted positions) and some key staff members. Could more money-smart programming have made a difference? Not running Tosca on Halloween, a Saturday night in 2013? Not dropping the Tuesday night performances and staging operas on consecutive weekend days and therefore having to double cast the principals? Not programming challenging material such as Dark Sisters - which may have scared off traditional audiences but apparently didn't attract new ones?

Should artistic risk have been sacrificed in favour of the sure thing? Could different management choices have saved the season model?

There has certainly been grumbling to that effect. But it's easy to be an armchair general director. And what Wright has found is that there's almost no sure thing any more.

Next spring, the Vancouver Opera Festival makes its debut.

It will be run by Wright's successor, Kim Gaynor, who was born in Hamilton, and has been managing director of the Verbier Festival in Switzerland for a decade. While there are festival detractors, there are certainly a lot of believers in addition to Wright - within the company and beyond.

As for Wright, he has agreed to sit on one board in the community, and other than that is unsure about specific retirement plans. There's one thing he's certain of, though: He is not leaving town. He will remain in Vancouver, where he lives, yes, in the West End.

A new life for Little Mountain
After sitting mostly empty for eight years, the city is expected to vote Tuesday on a redevelopment plan
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S5

Little Mountain, the Vancouver housing project that has come to represent a shameful low point in the mistreatment of low-income renters, is finally seeing signs of new life.

On Tuesday, 18 speakers appeared at a rezoning application hearing, with a decision by council expected this Tuesday.

This comes nine years after the 15acre property was purchased, for an estimated $300-million. So far, the developer, Holborn, has only paid an undisclosed downpayment. Late last year, it held two public information sessions for a planned redevelopment.

The more than 600 low-income tenants who once lived at the East 37th Avenue complex were displaced when their 37 buildings and gardens were razed to the ground in 2009 and, despite the city's housing affordability crisis and near-zero vacancy rate, the prime acreage has sat mostly empty for eight years.

After prolonged back and forth negotiations with the city, Holborn is now proposing to build about 1,400 market residential units, 282 social housing units, 37,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, a child-care centre, a community plaza and park. Buildings will range from three to 12 storeys, as part of the rezoning from multi-family to mixed use.

Several speakers Tuesday supported the project, including one young father who applauded the inclusion of family size condos - although it's unknown what price range those units would fall into.

Another young man lamented the loss of a truly affordable housing complex.

"I grew up with a lot of the kids in the projects and the fact that that disappeared and the fact it's not coming back is worrying. I expected more of it would be social housing, for the kinds of kids who are not rich and want to be part of the community."

Riley Park South Cambie Community Visions' Norm Dooley spoke on behalf of the group and voted against the proposal because of the density, building heights, the lack of affordable housing, and the protracted time frame of 10 years or more to build out. He referred to it as a "profitdriven project" initiated by the province.

"The community needs a new project that provides a range of housing options so that working people can enjoy our community ... that builds a sense of community, not an oasis of luxury condos.

"It comes in as a monstrosity of a project. Where is the affordable housing? This project needs to focus on the ability of working families to live in Vancouver.

"If you put together the cost of the land, the projected number of market housing units, factor in other costs, these will be extremely expensive market units.

Councillor Kerry Jang responded: "Essentially you're saying, had the province not tried to maximize their sale price, the form of the development and affordability of this project would be different?" "Exactly," responded Mr. Dooley.

David Vaisbord, a filmmaker who lives down the street, has been documenting the players at the heart of the Little Mountain controversy since it began.

He thinks the city should push for a better deal, especially since land values have skyrocketed since 2008. He referred to the proposal as having "glaring shortcomings."

"It's very cagey. [The developer] is very smart. Holborn has waited for real estate in Vancouver to rise, and we are holding the bag for them," he said over coffee one afternoon.

That the government chose to unload central, walkable, publicly owned land that had been used as social housing since 1954 is a matter of public-policy debate. It's the way in which it was done that has caused so much controversy.

The transaction, including the terms and the purchase price, was not transparent. But it's widely assumed that the province negotiated a deal with Holborn to sell them a vacant possession property, without the hassle of tenants.

"The fact is, they could have redeveloped the whole thing in a way that was ethical," says Mr. Vaisbord. "Don't tear it down until you've at least done your design. There's no reason the whole thing shouldn't be standing there right now."

After the sale in 2008, the majority of tenants relocated to social-housing units around the city that BC Housing offered them. However, a small group of tenants refused to leave and stayed on in one building while buildings around them came down. They fought an eviction notice served to them in the summer of 2012. With media attention on their side, the group forced the city, province and developer to come up with a creative plan to subdivide the property and build a 53-unit social-housing replacement building. That small building went up a year ago, on one corner of the site.

Mr. Vaisbord says the original buildings didn't need to be torn down.

"The only problem was, it was just ugly from the outside. But the units were sound.

"In my film you will see the units - the floors are beautiful softwood floors. The rooms had a clean coat of paint, sun from three sides, the kitchen is a big spotless, beautiful 1950s kitchen.

Everything works. It was a beautiful place to live."

He's already released a short film about the story of an elderly, blind couple named Sammy and Joan Chang, who were one of a handful who fought the eviction till the bitter end. The couple stayed in their unit even when contractors boarded over the windows of their building, after the majority of families had moved out. Neither Sammy nor Joan, who called Little Mountain home for more than 40 years, lived to see the new building that opened last year. And advocates maintain that, as with many of the former tenants, the stress of displacement contributed to their deaths.

Ingrid Steenhuisen grew up at the Little Mountain project. Her parents moved into the complex in 1957, three years after it was built, and resided alongside many other low-income families. Ms. Steenhuisen, who is on disability, lives with her mother in the one replacement building that is for seniors. Her rent went up $50 when she transferred into the building. At Tuesday's hearing, she told council members that she missed her old neighbours at Little Mountain.

She has been an outspoken advocate for the residents of Little Mountain since the government first considered selling it off.

"More than 18 people have died, and not all seniors," she says. "It's the stress, it's huge. And when you're disabled, regardless of what your disability is, it's stress.

Even for myself now, I'm having a lot of stress to deal with, relating to this stuff.

"All the way along I thought it was wrong how they treated people, pushing them. It was patronizing and dismissive. 'We know what's best for you. Don't question us.' " Little Mountain - the city's first social housing project - had been a CMHC project since it was constructed. In 2007, it was transferred to the province under BC Housing. That same year, the city and the province entered into a memorandum of understanding.

They agreed that Little Mountain should be redeveloped because it was "obsolete" and in need of much greater density. The memo called for buildings taller than four storeys, and a range of housing options.

It said funds from the sale would be used to develop "supportive housing" projects throughout the province. Supportive housing is for people at risk of homelessness, people with addictions, and elderly and disabled people.

The memo also said that whether or not the city approved rezoning for the site, the province would replace the 224 units and would look for a developer partner. They eventually put out a request for proposals and chose Holborn, a subsidiary of a Malaysian bank, and the same developer that is currently building Vancouver's Trump Tower.

Although Holborn might have overpaid for the site at the time, the property is a much more valuable asset in today's market. They also got an exceptional deal since they've held the property for years without paying in full.

"Where is the moral backbone of BC Housing?" asks Mr. Vaisbord. "I looked at the new development [plan] and thought, all of that suffering for what? Did Sam and Joan have to die young from the stress for this? Did all these seniors have to be kicked out for this, another luxury development? What is at the core of our culture now? Is that all there is?

Because that is tragic."

Associated Graphic

Sammy Chang and his wife, Joan, who are both blind, smile as they pose for a photograph in their home at the Little Mountain social housing site in Vancouver in October, 2012.


Lend her your ear
Bernadette Murphy's research casts new light on a puzzling slice of van Gogh's life
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R3

Thousands of books have been written about Vincent Van Gogh. But rarely does a title on the tormented Dutch-born painter actually add to or clarify the historical record.

Bernadette Murphy's Van Gogh's Ear: The True Story is just such a book. Published this week, it's already garnered international attention for seeming to decisively demonstrate that, in one of history's most famous acts of selfmutilation, van Gogh severed pretty much the entirety of his left ear on Dec. 23, 1888, and not just the lobe, as scholarly consensus had had it for decades.

Murphy's research also appears to point to the identity, age and occupation of the mysterious young woman whom van Gogh felt compelled to offer his ear as a grisly gift. Heady stuff, in short, from a first-time, 58-year-old author, self-described as "British of Irish origin," heretofore unknown in the annals of van Gogh scholarship.

The Globe and Mail reached Murphy by phone near Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum where earlier she'd presented the findings in Van Gogh's Ear to the press and participated in the launch of an exhibition there titled On the Verge of Insanity: Van Gogh and His Illness.

My first question is going to sound a bit blunt: Who are you?

The material provided by your publishers has been rather skimpy.

I've lived in France for more than 30 years. I came to Provence in 1983 on a holiday visit to my older brother. I returned home [to England] but stayed only a week before returning. I have a degree in art history but didn't do much with it. My sister died and around that time [circa 2007-2008] I was ill and thinking about doing something different. I was a tenured university-level teacher but I hated teaching. I thought: "How did I end up here? This wasn't really what I wanted to do with my life. If I don't do something now, I probably never will."

But these are all personal things and I think from my point of view I'd really like to stick with the book.

It seems in a way you fell into the van Gogh mystery.

He lived in a town [Arles, in southeastern France] which is only about 50 miles from my small town of 800. So, of course, you know about him. But I wouldn't have called myself a van Gogh fan when I started the thing. I thought he'd been a little overused - the images on fridge magnets and tea towels and the like. I kind of slightly dismissed him as a bit of old hat. But I was intrigued by certain discrepancies in the van Gogh story, which only become clear to a local, to someone who lived there and understood how a whole system functions. Those things made me think: "Well, if that's wrong, what else is wrong about the story?" .

Your book focuses pretty exclusively on the 15 months or so that van Gogh spent in Arles [from late February, 1888, to early May, 1889]. Are there other aspects of the van Gogh story you're interested in? You know, I built up a database of all the people who lived in Arles at that time. It has something like 15,000 names. I'd perhaps like to do something on the people behind the paintings.

[Van Gogh did close to 200 paintings in Arles, including dozens of portraits of locals.] I think that's one of the strengths of the current book: They're just no longer pictures on a canvas or names on a page any more; they're people with life stories - a very rich tapestry. Maybe I'll do something for kids, where they can understand how much fun research can be.

Your research led you to discover the real name and occupation of the woman to whom van Gogh notoriously gave his severed ear. Yet, her living relatives were upset, fearful her memory would be soiled, and so you agreed not to reveal her surname. Has the family changed its mind at all?

The Rachel part of the story was the most delicate part. [Rachel is what two press reports of the day claim was the name of the woman.] Originally, I was thinking of not putting it in at all. I was afraid, as I know will happen, that if I gave too much away, her identity would become clear straight away. But, I know it will come out sooner or later. Where there's a mystery, people always want to go looking. Perhaps it will be a good thing that it does come out finally; the demons can be laid to rest.

You're quite convincing in arguing that absinthe abuse wasn't the cause of van Gogh's mental illness, as some have indicated.

The Van Gogh Museum thinks he was an alcoholic and doesn't necessarily agree with me on that. I do dismiss it because what I'm about is finding proof. Reading my book, I think you'll see it's all about verification and checking. The only place in the book where I suggest or hazard a guess is when dealing with why Vincent took his ear to this particular girl. But with absinthe, I could find no proof; there's also no proof he was an out-and-out raging alcoholic, like he was portrayed in Lust for Life [the 1934 novelization of van Gogh's life by Irving Stone, adapted to film in 1956 starring Kirk Douglas].

I think the case is out for that and I think it's a subject that might be discussed at this symposium that's going to be held in September [14 and 15 in Amsterdam] about the diagnoses of van Gogh.

Are you planning to attend?

I hope I get invited to it. I don't know if I am going to be participating in it or on the sidelines, but I think it's likely I'll be there because I'm bringing something different to the story, about other side details that might prove useful. About a year ago, there was this story about Vincent suffering from gas intoxication in his rooms in Arles. Well, it's not valid at all and I can prove it. I have loads of little bits and pieces in my archives from the research I've done that I think can be useful.

Was the secrecy in advance of the publication the publishers' strategy?

Yes. You have to go along and believe they know their business. I think it was extraordinarily hard for the editor and the publishing houses to keep quiet about.

Everyone had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, the TV people, the printers. I can't believe we managed to keep it secret until my publication day! I mean, I showed stuff to friends and relatives but they never let it out of the bag. I think I was just really lucky.

You mentioned television ... Yes, there is a PBS documentary that will be aired in the autumn as part of its Secrets of the Dead series. And BBC Two is doing a shorter one, with Jeremy Paxman, on Aug. 6.

Was it always the intention to dovetail publication of the book with the Van Gogh Museum show?

It was all because of my discovery [in 2010, of the diagram by van Gogh's doctor illustrating the exact nature of the artist's selfmutilation]. The TV program was my first idea. I never even thought of making a book out of it. I contacted a production company because that's how you make cheeseburgers and the man the very first day said: "You have a lot of information; this should really be a book." And the museum said the same thing. So everyone worked in tandem - TV people, the museum, the book editors - to make it all come to pass on the same day. I'm a bit dumbstruck. When you work on something for seven years, you're not allowed to talk about it and all of a sudden it explodes - it's a very strange sensation.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Associated Graphic

Vincent van Gogh's left ear appears intact in his famous self-portrait, on display at the Orsay Museum in Paris, in March, 2014.


An illustration by Dr. Félix Rey, who tended to van Gogh on Dec. 24, 1888, shows most of the artist's left ear was cut off.


The rise of the urinary tract infection that's nearly impossible to treat
Monday, July 18, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

If you have ever felt like you're passing razor blades instead of water, you know that urinary tract infections are a unique form of torture.

Urinary tract infections, for the lucky ducks who have never had one, may affect the urethra, the bladder and the kidneys. Left untreated, they can lead to permanent kidney damage and sepsis, a life-threatening immune response to infection. Now imagine, if you dare, a UTI that could fight off the most potent antibiotics we have.

This horrifying thought became closer to reality in May, when a Philadelphia woman tested positive for a new superbug - a strain of E. coli resistant to a last-resort antibiotic called colistin. Fortunately, her UTI was not invincible to all antibiotics.

But as the bacteria that cause UTIs continue to mutate, scientists fear the time will come when one of the most common infections in the body becomes all but untreatable.

That grim future may not be far off.

Many UTIs are already resistant to one or more antibiotics, leaving women to cope with infections they can't seem to shake.

Patricia, who declined to give her last name, has had five UTIs since Christmas. The 71-year-old Toronto resident has taken several different antibiotics to clear them up, including a penicillin that she says didn't help. But they keep coming back. "It feels like it might be the same one again and again," she said, adding, "it's a worry."

Patricia's doctor, Sheila Wijayasinghe, confirmed that UTIs are getting tougher to treat. In bacterial cultures from patients with UTIs, "we do see resistant strains to our most commonly used antibiotics," said Dr. Wijayasinghe, who practises family medicine at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

Some patients with recurrent UTIs have allergies to specific antibiotics, combined with high levels of resistance to others. In cases like these, Wijayasinghe has had to have patients admitted to the hospital for more aggressive treatment, she said.

"Sometimes the remaining options are only available by IV."

To help keep antibiotic resistance in check, doctors and patients should pay closer attention to updated guidelines for treating common infections, researchers say. Here are some things to know before you take antibiotics for your next UTI.

Many bacteria 'clear up on their own' Antibiotic resistance has reached dangerous levels worldwide, the World Health Organization reported in 2014. While resistance varies by region, and even hospital to hospital, North American urologists report that resistance rates of 30 per cent and up are not uncommon for Ciprofloxacin and Bactrim, antibiotics widely prescribed to treat UTIs.

Scientists have linked the rise of treatment-resistant UTIs to overuse of antibiotics for everything from bronchitis to the common cold. The more bacteria are exposed to these medications, the more they develop immunity, researchers say.

But treatment-resistant UTIs may also stem from antibiotic use in the cattle, pork and poultry industries, because these animals receive some of the same medications used in humans.

Researchers, including Amee Manges, an epidemiologist at the University of British Columbia, have found strains of E. coli in UTIs that show the same resistance patterns as those found in food-producing animals treated with antibiotics.

The decline in effective treatments for UTIs hurts women the most. Half of all women will get at least one UTI in their lifetime. While people of any age or sex can develop a UTI, about four times as many women get them as men. Women have a shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder, and the opening of a woman's urethra is closer to the anus, where bacteria live.

Urology associations in North America and Europe have come out with new UTI treatment guidelines to help curb antibiotic resistance. But the message may not be getting through to patients and health-care providers fast enough, said Dr. Andrew Sokol, a uro-gynecologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington.

All too often, he said, doctors prescribe antibiotics after finding bacteria using a urine dipstick, even if the patient does not have UTI symptoms, which include a burning sensation during urination and an increasing need to pee.

But it's normal to have lowlevel bacteria in urine because the bladder flushes out pathogens all the time, he pointed out. And even if the patient does have a mild infection, "between 25 and 40 per cent of all these bacterial growths in the bladder will clear up on their own," he said.

Whenever possible, doctors should order a urine culture to check the level of infection and find out whether the bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. But since culturing bacteria takes one to three days - and the patient may be in too much agony to wait - doctors often prescribe antibiotics based on symptoms alone.

While this approach is consistent with treatment guidelines, prescribing antibiotics without a urine culture "can be a tough call," Dr. Sokol said. For example, a woman may report increased frequency of urination, but "maybe she's drinking too much caffeine." He added that other conditions can mimic a UTI, including vaginal infections, which will either resolve on their own or require medications other than antibiotics.

More severe symptoms, such as blood in the urine, do require antibiotic treatment.

Doctors should give the lowest dose and shortest course necessary, Dr. Sokol said. For an uncomplicated UTI, three to five days of the right antibiotic should do the trick, but many doctors order seven to 10 days, he said.

Unless a UTI has progressed into a kidney infection, doctors should prescribe antibiotics that target the bladder, such as Macrobid, and not start out with a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as Cipro. "That's a big gun," he said. "We need it for other things."

An ounce of prevention Many women swear by cranberry juice or tablets, but the evidence that cranberry products can help prevent UTIs is paltry at best, according to a 2012 review by the esteemed Cochrane Collaboration.

Other prevention strategies include voiding the bladder before and after sex, maintaining a high fluid intake and wiping front to back to prevent bacteria from the vagina and anus from entering the urethra.

"These strategies are generally not evidence-based," said Dr. Lynn Stothers, professor of urology at the University of B.C.

Nevertheless, urology associations continue to recommend them "because clinically, we feel that the risk of patients undertaking these strategies is low."

UTIs tend to flare up after sexual activity, hence the term "honeymoon cystitis." But inappropriate catheter use also increases the risk of UTIs, Dr. Stothers said.

Women with recurrent UTIs, defined as either two or more infections within six months, or three or more in a year, should be examined for obstructions in the urinary tract and for kidney stones, which can harbour bacteria, she said.

Other risk factors include the thinning of the genitourinary skin that occurs after menopause. Studies have shown that small amounts of estrogen in a topical cream or vaginal ring can reduce the number of UTIs in postmenopausal women.

Beyond antibiotics Now that antibiotics are losing their punch, scientists are searching for other ways to dislodge the bacteria that cause UTIs.

E. coli - the culprit in 80 per cent of all UTIs - attaches itself to the cells of the urinary tract lining using tiny appendages that are tightly coiled like a spring. They act as shock absorbers, enabling E. coli to withstand the tidal wave-like forces of an emptying bladder.

Recently, however, Swiss scientists have found the secret to the bacteria's super grip: a chain of proteins called FimH.

In a study published in March in the journal Nature, they showed that an experimental drug could disable these proteins, allowing the bladder to flush out bacteria without the need to kill them with antibiotics - in theory, at least. More testing is under way to see if an oral medication could target these proteins and safely treat UTIs.

But even if it works, getting a new UTI treatment on the market could take years. In the meantime, women are left with unproven prevention strategies, folk remedies such as drinking apple cider vinegar and a declining list of effective antibiotics.

Considering the ubiquity of UTIs and the risk of serious complications, research on this scourge of women's health has been woefully inadequate, doctors say. "All of women's health is an underfunded area," noted Dr. Sokol.

Patricia of Toronto agrees. "If more men knew what it felt like to walk around with a UTI, and have every step hurt," she said, "they would be thinking it was more important."

'For us, smart is the new beautiful'
Beautycounter founder Gregg Renfrew believes looking our yo kin best includes knowing what you're putting on your skin
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L5

Forward-thinking entrepreneur Gregg Renfrew is passionate about the growing movement to protect us from harmful chemicals that may be found in everyday beauty products. A former New Yorker who now resides in Los Angeles, Renfrew is the founder and CEO of Beautycounter, a line of products formulated with high safety standards, excluding over 1,500 harmful ingredients that have been linked to a variety of health risks, including cancer, hormone disruption and reproductive toxicity. The mother of three founded her company in 2013, but more than just putting out products that are safe and useful, Renfrew is intent on raising awareness and helping to change government policies. This spring, Beautycounter launched both its range of skincare and colour cosmetics in Canada. I spoke with Renfrew about her innovative company and the passion behind it.

Tell me how you became so passionate about the ideology behind the company.

Back in 2006, I watched the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, about global warming. It became an incredible wake up call for me - the fi rst time that I became aware of our impact on the Earth. I began to connect the dots between things that were negatively impacting the Earth and then negatively impacting us as people and started to become conscious and obsessed with removing harmful ingredients from my children's bodies, from my body, from my home. It was easy to move away from plastic and use glass, but when it came to skin and body care products and colour cosmetics, I struggled to fi nd anything that met my needs. I could fi nd earthy brands that were arguably better for the environment, but they didn't meet my performance requirements and weren't packaged in a way that I felt was commercially viable or chic or exciting. So I set out to start Beautycounter.

Are you involved in any activism to try and change federal laws regulating the safety of ingredients or are you just concentrating on your own business project?

We are extremely focused on advocating and lobbying for cosmetic reform. We aim to educate and increase awareness so that people can make more informed choices. Obviously, we aim to provide solutions through our products, as we are a for-profi t venture. And we're also mobilizing large groups of people to advocate for cosmetic reform. This is something that I had never done before. I'm not a politician and I've never been involved in that, but I've spent the last 18 months working with people who have been advocating for reform and health-protective laws in all countries. We've done that through phone calls and email campaigns and meetings with senators and going to Washington, telling them that we are a company that's pro-commerce and pro-regulation. We want everyone to have access to safer products but that's not going to come until we see a real shift in the legislation in all countries.

There's a growing awareness, especially on the part of young people, of the need to get down to what's important in the world of fashion and cosmetics. Certain kinds of marketing that has seduced young people in the past aren't working anymore. You've got to make people aware that there is an inherently different kind of glamour in the ideas and products you're promoting.

There's such a negative side to the beauty industry, which is not just about questionable ingredients. It's also about pushing women to strive to be more beautiful. The top models don't even look like themselves - people are airbrushed to death and oftentimes not even wearing the makeup of the brand that they're representing in these ads. But younger people are starting to say, "I am beautiful exactly as I was built. I am who I am. I have straight hair, I have curly hair, I am skinny, I'm not skinny, I'm tall, I'm short, I'm white, I'm black." I think the younger generation is asking for greater transparency and greater acceptance of being unique and beautiful in your own body and that is something that we believe in. For us, smart is the new beautiful. Being informed is a luxury. It's access to information, greater transparency, and focusing on sustainability. We're going to become more focused on not being angry activists but being hopeful forwardthinking progressives.

The cosmetics industry wasn't an industry that you were a part of initially. You were a branding expert to start.

I had no background in the beauty industry and I'm not really a beauty junkie either. I enjoy great products and I've become more excited about products having built Beautycounter and having access to great products and seeing how they're formulated. My background was in entrepreneurialism and consumer retail fashion. I'd worked in New York for most of my career with companies like Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and Intermix. I've been able to take my past experience with my company The Wedding List, which I sold to Martha Stewart, and my experience having run a children's clothing company, and use those experiences to help build Beautycounter. It just proves that if you're a scrappy entrepreneur and you're resourceful, you don't necessarily need to be an expert in the fi eld. You can hire experts and I've done that. I have people who are far smarter and far more knowledgeable in the area of beauty than me. And I rely heavily on them to educate me about the industry.

Distribution is a big part of the puzzle, and you decided to get your own representatives and take control of your distribution. Why did you decide to get the product out there in this way?

