He was born at 24 Sussex Drive and wants to return as prime minister. Ian Brown goes in search of the real Justin Trudeau, a man whose pain and progress have played out on the public stage. The question, he discovers, might not be whether Mr. Trudeau is ready for us - but whether we're ready for him
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page F1

Before getting to Justin Trudeau and what he is actually like, whether he is intelligent and sincere or an empty-headed creation of others, let me remind you, fellow citizen - and I use that phrase with nostalgic fondness - of Henry Adams's definition of politics. Adams was a historian and the descendant of two U.S. presidents, and he believed politics, "as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds." That still seems true. I just wanted to mention that before I tell you about the first night I encountered what I thought was the unvarnished Justin Trudeau.

It was an evening in June. The "Justin Trudeau: Just Not Ready" attack ad had been slipped into rotation a few weeks earlier by the Conservative war room, and an entire weather system of nastiness was moving steadily across the land.

I was sitting in the lobby bar of the downtown Westin Edmonton Hotel. It was the same lobby from which I had watched Mr. Trudeau stand in line for his room key the previous day. It had been surprising, even pitiful, to see a national political leader performing his own hotel check-in. But that's how it is when you're the leader of the third party - the once-mighty Liberals, who now limp along with 36 seats in Parliament - and hoping against history to become the next prime minister. Even if you are the first-born son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau was sipping a beer - I never saw him finish even one while he was campaigning - when he said, apropos of nothing much, "I can't remember phone numbers." He has four or five in his head, no more. His wife, Sophie Grégoire, on the other hand, has only numbers programmed into her phone, and no names. When Mr. Trudeau asks her for someone's number, so he can write it down, she sometimes says, "No, no, Justin, just focus on this number I'm giving you. Say the number," but then he walks across the room and can't remember it, so he always writes it down anyway.

I thought it was a modestly daring admission, for a modern politician. Then, to demonstrate that he actually has an excellent memory, Mr. Trudeau recited, verbatim, a poem he had learned as a literature major at McGill and forgotten until, on his honeymoon in Africa with Sophie some 12 years later, in 2005, their guide pointed out a rhinoceros midden. A midden, in the case of a rhinoceros, is a (large) pile of dung.

"There was this phrase that kept coming back to me," Mr. Trudeau said: "'Yonder's the midden whose odours will madden.' I'm like, fuck, that's from a W.H. Auden poem. From Five Songs. I'm, like, okay, let's figure it out. Let's try and see if I can ... reconstitute it from just remembering that word." It took him two hours, flying in the back seat of a bush plane over the African veld. Mr. Trudeau loves that kind of problem. To this day, travelling, he buys the paperback logic puzzle books you see in drugstores.

Whereupon he recited the fifth song from memory in the clattering bar of the dreary Westin Edmonton:

"O where are you going?"

said reader to rider,

"That valley is fatal when

furnaces burn,

Yonder's the midden whose

odours will madden,

That gap is the grave

where the tall return."

He remembered all four stanzas. It's a poem about setting off on a possibly fatal adventure, despite a raft of warnings not to, about defying your minders, whoever they may be. A poem about taking the road no one else is taking.

High fives, and lots of selfies

What hits you first is his physical confidence. It isn't just that he's tall (6-foot-2) and has excellent posture and is knife-slim handsome (yoga, running, lots of sushi): There's something unflappable in his gait. He has the physical grace of a professional athlete. His head seems to follow his body's confident lead. Next to Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair and Stephen Harper look like nesting babushka dolls. Mr. Trudeau rises at 6:30 every morning and is in bed by 10. "As long as they feed me and I get seven or eight hours of sleep," he says, "I'm good."

He spars once a week with his ever-present aide, Tommy Desfossés, in any boxing gym they can find wherever they are in the country. They do two sessions during the campaign if it's a debate week. "One of my challenges is, I get too high-energy," Mr. Trudeau says. "And I like to work a little of it off this way."

I watched them go at it a few weeks ago in a white-collar boxing gym on Yonge Street in Toronto. It was a steady workout: an hour of skipping, sit-ups, sit-ups with air punching, stretching, bag work, ring work, finishing with 10 minutes of sparring. They hammered each other, high-speed, grunting with the blows. Tommy's faster and younger and has gorilla strength, but Justin has inches more in reach. Tommy caught the leader in the face with two right crosses and in the body with a left hook. Justin caught Tommy more. "Tommy can take ih," Mr. Trudeau said through his mouthguard. "He likes tah hih hiss boss."

Then he climbed out of the ring and said, "Boxing's not about beating up on the other guy. It's about sticking to your plan while the other guy takes shots at you." He seemed to be talking about boxing and the campaign at once. He was still panting. He sat down on a bench beside the ropes and started to unwrap his hands - red tape, naturally, the Liberal colour; his team never misses an image hit.

"What's your job as leader?" I asked. I'd been trying to figure out if his collaborative style, that of a consensus-builder surrounded by experts, had any substance next to the top-down bossiness and authoritativeness of Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair.

"I set the frame," he said. Pant. "The frame I've set is: What helps the Canadian people?"

"How do you know what that is?" I asked.

"I talk to people. And I ask the people and experts I've assembled around me to provide ideas as to what the country needs. What it really needs, not what'll get us elected. That's their job. And I'll figure out how to get it across to people." He paused for a moment. "It's reality, versus politics."

For a guy who'd just been punched in the head repeatedly, he was right on message. But Mr. Trudeau has always loved the moment when he has no choice but to step forward and make a move. "There is no experience like stepping into this ring and measuring yourself," he once told a crowd at a charity boxing match. "Your name, your fortune, your intelligence, your beauty, none of that fucking matters." Justin Trudeau loves a competition.

As teenagers in their father's art-deco hillside mansion on Pine Avenue in Montreal's Westmount, Justin and his younger brothers, Alexandre (known as Sacha) and Michel, were encouraged to work out their differences on exercise mats laid out on the ground floor of the house. (They also practised judo with their father.) The only rule was that you had to wear boxing gloves. "They whaled on each other," remembers Marc Miller, a childhood friend now running for the Liberals in Ville-Marie - Le-Sud-Ouest - Île-des-Soeurs. "You'd get a headlock in there once in a while."

Lots of politicians have energy, born from the depths of their longing to be needed. But Mr. Trudeau's energy is some kind of mutant surge. One morning in the riding of Edmonton Centre I watched him meet 40 people in 10 minutes in a single bakery. He took their hands in his two hands and looked directly into their eyes and smiled and listened, at least for the time he could give them. Of all the people he made contact with that I spoke to afterward, only one claimed to find his attention insincere. He moved through a crowd like someone doing an easy crawl through lake water.

The next morning at the Edmonton Pride parade, Mr. Trudeau ran - literally ran - back and forth across the street for 90 minutes, high-fiving, double-high-fiving, shaking hands, hugging, mugging, dancing, shouting, never stopping. He must have been asked for 500 selfies with the people he met. He snaps them himself, the same picture every time, the same frame of himself and the voter, the same smile, the same number of his teeth showing. ("He always gets the shot, too," a photographer observed.) He was wearing tan pants and a pink-checked shirt, an intentional choice. His team had planned the back-and-forth pattern the day before to emphasize their boss's vitality compared to his more rotund opponents. He seemed to be in a trance of pure connection.

Unlike many other politicians, who will not shake hands unless they know the shaker is a fan, he never hesitated, never backed away; everyone was the same to him. People in wheelchairs, people on their feet, the aged, the young, the bearded and the breasted, people carrying the "Jesus Saves Everyone" sign, even a scowling tattooed woman sitting on the curb who gave him the double thumbs down and openly booed. "It's a happy day, it's a happy day!" Justin implored her, grabbing her hand anyway. "Happy Pride, Happy Pride!" His talent for face-to-face connection is beyond words and logic, which may be why his opponents, Tutting Tom and Strapped-In Stephen, who can't manage it as effectively, mock him so viciously in public.

Mr. Trudeau's father liked people in the abstract. But his grandfather, James Sinclair, a Rhodes Scholar and minister in Louis St. Laurent's cabinet, was the king of retail politicians. Justin Trudeau gets his greatest gift from Jimmy. He even looks like him.

Last June, Ivan Fecan, the former chief executive officer of the CTV Television Network, held a fundraiser in the garden of his mansion in Toronto's prosperous Rosedale. He invited a hundred people, and charged $1,500 a ticket: John Irving was there, as were Sylvia Tyson, Peter Munk and Conrad Black. "Justin actually went and talked to every single person," Mr. Fecan noted, including the parking valets and the waiters. "He worked it. He didn't waste a second. Not even a glass of water."

In Montreal a few weeks later, at a fundraiser hosted by millionaire businessman Stephen Bronfman, his main money guy, Mr. Trudeau raised $250,000 in two hours. He has attracted $37-million to the Liberal Party in the past two years.

The Pride parade finally came to rest in a park. "I have two questions," Jesse Hahn, a local businessman, asked Trudeau. "What's Canada's biggest problem at the moment?"

"Sorting out who we are," Justin said. "And finding that balance between safety and freedom." He was desperate to explain why the Liberals had defended Bill C-51, a decision the NDP was milking. "And getting over the cynicism of the political system."

"And our greatest strength?"

"It's kind of the flip side. Our diversity. That, unlike the United States, we are stronger by being diverse."

The lads seemed impressed. "Mulcair always takes the fight where he goes. Trudeau takes the high road," one of Mr. Hahn's pals said.

Away from the crowd, he's more introverted, quieter, a reader: "I can be up, and I can be down. But if I'm going to do downtime, I have to do downtime." He has impeccable manners, and dislikes being rude. The barrage of interruptions he launched during the debate on the economy? He had to work at those. "I'm someone who is, I think, a learned extrovert," he told me recently. "I'm perfectly happy to be quiet the way my father was. But I do like people, and I've gotten over an innate shyness that, you know, has led me to be fairly good at this particular line of work."

'Serene' about Bill C-51

Is he a fool or a rebel? A doofus, or a politician who has tried to position himself outside the status quo? It depends which bias you are trying to confirm. The Conservatives' "Just Not Ready" spot couldn't have worked its evil magic if Mr. Trudeau's unfiltered antics hadn't made the ad believable.

The highlights - now widely referred to as his "gaffes"- would include calling Environment Minister Peter Kent a "piece of shit" in the House of Commons in 2011, after Mr. Kent blocked NDP critic Megan Leslie from going to the Durban climate conference, and then chided her for not being there; his public admiration for the way the "basic dictatorship" of China had allowed the country to turn its economy around, in 2013; his (until recently) ever-evolving hair-and-mustache styles (remember the Three Musketeers phase?); dropping the F-bomb at a charity boxing match in 2014; his crack the same year about "trying to whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are" (he was criticizing Stephen Harper for having made "no effort to build a nonpartisan case for war," which is a reasonable point, but the Conservatives accused him of disrespecting the Armed Forces, while Mr. Mulcair called him "childish"); his joke in 2014 (a bad year for gaffes, 2014) about Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine because he was upset that Russia's hockey team had been eliminated from the medal round of the Sochi Winter Games (delivered on a comedy news program, and contextually distorted by Conservative Jason Kenney and others, but still ...).

Let's not forget "the budget will balance itself," though that, too, was forcibly distorted by the Conservative anti-Justin messaging machine; or his overzealous welcome of Conservative Eve Adams when she crossed the floor.

But Mr. Trudeau's support for Bill C-51, the national-security bill, was another order of error.

The Liberal caucus debated the bill behind closed doors after it was given first reading in January, in the panicky aftermath of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's deadly rampage through Parliament Hill and the House of Commons the previous October. (That, at least, is how Mr. Trudeau's team characterizes the emotional atmosphere of the bill's passing.) The Liberals wanted curbs on the bill's information-sharing powers - but didn't want to be weak (or to be depicted by the Conservatives as weak) on security.

They promised to amend the bill if elected, but helped pass it. They had a chance to look as if they were making a stand, and ended up looking as if they were playing politics instead. "It was a caucus-driven position," one long-time Liberal insider insists. But the optics were awful. The impression, another adds, was that "Justin was not sure-handed on C-51 and the invasion of ISIS."

Chances to display political courage, the royal jelly of gravitas, come along unpredictably. Pierre Trudeau established himself as a tough guy at the famous 1968 St. Jean Baptiste parade in Montreal, standing up to separatists. Jean Chrétien refused to declare war on Iraq, and throttled a protester. C-51 was Justin Trudeau's biggest chance so far, and, from a strategic point of view, he misjudged it. But he hasn't backed away from the decision, and maintains that the Liberal position - protect the country, and amend the spying clauses when elected - was the only principled one. "Politics shouldn't be about getting everyone to like you," he told me. "I am very serene and comfortable with the position I took." If that's true, he's as stubborn as some insiders say he is.

People certainly liked him less by the time this past summer rolled around. Mr. Trudeau had dropped from first to third in the polls, and the Liberal chattering class was flinging anti-Justin poo with glee. The chattering class is the extended community of greying, former backroom bagmen from Toronto responsible for bringing you Paul Martin, Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, among captivating others. They accused Gerald Butts, the candidate's principal adviser, of overthinking the leader's strategy, and depicted Mr. Trudeau as a dolt.

"It's very hard to do politics as the son or daughter of someone," one disgruntled former insider, now cut out of the action, told me last June, "because they don't learn the job of selling. That's Al Gore's problem. Or Jeb Bush's problem. Because they've spent all their lives trying to get people to stay away from them."

Together, the "Just Not Ready" ad, the sniping of his enemies, and his own rebelliousness have created the widespread notion that Mr. Trudeau is a callow, shallow, brainless flibbertigibbet who won the Liberal leadership because of his last name and his thick hair. This notion was so pervasive by the time the writ was dropped - "He has his father's personality and his mother's mind" (a Calgary businessman who has never met him); "He's not up to it" (wannabe Liberal backroom type rejected as a candidate); "He has the IQ of a VJ" (Toronto newspaper journalist who has never met him); "He reminds me of Sarah Palin. Palin wasn't stupid. Her problem was that she was pretty. And whenever she found herself in a tight spot, she relied on her good looks" (David Frum, former speechwriter for George W. Bush, buttonholed in a Toronto liquor store) - that it comes as a physical shock to discover that, in person, Justin Trudeau is a fluidly intelligent, highly articulate, compassionate, principled, thoughtful, curious, idealistic, likeable, non-drooling 43-year-old husband, Catholic and father of three.

He looks a full 10 or 15 years younger than he is - a serious liability, in terms of seeming unready - and is handsome (ditto). But he's actually the same age John F. Kennedy was when he became president, and only three years younger than Stephen Harper was, and arguably more experienced (if you consider how little Mr. Harper had travelled), when the current Prime Minister first won the job.

But Justin as Fool is a profitable and comforting narrative. Googling his name produces 443,000 mentions in the news, compared to 240,000 for Mr. Mulcair and 868,000 for Mr. Harper, who has been prime minister for almost a decade. Even his famous hair, which earns steady ridicule from both Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair, turns out to be a mirage of their making: He spends less than two minutes on it every morning, using whatever pomade Sophie has supplied. In other words, he does not spend as much time on his hair as Mr. Harper surely must to maintain his own Playmobil do, or as much time as Mr. Mulcair surely must trimming the eccentric chiaroscuro of his beard. Mr. Trudeau once shared a hairdresser in Ottawa with Mr. Harper. All she would ever say about the Prime Minister's hair, Mr. Trudeau remembers, was that "'it was a challenge.' I don't even know what that means."

He reads incessantly and widely (four hardcovers for a week's vacation, according to his friends; I saw two in his briefcase over a two-day trip to Edmonton) and is implacably confident. "I spent my entire childhood sitting around the dinner table debating with my father on everything from ancient Greek philosophy to World War II to language issues in Quebec," Mr. Trudeau told me one evening. "And I know I can hold my own in any serious conversation."

Still, it's his emotional intelligence that gets noticed more often. Jonathan Kay, the editor of The Walrus, and a self-described David Frum-worshipping conservative, spent months helping Mr. Trudeau write Common Ground, the Liberal leader's 2014 memoir. "Sometimes," Mr. Kay told me recently, "it is difficult to get interesting or coherent ideas out of the author. But that was not a problem with Trudeau. He is both a natural communicator, and acutely self-aware. I found him very different from the popular caricature who appears in Tory attack ads. He's no phoney."

The Justin as Fool narrative disses Mr. Trudeau for being a mere schoolteacher (at least five U.S. presidents were teachers, including Lyndon Johnson) and harks on his spotty attendance in Parliament.

The Justin as Hero counternarrative, on the other hand, promulgated by his team and supporters, cites repeated examples of his political backbone. He has championed a woman's right to wear the niqab. He won his seat twice in Papineau, a gritty, working-class Montreal riding, despite the opposition of Mr. Dion and the Quebec Liberal establishment to his seeking the nomination in the first place. He tripled his margin of victory the second time. (A framed photograph of John Kennedy, signed by a well-wisher - "Congratulations, Justin - it's a new day for Canadians" - graces his riding office in the building he shares with a varicose-vein clinic on Jarry Street East in Papineau, a riding where, as of last week, he was enjoying a narrow lead over the NDP candidate, broadcaster Anne Lagacé Dowson.)

He was the first federal politician to declare his disdain for Quebec's Charter of Values, while Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair dithered and sniffed the political winds - "an act of considerable political courage," former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna says, "that has probably cost him politically in Quebec."

He ruthlessly exiled his own senators from caucus. He has also proposed a constitutionally viable alternative to abolishing the Senate.

He suspended two MPs from caucus for alleged sexual harassment; declared that new Liberal MPs will be expected to vote against new restrictions on access to abortion; and has pledged to make half his cabinet appointments women - difficult to do, but an admirable goal.

He backed the $15.1-billion purchase of Nexen by CNOOC Ltd., China's biggest oil and gas producer, and said yes to the Keystone pipeline to the U.S., but no to Northern Gateway to B.C. - all controversial positions.

The attacks continue, but he shrugs them off. "That's nothing new for me," he explains. "I had to learn very early on that I couldn't let myself get affected negatively by people who hate me because of my father. But I also had to learn to put aside people who came up to me and told me I was the greatest thing since sliced bread because they liked my father. I've developed a very strong sense of self-awareness, knowing what I'm good at and what I need to work harder at."

"He has grown up very much in the public eye," a close adviser points out. "And everything he does is out there, watched. And he very early on decided he wasn't going to have a whole bunch of different personalities. It does lead to moments of spontaneity. But you don't want to tamp that down." Pause. "He doesn't have this onstage light that he flicks. Because he lives his whole life onstage."

A fraught childhood and a pivotal friendship

His birth on Dec. 25, 1971, made the front page of every major newspaper in the country. He was 8 before he understood what his father did for a living, after Pierre Trudeau lost the 1979 election and had to move from 24 Sussex Drive to Stornoway. By then, his mother, Margaret, had separated from Pierre and was partying with the Rolling Stones in Toronto and New York, in what amounted to Canada's first big-time political divorce scandal. British headlines hinted at orgies in hotel rooms - untrue, according to Margaret's 1979 biography Beyond Reason, where she limits the action to having the band over to "drink, play dice, smoke a little hash." That didn't make it any less scandalous.

The year before Margaret finally divorced Pierre in 1984, when Justin was nearly 12, she turned up distraught at his school one morning, demanding that her son be called from class. Her boyfriend had left her. Justin was the person she collapsed on. At the time, Mr. Trudeau says, no one knew she was bipolar.

"He was forced to examine his own personality and ask himself how much of it was owed to mother, how much to father, how much to his life as the son of a famous politician," Mr. Kay says today. "These are extremely complex questions of self-identity that most of us need never confront. But he did, and at a young age. And I think that many of the personality traits that Conservatives lampoon as being shallow - his gregariousness, his exuberance, his robust youthfulness - are in fact an outgrowth of his dogged effort to escape the shadows that hung over his early childhood."

When his father took his famous walk in the snow and retired from politics in 1984, the boys moved with him to Montreal. Trudeau père may have given us the Charter of Rights, but he spoke only French to his sons. English was banned on certain floors of the house. "My father once joked that I was banal in English," Mr. Trudeau told me.

That bilingual education left marks on his speaking style. One afternoon, I watched him rehearse and edit a speech, line by line, for an hour and a half. This was back in June, when he was still parsing every spoken word to avoid their being mined for yet another attack ad. The speech contained a sentence about the role cities play in climate change.

"We can't afford to wait," Mr. Trudeau read, making the sentence naturally urgent in English. Then he read it again, re-emphasizing: "We ... can't afford to wait." He often does this, unconsciously applying French diction to his English delivery, weighting the front end of a sentence, as the French do. When he delivered the speech off a Teleprompter the following day to an audience of a thousand, he reverted to the French rhythm - "We ... can't afford to wait."

This is the reason why, behind a podium or a Teleprompter, Mr. Trudeau sometimes sounds stilted and insincere, as if he is performing ideas rather than having them. His forte is face-to-face, unscripted. Brian Mulroney had the same problem: brilliant in a room, but a giant locked jaw on TV. "He speaks English like a francophone," one of his closest advisers says of Mr. Trudeau. "He just doesn't have an accent."

A week after he enrolled as a literature major at McGill, Mr. Trudeau met Gerald Butts, soon to become a prominent student debater (national champion, twice). Less than a year apart in age, they got along instantly. They were both on their way to another plane of existence - Mr. Trudeau from the cage of his dramatic and unprecedented upbringing; Mr. Butts from being the youngest of five children of a Glace Bay, N.S., coal miner and nurse - thanks to the middle-class dream of an affordable university education.

The voyage seemed to unite them. They seldom talked about politics back then. "God, no," Mr. Butts says. "We discussed what 19-year-old boys discuss." But they still managed to attend Pierre Trudeau's famous Montreal speech against the Charlottetown accord.

To anti-Justinites today, Gerry Butts is nothing short of the Antichrist - the Svengali behind Justin Trudeau, the puppet master allegedly pulling the strings of the brainless wooden boy. Mr. Butts's stance on many issues (the Charter, the environment, a strong federal government) are indistinguishable from Mr. Trudeau's. What joins them is their Liberal roots.

Mr. Trudeau, the idealist, is steeped in the teachings of you-know-who. Mr. Butts was planning a PhD on the philosopher Hegel - the idealist's idealist - when he got work assembling the papers of Liberal senator Allan MacEachen (a fellow Cape Bretoner, and one of Pierre Trudeau's closest advisers). By 2000, he had moved on to running focus groups for the polling firm Pollara to pay for his PhD when he heard that Dalton McGuinty, who had been defeated by Mike Harris's "He's not up to the job" slogan in the 1999 Ontario election - shades of attack ads to come - wanted to stage a conference to infuse his party with new ideas. Mr. Butts wrote him a letter.

"I became so furious with the Harris government that I got into politics," Mr. Butts told me. Four months later, he was Mr. McGuinty's director of policy, and staged the conference. Its findings became Mr. McGuinty's winning 2003 election platform - one whose environmental concerns and longing to reform government bear some resemblance to Mr. Trudeau's platform this time around.

But that was all to come. In Justin Trudeau's second year in university, the country was arguing over the Charlottetown accord. Armed with a copy, Mr. Trudeau made a reputation for himself by speaking on campus against the agreement, because it weakened Canadian federalism. (He also had a reputation, according to several of his college friends, for hardly ever smoking pot. "People made fun of me for it," Mr. Trudeau remembers.) By the end of the Charlottetown debate, Justin Trudeau had changed Gerry Butts's mind on Charlottetown.

A son to his father: 'What do I need to know?'

In the same way that young Stephen Harper wandered from interest to interest, dropping out of university and then re-enrolling, in the same way that Pierre Trudeau dressed like Jesus and travelled the world after law school (he listed his profession as "teacher" when he first ran for the House of Commons), Justin Trudeau spent the next few years of his life trying to figure out ways to live it. His choices are well-known and often derided: traveller, whitewater guide, snowboard instructor, bartender, bouncer, and finally teacher (French, math, drama, creative writing, and law in both private and public Vancouver high schools).

Then everything changed. The death of Michel Trudeau, Justin's youngest brother, in an avalanche in the interior of B.C. in 1998, sent Pierre Trudeau into a steep decline, shattering his Catholic faith. Justin learned from his brother Sacha that his father, already suffering from Parkinson's, had prostate cancer. Pierre Trudeau never pressured his sons to go into politics - "Our family has done enough," he always told them - but in the aftermath of Michel's death, Justin began to consider it seriously. It was then that he realized he had never spoken to his father about the game of politics.

"I had to fix that," he told me recently. "So I sat down and said, 'Dad, it's possible that one day I might end up in politics. So what do I need to know?' "

"And he sort of looked at me, and he didn't really know what to answer, and he said, 'Well, ask me a specific question.' And I said, 'Okay, well, suppose you have something that you know is right for the country. But the banks and big business don't want you to do it. How do you handle that? How do you push back against people whose local interests, or self-interest, or perspective prevents them from seeing what you know is the right thing to do?'

"He paused. "We had a 10-minute conversation then about how you have to be true to yourself and true to your principles. But I'll tell you, in a lifetime of conversation with my father, about everything under the sun, that was probably the most awkward and artificial conversation we could have had. At the time, I never really understood why, but looking back on it, I realize that it's because everything he taught me about being a good person, and growing up to be a strong man, an adult, and a good dad, all those things he taught me, with his example and his engagement, everything that he did - he'd already taught me. And that was how to be a good politician - to be a good, complete person. And not worry about what you do when you're down in the polls and you have to react to this or that. That's all changeable from one generation to the next anyway, and wouldn't have any value."

You can call that spin, or idealistic and naïve. But the desire to behave like a decent human being, especially in the face of degraded modern politics such as the latest NDP attack ads, is the steadiest mantra Mr. Trudeau has, the principle he returns to most consistently in conversation.

The halting road to the Liberal leadership

He spent the last summer of his father's life reading the dying man's favourite plays to him - Shakespeare, Racine, Corneille, writers who saw by the light of the mind. By September, his hero was gone.

On Oct. 3, 2000, at his father's state funeral, Justin Trudeau gave the eulogy that launched his political career. He wrote the eulogy over a weekend with the help of his brother Sacha and Gerry Butts, among others. He practised it relentlessly. Opinion on the eulogy is mixed to this day - its grandiose nod to Shakespeare and politics ("Friends, Romans, countrymen"), its hammy delivery, its focus on Justin as much as on Pierre, but also its rousing grasp of what the eulogist's father had done politically. These are still hallmarks of the Justin Trudeau style.

In the same way that Tom Mulcair is sometimes harrumphing and didactic in public, and Stephen Harper can be phlegmatically unyielding, Justin Trudeau can be a bit of a drama queen, despite his gift for grasping what matters to people emotionally. The eulogy's on YouTube: Justin looks 17, but was actually almost 30. "Mere tolerance is not enough," Justin said that morning in Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica. "We need genuine and deep respect for each and every human being, notwithstanding their thoughts, their values, their beliefs, their origins. That's what my father demanded of his sons and that's what he demanded of his country." Then he said "Je t'aime, Papa" and cried on the coffin.