Whether you're getting married, having a baby, having a health issue, or having trouble with your children, women tend to share information with one another and we rely heavily on those people that we trust. Knowing the story was best told person to person, a friend of mine said, "Have you thought about working with a network of independent consultants?" I immediately fell in love with the business model in that it not only creates a platform upon which women and men can be entrepreneurial and earn an independent income while growing a business and supporting a mission that they really believe in, but I also felt that it was indicative of the times. Bloggers and vloggers are using their points of view, their personal infl uence, to drive commerce. I think that is the way of the future. So we took a look at the direct sales industry and came up with what we call our direct retail model, which is directto- consumer through multiple channels, because we believe strongly that today's consumer demands how, when and where they shop your brand. We'll look at a catalog, go online, go into the store... whatever it is. Our largest channel right now is our network of independent consultants.

Is this a business you see yourself running for the next decade or is it something that you want to build to a certain level and then move on?

It's a really good question. In the business world, the scorecard is all about building a fi nancially strong company. So of course I want to build a big company so I can say, "Wow! We did it!" But at the end of the day, for me the movement is the most important thing, for better beauty and to see more health-protective laws. I would love to see a day where my children and my children's children don't need to worry about reading the labels on a product that they put on their bodies every day and can actually say, "Mom, I can't believe you ever had to do that!" We've introduced 85,000 chemicals into commerce since the Second World War, and 80 per cent of them have never been tested for safety on human health. We all deserve to be healthy. Your health is your greatest asset and so I'm in it for the long haul because I care.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

ON A MISSION Along with launching the skincare and cosmetic company Beautycounter, Gregg Renfrew (right) also lobbies for cosmetic regulation reform. A sampling of Beautycounter's products (below): Body Oil, Tint Skin, Balancing Face Oil and Cleansing Balm.


Where to eat and drink this summer
Whether you're after great ice cream, craft beer, a quick al fresco lunch or a patio dinner, Chris Nuttall-Smith has got you covered
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M2

Scoop it up

If you don't yet have an upstart scoop shop or soft-serve parlour in your neighbourhood, just blink - it's coming any second now. The city's perpetual-motion artisanaleverything movement has discovered ice cream and gelato in the last few years. Keeping up with the newbies is nearly a full-time job. I love the venerable (and preboom) Ed's Real Scoop (2224 Queen St. E., and other locations; empire, but then I've also fallen hard for Kekou Gelato House (394 Queen St. W. and one other location;, with its deliciously wide range of Asian flavours (fresh guava and plum salt; jasmine tea and almond tofu soft serve), and the often avant-garde Death In Venice (536 Queen St. W.; I'm also a sucker every time for the deservedly queue-clogged Bang Bang (93 Ossington Ave.; For clean, simple, beautifully balanced flavours, though (and without the hype), I'm a fan these days of tiny Roselle Desserts (362 King St. E.;, where a pair of top-flight pastry chefs spin out gloriously grown-up-tasting sundaes. They've done Earl Grey soft serve with lemon curd and sable cookies, for instance (the shop makes just one soft-serve flavour at a time), and more recently they're doing a tart, semisweet buttermilk soft-serve sundae with graham cracker bits, fresh strawberry coulis and a tiny Ontario strawberry on top. The Frenchstyle pastries here are some of the best in town; be sure to get one of the incredible eclairs to go with.

Take a walk

The Cheese Boutique (45 Ripley Ave.; isn't merely Toronto's best-stocked gourmet grocer and cheese monger - at 46 years old this fall, the west-side institution is one of the greatest cheese shops this side of France. The Pristine family, which owns and runs the place, is expert at the art of affinage: carefully aging cheese to well beyond the usual best-before dates, to bring out its very best. In recent years they've also dived deep into salumi making, butchery and dryaging (the meat counters here are top-rate), as well as into bread and pastries. It's an ideal supply point for a bike excursion up the Humber River, or a lazy lunch in Sunnyside park.

Best bets: pick up one of Cheese Boutique's honey, raisin and hazelnut boules, a lush, summery goat's cheese from the Loire Valley, a quadruple cream Brie, a hard, nutty-tasting manchego, a container of marcona almonds, some membrillo - that's Spanish quince paste - and a mess of pickled vegetables and olives. (The olive counter has 30 different kinds.) Stroll into the produce section for some stonefruit and local strawberries, then to the salumi counter for sliced culatello and duck rillettes. Not far from there, you're going to want to pause at the display of sparkling lemonade from France. (Take two.) Maybe eyeball your basket after that. It's not enough, right?

So ask for a bit of Henry Goes To the Opera, a chèvre noir from Quebec that Afrim Pristine ages for two years in the company's cellar. It comes enrobed in a waxlike casing of hardened honey, from the bees that live on the roof of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

If your weekend plans take you eastward, (Rouge Beach and Rosetta McClain Gardens, both on Lake Ontario, are ideal spots), head instead to Adonis (20 Ashtonbee Rd.;, the extraordinary Lebanese supermarket with the glassed-in pitamaking plant as its spellbinding centrepiece. Start with some of those warm pitas before heading to the prepared dips and salads counter for supremely fresh-tasting hummus with harissa, as well as containers of baba ghanoush and tabouli. The pastries counter is near there (the selection is terrific, though it doesn't touch the quality of Crown Pastries, a new Syrian pastry shop at 2086 Lawrence Ave. E., a four minute drive away;, and at the other end of the store, the Middle Eastern cheese selection is one of the best I've seen. Do not miss the olive and pickle bar (check out the pickled wild cucumbers) or the display of variously roasted, seasoned and candied nuts and legumes. Last time I was there, they also had fresh green almonds in the produce section; slit the soft, jade-coloured shells open with your thumbnail, then pop their tart, deliciously mild-tasting contents back.

Get your brew on

In a city that's suddenly awash in craft beer companies, the fiveyear-old Bellwoods Brewery (124 Ossington Ave.;, with its constantly changing lineup of beautifully made sours, saisons, porters, IPAs and barrel-aged wild ales (among other selections), feels like an elder statesman of the scene. It doesn't hurt that Bellwoods's patio, lit by warm-glowing string bulbs, is one of the nicest in the area - a genuine neighbourhood living room, with excellent beers to match. It's an ideal place to while away a summer night. I'm also partial to the friendly and understated Left Field Brewery (36 Wagstaff Dr.; and the great-granddaddy of the city's craft beer movement, Yonge Street's top-notch Bar Volo (587 Yonge St.;, where the cask and bottles lists are a hophead's wildest dreams.

You're better than al desko

Remember when street eats in this city meant only hot dogs? In the space of just a few years, the term has expanded to include roving food trucks, pop-up festivals, expanded offerings at farmers' markets and seasonal outdoor food markets - two of which are located within blocks of each other downtown. At Adelaide Place (150 York St.), the summertime Front Street Foods market's 21 vendors include the Chase company's Little Fin seafood spinoff, a Holy Chuck Burger, a satellite of The Rolling Pin, the cakes and doughnuts company, and a specialist in Swiss raclette. Union Station's outdoor summer market, meantime, has a Burger's Priest, a Momofuku Noodle Bar spinoff, ice cream booths, all manner of sandwich possibilities, pizzas, pierogies and Mexican-style street corn. At Union, as on York Street, it's good, a lot of it, even if it's not always at the level you find at sitdown restaurants. That's okay, though: it beats the tyranny of street meat every time.

Park on the perfect patio

While there are plenty of great restaurants and great patios in this city, great restaurants with great patios are an exceedingly rare breed. The good news: this makes the standouts shine even more brightly. The one outside Enoteca Sociale (1288 Dundas St.

W.;, which is shaded by a giant maple, is one of my favourites; between the stellar cooking and the vibe here, it feels a lot like eating in a friendly, out-ofthe-way piazza in Rome. For a totally different feel (and wickedly tasty Southern cooking), I love the bourbon-stained space outside Electric Mud (5 Brock Ave.; in Parkdale. On the east side, the patio outside Maha's (226 Greenwood Ave.;, the superb, family-run Egyptian brunch and lunch spot, isn't a scene so much as an escape from scenes: it's friendly and peaceful and the dishes are incredible (try the chef's appetizer platter). And few patios anywhere serve better drinks and food than the one at Bar Raval (505 College St.;, the crazy (but justifiably) popular Basque-style breakfast, cocktails and pinxtos spot on College Street. Grab a table in the setting sun if you can.

Order a few beers or sherries, some smoked mackerel and mojama, some Spanish ham and cheese and settle in for a bit. It's one of the best ways I know to start a great summer evening on the town.

Associated Graphic

The Cheese Boutique has cheese, meats, bread and pastries to fill your picnic basket for an afternoon along the Humber.


Bellwoods Brewery, left and centre, on Ossington is now a five-year-old craft beer institution, with rotating taps keeping the selection interesting and a patio lit with strings of bulbs. The albacore tuna conserva at Enoteca Sociale is another patio pick.


House-made buttermilk soft serve coated in graham-cracker crumbs and strawberry coulis at Roselle Desserts.


Why women are missing in action
Friday, July 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

As its producers anxiously counted the inconclusive box office receipts last weekend, critics and audiences could at least breathe a sigh of relief: the all-female Ghostbusters reboot was not terrible. In fact, depending who you spoke to, it was actually pretty good. After months of ridiculous controversy over the decision to remake the 1984 sci-fi action comedy with female leads, here was a clear retort to misogynist detractors. Women can be funny, too!

Women can blow things up, too! Women can kick butt, too! The trouble with the girl-power Ghostbusters, and indeed with many of Hollywood's attempts to cast women in action roles, is that one little word. Too. In an industry where the vast majority of directors and writers (and the protagonists in their movies) are men, the studios take predetermined formulas that were originally built around male characters, slot women into them and call it progress. Original cast member Bill Murray does make a cameo appearance that nudges the audience in the ribs, and the women do blast one ghost in the crotch, but mainly Ghostbusters director Paul Feig gets no thematic mileage from the gender swap.

From a feminist perspective, the one thing to admire about Feig's reticence is the lack of romantic subplots for the women whose friendships are depicted as the key relationships in the film. Otherwise, the director seems to have cast women simply for the sake of doing so; the comic characters are all nicely developed but they are just taking over what were originally male roles. The Ghostbusters haters are grossly out of line with their refusal to share their sacred nostalgia space with the opposite sex - not to mention their racist attacks on actress Leslie Jones - but they've got one thing right: It is a male space.

Ever since the Lumière brothers shot a train rolling into a country railway station in 1895, film has been a medium that has demanded action: The movies have to show movement, and the more the better. In popular film, that means Buster Keaton falling over, John Wayne pulling the trigger or Christopher Reeve and his many successors leaping over tall buildings in a single bound. At the core of popular cinema is a man engaged in powerful and highly visible physical action.

Once you start noticing the extreme maleness of the movies, it can make you want to cry - or laugh out loud. The widower in Jean-Marc Vallée's recent drama Demolition is incapable of expressing socially correct grief over the loss of his wife in a car accident and instead joins a wrecking crew. As Jake Gyllenhaal bashes down walls with a sledgehammer, the outlet for the character's pent-up rage and emotional isolation is so wildly oversized, it's darkly funny.

Is it to grossly stereotype women to point out they are much less likely to trash the house? Nor are they going to shoot the neighbours - or their own dinner.

The apparent gap between the action demanded by the medium and women's traditional activities was brilliantly exposed by the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman in her 1975 classic Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, in which the title character prepares food in her kitchen in real time. The lack of drama in these sequences is both hypnotic and political.

Jeanne is not only a widowed housewife and mother to a teenage son but also, not coincidentally, a part-time prostitute: She plays all roles open to a women.

But every movie does demand action and eventually Jeanne kills one of her clients as her domestic routine goes off the rails.

That was the European art house cinema of the 1970s. Today, as Hollywood largely abandons the traditionally female-centred romcom in favour of bigger-budget franchises that, whether they are comic or dramatic, depend heavily on action, it is rare to see any notion that women might take action in different ways or for different reasons than men. Mainly, commercial movies have featured an army of active men and the occasional "girl with a gun" whose violence is largely a source of sexual titillation. When Hollywood studios do create real female action heroes, they drop them into plots that any man could perform just as easily, creating such creatures as Lara Croft, a lusty adventurer who needs only looser clothing and a Y chromosome to turn into Indiana Jones.

Of course, way back in the 1990s, Thelma and Louise was supposed to change all this, turning the outlaw genre on its head as it placed its increasingly desperate characters in a feminist plot triggered by inattentive male partners and an attempted rape. The film culminated in that lovely moment when Thelma, an accommodating housewife played by Geena Davis, and Louise, an overworked waitress played by Susan Sarandon, blew up the rig of a truck driver who had repeatedly harassed them on the road. Davis subsequently starred in several female-centric action movies - the thriller The Long Kiss Goodnight and the pirate movie Cutthroat Island - but the truth is, 25 years after Thelma and Louise drove off a cliff in the film's much-debated ending, Hollywood's main response to calls for equity is to give female characters some agency in men's stories or drop them into traditionally male roles.

The results can be as lightly entertaining as Ghostbusters, but they can also, for all their earnest attempts at balance, produce transpositions that are weirdly unconvincing. In this summer's The Legend of Tarzan, Jane (Margot Robbie) loudly disputes the notion she's any damsel in distress and promptly escapes her wicked captor through a combination of ingenuity and strength. But she's recaptured within minutes because the plot requires her to be rescued by Tarzan in the end.

And then there's the shipwreck that is the new Alice Through the Looking Glass, a movie that opens with an extended sequence in which the adult Alice (Mia Wasikowska), captaining her late father's galleon with skill and courage, escapes a band of pirates. If Alice is busy living an adventure worthy of Hornblower why, one wonders, does she need to follow a talking butterfly through some looking glass? To rescue the Mad Hatter from despondency and fix a lifelong rift between the White and Red Queens, it turns out, as the film changes Lewis Carroll's character of attitude into one of agency, repurposing the aggravated voice of reason who underlined Wonderland's nonsense as a pleasant blond action figure.

Of course, there are exceptions to this thoughtless deployment of girl power. Last year, in the midst of the testosterone-fuelled monster truck mash-up that is a George Miller movie, many critics noticed that the plot of Mad Max: Fury Road revolved not around Max but around Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman who was rescuing other women from sexual slavery in a postapocalyptic Australia.

For all their vicious violence, survivalist plots can offer rich material for those wondering what a female-centered action movie might actually look like, because their scenarios often combine the need for exuberant self-defence with the need for small-scale life skills.

In Patricia Rozema's recent drama Into the Forest, two teenage sisters (Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood) struggle to survive alone in an isolated house in the West Coast woods after a continental power outage brings civilization to a halt. There's a graphic scene where one sister, desperate for protein to feed her pregnant sibling, shoots and butchers a wild pig. It's followed by a gentler one, where the two young women render the fat. As one pours powder from a box very clearly labelled "lye," she remarks to the other that it will be nice to have soap again.

Based on a popular American young-adult novel, Into the Forest is an independent Canadian film that has been seen by small audiences. How many of those viewers might have known what you get when you add lye to boiling animal fat - or could be counted on to recall that, in pioneer times, soap-making was traditionally woman's work?

Still, that combination of soap and slaughter marks a provocative moment in recent cinema where women take vigorous action without any "too" in sight.

Associated Graphic

Hollywood's response to calls for equity is to give female characters some agency in men's stories, such as in Ghostbusters, or drop them into male roles.

'I know I want to do things here'
Chantal Pontbriand discusses life post-MoCA, why she's staying in the city and how she expects Toronto to develop
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L2

It was a rested-looking Chantal Pontbriand, wearing a stylish, sleeveless summery frock, who strolled into a Toronto museum restaurant the other day for what was likely her first on-therecord conversation since leaving the Museum of Contemporary Art as its CEO in late June.

The departure shook the local and national art world, coming as it did less than three months after Pontbriand, 64, had presented an ambitious, enthusiastically received plan to recast MoCA, formerly the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, as a "new museum for the 21st century."

It was a shock, too, because few arts mavens are as heavily credentialed as the Quebec-born Pontbriand. She'd curated Canada's contribution to the 1990 Venice Biennale, co-founded Parachute magazine in 1975 and the Festival international de nouvelle danse seven years later, worked at the Tate Modern in London and the Sorbonne in Paris and three years ago received a Governor-General's Award for excellence in visual and media arts. She's also a curator, critic and author: At our meeting, she handed me a copy of one of her most recent books, 2013's The Contemporary, The Common: Art in a Globalizing World, in which she'd inserted Post-its for two essays she thought I should read. One was titled The Tectonic Plates of the Art World, the other Magna Carta: Mapping Moments in 2007.

When, in late October last year, MoCCA, as it was still named, announced Pontbriand as its first-ever CEO, the news was positively received. True, Pontbriand didn't have a deep connection to Toronto; nor did MoCCA, which had become a semi-autonomous charity only in August, 2012, have the rich history (and deep-pocketed patronage) of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Nevertheless, the marriage was one of great expectations, a triumph of the imagination and hailed for its boldness.

You'd think then that the divorce announced last month would have soured Pontbriand on Toronto and sent her packing back to Montreal where she and her artist husband, Raymond Gervais, 70, have a large condominium. But, in fact, she's staying put here, in the High Park apartment she first occupied in January, and has given the landlord no leave-date.

"I'm at the stage of an investigation," she remarked between sips of a cappuccino. "I'm starting to understand a lot better how things work in Toronto, how this province works, how the new [Justin Trudeau] government works, so there's a lot to investigate."

To her eyes, "Toronto now is a bit like London was in 2000, just at the start of Tate Modern, which, for the international art world, made it an international city. London in the 1980s and 90s certainly was not the city we know today."

She said she's keen to "hunker down [in Toronto]" but doesn't "know how yet. I've just gotten to the point now that I know I want to do things here. I've been encouraged by many to do so. And because of that support, I feel confident that something will happen. I just needed these last few weeks to gain some energy."

Of course, Pontbriand didn't spill the beans on her departure from MoCA, a non-disclosure agreement with the museum board being part of her severance package. She did allow that the resignation was "not a surprise. It was a situation that developed over several months and intensified itself toward the end of May, the beginning of June, and it came to a critical point where, well, all I can say is, I really tried ... I believed what I'd presented [at the March 29 media conference attended by Toronto Mayor John Tory] was realistic and important."

When I outlined to Pontbriand one of the scenarios I'd heard explaining the split between herself and the board, she offered a mild demurral: "It was not as simple as that. It's quite a complex situation ... and that's all I can say."

One MoCA situation that does remain somewhat up in the air is the institution's inaugural program/exhibition, Odyssey 2040. On March 29 Pontbriand said she would oversee its implementation and installation in MoCA's new home in a renovated century-old former factory, which, at that time at least, was scheduled to open May, 2017.

Today, there's still chatter that Odyssey 2040 (2040 being the year the Greater Toronto Area is projected to have a population of 10 million) remains "on the books" and that Pontbriand can have some involvement with it.

At the time of our interview, Pontbriand acknowledged she had yet to meet with Terry Nicholson to discuss the situation. He's the retired city arts bureaucrat, 65, who was named MoCA interim CEO July 6. "In my mind, it's not happening," she said. Not happening at the present time, she was asked. Or it may not happen at all? "Well, does it make sense?" she replied. "Frankly, I don't know how to answer that question."

One situation that has been resolved or at least punted into the future is Demo-graphics. The large, multidisciplinary biennalestyle event was scheduled to debut next spring, with Pontbriand serving as curator and adviser to its organizer, Mississauga-based Canadian Community Arts Initiative. However, CCAI artistic director Asma Mahmood said she's downsizing the Demographics idea in the short term in favour of a "more localized event" for the Peel and Halton regions west of Toronto. Called Zeitgeist, it's planned to run from late May through the end of July 2017. Pontbriand doesn't believe Demo-graphics is dead.

In fact, for her, it's "totally necessary and possible" in establishing the GTA and environs as an international arts hub, even if it may take a few years for that to happen.

Despite the setbacks, Pontbriand explained she's keen to remain in the Ontario capital because "it's special." When she was publishing and editing Parachute (it ceased publication in 2007), she would dedicate one issue each year to a particular "city of emergence" - defined as a metropolis "we'd never thought could become a centre of international attention with regard to the development of contemporary art." Shanghai, Dubai, Mexico City, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Havana all got the treatment. And now Pontbriand is convinced Toronto, too, is "becoming a city of emergence," not least because "it is coinciding with all the world issues of the day - globalism, migration, the cross-feeding of cultures.

With something like 220 languages being spoken here ... it's the meeting place of the world."

It's also an international economic powerhouse "that can't be ignored any more," chockfull of savvy art collectors, strong artists, brainy curators, "agents of change." "Toronto is moving and moving a lot faster than it thinks it's moving," she said.

And "my hope at this time is to really contribute to the city and work on the planes I've explored in my life - making connections with the larger world, trying to understand the way the specificity of a local situation can speak to the larger world and maybe enhancing how the larger world can speak to us."

In other words, Pontbriand is looking for work. And that could take any number of forms, from shaping, say, a 10-year plan to transform the GTA into an international centre of culture, to being hired by a particular gallery or museum or serving as a high-level liaison among a panoply of cultural institutions.

"All the experience I gained, all the knowledge and knowhow should be used in this city somehow. I'd be delighted for something to work out," she said. "It's not many people in Canada who can call up any museum director or important artists - I know so many by now - and make things happen quite fast. That's why I thought I was a good fit with MoCA because I was obliged to deliver, almost instantaneously, a museum in one year, more or less."

Associated Graphic

Chantal Pontbriand was hired as the first CEO of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto, but left her position in June. Rather than moving back to Montreal, she's staying in Toronto and says there's 'a lot to investigate.'


On a pilgrimage to the church of brisket
At a Central Texas-style barbecue, it's as much about the journey - hunger pangs waiting in line - as the destination - smoked nirvana
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M4

Before the pleasure of Central Texas barbecue, there is always pain. For the pitmasters who make a life's work of the region's meats, there's the pain of the heat and the labour, the punishing hours and the necessarily failure-riven accretion of experience and skill. The smoke-scented, salt-and-pepper crusted, prodigiously juicy beef brisket that is the measure of Central Texas's best barbecue pits starts out tough and collagen choked; when cooked in the sear heat of a wood fire, it is prone to Naugahyde dryness and chew.

The pain for Central Texas barbecue's customers is a different sort of pain, and you can see it first-hand of late in the daily lineups outside an industrial building in Leaside. The pain for the customers at Adamson Barbecue, which since its launch in April has opened for a few hours each weekday, only at lunchtime and only until the meat runs out, is the pain of anticipation.

The smells of smouldering oak and sweet, rendered beef and pork fat hit even before you enter. Once inside, you watch and wait as owner Adam Skelly holds court at the shop's cutting counter, pulling giant racks of spare ribs, fat house-made sausage links, wobbly hunks of pork butt and, most importantly, whole beef briskets, from a holding cabinet, and then slices and portions them onto butcher paper-covered trays, one single order at a time.

Try as I might, I can't think of many other meat-based experiences that elicit such powerful pangs of hunger and impatience. On the plus side, the pleasure at Adamson is more than equal to the pain of the wait.

The barbecue here, especially in the past few weeks, is pretty good by Texas standards, and, by Toronto standards, perhaps the tastiest stuff around. Those ribs are thickly crusted with salt and pepper and stained pink from smoke, but they're tender, too, with just a hint of pull, and only lightly sweet; this being Texas barbecue, they don't come thickly slathered with sweet, sticky sauce. Adamson's sausages, which day-shift cook Matt Pelechaty makes from pork and brisket trimmings, come on strongly at first with smoke and salt, then with the firm, dry snap of their hog casings and the gush of molten juice. The pulled pork is very good. The turkey breast is smoked turkey breast. I've never entirely seen the point.

But that brisket, which sells by weight at $25 a pound (the price just went up from $22), is by far the standout. At its best, it's as soft as ribeye and nearly as smoky as a rust-perforated wood stove. The slices are capped with buttery fat, and they're juicy enough that you'll wish you had a special bib just for your chin.

The brisket's glossy black crust is little more than salt and black pepper, kilned by convection; Adamson's brisket tastes richly of beef instead of candied sauce.

At its worst, consistency has been an issue, that brisket is comparatively meek-tasting and pot roast soft. Even then it's still some supremely delicious beef.

Mr. Skelly and his girlfriend Alison Hunt, who is the restaurant's general manager and partner, started the business in 2013 as a catering company called Stoke Stack BBQ.

As the business grew, they moved into the space in Leaside, a 3,000-square-foot industrial building with plenty of room out back for firewood, and a growing collection of enormous, trailer-mounted offset smokers, fashioned from 500gallon propane tanks. They've barely been able to keep up.