Mr. Trudeau was approached to run for the Liberals in the days after the eulogy; certainly that was when people began to recognize him in the street. He was of two minds. "The battle to convince myself and others that I was my own person had challenged me all through high school and university," he writes in Common Ground. "Why should I negate these efforts by making the one career choice that would guarantee I would be measured according to my father's achievements?" ("Can you imagine what it's like to have someone compare you to your father every day of your life?" Mr. Butts says.) But the timing was wrong, regardless.

Justin Trudeau decided to bide his time, as usual upending expectations. He studied engineering; he became an advocate for immigration issues and Katimavik, the youth-service organization. He became a speaker for hire, reportedly earning $462,000 in a single year. By 2008, after campaigning doggedly for more than a year, he'd won a seat in the back row of the House of Commons.

The rest of the time he pretended he wasn't interested in being the leader of the Liberal Party. He turned the possibility down at least three times - most recently in 2011, after Mr. Ignatieff intellectualized the Liberals to their worst defeat in 144 years and Bob Rae had taken over as interim leader.

Even as late as the following spring, Mr. Trudeau told Mr. Rae over dinner that he wasn't running. Mr. Rae, then 64, didn't believe him. "I had a lot of people who wanted me to run," Mr. Rae told me. "I could have run against Trudeau. But it would have been a beauty contest, and I couldn't win a beauty contest. I don't think he entirely knew his own mind. But it was clear to me that he was running."

Indeed he was. Justin Trudeau called Gerry Butts to discuss the prospect of a leadership bid as soon as the 2012 Liberal policy conference ended in February.

Mr. Butts liked Mr. Trudeau's chances. "Because he has the nation's ear, and they're interested in what he has to say, and they'll give him a fair hearing," Mr. Butts said not long ago. "Because he knows every end of this country."

That summer, a dozen of Mr. Trudeau's closest friends and advisers gathered for a weekend at Quebec's Mont-Tremblant to outline a possible leadership campaign and election platform. Everything was up for discussion. Was the Liberal Party finished? Should it join forces with the NDP? Was the Trudeau name a liability? Apparently not: The following April, Mr. Trudeau became leader of the Liberal Party with 80 per cent support on the first ballot.

Sophie was at Mont-Tremblant as well. She and Justin had been discussing the decision to run all spring.

A wife who chooses her battles, and seeks peace 'from within'

Mr. Trudeau knew Ms. Grégoire as an old friend of his brother Michel when they finally reconnected in 2003 as co-hosts of a Montreal charity ball. At the end of their first date a few months later, he asked if they could skip the boyfriend-girlfriend phase and simply get engaged. Somewhat to his own surprise, he realized he was serious, and set about convincing her. They were married a year and a half later, in May, 2005.

I met her myself a few weeks ago on the dock of the Rockcliffe Marina, on the Ottawa River, about three blocks from the pretty grey cottage-style house they rent in Rockcliffe Park. (Their lease is up at the end of October; they haven't arranged a new place.) Their first-born, Xavier - Zav - was at tennis camp; Ella-Grace, their daughter, was doing arts and crafts. Their 19-month-old, Haddy - for Hadrien (the man named after an emperor named his own son after an emperor) - was at home with the babysitter. The couple doesn't keep a nanny, but Ms. Grégoire sees or talks to her mother ("the most precious presence in my life") every day. She'd driven to the marina in her brand new mint-green convertible Fiat 500, one of the new little ones you see around more and more. With the campaign in full swing, she sometimes sees her husband as little as a few hours a week.

She was wearing mixed-pattern harem pants - albeit elastic-waisted, as she happily pointed out - and a peasant blouse, a moonstone necklace, and a moonstone ring in place of her wedding ring, which she takes off when she plays with her children. She likes the inner light of moonstone. She started out in commerce at McGill, intending to become a stockbroker, but later switched to communications, and worked at an advertising agency before moving to radio and television, where she was Quebec correspondent for eTalk, an entertainment show on CTV.

She also teaches kundalini yoga. It is a tantric meditational yoga whose formal aim - I'm relying on Swami Sivananda Radha for this - is "to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others." In other words, it's Liberal yoga.

"It's quite a journey we're on," she said. "And I think the stability and emotional stability you create around yourself in your everyday life and through this journey is very important."

"This journey of life, or of the campaign?" I asked.

"Both. I don't disassociate them."

"You're one of the few who doesn't."

"We've been preparing for this for years," Ms. Grégoire said. It was windy, and the wharf was swaying slightly beneath us. "Once Justin decided to go on the political scene, all the spotlights were on him. I think we've done pretty well finding a balance and a centre. It's a very scrutinized life. We see a lot of leaders and people in the public service and the political world reacting with fear, or intimidation, lack of respect for other human beings. I think not only Canada but the world as a whole is called upon to really choose leaders who can generate unity and compassion throughout the world. This is how you find peace, right? I think it starts from within." All this flowed out of her unprompted.

No one can actually control a campaign, Ms. Grégoire said then: You simply tell the truth and trust the Canadian people, and if they believe you and trust you in turn, you win the election.

I thought to myself, A lot of us would love to believe that.

She paused, and I looked at her. There had been some resistance within the Trudeau camp to my meeting her. She does charity work for bulimia (which she suffered from), for children's and young women's causes, for an organization that provides clean water to underdeveloped countries, but she's not a conventional political wife. In Pierre Trudeau's time, she would have been a hippie, if she weren't so hard-headed. She has a bumper sticker on her car at home (a minivan) that reads "Love is the Answer."

"And Justin has that capacity to swim through crazy waters but keep his vision, keep calm. He doesn't lose control. His personality stays true to who he is, wherever he is. And I think that's very reassuring."

His weakness? "Justin's real weakness is, he's very much in his head. He intellectualizes a lot. I'm like, 'Hello?' " Apparently he can be a bit of a slob. She is astounded by his capacity to focus on one issue and his complete incapacity to focus on something he doesn't think is important. He sounds like every husband on the planet.

"I organize everything," she said, matter-of-factly. "The kids' lunch to the finances to the spending to the house, groceries, everything. He carries the travelling documents. For some reason. And you know, I choose my battles, so he can have that."

This is the thing about real candour: It's so rare in politics now that it feels mistaken, even corrupt. She admits they have had their personal troubles, their marriage has not been perfect, that they have seen a marriage counsellor, though she won't say why. "We're super open, we don't have much to keep secret. It's boring, relationship stuff. We were adjusting to life and to marriage." This is post-secret politics, from a generation that has grown up revealing the details of its life on Facebook.

"I feel all of this is made to happen," she said. "And it's making deep sense. This whole political journey. It's a pure honour." Pause. "I think that's the one thing that Pierre did leave us as an emotional teaching - his love of the country, and his capacity to serve."

She was getting into her car to leave when something struck me. "Do you think," I said, "that, having been watched and assessed and judged all his life, having lived so much of his life apart from everyone else, under a public microscope, that maybe that's why Justin loves being with people, in the crowd, so much? Because it lets him be, somehow, finally - united with the world?"

"Yes," Sophie said, "exactly! United!"

Guardian angels, heavy hitters, and a farewell to caution

Mr. Trudeau's challenge in the remaining weeks of the never-ending election campaign is to demonstrate that he's capable of leading a country without ever having done so. "It's very, very difficult being the leader of the opposition," Frank McKenna points out. "It's exponentially more difficult being the leader of the third party. It's difficult proving you can do the job when you don't have the job."

He has all the other parts in place. Policy - help the middle class; reform the political process; finance social and green infrastructure via modest deficits, to list just the main pillars - has been rolling out like acres of sod since the campaign started, after marinating for 18 months in a series of "advisory councils." The councils were manned by everyone from bank and telecom CEOs to economists and constitutional scholars - an old Butts trick from his McGuinty days.

I spoke to half a dozen of the outside experts: They routinely praised Mr. Trudeau's deep and wonkish interest in policy, which he prefers they stick to, leaving the politics of a given situation to him.

David Axelrod, Barack Obama's chief strategist, has been offering similar advice to the Trudeau team in the form of "general encouragement" during the election campaign. He knows Mr. Butts (among others) from Mr. McGuinty's 2002 campaign. "The thing I learned from David most," Mr. Butts says, "is that people care about issues, and the political class cares about politics. Stick to the issues and tell people in plain language what you want to do for them in a campaign. Nothing else matters if you can't do that."

For defence and political infighting, Mr. Trudeau relies on Mr. Butts, his principal adviser and dragon slayer. An acolyte of the late Jim Coutts, Pierre Trudeau's former principal secretary (they spoke almost every day), Mr. Butts is seldom far from Justin Trudeau on the campaign trail - or from his Twitter account, performing short-knife work. He reserves a special scorn for Mr. Mulcair's strategy of debating only in debates that Mr. Harper has agreed to: In Mr. Butt's view, that let Mr. Harper off the hook, which is resulting in fewer debates, which is making the campaign less democratically transparent (and, let it be said, is not as much to Mr. Trudeau's advantage).

Mr. Butts is also ruthlessly anti-Harper: If you mention, say, Kory Teneycke, Mr. Harper's chief spokesman, Mr. Butts will remind you that Mr. Teneycke invented Corn Cob Bob, the surreal, man-sized mascot of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. And that's when he's being oblique. Mr. Trudeau may long for a lessspun politics, but his team practises that spin whenever "the boss" needs it.

Mr. Butts, in other words, is to Justin Trudeau what Louis Howe was to Franklin Delano Roosevelt - a friend and adviser who stage-managed FDR's presidencies and policies (including the New Deal). Mr. Butts has been characterized as the focusing nozzle on the spray can of ideas that is Justin Trudeau, which Mr. Butts considers unfair. But he certainly disciplines Mr. Trudeau's message. He is the guardian angel at the gate: If you want to get to Justin, you go through Gerry. Access is handsomely offered, but carefully controlled. Mr. Butts points out to visiting journalists the harshest and most unforgiving features of the terrain of a currently relevant campaign skirmish (e.g., Mr. Mulcair's unwillingness to debate, the nastiness of an attack ad); Mr. Trudeau then leads a more affable and uplifting tour of the battleground and the surrounding countryside, pointing out what potential it might have under the care of a more attentive steward. They're a very effective pair, the Knife Man and the Clean-up Guy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trudeau travels the country with a team of advisers in full view to allay any concerns about his inexperience - sitting MPs with cabinet experience in financial and business matters, such as John McCallum and Ralph Goodale and Scott Brison, as well as promising up-and-comers Adam Vaughan (Mr. Trudeau's expert on urban affairs); Bill Morneau (a Bay Street favourite whose public company specializes in pension management); retired Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie (former chief of land staff in Afghanistan); and former Thomson Reuters and Globe and Mail editor and business writer Chrystia Freeland, now trying to retain her seat in a tough battle in the new riding of University-Rosedale.

Ms. Freeland, a Rhodes Scholar who grew up in Peace River, Alta., before going to work in London and New York, has been advising Mr. Trudeau on trade issues - from how governments can stimulate a deflationary economy to why Norway, a huge exporter of oil, is also a global environmental darling. Dinner guests at her house in Toronto can include the likes of Paul Volcker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve; and Larry Summers, Bill Clinton's secretary of the treasury.

That candidates of this calibre have chosen to run for the recently wrung-out Liberals is a testament to Mr. Trudeau's powers of persuasion. The guy could sell rice to a rice farmer. He and Mr. Butts needed only two days to convince Mr. Vaughan to dump Toronto city council and run for federal office - all for the promise that he can create federal housing policy. Ms. Freeland abandoned a lucrative international writing and speaking career because Mr. Trudeau shared her interest in the middle class, because he was good at building consensus, and because he listened at length and was attentive to her father when he came to visit. "He really is a good person," she said. She was also approached to run by Mr. Mulcair.

But Mr. Trudeau's strongest claim to being a leader - one the ordinary voter doesn't see - is that he has tamed the Liberal Party. To have conquered an entity that has been cannibalizing itself since Mitchell Sharp and Walter Gordon had an argument about economic nationalism in the 1960s is a feat worthy of Mother Teresa.

He has done this the same way he has gotten as far as he has: by listening to people who know more than he does in their areas of expertise. Katie Telford, who co-chairs the national campaign, and Anna Gainey, president of the Liberal Party, have modernized and upgraded the party's databases, as well as its online canvassing, recruiting and fundraising systems. Canvassers now input data on their smartphones, door by door; meanwhile, the party is advertising and soliciting small contributions in less traditional places such as - according to separate sources in the Liberal machine - the dating/sex-hookup sites Tinder and Grindr.

Mr. Trudeau has attracted 57,000 volunteers to the current Liberal campaign (about six times as many as ever showed up before). Membership in the party had risen tenfold, to 300,000, between Mr. Ignatieff's defeat and the end of 2014. Even in the first three months of 2015 - by no means his finest hour, thanks to the C-51 fiasco - Mr. Trudeau attracted $3.8-million in donations. (The Conservatives raised $6.3-million in the same stretch of time.). His enemies in and out of the Liberal Party can complain about him all they like. As Peter Donolo, Mr Chrétien's former director of communications and a witness to a great deal of Liberal carnage over the years, points out, "Justin's the guy who has made us contenders again."

But the big question is the obvious one: Can he win?

"Anyone who claims they know who's going to win this is smoking something," a long-time political adviser told me recently. Ms. Telford believes the Liberals began to pull even with their rivals only when Mr. Trudeau stepped out from behind the Teleprompter and delivered actual policies in his most fetching, extemporaneous, face-to-face state. The days of dogged caution - of editing a speech line by line for fear of handing the Conservative war room another free attack ad - are over.

"The truth is, the guy has no filter," Mr. Butts told me one afternoon. "And I think people found that refreshing, given how scripted and buttoned-down Ottawa is. But at the same time," he continued, quoting Bono at a U2 concert he once attended, "you have to get tight before you get loose." Mr. Trudeau was criticized widely after the first three debates for hammering away at a handful of policy points. People made jokes about the bennies kicking in. But his poll numbers have been rising. Maybe he knows what he's doing.

"If we could introduce him to every Canadian, we'd have this thing in the bag," Ms. Telford says. By late August, her internal polls suggested that Mr. Trudeau was seen as the most likely individual change agent compared to Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair. But the NDP had managed to establish itself as the change brand. Hence the Liberals' announcement that they would run moderate deficits to pay for infrastructure (a plan that had been in the works for a year, but wasn't finalized until June). Tactically, it lumped the balanced-budget twins, Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Harper, together as cozy pals, moving Mr. Trudeau into the role of official election opposition. It's a long shot. But Ms. Telford is playing a long game. Before Mr. Trudeau peaked as the No. 1 choice for prime minister last year, his inner circle thought getting to the Prime Minister's Office would be a two-election game.

Bob Rae has always warned people not to underestimate Mr. Trudeau. "For Justin, politics is about people and inspiration and motivation and getting people to do things and feel good about things," Mr. Rae told me recently over a cup of insipid coffee on Toronto's Bloor Street. "It's not about policy or even about packaging. It's a lot about emotion."

Mr. Rae stopped talking and sipped his vile beverage. "He's not a rocket scientist. He's not the smartest guy in the room. But he knows how to reach a room. He likes people, and people like him. And he's resilient. He has the resiliency of people who are raised to expect their life is worth something."

The result is "postmodern" performance politics - what another long-time Liberal characterizes as a 21st-century take on the "sunny ways" of another Quebecker, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Franklin Roosevelt has been faulted for having a second-class mind. But he had a first-class personality that could bring disparate interests together. It was the latter that made him an effective leader. That's the Liberal bet, too.

An unready dream? Or, rather, voters not ready for a dreamer?

That morning over bad coffee last April, Mr. Rae told me that a would-be prime minister has to have a vision. He'd just finished editing his new book, What's Happened to Politics? - highly recommended - and was keen to chat. Pierre Trudeau wanted to create a just society that brought people at its fringes into the encompassing middle. Stephen Harper claimed he wanted to liberate us from the cost of using the federal government to level the economic playing field - although he has done this more in theory than in practice. For his own part, Mr. Rae says he tried to bring the left into the mainstream.

"What does Justin want to do?" Mr. Rae asked then. "I don't think he knows." He believes such a vision might evolve, and quickly - back when Mr. Rae spoke to me, Mr. Trudeau had announced none of his major campaign positions. "Leadership is different from narcissism, although they often overlap. Narcissists in the long term don't make good leaders because they think it's about them. It has to be about an idea. I think the thing we don't know enough about Justin is whether his leadership is about more than just him. And I honestly don't know the answer to that question."

In fact, despite what Mr. Rae fears, Mr. Trudeau has outlined his own updated vision of the country - "a country that understands the diversity of strength, understands what collaborative leadership is all about, understands the balance between the environment and the economy," as he put it to me. Or, as he put it at the 2013 Liberal leadership convention, a country that supports "the prosperity of the middle class, a healthy democracy and sustainable economy."

Does that seem like such an unready dream? Within the narrow range of what any democratic leader can accomplish in a global milieu where economies and political landscapes now change faster than governments and ideologies can react, Justin Trudeau has chosen to be a collaborative leader - not an all-knowing, top-down authority, à la Stephen Harper/Tom Mulcair, but the lead salesman and enthusiast for a team of intelligences. No one knows if it will work, but it is his most radical and distinctive move. It's a challenge to the way the PMO-centred federal government has been working, and a nod to the various populist movements that have sprung up in the wake of smartphone politics and Edward Snowden.

Pierre Trudeau was a towering mind who had all the answers at a time when that illusion was still possible. His son is a leader who knows what he doesn't know in a world where it isn't. That makes some people nervous, maybe more nervous than it needs to. In other words, our mocking wariness toward Mr. Trudeau and his newfangledness - his youthfulness, his occasionally chaotic energy, his neo-pacifism, his enthusiasm for proportional representation and its one-eyed cousins, his dedication to green economics, even his postmodern love of the touchable crowd and the tweetable masses, of emotion over logic as a means of reaching people - may say more about our fear of passing the torch in a cynical age (What if he drops the damn thing, the stoner?) than it says about middle-aged Justin Trudeau. It's not that he's not ready; it's arguably us who may not be ready for him. That's a different proposition.

Cast as a poseur, he claims to be authentic and promises change

I keep thinking back to that evening in Edmonton, when Mr. Trudeau remembered the poem by Auden. It occurred to me, obviously, that his recitation might have been planned - that he may have been spinning a reporter with an act intended to make him look spontaneous and "authentic." True, he has a long history with spoken poems. Ronald Reagan once decanted The Shooting of Dan McGrew for Justin on an official trip to 24 Sussex Drive, and Mr. Trudeau reportedly declaims quite frequently in the company of Mr. Butts and their pals. He can recite a thousand lines, in French and English. None of that means he wasn't spinning me as well.

Isn't that the central problem with this endless election campaign, and with all politics in the digital age? Spin is now so pervasive and instantaneous and sophisticated that it's impossible to know what or whom to believe, which is what the spinners want. And yet the subsequent evaporation of our faith in politics and parties makes us long even harder for sincerity and candour, for an authentic leader who can make us hope and believe in the future. Which is why Mr. Trudeau and his team are trying to make his authenticity the crowning touch on a truckload of policies dedicated to the middle class. They understand that an election campaign, in the end, is not just a rational process - that's just the pretense the media sell - but a religious ritual that culminates in an act of faith called a vote. We choose to believe one or another candidate is telling the truth despite all past evidence to the contrary.

And so, in one of the more hilarious paradoxes in Canadian political history (and that's not a short list), Stephen Harper, a suburbanite from Toronto who pretends to be an Albertan, and Thomas Mulcair, a conservative Liberal from Quebec now claiming to be the ultimate NDPer from Ottawa, are accusing Justin Trudeau of being a poseur who has nothing more to him than good looks and a famous name. Mr. Trudeau, the youngest and least experienced of the three contenders, is fighting back by claiming that with fresh Justin and fresh Justin alone, what we see is what we get. There is a compelling logic to this idea, as his friends point out. Because he has been forced to live his entire life in full view of the public, everything he does becomes a performance. But when everything is a performance, nothing is a performance: It's all real.

The last time I saw Mr. Trudeau at a public event, he was sitting in a chair in a factory that manufactures systems that atomize garbage - the kind of social infrastructure he intends to help finance with modest deficits. He seemed energized by the campaign, that he was at last out of training and in the ring, a place where the past doesn't count so much.

I asked him if he had any regrets about the way he had conducted his political career - about the C-51 decision, say, or about his choices of facial-hair patterns in the past - now that he was deep in the election campaign.

"No, not really," he said, in his slightly nasal baritone. "I think we're up against a political machine right now that would take almost anything and turn it into an attack. So the only way to completely defend against that would be to be absolutely, totally scripted and controlled and inauthentic, all the time. And fundamentally I think people deserve to know the authentic person that is running to serve them. So the idea of laying it all out there on the table" - he waited, choosing the right word - "is liberating."

He wants to be genuine, whatever that entails, and wishes being genuine were not a political liability. It is not so much a political philosophy as a political psychology for a new age. Taking the road that no one else is taking could be a fatal decision. But in an election in which at least six out of 10 voters claim they want change, and a neck-and-neck race where, in the opinion of one long-time Liberal PMO insider, "the election will be won by whoever's ahead five days before the election," Justin Trudeau's gamble to be real could also make him prime minister.

Then he stood up and sliced back into the knots of people waiting to meet him, shaking their hands, embracing them, touching their shoulders and their sense of history - back into the crowd, surrounded by his fellow Canadians, where he could more easily be one of them.

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

Associated Graphic


Photography by John Lehmann

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The billionaire, the mining giants and the global battle for the El Dorado of iron ore
In Guinea, a massive deposit pits Israel's richest man against titans Rio Tinto and Vale
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B1

LONDON -- Aerial photographs of the 110-kilometre Simandou mountain range in southern Guinea depict a surreal landscape. Wherever the forest and grasslands are scraped away, the exposed earth is rust red or burnt orange, as if a child had splattered ketchup on a sheet of green paper. The vivid colours are the product of the unusually rich iron oxides in Simandou's iron ore lode.

Simandou has been called the El Dorado of iron ore; it's thought to be the biggest untapped resource of its kind on the planet and is worth a fortune. The problem is, too many companies want a piece of it and the intrigue and alleged corruption that have surrounded its exploitation seem lifted from a John le Carré espionage novel.

The battle for Simandou's iron ore has gripped the mining world for more than a decade. It has pitted two of the world's biggest miners - Rio Tinto Group and Vale SA - against each other and ensnared an unlikely resources player in the form or Beny Steinmetz, the buccaneering Israeli billionaire who built an empire out of diamonds and recruited Vale as his Simandou partner.

A racketeering case against Mr. Steinmetz and Vale is underway in New York, and investigations into possible fraud by Mr.Steinmetz and companies associated with him are ticking away in several countries, including the United States and Switzerland.The outcome of the battle for Simandou could be decided shortly as the corruption probes and court cases proceed. No one has more to lose than Mr. Steinmetz, who potentially faces indictments for bribery in the United States. He may soon discover that iron ore and diamonds don't mix.

In 1997, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto poked around Simandou and realized that Simandou's red earth had the potential to make it the king of the global iron ore market for decades. It was granted exploration permits for most of Simandou and, in August, 2008, officially put the size of the resource, which would cost $20-billion (U.S.) or more to develop, at an extraordinary 2.25-billion tonnes. Four months later, the Guinean government stripped Rio Tinto of fully half of the Simandou concession and handed it to a small company called BSGR - Beny Steinmetz Group Resources.

Not only did BSGR pay nothing for the concession, it later sold 51 per cent of it to Vale, the Brazilian mining biggie that had bought Canada's Inco in 2006, for $2.5-billion (U.S.), or $1-billion more than the entire annual budget of the Guinean government. In the iron ore game, it was considered the deal of the decade and the purchase stunned the global mining and African business worlds. At a conference in Dakar, Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese telecommunications magnate, said, "Are the Guineans who did that deal idiots or criminals or both?"

Rio asked the same question and quickly convinced itself that the deal of the decade was the theft of the decade, the result of blatant and massive bribery on BSGR's part. It went to war against Vale and Mr. Steinmetz.

Today, Mr. Steinmetz, who declined to be interviewed, is the central character in a global - and often bizarre - investigation and legal drama. Its cast includes Rio and Vale, a dead Guinean dictator and one of his four wives, the FBI, philanthropist and former hedge fund manager George Soros, armies of lawyers, advisers and investigators, among them former FBI boss Louis Freeh, and possibly South African secret service agents who may or may not have profited from the fantastic tangle of events.

Already one associate of Mr. Steinmetz - a Frenchman named Frédéric Cilins - has gone to prison, and a U.S. investigation into the Simandou affair could trap others. In July, Swiss investigators went to Guinea and have asked to talk to Mr. Steinmetz. In an interview with The Globe and Mail in September, Mr. Steinmetz's front man in London, Dag Cramer, a Swedish-born former vice-president of the mining group Anglo American, said a jurisdictional decision in Rio Tinto's U.S. racketeering case against Vale and BSGR "is expected soon" and could drop BSGR from the case, leaving Vale as the main defendant. If it does not - Mr. Steinmetz has scored more losses than victories in this epic campaign to clear his name - BSGR will enter the house of legal pain.

Diamond-encrusted helmets

The Simandou affair marks a rare setback for Benjamin (Beny) Steinmetz, who stepped way out of his comfort zone when he snagged the Simandou concessions.

BSGR, which is controlled by the Steinmetz foundation in Lichtenstein, has never produced a gram of iron ore in its existence and may never do so, for the simple reason that Mr. Steinmetz has been dismissed as a crook by Alpha Condé, Guinea's president since 2010. Mr. Condé's government has stripped BSGR of its Simandou rights, and Mr. Steinmetz and Mr. Cramer are fighting to get them back or receive compensation for their loss. A few months ago, Mr. Condé, who faces an election on Oct. 11, accused Mr. Steinmetz of orchestrating a campaign "to destabilize" his country.

Mr. Steinmetz has been described as the richest Israeli, or one of the richest. He is 60 and had a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine in 2011 at $6-billion (U.S.). The few public references to the man suggest he is a highly ambitious risk taker who never shied away from danger spots as he built the African side of the family's diamond empire.

In a glossy marketing book called The Steinmetz Diamond Story, first published in 2003, the author quotes an acquaintance of Mr. Steinmetz who said: "The term 'the sky is the limit' isn't applicable to Beny. To Beny, the sky is merely the beginning."

Mr. Steinmetz was born in Israel in 1956 and is the fourth and youngest son of an orthodox Hassidic Jew, Rubin, who came from the southern part of pre-First World War Poland. Rubin went to Antwerp, Belgium, in 1928 and, like so many young Jewish arrivals, was seduced by the diamond world. For five centuries, Antwerp has been the centre of the diamond trade. It is where rough diamonds from all over the globe, from Botswana to Canada, are cut and polished into the gems that are sold to jewellers.

The Steinmetz family left Europe in 1936 for Palestine to set up a diamond business, a fortuitous move. Rubin's father, mother and eight siblings did not survive the Nazi atrocities of the Second World War. A company called R. Steinmetz & Sons Ltd. was formed in 1948, Israel's founding year, and would soon become the country's biggest dealer of rough diamonds, according to the Steinmetz marketing book. By the late 1960s, Rubin's company was Israel's third-largest diamond exporter.

Rubin died in 1980. A year later, one of Rubin's sons, Eldad, drowned while surfing in the Mediterranean. It was pretty much up to Beny and his far older brother Daniel to keep the Steinmetz diamond show rolling. Daniel was put in charge of the Israeli operations; Beny - lean, athletic and darkly handsome - was sent out to conquer the diamond world. He based himself in Antwerp, returning the family business to its founding city after a four-decade absence, and developed a network of contacts in sub-Saharan Africa, the prime source of rough diamonds.

According to The Looting Machine, Tom Burgis's book on corruption in the African resources business, Beny Steinmetz "started to build a reputation as one of the most formidable figures in the African diamond trade. He bought stones from war-torn Angola. The company he founded with his brother, Steinmetz Diamond Group, became the biggest buyer of rough stones from De Beers, the cartel that dominated the trade."

In the 1990s, according to the Steinmetz marketing book, "Beny realized it had become essential to establish direct relationships with the governments of many African producing countries." This allowed him to secure direct buying licences to countries, including diamond-rich Angola, that chose to bypass the De Beers channel.

By the 1990s, Mr. Steinmetz's African pipeline was evidently secure. He lived the good life, dividing his time between Antwerp, Geneva (where he resides for tax purposes), London (where BSGR is based) and Tel Aviv. There were private planes and yachts, and burgeoning mining, real estate and financing investments in several countries, Canada included. In the early part of the last decade, Mr. Steinmetz, through BSGR Capital Markets, invested $1.9-million (U.S.) in Shore Gold, a Saskatchewan diamond explorer. Later, a 16-percent stake in Toronto's Gabriel Resources, the gold company whose ambitions to build Europe's largest gold mine, in Romania, have gone nowhere for two decades, was added to the investment portfolio.

The Steinmetz diamond company sponsored Formula 1 racing events. A lengthy New Yorker article about the Simandou scandal by Patrick Radden Keefe, from 2013, says the company sometimes gave diamond-encrusted helmets to the drivers. At a 2004 race in Monaco, a Steinmetz diamond was affixed to the nose of a Jaguar, which crashed into a guardrail. The 108-carat stone, then worth $200,000 (U.S.), was never recovered. Some of the diamond income supported the Steinmetz Foundation, whose recipients included the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and an "adopted" unit of the Israeli Defense Forces' Givati Brigade, which is both famous and infamous for fighting in Gaza.

In the past decade, Mr. Steinmetz became a minor celebrity in Africa and joined the Mediterranean glam set. The Steinmetz book is stuffed with pictures of him with Nelson Mandela and his successor as South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, Prince Albert of Monaco and a variety of ballerinas and supermodels, among them Helena Christensen, sporting hefty Steinmetz diamonds. But at some point, Mr. Steinmetz evidently decided that diamonds aren't forever and went after iron ore.

Wearing a wire

Guinea's Simandou mountains are wedged between Sierre Leone, Liberia and Côte D'Ivoire, collectively forming one of the poorest, most corrupt and most routinely violent regions in the world, though one blessed with fabulous mineral riches.

In late 1990s and into the last decade, the Guinean government, then led by Lansana Conté, dreamed of ways of using Simandou to raise the country's flagging fortunes and put it on the global mining map. BSGR became aware of its vast size about 10 years ago. "We knew that this was the world's greatest iron ore assets," said Mr. Cramer, who describes himself as a non-executive director of BSGR. "Its very rich grade makes it the magic sauce for the steel makers."

But how to get at Simandou? Rio Tinto and its Simandou partners, including Chinalco (Aluminum Company of China), had wired up all of the resource's four major exploration and concessions, known as Blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4. Enter Frédéric Cilins, the old Africa hand turned BSGR associate who would later land in prison.

The Looting Machine said that Mr. Cilins started to work as an intermediary for BSGR in Guinea in 2005. He plied the political corridors in Conakry, the Guinean capital, and got to know then president Conté's fourth wife, Madamie Touré.

Rio Tinto's RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) case in the U.S. district court in Manhattan against Vale and BSGR, launched in 2014, alleges that the contact between Mr. Cilins and Ms. Touré was designed "to induce the Conté regime to illegally rescind Rio Tinto's mining rights and award them to BSGR."

BSGR representatives allegedly showered the old dictator with gifts, including a watch inlaid with Steinmetz diamonds, while the mines minister received a diamond-studded model racing car. Rio Tinto alleges that the effort to snatch Simandou from Rio eventually saw millions of dollars in bribes paid to Ms. Touré and that they were funnelled to her by a BSGR affiliate company called Pentler. Bizarrely, and evidently recklessly, the alleged arrangement between BSGR and Ms. Touré was spelled out in signed contracts. BSGR denies any gift giving or the existence of any contracts. "BSGR was absolutely not engaged in such activities," Mr. Cramer said.

The bribery campaign "paid dividends," according to Rio Tinto's RICO complaint. On Aug. 1, 2008, president Conté cancelled Rio Tinto's rights to Simandou's blocks 1 and 2 (it kept blocks 3 and 4), ostensibly because the mining company had been dragging its feet in developing the monster mining project, which was to include 650 kilometres of rail to deliver the iron ore to an ocean port. On Dec. 9 of the same year, those same blocks were granted to BSGR, by which time, according to Rio, BSGR was already conspiring to form a partnership with Vale to develop Simandou; with no iron ore experience, BSGR obviously could not take on Simandou by itself.

Twelve days later, Mr. Conté died after 24 years in power, taking some of the secrets of the Simandou transfer to the grave. But not all of them, for in 2010, after the end of the military dictatorship installed after Mr. Conté's death, a new president, Alpha Condé was elected and promised to clean up Guinea's resources act. Mr. Condé soon launched a BSGR investigation, which was initially financed by George Soros, the former hedge fund manager turned philanthropist. Mr. Soros bankrolled Revenue Watch (now Natural Resource Governance Institute), which, since early 2011, has been advising the Guinean government's efforts to write a new mining code. Mr. Soros also sponsored Global Witness, the anti-corruption watchdog group in London that has published several hard-hitting accounts of the Simandou affair, earning the ire of BSGR and its lawyers. Mr. Soros's save-Guinea effort was assisted by Tony Blair's Africa Governance Initiative.

BSGR has always denied that it paid bribes to Ms. Touré to persuade her dictator husband to hand the Simandou concessions to BSGR. But an FBI wiretap put Mr. Steinmetz and BSGR into an exceedingly uncomfortable position.

In March and April, 2013, Frédéric Cilins, the Frenchman who allegedly set up BSGR's bribery system in Guinea, went to Jacksonville, Fla., three times to meet with Madamie Touré. She had moved there after the death of her dictator husband. At the time, a U.S. grand jury had opened an investigation into potential breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to BSGR's activities in Guinea.

Speaking in French over a chicken sandwich at Jacksonville airport, Mr. Cilins offered her millions of dollars if she were to destroy the contracts that outlined the alleged bribes. "That's the message I received from Number 1, I don't even want to mention his name," Mr. Cilins said in an April 11 meeting.

Ms. Touré asks who Number 1 is. "Everything that I am telling you comes directly from Beny," Mr. Cilins said. "The other day ... I went to see him directly, to talk face-to-face. He told me, 'Listen ... I want you to tell me, Frédéric, I want you to tell me that you have destroyed those papers.' "

What he did not know was that Ms. Touré was co-operating with the U.S. investigation into the Simandou affair and was wearing a wire - the FBI heard every word of her meeting with Mr. Cilins. He pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal investigation, was sentenced to two years in prison and was released and deported early this year. No other associate or employee of BSGR has been charged or convicted.

Mr. Cramer insists the contracts with Ms. Touré were forgeries and that she had been trying to use them to blackmail BSGR, which raises the question: If they were fakes, why would anyone want to pay millions to have them destroyed?

Mr. Cramer also denies that BSGR has any arrangement with Mr. Cilins, or any agreement in any way that paid him commissions. Quoted in the 2013 New Yorker, Mr. Steinmetz said: "We never paid her. We never promised her anything ... . I didn't ask to destroy those fake documents or any other documents."

But an affidavit signed by Mr. Cilins in late 2012 said that Mr. Cilins had worked with BSGR in various African countries. Translated from French, he said: "There has never been any question of me hiding my co-operation with BSGR. Of course I have always specified that I was not a collaborator with BSGR but rather was independent. But the essential component of my work consisted of representing the company and promoting its firepower."

BSGR also denies any association with Pentler - the company that allegedly did the bribing - claiming it was "fully independent of BSGR." But the two companies were linked at one point, Mr. Cramer admits. Until the end of 2006, Pentler owned 17.5 per cent of BSGR Guinea, BSGR's onthe-ground project company.

'Playground of skulduggery'

The publicity surrounding the racketeering case, the investigations and the U.S. grand jury have, apparently, not been kind to Mr. Steinmetz and his ability to do business.

Swiss media have reported that he has transferred his ample interest in Steinmetz Diamond Group to his brother, Daniel. There are rumours that the companies under Mr. Steinmetz's control have had trouble arranging bank financing.

True to character, Mr. Steinmetz has gone on the offensive. BSGR has launched an international arbitration case against the Guinean government, claiming it had no right to shred BSGR's Simandou concession since the allegations of fraud are unproven.

Mr. Cramer alleges South African businessmen and spooks were offered stakes in Guinea's mining assets, including Simandou, in exchange for their support in rigging Alpha Condé's win in the 2010 election. At the same time, Mr. Steinmetz had hired Mr. Freeh, the former FBI boss, and former U.S. senator Joe Lieberman to run an internal probe on the bribery allegations. Mr. Cramer would not confirm or deny the probe's existence.

The legal morass, the threat of criminal indictments and the fallen iron ore price have left Simandou in limbo. Guinea may have to wait another decade before it sees the megaproject - Africa's biggest - open for business. In the meantime, the Simandou affair, as Mr. Cramer put it, has turned Guinea into a "playground of political and corporate skulduggery" instead of a wealth-creating development site.

"Beny Steinmetz, with customary resilience and tenacity, will set the record straight and leverage these proceedings into new and exciting business opportunities," he said.


Beny Steinmetz: The Israeli diamond magnate who, according to Rio Tinto, bribed his way into the Simandou iron ore reserve in Guinea.

Dag Cramer: Mr. Steinmetz's front man in London.

Frédéric Cilins: The former Beny Steinmetz Resources Group (BSGR) associate who went to prison in the United States for obstruction of justice.

Madamie Touré: The fourth wife of the late Guinean dictator, Lasana Conté, who was allegedly bribed to persuade her husband to transfer the Simandou rights from Rio Tinto to BSGR.

Alpha Condé: The Guinean President who, after his 2010 election, stripped BSGR of its Simandou rights.

George Soros: The philanthropist who urged Mr. Condé to write a new mining code.

Associated Graphic

The vivid colours of exposed earth in the Simandou region of Guinea are the result of unusually rich iron oxides.


The soil under the Simandou vegetation is rust red or burnt orange, as if a child had splattered ketchup on a sheet of green paper.


Guinea's Simandou mountains are wedged between Sierre Leone, Liberia and Côte D'Ivoire, in one of the poorest, most corrupt and routinely violent places on Earth.


A mailbox donated by mining corporation Rio Tinto stands in front of huts near Beyla in remote, iron-ore rich southeastern Guinea.


Some of the iron-laden landscape in the Guinea Simandou is an otherworldly blend of colours.


BSGR has yet to produce ore from the mountains in the Simandou region in southeastern Guinea.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Rogers will have to work to stay in the black
The continued mediocrity of the Leafs, the anchor team in Canada's largest TV market, won't draw ratings for media conglomerate
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S4


When Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan set the hockey world on its ear in the summer by first hiring head coach Mike Babcock and then general manager Lou Lamoriello, no one was cheering harder than the executives at Rogers Communications Inc.

Rogers chief executive officer Guy Laurence may have claimed a "10-per-cent" profit in the first year of the company's 12-year, $5.2-billion national broadcast contract with the NHL, but the 2014-15 season was still a bumpy ride. Most of the turbulence was caused by the Maple Leafs, which as the favourite team in Canada's largest television market drives the ratings more than any other.

The Leafs collapsed in January, as did the ratings on the CBC, Sportsnet and City, the three main networks for Rogers' hockey shows. The playoff ratings were better but not enough to undo the damage caused by the Leafs.

The challenge facing new Rogers Media president Rick Brace, who took over in early August after Keith Pelley left to be chief executive officer of the PGA's European Tour, is to prevent that hockey profit from becoming a loss once the second season begins Wednesday night. He has two problems here. One is that while the payments to the NHL are an average of $430-million over 12 years, the broadcast deal is structured so they are not paid that way.

Instead, the contract calls for the smallest payment in the first year, which likely went a long way to creating that profit for Rogers, and then an increase of about 5 per cent a year. If the ratings troubles persist - and advertisers already resisted Rogers's price demands in Year 1 - then making a profit will be increasingly difficult.

Sources inside Rogers say Brace was hired as much for his skill at trimming the fat from budgets as for his acumen as a broadcaster.

While Rogers remains in full costcutting mode, the erosion of cable and satellite customers means this is not exclusive to that company. Rival telecommunications giant Bell, which does not have a massive hockey contract to pay, is in the midst of shedding employees across several divisions, including Bell Media.

Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL properties at Rogers, acknowledged the ongoing reluctance of advertisers. "We had to amend our rates for [2015-16] for a number of reasons," he said in a summer interview. But by this week, Moore said, "our renewals have been really strong."

That will depend on the other problem - the Leafs. Despite the additions of Babcock and Lamoriello, the Leafs are not expected to be much better this season.

While having Babcock behind the bench should boost the early-season ratings due to the curiosity factor, there is no reason to think the overall numbers will be better than 2014-15.

One Rogers employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information was not for public consumption, said the average television ratings for Leafs broadcasts fell by 60 per cent from the start of the season, when 2,024,500 viewers watched them play the Montreal Canadiens on opening night.

The number of viewers dipped as low as 121,000 (April 8, versus the Columbus Blue Jackets) for adults ages 25 to 54, the most prized demographic for advertisers. But the Leafs' viewers did come back for games with their top rival, as 2.3 million watched their regular-season finale versus the Canadiens.

Even worse, in the NHL's salarycap system, turning a dog into a consistent contender can take many years. The Chicago Blackhawks, for example, took eight years to win a Stanley Cup from the time they drafted star defenceman Duncan Keith in 2002.

In five of those years, they missed the playoffs.

This leaves Rogers facing the unpleasant prospect of seeing the Leafs' long run as a mediocrity continue for as long as two-thirds of the length of their NHL contract. When this scenario was raised with Pelley not long before he left his Rogers post, he smiled uneasily and said, "We have our faith in Brendan Shanahan."

Moore hopes Shanahan's acquisition of Babcock and Lamoriello will shorten the rebuilding period.

"I believe there's going to be a heightened interest in the Leafs at the beginning of the season with Babcock," he said. "I also agree with Don Cherry: They're going to be more competitive than people give them credit for. I think Babcock will get more out of them than his predecessor."

In the meantime, look for a steady diet of Connor McDavid to cure low ratings. The NHL debut of the Edmonton Oilers' young star will be front and centre on Sportsnet Thursday night. The network plans to show between 30 and 32 of the Oilers' games nationally this season "with a much higher profile this year," Moore said.

The playoffs only provided a partial relief from the regular-season ratings woes even though five Canadian teams made the postseason. This gave Rogers a strong boost over the previous year's ratings, up 36 per cent in the first round. But the Canadian teams were all gone by the third round - and with them went the ratings.

This pattern of mixed results persisted on the production side, too, as Rogers took control of Hockey Night in Canada from the CBC and gave it a new look along with its Wednesday night and Sunday night shows. The game crews, led by the top team of playby-play broadcaster Jim Hughson and analysts Craig Simpson and Glenn Healy, maintained the excellence established over the years when the CBC produced the show.

"For me, it was total satisfaction," Healy said, referring to the addition of some top talent from Sportsnet and rival TSN to the CBC holdovers on the production crew. "Looking at some of the guys they brought over from some of the networks, you're not getting a better [production] truck than that anywhere in the world."

Also happy by the end of the year was Cherry. He was not pleased early in the season, when his Coach's Corner intermission segment with Ron MacLean was strictly limited to five minutes by the new producers, and let the world know about it.

"It went great for me," said Cherry, who is entering the final year of his contract with Rogers, although there are no signs he wants to slow down. "Coach's Corner is a little shorter than I wanted but everything worked out, so I have no complaints at all."

Maintaining that excellence will be another challenge. While there are no major changes coming this season for the on-air side of Hockey Night, there was a major loss behind the scenes.

Sherali Najak, 46, the long-time senior producer of Hockey Night, stepped down for a reduced role as a game director and mentor to young producers. The senior producer is the quarterback of a broadcast and Najak was renowned as one of the best at keeping the many balls in the air on live television. Veteran hockey producer Mark Askin will be Najak's replacement with a few others taking a hand as well.

Moore tried to talk Najak out of his decision but Najak said "I just felt I needed a change." Najak declined to go into detail about the move. But some of his colleagues said a factor along with Najak's desire for a better worklife balance was the challenge of trying to maintain Hockey Night's excellence in the face of Rogers's budget cutbacks.

At this point, the only noticeable effect of the budget restrictions will come after the evening's NHL games. Sportsnet cancelled the late-night version of its hockey highlights show, Hockey Central. However, Moore said even though Sportsnet saved "a bit of money" with the cancellation, the reason for the move "was simply programming" because the show could not be fit into a consistent time slot because the NHL games do not end at the same time every night.

There are no major on-air changes for the broadcasts, which might be a disappointment for some viewers when it comes to Hockey Night host George Stroumboulopoulos. He became the flashpoint for viewers after he replaced long-time Hockey Night host MacLean one year ago.

Stroumboulopoulos, 43, was a 180-degree turn from MacLean, 55, a smooth, traditional host who was steeped in NHL knowledge.

The new host was quickly the subject of much criticism from the viewers, traditionally an older and conservative group, that was expressed on social media, in polls and in comments attached to online media stories.

It was not just Stroumboulopoulos's middle-aged hipster shtick with his twentysomething wardrobe that bothered the fans.

Canadians demand the host of their favourite hockey show be immersed in the game and there was no sense of that from Stroumboulopoulos, a good broadcaster but one who spent most of his career on the entertainment side of the industry. A look at his Twitter feed (@strombo) shows his interests mostly remain in music, television and film.

Late in the 2014-15 regular season, for example, he sent word to The Globe and Mail through a Rogers executive he was not doing print interviews because he was "boning up" for the playoffs.

One cannot imagine MacLean or TSN's hockey host James Duthie, who manages to mix his knowledge of the NHL with a strong sense of humour, having to do the same thing.

The only obvious result from the study sessions was a penchant by Stroumboulopoulos for tossing up some trivia-style statistic as his observation on the period of playoff hockey he and the viewers just saw. However, do not expect a big change in style this season. Moore said he and his fellow Rogers bosses are happy with Stroumboulopoulos's first season because they did not want him to get into heavy hockey discussions.

Moore said part of the reason Stroumboulopoulos was hired was Rogers's desire to pursue a younger audience, but they also wanted him to concentrate on his strength as an interviewer.

"My assessment of George is he did exactly what we asked him to do," Moore said. "We asked him to be more conversational, to be the everyman host as opposed to a host who was trying to compete with his analysts for hockey knowledge."

Among the analysts and reporters, two new stars emerged, although both were already significant people in hockey broadcasting. Sportsnet regular Nick Kypreos added the intermission panel on Hockey Night to his Wednesday duties and continued his strong analysis and reporting.

Also stepping up was CBC holdover Elliotte Friedman, who served as a panelist and reporter.

While the NHL likes to make sure its rights holder gets its news first and the shift in this from TSN to Sportsnet was seen as the season progressed, Friedman is a strong reporter in his own right. He broke a lot of stories on his Headlines intermission segment with Damien Cox. Headlines will be used on other nights in addition to Saturdays this season, such as some regional Maple Leafs games and even Sportsnet's Tim & Sid supper-hour show.

Something new for hockey fans last season was the Sunday night show, Rogers Hometown Hockey, with MacLean as the host. He and the crew broadcast from a different town or city each week. Again, the results were mixed, as the show averaged 567,000 viewers, up 19 per cent from the non-hockey programming on City the previous year but down 7 per cent from the non-Wednesday games on TSN in 2013-14.

Moore says the value of the Sunday show comes from its connection with the people in each of the communities MacLean and company visited as much as the ratings.

While he said the Wednesday and Saturday shows fell a little short of his goal of telling compelling stories between the hockey action, that was not the case on Sundays.

"The community and the stories were the stars," Moore said.

"What you'll see is we ramp up what we do in the community even more next year."

There will be a couple of other changes, too. The show was pulled from City and will be shown solely on Sportsnet in a bid to increase the ratings. And Tara Sloane will appear full-time on the show with MacLean. She will concentrate on the community side of the show.

"It [also] gives us another bit of star power for the local community, so it won't just be Ron who has to go sign autographs after the show," Moore said.

The ratings slide that struck in the third round of the playoffs was not Rogers's fault, as no Canadian teams means fewer viewers. But there was some self-inflicted damage in the second round, during which Rogers elected not to show the series between the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks on CBC and restricted it to Sportsnet. Given the greater reach of CBC, this probably cost at least 100,000 viewers a game, as the series lagged the New York-Washington series on CBC, which averaged about 1.5 million viewers.

However, Moore said the switch was intentional. Rogers wants to attract more subscribers to Sportsnet, so it was willing to take some short-term pain "so people know if they want the full hockey picture they have to get Sportsnet."

Something else Rogers had to deal with in the playoffs was NBC's control over the playoff schedule. Even though Rogers pays more money to the league, it could not get NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to give it equal or greater say than the U.S. network.

Hence a couple of weekends in May, when there were no primetime games on a Saturday night because NBC prefers afternoon games. This, too, did not help the Canadian ratings.

The scheduling problem was the subject of much discussion between Moore and Bettman this summer. Moore said progress was made and "I would be surprised to see afternoon games in the conference final [next spring]."

Over all, Moore said he gives his hockey team "a 7.5 out of 10. We were about 6.5 to start and more like an 8.5 in the playoffs. Our storytelling was one of our strengths, but we didn't do enough of it. I think you'll see a better balance between studio and storytelling [this season]."

The biggest challenge remains on the business side. Rogers's advertising sales team met a lot of resistance going into the first year because it touted a 20-per-cent increase in viewers and wanted a similar increase in ad rates.

Traditional hockey advertisers such as Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons refused to buy title sponsorships, where the company's name goes on the show and where the big dollars are, and stuck with buying ad time here and there, which was a blow to Rogers.

Sources in the retail industry familiar with the strategy of Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons say the only issue with those companies was cost.

In the case of Canadian Tire, the company remains interested in a greater relationship with Rogers but only at an acceptable price. So far, Moore said, talks with Canadian Tire and another potentially big advertiser, Subway, are promising.

With the prospect of another season of poor ratings thanks to the Maple Leafs, plus an increase in the annual payment to the NHL, the chances of staying in the black are not good.

Follow me on Twitter: @dshoalts

Associated Graphic

Don't expect a big change in George Stroumboulopoulos's Hockey Night hosting style this season.


A game of inches
NHL scoring is down almost three goals a game from its peak in the early 1980s, and experts are looking at net sizes
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S5

In the 1992-93 NHL season, scoring reached its dizzying peak, with 14 different players all scoring 50 goals or more. Two - Teemu Selanne and Alex Mogilny - managed an eye-popping 76 goals apiece. Mario Lemieux, playing just 48 games, scored 69 times.

Players such as Pavel Bure, Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan and Pat LaFontaine eventually made their way into the Hockey Hall of Fame in part because of the career numbers they put up playing in such a high-scoring era.

But within three seasons of that apex, scoring completely dropped off a cliff - the NHL entered the so-called Dead Puck era as teams copied the smothering defensive style of the 1995 Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils.

From 1997 until 2015, there's only been one season with as many as five 50-goal scorers, and it was an aberration. In 2005-06, after losing the previous season to a lockout, the NHL came back determined to take obstruction out of the game. Largely because of the increased number of power-play opportunities, Jaromir Jagr, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jonathan Cheechoo, Alex Ovechkin and Dany Heatley cracked the 50-goal barrier.

Players have reached the 50goal mark only 12 times since 2008 - and the Washington Capitals' Ovechkin recorded five of them.

NHL goal scoring is down almost three goals a game from its peak in the early 1980s, and that development represents one of the great contradictions in the evolution of the game: At a time when the players' offensive talent level has never been higher, scoring has dried up.

So what happened? For one thing, goalies grew. "In my day, I was a big goalie at 6 [foot] 1," Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "Now I'd probably be just an average goalie, size-wise."

And digital video gives coaches and players the opportunity to review plays and schemes almost instantly, aiding in-game adjustments to shut down opposing offences.

"As a coach, the easiest thing to correct is defence - the positioning of the defenceman, the forwards coming back," Roy said.

"We're more aware of how important it is to play as a unit of five in the D-zone than it was back then.

... It was more man-to-man kind of play."

Now, so many NHL goals are scored in a right-place-right-time sort of way, deflections pin-balling into the net off skates, shin pads and favourable caroms.

Goals scored on the rush, on open ice or on a clear breakaway are rare.

Leagues know that scoring helps sell the game better than suffocating defences. Basketball and football have all taken turns tweaking the rules to generate more offence.

Among the NHL general managers, coaches and players interviewed, a surprising number were prepared to at least discuss the notion of making nets bigger to enhance scoring.

"We're into a 3-2 league now," Nashville Predators long-time general manager David Poile said.

"I would personally prefer a 4-3 league. That's a big difference, though - that's two goals per game. How do you find two more goals?" Poile blames the decline in scoring squarely on the rise of NHL goaltending, describing it as "the one position that's changed the most in terms of style of any position in our game. The goalies of 30 or 40 years ago, the guys who were in the Hall Of Fame - Jacques Plantes, the Glenn Halls - or the guys like Emile Francis and Gump Worsley, they were between 5 [foot] 5 and maybe 5 [foot] 10.

"If you were to talk to most general managers, they would give very little consideration any more to a goaltender under 6 [foot] 2.

Bigger is better - and we all know the result. These guys are fantastic in their skill level and they're a big factor in why scoring has levelled off.

"Somewhere along the line, we're going to have to make a choice: Is this the way we want the game to be played? Or are we going to have to make some kind of a change?" Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman believes the size of goaltending equipment can still shrink, giving players more open net to shoot at.

"I know you have to keep them safe - you don't want them to get hurt, and everybody is shooting the puck harder," Wideman said.

"But they can make vests that hug people's bodies and can stop bullets, so I assume they can make a chest protector and pads that are a bit smaller than they are now.

"The goalies aren't going to like that point of view - they don't like to let goals in - but they'll adjust, and the best goalies will still be the best goalies."