Adamson's lunch business accounts for a couple dozen briskets on its busiest days, and Mr. Skelly and Ms. Hunt often need another 20 to 60 briskets daily for catering jobs. Their smokers are heated only by wood, without aid of gas or electric burners. (This is key with Central Texas barbecue.) If you happen to sit out back of the restaurant, on what was once a loading bay, you can watch as Mr. Pelachaty splits oak logs and tends to the smokers' fireboxes, aiming to hold them at 102 C. That tending is a 24-hour job.

Adamson's whole briskets go into the smoker at 11 a.m.

Around 7 p.m., they're sufficiently crusted that Mr. Skelly wraps them tightly in butcher paper, which helps to keep them moist. They don't come off until around 3 a.m. To watch Mr. Skelly unwrap one, straight out of the warmer, from its grease-stained butcher paper, is one of local carnivory's more religious experiences. My own faith has only grown of late.

Since opening in April, Mr. Skelly has struggled to source enough of the right brisket, he said; anything less than USDA Prime isn't marbled enough to hold up to smoking, and the meat from some packers is better than from others; the good stuff is in perpetually short supply. That supply has started to stabilize, however, and the brisket has noticeably improved.

And until recently, he used sugar maple, which isn't exactly native to Texas barbecue, and doesn't lend a lot of flavour, instead of oak logs, which are, and do. The difference since he made the switch a few weeks ago, is like eating at an entirely different, and better, restaurant.

Now for the pain. Parking is limited, to put it mildly (there is no real parking lot, and tow trucks have been scooping customers' cars off the street, apparently). You need to get there by 11 a.m.; any later and you're liable to leave without eating.

And if you're the type of barbecue hound who thinks it's a good idea to smother lovingly smoked meat between industrial white sandwich bread and then drown it in sauce, be warned: There is a two-sandwich-per-customer limit here. If you order a sandwich, staff might (quite reasonably) scowl.

Adamson's side dishes, which include an aggressively pedestrian coleslaw, underwhelming potato salad and chalky, insipid beans (they taste mostly of canned tomatoes), aren't even remotely worth your time or stomach space. (For what it's worth, the sides in Texas's best barbecue pits are frequently awful, too.)

And though the company has a phone number to keep wouldbe customers abreast of its everlimited meat supply, it is all but useless in my experience.

"Thanks for calling Adamson Barbecue," it says, in a plucky, twangy, female voice. "There's still meat left, so git yer butt down here." In the past week, at least, that message has played around-the-clock, including when the restaurant is closed.

(Mr. Skelly said he plans to change that right away.)

It's worth noting, as well, that a second Texas barbecue place opened just a few weeks ago: J&J Bar-B-Que, in Kensington Market. I haven't been yet (it's far too early), but I have been hearing good things.

You could avoid the trip to Adamson for all these reasons, or you could submit to the pain - or more accurately perhaps, the minor inconveniences - of Texas barbecue. I'd highly recommend the latter approach.

Git yer butt down there, like the lady said.



176 Wicksteed Ave. (at Brentcliffe Road), 647-559-2080 (but don't bother calling),

Atmosphere: A warehouse in an industrial park, outfitted with a meat-cutting counter, a giant Texas flag and butcher paper menus. Friendly staff, cafeteria-style service.

Wine and drinks: There's soda, including Big Red cream soda from Texas.

Best bets: Go with a group of four and get the sampler platter.

Prices: Meats are sold by the pound; prices range from $18 for pulled pork to $25 for brisket. Sampler platters feed four for around $80.

F A Cheap Eats pick, where you can dine well for under $30 before alcohol, tax and tip.

Associated Graphic

Adamson's brisket tastes richly of beef instead of candied sauce; the house-made sausages gush of molten juice.


John S. Lee shares the Everything Platter with his friends at Adamson.

At site of carnage, grief roiled by seething anger
A passerby strikes a chord with the crowd: 'We have to stop letting these terrorists in. France gives too much liberty'
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A5

NICE, FRANCE -- It was the sidewalk outside the historic Le Negresco hotel where this city's anger and grief collided on Friday, in the hours after a national holiday was turned into a nightmare.

At the hotel's palatial front entrance onto the Mediterranean seafront, a crowd gathered to listen and cheer as a young policeman was berated by an irate Natalie Georges about what she saw as the security failings of the night before, when 84 people were killed by a madman driving a 19-tonne truck.

"We have all these beautiful cameras here. What did they do?

Nothing!" the 54-year-old former civil servant shouted. "What did you police do? Nothing! People are dead, crushed. It's impermissible!"

The policeman almost inaudibly acknowledged that he agreed with Ms. Georges. He later admitted that he and many of his colleagues had been given Thursday - Bastille Day - off as a holiday after working long hours during France's hosting of the European soccer championships, which ended last week. There were, he said, fewer police officers on duty at this year's holiday than in previous years.

Ms. Georges spent much of Thursday night in a panic after her daughter called her just as the Bastille Day celebrations turned into mayhem. She heard screams before the line cut out, and was left not knowing for hours whether her daughter, who escaped unharmed, had lived or died.

Ten metres away from the sidewalk argument in front of Le Negresco, 28-year-old Jason Lopez sat slumped in his wheelchair, silently weeping. He had come to place candles on the Promenade des Anglais, and to be as close as possible to where he had last been surrounded by his family.

"My brother and my mother were crushed in front of me right here," said Mr. Lopez, who is battling cancer and says he survived Thursday night's chaos only because a cousin wheeled him out of the truck driver's murderous path.

He alternated between wiping at the tears on his cheeks and taking sips from a large can of beer. "I feel completely lost. I will sleep tonight here on the street, among the flowers."

Emotions were raw across this scarred city on Friday, as citizens streamed toward the Promenade des Anglais to place flowers, candles and handmade signs. Massive white tarps were erected along parts of the seafront to protect the integrity - and dignity - of a crime scene that stretched for almost two kilometres alongside beaches that lay empty as a city mourned.

Meanwhile, police and politicians tried to reconstruct what could have motivated Mohamed Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian immigrant, to turn a refrigerator truck he had rented several days before into a weapon of mass homicide on France's most important holiday.

French President François Hollande initially described the incident as a "terrorist attack" - promising escalated military action against the so-called Islamic State that controls parts of Iraq and Syria - only to see Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve later backtrack from that statement, admitting that the government had not yet found any links between Mr. Bouhlel and known jihadi groups.

The debate will probably do little to influence public opinion in Nice, where most are convinced that Friday's assault was the third in a string that began in January, 2015, with the shooting at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper in Paris, followed by the November bomb and gun attacks that targeted restaurants, the Bataclan music club and a sports stadium in the French capital.

On a sunny Friday on the French Riviera, the anger and grief of Nice residents boiled together into hatred.

"We have to stop letting these terrorists in," Ms. Georges shouted as others around her on the sidewalk nodded their agreement. "France gives too much liberty. It's time to stop opening our doors. Stop Schengen [Europe's visa-free travel zone]. Stop. Just like the English have done. Stop."

She saved much of her anger for Mr. Hollande, scoffing at his Friday visit to Nice, where he laid flowers on the Promenade des Anglais. "He's not a war leader," she said. "We need a war leader."

It was a sentiment more quietly shared by the deflated Mr. Lopez.

"We're at war with Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia," he said, observing that nearly all of the perpetrators of the recent attacks on France had roots in those North African countries (although nearly all of the 2015 perpetrators were French-born).

"It's not Iraq and Syria who are attacking us, it's not Russia. It's the Moroccans, the Algerians and the Tunisians. They come to France to get [social] assistance; they don't get it, and so they attack us."

Such sentiments, once considered extreme, are now merging with mainstream politics in France. Multiple opinion polls show Marine Le Pen of the farright National Front - who has called for France to withdraw from the visa-free Schengen Area, and vowed to fight what she says is the "Islamization" of French society - as the likely winner of the first round of presidential elections scheduled for next year (although the same polls show that she would probably lose a second-round run-off against a single centrist opponent).

Ms. Le Pen was among those speaking in martial terms on Friday. "The war against the scourge of Islamist fundamentalism has not begun; it's now urgent to declare it," she said in a statement. "To our shock and compassion, we must now add action, the necessary measures of prevention and control, and the most absolute determination to eradicate the scourge of Islamist fundamentalism."

There were fears that such angry talk might spill over into actions in Nice and elsewhere.

France saw rises in anti-Muslim incidents after both the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks.

"There will be retaliation. From the bottom of my heart, I hope there won't be, but I believe it will happen," said Michelle Prost, a 55year-old manager at a pharmaceutical company who came on Friday to lay flowers on the Promenade des Anglais. "It's three times we've been hit. ... The pain is strong, and people are confused and angry."

The same could be said of many of the country's Arabs and Muslims, who are estimated to make up 10 per cent of France's population of 66 million.

Frederick Pinel, a retired journalist who lives in Nice, said the city government had been worried about an attack of some kind for months, and recently took the step of quietly increasing security levels at local schools.

Many French Muslims feel deeply alienated from the country around them, he said. "Just go into an Arab café and listen.

They're not in favour of terrorism, but they justify it. There's a deep malaise."

But even among the anger and hate on the sidewalks of Nice on Friday, the France this country still wants to be occasionally reappeared.

When Ms. Georges finished admonishing the sheepish policeman for the security failings, another woman, Noubia Terriki, stepped forward to tell her own horrifying tale of a Bastille Day no one here will be able to forget.

The 44-year-old Ms. Terriki, who is Muslim and works at one of Nice's tourist hotels, recounted how she came to the Promenades des Anglais in the aftermath of Thursday's violence, desperate to find her four children. A policeman directed her to take a look at some of the corpses that had been recovered (10 of those killed were children and teenagers).

Her children, who safely escaped the mayhem, were not there. But other people's kids were. "I saw a baby ... it was crushed ..." Ms. Terriki began as tears welled up in her eyes.

Ms. Georges, so angry at immigrants such as Ms. Terriki a few moments before, reached over and pulled the stranger into a hug.

Associated Graphic

Jason Lopez, who lost his mother and brother during the Bastille Day attack, and who is battling cancer, returned to place candles on the Promenade des Anglais. He said he might spend the night there to be as close as possible to where he had last been surrounded by his family.


House recycling booms in Calgary
Rising trend sees couples purchasing their next house from other couples - saving 'beautiful' buildings from demolition
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S4

Moving an entire house - the building that is, not the contents - is a profession with a long history in Canada. It continues to be an economical solution for remote relocations where the cost to rebuild outweighs the cost to relocate a structure.

But from this industry has arisen another business opportunity for those with the skills, experience and equipment to move buildings. House recycling is a practice that is thriving in metropolitan areas of Canada, where land value is often greater than structural value, and Calgary is proving to be a "gold mine" for local businesses such as Wade's House Moving and Heavy Haulage.

"The last five years in Calgary has been nuts," said Jaylene LaRose, who handles the real estate brokering side of Wade's business. "We have three full time crews moving one or two houses a week each and about 50 per cent of our business is recycling."

Wade's has been a family business since the fifties when Wade and Jaylene's father, Joe Kerner, operated Kerner House Moving and Heavy Haulage.

"We started recycling homes about 15 years ago. Calgary was growing so fast and people were buying land and demolishing these beautiful houses which we knew we could resell and relocate."

Mrs. LaRose, a trained accountant, has bought, sold and relocated close to 400 hundred homes in that time and it's an area of business that continues to grow.

"Some are older homes and some are more modern, but they're all in great shape. We have enough houses coming out of Calgary to keep us in business for a long time," she said.

"Often when we get calls from Edmonton it's along the lines of, 'Can you come and get rid of my problem?' People just want to avoid demolition costs. But the Calgary market is totally different.

These are beautiful homes in incredible condition. Often the owner is just looking to build something bigger and better."

Last month Mrs. LaRose brokered a deal to purchase and relocate a home for a couple west of Airdrie who had recently won the lottery.

"That's pretty unusual," she says. "But their situation isn't unusual. They're fond of the house and they love its location but now they can afford to replace it with their dream home. We hear that story a lot."

Mrs. LaRose also cites Calgary's rapid expansion as a reason why quality homes often end up unwanted. It's the reason John Bosch and his wife, Shawna, secured a 2,300-square-foot luxury home with three-car garage, including delivery, for just $150,000.

Including the garage, the property totalled 3,500 square feet, was moved 300 kilometres and had to be relocated in two pieces.

It was one of Wade's toughest relocations to date.

"It was originally on an acreage in northwest Calgary. It had been someone's dream home when it was built back in 1997," said Mr.

Bosch. "By 2011, a whole subdivision had grown up around it and I think it just wasn't the owners' dream home any more."

Mr. Bosch said finding the house was simply "a fluke."

"We have an acreage on a coulee just outside of Lethbridge and we'd planned to build on it. We stopped by Wade's one day out of curiosity. The following Saturday we went up to see the house and bought it right there and then."

Mr. Bosch said pouring foundations and setting the house up cost him an additional $100,000 and he "could have built a house for that, but not this house."

Like shopping at a Beverly Hills thrift store, buyers of Calgary's recycled properties often bag state of the art kitchens, designer flooring, high-end finishes and expensive furnaces into the bargain.

"The house came with a quality wooden interior, floor-to-ceiling windows, a curved staircase with inlaid wood, in-floor heating, clay tiles on the roof. We'd never have put those tiles on the roof, we've been told that alone would cost $60,000."

While Mrs. LaRose said they regularly trade these types of luxury homes in the Calgary area, their biggest markets are starter homes and downsizers.

"For downsizers buying a recycled home offers a chance to own a more manageable home without the hassle of moving or building," she explains.

Pamela and Bob Copeland from Claresholm in Southern Alberta agree. They're currently preparing to take delivery of a 1,500-squarefoot home to replace their older 2,000-square-foot home on their acreage. The couple paid just $98,000 for the house, including delivery. They found out about Wade's from the television show Cabin Truckers.

"We wanted something smaller and also more resaleable because we'll probably downsize again at some point down the road," said Mrs. Copeland. "We've offered our old home to a neighbour but, if they don't take it, we'll probably demolish it. It's a 1910 Eaton's Catalogue Home so it's pretty old."

Their new home is being moved from Cochrane, more than 200 kilometres away, where it's currently owned by Dave and Deanna Helms. The Helmses are upsizing and replacing their 1,500-square-foot home with a 1,900-square-foot home being moved from Calgary.

"It's a pretty nice deal for us," said Mr. Helms who owns a construction company. "The new place cost us $155,000 and we got $60,000 for our old place so it's $95,000 for an upgrade. It's a beautiful house and the perfect size for our site. Most people would love to own it, it's been recently renovated but the owners are building something bigger.

It's a good deal for them, too, they save $30,000 on demolition fees and get something for their old home."

The Helmses originally had no intention of swapping houses, they simply planned to add a basement to their home. But when they looked into it, it made a lot of sense.

"We were going to dig a basement anyway. The house we've bought is perfect. I work in construction so when you see something that needs no work, you take it."

Meanwhile, as both the Helmses and the Copelands prepare their sites for the arrival of their new homes, Mrs. LaRose is busy coordinating the logistics of moving their properties along the recycling chain.

"These moves should be pretty straightforward," she said, "but sometimes I'll buy something and Wade will come along and say, 'how the heck are we going to get this out of here?'" she said laughing.

Mrs. LaRose said the economic downturn in Alberta has "probably reduced sales by about 30 per cent last year, but things are already picking up."

"We usually have an offer on a house within a couple of days and the sale is finalized within a week.

This weekend I showed four homes and sold four homes.

That's pretty normal for us. As well as regular buyers, we work with about a dozen professional house flippers and landlords who buy maybe four or five houses a year."

Mrs. LaRose said house recycling can also provide an effective solution amidst disasters such as flooding or wildfires, but she remains frustrated at the red tape that often surrounds crisis situations.

"When the flood destroyed all the homes in 2013, we thought we could help salvage some of them because for many it was only the basements that were damaged. In the end we only saved a dozen or so of the hundreds that were salvageable. That's pretty frustrating and such a waste."

Mrs. LaRose said Wade's would like to be able to provide houses for those who lost their homes in the Fort McMurray fire in May but whether or not that will be possible remains to be seen.

Associated Graphic

Top: John and Shawna Bosch's 2,300-square-foot luxury home with three-car garage on its new foundations in Lethbridge.

Bottom: The property was relocated from Calgary in two pieces and was purchased for $150,000, including delivery.


Clean tech strikes chord with CEO
Leah Lawrence CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B2

CALGARY -- Leah Lawrence is touring a shop in Calgary that sells limited-edition guitars, many of them handcrafted in Canada.

For even a recreational player such as Ms. Lawrence - chief executive officer of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the federal Crown corporation that funds promising environmental technology - it's easy to be drawn in by the craftsmanship and artistic details of the instruments. She has agreed to meet at Kickaxe Guitars, rather than the more conventional restaurant setting for this feature.

She asks Jay Kee, Kickaxe's proprietor, to explain the finer points of a Quebec-made acoustic-electric hybrid model. He walks her through the technology that ensures the neck stays straight and the electronics are neatly hidden inside the body. She plays a few chords on another, a straight acoustic one. It sounds bright.

When not at work in Ottawa, leading an agency now in the spotlight following the country's climate-change commitment in Paris, Ms. Lawrence finds respite playing classic rock tunes on her own electric guitar. Lately, she's been working on a number by Poison, the 1980s-era hair metal band. Connections between SDTC's quest for clean-tech breakthroughs and musical-instrument innovations are closer than you might imagine, she says.

"I think it's the beauty of the idea. We just learned all about Canadian technologies in the guitar.

How they're leading in different ways globally," she says as she strums. "There's an appreciation of how it comes together and delivers magic."

An industrial engineer and economist by training, Ms. Lawrence has been at the helm of SDTC for a little more than a year.

Its mission is to seek out earlystage technology in energy, water treatment, carbon reduction and other fields, then put a portion of the funding in place behind the developers so they can commercialize their ideas. Over the past 15 years, SDTC has funded about a third of the clean technology developed in Canada. That's about $1-billion directed to 320 projects.

Now, though, the push to incubate a few Canadian clean-tech versions of Tesla Motors or Apple Inc. has been amplified.

Since Ms. Lawrence took over as CEO in mid-2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals have come to power, promising a new era when it comes to the environment. Mr. Trudeau has pledged to make Canada a leader in the fight against climate change, partly by harnessing the country's brain power. It came into sharp focus following the United Nations' COP21 climate-change summit in Paris last year, where Canada committed to an ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030. He pledged to work closely with the provinces to do it.

In a subsequent meeting with Canada's premiers, Ottawa set up working groups, including one that focused on innovation, jobs and clean technology in which SDTC is a participant. It had already worked closely with Alberta's Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp. to co-ordinate efforts to cut greenhouse gases in the oil sands and other energy developments. Under Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, the province is also aiming for environmental breakthroughs as her New Democratic Party government proceeds with its emission-reduction policies, which include a cap on greenhouse gases from the oil sands.

Now, expectations are high for breakthroughs and commercial routes to get them to market.

Some companies in the SDTC stable are poised to get there, Ms. Lawrence says.

"We have a significant critical mass of companies that might be on the verge [of commercial success]," she says. "So what the new policies and the federal government and provincial governments are focusing on is how to accelerate the scale-up of those ideas, those technologies."

The agency is now backing 120 companies, including some that are employing information technology, such as net metering - systems that allow customers to sell surplus renewable energy back to a utility - and smart-grid inventions. Many of those are located in the Ottawa-TorontoWaterloo, Ont., high-tech triangle.

They include Solantro Semiconductor Corp., which makes power-processing chip sets for the solar industry, and Morgan Solar Inc., which has developed highly efficient photovoltaic panels. The latter recently garnered $10-million in private equity funding from ArcTern Ventures.

Ms. Lawrence refers to such players as racehorses. There are also warhorses - innovations aimed at improving the performance of traditional energy industries in Alberta, B.C. and elsewhere. They include Pure Technologies Ltd., which develops high-tech leak-detection devices for utilities, and oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp., developer of a field upgrading plant designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent compared with conventional bitumen processing. The idea behind these is to move traditional sectors into a new, low-carbon era.

When SDTC uncovers a promising innovation, it typically funds a third of the development costs, with provincial sources and venture capitalists providing the remainder. In fact, Ms. Lawrence says the corporation's involvement has now become a seal of approval for other financiers to get involved.

"Our money usually helps what would otherwise be a challenged investment - from a rate-ofreturn perspective in the private sector - meet the hurdle."

The Alberta-born, Saskatchewan-raised executive is no newcomer to the nexus between environment and business, having first worked in solar generation for remote oil and gas sites.

She did her master's thesis studying stock-market returns for companies that made environmental investments. In Calgary in the 1990s, the era of the Kyoto Protocol, she made some of the country's first emissions trades. It was a heady time, but it took years for real action dealing with climate change to translate into major business opportunities.

"I had the privilege of working with a lot of companies across the country and consortia to think about what that would look like in the absence of policy and regulation, so it was a very creative time," she says. "The evolution of public policy just took a little longer than we expected back then."

Besides music, Ms. Lawrence has an affinity for motorcycles.

She and her partner, Chris Biegler, take long trips on their BMW bikes, a hobby they picked up when they lived in Calgary. She was recently preparing to motor down to a gathering of enthusiasts in the Adirondacks in New York State.

Motorcycling and music force her to take her mind off the future - her usual stock-in-trade - to concentrate, however briefly, on the moment, which is important, she says.

"Guitar, for me, is really an escape. I usually don't play for anybody else unless somebody's little girls beg me, which they occasionally do. It's about being able to separate from the challenges of the day to day," she says.

"When you come back, your mind's refreshed and you can see things in a different way."

Seeing things from a fresh perspective will be a necessity as Canada's clean tech sector prepares for performance on the climate-change front.


Age: 47

Place of birth: Edmonton, moved to Regina at age 7

Education: Master of economics, University of Calgary; bachelor of applied science in industrial engineering, University of Regina

Family: Chris Biegler, common-law spouse; together 24 years

Guitar: Fender Stratocaster electric

Favourite music: "Rock of my vintage." AC/DC tops her list of favourite bands.

Drives: BMW 700 GS motorcycle

Reading: Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry, by Jacquie McNish and Globe and Mail reporter Sean Silcoff.

(Jim Balsillie, former co-chief executive officer of BlackBerry's predecessor company, Research In Motion, is SDTC's chairman.)

"Mostly, this book is just a great read. It is important because it shows that starting and building, not just a Canadian, but a globally successful business isn't about charts, graphs and MBAs, but about combined genius and chutzpah and a willingness to go into the corners with your head up and elbows out. And that even the disruptors can be disrupted."

Best advice received: "'Don't confuse activity with achievement.' I later learned this was first said by UCLA basketball coach John Wooden."

Associated Graphic


Western promise
How designer Paul Hardy maintains his creative mojo from his Calgary base
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L1

In fashion's ever-changing landscape, designers must be prepared to think outside the box. Twelve years after his first foray onto the runway at Toronto Fashion Week, Paul Hardy has managed to navigate the industry by staying true to his inner artist, despite an onslaught of professional challenges over the years. Catering to a mix of local devotees and a burgeoning international clientele, the Winnipegborn designer sells primarily from his studio showroom in a converted foundry in Calgary's East Village.

Last year, Hardy was named artistin-residence at Calgary's Glenbow Museum and conceived an exhibit entitled Kaleidoscopic Animalia - the show is about man's relationship with animals, and is rife with exotic artifacts and avant-garde fashion.

I spoke with Paul Hardy at his studio to learn more about his work with the Glenbow, his creative drive and what keeps him in Calgary.

Do you agree that being a fashion designer today is about more that just being involved in the sartorial end of things?

I think so. Fashion's a bit like music or film. It's a governing arena in our social culture, and everybody gets up in the morning and gets dressed. Whether or not they're good at it is a different story.

But it does have an impact regardless of where you live in the world. So I've always viewed fashion as a significant platform to generate awareness about other things - causes, different arts, etc.

You've proven yourself to be a survivor in the fashion industry; would you describe yourself first and foremost as an artist?

I like creative challenges and being able to diversify my creative interests. That keeps things fresh and inspired, and it inspires my primary business of fashion.

But designing all the costumes for Sarah McLachlan's ballet and working with the museum was a real joy. I also curated the merchandise of the Calgary Stampede, and we rebranded their image to be more of a hip, urban western mercantile. When I got into doing interiors around the stock market crash of 2008, I thought it would be important to diversify my interests, so this is where I started developing different opportunities with interiors and consulting creatively on different projects. It helps underwrite my operational expenses.

You travel the globe extensively but you always come back home to Calgary. Why is that?