Last season, Wideman was fourth in the NHL in scoring among defencemen but also sixth in blocked shots. He believes the rise of shot blocking - something the Flames do especially well - is also contributing to the lack of scoring.

"When I came into the league, there were one or two guys in the league who would block shots and people would say, 'Man, that guy is a warrior,' " Wideman said.

"Now everybody does it. Is it the culture that's changed, or the extra protection everybody wears? It might be a little of both.

But if you don't have shot blockers on, I don't think many people would be opening up their foot to step in front of a Shea Weber shot.

You couldn't do that before because, if you did, you broke your foot. It's just the way it is now, not a lot of shots getting through any more."

In running through the various options at the NHL's disposal, Poile discounts a switch to a bigger ice surface as impractical both financially and logistically.

"There is almost a zero-per-cent chance of that happening because of ice plants, the history of the game, etc.," Poile said. "You could get more out-of-the-box thinking - should hockey ever evolve from a five-on-five game to a four-on-four game, or do you consider making the nets bigger?

"I, for one, have time for the latter. I think it makes sense based on where the game has come for the last 30 or 40 years in terms of the size and skill of the goaltenders."

Generally, the complaint against larger nets on fan boards is that hockey doesn't need 10-7 games or soccer-style nets. But, Poile stresses, that isn't what they're pondering anyway. The changes would be subtle - prototypes developed from an NHL research and development camp, with one exception offered up by the Buffalo Sabres, do not look appreciably different to the naked eye.

If larger nets are ever implemented, Poile believes "we need to go wider because the goalies are taller and their legs are longer and they can go post to post. It would seem to be a fair thing to do. And they would have to go higher because a lot of goalies virtually play the game on their knees right now. I for one don't think that was ever meant to be.

It doesn't have to be a lot, but it has to be wider and it has to be taller."

Under current policy-making protocols, NHL general managers act as the de facto gatekeepers of the game. Most rule changes start with them and are subsequently vetted through the competition committee, which permits player input into the final decision. Generally speaking, if the competition committee makes a recommendation, the board of governors usually rubber-stamps its approval.

According to Poile, the possibility of making nets bigger "is on the radar," but he added: "In our position, as caretakers of the game, I think the game is so strong right now, there's not the appetite for it. Obviously, a reduction in the goal scoring from five to a number that starts with a four would catch a lot of people's attention.

"We had the phenomenon this past year where teams down a goal with five minutes left in the game were getting ready to pull their goaltender. That certainly speaks volumes about how hard it is to score one or two goals - and I don't think it's going away."

Now coaching the Dallas Stars, Lindy Ruff was with the Sabres when the team president, Larry Quinn, proposed the most radical change to the size of NHL nets during one of the early R&D camps, where the posts were actually bowed out by about four inches in the middle. They were an eye-catching oddity, intended more as a conversation starter than a legitimate option.

"That development camp had a lot of people shaking their heads," Ruff said, "but the reality is when a goalie goes down on his knees and butterflies and he's 6 [foot] 7 and he's holding his hands in a proper spot and he's not even moving, there is so little net to shoot at.

"Somebody's got to tell me what the answer is. But I do know the only way you're going to score is to make that goaltender move - because at a certain place, if he's in perfect position, you're not scoring."

Ruff came through the playing ranks the traditional way - through major junior and on to the NHL - and has three decades of experience in the NHL, but says he has no issue with adopting slightly bigger nets either, even if some purists might object.

"When we talked about bigger nets, I was told we would ruin the integrity of the game - and that some of the numbers that past players had - their stats - would be affected," he said. "But I look at it from an entertainment standpoint. Fans coming to the games want to see goals. There are two reasons usually a fan gets out of his seat to cheer - an unbelievable play or an unbelievable goal.

"If they make the nets a little bigger, it forces the goalies out a little ways. That's going to create a bit more of a scramble. I think taking all the obstruction out years ago has made the game so much better. The speed and the skill and the execution in the game, it's so good now.

"But there is going to be a next step. There's going to be a tipping point on what needs to be done next. The leagues that stay proactive, whether it's pro football, finding a way to put more offence into their game, I don't think they want to see 7-6 games in the NFL either."

This past year, the American Hockey League acted as an incubator for the NHL to test three on-three overtime. Does it make sense to try larger nets in the AHL to see what the outcome might be?

"I'd love for the American League to try it - just to see what it did statistically and what it changed," Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "The fear of that is, if there's a big advantage and the scoring goes up, then do you defend a different way? Do you then have to block all shots?

You're not going to worry about the north-south game. You're so afraid of those seam plays now. I think the players and coaches will adjust - and you still want that back and forth.

"Even when they're not going in, the game gets exciting on transition. Any odd man rushes, back and forth, up and down the ice - that's when the game is at its very best."

In last year's Stanley Cup final - which featured two of the league's top scoring teams but produced a per-game goals average of fewer than four - the teams were separated by only a single goal for the first six games of the series, an NHL record.

Tactically, if every game is close or tied, there's a tendency for teams to play it safe. They only ever want to open it up if there's separation in a game - a gap of more than a single goal - because now they need to press to get back in the game, which creates more rush chances, something that has been leached out of the modern game.

Another disturbing trend is how conservatively teams play in the final five minutes of regulation in a tied game, neither wanting to risk the guaranteed single point they earn if they can get to overtime.

Awarding three points for a regulation victory would almost certainly create an incentive to play more aggressively in the latter stages of a close game, but privately, managers say there is little interest in changing the current points system, because the NHL likes how it keeps so many teams alive in the playoff race.

"If you're looking at more goals, there's only one thing you can do - and that's make the nets bigger," said Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic, the ninth-highest scorer in NHL history. "The game itself doesn't have to change very much. It's up and down. It's fast. It's everything.

But you're never going to be able to get the coaches away from the defensive systems, good sticks, back-side pressure. You can say goalies can use smaller pads, but then you risk injury. No, they're all your MVPs, so you can't risk that.

"You can make the nets a little bigger, and if you did it, I'd go two inches, not just one."

A possible compromise would be to change the shape of the goal posts so pucks that hit the post routinely carom in instead of staying. If such a change could be safely incorporated in the design, then that in itself might solve the problem - because, as Roy says, there are usually one or two shots a game that the goalie doesn't stop but his goal posts do.

"I'm surprised they don't want to make the nets an inch bigger," Roy said. "What's wrong with that?

"There's a lot of crossbar and post plays in the game. [Players] coming down the wing now don't see any net. Before, you had a foot on each side and you knew if you had a decent shot, it would go in.

"Just make the net an inch bigger."

Follow me on Twitter: @eduhatschek

Associated Graphic


Biblioasis is no mirage
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R1

Biblioasis, a small, independent book publisher based in Windsor, Ont., uses a windmill as its logo. It was, says founder Dan Wells, a joke, of sorts, recalling a tilting Don Quixote, except in this case instead of the fight being against imaginary giants, it was getting the Canadian public interested in a small, independent book publisher based in Windsor, Ont.

"I realized that this wasn't going to get easy, and that this was a fool's errand," he says of the logo.

"I am tilting at windmills, and it was a way to remind myself of that. ... The logo is tied to the conception, though I wouldn't have framed it that way then, of managing disappointments."

Eleven years into his quest, things have changed. Last month, three Biblioasis titles made the Scotiabank Giller Prize long list, equalling the sum of the company's previous nominations and tying the record for most by an independent publisher since the long list was established in 2006.

The books exemplify what the press does best: Anakana Schofield's wildly experimental and wickedly funny novel Martin John; young Québécois writer Samuel Archibald's first book of short fiction to be translated into English, Arvida; and Russell Smith's sophisticated story collection, Confidence, which was also nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize this past Tuesday. Wells and his team have demonstrated what it takes to make a small press not only viable, but thrive, in an era thought to be inhospitable toward non-multinational publishers, and in the process have become the first truly great new Canadian press of the 21st century.

"I think he's going to be a driving force into the future of publishing, the likes of which has never been seen before," says editor John Metcalf, who runs an eponymous imprint for the press.

"He's going to make Jack McClelland look like a pig in a poke. You just hope the audience can rise up to meet him."

That's the question facing Biblioasis, a small press getting bigger by the year, but one trying to stay true to its mission to publish unabashed literary fiction (with an emphasis on short stories), discover untapped talent, rescue lost or forgotten books, and introduce North American readers to the work of authors from around the world.

"He continues to maintain the illusion that books really matter," says the author Ray Robertson.

"But he seems to be succeeding by doing the thing that other people are afraid of: taking books even more seriously."

The story may be apocryphal, but Wells contends every word is true.

When, in the early 2000s, the then (used) bookseller decided he wanted to sell his own (new) books, he sought the advice of a professor at the local university, a leading scholar of publishing history. He told her he wanted to start a press. She said he couldn't do it, and proceeded to list the reasons why: He had no experience.

He had little money.

He lived in Windsor, Ont.

"She said I could be a vanity publisher, maybe," he recalls. "I am greatly motivated when people tell me I can't do anything.

That put steel in my spine for a decade." The thing is, he adds, a bit sheepishly, "She was totally, totally right. I was just ignorant. I didn't know. That's the only reason Biblioasis exists: because I didn't know what I was getting into."

It was Tuesday morning, and Wells, a bespectacled 43-year-old originally from Chatham, Ont., was sitting in a restaurant on Bay Street in Toronto, nursing a green tea, a few minutes after the Writers' Trust announcement wrapped up. His train had been late getting into Toronto, and he missed the ceremony. Not that he wanted to be there, exactly, having e-mailed me the week before to say "even the thought" of attending "has my blood pressure spiking." He gets nervous at these sorts of things. When he was a welder in his pre-publisher days, his colleagues at the Chrysler plant where he worked nicknamed him "Panic."

Before Biblioasis was a publishing house, it was a bookstore, opening its doors in July, 1998, on Ouellette Avenue in downtown Windsor, where "all the Americans come to get drunk," according to Wells. Of the name, he explains that he "meant it as an oasis for book lovers in what might otherwise be a dry land.

The truth of the matter is it was probably a little too clever because, the first phone call I got, somebody thought I was a Greek sandwich shop."

The year before he'd been just another graduate student with ambitions of becoming a writer, writing his MA at the University of Western Ontario on the Scottish Enlightenment. One day, he walked into Gardner Galleries, an auction house in London, Ont., where, among the lots for sale, he found "a giant room of books." He bought them for a song and, shortly thereafter, discovered it was "chock full" of first editions.

"It was the best buy I ever made in my life," he says.

He decided to open a bookstore.

At the time, Wells didn't consider bookselling to be a long-term option. "Everybody told me it would fail," he says. His initial plan was to sell books for a while, and then pursue a PhD. There was only one problem: "I was a very good bookseller."

Running the bookstore introduced Wells to the city's literary community, and, in the early 2000s, he was part of a group that launched what is now known as BookFest Windsor, an annual literary festival. Around the same time, Wells hired Dennis Priebe, a regular customer who'd offered to build shelves "for $200 a week." It was only weeks later that Wells learned that Priebe had spent years immersed in the British Columbia book-publishing community, working as a typesetter for the likes of Geist magazine and Arsenal Pulp Press. (Priebe served as Biblioasis's production manager until 2013.) Initially, they planned to release hand-bound, limited-edition chapbooks featuring the work of local authors.

Their first book, published in 2004, was a collection of poems called Straight Razor by Windsor poet Salvatore Ala, followed by two collections by the BosnianCanadian writer Goran Simic.

Around this time, Wells met the editor, critic and author John Metcalf, who was in town for the literary festival, and whose 2003 memoir-slash-manifesto, An Aesthetic Underground, had impressed and influenced Wells greatly. They stayed up late "and drank quite a lot of Scotch and talked," recalls Metcalf, and, eventually, Wells asked Metcalf, who had recently parted ways with another small Canadian press, The Porcupine's Quill, if he would consider editing for Biblioasis. Metcalf agreed.

During those first few years, it was difficult to find authors willing to publish with a new, unproven press. "We had to be very creative, because nobody wanted to take a chance with us," says Wells. They launched a literary contest that offered a book deal to the winner, which led to what is probably their most notable early book, Kathleen Winter's debut short-story collection, boYs, published in 2007, the same year Wells partnered with University of Guelph professor and author Stephen Henighan to establish the Biblioasis International Translation Series. Still, for many years Biblioasis the press was kept afloat by Biblioasis the bookstore: "I stopped taking a wage and basically funnelled all the profits from the bookstore into publishing books," says Wells.

Despite Wells's "ambivalence" about them, it was an award that changed his company's fortunes - the 2010 Giller Prize, when Alexander MacLeod, who is serving on this year's jury, was nominated for his story collection Light Lifting, the only time a Biblioasis book has made the short list. The book went on to sell 20,000 copies, injecting "a burst of capital" into the press and attracting the attention of literary agents, authors and the media.

Still, Wells chooses not to put too much stock in prizes, not because he doesn't want his authors garnering attention, but because he finds them "bittersweet." Biblioasis published "five or six" books this year that could "easily have been" on this year's Giller longlist, he says, so why focus on a few "when there are so many other books we do that are as worthy of merit?" In almost a decade writing about the Canadian books industry, I've never met a publisher so convinced of the greatness of their every book; I've grown exasperated with him more than once when he's told me the slate of books the company was about to publish was the "best" they've ever produced.

He says the same thing year after year.

"They get better every year," he argues. "I believe that."

He's not wrong. In recent years Biblioasis has published the likes of Diane Schoemperlen, Mark Kingwell, Chris Turner, Clark Blaise, Bruce Jay Friedman, and a second short-story collection by Kathleen Winter. They cannot offer as much money as larger publishers (the most Wells has offered for a book is $15,000) but Biblioasis seems to engender loyalty. Schofield made a splash with her 2012 debut, Malarky, which won the First Novel Award, but "when I came back with another book I just didn't hesitate," she says on the phone from Vancouver. "I guess it's like any relationship: You demonstrate how you feel about someone in the way you behave towards them, and I just feel he really does the very best he can for each book."

"What matters, I think, is integrity," says Robertson, who will publish his third book with Biblioasis, Lives of the Poets (with Guitars), next year. "If I go to a festival and Dan's there, and I see people talk to him now, it's not because, 'Oh, wow, you were on a [prize] list last year.' It's about, 'Wow, you publish really good books and treat your authors really well.' That's the kind of shit that doesn't go away. Because, believe me, you can go to a lot of secondhand bookstores in Toronto and find a lot of Giller-shortlisted books in there that nobody cares about any more, except for their authors. This stuff lasts. Word-ofmouth matters. And your reputation matters. And you can't buy that. A jury can't give you that."

Although it is more art house than Random House, Biblioasis now sports five full-time and two part-time staffers - plus Metcalf in Ottawa, Henighan in Guelph and poetry editor Zachariah Wells (no relation to Dan) in Halifax - and is coming off its best year ever, with $500,000 in sales. ("As impoverished as $500,000 might seem, we're probably one of the biggest independents now," says Wells.) The press has been profitable since 2010. In 2012, Biblioasis opened a new bookstore in an old building in Windsor's Walkerville neighbourhood, which also serves as its office. The translation series now encompasses 16 titles, including a pair by Mia Couto, the Mozambique writer who won the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, seen by many as the precursor to the Nobel Prize, and, even before the success of Samuel Archibald, Biblioasis was planning to introduce more Quebec writers to the rest of Canada. It launched ReSet Books in 2014, resurrecting old titles by the likes of Caroline Adderson, Terry Griggs and Norman Levine. Wells also continues to operate Canadian Notes and Queries, a feisty literary magazine he bought in 2006 and which was redesigned by Seth, the Guelph cartoonist who serves as the publisher's de facto art director, branding everything from the bookstore to a series of Christmas ghost stories that Biblioasis will publish later this year.

"I want Biblioasis to be the Canadian version of Farrar, Straus and Giroux or Faber and Faber," says Metcalf. "I want us to become internationally important."

Wells, for his part, thinks it's possible.

"This is probably the only time in the history of publishing that regional publishers can actually have national or international significance," he says, pointing to Minneapolis, Minn., which is home to Milkweed Editions, Coffee House Press and Graywolf Press. "I think this is the golden age of independent publishing."

It's notable that he now describes Biblioasis as a regional publisher, considering it's a label he once did his best to avoid.

Wells admits to having a "lovehate relationship" with the city; in the early days, he downplayed the Windsor connection to the point that many of his customers had no idea their local bookstore was also publishing books.

"I used to think being in Windsor was a severe drawback," he says. "I didn't realize how lucky I was to be where I was." For instance, Wells bought the building housing the bookstore and office for $160,000. "Biblioasis doesn't exist in Toronto. I couldn't have done it."

Instead of hiding the fact that Biblioasis isn't located in Canada's publishing hub, they now play it up - "It's a Windsor press down to the core of its soul," says Henighan - and a couple of years ago they even cooked up a marketing campaign featuring the tagline "Imported from South Detroit," an allusion to the fact that Windsor is actually, geographically, below the Motor City.

Sometimes it feels as if their place on the map explains some of their editorial decisions, as if being 350-odd kilometres from Toronto gives them permission to do whatever they want.

"They are very sure of their taste, which tends to be adventurous, and they don't care about trends or fashion, or whether short stories sell or not," says Kathy Page, longlisted for the Giller Prize last year for her collection Paradise and Elsewhere. "There's a certain spunky, devil-may-care attitude to the wide world."

Wells says he's trying not to care, or think, too much about Monday, when the Giller Prize finalists are announced. They've mocked-up covers of all three books with the Giller logo, just in case.

"I'm not losing sleep over it," Wells says, then laughs. "I'm not getting much sleep, anyways."

Associated Graphic

'I am greatly motivated when people tell me I can't do anything,' says Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells, fourth from the right.


Theo Fleury's third act
The hockey star was sexually abused by his junior coach, and had a father who drank and a mother with a drug problem. Throughout his NHL days, he was hurting, spiralling. But now, he's found healing in music, Eric Duhatschek writes
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S3

CHESTERMERE, ALTA. -- The soundtrack of Theoren Fleury's life always featured country music - old country, Buck Owens, Charley Pride, Hank Snow, that era of country.

They were hurtin' songs, most of them, and for a lot of the years Fleury was listening, he was hurting, too.

Sexually abused by his junior hockey coach, with a father who drank and a mother addicted to prescription painkillers, Fleury spent a good part of his NHL career playing in a haze of alcohol and drugs. His life descended into a spiral that eventually had him contemplating suicide.

But ultimately, Fleury survived the experience and lived to tell the tale - except now he's telling it in words and music.

Yes, hockey's pint-sized star and advocate for victims of sexual abuse is now immersed in the third act of his life - budding country singer.

My Life's Been A Country Song is the title track of Fleury's first single on an album entitled I Am Who I Am that will be released Oct. 23. A cross-Canada tour is on tap for the early part of 2016 for Fleury and his band, the Death Valley Rebels.

A life filled with bizarre twists and turns has reached another momentous fork in the road, with Fleury now reaching an audience, wearing cowboy boots instead of skates and a hockey sweater.

"Music was definitely a coping thing for me," Fleury said in a lengthy interview at OCL Studios, where he sat across from one of his songwriting partners, Paddy McCallion. "When Johnny Cash sang that song Hurt, the first time I heard it, I was like, 'Holy crap, he's singing about my life.' "So, yeah, my life is a country song because it's just been pain after pain after pain, right? To be honest, this whole comeback in life is because I was completely exhausted from living in emotional pain for most of my life.

I'm thinking, 'There's got to be a better way of doing this, and it's not by sticking a gun in my mouth.' It's going through the experience of figuring things out, so I can have some peace and happiness in my life.

"And along the way, little did I know so many others were going through the same thing. When I showed up in Calgary in 1989, you had no clue that was part of my history, right?" It's true that Fleury presented a carefully crafted image to the public at the beginning of his NHL career. He was a 5-foot-7 fireball in an era when only a few hardy souls could play as a position player in the NHL at 5 foot 7.

He was a scrapper, someone who wore his heart on his sleeve on every shift, battled for every inch of ice, hurled himself against massively bigger opponents, all the while having a skill set and scoring touch that - against long odds - allowed him to have a successful NHL career and earn tens of millions of dollars, most of which he frittered away.

But as he writes in Sick As Your Secrets, it was all a smokescreen, in which he tried to keep the hidden parts of his life hidden: No one really knew me, no one ever asked, Because I'd leave the house behind a mask, All the expectations, all became too much, So I turned to darker things for a crutch.

"I often tell this story," Fleury began. "I would walk into the Saddledome at 9 a.m. and the first guy I would see is [coach] Brian Sutter. He's already been to Sylvan Lake, milked the cows and now he's back at work and he's all fired up and he punches you in the arm and he says, 'Are you ready to play?' and it's nine in the morning and I'd say, 'No, I'll be ready at seven.' "Or he would come up to me and say, 'How are you feeling?' Can you imagine if I'd said, 'Coach, I'm really sad tonight'?

Can you imagine the reaction I would have got? That's why I say, when I left the house, I had to put on this mask; that my life was good and everything on the ice was good. Then you'd go and see me play and I'd take two misconducts, and I'm yelling at the ref and doing stupid stuff.

That's where you'd see me acting out. But on the outside, it looks like I'm together and everything's okay."

In 2009, Fleury published a tell-all memoir called Playing With Fire, his second attempt at his life story - and this time, it wasn't a sepia-toned fairy tale.

Instead, he revealed that his life really wasn't okay.

The book outlined in graphic, wrenching detail the years of abuse at the hands of Graham James, his former junior coach, and all of the ways he'd tried to cope with those experiences over the years.

Fleury took multiple stabs at rehab, was in and out of a succession of relationships and eventually found a therapist who helped him get clean and sober for good, not just for short periods of time.

And percolating in the background was the idea that his message could help others cope with similar experiences.

Six years ago, he began a collaboration with Winnipeg musician Phil Deschambault that produced a dozen or so titles and convinced Fleury to keep at it.

More recently, he began to work with McCallion, an Irishborn, Calgary-based guitar player, who was also one of his drinking buddies back in the day. Fleury and McCallion cowrote six of the 10 tracks on the new album - most of them the darker, more troubling titles.

"Me and Phil are two different types of writers," McCallion explained. "When you hear his songs, they're a little more poppy than mine. I'm the one that dragged Theo out of coke dens at 4:30 in the morning - or vice versa. I was there, so I know where his head is. That's why our songs are darker. But we call them Disney songs because they may start off dark, but then there's hope and then at the end, you've got it; we're all good again.

"It's truly been a healing experience - very cathartic for both of us."

In their partnership, McCallion writes the melodies. When it comes time to flesh out the lyrics, Fleury provides the ideas and then McCallion distills those thoughts into a few concise stanzas, discarding what doesn't feel real.

"We'll go back and forth and then I'll come up with something like, 'Walk the streets all night' and Theo will say, 'There, that's the fit.' " The line McCallion references comes in Santa Fe Kinda Day, a song that Fleury says addresses "the darkest point in my life. I went there basically to die. Nobody knew who I was.

"I was living in the middle of the desert, having these psychotic episodes because I was up for days on end, doing huge amounts of cocaine.

"My bedroom was on the second level of the house and when I walked out on the deck, I could see Roswell, New Mexico. I could see the spaceships land and take off - or so I thought.

"Or I'd have a wonderful conversation with a couple of cactuses in my backyard. That's where I was. I would just walk for hours because I couldn't sleep. I often say, it was 27 years I couldn't sleep because I was molested in a dark room. That's where the inspiration to write all these songs came from - from those experiences."

Even though the songs are about Fleury's life, there isn't a single reference to hockey in any of the lyrics. Fleury, who is 60th on the NHL's all-time points scoring list, says the omission is deliberate, believing too many of his former peers never properly get past their glory (playing) days.

"So many guys are still defined by this hockey thing. That's who they think they are, and it keeps you stuck in that place," Fleury said. "Well, it's over with. Everything I learned, I learned from the game of hockey. But let's take that and transfer it into something meaningful.

"I couldn't be a coach. I would be a loony tunes coach. I just never saw myself in that position. But I'm still a huge fan. I'm still watching games. Charity stuff, I'll do it all day long, but to physically get up and skate at 10 o'clock at the Calgary Flames' rinks? No. Not going to happen.

You know me. I hated working out and I hated practice, but if you threw a puck on the ice and put 20,000 people in the building, I'll give you everything I've got.

"There have been lots of things that happened, where I still need to work out the resentment I have toward the game and some of the people in the game."

But when Fleury is asked about that resentment and who might have let him down, he answers: "Nobody let me down. I let myself down. Al Coates tried to help me. Gary Roberts tried to help me. There were lots of times we sat across from each other and I cried - just because of how much he cared. Coatesy was the same way.

"Even Slats [New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather] tried to help. I just wasn't ready to be helped. That was the problem."

When asked about his expectations for this project, Fleury replied: "Zero. This is a spiritual journey that I've been on for the last 10 years. I've been to 125 First Nations communities and it is those people who've given me my life back spiritually. I don't believe in God. I don't believe in any of that stuff. I believe in Mother Earth and connecting with people on a spiritual level and I found a group of musicians who share the same beliefs.

"I often say I got out of the driver's seat. Now I sit comfortably in the passenger's seat and I don't question anything. Music was just there to help."

Fleury has worked with a vocal coach to improve his breathing and range and assesses his own voice as "decent."

"I didn't wake up one morning six or seven years ago and say, 'I'm going to start singing country music.' This has been a lot of hard work and dedication and surrounding myself with great people from the music industry who know what they're doing.

"Like my hockey career, I'm the first guy at rehearsals. I'm never late. I'm taking it seriously, because if you're going to do something, don't do it halfassed. If you do it half-assed, then people have something to criticize you for. But if you're putting in the work, things will work out the way they're supposed to."

No venues have been selected for the upcoming tour and Fleury has made it clear he doesn't want to play bars.

Instead, the show will be promoted as an evening with Theo Fleury, a chance to listen to his music, but also to interact with him in the middle of the show.

"When we play a show," McCallion said, "all these people will come up to Theo right after and say, 'That song? That's me.' And then it starts clicking with the guys in the band - 'Oh, this is why we're doing it.' It's not about a paycheque. It's not about a gold record. If it just helps that one guy ... "Theo will tell him, 'If that song works for you, then you take it.' We're not trying to knock anybody off the charts here. It's just a continuation of what he was saying in Playing With Fire. I don't think he said everything he wanted to in the book."

Fleury agrees with that assessment, noting, "Those times, sitting beside my grandfather on the porch, listening to him play Métis fiddle tunes - Whisky Before Breakfast, Orange Blossom Special - those were my first memories of music and that was back when I belonged somewhere. I had peace in my life.

Then I go on this crazy wild journey of my life and I'm trying to get back to that place, right?

"Because that's really it - we're all just trying to get home.

That's where we all had moments of peace and clarity in our childhood and that's where we go to try and get that feeling back."

Associated Graphic

Former NHLer Theo Fleury is photographed at OCL Studios near Calgary on Sept. 16. Fleury's first album, entitled I Am Who I Am, will be released Oct. 23, with a cross-Canada tour to follow in 2016.


The forgotten moms
During campaigns, the ever-iconic, two-parent, middle-class family always gets the spotlight. But the real way to support Canadian families? Make life easier for single moms. Erin Anderssen explains why
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L3

Viveca Ellis drove into the poverty wall, as she puts it, on an ugly, grey Vancouver afternoon. University-educated, with a loving family, she hadn't expected that. At the time, she was living with friends, working a cleaning job to get by until she could find something better, and leaving her son with a babysitter who was barely making ends meet herself.

Ellis figured she was taking home $2 an hour - not nearly enough to change her circumstances. "We were two women and one little boy among thousands, trapped in a culture of poverty created by low-wage work and unregulated child care in B.C.," she explained in a heartbreaking speech given in Vancouver last November at a press conference on child poverty.

A few months later, with her son in his stroller, she sat in the nearest welfare office, filling out forms. "Single motherhood is a kind of poverty-equalizer among women," she says. "The deck is stacked against us all in so many ways."

There hasn't been much room to discuss that stacked deck, for all the long weeks the politicians have been stumping the campaign trail. This is the Election That Forgot Poor People, squarely devoted to the middle class.

Between stimulus spending, income-splitting, and tax breaks for housing renovations and Rotary Club memberships, the single mom who can't afford a home (let alone new kitchen counters) and has no spousal income to split, sits on the sidelines, hoping, at least, for a smaller child-care bill.

Aside from a long-overdue child-care conversation, what's still been largely missing from this campaign is a substantive debate about family policies that continue to implicitly (and explicitly) favour wealthier, twoparent families. Or how to improve pay equity and reduce domestic violence. Or the fact that more than 25 years after Parliament vowed to end child poverty, Canada is no further ahead in this goal, and may even be, according to a 2014 report by Campaign 2000, slipping behind.

At the heart of that policy failure is the household headed by a single mother, the Canadian family most likely to be poor.

Helping her spills out in social and economic benefits, not just for the country, but for all families struggling on a thin bottom line.

Approximately one in five Canadian children is being raised by a single mom. Although median earnings have roughly doubled for single mothers to $29,000 since the mid-1990s (along with the rise of women's pay overall), they still earn onethird the earnings of couples with kids, and less than twothirds that of single dads. (With taxes and government transfers, their take-home is about half that of two-parent families.)

They also tend to be the hardest hit during a recession; according to a report by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, of all parents, single mothers with children under 6 experienced the largest increase in unemployment, from 11 per cent in prerecession 2007 to a high of 17 per cent in 2010.

Lifting the fortunes of single mothers, and their children, is a worthy stimulus project on its own, as a Canadian study demonstrated this spring.

In the study, researchers followed more than 700 singlemother families living in London, Ont., for 14 years, as their children became adults. Two factors made a difference in those families: a stable home life (that is, when the mother remained single over the years of the study) and the mother's postsecondary education. In those cases, the children of single moms didn't just reach the level of education and occupation as kids from two-parent families, they often surpassed them.

"More attention should be paid to addressing disparities in education and family income than concerns about the kind of families kids grow up in," says the study's lead author, Jamie Seabrook.

College or university credentials only increase the chances of landing secure, well-paying jobs (with health benefits and even pensions), which improve a family's bottom line, and its stress load, in the short term, and set poor kids up for their own education goals in the long term.

"If I prioritized, education would be right at the top," Seabrook says. "The far-reaching benefits down the road are going to be enormous."

A new program established in September by the British Columbia government is one to watch: The province will provide tuition for one-year programs with a focus on high-demand jobs and cover child-care and transportation expenses both during the year of study and the first year of work. All single parents in B.C. who are on social or disability assistance are eligible. It's estimated to cost $24.5-million over five years, although the province has placed no cap on the number of participants.

Janet Austin, the CEO of the YWCA Metro Vancouver, which is already helping a dozen candidates enroll in the new program, says investing in single mothers - with "social infrastructure" such as affordable child care and housing - needs to be seen as an economic step to reducing child poverty. "That's part of the shift we need to make in society."

Wanted: Equal tax policy for all parents You can't blame politicians for focusing on the majority, the ever-iconic middle-class, twoparent family. These are the people who vote. Handing out tax breaks to them like Halloween candy isn't controversial, and for the Conservatives, in particular, who have a base of "traditional families" to placate, it's necessary. It doesn't help that only 30 per cent of single parents made it to the polls in the most recent election, half the rate of couples with kids the same age. Part of this is income - poorer Canadians vote at lower rates overall - but also, it's harder to stand in line at the polls while juggling kids alone.

This a case of omission rather than derision, and nothing near so pernicious as in the United States, where single moms are routinely blamed for every sort of evil: gun violence, low test scores, general societal decay.

But there's still an implicit bias built into our family policy - and what's on offer this election - when you look at who benefits most: wealthier, middle-class households with two salaries or one big breadwinner with a stayat-home spouse. Take a hint, single moms: Find a man.

The last thing Amanda McKay, 30, wants is the wrong choice of partner to add to her financial burdens, even as she struggles with the isolation that comes with being a Vancouver single mom on social assistance. "I have considered buying a fake ring," she says. "I feel ashamed a lot of the time." A combination of events led her here: a difficult childhood spent bouncing between foster homes, an overwhelming student loan from her commerce degree, being laid off from her job as a logistics coordinator for a transportation company, an ex-boyfriend who, until a recent court order, wasn't providing child support. She is now trying to return to school to get more professional credentials, without falling more into debt, and saving for a car to expand her job options and help her juggle child-care pickups for her son, now 20 months old.

"I don't think I need two incomes to raise my son to be happy," she says - just a fair shot. She knows her education and resourcefulness give her an edge, a chance to avoid a life of low-wage jobs, dangling on the edge of poverty. "I don't want to be here forever."

That fair shot, according to Ellis, requires lifting the stigma that follows single mothers. "The perception is that a family led by a single parent is broken," she says, speaking also as chair of the board for the Single Mothers' Alliance of B.C., a new advocacy group which led a successful campaign to stop the B.C. government from clawing back child-support payments from single parents on social assistance. Having a degree helped her leave social assistance after a year - she now works on contract as a non-profit fundraiser - but the experience made her more aware of the ways the system works against single moms, especially those who grew up in poverty. Tax policy, she says, should treat all parents equally - in her words, the state has no business in the "family rooms" of the nation.

The most explicit example that excludes single parents is income splitting for families with children, promised by the Conservatives, which allows one working parent to reduce their tax bill by "giving" some of their income to their partner. The policy is being sold as an attempt to balance the tax burden for families with one parent at home, but, as the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported in March, it will cost a whopping $2.2-billion and have "near zero" impact on lowincome families, while disproportionately benefiting higherincome households.

Other policies tacitly assume there are two parents involved in the raising of a child: Maternity-leave options are more limited for single mothers, who are more likely to work parttime and less likely to have jobs with employer top-ups that make a year off affordable. (Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has promised to work with provinces to expand leaves to up to 18 months, but it's not clear how low-income families who can't afford 12 months could possibly take advantage of another six.)

A lack of good maternity leave means, for instance, that single mothers are more likely to leave the work force entirely when they have kids, making it harder to get back into the job market later. That's compounded when they face the cost of child care, which the Universal Child Care Benefit cheques from Ottawa, even with recent increases, don't come close to covering.

One key election issue affecting single mothers has been child care, with a clear choice between the NDP $15-a-day-plan, the Liberals offering direct family subsidies on a sliding scale and the Conservatives sticking with their current benefits.

Making child care affordable is certainly a good step, Ellis says.

But it also has to be accessible, so that single parents aren't grappling with transportation issues or work schedules that fall outside 9 to 5. A Toronto study, for instance, found that singleparent families - which account for 17 per cent of households in the city - were disadvantaged when it came to jobs because of a lack of car or public transportation and the time of a commute. The easiest access to jobs are in the downtown core - though few single mothers live there. (Both the Liberals and the NDP made promises this month to invest in affordable housing.)

And while urban mothers have wider options for low-paying jobs, rural moms face their own complicated logistics. Illness or disability only increase the barriers to work, leaving single mothers - who report high rates of stress and symptoms of depression twice as high as married or common-law mothers - with less access to employee benefits that provide some coverage, for instance, to a psychologist and other professionals.

Poverty is a layer cake of complications: transportation, child care, food bills, low-wage labour, especially in femaledominated jobs, and housing.

Melissa Holliday, 24, an single mother from Ottawa with two preschoolers, is currently trying to move out of the rough neighbourhood where she lives on social housing. She doesn't feel safe there and she's worried about her kids. Holliday, an active member of ACORN, a group that helps low-income Canadians advocate for themselves, wants to go back to school and become an aesthetician. But right now, she says, she would set those plans aside to take a job just to cover rent in a better apartment. "Every day, there is something difficult that I have to overcome," she says.

Research shows that in countries with a broad package of family-neutral policies - better parental-leave benefits, wider access to child care - the circumstances of single-mothers and their children, look more like their two-parent counterparts. In Sweden, for instance, the risk of poverty for single moms hovers at 2 per cent - about 10 times lower than Canada. Why this continues to be true is a question that politicians should be expected to answer.

Associated Graphic

Viveca Ellis, second from right, co-founder of Single Mothers' Alliance of B.C., is trying to raise the profile of single mothers.


On a cross-country trek from Tofino, B.C., to St. John's, Nfld., Chris Johns taste-tests the theory that central Canada's food scene has got nothing on what chefs are feeding the hungry hordes gravitating to its coasts. The dishes he encounters - adolescent potatoes, broiled beach oysters and, yes, even smoked goat cheese with local ants - confirm his suspicions might be right
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page P44

The sun is barely up and I'm already 13 kilometres off Vancouver Island's west coast fighting a salmon. The rod, curved like a drawn bow, tenses, and the great silvery chinook at the end of the line makes a dazzling leap out of the Pacific into the bright air.

Seven thousand kilometres and a few days later, I'm bobbing out on the Atlantic off the eastern shore of Fogo Island hauling in a lazy cod. A humpback whale in the distance exhales a noisy mist, rolls over on its side and slaps the water with its scalloped fin.

I've made the long journey across the country, from the edge of the West to the extreme East, not just to catch the iconic fish of each region - although there's no way I'd pass up that opportunity - but to get a taste of two of the most dynamic food scenes in all of Canada. No longer dominated by its major urban centres, Canadian food is finding its ultimate expression at the very edges of its borders.

Pound for pound, Tofino, B.C. (population 1,876), is the finest food city in North America. Between The Pointe, SoBo, Wolf in the Fog, Kuma and Picnic, there are more great places to eat in Tofino than in many major cities. Similarly, in Newfoundland, restaurants like Raymonds, Mallard Cottage, The Merchant Tavern, Bona Vista Social Club and Fogo Island Inn are making the province one of the most exciting dining destinations in the world.

At lunch one afternoon in Tofino, between bites of broiled beach oysters slathered in miso mayonnaise and spiked with salmon bacon, I ask SoBo chef and owner Lisa Ahier for her take on what makes the food scene in Tofino so delicious. "For me, it's a little bit like Napa," she says. "You know how you're not going to really get a bad meal in Napa because people are accustomed to good food? That's where Tofino is right now, and that means the bar is just so high."

A few days later in St. John's, over a second helping of blueberry crumble at Mallard Cottage, I pose the same question to that restaurant's chef and owner, Todd Perrin. "I think there's no doubt that when Jeremy and Jeremy opened Raymonds it was a game changer," he explains, referring to chef Jeremy Charles and sommelier Jeremy Bonia. "What those guys have done is just so impressive, and it really inspired, not only me, but a lot of chefs around here."

Perrin is not being modest. Raymonds is quite possibly the best restaurant this country has ever produced. The dining room, all plush carpet, crown moulding, silk wallpaper and crystal chandeliers, is flawless. A recent dinner there included a simple plate of "adolescent potatoes" barely dressed with a nutty sherry vinaigrette and potato foam, all topped with a dark malt and hazelnut crumble that referenced the rich soil the potatoes are grown in. The dish was so flavourful it was like discovering a new, more luxurious vegetable.

If Raymonds represents the seed from which the current food scene in St. John's has sprung, then The Pointe restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn was the catalyst in Tofino. Back when it opened in 1996, local, seasonal eating was very much the exception rather than the rule. But for Charles McDiarmid, the managing director, it was second nature. "Having grown up here, we'd walk to the dock to pick up a salmon to barbecue at home," he says. "We knew many fishermen and providers already, so we were 100 per cent on board when our chef came to us and said he wanted to make a real commitment to the local terroir."

Almost 20 years later, that adherence to local ingredients is no longer a novelty. It's the default philosophy for almost every dish in Tofino, from the ling cod fish and chips at the Wildside Grill to the smoked fish platter at The Fish Store and Oyster Bar to the Clayoquot seaweed salad at Kuma.

No one, however, is doing more with local ingredients in Tofino right now than chef Nick Nutting and his crew at Wolf in the Fog. From my seat at the bar I am right next to the kitchen pass where a small brigade turns out hundreds of immaculatelooking plates. Here come smoked oysters wrapped in a hive of fried potatoes, plates piled with thick slices of albacore tuna and crisp, confit pork, and cast iron skillets brimming with prehistoric-looking gooseneck barnacles. "We've got the best products in the world here," Nutting says. "Not just the stuff coming off the docks, but incredible wild mushrooms, chanterelles, pine mushrooms, yellow foot."

Nutting's claim might come up against some opposition from the chefs in Newfoundland, who are pretty proud of their own indigenous bounty as well as the long, rich culinary tradition they draw from. "I'm trying to get in touch with the way people used to eat here," Fogo Island Inn chef Murray McDonald tells me one day as we scour the shoreline for wild snacks (the grocery list: oyster leaf, crow berries, seaside arugula). "Salting, curing, preserving - this is how people have lived here for centuries and it's what inspires my menus." Murray may draw inspiration from those sources, but, as dishes like his smoked goat cheese with braised goat, strawberries and local ants prove, he is not afraid to put a new spin on tradition.

Finding new ways of utilizing local ingredients also motivates chefs like Tina Windsor at Picnic, a phenomenal charcuterie shop tucked away in an industrial strip on the edge of Tofino. She cures ham with the kelp-infused beer she gets from neighbouring Tofino Brewing Company and preserves sea asparagus with wild nodding onion flowers and honey. She doesn't sugar-coat her take on Tofino's exceptionalism: "Everything is ridiculously expensive here and we're totally at the whim of tourism," she says bluntly. "But [those hurdles] attract people that want to make it work and have the willpower to do it."

On my last day in St. John's I sit down for lunch with chef Jeremy Charles at his new restaurant, The Merchant Tavern, a more casual, relaxed extension of the culinary style he practises at Raymonds. He's eager to show me the fresh pink scallops his friend just dived for the night before (his team will thinly slice the bivalves and turn them into bright ceviche along with the razor clams they've started bringing in). "I don't think anyone's ever harvested razor clams in Newfoundland before," he tells me.

The Merchant Tavern may be more casual and accessible than Raymonds, but it's no less impressive. The chefs in the open kitchen, who travel from around the world for the opportunity to work with this team, are constantly cleaning their stations and honing their knives. Even the bottoms of the pots and pans are scrubbed nightly. "We don't want to take any shortcuts here," is how Charles puts it. "Even if we're doing a simple pasta or a steak frites, we want to do everything the right way. We're just trying to make beautiful food."

* * * * * * * * * *


If you have limited time on your West Coast-cuisine pilgrimage, these are the must-dine spots in Tofino


Chef Nick Nutting and his crew set out to do nothing less than define Tofino cuisine at this comfortable year-old spot overlooking the harbour.

Must-try: Spanish Bombshell, a skillet-bursting combination of impeccably fresh shellfish in a rich tomato broth studded with tender potatoes and tamed by a bright aioli.


The renowned restaurant in the Wickaninnish Inn started it all. The octagonal dining room is mostly windows and provides an iconic view of Chesterman Beach.

Must-try: Spot prawn escabeche with Okanagan peaches and corn pannacotta.


Chef Lisa Ahier's bricksand-mortar outpost of her legendary taco truck is a local favourite as well as a tourist attraction.

Must-try: Braised duck ramen with house-made noodles in a chili-spiked soy-ginger broth.


Japanese comfort food is interpreted through local ingredients at this sister restaurant to Bowen Island's beloved Shika Provisions.

Must-try: Jig-caught local albacore tuna tataki with ponzu sauce, green onion, ginger and garlic.


The flagship taco truck of a burgeoning restaurant empire that now includes trucks and traditional restaurants around B.C. has plans to expand across Canada.

Must-try: Tempura ling cod fish taco washed down with a mango-coconut liquado.


The restaurant scene in St. John's spoils foodies for choice. These five eateries are a good place to start


Chef Jeremy Charles and sommelier Jeremy Bonia's exquisite jewel box of a restaurant might just be the best restaurant this country has ever produced.

Must-try: Wise diners splash out on the tasting menu and let the kitchen take charge.


The utterly charming Quidi Vidi Village is home to chef Todd Perrin's rollicking nightly kitchen party in a renovated 18th-century fisherman's cottage.

Must-try: As enormous as it is tender, the halibut collar is a little used, but entirely delicious cut of fish.


East Coast chef Stephen Vardy actually spent a few years in Tofino before returning home and opening his latest laid-back Asian influenced restaurant.

Must-try: Korean fried chicken with spicy gochujang sauce.


This spot is husband-and-wife-team Shaun Hussey and Michelle LeBlanc's love letter to local ingredients.

Must-try: Acadian caviar and crème fraîche are elegant accompaniments for the restaurant's fun, upscale cod and lobster corndogs.


The latest offering from the Raymonds crew offers the same impeccable technique, attention to detail and first rate local ingredients in a more relaxed setting.

Must-try: Ricotta cavatelli with braised lamb, Merguez sausage, fresh peas and mint.

Associated Graphic


ON THE EDGES Travelling from The Pointe restaurant, perched over B.C.'s Chesterman Beach (opposite page, top), to quaint spots in St. John's Quidi Vidi neighbourhood (left) is an over 7,000 kilometre journey, but dishes like Kuma's tuna tataki (opposite page, bottom) and The Merchant Tavern's ricotta cavatelli (below) highlight how chefs on both coasts are equally creative with local ingredients.

WEST SIDE STORY Tofino's lineup of noted chefs includes Dylan Tilston of The Fish Store and Oyster Bar (above, middle), Lisa Ahier of SOBO (opposite page, bottom right), Nicholas Nutting of Wolf in the Fog (opposite page, bottom left), Warren Barr of The Pointe (this page, bottom right) and Simon Burch of Kuma (right).

HOT PLATES The spanish bombshell at Wolf in the Fog (far left) is a sharable melange of scallops, shellfish, tomato and potatoes served with focaccia and saffron aioli. SOBO's broiled oysters (left) are topped with salmon bacon and miso mayo.

EASTERN PROMISE Somelier Jeremy Bonia and chef Jeremy Charles (above) are credited with kickstarting the St. John's restaurant scene with their fine dining spot Raymonds. Earlier this year, the duo launched the more casual Merchant Tavern where they serve up platters of local seafood (far right).

GOOD EATS Must-have bites on any St. John's foodie tour include Chinched Bistro's cod and lobster corndog (above), an all-you-can-eat cake table at Mallard Cottage (above, right) and fish and chips at The Duke of Duckworth (right).

Beloved newsman lived life 'to the max'
He was an 'unstoppable machine' doing good and raising about $100-million for charity, much of it for the children's hospital
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S6

In the seconds leading up to each 6 p.m. newscast, Ottawa broadcaster Max Keeping would secure a red rose firmly on his lapel, then look into the camera and imagine the faces of the million people he reached in the National Capital Region. For 37 years, he spoke to every one of them.

As an evening news anchor at CTV Ottawa, the TV station formerly called CJOH, Mr. Keeping told stories about the ambitions and struggles of ordinary Canadians and pioneered a unique brand of community journalism.

Through his enormous community presence and prodigious fundraising for sick children, he met with tens of thousands of Canadians during his time at the station, becoming a beloved and trusted public figure in the Ottawa region.

"He knew people in every village in every town and rarely had a meal at home," said Scott Hannant, a close friend who worked with Mr. Keeping. "He commanded a lot of love."

Mr. Keeping's upbeat nature, journalistic rigour and ability to connect with viewers made his news show the favourite in the region for 37 years, an almost unheard of success in a local TV media market. Meanwhile, he maintained a quirky style that included a rat tail, paisley ties, a Mickey Mouse watch and fingers laden with gold rings.

"Everything about Max was 100-per-cent real," said CTV Ottawa sports director Terry Marcotte.

"If he was angry, you could see it, if he had a sparkle in his eye, you could see it."

Mr. Keeping died of cancer on Thursday. He was 73.

The youngest of three children, Winston Maxwell Keeping was born April 1, 1942, in Grand Bank, Nfld., to Polly and Heber Keeping.

His mother was a housewife and his father a schooner captain who spent months at sea. When he was just nine years old, his mother died of cancer, and the next year, his brother, Bert, was swept overboard at sea and died.

So Max was raised by his sister, Margaret.

In 1993, she told The Ottawa Citizen, "It was a hard life for a little boy."

When Max was 14, he began work as a sports writer at the St.

John's Evening Telegram, and by 17, became the paper's sports editor. He then moved into radio, and in 1963 got a job with CTV affiliate CJCH in Halifax, where he worked alongside a reporter named Mike Duffy, who is now a senator.

Mr. Duffy told The Ottawa Citizen in 2010 that Mr. Keeping "was a human dynamo" at the station, and "showed me how to cover three stories in an hour."

In 1965, Mr. Keeping landed a job at the Ottawa radio station CFRA, as its first parliamentary correspondent, and the next year became a parliamentary reporter for CTV. He began covering national news during a volatile time for Canada that saw the rise of Quebec separatism, the invocation of the War Measures Act and a national identity tug-ofwar.

In 1972, he ran for a federal seat as a Progressive Conservative in Newfoundland, but came in a distant second behind Liberal Don Jamieson.

That same year, Mr. Keeping took a new job at CJOH, a CTV affiliate that covered the National Capital Region. He soon became the 6 o'clock news anchor on Newsline.

His success in the chair was indisputable. It rested on his ability to link the disparate audiences that CJOH served - from villagers to federal legislators to international diplomats - with stories that brought them together.

"People would say, 'There is a good story at City Hall,' " Mr. Marcotte remembered, "and he'd say, 'The story is with the people.' " Starting in 1975 on a show called Regional Contact, he told the stories of the region's people, from Kinburn, Ont., to Shawville, Que. In 1986, he took cameras into the operating room to film the implantation of Canada's first artificial heart. In 1989, he sent reporters to the Berlin Wall. And for every municipal, provincial and federal election, he worked around the clock preparing indepth coverage.

"He just took that station and turned it into a very powerful force within national politics and regional politics," said former Liberal MPP Sean Conway, a frequent guest on the newscast.

In 1996, he sent Mr. Marcotte, then a young reporter, on a crosscountry hitchhiking adventure to capture the mood of the nation.

It was a perfect example of Mr. Keeping's vision of telling stories in new ways, long before such outside-the-box thinking was fashionable in the industry.

"We did things that local stations didn't do," Mr. Marcotte said, "because Max believed in it."

His newscast's dominance was also a result of his dedication to hard work and emphasis on rigorous journalistic standards, which he softened for no one. If he was unsatisfied with copy before it went to air, he would demand a rewrite.

"He was always very gruff," Mr. Hannant said, but, "you'd get the Max treatment and come back on the other end of it a close and trusted friend."

His uncompromising nature was due in part to his desire to train young journalists in whom he saw a spark. Under his guidance, many rookie journalists became dogged reporters and went on to enjoy careers at some of the most respected newsrooms around the world.

James Duthie, who arrived at CJOH as an intern in 1989 and is now a TSN host, said he remembers Mr. Keeping fighting hard to keep him at the station when other editors considered him too green.

"He saw something in me that I'm not even sure I saw," Mr. Duthie said.

Mr. Keeping was also immensely compassionate with his station colleagues, and pulled his team together in difficult times. In 1995, he brought calm to the newsroom the day CJOH sports anchor Brian Smith was fatally shot by a deranged man.

"I was just shaking," said Mr. Duthie, who filled in for Mr. Smith that night, and Mr. Keeping "was a rock."

But although he was one of the most high-profile individuals in Ottawa, Mr. Keeping chose to associate with ordinary people.

Every Christmas, he returned to Parliament Hill and danced with the charladies, offering roses for kisses on the cheek. He made a point of speaking with the security guards and cooks at the functions he attended, and was as comfortable in conversation with them as he was chatting with Canada's elite, whose ear he also had.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson remembers when Mr. Keeping called former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty in 2003 requesting he save the cardiac unit at Ottawa's Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) once elected. In the end, the unit was saved.

"He was probably the single biggest community booster the city has ever seen," Mr. Watson said. "He had a massive heart."

When he wasn't putting together a newscast or on air, Mr. Keeping was at a fundraising event, community breakfast, bingo hall, church sale, black tie formal or concert. He dedicated most of his time to raising money for sick children. Starting in 1984, he hosted annual telethons for the children's hospital, laughing and hugging his young guests as confetti sprayed over them to signal each fundraising milestone.

His work beyond the TV screen included visiting sick children in the hospital, unannounced and often with gifts, and in one instance, he financed a trip to New York for a dying girl and her mother.

Mr. Keeping gave away so much of his own money that his friends grew concerned that he was going broke. Consequently, the Max Keeping Foundation was created in 1994. According to Al MacKay, a colleague and longtime friend, Mr. Keeping helped raise about $100-million for charity, much of it for the children's hospital, which named a wing after him in 2003.

He was an "unstoppable machine" doing good, said his friend Rabbi Reuven Bulka, a fellow Ottawa broadcaster.

In addition to hosting a top-rated news show and attending more than 200 events each year, the energetic, fun loving anchor also displayed a legendary stamina while partying. He especially loved concerts and nightclubs.

In the early years of his career at CJOH, Mr. Keeping was known for heavy smoking and drinking; a Friday ritual in the newsroom with staff involved a bottle of rum in his desk drawer. On at least two occasions in the mid-1970s, he was caught driving while impaired. By the late 1980s, Mr. Keeping's drinking slowed, but his socializing didn't.

"He probably danced in every nightclub there is in Eastern Ontario," said former Liberal cabinet minister Ed Lumley, a close friend of Mr. Keeping's. "Max lived life."

With all of Mr. Keeping's great joys came great pains. Raised largely without parents, Mr. Keeping was a private man who suffered from bouts of loneliness and depression. Over the decades, he attended many funerals for his young friends from CHEO.

He also experienced heartbreak in 1986 when his second cousin was convicted of murder and was murdered in jail. And in 2008 he lost his sister, Margaret, who died after being hit by a car in Burlington, Ont.

"I think Max battled his own demons," said John Beattie, a close friend and former CJOH colleague, "but my God, he mastered them."

Mr. Keeping often said his greatest honour was being a father figure to three young men he mentored over the decades, steering them from trouble and into healthy, stable lives. Never married and with no biological children of his own, Mr. Keeping referred to these men as his sons and their children as his grandchildren.