I have this motto of not existing at the mercy of your circumstances and so I never wanted my career to determine the existence of my personal life. I've always valued being in Calgary. The people are really lovely, the quality of life is really great. It almost acts as a bit of a refuge in a way, because when you're in these more cosmopolitan places like Paris or New York or Toronto or Los Angeles, it's a bit of a rat race. I feel like I get the best of both worlds because I'm able to have this very grounded existence here but then I get to travel five months out of the year and be a part of things. And I realize that may have inhibited the growth of my company, but to me life is really about relationships. I thought I could go to New York or Paris and try to build up this big fashion house, but there's a lot of ego in that and eventually it all burns away. I thought it was profound what [Canadian designer] Jeremy Laing did [when he shut down his business].

I could totally empathize with what he was feeling. This really is a very strange business, isn't it?

How do you keep going back to that creative well and drawing from it so successfully? There must have been some days over the past decade when you just wanted out.

There are periods where I feel frustrated but I think that's common with anybody who's an artist. They often feel like they're underrated and wonder what are they doing it for. But ultimately you have to do it for the love of the craft because if it's for anything other than that, it starts to affect your state of mind. I speak with a lot of fashion students and many of them are jaded because they have a glamorized impression of the business. But it's hard work, and it's not glamorous for the most part. A lot of it is very much smoke and mirrors. Perhaps being based in Calgary has allowed me to remove myself from it.

I'm able to see the landscape from a much different perspective, which I hope gives me a healthier attitude towards it all.

Well, you've always had a unique point of view. Your brand is not only about a lifestyle, but about a raising of consciousness.

It's funny because Women's Wear Daily wrote me up one time saying that I was a fashion nomad because I would fly in, show a collection in New York and then disappear for five months and nobody would know where I was. I guess in some regard, I do march to my own drum. I've taken very unconventional approaches on how I retail. But I realize no one else is responsible for paying my bills except for me and press certainly doesn't pay the bills.

I'll never forget the picture you painted in the early days of your career, of working away at your kitchen table all night, finishing collections at the 11th hour.

You were operating as a true artist. So how fitting that you would be the artistin-residence of the Glenbow.

I was very flattered and a bit humbled that they had even asked me because there seems to be this continuous debate of whether or not fashion designers are actually artists or not. But I think that they were aware that fashion does have a significant role in society and I think the people at the Glenbow would even say that the public perception of the museum in Alberta was antiquated. They've really been trying to change the public's perspective with new, compelling collections. So they started this residency program a few years ago. Essentially, you get to research whatever you want, and they give you a team of people to help, so you really feel like you're working in a collaborative way.

I have always been very fascinated by taxidermy and man's relationship with animals. So I proposed that we examine man's relationship with animals and design, and how that relationship has influenced fashion, art, pop culture, interiors and lifestyle. I used to do window displays in university, so I curated the exhibition to look like store windows at Bergdorf Goodman. I felt like that would have a commercial appeal. When you walk through the gallery, you feel like you're window shopping but it's all original artifacts.

The subject matter you're focusing on is universal.

Man's relationship with animals is a common thread through every culture and it transcends every social hierarchy, whether you're in a tribe wearing skins, or fur on royal robes. It also is something that has permeated our culture on a daily basis and in a way we don't even recognize. In primitive times, tribes would kill an animal and eat the heart of the animal thinking they were taking on the attributes of that animal. I think in a contemporary way, it's like a woman buying a pair of leopard-print shoes and the psychology that's connected to that, or how she feels when she's wearing a leopard-print bra. It's a similar state of mind. So there's an aesthetic component to the whole thing but there's also a kind of psychological and spiritual thing.

Kaleidoscopic Animalia runs at the Glenbow Museum until Sept. 5, 2016. For more information, visit

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

ANIMAL INSTINCTS Calgary-based designer Paul Hardy poses at the Glenbow Museum's Kaleidoscopic Animalia exhibition, which he curated.


As professional players don throwback looks on the courts, retro tennis style is making its way to stores for mainstream consumers. Deirdre Kelly serves up a look at the rise of designer athleisure wear
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L8

Known for her flam boyant style as much as for her powerful serve - remember the leopard-print tennis dress she rocked two seasons ago at the U.S. Open? - Serena Williams once again made a fashion statement when she played Wimbledon earlier this month, even while conforming to the tournament's code that players dress in white.

The tight-fitting short dress that sponsor Nike had given Williams to wear for her matches at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club semi-fi nals game against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova turned heads, and not only because it revealed more of the athlete's body than some viewers might have thought appropriate. Just as noteworthy was the outfit's retro styling, consisting of a sleeveless bodice with a high neck and a short, flared skirt with kick pleats.

As a look, it was a grand slam, confi rming that Williams, the world No. 1 and a two-time Vogue cover model who designs her own clothing line when not on the courts, has a tight grasp of what's in fashion.

Retro tennis style is dominating fashion's centre court right now, scoring points with consumers for whom Stan Smith sneakers, Chris Evert frilly knickers and John McEnroe shorty-shorts are the latest manifestation of sport's wear as fashion trend. "The modern focus of tennis fashion is performance, but it's current street wear incarnation is an affi rmation that vintage sport style is currently cool," observes Shawna Whish, branding specialist for Sporting Life, a sports-wear retailer headquartered in Toronto with locations across Ontario.

Classics are the name of the game, and legacy brands such as Lacoste, Fila and Sergio Tacchini are volleying looks from their storied past - doubled up with the latest in moisturewicking fabrics - to take the advantage. Newer, more fashionfocused brands are picking up on the retro tennis trend, transitioning it to the street. Stella McCartney's spring/summer 2016 collection includes retroinspired polo shirts paired with long gingham skirts. At Kenzo, vintage-inspired tracksuits and slouchy drawstring pants are part of the sporty influence dominating the label's current men's-wear collection.

In Canada, the Montrealbased Rudsak label and John + Jenn from Toronto have both taken retro tennis style and converted it into street wear for youthful consumers. Rudsak's line of colourful transparent plastic visors represent a revamped version of an accessory that came of age in the 1970s.

The slim-cut zip-front tennis dress at John + Jenn goes farther back in time to channel the mod sensibility of the early 1960s.

When fashion designer Phoebe Philo at Céline wore a pair of Adidas Stan Smith sneakers at the conclusion of her 2011 runway presentation in Paris, she turned the retro tennis shoe into a chic object as coveted as a pair of Christian Louboutins.

The white sneaker is white hot, worn by such contemporary style icons as Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner. Sales of the style are up 40 per cent this year, reports Ron White, owner of the Ron White chain of shoe stores in Canada and the U.S.

"Retro tennis style has been making a comeback and the simple fact is that the fashion world has become obsessed with the functionality and comfort factor of athletic performance apparel," observes longtime fashion director Barbara Atkin. "The vintage tennis aesthetic is the present focus today because, in a time of too much choice and too many fashion options, retro tennis offers simple lines, a clean palette and a sense of timelessness.

Retro tennis has always been a symbol of the stylish life."

As far as laying claim to authenticity, few brands do this better than Lacoste, the fashion sports-wear company named for early 20th-century French tennis great René Lacoste. The company has been making sports wear, embossed with the imprimatur of a crocodile, Lacoste's nickname, since 1933.

Recently, Lacoste has sought to update its image, presenting a colourful street-wear collection at the recent edition of New York Fashion Week, for instance, without losing sight of its heritage. At the French Open this year, Lacoste presented its 2016 Roland Garros capsule collection of sports-wear pieces plumbed from the company's archives. Among the garments presented at a courtside fashion show in May were piqué cotton polo shirts and dresses, in addition to white shorts and jackets embossed with the lean long lines of the modernist era.

"For Lacoste, retro is more than just a trend, it is the core of our timeless collections," says Lacoste Canada chief executive officer Nicolas Raybaud.

"We have been at the forefront of this style, designing classic pieces inspired by sport, for years. People are starting to take notice of us again with the rise in popularity of athleisure wear and retro inspired designs.

We have never stopped taking inspiration from our past, even as we create clothes that fit perfectly with 2016."

Just last month, in the weeks leading up to Wimbledon, street-savvy Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy presented his latest men's-wear collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy.

It included a collaboration with Fila, the Italian sports-wear company that famously dressed tennis legend Bjorn Borg during his heyday in the 1970s. "There is a consumer demand for retroinspired styles on and off the court, and designing both our tennis and lifestyle collections, we tap into our vast archives for inspiration, to recreate legendary looks from Fila's history in sporting style," says Danny Lieberman, senior vice-president of apparel at Fila North America. "We take elements like the brand's signature red, peacoat and white hues, iconic logo and classic silhouettes, while adding a modern spin as we introduce these designs to a new generation."

Fila's comeback is also linked to a new partnership with Urban Outfitters, the U.S.-based retailer that has lent mass-market fashion an air of indie chic. The brand has also recently forged a relationship with Tennis Canada, in time for the Rogers Cup tournaments taking place in Toronto and Montreal this month.

"Fila is such an iconic brand in sports wear and it's known for its retro flair and unique style," says Rob Swann, Tennis Canada's vice-president and chief commercial officer. "So many incredible and historic moments on the tennis courts have been achieved in Fila clothing through the years, and we at Tennis Canada are happy to be part of their family."

The renewed focus on Fila is having a spillover on pop culture. Hipsters have rediscovered Borg, the Filawearing tennis player with a style like no other. The Swedish sensation had a mane of dirty blond hair held in place by a striped headband, broad shoulders warmed by a colour-blocked, zip-up tracksuit jacket and a muscular neck adorned with pukka beads peeking out from behind the opened snaps of his snug-fitting cap-sleeve Fila polo shirt. It's a look that has launched a million imitations and tributes including Richie, the tennis prodigy played by Luke Wilson in Wes Anderson's 2001 fi lm, The Royal Tenenbaums.

Borg might have retired from tennis 35 years ago, while at the top of his game, but his influence as a trendsetter hasn't abated. "Before Borg, tennis players were perceived as athletes. After Borg, they became global celebrities exercising a huge influence over fashion and style," says Rogers Cup tournament director Karl Hale. He cites Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's new above-the-knee ensemble as evidence that retro style is back, and raising more than just hemlines. "It's the McEnroe and Borg effect. Both players were known for wearing short shorts in the 1970s. McEnroe wore Tacchini and Borg wore Fila. After them, shorts for men fell right down to the knee. But with retro style making a comeback, they are climbing back up again."

Associated Graphic

HOLDING COURT Serena Williams (above) wears retro-inspired Nike during the quarter-final match at this year's Wimbledon tournament. In its spring/ summer 2016 campaign (below), Lacoste also channels a vintage look.


Colossus and cars
Mitsubishi Mirage or Nissan Micra: which tiny car is better suited for our giant suitor? It's a tall order to fill
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page D1

VANCOUVER -- Do you find something comical about my friend Dan's appearance when he is driving his automobile? Everyone needs to drive a vehicle, even the extremely tall. This was the largest auto that he could afford. Should he therefore be made the subject of fun?

Well ... yes, actually. This is a 6-foot-8 man in a Nissan Micra. In the immortal words of The Simpsons' Nelson Muntz, "Ha-ha!"

Daniel Cudmore is an actor, stuntman and allaround good sport. The younger (and taller) brother of Rugby Canada team captain Jamie Cudmore, he's perhaps best-known for his role as Colossus, the metal-skinned giant from the X-Men movies. He's also a consummate car guy, with a past roster that includes a 5.0-litre Fox-body Mustang, STI hatchback and an Audi RS4. And the Micra's not actually his - he drives an SQ5, which is a surprisingly good fit.

Lured by the promise of low horsepower and teeny-tiny wheelbases, Cudmore has agreed to help with an evaluation of two of Canada's smallest and cheapest cars. Next to his lofty stature, the Nissan Micra and Mitsubishi Mirage look like they came out of a gumball machine. Will he fit? Lunch-lady Doris - have ye got any grease?

In many ways, engineering an inexpensive econo-box is more challenging than cranking out a supercar. The latter can afford to fit only a small crosssection of the population, as volumes will be low and profits high. If you've ever been lucky enough to sit in something like a Countach, you'll note that driver comfort can occasionally take a back seat to styling and performance.

However, selling a low-margin compact car is a numbers game.

These machines need to fit everyone, not just those of average height. The Micra and the Mirage must suit both Rocky and Bullwinkle, and they must do so with a tiny research and development budget. It's not an easy brief for the designers and the engineers, but a few rise to the challenge.

First up, the Micra. The 99-cent hamburger of the automotive scene, the Micra represents entry-level mobility for Canadians from an advertised $9,998.

Like most deals, that price is a little too good to be true: add in freight and a few common options like an automatic transmission and air-conditioning, and the cost is more like $15,000.

This particular tester, an SR fitted with everything from USB jack to backup camera, pegs the register at $18,723.

However, both Nissan and Mitsubishi offer aggressive lending rates. At time of writing, both companies will let you finance or lease your new runabout at rates less than 2 per cent for up to 60 and 84 months. The resultant monthly payments are lower than many cellphone bills.

Cudmore crams himself into the driver's seat of the Micra, and is surprised to find he actually has half-decent head room. His legs are bent enough that he can almost adjust the volume knob with his knee, but it's not too bad.

"The smell reminds me of rental cars we used to get on holiday in the U.K.," he says.

Next, I set the seat for my 5-foot-11 height and Cudmore tries to cram himself in the rear seats. "Oof," he says. "Well, I sort of fit."

It's time for a drive.

"The SUV feeling is hilarious," he says from behind the wheel.

"Look how tall this thing is. And I guess it drives pretty okay.

There's just the slightest, tiniest bit of sportiness here."

He walks on the throttle and the Micra unleashes its 109-horsepower, 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine against the four-speed automatic transmission. "What a hot rod!" Cudmore laughs, "But for a city runabout, it'd do just fine. On the highway, it'd be a little too small, but I could deal with this as a rental car."

We chat about space in bigger cars. "The Range Rover Sport was surprisingly cramped," Cudmore says. "I had a Defender 90 before, and wanted to get into a Land Rover product again - didn't fit.

The Tacoma doesn't work either: The roofline is so low I can't see the traffic lights. Sunroofs can be a problem as well. It depends whether you're long-legged or long in the torso."

Next up, Mitsubishi's Mirage.

This version is the new G4 sedan, which boasts a bigger trunk than the Micra, albeit at the expense of a lack of folding seats. From the outside, there's a lot of chrome going on here, up to and including superfluous fender vents.

Cudmore isn't initially impressed. "It sort of looks like it could drive off in either direction," he says. "The front is basically the same as the back."

The fit up front is also a problem. "Well that's worse," he says.

We reset the driver's seat and he tries the rear. "A little bit more legroom," he reports. "I guess I could make it work."

On the road, the Mirage's meagre 78-horsepower, 1.2-litre three-cylinder and continuously variable transmission do little to titillate Cudmore. "Oh man," he says, as the thrashy little three groans under acceleration, "That's not good."

"With the Micra," he adds, "There was just that little bit more connection to the road going on. This is just numb."

Both these cars are at the entrylevel end of the scale, but where the Micra only feels inexpensive, the Mirage is downright cheap.

It's the little things: the exposed microphone wire on the steering wheel for the Bluetooth handsfree, the 1990s-style cylinder lock on the door. The Mirage comes with chrome trimmings, alloy wheels, and an easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment to distract you from the cost-cutting elsewhere, but its penalty box roots are showing. As-equipped, it's $19,748.

"The Micra wins it," Cudmore says. "It's small, but it would work just fine as a city car. I'd rather drive the Nissan - I guess I would be okay with riding in the back of the Mitsubishi for a short trip."

I agree. Next to the slightly roly-poly Mirage, the Micra is a hoot. There's a fair amount of gokart infused into this little Caspian Blue billiard ball, low-tech automatic transmission or not.

No wonder the Micra outsells the similarly-priced Mirage three-toone.

However, by the end of the week, I'm prepared to offer an olive branch to Mitsubishi. The Mirage has been roundly drubbed by critics for its meagre power and sluggish driving dynamics. But when topping both up at the pump after pure stop-and-go driving, the Mirage is clearly the fuel economy champion.

Over a few days of pure city driving, the Micra hit 9.2 litres/100 km, slightly above its official rating of 8.8. The Mirage managed 7.1 litres/100 km, not far off its official stated 6.9. Get both cars out at highway speeds and the Micra's useful hatchback becomes an aerodynamic liability, widening the gap even further.

Still, even factoring in the Mirage's economy advantage and strong warranty, the Nissan remains atop the podium. The Micra's cute, its interior design is well thought-out, and you can easily fold down the rear seats for a shopping run to Ikea. It is a perfectly acceptable conveyance, should you happen to be a friendly giant - no laughing, please.

Associated Graphic

Actor and big car buff Daniel Cudmore played Colossus in the X-Men film franchise. Can the 6-foot-8 man fit into a Mitsubishi Mirage or a Nissan Micra?


Daniel Cudmore tries out the front and back seats of both the Nissan Micra, top, and the Mitsubishi Mirage.


Growing tech woes hinder Statscan's ability to meet mandate, chief says
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A1

OTTAWA -- Statistics Canada's technological troubles have become so acute that its chief statistician says they are hampering the agency's ability to carry out its mandate - and he places the blame squarely on one source: Shared Services Canada, the department now running the agency's informatics infrastructure.

Statscan's website has for months been beset by crashes, delays and outages, most notably on July 8, when its main website was down for more than seven hours on the day of the release of the labour force survey.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail at his Ottawa office, chief statistician Wayne Smith said that that outage - along with a long list of other information technology troubles - relates to problems with Shared Services.

"It's had a significant impact on our operations," Mr. Smith said. "Our service to the public has suffered, clearly, in ways that we would rather not have happened. Some of our relationships have suffered. ... There's a frustration among our clients."

Canada's statistical agency is tasked with producing quality data and analysis about the country on everything from oil exports to jobless rates, food prices and health outcomes.

That mandate, Mr. Smith said, is at risk as tech glitches - stemming partly from a lack of maintenance at its data centre - have caused delayed releases, lost time in conducting quality assurance and higher costs.

If the situation continues, he warned, data quality could be hurt and, if the agency incurs additional costs to boost muchneeded capacity at the data centre, it could result in cuts to surveys and programs.

Mr. Smith said the frequency of incidents is growing. On July 8, the agency's main website was down for 7 hours 50 minutes when a power transfer switch failed.

"The issue on July 8 was a pure informatics infrastructure issue, entirely under the responsibility of Shared Services," he said.

The monthly jobs release is one of Canada's most important economic indicators, influencing public policy as well as financial markets to the tune of millions of dollars. In a throwback to the 1990s, the agency wound up faxing the jobs report to users of the data.

In an e-mailed statement to The Globe and Mail, Shared Services said it has increased its focus on service management and improving its capability to resolve "critical system failures."

The department said it has a "close working relationship" with Statistics Canada. Regarding the July 8 problems, it said a proposed move to new enterprise data centres "will eliminate this type of incident."

Shared Services Canada was created five years ago in an initiative under the previous government meant to save money and boost efficiency by centralizing IT services.

Since then, it has faced criticism, notably from the AuditorGeneral, who said this year that the department has failed to show if it is saving the federal government money or improving services.

Statscan says it has transferred about $39-million a year to Shared Services over the past five years, plus an additional $27.2-million from its census budget. But Mr. Smith said it is not clear what Statscan is getting in return.

"That system right at the moment is broken. The governance isn't there, there's no clear articulation of what responsibilities or what services Shared Services is to provide to Statistics Canada. ... It's eroding our ability to operate effectively."

An inability to resolve its tech problems or make decisions on its needs is affecting the independence of the agency and "has consequences, in terms of our ability to deliver on our mandate to to Canadians.

And that's an unusual situation for a national statistical office to find itself in," Mr. Smith said.

Canada is the only developed country that Mr. Smith is aware of that does not have control over decisions on its information infrastructure.

And the problems come just as demand for data to make evidence-based decisions is growing from all levels of government.

More frequent breakages, problems with its website and aging infrastructure that has not been maintained or given extra capacity for bigger data files all mean that "we're concerned about our ability to operate into the future," Mr. Smith said.

It is not just the chief statistician who is frustrated. Internal memos released under an Access to Information request show a litany of concerns over the impact of the transfer of IT to Shared Services.

The memos, sent by more than a dozen Statscan directorsgeneral to Mr. Smith in January, cite a barrage of problems, including delays, security risks, a lack of transparency in costing and unpaid phone bills. They cite an inability to innovate, a drain on productivity and a lack of oversight and accountability from Shared Services.

They also detail stresses on staff, including increased overtime, workarounds, confusion, irritants and a heightened administrative burden - along with reduced time for analysis of data and impacts on census staff.

One memo from Daniela Ravindra, director-general of industry statistics, said there is a "very real risk" that this year the agency will hit a bottleneck in processing capacity, which will force the delay of "mission critical" releases. "Having to delay their release would be unprecedented and will impact the ability of key users, (e.g. Bank of Canada, Department of Finance, commercial banks, etc.) of making timely decisions, translating into considerable embarrassment to the government of Canada."

Another note, from Lise Duquet, director-general of the informatics branch, said 68 per cent of the agency's "critical and high" IT incidents over a ninemonth period "are directly related to Shared Services."

The documents show that Mr. Smith wrote to the president of Shared Services, Ron Parker, on Jan. 6, under the subject line Heightened Program Risks at Statistics Canada: Update, expressing concern over delays in the dissemination of major economic indicators including the labour force survey, the consumer price index and quarterly gross domestic product numbers.

Delays and outages in dissemination "have now become regular occurrences, and other infrastructure issues are affecting production," it said.

He said he would notify Deputy Finance Minister Paul Rochon and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz. And he warned that the agency will prioritize "maintaining the quality of the data it releases and therefore may, in future, postpone release of key economic indicators" if disruptions cause a risk to quality.

A Jan. 27 e-mail to Mr. Parker said the agency's dissemination system "remains vulnerable and as of late, unpredictable and unstable," noting that delays of even seconds in key economic releases can have a "significant impact" for financial markets.

As the current infrastructure has not been adequately maintained, he said, the production and release of key information such as inflation and unemployment "are unnecessarily being put at risk."

On Feb. 24, Mr. Smith wrote to Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick. This note, under the subject line, Heightened Program Risks at Statistics Canada: Update 2, was redacted.

Statscan aims to post its major economic reports on its website at the same time that wire services in a lockup release their stories, all within three seconds of 8:30 a.m. EST. The goal is that everyone has access to the data at the same time. Web server problems have meant that some releases have seen delays of longer than that - up to 15 seconds.

And the data tables - called CANSIM - have crashed, depriving people of conducting detailed data analysis on the day of releases.

One economist at a major bank called the frequent glitches "annoying." Mike Moffatt, assistant professor of economics at the University of Western Ontario, said there have been times he has given up on trying to write a same-day analysis piece, "simply because of site errors on days data was released."

Associated Graphic

Statscan's website is shown on Monday. On July 8, it was down for nearly eight hours. The chief statistician blames the outage, and others, on Shared Services Canada, the agency that handles its IT.

Russian track athletes disappointed, angry with ban
The Associated Press
Friday, July 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S4

LONDON -- Now that Russian track and field athletes have failed in their effort to have their Olympic ban overturned, it's up to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to decide whether to kick the entire Russian team out of the Games that begin in Rio de Janeiro in 15 days.

In another blow to the image of the sports superpower, the highest court in sports on Thursday dismissed an appeal by 68 Russian track athletes of the ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following allegations of systematic and state-sponsored doping.

Sports officials in Moscow condemned the ruling as "political," and said some athletes might take their case to civil courts.

Two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva said the Rio Games will be devalued, with only "pseudo-gold medals" available.

In its ruling, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found that track and field's world governing body, the IAAF, had properly applied its own rules in keeping the Russians out of the Games that begin Aug. 5.

The three-person panel ruled that the Russian Olympic Committee "is not entitled to nominate Russian track and field athletes to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games considering that they are not eligible to participate under the IAAF competition rules."

The Russians had argued against a collective ban, saying it punishes those athletes who have not been accused of wrongdoing.

The IAAF praised the decision, saying: "Today's judgment has created a level playing field for athletes."

IAAF president Sebastian Coe, who has declared the ban is crucial to protecting the integrity of the competition, said it was "not a day for triumphant statements."

"I didn't come into this sport to stop athletes from competing," he said. "It is our federation's instinctive desire to include, not exclude."

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko suggested Russia could take the case to a civil court. CAS general secretary Matthieu Reeb said the Russians have the right to appeal to the Swiss federal tribunal within 30 days, but only on "procedural grounds," not the merits of the decision. Olympic bodies and athletes sign up to CAS jurisdiction, and its rulings have very rarely been overturned.