Shane Holley, one of Mr. Keeping's adopted sons, who took care of him in the last years of his life, on Twitter calls Mr. Keeping "my superhero father."

In 2004, Mr. Keeping was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but his prognosis was favourable. In 2010, he retired from CTV as one of the longest-serving news anchors in Canadian history. For his last broadcast, Mr. Keeping stressed that his goodbye closed a chapter on the history of a community - not just the career of one man.

In 2012, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and had four organs removed. In March of last year, he announced live on his former newscast that he was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer, and urged people to seek early screening.

"He wanted to use [his illness] to increase awareness," Mr. MacKay said. "He has shown amazing courage in dealing with these health issues."

In May of last year, doctors discovered a tumour in Mr. Keeping's brain. Although the tumour was removed, it caused him partial paralysis, and by August, he had lost nearly all ability to speak.

Still, he never lost his zest for life. In his last months, Mr. Keeping went to a Motley Crue concert, a fireworks show and to his favourite barbecue restaurant, which played gospel music in the Byward Market. He handed out orange buttons there with his life motto: "Live life to the max."

In a 2012 interview before Mr. Keeping had his surgery, he explained that he lived his life on the basis that "any day that starts with waking up is a good day to dance."

And he did.

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

Max Keeping told stories about the ambitions and struggles of ordinary Canadians and pioneered a unique brand of community journalism.


Mr. Keeping at 30 years old.


Alo goes all in on high-end dining - and wins
High above Queen and Spadina, the cooking is virtuosic, the wine pairings are superb and the service is expertly choreographed
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page M2

Last spring, after the chef Patrick Kriss and his front-ofhouse partner, Amanda Bradley, announced the first few details about the restaurant they were building, an acquaintance in the business sent me an e-mail with "Alo??" as its subject line. Alo was the name of the duo's planned venture; it would be on the third storey of a building nobody had ever noticed before at the corner of Queen and Spadina, out of sight of the street and the city; for walk-by traffic, it would be completely out-of-mind.

And Alo would be a tastingmenu restaurant. It would serve high-end, go-for-broke ambitious cooking of the sort that filled out Michelin guides and world's-bestrestaurant lists, of the sort that most (but not all) of Toronto chefdom had long ago given up as out-of-fashion and not worth the trouble in any case.

"What are they thinking?" that e-mail demanded. I would have taken a stab at an answer, but I had been party to half-a-dozen similarly incredulous conversations about Alo already that week.

Nearly three months now since the restaurant opened, what they were thinking seems laughably obvious. What they were thinking was that they could assemble the most prodigiously talented kitchen team in the city's restaurant history, and hire and train the city's smartest wine and service staff. What they were thinking was that they could do things differently - that even on the third floor of an unknown building at an intersection not readily associated with ambitious dining, they could build one of the most singular and daring and extraordinary new restaurants in Canada, and fill it with ecstatic customers every night.

And as it turns out, they have largely done that. With Alo, Mr. Kriss and Ms. Bradley have given city diners exactly what they wanted - it's just that, until they opened the restaurant, city diners did not yet know that they wanted it.

You would never know, for instance, that you might want a warm, tiny bowl of peau de lait - that's milk skin, for the uninitiated, set and skimmed and layered into a just-warm custard so voluptuously, densely milky and buttery-sweet that proper Italian burrata seems like Cheez Whiz by comparison. You might never know that a warm tiny bowl of peau de lait with olive oil over it and a squall of chili and a single confitted San Marzano tomato can leave grown diners nearly dumbstruck with gratitude and glee.

Who would know that a simple country stew made from longsimmered duck and veal and turnips and studded with pickled wild mushrooms might be the best thing you could remember ever eating in a city restaurant?

Or that a bread-and-butter service might nearly be worth the price of an entire $90 menu all on its own.

Alo's butter is churned in the restaurant's kitchen each week from local cream that Cori Murphy, its pastry chef, brings just to the edge of souring. She makes the bread every day from the leftover buttermilk: four-bite pain au lait buns that come hot from the oven, burnished on their tops to the colour and depth of polished antique mahogany, speckled with crunching fleur de sel, sweet and soft and nearly as rich on their insides as perfect croissants but also tart from that buttermilk's bite. I ate the butter like cheese, and the bread as though I had not eaten a proper meal in weeks.

Anjana Viswanatha, who is Alo's sommelier, pairs the bread and butter - yes, they get their own pairing - with a rainwater Madeira that tastes sweet and saline, light and refreshing and gently confected at its edges, as though it has been spiked with oyster liquor and Demerara caramel. If you have not utterly submitted to the restaurant's pleasures at that point, you are probably not alive.

Mr. Kriss, who is 35, started his cooking career at the Rosedale Golf Club and Auberge du Pommier before flying to New York for a two-day try-out at the star chef Daniel Boulud's flagship Daniel.

That try-out turned into a threeyear job as a chef de partie on Daniel's take-no-prisoners line.

Since returning home five years ago, he has worked as chef de cuisine at Splendido, as well as the chef, briefly, at Acadia, after Matt Blondin left. Yet, until Alo, he had never cooked his own food, and as long as I've been following Mr. Kriss, I could see that grate on him. He wears his ambition - not merely to be a good chef, but to be the best chef - the way many of his colleagues wear heritage pork tattoos.

Mr. Kriss's sous chef, Matthew Betsch, cooked on the line at the three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park; his other sous chef, Nick Bentley, came through Canoe and Splendido; Ms. Murphy worked most recently with pastry master Patrice Demers in Montreal, and Ms. Murphy's second-in-command, Kevin Jeung, spent a year cooking at Mugaritz, near San Sebastian in Spain.

Ms. Bradley, the general manager, was assistant maître d' in a Michelin-starred restaurant near France's northern coast before running the show at George, on Queen Street East. I don't know any other place in Toronto with that much high-level firepower. It should not be so surprising how fun and well-conceived and technically virtuosic the cooking is, or how smartly they have thought the service through.

One night at the restaurant's six-seat kitchen counter, dinner opened with a flurry of snacks.

There were oysters on their halfshells from New Brunswick seasoned with a hot mustard-like glimmer of nasturtium, and chips and dip, but with the chips puffed round like Indian puri instead of flat: fly-away-light fried potato orbs with the crunch of Frito Lays.

On another little dish, the kitchen set a miniaturist rectangle of yellowtail tuna belly: deep pink in its middle and white toward the edges, crusted on two sides in smooth golden brown. The crusts, we soon learned, were buttered, toasted white bread, but cut only as thick as prosciutto slices; each of the assemblages bore a dot of aioli and a tiny celery leaf. Mr. Kriss had cheekily called it "tasting of hamachi." It was the tuna sandwich of a seafood-lover's dreams.

They brought bowls of broken rice that tasted like kettle popcorn but with the texture of loose risotto, and poured grassy, darkhued butter from Normandy over top. They brought bowls of B.C. crab with fresh creamed corn, shot through with lemon and the earthy-flavoured corn fungus called huitlacoche, with chili peppers and the unmistakable summer campfire smell of smoking corn husks.

We had dry-aged lamb, and pork rack and belly that Mr. Kriss's butcher, Jason Custodio, dry-ages for a month. The flavour of those meats was almost improbably full and concentrated. I had never encountered dry-aged lamb or rack of pork before.

Ms. Viswanatha, the sommelier, does not follow the usual rules.

Her superb and idiosyncratic wine list, not to mention the wine pairings, are all the better for this.

With that crab and corn course, she did not pour the expected Chardonnay, but a Savennières that was all stony minerality and petrol with a gorgeous honeyed edge about it; for the broken rice and butter, an unctuously rich and almost milky-textured but quenching Melon de Bourgogne that had aged six years. For that duck and veal and pickled mushroom stew - it comes buried under a downy quilt of foie gras shavings, by the way - Ms. Viswanatha poured a Rousillon from 2003 that had mellowed to the point of sheer, blissful perfection: It was a meaty, chewy, velvety country wine that tasted like stewed fruit and spice at its edges, with a juicy, refreshing liveliness at its core.

That glass of old red wine in particular said a lot about the ethic here - they do not seem to serve or do anything at Alo unless they can do it in its most perfect form. The wines and cheeses are perfectly aged, the butter freshmade, the plums with dessert are the best plums you've ever eaten, the cheese twists served hot and almost ridiculously fresh. The food in Alo's bar is, by far, the best bar food in Toronto - check out the spiced lamb and yogurt number with the (freshly made) mini chapatis. The ice in the cocktails at Alo is gemstone-clear and chipped by hand; the cocktails are among the most expertly made I've had.

And Ms. Bradley's service team has somehow stripped away everything that is extraneous and annoying about fine-dining service. What's left is knowing, quietly confident, expertly choreographed hospitality, imbued with a spirit of lightness. They have not left a single thing to chance.

Desserts change constantly, and the dessert "course" typically includes multiple entries: tart, exquisite yellow plum sorbet with puffed wheat the first time I ate at Alo, as well as fresh milk sorbet and chocolate, and strawberries with vanilla cream, as well as petits fours.

My second time, in the bar, there was a concord grape and meringue number that I'd happily drown in if I were allowed the chance. On a third visit, for the final dessert bite, Ms. Murphy made cannelés. She bakes them to order and then pops them carefully from their copper moulds; they're crunchy and caramelized-sugar sweet on the outside, but collapse into bourbon-flavoured custard the instant you bite in.

By the time we got them, we had spent a couple of hours eating and drinking and whispering quietly - okay, not whispering, and not quietly - about how fresh and daring and extraordinary it all was.

We were at the kitchen counter that night for the extended tasting menu. Ms. Murphy pretended not to watch us eat that final dessert. But Mr. Kriss - Mr. Drive and Ambition and Intensity - did not have the same poker face. He was standing on the other side of the kitchen just then, talking quietly with Ms. Bradley, looking out over their crowded dining room, and I could have sworn I saw a look of satisfaction flit across his face.

Follow me on Twitter: @cnutsmith

ONLINE See more of the four-star food at Alo, plus a closer look at the room and the chef.



163 Spadina Ave., 3rd floor (at Queen Street West), 416-260-2222, .

Atmosphere: A modern, comfortable bar and dining room overlooking Queen and Spadina, with impeccable, unobtrusive fine-dining service.

Wine and drinks: A superb, character-focused wine list with plenty of natural offerings, fairly priced. Wine pairings are $65 and $75 and highly recommended.

Best bets: There are fivecourse (but in reality, you get many more than that) and extended tasting menus in the dining room; the no-reservations bar has a separate à la carte menu and all of it is wildly good. Vegan menus available with 24 hours notice.

Prices: Tasting menus for $90 and $110; bar dishes from $3 to $15.

Associated Graphic

From service to food to wine pairings, Alo is fresh, daring and extraordinary.


From left: peau de lait, bread and butter (which is churned in-house) and concord grapes with meringue.

Along the Ramblas and in the cafés, Marcus Gee follows in the footsteps of his favourite writer. Soaking in the history, he learns how George Orwell's time in the city would profoundly affect his work for years to come
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L1

BARCELONA, SPAIN -- Most visitors to Barcelona come to enjoy the tapas and the beaches, to gaze in wonder at Gaudi's architecture and Picasso's art, to promenade on the Ramblas or shop on the Passeig de Gracia. But for those with an interest in political or literary history the city has another side, hidden from the view of the average tourist. For Barcelona was the place where one of the most important political writers of modern times learned what he was writing for, and against.

The year 1937 found George Orwell in Spain, fighting on the Republican side in the Civil War against Francisco Franco's Nationalists. While on leave in Barcelona, the capital of the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia, he was caught up in a nasty round of street fighting between leftist factions. The experience shook him, helping shape what would become his most famous books: Animal Farm and 1984.

To get a close-up feel for the drama of those days, I signed up for a tour of Orwell's Barcelona.

I'm a lifelong Orwell buff who ripped through all his stuff in my 20s. Joining me (or humouring me) were my wife and three children, aged 14, 21 and 24. All but my 14-year-old daughter had been to Barcelona before, so they were willing to try seeing the city through a different lens.

Our guide was Alan Warren, an English expatriate and civil war buff with baggy pants and a pencil moustache that is, perhaps not by coincidence, much like Orwell's. We made arrangements to meet him at the Café Zurich on Plaça de Catalunya, one of Barcelona's main squares.

After talking us through the outline of Orwell's stint in the city, showing us photographs and newspaper clippings from the time, he led us on a threehour walk that took in all the landmarks of the little war within a war that influenced the writer so deeply. Though Mussolini's Italian air force bombed Barcelona during the Civil War, destroying many buildings, most of the places where Orwell spent time are still there - all of them on or near the Ramblas, the city's famous central avenue.

When he first came to Barcelona, Orwell was inspired by what he saw. Parties of the revolutionary left had taken control of the city. Their colours and banners flew from every big building. A feeling of brotherhood was in the air. "Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal," he wrote in his vivid war memoir, Homage to Catalonia. "It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle."

When he returned in the spring, after several miserable months at the front, things had changed. Old class divisions had reappeared. "Fat prosperous men, elegant women and sleek cars were everywhere."

Tension between left factions was growing. The Communists, backed by Stalin's Russia, which had intervened in the civil war on the Republican side, were gaining power. The Anarchists, a powerful force in the city for years, were on the wane.

The fighting started on May 3.

"About midday," Orwell wrote in Homage, "a friend crossing the lounge of the hotel said casually: 'There's been some kind of trouble at the Telephone Exchange, I hear.' For some reason I paid no attention to it at the time."

It turned out that government troops had moved against the Anarchist forces that controlled the exchange, a strategic outpost in the heart of the city. The Anarchists rose up in response, tearing up the cobblestone streets to build scores of barricades. The Communists, who were nominally allied with the Anarchists against Franco, but were in fact their bitter rivals, seized the opportunity to try to break the Anarchists.

Warren took us first to the telephone exchange. As he told us, government forces are believed to have attacked it in part because the Anarchists who controlled it were listening in - and sometimes interrupting - as high officials talked to each other on the phone.

Our next stop was the grand old Hotel Continental, where Orwell's wife, Eileen, stayed during the troubles. When police rousted her room, looking for evidence that Orwell was some kind of subversive, she was lying in bed, and the police, perhaps out of some remaining sense of chivalry, never searched in or even under it, though they seized many of his books and papers.

A little way down the Ramblas, Warren showed us the former cinema where Orwell was stationed during much of the fighting. Unlike many foreigners who came to Spain to defend the Republic, Orwell did not sign up for the famous International Brigades. Instead, he found a place in an Anarchist militia, known as the POUM after its Spanish acronym. So when the fighting in Barcelona started, he made his way down the Ramblas to the POUM headquarters to the sound of crackling rifle fire and the "snap-snap-snap" of storekeepers drawing down their metal shutters.

He was eventually sent to the roof of the cinema to stand guard. Orwell had little to do but wait for something happen, and spent much of his time reading Penguin Library books while the sound of sporadic gunfire came up from the street.

"I was in no danger, I suffered from nothing worse than hunger and boredom, yet it was one of the most unbearable periods of my whole life. I think few experiences could be me more sickening, more disillusioning, or, finally, more nerve-wracking than those evil days of street warfare. I used to sit on the roof marvelling at the folly of it all."

He had come to Spain to fight fascism and found himself instead in the midst of a bewildering feud on the Republican side that could only give comfort to Franco.

Amid the madness, there were moments of humour and bravery. Across the street from Orwell's perch, Spanish government civil guards had built a barricade of mattresses on the roof to keep an eye on the Anarchist position. There was an informal agreement between the two groups not to fire on each other, but one day, amid the general confusion, the civil guards opened up. When the shooting died down, the two sides agreed it was all a misunderstanding.

"Have you got any more beer left?" Orwell shouted across to his supposed adversary on the rooftop opposite. "No, it's all gone."

A little while earlier, a friend of Orwell, John McNair, risked his life and crept down the Ramblas in the dark to deliver a couple of packs of Lucky Strikes to the tobacco-starved Anarchist holdout. "I shall not forget this small act of heroism," wrote Orwell.

"We were very glad of the cigarettes."

The building where the civil guards encamped, the Café Moka, is still there, under the same name but thoroughly modernized now. A few steps away stands a Subway sandwich restaurant, a sign of how much the Ramblas has changed in recent years as tourists throng to explore Barcelona. Along the street stands the giant food market, the Boqueria, where Orwell stopped to grab a wedge of goat's milk cheese to tide him through the fighting. It was about all he and Eileen would have to eat in the coming days.

It was just as well we had Warren to guide us. There are few markers or memorials to Orwell's time in the city, or to the civil war for that matter. Many Spaniards have tried their best to forget the war, which ground on for three years and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

A small plaque at the public library on the Ramblas commemorates Andrés Nin, the POUM leader who was arrested and killed following the "May Days" in Barcelona. A few blocks off the Ramblas, another stone plaque marks the Plaça de George Orwell. Warren notes that when drug dealers and other ne'er-do-wells started making trouble in the square, authorities put up Barcelona's first CCTV security cameras there. The writer who dreamt up Big Brother would have appreciated the irony.

Orwell left town after the fighting, returned to the front and was promptly wounded - shot in the throat by a sniper's bullet.

Coming back to Barcelona, he found a fearful, haunted place.

The government had banned the POUM. Its leaders were being hunted down one by one, accused of betraying the Republican side. Many were tortured and killed. His comrade Bob Smillie died in prison. Orwell himself found he was a marked man. When he went to the Hotel Continental to meet Eileen on June 20, she pulled him close and whispered, "Get out." It was the first he had heard of the purge.

He and Eileen managed to escape into France just ahead of the secret police. "To think that we started off as heroic defenders of democracy and only six months later were Trotsky-Fascists sneaking over the border with the police on our heels," he wrote.

The experience marked him.

One biographer, Jeffrey Meyers, says that "Orwell's half year in Spain was the most important experience of his life." In his book Why Orwell Matters, Christopher Hitchens writes that, "In Spain, he had seen Stalinist frame-ups and falsified denunciations at first hand." Barcelona was where he "suffered the premonitory pangs of a man living under a police regime: a police regime ruling in the name of socialism and the people."

And yet for all the killing and treachery that Orwell witnessed, it did not crush his spirits.

"Curiously enough the whole experience has left me with not less but more belief in the decency of human beings." In Barcelona, he had seen glimmers of a better world. "For several months large blocks of people believed that all men are equal and were able to act on their belief. The result was a feeling of liberation and hope ... No one who was in Spain during the months when people still believed in the revolution will ever forget that strange and moving experience."

Today's Barcelona is so orderly, prosperous and European that it's easy to forget what happened not so very long ago. Retracing Orwell's footsteps offers a glimpse into a time when the people saw the Revolution unfold, then tear itself apart.


Alan Warren offers three- to four-hour George Orwell tours of Barcelona. He charged my family of five 125 ($185). Reach out on e-mail to organize your own tour at

Café Moka: Orwell wouldn't recognize the place, but the café is a good place to refuel. 126 Las Ramblas;

La Boqueria: There's a lot more to buy than goat cheese. Make sure you leave time to soak in the sights, sounds and smells of historic market. 91 Rambla;

Hotel Continental: This three-star hotel is still run by the same family who hosted Orwell and his wife several times. Located at the top of Las Ramblas, it's a good central spot to use as a home base. Rooms from 75. 138 Las Ramblas;

Associated Graphic

George Orwell spent most of his time in Barcelona, Spain, along the Ramblas.


The historic La Boqueria market is located in the old part of Barcelona.


Wednesday, October 07, 2015


A Tuesday travel article on George Orwell's Barcelona incorrectly said the POUM was anarchist, when it is better described as a Marxist revolutionary party.

How Anthopoulos built a champion
Among the unsung heroes of the 2015 season were three team executives standing on a table in the middle of a December night
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S5

It was in early December when the rebuilding of the Toronto Blue Jays was starting to take shape and general manager Alex Anthopoulos was finishing up another long day at the Rogers Centre boardroom.

A week earlier, in a move that barely created a ripple in the baseball world, Anthopoulos had dipped into the waiver pool and claimed Justin Smoak from the Seattle Mariners.

A former first-round pick of the Texas Rangers, Smoak's career had stalled and he was looking for a fresh start. He became a free agent after the Blue Jays claimed him and was eligible for salary arbitration.

The Blue Jays had an opening at first base for a decent defender who could hit after Adam Lind was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. Toronto's team of scouts and analytic number crunchers felt Smoak was a perfect fit and were urging the GM to offer the 28-year-old a contract.

Baseball operations analyst Jason Pare was in the room along with baseball information analyst Joe Sheehan. So was assistant general manager Andrew Tinnish.

Day had turned into night had turned into morning, and the group was becoming punchy.

They were pounding the top of the boardroom table with their fists, urging Anthopoulos to sign Smoak.

Finally, Anthopoulos made an odd demand.

He told his assistants if they wanted him to pick up the phone and contact Smoak's agent and make a contract offer, all they had to do was stand up on the boardroom table.

Pare leapt up and was joined by Tinnish, with Sheehan, no doubt questioning the sanity of his boss, finally clambering onto the tabletop.

"It was late, we'd been going at it all night," Anthopoulos recalled with a smile here on Saturday. "It was one in the morning. It was just a little fun we had."

Anthopoulos made the call and Smoak officially joined the Blue Jays' ranks.

Smoak was not really a brand name, but he would become an important part of the mix (stroking 18 home runs) that Anthopoulos was brewing to transform the Blue Jays from perennial afterthoughts to champions of the American League East in 2015.

The brand names would come soon enough in the form of Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin and, later, David Price and Troy Tulowitzki.

It all came together in a memorable whirlwind of a season with the Blue Jays clinching first place in the AL East last week for the first time since 1993.

Toronto's regular season ended here on Sunday and they now return home to begin a best-offive AL Division Series on Thursday at Rogers Centre. Toronto's opponent will be the Texas Rangers, the champions from the AL West.

One of the first people to contact Anthopoulos after clinching was Tony La Russa, currently the chief baseball officer with the Arizona Diamondbacks who won three World Series as a manager with the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals.

"I talked to him the day after [Toronto won the division] and he told me, he said the hardest thing is to win the division," Anthopoulos said. "You're talking about a guy who's won the World Series, he's been to the postseason.

"Pretty rewarding because it's a long year, it's a grind. It's hard, it really is, especially in this division where all five teams came in trying to make the playoffs."

But only the Blue Jays, as division champs, and the New York Yankees, as a wild-card entrant, get to move on.

Here is the road map to how Anthopoulos built a winner.

Nov. 1, 2014

Perhaps the most sublime move Anthopoulos would make was acquiring pitcher Marco Estrada from the Brewers in exchange for Lind, a long-term fan favourite in Toronto. At that point, Anthopoulos figured Estrada was to be utilized out of the bullpen, but injuries dictated he be shifted into the starting rotation in late April. He has gone on to enjoy a career year in wins (13), game starts (28) and innings pitched (181).

Nov. 13

In a shrewd move by the GM, the Blue Jays shipped Anthony Gose to the Detroit Tigers for Devon Travis, a second baseman who had never played above Double-A. Until his season was cut short by a shoulder injury, Travis was on his way to earning AL rookie of the year honours and provided spark to a Blue Jays lineup that struggled early on.

Nov. 18

Anthopoulos signed catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82-million (U.S.) deal, the most lucrative free agent pact in franchise history. What wasn't there to like about Martin? He was Canadian, born in Toronto and raised in Montreal, and bilingual to boot. And not only that, he was a proven winner. In his 10 MLB seasons, Martin has led four different clubs to the playoffs eight times, including this year with Toronto. Along with solidifying a young pitching staff and proving adept at catching the R.A. Dickey knuckler, Martin also stroked 23 home runs on the year, a career high. "I think he's a game changer for us, for the franchise, for the organization, for the team," Anthopoulos gushed at the time. "And I think obviously it's a real important piece to get this team to where we want to go, which is the playoffs and ultimately to win the World Series."

Nov. 28

In a stunning trade that shocked baseball, Anthopoulos pried allstar third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Oakland A's in a four-for-one trade that included sending Brett Lawrie to the West Coast club. In one fell swoop, the culture of the Blue Jays would be forever changed. "Ever since I was five years old, my teams have won," Donaldson boldly asserted after the trade. "I'm not saying that's necessarily just me that's causing that, but I think there's a mentality about winning. Most guys - and I'm not comparing myself to Michael Jordan at all - but when you join Michael Jordan's team you were going to win because he would instill that mentality and he was a great player. I just hope to be able to come in and instill that winning mentality and guys can see that."

Bringer of Rain would bring his A-game, putting himself squarely in the most-valuable-player debate, slugging 41 home runs on the season, driving in 123 runs while hitting close to .300.

April 6, 2015

The Blue Jays began the season with a 6-1 win over the Yankees in New York. A preseason knee injury to Michael Saunders, another Anthopoulos acquisition who was never really able to get healthy enough to come back, meant that Kevin Pillar would start the year in left field with a rookie, Canadian Dalton Pompey, in centre beside right-field stalwart Jose Bautista. The Pompey experiment would last less than a month, with the overmatched rookie getting sent back down to the minors for additional seasoning. Pillar would shift into centre, where he would become a defensive sensation with a rotation of Chris Colabello, Danny Valencia and Ezequiel Carrera being utilized in left.

April 28

Jose Reyes, the brittle shortstop, cracked a rib checking his swing and went on the 15-day disabled list. Toronto's leadoff hitter, Reyes's declining defensive skills were evident over the first month of the season, paving the way for future moves that Anthopoulos would make. The absence of Reyes would open up a spot for Ryan Goins, who cemented his status as a super sub at both shortstop and second base after Travis started struggling with shoulder pain in May.

June 14

Aaron Sanchez, who was making a successful transition from closer in 2014 to starter in 2015, landed on the DL with a lat strain.

When he returned in late July, the Blue Jays felt his talents were better suited to the bullpen and the 23-year-old became a dependable late-inning setup man.

June 22

Roberto Osuna, a surprise roster addition out of spring training at the tender age of 20, earned his first Major League Baseball save, getting a groundout and two strikeouts in the ninth inning in an 8-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays had been experimenting with fellow rookie Miguel Castro as closer along with Brett Cecil. But the job would soon fall to cool-as-a-cucumber Osuna. Osuna would go on to record 20 saves on the season, becoming the first Blue Jays rookie since Billy Koch (31) in 1999 to record 20 or more saves in a season.

July 28

With MLB's trade deadline just three days away, the Blue Jays were not exactly in panic mode, but Anthopoulos realized he needed to make a couple of moves if the team was to challenge for the playoffs. The Blue Jays, despite an 11-game win streak in June, were spinning their wheels, flirting with a .500 record despite a league-best 104 run differential. In a decisive move, Anthopoulos convinced the Colorado Rockies to part with Troy Tulowitzki, baseball's best overall shortstop, along with veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins. In the process, Anthopoulos was able to trade the declining Reyes and three right-handed pitching prospects in a deal that has been more than worth it from the Blue Jays' perspective.