Reeb said the ruling is not binding on the IOC, which has the final say as the supreme organizer of the Games. However, the IOC last month accepted the IAAF decision to maintain its ban on the Russian athletes.

"The door is open for the IOC to decide, to determine even on a case-by-case principle whether these athletes are eligible or not," Reeb told reporters outside the court headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

While the ruling clears the way for other individual sports federations to apply similar bans on Russians, it also increases pressure on the IOC to take the unprecedented step of excluding the whole Russian team. The IOC has never banned an entire country from the Games for doping, and the last time Russia missed the Olympics was in 1984, when the Soviet Union boycotted the Los Angeles Games.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), along with many national anti-doping bodies and athletes groups, have called on the IOC to impose a total ban on Russia following fresh allegations of state-orchestrated cheating across dozens of Olympic sports.

Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, who was commissioned by WADA, issued a scathing report Monday that accused Russia's Sports Ministry of orchestrating a doping system that affected 28 summer and winter Olympic sports. Officers of Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, were also involved in the cheating, which included swapping of doping samples at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, McLaren found.

On Tuesday, the IOC executive board said it would "explore the legal options" for a possible total ban on Russia but would wait until after the CAS ruling before making a final decision.

The IOC executive board is scheduled to hold another emergency meeting Sunday via teleconference to consider the issue.

In a statement Thursday, the IOC said it "takes note" of the CAS ruling upholding the track and field ban.

"We will now have to study and analyze the full decision," the IOC said. "The IOC decision on the participation of the Russian athletes will be taken in the coming days."

Former WADA president Dick Pound, an IOC member from Canada, accused the IOC of dithering and said the committee does not show the appetite to apply a total ban.

"You've got the power to simply withdraw the invitation and say, 'Sorry, your country has not demonstrated any understanding or respect of rules for clean competition. You're not welcome,' " Pound said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Pound, who authored a WADA report last year that detailed cheating in Russia and led to the IAAF ban, criticized the IOC for suggesting that individual federations could decide whether to exclude Russian athletes in their own sports, rather than imposing a complete ban itself.

"Why is the IOC not acting in the face of incontrovertible evidence of government interference?" he said. "What else do you need?" A group of 14 national anti-doping agencies sent a letter to IOC president Thomas Bach urging a complete ban "to uphold the Olympic Charter and the integrity of the Rio Olympic Games."

Among the countries represented in the letter were the United States, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Austria.

Germany's Olympic committee president Alfons Hoermann said the CAS verdict was a "clear signal to the IOC."

"Where we have systematic cheating, we also must have systematic punishment," he said.

As it stands, the IAAF has approved just two Russians to compete, as "neutral athletes," after they showed they had been training and living abroad under a robust drug-testing regime. One is doping whistle-blower and 800metre runner Yulia Stepanova; the other is Florida-based long jumper Darya Klishina.

Mutko said a Russian government committee will be formed to examine the McLaren report.

He added Russian athletes will continue to "defend their honour and dignity" even though any legal proceedings may not be held before the games begin.

Russia cancelled a ceremonial send-off Friday for its Olympic athletes heading to Rio.

Isinbayeva, the pole vault world-record holder who is the face and voice of Russian track and field, told the state news agency Tass that the ruling marked "the funeral" of her sport.

She had been aiming for her fifth Olympics and was a leading voice in calling for the ban to be overturned, even speaking at Tuesday's CAS hearing.

In comments on her Instagram page, Isinbayeva suggested that some of her foreign rivals could be doping and wanted Russia banned to make the competition easier.

"Let all these pseudo-clean foreign athletes breathe a sigh of relief and win their pseudo-gold medals without us," she said.

"They've always been frightened of strength."

Bans for individual dopers are fair, but not the exclusion of a whole team, hurdler Timofey Chaly argued.

"It's dishonest," he said. "There are people who decided for themselves that they can dope and maybe somehow they'd get away with it. That didn't happen and they got bans. That's fair."

Vera Rebrik, who won gold in the javelin for Ukraine at the European Championships before switching her allegiance to Russia after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, was left out by the ruling.

"I don't know whether to laugh or cry. ... I can't find the words," she told Russian state broadcaster Match TV.

Associated Graphic

Russian athletes prepare to compete in the Russian Athletics Cup on Thursday, the same day the country lost its appeal against the Olympic ban on its track and field athletes. The decision to keep the ban could add pressure on the International Olympic Committee to exclude the country entirely from next month's Games in Rio de Janeiro.


Theaster Gates brings his uniquely social art to the AGO
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R1

'Is there a way we can turn up the volume?" Theaster Gates is standing next to Shrine, part of his new installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; a house track by the late Frankie Knuckles pulses out of the speakers. But not loudly enough.

"This is my way of paying tribute to Frankie," Gates explains, "but in a slightly transgressive way, without buttoning it up too much." The Chicagoan is speaking quietly today, adopting the cadence of the professor that he is. But - as the energetic artist and provocateur he also is - he's determined to make this modified DJ booth, built with wood panelling from a demolished church and stocked with vintage audio equipment, fill this quiet gallery with sound.

"House music is about the body," he explains, raising his lean frame up on his toes. "If you're going to achieve ecstasy, you've got to do the work." Striving for ecstasy, working toward freedom, and the question of whose life experience gets preserved and represented: These are central currents of the sprawling, complex show, How to Build a House Museum, which opened this week. Among other things it's a tribute to specific black lives - including Knuckles and the blues icon Muddy Waters - that riffs on the convention of the historic house museum, it's also a critique of that convention and it's a representation of the complex work of building and community development that Gates is doing in Chicago.

As I sit down with Gates in the exhibition's first room, The House of House, there's evidence of that work by our feet: a wire model of a former power station that he is redeveloping. "Art starts in the real world for me," he says, crossing a cuffed black jeanleg and sockless foot over his knee. "Every art idea for me starts with some kind of compassion or curiosity or care."

Gates has risen to international prominence through sculpture and performance work; his broad range is mirrored by an equally changeable persona. In conversation he can be verbally acute, obliquely political theoretician, stern preacher, singer - he has a rich, often plangent singing voice, trained in the church choirs of his childhood - or a consensus-building administrator.

While many observers apply the label of "social practice" to Gates, "I don't really think about my practice in that way," he says. "I'm in the world, and things are happening in the world, and I'm dealing with them. I bring those issues, challenges, problems back to the studio ... there's a wonderful dialogue."

Those "challenges" increasingly involve brick, concrete and construction budgets. Gates studied urban planning, and he has evolved into an unlikely realestate entrepreneur and agent of urban change. A decade ago, while working as an arts programmer at the University of Chicago, he chose to settle on Dorchester Avenue on the city's South Side. With his art career still nascent, he moved into a former candy factory that he'd bought for $130,000 and dubbed it Listening House; a couple of years later he bought the building next door for $16,000 and established it as Archive House.

At first his presence here was symbolic, a sort of "flag-waving," as he puts it, for the neighbourhood and its people. The South Side's working-class neighbourhoods have been gutted by the departure of the steel and meatpacking industries, and remain riven by gang violence.

By now, Gates has established a presence in the neighbourhood not just as an artist and academic, but also a landlord, cultural programmer and entrepreneur who has the ear of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Gates's non-profit, the Rebuild Foundation, now controls six sites; the latest, the Stony Island Arts Bank, celebrated its opening last fall as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Like the others, it houses archives to be preserved and mined by Gates in his art practice and by researchers and neighbours.

"I didn't feel compelled to make an artwork about the bank; the restoration of the bank was the artwork," Gates says. "And now it's a plinth, and new works of art can sit on top of the plinth."

He draws a comparison between himself and other artists who have worked with buildings and space - from the contemporary New York artist/architect Mabel O. Wilson to Donald Judd, and his work in the Texas town of Marfa, and Robert Smithson.

His work in Chicago "is land art!" he says emphatically. "This is about space! And people are a part of that.

"The larger agenda is: What does it mean for an artist to insert him or herself in the politics of space and stay there?" All this forms a necessary and nuanced backdrop to How to Build a House Museum. The AGO's curator of modern and contemporary art, Kitty Scott, who oversaw the show, suggests we view the exhibition "through the lens of transformation."

Toronto "is a city undergoing rapid transformation," she says, "and Theaster offers us a compelling blueprint for how bottom-up development can work and how culture can benefit and be inclusive to all."

The AGO exhibition "plays between this symbolic work and this real work," Gates explains.

The show itself includes bricks made by George Black, a mason and brickmaker in North Carolina; Gates has been consulting with Black's estate, among other institutions and cities.

It also includes, within the House of Negro Progress, reproduced drawings that W.E.B. Du Bois presented at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, depicting the economic and social state of black America. Gates is also showing a series of paintings derived from those diagrams - along with an abstract painting that he made using tar and roofing substrate.

His father, Theaster Gates Sr., was a roofer by trade. This engagement with history, his own autobiography, and the economic and social forces that shape the contemporary city, ground Gates's work. "I hope that means I am making a painting that is not conjured from my imagination; it is conjured from a deep engagement with the real world."

During this fraught moment in American history, Gates says, it's important to understand "the ways in which progress is thwarted by power." Gates is employing a theme that has been integral to African-American art since its beginnings: the drive toward liberation - corporeal, material, political and metaphysical. And the work in the AGO show speaks in several of these registers at the same time. The highlight, for me, is the room that Gates and Scott have dubbed Progress Palace: It is a club, with two sculptural installations and a video installation. In that show, quasi-spiritual singing ("There is a house...") by his musical group the Black Monks of Mississippi fades into film of ordinary people learning to "jack," a dance technique associated with house music. And the beat comes in.

Gates, playing the role of producer, would like you to dance.

"There's still this need for consistent insurrection - like, the need for DJ to save your life, the need for a club to act as an emancipatory place," he says. "Because if you can't get free on that plantation you can, at least temporarily, experience a bit of freedom."

How to Build a House Museum continues at Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario through Oct. 30 (

Follow me on Twitter: @alexbozikovic

Associated Graphic

For Theaster Gates, "the larger agenda is: What does it mean for an artist to insert him or herself in the politics of a space and stay there."


House of Muddy Waters pays tribute to the blues icon, whose home "is on both the historic list and the demolition list."


When news broke that event management company IMG would no longer organize Toronto Fashion Week, the announcement was met with dismay, indifference and hope. odessa paloma parker polls some of the country's top design talent for their wildest desires about what should happen now
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L4

From social media debuts to open-to-the-public runway shows, our industry insiders can find inspiration and assurance that, though Toronto Fashion Week is shuttered for now, Canadian fashion can be as strong as ever.

To capture the attention of a worldwide audience, our local industry would do well to look at cases of governance in the U.S. and U.K. The Council of Fashion Designers of America and the British Fashion Council are leading examples of how, when a group of designers, media, retailers and other industry forces come together with the singular goal of promoting their homegrown talent, they succeed. These groups - both not-for-profit - helm fashion weeks and awards ceremonies, facilitate funding programs, and liaise with different levels of government and professional organizations to ensure that their designers are front-facing to the world in a collective and cohesive way.

The BFC, with the help of the Mayor's Office of London, is able to sponsor international media during London Fashion Week with hotel accommodations and car service between shows - a boon to journalists facing tight budgets. They're also proof that non-profit factions such as Fashion Group International (a worldwide group with over 30 localized chapters that hosts forums and events for fashion professionals) and the Toronto Fashion Incubator (which provides mentorship, work space and business development programming) can work together under one guiding body. If the industry expects Canadian and international audiences to take our designers seriously, singular and passionate leadership is required.

Debbie Zakaib, the executive director of mmode, an organization that includes designers and executives at major Quebec-based fashion brands and aims to strengthen the province's fashion industry through marketing, manufacturing and branding initiatives, agrees. "Our motto," she says, is 'Alone, you go faster.

Together, we go further.'" There's also the issue of connecting designers and their varied audiences (media, retailers and fans). The indefinite cancellation of TFW doesn't mean designers aren't able to put on their own presentations, of course, which these days run the gamut from high-end productions held at lavish homes around the city to intimate affairs at art galleries. And ever more often, designers are looking to social media to pitch new collections at a nominal cost - not to mention use it as a way to let customers know immediately what's in the works for upcoming seasons. New York-based women's-wear designer Misha Nonoo launched her spring 2016 collection via Instagram, as did Wes Gordon for his fall collection this year. Regardless of the manner in which they choose to present their new lines, what's important is that designers are supported in their decisions to not be a part of an "official" fashion week calendar should another one be devised.

The organizers of TFW were generally unwilling to include off-site shows as part of the official event schedule, hindering attendance and coverage at these independently produced shows. Embracing the various ways in which designers choose to make a statement is a must. Case in point: The announcement of Gordon's digital launch was sent by invitation along with other NYFW tickets to more traditionally produced shows.

But it's the lack of awareness by Canadian consumers to invest in locally designed and manufactured fashion that speaks most loudly about the inner failings of the industry. The Montreal-based Groupe Sensation Mode devised a way to interface with the public directly during the city's Festival Mode & Design, which runs each August and attracts crowds of thousands.

So what does, or rather should, Toronto's future hold? Designers at five labels share their thoughts and wishes below.

ANDREW COIMBRA is a men's-wear designer who has participated in Toronto Men's Fashion week. He presented his most recent collection at an independent off-site location.

"It would be really nice to see increased funding from the government. Independent designers should be funded to a degree because fashion can be such a great cultural engine, and of course, events [should be funded] as well. Another helpful thing would be to have a buying week, or have a bridge that links Canadian designers to international buying weeks. The way that Toronto Fashion Week worked didn't help anyone except Toronto Fashion Week - by the time the shows were presented, retailers didn't have budgets left. It also conflicted with Seoul's fashion week, and many international media outlets and buyers would rather go there.

PATRICIA WONG is a jewellery designer who was featured as part of the Toronto Fashion Incubator's Press & Buyers Brunch, a twoday trade show style event that took place during TFW.

"I think this is a great opportunity to give our shows a more intimate setting and to take them out of that larger format. A group of designers could collaborate on a more formal event, like the days of salon shows in the 1940s. It would be great for social media to have images not of runway shots, but of invited guests - including editors - wearing the garments and accessories. I also think an event like the TFI Press and Buyers Brunch would be good to continue; it was a great way for me to not only meet editors, but other designers.

JENNIFER TOROSIAN is a women's-wear designer who made her TFW runway debut this past March with her fall 2016 collection.

"Having the shows presented earlier in the season would be helpful. I do understand that TFW had to run later than the main international shows, but it's difficult to grow as a designer when you're showing collections to the media, consumers and retailers so much later. And I'd like to see importance placed on inviting key international journalists to attend the shows like they do in other cities. I'd also like see the government show more support and consider fashion part of our arts and culture, and put an emphasis on the fact that our fashion industry is important. I think Canadian consumers would take what we do more seriously.

ERAN ELFASSY AND ELISA DAHAN are the designers behind Montreal-based brand Mackage, which presented during TFW for many years, and last season closed the week with an off-site presentation.

"One of the things we felt about TFW was that they stopped screening the brands that were showing. The best thing that could arise from developing a new fashion week would be to curate real talent and have it be less about commercialism. It became more of a business, which is unfortunate, because the whole goal of fashion week to us is to show how amazing our talent is. It should be something that's motivating, refreshing and innovative. Also, showing off-site allowed us to do what we wanted - it was very hard to be creative in the official TFW environment because of all the rules and regulations.

HAYLEY ELSAESSER is a Toronto-based designer who participated in her fi rst TFW in October 2014.

"As a designer, it's been difficult at times to portray what I want to do on the runway; for example, I really wanted to do an interactive carnival experience for my last collection. This could definitely be a good way for the industry here to take this as a learning experience. I know that in the past, Toronto has always followed suit with what has been done, and was not really innovating. This is an opportunity for us to be more technologically advanced in the way we do fashion shows. Perhaps a technology company can take over so that we can do something new and different.

Associated Graphic


Redemption for a much-maligned play
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R4

All's Well That Ends Well Written by William Shakespeare Directed by Ted Witzel Starring Mina James, Kaleb Alexander and Qasim Khan At Shakespeare in High Park in Toronto 3 ½

This summer, 400 summers after the death of William Shakespeare, Canadian Stage is producing two of the Bard's works on the company's outdoor stage in High Park that have never before performed there before: Hamlet and All's Well That Ends Well.

That Hamlet has never been done in 34 seasons is a bit of a surprise. That All's Well hasn't isn't. The little-loved comedy isn't produced all that much at indoors theatres, either.

It's one of those works reclassified by critics as one Shakespeare's "problem play" around the time of Ibsen - a confusing and inaccurate label that we should probably dump in the dustbin.

Director Ted Witzel's smart stylish production rescues this play from dated turn-of-the-century ideas about social realism (the last production I saw was drearily Chekhovian) and makes the case for it to be a comedy again, one with a satirical, modern bite to it.

Think of the play's title as ironic and the plot as a Shakespearean precursor to Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods - and all will make sense. The first half gives us a fairy tale that ends in a wedding; the second gives us the less-than-happy aftermath of that happily ever after.

All's Well that Ends Well's antiheroine is Helena (Mina James) - who traps Count Bertram (Kaleb Alexander) in marriage with the help of his mother, the Countess Rossillion (a suitably sophisicated Nicky Guadagni).

After the funeral of his father, Helena follows Bertram to Paris, where she helps cure the King of France (a sparky Marvin L Ishmael) from a mysterious ailment. In return, she requests - and receives from the king - Bertram's hand in marriage. It's initially satisfying to see this low-born woman get the man of her dreams through her smarts - until we realise that Bertram wants nothing to do with her.

When Bertram runs off to Florence, preferring fighting a war to consummating their marriage, Helena heads off to trap him a second time by means that are even more morally suspect.

People tend not to like this play because the romantic leads are not particularly likeable. Nor, usually, is Parolles (Qasim Khan), the vain soldier whose closeness to Bertram is disdained by everyone else in the play.

It doesn't take much of a stretch to see Parolles as in love with Bertram. Witzel's production makes that explicit - and the primary reason why the Countess and the openly homophobic Lafeu (the excellent Alon Nashman) dislike him.

When Parolles's comrades kidnap him in Florence as a prank and make him think he's going to be executed, it's always the darkest of dark comedy. Here, it takes on the flavour of a gay bashing.

But, in the aftermath, Parolles - who certainly has his faults - becomes the play's hero in this reading. Khan, who's given a snappy performance throughout, is now stirring as he says: "Simply the thing I am /shall make me live ... There's place and means for every man alive."

When he shows up to the final scene in a dress, it's the only time you might feel like cheering for a character.

Getting any of Shakespeare's plays down to under two hours, as per High Park tradition, requires serious textual intervention - but Witzel goes well beyond condensing the play in his production (which I saw in its final preview).

The up-and-coming director's most prominent alteration is to the switch the gender of the clown, Lavatch - and, moving a couple lines around and changing "knave" to "slut," suggest that she was a lover of the Countess's late husband in the opening scene.

I wasn't wild about this as it pulled focus away from the main plot while the story was still being set up - and makes the cynical edge of the show something immediately apparent, rather than slowly revealed.

But the revamped Lavatch - the French connotation of her name made explicit in Shawn Kerwin's cow-pattern costumes for her - eventually won me over thanks to Rachel Jones's exquisitely louche performance.

She becomes a narrator for the play - and, at a standing microphone, speaks three new monologues (penned by Witzel) that carry us clearly through the play.

Witzel's staging is influenced by continental European approaches to the classics in other ways. He has the cast comically clump together for certain scenes, moving about as a non-naturalistic whole that highlights the pressure to conform in this society (particularly to gender stereotypes). Teresa Przybylski's set is a mismatched collection of chairs that are moved about to delineate space, toppled over and, at one point, mowed down with Schaubühnestyle gusto.

The sound cues can be a bit much - with overused (and overly loud) electronica interludes. And there are some elements that tease the edges of family-friendly. A notable prop - used to cure the French king, and torture Parolles - is a drill with a butt-plug attached to the end. But I suspect it'll go over kids' heads. (And if it doesn't, well, it's not really this show's fault, is it?) Otherwise, I found this an eyeopening (and entertaining) production that redeemed a muchmaligned play.

As mentioned, Hamlet is also running in High Park this summer.

Frank Cox-O'Connell plays him as a gloomy hipster in a Hulk T-shirt. He's a cutter, too. Not too far into the show, he sits down on the edge of the stage, pulls out a razor blaze and slices into his arm: "To be or not to be."

At this moment on opening night on Thursday, the skies opened up as if to answer: "Not to be." The rain poured down and umbrellas opened up while Cox-O'Connell made it through the most famous speech in English-language drama. I was mightily impressed he did - and, even more so, that Rose Tuong's sweet, natural-sounding Ophelia came on afterwards.

The two got through the "get thee to a nunnery" scene soaking wet before a stage manager called the show.

I can't really review director Birgit Schreyer Duarte's production based on a rained-out 45 minutes, but I was sorry to see it come to an end. Again, it's a production with much cutting and reshuffling that will annoy purists.

Hamlet is the only one to see the ghost of his dead father here - the sentries are gone, while Qasim Kham's videocamera-toting Horatio only humours him about it. Dr. Rosencrantz (Raechel Fisher) is a therapist sent for by Claudius and Gertrude.

Hamlet speaks to her while reclining on a cushion. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so!" he says, as if having a real epiphany.

Then: "Is this a free visitation?" That made me laugh out loud.

So did Alon Nashman's Claudius, in his first entrance, waving at the audience and shouting, "Merci à tous!" I was waiting to see if Duarte's twists and jokes would bring me closer to the play - or if the cleverness would continue to keep me at a distance for it. I'll have to go back to find out.

Hamlet plays Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; All's Well That Ends Well plays Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8 p.m. until Sept. 4 (

Associated Graphic

Alon Nashman, Kaleb Alexander and Mina James star in the CanStage production of All's Well That Ends Well at High Park.


Hemp growers targeting medical market
A cousin of marijuana, the plant is reported to be effective in treating epilepsy and other ailments, Mike Hager writes
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- Each month, Sebastian Cyr uses a specialized extraction device he describes as being "as simple as a toaster," to make a concoction that he says relieves his Lyme disease symptoms.

The Montreal resident dumps two cups of coconut oil into a contraption marketed as the Magical Butter Machine, along with 15 grams of cannabis, which he gets delivered through the mail from one of Canada's two dozen licensed commercial growers.

"Out of that, I crank out 250 capsules," says Mr. Cyr, who takes four of these pills three times a day. The pills don't get him high, but they help him deal with the spasticity in his back and his limbs.

Federally regulated medical marijuana producers started producing and selling oils after a Supreme Court of Canada decision last year, but patients complain it's expensive and supplies often run low or sell out. And even then, only a handful are producing the particular varieties that Mr. Cyr says help him. Buying the raw buds and making his own capsules is at least half the cost of purchasing the producers' cannabis oil.

These are all problems the country's hemp growers - which until now have been limited to selling seeds and fibre for consumer products - say they can easily solve, and their federal trade association is pressing Health Canada to let them break into the medical market.

Hemp is marijuana's taller, skinnier cousin. While bearing the same unmistakable odour of pot, all hemp grown in Canada must have only trace amounts of the tetrahydrocannabinol compound, or THC, found in marijuana that gets people high. Instead, most hemp is rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, which emerging research suggests is effective in treating epilepsy and a range of other ailments. These high-CBD products are increasingly appealing to families with children who suffer frequent seizures.

Mr. Cyr makes his capsules from marijuana strains that have been bred to contain high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. But hemp growers say there are thousands of acres of farmland in Western Canada that could produce similar strains to what Mr. Cyr uses in his capsules. Hemp farmers say they can do this much cheaper than the licensed marijuana growers, in large part because they don't need the Fort Knox-style security required of those growers to prevent theft or diversion to the black market.

"It's an absolute waste of a crop that has significant potential," says Kim Shukla, executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of hemp is legally grown across the Prairies and harvested for seeds and fibre before the rest of the crop - the flowers, bracts and leaves - are threshed into chaff and left to decompose.

The seeds are often exported as hemp hearts or ground up into flour, both trumpeted for high levels of unsaturated or "good" fat and protein, respectively.

The fibre can be harvested for rope or clothing, but only about 10 per cent of the Canadian crop is used commercially because the country's textile manufacturing sector is not large enough.

Although this hemp must contain less than 0.03 per cent THC, it can have much higher concentrations of CBD, which Health Canada also classifies as a controlled substance that may only be produced by those licensed in its mail-order medical marijuana system.