July 30

In his second blockbuster in three days, the Blue Jays landed Price, a certifiable ace, in a tradedeadline deal from the Detroit Tigers. All the tall lefty would do over the next two months for Toronto was go 9-1 with a 2.30 earned run average to lead the surging Blue Jays into first place over the Yankees.

July 31

The fortification continued as Anthopoulos swung two more deals in advance of the trade deadline, getting dependable reliever Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners and Ben Revere from the Philadelphia Phillies. The speedy, slap-hitting Revere would become the Toronto leadoff batter and solidify the Toronto defence out in left field.

Sept. 12

Defying all the medical opinions, Marcus Stroman made his first start of the season in New York against the Yankees, six months after undergoing knee surgery that was thought to have ended his season. Stroman earned the win in a 10-7 victory and he has never looked back, going 4-0 in four starts over the final month with a 1.67 ERA. The duo of Price and Stroman give Toronto a formidable one-two punch heading into the postseason.

Oct. 4

The Blue Jays ended the season with a 12-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays and a record of 93-69. The 93 wins represent their highest win total since 1993, when the Blue Jays last made the playoffs and won the World Series. By far the most potent offence in the major leagues, the trio of Donaldson (41 home runs, 123 runs batted in), Bautista (40, 114) and Edwin Encarnacion (39, 111) are the first Blue Jays trio since Jose Canseco, Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green in 1998 to hit the 30 home run/100 RBI plateau.

Associated Graphic

With diligence, perseverance and nerve, Blue Jays' GM Alex Anthopoulos pieced together a winning combination.


Gifted Les Mis star made hearts swell
Best known for his stage role as Jean Valjean, the powerful tenor also sang the national anthem at Leafs and Blue Jays games
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S12

Michael Burgess made you feel proud. Whether he was singing the national anthem, stirringly, for a Toronto Maple Leafs game or leading an exceptional cast as a mighty Jean Valjean in the landmark all-Canadian production of Les Misérables, Mr. Burgess knew how to pluck the national heartstrings. He was the world-class singer who chose to remain in Canada; the exquisite theatre artist whose biggest thrill was playing old timers' hockey with the NHL greats.

Mr. Burgess was also a man with a big heart to match his big voice, whose acts of generosity were legion. He continually lent his golden tenor and magnetic presence to charitable causes and was always there for his friends. Their appreciation was reflected in the huge outpouring of love and affection that swiftly followed the news of his death at the age of 70 on Sept. 28. Everyone from theatre impresario David Mirvish to hockey legend Bobby Orr expressed their sorrow via both traditional and social media. "Today, we have lost a great Canadian," Mr. Orr said in a statement - a sentiment few would dispute.

And yet Mr. Burgess's death from cancer in a Toronto hospice has left some of his friends angry, too. "Michael had a proclivity for not dealing with some of the personal things in his life," said David Warrack, his long-time friend and musical accompanist. And that included neglecting to seek medical help for his skin cancer until it was too late. "Combined with our sorrow is a lot of anger," Mr. Warrack said. "We think he'd still be with us if we'd ever been able to convince him to deal with it properly."

"We should have staged an intervention," said actor-producer Ross Petty, another old friend.

"But I guess we thought that he would never listen to us. He always avoided discussing his health."

It would appear that if Mr. Burgess had a tragic flaw, it was an ironic one: The man who was always so happy to help others was strangely reluctant to help himself.

Mr. Burgess, known as Wally to his family, was born Walter Roy Burgess in Regina, on July 22, 1945.

A Roman Catholic, his confirmation saint's name was Michael and he later adopted it as his professional name. He was the oldest child of William (Bill) Burgess and Dorothy (Dolly) Burgess (née Aldercotte), who would go on to provide him with six brothers and sisters.

Bill Burgess, an aspiring lawyer, moved the family to Toronto in 1946. Growing up in suburban Etobicoke, Wally began to embrace two of his lifelong passions at an early age. "He was an excellent hockey player," his brother Wayne recalled. "Every winter, between the ages of eight and 13, we created a hockey rink in our backyard and broke many a basement window with our unerringly accurate slap shots."

His true gift, however, began to emerge when he and Wayne were enrolled at St. Michael's Choir School. By the time he was a teenager, Wally Burgess was singing on CBC Television's Cross-Canada Hit Parade and Holiday Ranch as well as on the radio.

After briefly considering the priesthood and a career in law, he studied acting at the University of Ottawa, inevitably playing the lead roles in student and amateur productions.

It was back in Western Canada that Mr. Burgess made his professional debut with an Edmonton production of the off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks at the Citadel Theatre in 1969. Mr. Petty first met him in 1972, when they were cast in the staging of another off-Broadway hit, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, at Theatre Calgary. Mr. Petty said in that show there were already intimations of Mr. Burgess's future Les Mis triumph.

"One of the most vivid memories I have is at the end of Act 1, when he sang [Jacques] Brel's Amsterdam," Mr. Petty recalled.

"It was searing, it was like an anthem, full of bitterness. One might even say his performance was a forerunner of his Jean Valjean. He had that power and intensity, even in the early seventies."

As his career progressed, Mr. Burgess began to shift away from musical theatre and into opera. It wasn't until the end of the 1980s that he found the perfect role that melded both art forms. When he landed the part of Jean Valjean in the first Canadian production of the London-New York hit Les Misérables, which opened in March, 1989, at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre, he helped prove that his country had talent every bit as extraordinary as what could be found on West End and Broadway stages. And while Les Mis was an ensemble show with no official "stars," Mr. Burgess's performance soon became one of its major attractions.

Actor David Mucci, now an associate producer with Mirvish Productions, Les Mis's Toronto producer, was part of the ensemble and remembers understudying Mr. Burgess as Jean Valjean on tour. "I think the largest collective sigh of audience disappointment in the history of Canadian theatre happened at [Ottawa's] National Arts Centre, when I had to go on for Michael without a lot of notice," Mr. Mucci said. "People loved him."

During this period he also performed in various film and television productions, including the Canadian series Street Legal and E.N.G. He told The Globe and Mail in 1991 how he had recently been working 12-hour days on the set of his first feature film, called Entry in a Diary, and would then take a cab to the Royal Alex to star in the evening as Jean Valjean.

It was in the Les Mis cast that Mr. Burgess met his future wife, Susan Gilmour, who took over the role of the tragic prostitute Fantine (originally played by another girlfriend, Louise Pitre). Ms. Gilmour said she first fell for her costar's "beautiful blue, kind eyes and voice of an angel." But his personality was what made him truly attractive. "Michael was a gentle, giving, loving man who would go out of his way to help a stranger on the street," she said, "an extremely intelligent and curious person that I learned so much from. And he had the ability to always make me laugh, even in the hardest of times." The two were married in 1994 and spent some very happy years together; they divorced in 2008 but remained friends.

After conquering audiences with Les Mis, Mr. Burgess's next logical step would have been to take on the lead role in the other long-running megamusical playing Toronto at the time, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. But to many fans' disappointment, he never donned the Phantom's mask. Rebecca Caine, who starred as Christine Daaé in the Toronto production, believed producer Garth Drabinsky's rivalry with the Mirvishes was to blame. "Drabinsky ... saw Burgess as their man," Ms. Caine said. "It's a very poor thing that the best Canadian we had didn't play the role he was born for."

Instead, Mr. Burgess found other worthy stage projects, including an Edmonton-Toronto revival of Man of La Mancha, directed by Robin Phillips. He also took to the concert circuit with great success and recorded several albums. His celebrated sideline as an anthem singer reached its peak in 1992, when the Toronto Blue Jays advanced to the finals and he became the first singer to belt out O Canada at a World Series game.

Mr. Burgess himself was an allaround sportsman. Mr. Warrack remembers joining him for annual old timers' hockey events and watching him hold his own alongside legendary NHL players.

"He could fly like the wind on the ice. And he was a phenomenal golfer, too." Mr. Warrack said the most fun he ever had with Mr.

Burgess was joking and bantering on the golf course. "His sense of humour was absolutely wicked.

That's where you saw the kid in him that never left."

Occasionally that kid would also emerge in the formal confines of the concert hall. Ms. Caine, who did a concert tour with Mr. Burgess in 2012-13, recalls that he once told an audience she'd had to stop and urinate in the forest on the way to the show. "We always said it wasn't a Canadian tour unless you peed behind a pine tree at least once. This with me standing up there in an evening gown, pretending to be a lady."

By then, Mr. Burgess was already suffering from the basal cell carcinoma that would gradually kill him. "Michael was obviously ill, though he sang beautifully," Ms. Caine said. "We never discussed it but it was so clear to see."

The disease was facially disfiguring, which limited his public appearances toward the end of his life. Yet even as he was dying in the Dorothy Ley Hospice in Etobicoke, Mr. Burgess was thinking of others. "Last week," Mr. Warrack said, "when he was going through hell, he phoned me up and said, 'Give me Lona' - that's my wife - and he sang Happy Birthday to her. How he could think of someone's birthday in the midst of everything else, I don't know. But that's what he was like."

Mr. Burgess was recognized for his public service with a Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 - presented to him, fittingly, by former NHL star and Liberal senator, Frank Mahovlich - and he was named to the Order of Ontario in 2013.

He leaves his son, Jesse, from a first marriage; his mother, Dorothy, and his six siblings, Wayne, Missy, Cathy, Bill, Patty and Julie. A public funeral mass for Mr. Burgess will take place on Oct. 5 at noon at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Toronto.

While there was nobody like Mr. Burgess for making hearts swell at the singing of O Canada, his signature song remained the tearinducing Bring Him Home from Les Mis. It's the hero Jean Valjean's aching plea to God to take him in exchange for sparing the life of the young man whom he considers a son. Perhaps the power of Mr. Burgess's rendition rests in the way that prayer seemed to come from his own heart, reflecting his own selfless nature. It will, of course, be sung at the funeral.

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

Michael Burgess is seen in 1989 as Jean Valjean with Kymberley Huffman as Cosette in a scene from Les Misérables. Before choosing to be an actor, Mr. Burgess considered the priesthood and a law career.


Left: Mr. Burgess, right, is seen in his first professional acting role in The Fantasticks in 1969. With him are Donna Sherman and Peter McConnell. COURTESY OF THE CITADEL THEATRE Above: Mr. Burgess, right, sings the Canadian national anthem in 2007 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.


Brutal prison system in crisis proves a tough cage to rattle
Monday, October 5, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

SAO LUIS, BRAZIL -- Victoria Pereira, age 12, was alone at home watching TV on Oct. 2, 2013. A news bulletin caught her attention - about a riot at the Pedrinhas prison complex, where her dad had been taken 10 days before. The newscaster said three prisoners had been killed - that one had been decapitated, in fact. And then they said her father's name.

Elson de Jesus Pereira had been taken to the jail after being convicted of selling stolen tires from his small repair shop. The criminal prosecution of Mr. Pereira was filled with irregularities and he was given an unusually harsh sixyear sentence, despite having no prior record. Then, court officials shipped him to Pedrinhas, 40 kilometres outside the capital of Maranhao, one of Brazil's least..

developed states. He was put into a cell wing that was run by a prison gang. Eleven days later, the day after he turned 44, he was killed, although prison authorities didn't tell his wife, Tereza, before they informed media about the riot.

"The indignity of it - it revolts me," Ms. Pereira said, weeping angrily in a recent interview in her family's tiny apartment.

There was considerable media attention to Mr. Pereira's death.

There was another flurry when two other prisoners in Pedrinhas were cannibalized, and when three more prisoners were beheaded weeks later and their murders captured in a widely circulated cellphone video made by prisoners. None of this, however, provoked widespread public outrage, or soul-searching, or questioning of Brazil's policy of mass incarceration.

This country has the fourthlargest prison population in the world. But the three countries ahead of Brazil on that list - the United States, China and Russia - are all moving quickly to lower the number of people they jail. In the United States, mass incarceration has become an election issue, one aspect of the "Black Lives Matter" campaign.

In Brazil, on the other hand, the rate of incarceration grew an average of 7 per cent a year in each of the past 15 years, 10 times faster than the population grew.

Legislators are currently considering a law that would lower the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16, which would put an estimated additional 32,000 people behind bars in its first year. The law has the support of 87 per cent of the public, according to opinion polls. Brazil is currently short of 231,000 prison spaces.

"The entire scope of public policy here is 'lock people up,' " said Natalia Damazio, a lawyer with a Rio-based human-rights organization called Justica Global who works on prison issues. "And it's getting worse, not better." The prison population has risen 508 per cent between 1990 and 2013.

Ms. Damazio is pursuing a case involving a prison in the northeast called the Curado Complex; built for 1,000 people, it holds 7,000.

The violence at Pedrinhas in recent years was notably grisly, she said, but conditions are similar in all of this country's jails, with prisoners having little to no access to clean water, safe food or health care. And, as the Pereira case made clear, prisoners have no guarantee of security.

Mass incarceration also creates and feeds another problem for Brazil: The prisons are largely in the control of gangs, such as the one that killed Mr. Pereira. Their power as national criminal organizations has grown exponentially in the past 20 years as the rate of imprisonment - particularly of young men for drug offences - has surged. Prisoners must affiliate with gangs to survive inside jails, Ms. Damazio explained, and they are then tied to a life of criminal involvement - fuelling the public-security crisis.

Pedrinhas is, in fact, seven prisons in a complex, ranging from minimum security to maximum.

After the beheadings and cannibalism, the state government admitted it had lost control of the interior of the prison and sent in the armed forces who waged a battle for more than two weeks to reclaim control.

Prisoners were forced back into cells and gradually stripped of most weapons. Then the government shipped the leaders of the gangs to a federal maximumsecurity prison and divided up other inmates by affiliation, each gang with their own jail - so that they could no longer war within the prison.

Murders dropped immediately.

There was a push to speed up appearances before a judge, in order to ease overcrowding. Officials set up new spaces for study and work (such as pillow production) in the jail, and improved spaces for family visits - before the separation, women who came to visit men in the jail were being seized and raped by rival gang members.

Today, in a wing that prison officials permitted a Globe reporter to tour recently, two prisoners share a cell two by three metres, so that one sleeps on a narrow concrete ledge and the other on the floor. Trash litters the ground, while the walls are splashed with graffiti that endures from the days prisoners had free run of the wings. "It's better in here now," one young man said through the letter-sized slot in his cell door. "It used to be more violent. But still you don't know if someone will break out from their section and come here to kill you."

The hideous conditions in Brazil's prisons are a reflection of the weakness of its justice system. An estimated 41 per cent of prisoners should not even be in jail: While awaiting trial, they have already served more time than the maximum sentence for the crime of which they are accused; or they have completed their sentence but have no idea because they never have a lawyer; or one of a number of other absurd situations arising from a critical shortage of public defenders and years-long backlog of cases.

The vast majority of those who are charged with offences are black and poor, Ms. Damazio noted; white people caught with drugs, for example, are almost always warned and released, while black ones are charged with dealing.

And almost no one speaks for prisoners, a constituency with no public support in a crime-weary Brazilian public. Claudio Cabral is a public prosecutor in Maranhao, in the northeast of the country, who has followed the cases of those who are killed in prison for nearly 20 years. Recently he sent the federal government a dossier of more than 500 pages listing incidents in which no one has been found responsible for the Pedrinhas killings. Within the prison, a code of silence keeps inmates from talking, he said.

Only one Maranhao government official has been held accountable for prison violence in more than two decades.

There are steep consequences for this for Brazil: The First Capital Command, a gang known by its Portuguese acronym PCC, began in a Sao Paulo prison in 1993. It and its affiliates now form an international criminal organization that runs drugs from Bolivia down to Paraguay, with bank accounts in the United States and China. PCC leaders in prison sent members outside the jail on a rampage in 2006 that killed more than 100 people, including many police officers.

The Red Command, a gang that began as an organization of prisoners protesting poor conditions, today runs hundreds of low-income neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro, and civilians die each week in its members' shootouts with police.

Yet, because of prison conditions, a jail sentence in the country today is tantamount to gang enrolment, explained Edivaldo Santos da Silva, a lanky 29-yearold who has been locked up at Pedrinhas three times in the past four years, for theft and drug convictions. He didn't use drugs and was not in a gang until after he went to jail, he said, but the help the gang offered was invaluable. "They said, 'We will see if we can get something for your family, give some support. ... We will get them some money, we will pay for a lawyer.' " The riots he saw in Pedrinhas began as protests, he said, against worm-infested food, 15 men in a cell built for six and the failure to be brought before a judge. But inevitably, gang rivalries would intrude - and then it was kill or be killed.

"I know someone who cut off someone's neck, held their heads. He said, 'Look, brother, what I did.' He regrets it now.

When he came to stop, analyze it, understand that was a life he took, there was regret. But in there, it was a fight to survive.

The thinking is, 'I have to kill if I want to survive. No one has my back.' It's a very complicated situation, that generates brutality."

An estimated 70 per cent of Brazilians convicted of crimes reoffend, one of the highest rates of recidivism in the world. Mr. da Silva, who today makes a meagre wage as an itinerant evangelical preacher, said it's almost impossible to go straight, since former prisoners are stigmatized, shunned and unemployable.

Jose Antonio Ribeiro was killed in Pedrinhas in 2010. He had been jailed for attempting to steal a handbag, was given temporary leave for Christmas after serving a year and didn't go back.

He stayed free for two years before police showed up at the door. He sent his sister, Maria, to plead with them. "He told me to tell them he would be killed if he went back," she said. She went to the local police station and pleaded with the officer in charge. "[An officer in charge] told me that my brother would be very safe where he was going - he said it in a very sarcastic way." Police returned Mr. Ribeiro to Pedrinhas and he was dead before morning.

Both the Ribeiro and Pereira families have hired lawyers to sue the state for compensation; their cases are frozen in the glacial legal system. Tereza Pereira has Parkinson's disease and is raising her two younger children on a disability pension of $260 a month. She remains deeply angry that media and prison officials painted her husband as a hardened gang member killed in an internal dispute; she, and others in their community, say he had no previous contact with criminals and was a devoted father who loved his motorbike, his soccer club and Sunday outings with his family.

"My husband had been taken into custody by the state - he was their responsibility. They are accomplices in his death," Ms. Pereira said. "They took him from the security of our home and dumped him there. ... They sentenced him to death - to decapitation, to be more precise."

The only compensation the state ever provided her family, she said, was the coffin in which they sent home his brutalized body. "And when we picked it up, it fell apart. And we had to buy a new one to bury him."

Associated Graphic

Inmates are seen in the Pedrinhas prison, located just outside Sao Luis, Brazil. Reports of beheadings and cannibalism at the prison prompted a media storm in 2013.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015


A Monday feature on Brazil's prison system incorrectly said a state government sent in the armed forces to regain control of one prison. In fact, it was a squad of the national police.

The mall's come a long way, baby
Once a bastion of endless parking lots, fast-food courts and loitering f g teens, the shopping centre is being reinvented as a more urban, epicurean and grown-up place. Janna Zittrer charts an extreme (and upmarket) makeover
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L1

It's Tuesday in the middle of the afternoon, but I've lost count of the number of people toting giant shopping bags from Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo around Yorkdale. When it was founded 51 years ago, the shopping centre sat surrounded by farmland at the edge of urban Toronto.

Today, the mall is one of many in Canada undergoing multi-million dollar renovations in an effort to attract more upscale stores and, with them, a more affluent clientele. In the wing adjacent to Holt Renfrew, Yorkdale boasts the highest concentration of luxury labels in the country and is on track to become North America's top-selling mall by 2018.

"Luxury brands hold cachet like never before," says general manager Claire Santamaria. "When I was a kid, we angled for Benetton rugby shirts and Roots purses. Today's youth might still appreciate those things, but they also want the Coach purse they've seen celebrities carrying." As such, Yorkdale has been calculating in its courting of high-end retailers in recent years, and it's not the only mall in the country banking on big-ticket items.

To keep pace with the demand for coveted brands, Yorkdale will open a new 300,000-square-foot wing in August 2016. (To compare, the luxury wing Yorkdale unveiled in 2012 spans 145,000 square feet.) Nordstrom will occupy more than half of the expanded space, in addition to Canada's first Uniqlo outpost and nearly 30 other new stores.

Yorkdale's elevated offerings embody a larger trend among Canada's malls: Shedding the tired decor and sameold stores of decades past, shopping centres from coast to coast are shirking their suburban-time-waster status to become desirable destinations for the moneyed set.

The chic-ification of shopping malls has, in fact, been underway for years. Carrefour Laval in Quebec unveiled a $54-million overhaul in 2009 and, within a few years, picked up such first-to-province stores as Crate and Barrel and Zara Home. Come October, the Cadillac Fairview property will house Canada's first branded Mackage boutique.

"Carrefour Laval is considered one of the best shopping destinations in Montreal," says Mackage co-founder Eran Elfassy. "We are confident that it will be an excellent retail location for [the brand]."

A lack of quality street-front space in Canada explains in large part why so many retailers are setting up shop in malls. "High-end malls like Yorkdale and Pacific Centre in Vancouver also tend to be tourist draws, which allows brands to not only capitalize on domestic market sales, but also receive a steady stream of customers from outside the local market," says retail analyst Doug Stevens.

"The weather in Canada might also help drive retailers to malls," points out Ron Wratschko, executive vice-president of operations at Cadillac Fairview. So does joining an established destination with proven traffic and sales. "In a very challenging retail market where e-commerce is taking more and more space, retailers obviously want to invest where the shoppers are going to spend the most money," says Julia Cyboran, editor-in-chief of Montreal-based shopping magazine Loulou.

With international players like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue seeking favourable markets and large-scale space, Canada's malls have been more than willing to accommodate. To prepare for Nordstrom's opening last month, Cadillac Fairview's Pacific Centre built a new 44,000-square-foot wing, which also houses the country's first AllSaints and Ted Baker London stores outside Toronto, plus high-end brands Boss Hugo Boss, Kate Spade New York, Tumi and Weekend MaxMara.

Sherway Gardens, another Cadillac Fairview property, is in the midst of its own multi-phased $550-million makeover. The West Toronto mall is adding 210,000 square feet ahead of the respective arrivals of Saks and Nordstrom in 2016 and 2017. The 44-year-old mall also received a much-needed facelift in the form of interior improvements like higher ceilings and a lighter colour scheme. The fresh look is already paying off, with such luxury brands as Tory Burch and Thomas Sabo joining Sherway's roster this past spring. And this September, the mall revealed its latest expansion, featuring a new Harry Rosen flagship, relocated Sporting Life and more upscale food court.

Not to be outdone, North America's largest shopping centre, West Edmonton Mall, is sprucing up all 5.3-million square feet with a modern look by award-winning Canadian firm GHA Design Studios. (The company is also behind the redesigns of Yorkdale, Carrefour Laval and Calgary's Core.) The centre's brighter and sleeker decor sets a stylish backdrop for upmarket Edmonton exclusives like Stuart Weitzman and Tiffany & Co. Meanwhile, in nearby North Edmonton, Londonderry Mall has allotted $130-million in anticipation of Simons' 88,000-square-foot anchor store opening in fall 2017.

Upon completion of its $430-million southern development in spring 2016, Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre will cover 2.2 million square feet and feature Ontario's first Simons store, along with an all-new Holt Renfrew.

Acquiring premium retailers allows Square One to target what it calls the "true luxe" shopper: "One who has the financial means to purchase high-end items and purchases luxury brands frequently throughout the year," explains Square One marketing director Toni Holley. "It's important that we create experiences that are meaningful to people who are truly passionate about fashion, style and luxury brands," she says. "We want Square One to be top of mind for the luxury or aspirational shopper."

To further court fashion lovers, Square One has tapped style influencers including blogger Hanneli Mustaparta and designer Erin Kleinberg to take over its social media accounts, and chose Julia Restoin-Roitfeld (creative director, model and daughter of French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld) as their fall/winter campaign star.

It also partnered with the Toronto International Film Festival to provide a sneak peek at the high-end brands landing at Square One in early 2016. "Our ultimate goal is to give our shoppers moments they wouldn't normally have access to, including designer previews, trunk shows and personal shopping," says Holley.

According to retail analyst Stevens, it's this experiential differentiation that will come to define our malls.

"The truth is that until very recently, most mall experiences were mediocre," he says. "The shopping mall experience as we've known it for the past 50 years is defunct, and will be steadily replaced by entertainment and hospitality centres that also happen to offer great shopping." Cyboran agrees: "Shoppers are heading to malls as destinations where every desire can be satisfied, from clothing to food to manicures to goodies for the kids."

Mall performance is most commonly measured by sales per square foot, says Stevens. "On this basis, you'll find the best-performing malls in the country also tend to be the most upscale." In that sense, surrounding shoppers with desirable brands and maximizing their dwell time sounds like a formula for success. And as long as the new breed of mall rat is living it up rather than loitering, this retail renaissance just might last.

1950 Completed six months ahead of schedule, Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver (above) becomes the first Canadian mall to be anchored by a department store: Woodward's. A crowd of thousands had gathered by the store entrance by the time doors opened at 9:30 a.m. on September 1. Originally home to 20 stores, today the mall features more than 280 shops and services, including a Hudson's Bay and Simons, along with such mass retail chains as Gap, J.Crew and Zara.

1964 Yorkdale (above) opens on the outskirts of Toronto. The biggest covered mall in Canada, and one of the largest in the world at the time, it draws shoppers away from downtown by featuring two major department stores under one roof - Simpsons and Eaton's. The suburban shopping centre also introduces an innovative underground delivery system and features 6,500 parking spots (surprisingly, the same number of parking spots available at Yorkdale today).

1977 Cadillac Fairview vies to keep shoppers in the city's core by transforming the drab downtown Eaton's into an indoor city anchored by a shiny new department store set over nine storeys and 1,000,000 square feet. Intended as more than a mere shopping destination, the Toronto Eaton Centre (above) doubles in size by 1979 and adds a multiplex cinema that screens such hit films at the time as Midnight Express and Life of Brian.

1983 The Rideau Centre opens in downtown Ottawa amid controversy. Many Rideau Street and Byward Market stores suffered a drop in foot traffic during the centre's construction and could not compete with the mall's more than 200 stores. But Rideau Centre helped revitalize a deteriorated downtown. Decades later, Nordstrom selects the Ottawa landmark for its second Canadian location, sparking a complete interior renovation.

1986 Five years after its debut, West Edmonton Mall (above) becomes the largest shopping centre in the world, a title it holds until China's Golden Resources Mall takes over in 2004. Today, the shopping and entertainment centre still claims the largest indoor amusement and water parks in the world, and remains the biggest shopping mall in North America (and 10th largest worldwide).

1990S AND EARLY 2000s

Canada's shopping malls begin to lose their lustre as outdoor malls and big-box centres move into the marghan ket. Vaugh Mills Shopping Centre, opened in 2004 outside Toronto, and Calgary's CrossIron Mills, opened in 2009, are the only new large-scale malls built in Canada since 1992.

2009 Carrefour Laval (above) leads the way in mall modernization with a $54-million overhaul. Within a few years, the Quebec-based, Cadillac Fairview-owned property picks up such first-to-province stores as Crate and Barrel and Zara Home.