Since 2009, Ms. Shukla's trade association has asked the federal government to update its hemp regulations, which were adopted in 1998 when, she says, CBD had already been lumped in with cannabis and its other derivatives as dangerous substances.

Canada is now the world's largest exporter of industrial hemp - mostly for food products destined for the United States - and could be shipping $142-million worth of products by 2020, she said.

But that market could suffer as the U.S. hemp industry grows; it is currently just a tenth the size of its Canadian counterpart.

More than half of the states have legalized industrial hemp farming, although only the stalks may be used to make commercial products. Since the stalk does not contain much of the sought-after CBD compound, U.S. companies must import their high-CBD oils from European hemp producers if they want to make medicinal products legally.

Hemp startup Phivida Organics Inc. is based in Vancouver, but is restricted to selling its high-CBD-oil-infused foods across the United States because the compound is still illegal in Canada unless it is produced under Ottawa's commercial medical marijuana system.

"We'd love to be able to offer this to Canadian families as a Canadian company," says president John-David Belfontaine.

Mr. Belfontaine is also the president of another company waiting for Health Canada to approve its application, filed in 2013, to grow medical marijuana at a facility in Squamish, B.C., so it can sell high-CBD products to Canadians.

For now, he says Phivida will focus on their U.S. business while hoping legislation expected next year to legalize recreational marijuana will open up the market for CBD-based medical products in Canada.

Ms. Shukla says that is a nobrainer as Canadian hemp companies have proven over the past two decades that their flour and seed products are safe for consumer products. Her trade group has also been asking Health Canada to drop the onerous testing requirements that prove the THC levels in their crops remain below 0.3 per cent.

To date, their lobbying has fallen on the deaf ears of a government that thinks "we're not important enough," Ms. Shukla said.

"We're kind of an odd bird; we're a different fit [for Health Canada]," she said.

The federal agency refused to say whether it has any plans to grant the industry's wishes, with spokesman André Gagnon noting it continues to engage with Ms. Shukla's association and other stakeholders "to inform a balanced and evidence-based approach to controlled drugs and substances."

Two summers ago, Jim Rogers, a lifelong wheat and canola farmer from Saskatchewan, told The Globe he was excited to cash in on the new crop after getting licensed by Health Canada.

None of his other crops has ever generated such a buzz from neighbours.

"It's entertainment; people want to see it," Mr. Rogers said.

"Generally the reaction has been positive. People are just curious."

But, that interest didn't translate into good business. Recently, he said he had given up his foray with the plant after two harvests because a supply glut at the country's biggest wholesaler has allowed him to sell just a quarter of all the hemp he has grown.

Asked if he would consider growing hemp again to make CBD-rich pills and oils instead of trying to sell it as a food product, Mr. Rogers said: "It's a lot of regulation to do that. I wouldn't really want to go any further."

Associated Graphic

Jim Rogers, a wheat and canola farmer near Cochin, Sask., examines some plants in his first hemp crop.


Jim Rogers, in his hemp field near Cochin, Sask., could sell only a quarter of his crop because of a supply glut.


Hemp was grown throughout Western Canada by European settlers before it was outlawed along with marijuana in 1938. This 1909 photo shows Saskatoon mayor William Hopkins, left, standing with Board of Trade commissioner F. Maclure Sclanders, centre, and an unidentifed woman in a demonstration garden that includes hemp.


Female and male hemp plants on Mr. Rogers's farm. Only the female plants produce buds.


Hemp growers try to break into medical market
A cousin of marijuana, the plant is reported to be effective in treating epilepsy and other ailments, Mike Hager writes
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- Each month, Sebastian Cyr uses a specialized extraction device he describes as being "as simple as a toaster," to make a concoction that he says relieves his Lyme disease symptoms.

The Montreal resident dumps two cups of coconut oil into a contraption marketed as the Magical Butter Machine, along with 15 grams of cannabis, which he gets delivered through the mail from one of Canada's two dozen licensed commercial growers.

"Out of that, I crank out 250 capsules," says Mr. Cyr, who takes four of these pills three times a day. The pills don't get him high, but they help him deal with the spasticity in his back and his limbs.

Federally-regulated medical marijuana producers started producing and selling oils after a Supreme Court of Canada decision last year, but patients complain it's expensive and supplies often run low or sell out. And even then, only a handful are producing the particular varieties that Mr. Cyr says help him. Buying the raw buds and making his own capsules is at least half the cost of purchasing the producers' cannabis oil.

These are all problems the nation's hemp growers - which until now have been limited to selling seeds and fibre for consumer products - say they can easily solve, and their federal trade association is pressing Health Canada to let them break into the medical market.

Hemp is marijuana's taller, skinnier cousin. While bearing the same unmistakable odour of pot, all hemp grown in Canada must have only trace amounts of the tetrahydrocannabinol compound, or THC, found in marijuana that gets people high. Instead, most hemp is rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, which emerging research suggests is effective in treating epilepsy and a range of other ailments. These high-CBD products are increasingly appealing to families with children who suffer frequent seizures.

Mr. Cyr makes his capsules from marijuana strains that have been bred to contain high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. But hemp growers say there are thousands of acres of farmland in Western Canada that could produce similar strains to what Mr. Cyr uses in his capsules. Hemp farmers say they can do this much cheaper than the licensed marijuana growers, in large part because they don't need the Fort Knox-style security required of those growers to prevent theft or diversion to the black market.

"It's an absolute waste of a crop that has significant potential," says Kim Shukla, executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of hemp is legally grown across the Prairies and harvested for seeds and fibre before the rest of the crop - the flowers, bracts and leaves - are threshed into chaff and left to decompose.

The seeds are often exported as hemp hearts or ground up into flour, both trumpeted for high levels of unsaturated or "good" fat and protein, respectively. The fibre can be harvested for rope or clothing, but only about 10 per cent of the Canadian crop is used commercially because the country's textile manufacturing sector is not large enough.

Although this hemp must contain less than 0.03 per cent THC, it can have much higher concentrations of CBD, which Health Canada also classifies as a controlled substance that may only be produced by those licensed in its mail-order medical marijuana system.

Since 2009, Ms. Shukla's trade association has asked the federal government to update its hemp regulations, which were adopted in 1998 when, she says, CBD had already been lumped in with cannabis and its other derivatives as dangerous substances.

Canada is now the world's largest exporter of industrial hemp - mostly for food products destined for the United States - and could be shipping $142-million worth of products by 2020, she said.

But that market could suffer as the U.S. hemp industry grows; it is currently just a tenth the size of its Canadian counterpart. More than half of the states have legalized industrial hemp farming, although only the stalks may be used to make commercial products. Since the stalk does not contain much of the sought-after CBD compound, U.S. companies must import their high-CBD oils from European hemp producers if they want to make medicinal products legally.

Hemp startup Phivida Organics Inc. is based in Vancouver, but is restricted to selling its high-CBDoil-infused foods across the United States because the compound is still illegal in Canada unless it is produced under Ottawa's commercial medical marijuana system.

"We'd love to be able to offer this to Canadian families as a Canadian company," says president John-David Belfontaine.

Mr. Belfontaine is also the president of another company waiting for Health Canada to approve its application, filed in 2013, to grow medical marijuana at a facility in Squamish, B.C., so it can sell high-CBD products to Canadians.

For now, he says Phivida will focus on their U.S. business while hoping legislation expected next year to legalize recreational marijuana will open up the market for CBD-based medical products in Canada.

Ms. Shukla says that is a nobrainer as Canadian hemp companies have proven over the past two decades that their flour and seed products are safe for consumer products. Her trade group has also been asking Health Canada to drop the onerous testing requirements that prove the THC levels in their crops remain below 0.3 per cent.

To date, their lobbying has fallen on the deaf ears of a government that thinks "we're not important enough," Ms. Shukla said.

"We're kind of an odd bird; we're a different fit [for Health Canada]," she said.

The federal agency refused to say whether it has any plans to grant the industry's wishes, with spokesman André Gagnon noting it continues to engage with Ms. Shukla's association and other stakeholders "to inform a balanced and evidence-based approach to controlled drugs and substances."

Two summers ago, Jim Rogers, a lifelong wheat and canola farmer from Saskatchewan, told The Globe he was excited to cash in on the new crop after getting licensed by Health Canada.

None of his other crops has ever generated such a buzz from neighbours.

"It's entertainment; people want to see it," Mr. Rogers said.

"Generally the reaction has been positive. People are just curious."

But, that interest didn't translate into good business. Recently, he said he had given up his foray with the plant after two harvests because a supply glut at the country's biggest wholesaler has allowed him to sell just a quarter of all the hemp he has grown.

Asked if he would consider growing hemp again to make CBD-rich pills and oils instead of trying to sell it as a food product, Mr. Rogers said: "It's a lot of regulation to do that. I wouldn't really want to go any further."

Associated Graphic

Jim Rogers, a wheat and canola farmer near Cochin, Sask., examines some plants in his first hemp crop.


Jim Rogers, above, in his hemp field near Cochin, Sask., is giving up on hemp after he found he could sell only a quarter of his crop because of a supply glut.


Hemp was grown throughout Western Canada by European settlers before it was outlawed along with marijuana in 1938. This 1909 photo shows Saskatoon mayor William Hopkins, left, standing with Board of Trade commissioner F. Maclure Sclanders, centre, and an unidentifed woman in a demonstration garden that includes hemp.


The mortifying wit of Eric Rohmer
A new TIFF series reveals how the French director became the go-to influence for modern filmmakers
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, July 22, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R4

I have a confession: I don't always love French New Wave films. They're often too cool for me, too: "I have, at long last, fallen in love with you. Obviously, I can never see you again."

But Eric Rohmer's films are different. Not just because they're lovely to look at, though they are - all those summer skies and beaches and beautiful twentysomethings in pinks and blues.

And not just because they're about people attempting - and often failing, poignantly and/or hilariously - to fall in love. I've always liked him because, as rigorous as his work is, I can feel his beating heart in it. He likes his characters. They're not perfect; they dither, they screw up. But he's on their side.

"There's a mortifying wit in his work," says James Quandt, TIFF Cinematheque's senior programmer, who just launched a sixweek Rohmer retrospective at Toronto's Lightbox. "You can cringe. But he doesn't condemn his characters. He always allows them an escape." (The series, Dangerous Liaisons: The Films of Eric Rohmer, which runs through Aug. 28, includes 24 films and two programs of shorter work, from his breakthrough My Night at Maud's, through Pauline at the Beach and The Green Ray, to his final film, The Romance of Astrea and Celadon.)

"He's always looking for the truth of the soul," the actress Marie Rivière, who starred in four Rohmer films, wrote in an e-mail.

He sees the greatness in ordinary people, and the universality in their real-life problems - "the little nothings that go to your very being." (She'll be in Toronto in August to introduce three of her Rohmer films, as well as the documentary she made about him, In the Company of Eric Rohmer.)

For Rohmer, who was born in 1920 and died in 2010, "truth" was elusive. His narrators say one thing, his images another, and his characters' dialogue something else again. He leaves the takeaway to us. Frequently, his characters' desires are at odds with their actions - "We watch them talking and talking, but misleading themselves," Quandt says. They insist that they're seeking happiness, then do things to contradict that.

As someone comments in Rivière's doc, "His films are about the being, and the being is a paradox."

Personally, too, Rohmer rejected the idea of "a" truth. He hated divulging any details about himself. He hid behind fake mustaches at film festivals. He lied about his age. His very name is a construct, a mash-up of Erich von Stroheim (the director) and Sax Rohmer (the author). His birth name is in dispute: It's either Maurice Henri Joseph Schérer or Jean-Marie Maurice Schérer. Even his mother, so the story goes, never knew he was a director; she died thinking he was a professor.

Contrary to the American school of acting - "show all thoughts" - Rohmer's characters, like real people, try to hide their feelings. Also, he doesn't care much about plot. (I'm with him on this; I think plot is overrated.) In a Rohmer film, character is plot, and dialogue - pages and pages of it - is action.

"His films are emotional suspense thrillers," Quandt agrees. "Will the engineer in My Night at Maud's fall prey to Maud's charms? Will the hairdresser in A Tale of Winter track down her lover? Will the diplomat in Claire's Knee ever touch it? It's not conventional suspense; it's ethical, moral suspense."

Rohmer's focus on the primal human quest - the search for love - and the endless paradoxes within that, keeps his films feeling unfettered and fresh rather than stale and dated. But his technique was ahead of his time, too: He liked rehearsals. He shot in chronological order, in natural light, with no extraneous musical track.

(He waited a year to make My Night at Maud's because it takes place on Christmas Eve, so that's when he wanted to shoot it.)

He shot quickly, rarely interrupting takes, usually moving on after only one or two. Over the years, his crews grew smaller and smaller; by the end he was down to himself, a sound person and a director of photography. He preferred using small cameras, and didn't try to eliminate extraneous sounds or control people walking by. His favourite lens was the 50 mm, because to him it most closely resembles our human vision.

He didn't believe in close-ups, because that's not the way we see the world. And he didn't use the camera to tell the story - no whippans or slo-mo, just the occasional pinning of the main character in the frame, usually to highlight her loneliness.

Rohmer didn't brook actorly psychologizing; he'd simply tell his cast, "Do what you want." When he first worked with people, he wanted them to memorize his text; when he got to know them, he let them improvise. "It was very important to him that I'd be able to cry at the exact moment that was written in the script," Rivière recalls. "We would rehearse that in the location until I could do it. I think it helped me to trust me. That's an important point that he gave all his actors: to learn to trust ourselves.

"Eric also used to pay a lot of attention to the way we moved," she goes on. "For him, the body gestures expressed a lot - sometimes the same as what we're saying, sometimes the contrary." He was always telling his actors to talk more slowly and to move more. He let the actors tell him where they wanted to go, and asked his cinematographers to follow. "As he knew me better, it became easier to shoot what loneliness was, as we all know it at one - or alas, many times - in our lives."

"His films are renewable treasures," says Mary Stephen, the Canadian-raised film editor and composer who worked with Rohmer for 25 years. "They are deceptively simple, and deceptively talkative and slow. But when you take apart a Rohmer film from an editing point of view, there's no wastage in it - every scene propels it forward. Yet they are psychologically complex, never yielding to a black-and-white rendition of the human heart."

That explains why Rohmer has displaced Godard and even Truffaut as the go-to influence for modern filmmakers, including Whit Stillman, Fukada Koji, Hong Sang-Soo, Richard Linklater, Zoe Cassavetes, Olivier Assayas and François Ozon. "Noah Baumbach lets everyone know that his film Margot at the Wedding is a direct homage to Rohmer's Pauline at the Beach," Quandt says. "You can also see his influence in the mumblecore movement. Neil LaBute cites him as an inspiration, if you can believe that. And a few years ago, there was talk that Judd Apatow was going to remake My Night at Maud's with Michael Cera, with the title They Talked All Night."

Whether or not you like the idea of Apatow doing Rohmer, he got that title right. Watching Rohmer's characters talk all night is one of cinema's great pleasures. Because they're not just nattering. We're watching them think, and thinking makes them beautiful.

Dangerous Liaisons: The Films of Eric Rohmer runs through Aug. 28 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox,

Associated Graphic

Dangerous Liaisons: The Films of Eric Rohmer retrospective is on now at the TIFF Lightbox theatre in Toronto and features 24 films by the director, including A Summer's Tale, seen here.

France's terrorism problem is rooted in Syria, not Paris or Nice
François Hollande is already being criticized for ordering more attacks against the Islamic State. His instincts, however, are correct
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A10

The symbolism and meaning of a jihadi attack is usually known only to the disturbed individuals who carry it out. Sept. 11 marked a battle three centuries earlier in the Ottoman crusades; London's July 7 bombings were meant to mar a G8 summit.

Most others are opportunism: A chance, seized by a local citizen who believes in the overseas cause, to mete mortifying damage upon a target sensitive enough to get that cause in the headlines.

But driving a transport truck at speed through two kilometres of families marking Bastille Day on a beachside promenade leaves no room for ambiguity. It is the most unspeakably calculated meeting point of the foreign conflict and the local target. More so than hitting political satirists or Jewish markets or crowded airports: Nothing turns the Levantine territorial ambitions of a terrorist army a continent away into a local horror for the French more than the sight of one of their fellow citizens delivering historic-scale agony on the national day.

France now faces two very serious problems. One is the deadly ambitions of the group that calls itself the Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL), and the factors that turn a constant trickle of young Frenchmen into the agents of those ambitions, willing to kill their fellow citizens to change the direction of the Middle East.

The second problem - stopping the flow of local recruits - is profoundly difficult, as these recruits rarely have direct links to the Islamic State, and aren't easily identifiable in advance. The man who reportedly committed the truck attack in Nice, Mohamed Bouhlel, appears to fit the profile of most young Westerners who have joined the Islamic State cause: A French citizen and longterm resident of the city, not religiously observant or from a religious family; a wife-beater with a history of petty crime.

That set of characteristics describes most of the men who have carried out grievous attacks in France and Belgium in the past two years, as well as those who've carried out North American attacks such as the Ottawa Parliament Hill shootings and the Orlando nightclub attack. It also describes an alarmingly large number of men who never go into terrorism. Intelligence and police agencies need to do more to try to apprehend such men before they attack, but the odds are long.

The first problem - the foreign movement that motivates and inspires these young men - sounds equally difficult. Yet it is the more important problem.

François Hollande, the French President, caught some criticism for responding to the attack on Friday morning by immediately ordering intensified attacks against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. After all, responding to domestic terrorism by dropping bombs on foreign countries has a long and unsavoury history.

But his instincts are right, because the motivating factor behind this wave of attacks is not to be found in the West. Nor is the eventual solution.

We should not forget that this sequence of jihadi attacks, in Europe and North America, is not a perpetual or timeless thing.

They had a beginning - in 2012.

They resemble the earlier, infamous wave of attacks by Westerners loyal to al-Qaeda from 2001 to 2005. But it's important to remember that during the years between those waves - 2006 through 2012 - there were almost zero Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe or North America: with a few isolated exceptions, the flow of atrocities vanished during those years, because there was no foreign cause to motivate them.

And the Nice attack, like Paris or Brussels or Ottawa, was clearly a direct response to the ambitions and desires of this Syrian movement.

In the weeks before Nice, the Islamic State's Internet channels, YouTube videos and magazines were full of messages calling on loyalists abroad to attack Western countries involved in the NATO campaign in general and France in particular; they've specifically suggested recently that ramming vehicles into crowds is a recommended tactic.

The purpose of these attacks is not to have meaning: It's to scare a country and its leaders enough that they remove themselves from the foreign territory claimed by the group the terrorist army sees as its own. Sept. 11 was meant to get the United States out of Saudi Arabia. July 7 was meant to get Britain out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

And the young men who sympathize with the group that calls itself the Islamic State tell us they want to help it do what it wants - to take over a large "caliphate" without interference, and to divide the world into Islamic and non-Islamic territory.

That ambition is now being thwarted, as the group is driven out of the territory it once held.

But as long as hope endures, the dream will live on. The tragic result is what the Islamic State's bulletins call "punishment" of nations supporting this military campaign. It makes this a tough moment: Military success overseas is provoking greater abominations at home.

That's because there are still plenty of violent young men susceptible to this overseas cause.

Their string of attacks will come to an end only when their movement is so humiliated in its selfclaimed nation that it ceases to be inspiring.


Sept. 11, 2001 New York; Arlington County, Va.; Shanksville, Penn. Four airplanes are hijacked, two of which crash into the World Trade Center. A total of 2,977 are killed and more than 6,000 injured.

Oct. 12, 2002 Bali, Indonesia A series of bombs detonate in the Kuta District, an area popular with foreign tourists. The explosions kill 202, mostly Australians, and injure 209.

Nov. 15-20, 2003 Istanbul, Turkey Two separate car bomb attacks, targeting synagogues, the British consulate and HSBC bank, kill 57 and injure more than 700.

March 11, 2004 Madrid A series of co-ordinated bomb attacks strike the city's commuter train system, killing 192 and injuring 2,050.

July 7, 2005 London Multiple bombs are detonated in the Underground and on a double- decker bus, killing 52 and injuring more than 700.

March 20, 2012 Toulouse and Montauban, France A gunman targets French soldiers and Jewish civilians in Southern France. Seven people are killed, with five injured.

Jan. 7-9, 2015 Paris Attackers storm the office of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. Further attacks occur in the Paris suburbs. A total of 17 civilians are killed and 22 are injured.

June 26, 2015 Port El Kantaoui, Sousse, Tunisia A gunman attacks a hotel popular with British tourists, killing 38 and injuring 39.

Nov. 13, 2015 Paris A string of mass shootings and bombings rock the French capital, killing 130 and injuring 368.

Dec. 2, 2015 San Bernardino, Calif. A married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, shoot and kill 14 and injure 22 at the Inland Regional Center.

March 22, 2016 Brussels Two suicide bombers detonate their vests at the Brussels airport while another bomber attacks the Maalbeek Metro station, killing 32 and wounding at least 300.

June 12, 2016 Orlando A lone gunman, Omar Mateen, attacks a gay club, killing 49 and injuring 53.

June 28, 2016 Istanbul, Turkey Three armed attackers enter Ataturk International Airport, detonating suicide vests, killing 45 and injuring 230.

July 1-2, 2016 Dhaka Five gunmen take hostages at a bakery popular with expats. Twenty-four are killed and 50 are injured.

Leyland Cecco

Associated Graphic

A woman sits under French flags lowered at half-mast in Nice on Friday, following the deadly Bastille Day attack that killed at least 84 and injured scores more.


Lines are blurred as more companies paint themselves green
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA, TORONTO -- This is part of an occasional series on Canada's economy and its shift away from resources.

Fielding Chemical Technologies Inc. has been in the industrial recycling business for 60 years, since it began recovering solvents from a waste stream at Ford Motor Co.'s Oakville, Ont., plant and returning the material to the auto maker for reuse.

Fielding is positioning itself as a Canadian leader in clean technology, promoting the concept of the "circular economy," in which waste material is treated as a valuable resource, rather than simply disposed of.

The company says its process for recycling solvents emits a quarter of the greenhouse gases that the production of the same volume of virgin chemicals does.

The claim to be a "clean-tech company" is much in vogue in Canada.

Governments at all levels are increasingly insisting on better environmental performance from industry, and Mississaugabased, family-owned Fielding is reaping the benefits.

"There is a momentum building across this nation from municipal politicians, to provincial, to federal [ones] that clean tech is an imperative for the country and for the globe," Ellen McGregor, the company's co-owner and chief executive officer, said in an interview. "We're feeling the difference and the difference is translating into growth - we're seeing remarkable growth in our business."

"There is a momentum building across this nation from municipal politicians, to provincial, to federal [ones] that clean tech is an imperative for the country and for the globe," Ellen McGregor, the company's co-owner and chief executive officer, said in an interview. "We're feeling the difference and the difference is translating into growth - we're seeing remarkable growth in our business."

But as more companies declare themselves "clean" or "green," a blurring of lines in the clean technology sector and a lack of data about its scale and scope have left a crucial blind spot for a group of companies touted as an emerging growth engine.

Governments at all levels are pursuing new policies to boost clean technology including tax breaks, providing incentive for venture capital, and using public procurement to build markets.

But it is unclear which companies should benefit and what impact those policies would have on the broader economy.

The "clean-tech" description is applied far beyond the renewable-energy producers to include companies that work in more traditional industrial sectors, including autos and construction, oil production and chemicals.

Indeed, clean tech is not a single industry, but includes any company that provides goods or services that reduce the environmental footprint of other businesses or consumers. It can involve the substitution of fossil fuels for cleaner ones or ways to enhance efficiency and reduce waste in production and consumption.

Fielding recently changed its name to Fielding Environmental to highlight its waste-diverting, energy-saving, business model.

Wind and solar industries promote their green credentials, as do companies that deal in energy-efficiency or waste-waterreduction technologies.

With the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change last December, global leaders have signalled the world must transition from a fossil-fuel, resource-intensive economy, to one that relies on clean energy and far more efficient goods-producing sectors. Canada's fossilfuel sector is widely seen as a declining industry, although the pace of its retreat is greatly debated, and governments are looking for new sources of economic growth to sustain the country's standard of living.

The federal and provincial governments are deliberating this summer on joint approaches to climate-change policy and aim to reach a pan-Canadian climate strategy when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets again with premiers in the fall. At their session in Vancouver in March, the leaders established four working groups to devise policies, one of which deals with "clean technology, innovation and jobs."

Its mandate is to recommend policies that encourage innovation that would both stimulate jobs creation and drive Canada's transition to a low-carbon economy. Based on that work, Ottawa and the provinces will be introducing a host of measures to encourage the adoption of environmental technologies and foster the growth of clean-tech companies.

But which companies deserve to qualify as the beneficiaries of that clean-tech policy? And how do we assess the economic potential when we don't have a clear view of its present state?

Take Grafoid Inc. It's hard to say exactly what kind of company Grafoid really is. The Kingston-based firm is developing applications for graphene, a remarkable material that is made of an ultrathin layer of carbon molecules. Graphene's uses range from coatings that make solar panels more efficient, to improved battery cathodes, to sponges that can help clean up oil spills.

The raw material for these products will come from a graphite mine in Quebec that is owned by one of Grafoid's parent companies, Focus Graphite. So is Grafoid a resource company, a research and development firm, or a technology company?

Founder and chief executive officer Gary Economo thinks that there should be no debate: "We are clean-tech company. Everything we do eliminates environmental impacts," he said.

Grafoid's multiple dimensions underline the difficulty of classifying, and measuring the size of, the clean-technology sector in Canada.

The federal government allotted $2.1-million to Natural Resources Canada in the March budget to "enhance clean-technology data" in conjunction with Statistics Canada and the Industry Department. The idea is to get a better handle on the cleantech sector's contribution to the Canadian economy, the budget said.

In the absence of formal data from Statistics Canada or other official sources, Ottawa-based consultant Céline Bak produces an annual "Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report" that quantifies the industry's size and impact.

She counts 774 firms - with total revenues of $11.6-billion and 55,600 direct jobs, which exceeded employment in the forestry industry or the pharmaceutical sector. The companies are grouped into 10 sectors, including water and waste water; energy efficiency and green buildings; industrial processes and products; extractive processes and products, and power generation. Their spending on research and development rivals the aerospace industry.

But the clean-tech industry's growth is slowing and - while export revenues are still climbing - Canada's share of the booming global market for "environmental goods" has seen one of the steepest declines among the top exporters.

A survey of Canadian cleantech firms released last week noted that their most immediate concerns revolve around access to capital, availability of critical talent, and barriers created by government regulations. Looking at the longer term, they cited defence of intellectual property, access to business development talent and the opportunities to benefit from government procurement.

In order to address those concerns, governments need a clearer picture of who the players are and the business environment in which they operate, said Ms. Bak - a senior fellow at the Waterloo, Ont.'s Centre for International Governance Innovation.

"We face two imperatives: the need to increase our productivity and the need to reorient our economy so that we can have an orderly unwinding of the fossilfuel economy globally and in Canada," she said. The combination of those two things is why it's important for us to understand the evolution of Canada's clean-tech industry and its potential."

Associated Graphic

Gary Economo, CEO of Grafoid, left, looks at graphene-coated aluminum samples, also right, at the Grafoid research facility in Kingston on April 26. Graphene is made of graphite mined by Grafoid's parent company. Is Grafoid then a clean-tech or resource company?


In the eye of Turkey's political storm
Just down the road from a Pennsylvania flea market lives the man accused of masterminding last week's failed military coup
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A7

SAYLORSBURG, PA. -- It is high summer in this rural corner of northeastern Pennsylvania - a time of blue skies, boating on the Delaware River, and, if Turkey's President is to be believed, plots to overthrow his government.

Just down the road from a flea market and a maze made out of corn stalks sits the compound home to Fethullah Gulen, the influential cleric accused of masterminding last week's failed military coup. It's an accusation that Mr. Gulen has categorically denied.

Inside the compound, there is mostly silence, save for the chirping of birds and the buzz of planes high overhead.

There are very few people evident - a handful of men walk the paths between sculpted pine trees and a couple of children ride bikes near a row of houses built to accommodate visitors.

The quiet here is a world away from the turmoil gripping Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a state of emergency and detained or suspended more than 60,000 military personnel, judges, teachers, civil servants and police officers.

Mr. Erdogan has urged his supporters to stay in the streets following the attempted coup, which left nearly 300 people dead.

For nearly two decades, Mr. Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in this hamlet of about 1,000 people in the Pocono Mountains. The founder of a movement known as "Hizmet," or service, Mr. Gulen's teachings focus on education. His supporters have started hundreds of secular schools and charities across Turkey and beyond. A moderate preacher rooted in the Sufi mystic tradition of Islam, Mr. Gulen is known for emphasizing interfaith dialogue.

But Mr. Erdogan calls Mr. Gulen and his followers a "cancer" and a "terrorist organization" that is building a "parallel state."

The rancour is personal. During the first decade of Mr. Erdogan's tenure as Prime Minister, he and Mr. Gulen acted as allies, working to expand the range of Islamic expression in Turkey and to curb the sway of its powerful military.

Since 2013, however, Mr. Gulen has become a vocal critic of Mr. Erdogan.

During an interview at the compound, Y. Alp Aslandogan, a spokesman for the Gulen movement, describes being in California on vacation when he learned of the attempted coup.

"It was probably the worst day of my life," he says. He feared there would be casualties and worried that Mr. Gulen would be blamed.

Mr. Gulen, 75, suffers from diabetes and cardiovascular disease and leaves the compound only for medical reasons.

He is rarely seen outside his modest two-room apartment in the compound's main L-shaped building. Mr. Gulen spends much of his day in spiritual practice, says Mr. Aslandogan. Two or three times a week, videos of his talks are posted online. He also meets regularly with a small group of graduate students.

Earlier this week, Turkey submitted materials to initiate the extradition of Mr. Gulen. But there has been no contact between Mr. Gulen and the U.S. government, says Mr. Aslandogan.

He believes that it is "extremely unlikely" any request from Turkey would satisfy the conditions of the extradition treaty between the two countries, which includes the right to refuse to hand over people sought for "political" offences.

Mr. Aslandogan is executive director of the Alliance for Shared Values, an umbrella organization for non-profits run by Mr. Gulen's supporters.

He allows that it is theoretically possible that soldiers sympathetic to the Gulen movement participated in the attempted coup, but adds that such involvement would run counter to Mr. Gulen's philosophy. It would be "a betrayal of what [Mr. Gulen] stands for."

In the wake of the coup, the rhetoric against Mr. Gulen and his supporters has become "very, very alarming," says Mr. Aslandogan, who believes it could be a prelude to organized pogroms or worse. An enormous banner in Istanbul's main Taksim Square recently warned Mr. Gulen, "We'll hang you and your dogs with your own leashes."

A pro-government newspaper shared a purported hotline for reporting people suspected of being Mr. Gulen's supporters, while a semiofficial news agency urged Turks to make reports to police or prosecutors.

Mr. Erdogan is "using this as carte blanche to get anyone who is critical of the government or ever would be," said Jenny White, a professor at the Stockholm University's Institute for Turkish Studies and an expert on political Islam. Prof. White says she has never seen anything violent in nature in all of her interactions with Mr. Gulen's sympathizers, who were notable instead for their sheer number of civic works. But the movement's opaque organization and tendency toward secrecy have drawn critics, who say its ultimate goals are not clear.

During a tour of the compound in Pennsylvania, Kadir Bulut points out the place where Mr. Gulen lives, in a corner of the top floor of the main building. The apartment leads on to a narrow balcony, where a row of pine trees sit in planters. Beyond the building and down a hill, there is a small pond, a grassy area for picnics and a jungle gym for children.

Mr. Bulut used to work for Zaman, a newspaper associated with Mr. Gulen that was seized last year by Turkey's government.

"Here we are free," he says of the United States. "Here we are safe."

His parents, who arrived for an extended visit several months ago, were supposed to return to Turkey this week. But now they have postponed their departure indefinitely.

A few doors down from the compound, a 30-year-old woman who asked that her name not be used said that Mr. Gulen and his supporters were courteous if unusual neighbours. A couple of times, she said, helicopters have landed in the field beyond their home, carrying visitors for Mr. Gulen.

Then, in recent years, groups of pro-Erdogan protesters began turning up on their small lane, shouting expletives and drawing a large police presence.

"You don't know who to believe," she said. "Some say he's the worst person in the world and some say he's a really good guy."

Down the road at the Sunset Inn, a nearby bar, it's clear that Mr. Gulen and his compound are the subject of much speculation in this small village, known mostly for its giant corn maze and the haunted house by the lake that opens each Halloween.

"Did you go inside? Is it nice? Is it beautiful?" asks Jennifer Johnson, 35, as she works behind the bar. "He's a multibillionaire, you know."

Until about three months ago, Ms. Johnson had no idea Mr. Gulen was in the area. Then she started doing her own research on the Internet. She says she's unnerved by the fact that outsiders aren't allowed into the compound and by the presence of armed guards.

Tim Koller, a local industrial mechanic, interjects. "If you are a religious and spiritual powerhouse, you have to protect yourself and your followers and your family," he says.

Mr. Koller, 59, says he has heard some locals make cracks about the "terror camp down the road" but he has no issues with Mr. Gulen and his followers.

"This country was founded by people escaping oppressive governments trampling on their religion," Mr. Koller adds. "People fought and died for just that right."

Associated Graphic

Fethullah Gulen, leader one of the most influential Islamic movements in the world, and an enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is seen at his compound in Saylorsburg, Pa., in June, 2010.


The price of doing business on Ossington
With retail rents on the rise and trendy tenants like Shinola moving in, the gentrifying Toronto neighbourhood is challenged to maintain its authenticity and affordability for small businesses
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B6

TORONTO -- There are two hours left until Shinola's flagship Toronto store opens. A dozen or so 30ish professionals waltz around the Queen Street West and Ossington Avenue shop, phones in hand, making sure everything's perfect.

A man in his early 20s wipes down the glass encasements covering Shinola's many wares: watches, wallets, leather-bound notebooks, all carefully crafted, all ostensibly - as the brand's slowly disappearing slogan goes - built in Detroit.

Daniel Caudill walks in the door moments later. It's 9:10 a.m. He looks tired. He was up by 4 a.m.; he just drove here from Detroit.

He glad-hands a bit, talks with his newest employees, and an account executive introduces us.

We sit down on a pair of vintage brown leather chairs that were also sourced from Detroit, and Shinola's creative director explains the brand's growth from made-in-America watch company to luxury lifestyle brand.

"The very first conversations about the brand were about building that watch factory in Detroit," he says. "And even today, everything we do, we grade ourselves against job creation and creating jobs, sustainable jobs. So that's just the base of what we were built on; it's what we believe in. And then after job creation is quality of product."

In five years, the Shinola brand - which was adopted from a legacy shoe-shine business in 2011 - has become a marketing success story, a symbol for America-made authenticity, with 375 employees in Detroit alone. The Toronto shop is the company's 16th standalone store.

The story of how it got here is worth scrubbing the polish from.

To bolster its authentic veneer, Shinola hunts out creative spaces for its flagships. Before settling on this building - 1000 Queen St. W., the former home of Stussy Toronto and a onetime pop-up shop for the rapper Drake - Mr. Caudill says the company almost settled on an old bank, but it didn't have the desired ceiling height.

"With all these different product categories, we change the store around," he says. "We look for spaces that are either openfloor plans or that have multiple rooms." He gestures across the room to a little alcove that showcases Shinola's ever-expanding women's lines.

The alcove wasn't always attached to the store. Until last December, it was home to a tiny but beloved iteration of Toronto's Sam James Coffee Bar, with no seating except for a heated concrete stoop; the rest of the building Shinola now occupies was dedicated to a clothing store, Stussy.

When Mr. James found out he was being evicted, he affixed a sign on the door thanking customers and chastising the newcomers with an expletive. On social media, some called out the bring-local-jobs-first Shinola for kicking out a local business.

But that's not exactly what happened.

Mr. James declined to comment for this story, saying he didn't feel like any more mudslinging; he's more than happy with his new shop a couple of blocks away, across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. But the commotion his eviction caused sheds light on just how much Ossington - an artery once known for karaoke and crime - is now worth to commercial landlords and the tenants they entice. Like, say, Shinola - which is happy to be there, but is certainly paying far more for rent than its predecessors, Sam James and Stussy.

From August 2012 through December 2014, the building was owned by a numbered company run by Matt George, who handles the Stussy brand in Canada.

According to land registration documents filed with the province of Ontario, Mr. George sold the building to Hullmark Developments Ltd. for $3.1-million - a 56-per-cent rise over what he paid upon buying the former sewing-machine shop in 2012.

Mr. George is an acclaimed streetwear entrepreneur who's worked with many brands and run shops including Goodfoot and Nomad; he told The Globe and Mail that he chose to sell the building because the area had lost its appeal to him. "I approached Stussy with a plan to change up the location and once they were on board, I put the building up for sale," Mr. George writes in an e-mail.

The very profitable sale, however, meant the Queen and Ossington Stussy couldn't remain open until a new one was ready.

"The rent was higher than made sense for a Stussy store," says John Sommer, the company's vice-president, by e-mail.

And Hullmark, seeing an opportunity to rent the whole building to one tenant for an attractive lease, rather than split off Mr. James's alcove, did exactly that.

"When we bought the building, there were termination rights in place," says Aly Damji, Hullmark's vice-president of commercial real estate. The company saw fit to rent out the whole space, rather than subdivide it. "In all reality, no one had evicted anybody. It was simply that the landlord exercised its rights to terminate the tenant to bring in a larger tenant." And Mr. George, Mr. Damji says, "sold it to us at such a number that it would have been tough to not get the rents that we did."

Mr. Damji says he gave Mr. James many months notice to leave. But his removal, and the signage he put up as a result, put Shinola in an awkward spot at a time when it was already fighting PR crises on multiple fronts: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, noting that parts of its watches are Swiss-made, has been arguing against the use of Shinola's "Built in Detroit" claims, which seem to be slowly disappearing from Shinola's official branding.

And its small-business reputation has been challenged in the media, given that founder Tom Kartsotis had previously founded the Fossil Group Inc. brand of watches and accessories, with annual sales routinely worth billions of dollars.

Seated in the hours-from-opening Shinola shop, Mr. Caudill says, "He was chairman of the board, stepped down as chairman, is no longer involved with Fossil at all," Mr. Caudill says. (His brother, Kosta Kartsotis, remains Fossil's chairman and chief executive officer, however.) "People think that this is a big giant company, but this is really a small startup."

And Mr. Caudill says that the Sam James debacle made company execs uncomfortable, too: "If we had known ahead of time that that was a problem, we probably wouldn't have taken the space."

Today, the biggest concern at 1000 Queen West seems to be making sure the store's glass cases are buffed to perfection to show off watches like The Canfield, the just-released model Mr.

Caudill is wearing today, complete with American Alligator strap.

More than half a year after Mr. James left the space, almost everyone involved seems happier - Stussy will open a new Toronto store in September, Mr. James likes his new shop on the park, and Shinola is settling into Queen and Ossington. The real estate drama is over, but it has revealed the bigger narrative to come: The cost of doing business on Ossington is only going up, and no store is safe from market forces.

Associated Graphic

Ossington Avenue, a coveted Toronto artery once known for karaoke and crime, is home to the Toronto flagship store for Shinola, which sells watches, wallets and leather-bound notebooks, all more or less made in Detroit.


Changing ways at the United Way
New CEO takes over with a personal motivation, as charity reforms how it hands out millions to social agencies
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Print Edition, Page M1

When the new head of the United Way of Toronto and York Region, Daniele Zanotti, was growing up in North York, his working Italian-immigrant parents couldn't afford childcare. So he was left with his uncle, a school janitor on night shifts, during the day.

Mr. Zanotti, now 47, would end up getting a masters in social work from the University of Toronto - a feat he doesn't believe would be as easy for a child facing the same challenges today. And that, he says, is why the work of the United Way is more vital than ever.

"I am not sure that the path between a young kid's aspiration and achievement is as direct," says Mr. Zanotti, who started his career as a front-line community worker in troubled neighbourhoods such as Rexdale and Jamestown in the 1990s. "And our commitment is to give those individuals, wherever they are, that chance at a good life."

Mr. Zanotti takes the reins as the United Way undergoes a period of massive change. The organization is going through a fundamental redrawing of the way it hands out the tens of millions of dollars to about 200 social-service agencies across the city. And it is accelerating efforts to appeal to a new generation of donors as fundraising growth slows. There is a lot riding on its success, as Toronto continues to grapple with rapidly growing inequality.

One key change came last year.

Toronto's United Way - already the biggest in the world, larger than those in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago - got a little bigger, merging with the tiny York Region chapter. Mr. Zanotti was the CEO of the York Region United Way, and moved to become the new merged charity's chief development officer immediately.

Earlier this month, he replaced Toronto CEO Susan McIsaac in the top job, after she left to spend more time with her family.

Other even more dramatic changes now being steered by Mr. Zanotti have been in the works for years. A process launched under Ms. McIsaac is set to transform the United Way from an umbrella grouping with about 200 "member" agencies - which provide everything from career counselling for disadvantaged young people to shelter for the homeless - into an organization with 40 to 60 so-called "anchor agencies." These anchor agencies will get five-year terms, an amount of base funding and will have to agree to a closer relationship with the United Way.

Those not chosen as anchors will still be able to apply for threeyear "program funding," as well as "special-project" funding. Interested agencies are now submitting extensive applications to qualify as anchors, but won't find out until next year if they have succeeded.

Many smaller social-service organizations now depend on base funding from the United Way to keep the lights on or pay rent. The head of one Toronto social service agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of putting her funding in jeopardy, said the new application process has her concerned. "It's the unknown," she said. "This time next year, will I be short? Or will I be okay? What do I have to do to backstop that?

... I am sure there will be people who don't get money."

The United Way says existing funding for all agencies will stay in place until 2018 as it manages the transition to the new system. But clearly, some agencies could soon be receiving less money, or none at all. However, the reforms are also meant to see the United Way distribute funding to new agencies.

"There may be partners that have a different relationship with us," Mr. Zanotti acknowledges. "But our discussions with partner agencies, our discussions with other funders, all demonstrate that this is the right drive and focus for the region at this time."

He says the changes have been undertaken after consultation with the charity's member agencies, whom he says are "energized" about the change.

Ms. McIsaac, who stepped down earlier this month after 18 years with the United Way in senior roles, says the new system will allow the charity to better co-ordinate its efforts - and track results it can show to its donors.

"In the past we had a membership model [for agencies that received funding.] If you passed the litmus test, you became a member," Ms. McIsaac said. "You had to fail pretty profoundly to get thrown out. ... I had folks from the finance sector say, 'How can you call that a dynamic portfolio if nobody ever gets thrown out?' A good investment portfolio means you are always looking at the return on your investment. So we are taking a really tough approach."

Kate Bahen, the managing director of Charity Intelligence Canada, a Toronto-based charity watchdog, said all United Ways rate highly for their efficient use of funds. But the Toronto United Way has for a long time largely given the money to the same agencies, she says, despite previously announced new strategies.

A more dynamic approach would see the United Way act more like a mutual fund, she said, which typically drops shares in companies it holds and swaps them for others based on performance. Whether the current process at the United Way actually produces this kind of change remains to be seen, she added.

"What I think is really important is to look back on this next year and see, was there a shakeup?" Ms. Bahen said. "One of my concerns in the past is that it has not been dynamic. It has been the same names year after year after year."

The reforms are not the only change in recent years at the charity. Over the past two decades, the United Way has shifted from focusing solely on its workplace-based paycheque-deduction campaigns to raising money from wealthy individual donors, who now contribute 30 per cent of its donations. It raises about double what it did back in late 1990s each year, with all of the growth coming from those newer, richer donors, including many in the financial sector, Ms. McIsaac said.

However, new challenges are now on the horizon. Fundraising growth has slowed, and is nowhere near the annual boosts seen in the years before the 2008 global financial crisis. The United Way is also trying to appeal to a younger generation of donors - millennials and Generation Xers - who are keen to get more involved in the work the United Way's agencies do, rather than just hand over cash.

The charity has also changed how it targets need across Toronto, moving its resources and the agencies it funds out of the downtown, where poverty was concentrated a generation ago, and into the city's inner suburbs, where need has multiplied in the past two decades.

Now, with the York Region merger, that transformation continues, Mr. Zanotti says, pointing out that pockets of Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan are seeing fast-growing rates of poverty, along with large populations of immigrants.

"While how we approach it locally will be different in Keswick, Parkdale, Jane and Finch, Scarborough or Markham, the issue is the same," Mr. Zanotti said. "The neighbourhood, the individual, does not have that opportunity, that fair shot to get a better life."

Associated Graphic

Daniele Zanotti stepped up to United Way's top Toronto job earlier this month.



Gotta catch 'em all in historic Lunenburg
Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm, but, as Erin Anderssen discovers, the game also offers unique opportunities for parents to connect with their children, hunting virtual cartoon characters - and even getting in some exercise
Thursday, July 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L5

By the harbour, in front of the Bluenose Store, as a horse-drawn carriage carrying tourists clopped by, we captured a Jigglypuff. By the fire hydrant on Montague Street, a bouncing blue Nidoran was waiting. Not far away, a Pidgey was snagged, waiting dangerously in the middle of what was luckily a quiet thoroughfare. Coming around one corner, a Krabby - as in, a crab - surprised us. "There he is, there he is," my son, Samson, whispered, forgetting, in the moment, that the Krabby couldn't actually hear him. "I am sort of freaking out right now," he confided to me.

It's surreal playing Pokemon Go in the historic Nova Scotia town of Lunenburg, hunting virtual cartoon characters along the famous waterfront and brightly coloured, carefully preserved 18th-century houses. And yet, surprisingly fun. Two hours later, we had 27 Pokemon, and a Level 5 ranking. This meant we could do battle in the nearest "gym," which had been strategically placed by those clever game masters on the wharf, next to where the Bluenose would usually dock. On this Wednesday evening, the wharf was mostly empty, the famous schooner currently away from its home port. But every new visitor to Lunenburg eventually stops here; now every Pokemon Go player will, too. The founding families never imagined this.

It's no understatement to say that Pokemon Go has become a worldwide obsession, sending Nintendo stock soaring. It has already been downloaded more than the dating app Tinder and is closing in on Twitter - even though until last weekend, it was only officially available in the United States, New Zealand and Australia. Not that this had actually stopped any motivated gamer in Canada.

My son, who is 11, had been excitedly volunteering intel about the game, watching YouTube videos to learn how to play and cleverly crafting the public relations case for why someone in the family should hack the system and get it on their phone. (He doesn't have one of his own.) "It's motherson time," he told me. "It's really an app to go sightseeing with your kids." "I can run around and burn off energy." "We won't get fat." When he learned we were going to play - in advance of the game's official Canadian release - it was as if he had chugged seven Red Bulls in one sitting.

Great, I thought, yet another video game, and this one intruding into the real world. And then, there I was, walking the streets of Lunenburg, asking, "Do you see one? Which way do we go? Have we levelled up yet?" - sucked into this hot-cold, GPS-guided Pokemon search along with my son.

"It's as if, until we point the camera," Samson said, "our eyes aren't sophisticated enough to see them."

Mostly, we earned odd looks from fellow pedestrians. (And did I sense a slight judgment that, amid all this history, I was allowing my son to bury his face in a screen?) But, suddenly, in the distance, we spotted two teenaged boys, eyes on a phone, erratically crossing streets. We chased them down. And yes, they were fellow gamers, Tim Godsall, 16, and his brother James, 14, visiting Nova Scotia from Toronto. James pointed out that the first game he and his brother ever played together, years ago, was Pokemon Platinum.

"It's almost like a religious connection to Pokemon," he said. "This kind of brings it to life."

But clearly, the real fan was Tim, who was already at Level 15 and in the hunt for a truly rare Pokemon. He showed Samson his Wartortle. "But it's only 18 CP," he said, referring to the Pokemon's combat power. "That sucks," said Samson, commiserating.

"I have walked more in the last day and a half than I have in the last two weeks," Tim said.

What he really liked about Pokemon Go, he explained, was that it was more relaxed. "A lot of people get too serious with their video games." At the same time, he said, he would consider "walking into traffic" for a certain coveted Pokemon. (I am pretty sure he was joking.)

So what's the final assessment? I began as a skeptic, but I was coming around. Two hours passed and we barely noticed how long we had been walking.

(At one point, Samson was running up and down the sidewalk, trying to figure out which way to go.) Certainly, this was more activity than sitting on couch.

"If we walk five kilometres," Samson told me, clearly game, "we can open an egg."

Some caveats: There have been reports of people walking into traffic and even off cliffs - prompting police to remind people to pay attention to their surrounding. I can see why. At one point, Samson grabbed my hand so I could serve as his human guide dog as he followed the phone down the sidewalk. I did have to remind him once or twice to check for cars at the crosswalk, so that's worrisome.

(A few days after we played, a local shopkeeper described nearly hitting a couple guys who had wandered onto the fairway at the Lunenburg golf course.

"Kids, I get," said Jamie Myra, the manager of Stan's Dad and Lad clothing store. "But I never thought I'd see the day when grown men would be walking around looking for Pokemon.") As well, Pokemon and the Poke balls you toss in the game to catch the creatures tend to be found at statues and monuments, and the game creators haven't discriminated on the basis of taste. (Staff at Holocaust landmarks have already told players to show some respect.) In Lunenburg, even supercharged with enthusiasm, Samson was hesitant to collect Pokeballs at the Fishermen's Memorial for Lunenburg fishermen lost at sea, which includes the name of his Uncle Kelly. He chose not to play there. If we're going to augment reality with cartoons, maybe we could avoid places where we honour the dead.

But these complaints and worry aside, we did get exercise.

(Although, as I soon learned, you can also catch Pokemon from the back seat of a slowmoving car.) It was mother-son bonding - a chance for me to participate in a digital space that Samson enjoys without having to manage a baffling game controller. Without further test runs, I would have second thoughts about letting him play with friends on city streets. But he could certainly chase Pokemon with his 15-year-old brother in Lunenburg, where drivers take their time. And while I expect to grow quickly weary of the constant requests to play, I do relish a new bargaining chip to trade for complaint-free chores and homework. (Whatever. You know you do it too.) I won't be looking for Pokemon on my own. But if joining in occasionally levels up my CM (cool mom) status, that's a win.

With the sun setting, we ended our first game of Pokemon Go back at the wharf, where Samson was "destroyed" in the gym battle - though definitely not in spirit. Finally, we had to call it quits: The phone battery died.

So take heart parents. Eventually you will get your kids back - if only because they'll have to charge up.

Associated Graphic

The dock where the iconic Bluenose II rests now has a new attraction: a 'gym' where Pokemon Go players can do battle.


Brexit for skeptical kids
Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F2

It's all over the news and there's no way to shelter your child from the Brexit vote, but it is possible to help your child process the information.

In an effort to aid you in this challenging time, I present: How to Talk to Your Child About the Illadvised and Entirely Avoidable Referendum Called by Prime Minister - and Man Who Allegedly Inserted his Penis into a Dead Pig's Mouth So That Some Twits at Oxford Would Let him Into Their Club - David Cameron, in Which the United Kingdom Voted to Leave the European Union.

It's only natural for your child to have questions: "Mummy, how the hell did that many people come to believe that abandoning access to the European market, in the hope that they'll be able to get right back into that market, is a good idea?" she may wonder at bedtime.

"Did it somehow escape these people," a six-year-old might ask, "that, once 'free' of the EU, the U.K. would no longer have the great deal of influence on regulation it once had but that -- best-case scenario - they'd end up obliged to follow most of them again in order to continue to do business with two of their three biggest trade partners? Do they not realize that, with the U.K. out of the regulatory picture, there's nothing to stop, say, Germany from slipping in a rider saying that all U.K. goods sold in Europe must have the words "Made by some Vollidiot on a damp little island" stamped on them?

It's best to try to keep your answers to these questions simple.

Try to work a tortoise and a bunny into the story; that usually goes over well, too. Make sure the tortoise's unlikely win is the result of reptiles in general invoking fears of some other species they maliciously characterized as invasive that never had anything to do with the marathon at hand.

Many parents report that letting out a loud, inhuman moan and banging their heads slowly against the wall is an effective way to explain the situation to their offspring.

Avoid exposing your child to too many graphic images of Happy Nigel Farage, as these may be difficult to process and even traumatic for a young mind.

It's important for understandably concerned caregivers not to be overprotective in this area.

After all, learning to deal with the existence of the Scowling, Romanian-Hating, Feeling Left Behind by the Modern World, UK Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage is part of growing up, and most of us spend some time concerned that Scowling, Feeling Left Behind by the Modern World Nigel Farage might be lurking in our closet.

However, no one should be subjected to the sight of Gleeful, Smug, Triumphant, I Suspect Still Romanian-Hating Possibly Just Led U.K. Voters Into Blowing Up The Global Economy and Splitting Up Their Nation Nigel Farage, least of all an innocent child.

Don't speculate to your child about what may happen as a result of the European referendum. Boris Johnson doesn't have a clue and, unlike anyone with any common sense, he helped to make it happen; why should you?

To help relieve your child's anxiety about what's arguably a global trend toward rampant nostalgia-fuelled xenophobic nationalism, try to find a bright side to the situation. Have fun; spend some quality time with your child watching thousands of conservatives worldwide attempt to explain why millions of people voting to shut down market access, in the (mistaken) belief millions more would be spent on socialized medicine is a victory for the right.

Be sympathetic to the fact that, in the wake of a Leave vote, your child may be worried about what other adults might do next.

Understand that young people have every right to be concerned that older people do not have their best interests at heart. After all, almost three-quarters of the voters between the ages of 18 and 24 wanted to remain in the EU with the quid pro quo freedom of movement that entailed.

It was those with the fewest years left to work who voted to make everyone's workplace 27 countries smaller, but try to humanize that behaviour to your child.

It may be necessary to admit to your young ones that you, too, have an irrational concern that hordes of people are invading your territory and engaging in what has been your labour. If your politics skew left, you may have been wondering lately what all these conservatives are doing in your traditional domain, trying to speak your language.

Concern for the working class has perhaps been your stock-intrade. Skepticism of free trade - economic naiveté, even - have both been, you may want to explain to your child, a bit of a sideline for your people.

Your father's father was a kneejerk liberal, tell her all about that. Why, pappy taught you the art of protectionism on his knee, and now, all of a sudden, everywhere you look, the streets are filled with bleeding-heart conservatives peddling knock-offs of your be-awares.

In North America, too, back-tothe-steel-millers are the new back-to-the-landers. Both fads wallow in the same depths of backward thinking and wanton wistfulness, in a yearning for halcyon days that never were, and neither offers a practical solution to the very real problem of keeping people well fed.

Of course, these newcomers make you a bit uncomfortable, you can tell your child, but it's nothing you'd reunite Ireland over, or anything.

"But why did the man who allegedly inserted his penis into a dead pig's mouth call for the referendum in the first place, mummy?" your child may whisper as she starts, finally, to fall asleep.

Make sure she understands that none of this is her fault. Tell the wee tot that Mr. Cameron did it in an attempt to quiet some backbenchers, sort of like the way her teacher puts up his hand to quiet the class, only with less "Okay, now, settle down" and more potential to incite racial violence and spur Scotland into becoming an independent country.

"I see, mum," a three-year-old might say, "that whole 'We can't be properly British, we can never hope to maintain our identity while being in any kind of union with other states' thing, must sound a bit rich to the Scots right now, isn't that right?" Say, "That's right, baby, you're so clever. Maybe you can also explain to me why it is the U.K. gets 'shadow ministers,' and in Canada we're stuck with 'opposition critics'? Why do we get MP Siskel & Ebert, while they get Parliamentary Ninjas?" "That I can't help you with," your little girl may well say. No one can help me with that one, I've found.

"So, basically, Mr. Pig Mouth Man put on a big show, hoping it would flop, for his own gain, a sort of Springtime for the Dissolution of the United Kingdom? And, instead, the show may well run for years to come, right mum?"

Associated Graphic

A youngster in Cardiff this week dispels any notion that all British kids are fans of chief Leave proponent Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party.


Six things I learned at Cleveland's bonfire of the GOP
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A15

CLEVELAND -- If there is any big takeaway from this week's GOP convention in Cleveland, it's that the Trump campaign can't do anything right, but at the same time, can do no wrong. A party insurrection tried to overthrow its front-runner before his nomination, but could not withstand the steamroller simplicity of Donald Trump's message.

While his wife, Melania, could have done him in with words cribbed from Michelle Obama (and, by some accounts, eighties crooner Rick Astley), she is a political fixer-upper anyway. Gallup determined that the Slovenian supermodel had the least favourable ratings of any possible First Lady since 1992 (hint: a wellknown politician with a Gmail account).

Archrival Ted Cruz is still concerned only with the Constitution, the rights of the unborn and his moribund political future and came off as a boor by not endorsing the nominee. Mr. Trump's arrival in Cleveland was supposed to spark violence but the only thing that burned was a protester, who tried to light an American Flag and wound up with minor burns.

The same could not be said of the GOP, which was in major flames. The party of Lincoln is hurting, and where there is suffering, there is knowledge.

Here are the six things I learned about Trumpalooza.

1. Trump Strong! GOP Weak!

Conventions are meant to unite parties, not to blow them up, but there is no more pretense of party discipline, certainly after the Ted Wedding, the Cruz Boos or whatever you call Mr. Cruz's non-endorsement of Mr. Trump.

Reinhold Richard (Reince) Priebus is Republican Party chairman and circus master of an imploding party tent, and whether you feel sorry for him or blame him, he has the unenviable task of corralling a lot of feral anger.

Old hands such as the Bushes stayed well away. Even Ohio's own governor and former candidate, John Kasich, once considered the only "adult in the room," returned to his churlish ways and avoided what was the reinvigorated city of NBA champions. The gesture looked vindictive, even more so after it leaked that Mr. Trump offered his opponent a vice-presidential position that gave him a CEO role, with Mr. Trump as chairman.

The establishment's blackballing of the convention only made Mr. Trump look more rogue, and therefore, bolstering his brand.

2. Trumpism may triumph in the end

No matter how messy Mr. Trump's organization can be, nothing sticks, even his puzzling avoidance of his own vice-presidential candidate during photo ops.

While Mr. Trump's xenophobic messaging will continue to drive away minorities, there are still some encouraging signs of growth elsewhere. To begin with, he is tied with presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton in the popularity polls. In June, The New York Times website, The Upshot, showed that millions more white, older working-class voters went to the polls in 2012 than was found by exit polls on Election Day.

"This raises the prospect that Mr. Trump has a larger pool of potential voters than generally believed," Upshot concluded.

"The wider path may help explain why Mr. Trump is competitive in early general-election surveys against Hillary Clinton."

Recently, Times data also showed that Mr. Trump's ratings are already as high as 2012 nominee Mitt Romney at his very peak.

There is a 38.3-per-cent chance that Mr. Trump will win. Or, as it explained on Tuesday, "Mrs. Clinton's chance of losing is about the same probability that an NBA player will miss a free throw."

3. Trumpism is a movement

Checking out the delegates, you see the genteel, country-club types one would imagine, but they now appear as a rump within a larger tent. Cleveland is not a Brooks Brothers fashion show.

The candidate's message of humiliation, resurgence and renegotiation appeals to a wider swath of voters than one would think, demonstrated by the number of visible minorities attending the convention. Despite fears of antiSemitism in the Trump campaign, there are Orthodox Jews, too (including members of Mr. Trump's own family).

Trumpers are supposed to resent journalists, but almost every delegate or public servant I approached was willing to talk about their leader. "There's an unexpected sense that a new GOP is being formed around an unabashed, unco-ordinated, inchoate individualism," said Jeff Ballabon, a GOP strategist and supporter of the party's ticket. "This is clearly a U.S. iteration of Brexit," said Mr.

Ballabon, CEO of B2 Strategic. (As Mr. Trump has boasted on several occasions, he called Brexit before anyone else did. Because, apparently, he gets it.)

4. The demonizing of Hillary Clinton: gone too far?

To this observer, the ubiquitous "Jail Hillary" slogan is smug. Terrible! Not as good as Make America Great Again! But as the self-proclaimed standard-bearers of law and order, Republicans should have also kept the convention streets clean. On Cleveland's main drag, Euclid Street, there are T-shirts that say "Life is a Bitch, Don't Vote for One" and "KFC Special: 2 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts, Left Wing." And that was only the PG merchandise.

5. The revolution never came

Cleveland was predicted to be a powder keg. It's where officers killed teenager Tamir Rice for waving a toy gun, where its uniquely brutal police force is under a form of federal supervision.

The convention was taking place in a city where guns could be openly carried while the nation mourned the deaths of five officers slain in Dallas.

An angry country - left and right, anarchists and white supremacists - was set to descend and wreak havoc.

But even after police officers were ambushed and killed in Baton Rouge, peace prevailed. At various sites, journalists outnumbered protesters, creating an odd zoo effect. According to the security advisory company Densus, anarchists using black bloc tactics should have posed the biggest threat, but in the end, the masked marauders didn't deliver. Adam Leggat, the company's expert on protest and crowd control, said that at previous events such as Toronto's G20 in 2010 and the Republican Convention in St. Paul, Minn, two years earlier, the anarchists announced their intentions months in advance. (What did happen there, Toronto?)

In Cleveland, however, there was no such organization, In one instance, an anarchist sent out a tweet on Wednesday for 3 p.m. "Anti-Capitalist/Anti-Fascist in Public Square at 3 PM. Look for and Follow the Heart." So, Mr. Leggat, a veteran of the British military, did just that. An anarchist unfurled a black flag with a heart on it, but in the end drew only about a dozen people and nothing apparently came of the call to action.

6. You don't need to be a Trump supporter to visit Cleveland

The reinvigorated downtown area has some great, inexpensive food and cool bars, and for the highbrowed, it has one of the best orchestras in the world, two renowned art museums and a science centre.

I stayed in an area called Tremont, a funky neighbourhood that's like the Plateau in Montreal, with restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops.

Near there, in an industrial valley, is an indie watering hole called Pats in the Flats that has a honky-tonk, Tom Waits feel. "Working-man bar by day, bluecollar rock-club at night," is the slogan. Or, perhaps, a future Trumpian hot spot?

Edmonton going out of its way to keep the car king of the road
The Alberta capital ranks as Canada's largest city without any bike lanes downtown - thanks in large part to civic leaders who have been spinning their wheels. Indeed, Justin Giovannetti reports, Edmonton presents a case study on how not to develop alternatives for getting around
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

EDMONTON -- It's a Monday afternoon and with nowhere else to go, an Edmonton cyclist weaves through throngs of office workers on a downtown street. There are close calls as the man, wearing a dress shirt, slacks and no helmet, inches between pedestrians.

Beside him, a six-lane boulevard is busy with pickup trucks and SUVs.

There's nowhere else for the cyclist to go because Edmonton is the largest Canadian city without a single dedicated bike path downtown.

While Vancouver is rolling out a bike-share program and Calgary finished a downtown network of bike paths last summer, the car is still king in Edmonton. The city's first downtown bike path will not be finished before 2020, based on current plans.

Frustrated cyclists and local politicians bemoan a city government lacking ambition. They point to the contrast between what Mayor Don Iveson has accomplished and his progressive image. The young mayor championed active transportation three years ago, when he ran for office, but now he has overseen the removal of four bike paths.

"By all accounts, Edmonton has fallen behind and we need political will to move forward," Councillor Scott McKeen said in an interview from his office in City Hall. "We've been doing this in a really half-arsed way."

Catherine Kloczkowski, a spokeswoman for the city, explained via e-mail that Edmonton's cycling infrastructure is being built in conjunction with efforts to rebuild streets in neighbourhoods. "This is a unique program for Canada in that all the roadway infrastructure is rebuilt along with the installation of cycling infrastructure."

It's far too little for Mr. McKeen, who represents much of downtown Edmonton and is in his third year on City Council. In early July, he pushed through a motion to shake up how the city builds bike paths. Stantec, the Edmonton-based engineering giant, has offered to pay for half the cost of studying how to build a network of temporary bike paths in the city.

The company, which did not respond to a request for comment, has hundreds of workers in the city's downtown. Many of them would like a safer way to bike to work, Mr. McKeen said.

The councillor said he is aiming to have kilometres of concrete barriers and plastic bollards thrown down by the fall. It would be a complete about-face from how the city does things now.

Showing clear irritation as he spoke, Mr. McKeen questioned why it takes the city six years to fund and build a single dedicated cycling path, which he mockingly called a "feat of engineering."

Edmonton residents are spread out over nearly 700 square kilometres and the sprawling capital is knitted together by ample roads. Gasoline is typically the cheapest in the country. Winters are long and cold. And perhaps most important, while downtown has a skyline of tall buildings, most of the city's jobs are actually spread out in a manufacturing belt and shopping districts that ring the city.

The biking situation has only gotten worse during Mr. Iveson's time in office, said Chris Chan, the executive director of Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society.

One move he cites is the decision to erase four new bike paths in 2015. Edmonton city councillors argued that the 14 kilometres of painted bike paths were in the wrong place and motorists complained that no one was using them. While Mr. Chan said the paths, which ran through suburban and industrial areas, were not exceptional, the millions of dollars spent removing them sent the wrong message.

In their place, council has approved plans to build two new bike lanes by the end of the decade, totalling nearly eight kilometres.

"There's a frustration at the pace we're going. Not only at the removal of bike lanes, but that it'll take another four or five years for the partial completion of two bike paths. It feels like I'll be dead before there's a bike network in Edmonton," Mr. Chan said.

Beyond the removal of the bike paths, there have been a number of grievances brought up by cyclists under Mr. Iveson's watch.

One of the few footbridges in the city is being torn down to make way for a new light rail line and the installation of suicide barriers on the city's main bridge has made a shared path dangerously narrow, according to many cyclists. The mayor admitted as much when he suggested last week that cyclists should consider walking their bikes across the one-kilometre span. He soon backtracked after howls of protest.

"There's a fear of upsetting motorists, that's what it comes down to. They're really timid around cycling infrastructure," Mr. Chan said of the city government.

There's a disconnect in Edmonton between the city's plan to build dense, walkable communities and how it actually spends money, said Brent Toderian, Vancouver's former chief planner. Mr. Toderian came to Edmonton in February at the city's invitation to speak about how it's doing.

"The city has an A grade for vision and a C grade for followthrough. There's a wavering when it comes to the tough choices," Mr. Toderian said in an interview.

The city's budget for walking and cycling is a rounding error in the road budget, he said, a problem compounded by a city that lacks urgency. "They're taking one step forward and two steps back," he said. "Other cities are doing more, smarter, faster."

That the city tore out bike lanes without replacing them "speaks volumes," Mr. Toderian said.

"In the context of a global revolution in urban biking, they're making small steps slowly," he added. "Edmonton could change its sign from City of Champions to City of Roads."

David Shepherd is the New Democratic MLA for downtown Edmonton. A cycling advocate, he often bikes to the provincial legislature in his suit - he says it's the fastest way to get to his seat. He admits that it can be harrowing and says that a rear-view mirror is indispensable on his bike to feel safe in traffic.

"I've been cycling back and forth to work year-round for about five years. At this point, I'm pretty comfortable with most of what's there, but I've certainly had the occasional close call with drivers. I'd love to see decent cycling infrastructure downtown sooner rather than later," he said.

Over the past decade, 14 cyclists and 78 pedestrians have been killed on the city's roads, and nearly 5,500 have been injured.

With much of the staff at his constituency office now biking as well, Mr. Shepherd said many of the city's downtown bike racks are busier than ever. But he admitted that the city has to overcome resistance from some drivers.

"Not seeing a lane completed until 2020 is frustrating to riders."

Associated Graphic

Forget trying to negotiate traffic like this - one cyclist prefers to take the sidewalks at 97 Street and 51 Avenue in Edmonton.


Suicide barriers on the High Level Bridge make a shared path dangerously narrow.


The planned removal of the Cloverdale Footbridge is one of the grievances among Edmonton cyclists.

Ahead is the Chilcotin, one of the last refuges of the wild Canadian horse. In between, rally-striped and moving fast, we have our thunderous steed: a Shelby Mustang GT350
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 14, 2016 – Print Edition, Page D1

CANYON, B.C. -- I nto the mouth of Hell rode the six hundred. To the left, the mighty Fraser River rages against its granite oppressor; on the right, the bare rock wall stretches up to the sky. There are seven tunnels here, seven looping boreholes through living rock.

It's a bit like being in a nitroglycerine-fuelled version of the hungry, hungry caterpillar.

Behind is the traffic-plagued flood-plain highway leading to Vancouver, home to high-rises and busy streets. Ahead is the high country of the Chilcotin, one of the last refuges of the wild Canadian horse.

In between, rally-striped and moving fast, we have our thunderous steed: a Shelby Mustang GT350.

The mustang - the horse, not the car - is perhaps best-known as a symbol of the American West. A herd running across a broad basin is all buckskin, six-shooters and Louis L'Amour. But horses run free in Canada, too. Ours are hardy little beasts, with strong genetic ties to the Siberian horse. The historical record indicates that these horses can trace their lineage to 1740, when members of the Tsilhqot'in First Nation brought them into the high grasslands. Where we're headed, deep into the remote Brittany triangle, a herd of around 200 animals still ranges freely, far away from ranchlands and people.

Just as a wild horse is happiest in a remote area, so, too, is the Shelby. The numbers are ridiculous: 526 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 429 lb-ft at 4,750 rpm from a 5.2-litre V-8 that revs to 8,250 rpm. What do you do with a beast like that?

You sure don't hang around Dodge City waiting for the sheriff to take notice.

Like its 1965 ancestor, the GT350 is built for the racetrack more than the drag strip. Either of Dodge's Hellcats will eat it alive in a straight line, but they're over-muscled Clydesdales next to a fast-running quarter horse.

Essentially, the GT350 is Ford's version of a 911 GT3. The comparison might be sacrilegious to the average Porsche fan, but hear me out. Both cars offer a half-century of heritage. Both cars can point to a racing pedigree that includes past and recent wins at Le Mans. Both cars come with searing redlines, and yet have 2+2 seating configuration to suit everyday use.

Only one comes with a manual transmission - and the Ford is less than half the money.

Granted, a base price of $62,599 is a lot to pay for a Mustang. It gets worse: After this particular car's technology package is factored in, the price tag swells to more than $70,000.

That kind of money gets you a fully-loaded BMW 4-series with all-wheel drive to fight off Canadian weather, a turbocharged straight-six with more than enough grunt to suit a sane person and cash left over in your pocket. It'd also get you a nicer interior than the Shelby, which has the same plastic feel as the V-6 convertible Mustang you'll rent on your next holiday.

You might spend your money on a better stereo, but you won't get a better sound than that from the Shelby's insane hand-built V-8. Drop the windows and drop the hammer, and you warp forward on a roll of thunder.

Part of the unique sound is thanks to the Shelby's flat-plane crank V-8, which is only slightly louder than the amount of noise Ford's marketing department makes about it. They've even written "FPC" on the doorsills, in case you forget. As if.

A normal V-8 crankshaft, viewed in cross-section, looks like a "+" symbol. Power from the pistons come in easy-tobalance quarter-strokes. Flatten out the crank into a "-" profile, and the power comes in hammer blows. The result sounds like two bored-out Cosworth four-cylinders scrapping it out in an MMA octagon.

Ears still ringing from the tunnels, we push north into desert country. A pace that felt slow in the city suits the Mustang out here; the road starts winding through the foothills, but the speed limit stays the same.

Incredibly, a more hardcore version of this car exists, with the rear seat torn out to save weight and further track-focused aerodynamics. Think of the GT350R as analogous to the 911 GT3 RS: even more crazy for even more money.

The so-called normal Shelby GT350 is well-behaved on the tarmac, and suited to this sort of 1,000-kilometre-plus road trip. The wide Michelin Super Sports have a tendency to tramline along the ruts in the road, but over all, it's a comfortable car. The Recaros grip, but they don't pinch.

I lent this car to the 6-foot-8inch tall Daniel Cudmore - he played Colossus in the X-Men movie franchise - and he fit just fine. I also managed to put a child's seat in the back, and my kid thought the noise was hilarious. The trunk is easily big enough for all our camera gear, and the seats fold down.

Yes, it's a fast, expensive version of a Mustang, but all the livability of a regular Mustang is still here.

Cool Pacific coast rainforest turns to desert turns to shattered lakes turns to high plain and lush grasslands. We head West at Williams Lake, stretching the GT350's legs through a couple of hairpin corners on the highway to Bella Coola. It grips in the turns, hard enough to compress your eyeballs, then surges forward towards that incredible redline.

Most of us don't ride horses any more, except for pleasure.

Likewise, the Shelby feels like old technology, its thundering V-8 an echo of the past. Its anachronisms are legion: thirsty internal combustion engine, manual transmission, rearwheel-drive.

We are told the way forward is electric and autonomously controlled. A car such as this rages against the dying of the light, but it will be supplanted by friendly little eco-pods that will whisk us to our destinations while we text and Facebook and Twitter and never lift our eyes to the horizon. So we are told.

I stop the Shelby on gravel.

The wild horses are out there, just ahead, perhaps hiding in the treeline. They're as elus