2012 Nordstrom (above) breathes new life into Canada's shopping centres in September by announcing plans to open north of the border. Come November, Yorkdale raises the bar with the launch of its new luxury wing, complete with Canada's largest Apple store and upmarket international retailers including AllSaints and John Varvatos. Tesla also sets up shop at Yorkdale, with electric vehicles starting at $50,000.

2015 Shopping centres across the country begin rolling out newly renovated interiors and expansion wings, and Toronto Eaton Centre and Sherway Gardens prepare for Saks Fifth Avenue's Canadian debut slated for Spring 2016. Meanwhile, the presence of high-end retailers increases, elevating the shopping mall experience Canada-wide.

Associated Graphic


A RETAIL RENAISSANCECloverdale Mall in Etobicoke, like other shopping centres across Canada, was a suburban destination of choice during the 1960s*. In the 1990s and 2000s, focus shifted to downtown cores, but now luxe retailers are returning to newly revamped suburban malls and shoppers are following suit.


Standing at attention
Christyn Cianfarani, president of Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B8

TORONTO -- I arrive a couple of minutes early for our interview, but Christyn Cianfarani is already seated at the restaurant. She explains that if she isn't half an hour early, she feels late. Now I'm worried I've made a bad first impression with a military-type stickler.

But my fears fade as the head of Canada's defence industry association starts to talk. And order glasses of wine. And tell stories, while dextrously folding lettuce wraps. Like the one about a key meeting with South Korean defence officials who plied her with tea to apologize for assuming she was the assistant to her male employee, until she needed the washroom so badly "I thought I was going to die."

Ms. Cianfarani is no stickler. She believes, in fact, that her outgoing personality has been key to her success in a maledominated industry such as defence, saying she thinks it is easier to operate in a man's world if you are naturally more extroverted. As a university student at the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston, for example, she says it helped that she was comfortable joking around with - and standing up to - the male students.

"You're always around guys, and you learn how to say, 'screw off - enough,' " she says. "I am a very vocal person about what I like and don't like, and that is helpful. If you don't have that, it's got to be harder."

We meet for lunch at Reds Wine Tavern in Toronto nearly a year into Ms. Cianfarani's tenure as president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI). She is keen to use her new platform to promote a message that the defence industry is transforming and becoming more modern and diverse. It is not just a place for older, white, ex-military men.

Wearing a fitted dress in a vibrant blue pattern, the 43-yearold explains: "I would say I'm a very early representative of what you're going to see come out over the next five to 10 years, even though you would traditionally see a demographic of grey-haired men."

Canada's defence sector isn't easily defined. Because of the federal government's comparatively modest budget for military spending, most companies cannot exist as pure defence firms.

They are typically mid-sized, technology-oriented companies that sell to both civilian and military buyers, with half the industry's $12.6-billion in annual sales coming from foreign markets.

Only about 5 per cent of Canada's defence companies make traditional weaponry. Many firms make technology for military or non-military buyers - such as landing gear that can be sold to commercial or military aircraft manufacturers.

The result is that most employees identify themselves as technology workers rather than defence workers, Ms. Cianfarani says. She was among them as a former executive at flight simulator maker CAE Inc., where she worked for 17 years before joining CADSI.

She says she was drawn to join CADSI because the defence sector is awaiting a tsunami of new government purchasing projects, which have the potential to transform the industry if the procurement is handled well.

With everything from new warships (worth an estimated $26billion) to fighter planes (which could cost more than $40-billion) on the horizon, Canada's Armed Forces could buy more than $200-billion of new equipment in the coming 10 to 15 years, if an array of plans bear fruit.

Even if only half the spending actually occurs, Ms. Cianfarani says, the investment will be huge.

And her message is that it needs to be steered in a way that benefits Canadian industry as much as possible - not just serving the interests of large foreign defence conglomerates.

"You're sitting on this gold mine of potential, with a crown jewel in your hands, that you can choose to use however you want," she says. "And even if the amount [of spending] is half or a quarter, it is still a sizable amount of money to do something significant for this country.

That can't be understated."

Ms. Cianfarani was a selfdefined tomboy who grew up in Leamington in Southern Ontario, where her first jobs as a teenager were picking tomatoes and cucumbers and "detasseling" corn, which involves stripping tassels off the plants to control pollination.

With money tight at home, she decided to apply to RMC because her university tuition and living costs would be covered in exchange for five years of military service afterward.

At RMC, Ms. Cianfarani earned an English degree, even though the majority at the school study sciences and engineering. All students at RMC also choose a military profession when they enroll, then earn the qualifications through their university training and summer postings.

She chose the role of a MARS (maritime surface and sub-surface) officer, and spent summers on ships learning navigation, charting, bridge watchkeeping and other "above-deck" skills related to leading ships' crews.

By the end of four years, however, Ms. Cianfarani was having misgivings about a career at sea, but was prepared to do her five years of postgraduation service.

"It's very hard to have a life when you're in the navy. Some trades are really lonely, and that's one of them," she says.

Then fate intervened. The federal Liberal government announced plans in 1995 to close or shrink military bases and reduce the size of the armed forces. Many Forces members - including students from RMC - were offered the opportunity to leave, no strings attached. Ms. Cianfarani took it.

"I was given a great gift, and I don't take that for granted at all," she says.

Her next step was a master's degree in English at the University of Toronto, with the thought of becoming an English professor.

But she quickly realized she was not cut out for a career in academia, saying employment opportunities were too uncertain and required years more study.

She finished her master's program and decided to pursue a career in business instead.

After a year at brokerage firm Midland Walwyn Inc., she joined CAE in Montreal in 1997, launching herself into the aerospace sector. She moved through an array of roles in the company, working as manager of bids and proposals, manager of operational excellence, and director of government programs, research and development and intellectual property.

In 2012, while director of research and development at CAE, Ms. Cianfarani made a welltimed decision to join a panel of industry experts headed by Open Text Corp. chairman Tom Jenkins, who were asked to report on a new procurement process the Canadian government could use for its defence purchasing.

The panel's 2013 report recommended a new process - which was quickly adopted and is now in effect - whereby foreign companies bidding for defence contracts are awarded points for making specific, up-front commitments to contract part of their work to Canadian firms.

The "value proposition" system has replaced the older "offset policy" regime, which required companies to make matching investments in Canada. The problem was the spending didn't have to be specified up front and sometimes had no connection to Canada's defence or technology sectors.

The new program has the potential to be a "game changer" for Canada, Ms. Cianfarani argues, allowing the government to help channel investment in the defence sector where it has the greatest potential benefit.

But before any work can flow to Canadian firms, contracts have to be signed in the first place, and it's a common complaint that plans for various defence programs have been repeatedly unveiled, even proceeding to the point of seeking bids, then are scaled back or cancelled before the purchases are made.

Last December, for example, the federal government cancelled well-advanced plans for a $2-billion purchase of new armoured vehicles, saying it decided it doesn't need them. Two foreign bidders took the rare step of publicly complaining they had wasted millions preparing bids.

"We can't continue to send our people into a war zone without proper equipment. It's just not acceptable," she says. "I don't know any Canadian who would feel good about that, let alone people in the defence industry."

While business interests are important, she says people in Canada's defence industry also feel a personal commitment to ensuring that Canada's armed forces have better equipment.

Ms. Cianfarani feels the same commitment. She says some people ask her "crazy" questions about her decision to work for the defence industry - such as whether it is a "nice" industry.

She says no one she knows is an arms-monger keen on war.

"The first thing I say is that I'm still a human being and still a Canadian. I still have the value systems of most Canadians I know," she says. "It's one of the things we're trying to spend a lot of time working on is the perception of what is the defence industry in Canada, and how different it is from what people might think."


Family: Single, no children, one sister. She travels too much to have pets, but says her three orchids survive even with minimal watering. Her father, who immigrated to Canada from Italy as a teenager, is strongly patriotic and was fully supportive of her decision to go to the Royal Military College.

For fun: She loves reading "cerebral" fiction, but when she is tired or on vacation, her guilty pleasure is to read historical romances. "I don't want it [set in] modern day.

That's too hokey for some reason."

For pleasure: She is a "hardcore foodie," who is equally happy in a fancy restaurant or a place "with super sticky floors and the greasiest fries double-fried in oil." She works out for an hour every morning, but says it is mostly so she can indulge her love of food.

You would be surprised to learn: She says a large part of her body is tattooed - although nothing that shows in business attire. She has a love letter tattooed on her back, she says.

Associated Graphic


Everyone of a certain age remembers Toronto's previous World Series, where they were and who they were with. Big games offer fans a chance to reach a Zen-like state where every detail will stick with you for the rest of your life
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1


I watched the Blue Jays win their last World Series in a heaving highway roadhouse outside Niles, Mich.

Some pals and I had gone down there to watch Notre Dame play the University of Southern California. The game was in Indiana, but you could only find a motel room one state over.

It was a Saturday. We started drinking before we'd got out of bed.

There should have been three enforced hours of sobriety during the football game, but the stranger sitting next to me had smuggled in a mickey of rum hidden inside hollow binoculars. Notre Dame won big and we chose to take that as a sign.

I'm not sure how we picked the bar in which to watch Game 6 that night, but we chose wrong.

For reasons that were obscure to me, this was a die-hard Chicago White Sox joint. The place was papered with pennants, posters, signed jerseys and all the attendant kitsch of a house of worship.

Toronto had beaten the White Sox in that year's American League Championship Series. A bunch of these people appeared to have taken that loss quite hard. A couple of us were wearing Blue Jays caps. That was noted.

You know that scene in every bad procedural where the socially maladjusted cop with a death wish walks into the biker bar, eyeballs the regulars and tells them to get up against the wall?

That was us. Minus the authority, the courage or a decent wall. We did have the death wish.

But back then, being a Toronto Blue Jays fan was its own shield.

You rooted for the best team in baseball. You strutted into a place. Being blind drunk can also be a confidence boost.

Everybody turned to watch us.

A few people said some unwelcoming things. One of my friends said something about the declining state of American hospitality.

That made everything a lot better.

That game started out well for the good guys. The Jays were up 5-1 on Philadelphia after five innings. We were not shy in reminding our new friends about the way the world works and their place in it. One of us did so while standing unsteadily on a chair and mocking all the screwfaced patrons individually. I grabbed hold of his belt, to make sure he didn't topple over.

In retrospect, it's a testament to the agreeableness of Midwesterners that we weren't savagely beaten with pool cues.

Among ourselves, we made a plan to stay until the eighth inning. Then we'd have to create some sort of diversion and flee.

Philadelphia scored five times in the seventh and took the lead.

That was our St. Peter moment.

We were now forced to agree (under some duress) that we might possibly have been wrong. That was the most relaxing part of the night. We were going to survive after all.

Come the ninth - Mitch Williams in, a walk to Rickey Henderson, an out, a Paul Molitor single. The place was triumphantly loud now. These people weren't rooting against the Jays. They were rooting against four idiots who'd made the mistake of coming into their bar.

The only thing I remember about that inning, without having to look it up, is watching Joe Carter hook the ball over the left-field fence. The place got very quiet.

We got very noisy. One of us had the presence of mind to pull all of his money out of his pocket and, without counting it, drop it on the table.

Arms raised, woo-hoo-ing, we moved in tight military formation toward the door. Most people were still staring miserably at the dog pile at home plate. Before anyone had the presence of mind to get on top of us, we were outside and sprinting from the scene.

Oct. 23, 1993. It's still my bestever day as a fan.

If you're the right age and regardless of where you watched it or with whom, I imagine it's also one of yours. Studs Terkel could've made a very decent book from Canada's collective and interconnected emotions during the three-second flight of that ball.

Just as much as Carter skipping around the bases, the graven image of that moment is Williams' sprawling, frantic look as he watched the ball fly and then a short shot of him hurrying to get down the dugout steps. There has rarely been such a wonderful visual juxtaposition of the agony and the ecstasy. It was the sort of moment when sport gets to the level of devotional art.

And for a long time, that was it.

Nineteen-ninety-four was a four-month death march toward the inevitability of a strike. When baseball returned the following year, Toronto had faded back into the pack. After a decade of rising and rising, people had no desire to watch the team caught in the game's gravity, returning to Earth.

That's the price of winning. It makes what inevitably comes next - merely competing - unsatisfying. It's harder to go hungry when you can still remember being full.

You weren't forming lasting memories about the Blue Jays any more. They had no real moments.

Every once in a while, there would be a remarkable individual achievement - Carlos Delgado's four-homer game or Roger Clemens's second straight Cy Young - but they didn't amount to anything like 92 and 93. They were signposts reminding you of the general mediocrity. Each season bled into the next.

A decent big-league career might last eight or 10 seasons.

Generations of players came and went, largely forgotten as soon as they'd left.

Now that it was no longer full every night, you began to notice that the SkyDome wasn't actually an architectural marvel. It was a wretched concrete bunker, more suitable to storing grain than hosting a fun night out.

Every time I see a Jays' fan under 30, I remind myself of that.

People my age and older could retreat to our crumbling baseball memory palace every time Toronto put in another desultory 80win season. Close our eyes and - LaLaLa! - we're there on the beach with Dave Stieb, Ernie Whitt and George Bell.

Everybody who missed them closes their eyes and sees Jim Fregosi yelling in a dimly lit cellar.

Discovering this team in the mid-90s and beyond must've seemed like moving to Rome right after the sack. There's nothing for you there. But you stayed anyway. Those are the fans who really deserve this - whatever "this" is going to turn out to be.

The thing with most of the nostalgic moments in your life is that they only seem special from a distance. While they were happening, you didn't realize you were going on the road trip of your life or reading the book that would recalibrate your view of the world or meeting the person who'd change everything. You don't see the fork in the road until after you've taken it.

Those signposts can't be properly enjoyed in real time. Not the way they deserve. After a while, the faults of memory start fiddling with them. Did it really happen that way? You aren't sure any more. You weren't in the moment enough to document them. Our most meaningful recollections are a sensory patchwork - the way something smelled or felt, or how he said it rather than what he said. You're piecing it together after the fact.

Sports are different. You feel the tremors long before the quake arrives. Since the big game is scheduled, you can prepare yourself. Our athletic pastimes are knit together by nostalgia and crucially heightened by its anticipation.

Of course, it won't always work out. That's another thing that makes a sporting memory unique - that a grand failure can seem just as meaningful, even just as great, as a victory.

You've primed yourself for something to happen. So something is going to happen. You've taken off the blinkers of routine and surrendered yourself to a mass experience. Unlike every other day or every other game, you are seeing things with fresh eyes.

I'm not schooled in Taoism, but I imagine watching the big game is very close to Zen. We are fully in the moment and accepting of whatever comes.

Pros live this way all the time.

They can recall the small details of a game they've just played - where the ball lay, or what the count was, or the numbers of everyone on the bench. Being in the moment comes naturally to them. Beyond the physical gifts, which many people have, that's why these few hundred are elite.

For the rest of us, it's an effort.

We have to consciously put ourselves in that mindset and can't maintain it for long periods. We decided that for these two or three hours, we're going to forget the mortgage and the job and the gnawing feeling that life is pain, and just watch and record.

In the end, true nostalgia - the sort that sticks with you - is work.

It doesn't feel hard. It's light.

Because it's not really about who won, but where you were and how you felt as they won it. Or lost it.

You can't know how this or any other thing will turn out. But you can know that it will be worth your notice.

You'll walk into a strange bar, like a hundred others that all seem like one in your mind, but this time you're not going to forget it. The things they said and what was on the wall and how it felt when it all unexpectedly went your way.

They play the game for money and because they're good at it. We watch to remember.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

Joe Carter celebrates his game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.


Jack Mintz, Eveline Adomait and Christopher Ragan observe the campaign through an economic lens. Watch for their discussions each week
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B4

The Globe and Mail: As TransPacific Partnership trade talks near completion in Atlanta, our three economists weigh in on trade issues, which could potentially dominate the final two weeks of the campaign if a TPP deal is signed or rejected.

Jack Mintz: I thought the lowest point of the French-language debate was when all five political leaders supported supply management without any fundamental reason as to why it should be maintained. I was particularly disappointed in Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, who has little to lose politically by opposing such an inept policy.

Supply management is like putting an excise tax on necessities - eggs, poultry and milk - and it hits low- and modest-income Canadians the hardest. Parties that seem so concerned about income inequality should be ashamed of themselves for supporting this policy. The argument that this is better than subsidies is callous given that this is a large transfer to a few firms covered by a regressive 'tax.'

Eveline Adomait: I grew up on a dairy farm and my dad was given quota when supply management began. Many of my friends and family are still on the family farm, working very hard at milking cows. I hope these people will still speak to me after I say this: The bottom line is that agricultural supply management, taxi medallions, the bridge to the U.S. at Windsor, the Beer Store and the LCBO are all making higher profits because they are monopolies.

Of course, those benefiting would like the system to continue because those financial benefits are huge. However, a dismantling of these various and sundry monopolies would increase the welfare of many consumers. The gains would outweigh the losses.

In terms of supply management, it would be worth it to pay farmers for their quota so that Canadians - who mostly do not live on farms - can consume dairy products at lower prices.

Christopher Ragan: I couldn't agree more with both Jack and Evie on supply management. It is really disappointing to see that no federal party appears prepared to dismantle this system. Is there something particularly special about dairy farmers, as opposed to vegetable farmers or cattle ranchers?

There is something else about the supply management system that is not often enough discussed: If you were one of the really lucky dairy farmers (like Evie's father, apparently) who received an allotment of dairy quota for free - years ago - then the benefit is very clear. You received a free asset and now receive an artificially high price for your products every year.

But the story is quite different if you are a "new" dairy farmer, in which case you have to purchase the quota necessary for your annual production. The current market value of this quota is in the ballpark of $25,000 a cow. So if you have 90 cows (roughly the average herd size in Canada today), you need to spend roughly $2-million just to have the permission to produce. And then you have to purchase your land, buildings, equipment and everything else. So the supply management system significantly increases capital costs for new dairy farmers, who then "need" the higher prices just to generate a normal rate of return.

EA: Dairy supply management has a few quirks that make compensation to dairy farmers tricky. It is true that those who were given or inherited quota shouldn't be compensated if the quota system is dismantled, but many of those farmers have already sold out.

My dad became a minister in the early seventies, so our financial fortunes took a decided downturn. In recent years, the price of quota has been capped to the sellers but the actual market price of quota should be higher.

Farmers who want to sell have worked around this problem by connecting the difference in value to the price of the farm as a going concern. I would hope supply management would be completely dismantled rather than die the death of a thousand imports.

JM: Canada had no choice but to negotiate the TPP during the election as we could have been left out of the largest trade agreement to date. Besides, the next Parliament will have the role of ratifying the agreement or not. No question, TPP is a good thing for the Canadian economy that will give access to a large market. And if Mexico and the U.S. are part of it - and we are not - that will put our Canadian businesses at a disadvantage in a world in which businesses operate in supply chains.

Sure, some sectors that have been protected by restrictive trade - such as forest product manufacturers through log export restraints, auto companies and dairy farms - will be affected, but many companies that can compete at the international level will have some fetters taken off. If we want a more dynamic business community, the last thing we need is a walled-in economy. An election is a tough time to have an impassioned debate about the merits of the agreement but Canadians have always been supporters of trade and most will find the TPP consistent with our development as a nation.

CR: How can I disagree with anything Jack has just said about how the TPP will be good for Canadians or Canadian business? I can't. Free trade is one of those things that is very counterintuitive for some people. It just seems so logical to want to protect our workers and our firms.

But it harms our consumers (and firms using imported inputs) and it harms us again when our trading partners respond with their own protectionist measures. I think the biggest problem in the public mind with the TPP negotiations is that they have been conducted behind closed doors, so the various bargaining elements have not been debated publicly. The government is essentially telling Canadians to "trust us" and that they have our backs. But many Canadians are not so sure. However, I'm not sure any trade agreements have ever been negotiated in the full light of day - is this even possible?

EA: It even touches on global income inequality and security. If we really care about poor countries, which happen to have a competitive advantage in agriculture, we should open our doors to their products. They could be better off, but as seen with the Doha Round [of trade negotiations at the WTO], rich countries don't want to give poor countries access to our markets. It may also be true that trade sanctions against Russia could be part of Vladimir Putin's strategy in Syria. Free trade is a bit like world peace.

Really good in theory and hard to implement in practice.

The Globe and Mail: Joe Oliver said this week that the July GDP numbers show that Canada is back on track. Others pointed out that other key sectors suffered drops.

JM: The GDP growth for July at 0.34 per cent monthly is certainly good news following a good month in June at 0.44 per cent.

The increase, which was positive for mining, oil and gas, finance, manufacturing and services was broad enough to rest fears that Canada was heading for a recession - which I believe was never the case - with growing employment and government revenues this year. The resource growth won't be permanent, coming off a period of turnarounds. However, the improvement in other sectors will likely mean that Canada's annual growth will be better than expected, reaching close to 2 per cent this year.

Weakness in wholesale trade and non-residential construction largely reflects the past slowdown in the energy industry. The decline in arts and entertainment is a short-term result from the boost given from the FIFA Women's World Cup. We shouldn't get hung up on some particular sectors with negative growth. None of this means the Canadian economy is back on track for the longer term. The weak Canadian dollar has made imports more expensive, hurting consumeroriented businesses and machinery investment. Exports are improving, which are obviously helped by a stronger U.S. economy. However, we still face a structural change that no party has been able to address with a smart economic strategy. For the Conservatives, the recent GDP gains is certainly good news.

CR: Obviously the GDP news for the month is good, with all the detail that Jack lays out. What concerns me is the willingness by Mr. Oliver to be so swayed by monthly data - especially when it tends to be ignored when it is negative. As a general rule, monthly GDP data is quite volatile and unreliable. Even quarterly data bounces around and is subject to considerable revisions. So there is a need (and it has long been there) to try to "look through" the very short-term blips and instead focus on the more solid trends. This is true about the business cycle and also about longer-term growth. Jack is right about our longer-term structural challenges, and no party is really acknowledging or addressing these issues - except, I suppose, for the Liberals' emphasis on the importance of more infrastructure.

Dr. Jack M. Mintz is president's fellow of the school of public policy at the University of Calgary. He serves on the boards of Imperial Oil Ltd. and Morneau Shepell, and is chairman and vice-president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Eveline Adomait is an economics professor at the University of Guelph, a former TEDx speaker and author of Cocktail Party Economics: The Big Ideas and Scintillating Small Talk about Markets and Dinner Party Economics: The Big Ideas and Intense Conversations about the Economy.

Christopher Ragan is an associate professor of economics at McGill University, research fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and author of Economics, the most widely used introductory economics textbook in Canada.

First step: Accept there's a problem
Denying the impact of overseas buyers will make solving the Vancouver housing crisis even harder
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page G9


If we're going to move toward a solution to Vancouver's housing affordability crisis, we have to get beyond foreign-money denial.

We've heard a lot lately from a small but influential camp of foreign-money deniers. If they do concede that foreign money is jacking up Vancouver property prices, they'll only admit to it affecting the extreme high end.

That's safe territory, because relatively few people can afford a house that costs more than $3-million. It lulls people into mistakenly believing it's a rich person's problem.

The foreign-money denier will also use the government's failure to collect data on foreign ownership as proof that a problem doesn't exist. As someone else said, that's similar to the tobacco industry maintaining the safety of cigarette smoking in the 1950s.

Cameron Muir, chief economist at the B.C. Real Estate Association, maintains that foreign investment is hugely over-hyped.

The provincial government has used B.C. Real Estate Association feedback to support its decision not to institute a luxury tax, or give penalties to speculators who flip properties, or give the city the ability to fine owners of empty properties. In other words, they would not intervene in any way, despite a request from Mayor Gregor Robertson.

"My sense is that if foreign investment in housing disappeared today, the average household in Vancouver wouldn't notice a thing," Mr. Muir told me.

"You would likely see some softness at the high end of the market for a while, but I don't see it having any profound effect. If we had some evidence that foreign investors were having a significant impact, I'd be all over that. But to date there isn't a single outlier that we can point to."

And recently, Dan Scarrow, managing director of Macdonald Realty's Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre, said that while mainland Chinese buyers accounted for 70 per cent of his company's high-end sales for 2014, the wealthy Chinese buyers are not affecting the remainder of the market.

"There is little doubt in my mind that outside money is driving the luxury housing market in Vancouver," Mr. Scarrow, who e-mailed me from his office in Shanghai, said. "There is much less evidence to suggest that's the case with the rest of the market.

And a very strong case to be made that the rest of the housing market is rising from an overall higher population, constrained supply, record-low interest rates, and a belief that Vancouver will remain one of the most desirable places in Canada for people from the rest of Canada and around the world."

Low interest rates have their effect, but considering the entire country enjoys the same rates, we can be sure that something else is at play in making Vancouver one of the least affordable cities in the world.

It's not news any more that the average house price in Vancouver proper is $2.23-million. And the median Vancouver household income is around $70,000, in line with Nashville. By comparison, Calgary has a median household income of $98,000.

How is it possible that such low incomes could be driving house prices into the stratosphere?

According to Macdonald Realty data, mainland Chinese buyers were responsible for 21 per cent of transactions between $1-million and $3-million and 11 per cent of sales below $1-million. Of those sales that were more than $3-million, mainland Chinese buyers comprised 70 per cent of the total. Those are significant numbers. And that's just one real estate firm, albeit one that targets that particular market.

How is it possible for foreign wealth to have no impact on the entire market? Not so long ago, Vancouverites dependent on local incomes used to be able to afford homes in Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Point Grey. Residents were teachers, social workers, professors, doctors and lawyers - anybody with a decent income could afford a nice home. The days of upward mobility are over.

Mr. Muir, however, is not buying it.

"I've heard this argument a lot," he said. "It's a displaced person's argument, that they have to move further away. And I don't know if that quite qualifies as being displaced.

"When we look at prices on the west side or any other parts of Vancouver going up solely because of foreign investors - which we have no evidence are there - it doesn't hold water in terms of a domino effect."

Mr. Muir said local incomes and house prices have always "been out of sync."

"It's not about income so much as net wealth," he said.

University of British Columbia geography professor David Ley is one of the few who have assembled data, although nobody at the government level seems to be paying attention. Prof. Ley is not new to the game. His book, Millionaire Migrants, released in 2010, is about the migration patterns of wealthy East Asians into countries such as Canada and Australia. He's been studying the phenomenon of migrant wealth and housing market bubbles around the world for years, including the problem of growing inequality. He will participate in a sold-out Urban Development Institute panel on foreign ownership with Mr. Muir and immigration lawyer Jeffrey Lowe on Oct. 7.

Prof. Ley has used Citizen and Immigration Canada statistics to estimate that 200,000 people have come to the Vancouver region through wealth-based immigration programs since 1980.

An estimated 70,000 millionaire migrants have arrived in the past decade, so there's been a recent surge in numbers. Their arrival directly correlates with the rise of real estate prices.

University of Waterloo professors Markus Moos and Andrejs Skaburskis wrote a paper called "The Globalization of Urban Housing Markets: Immigration and Changing Housing Demand in Vancouver." In it, they say: "The arrival of primarily wealthy and skilled migrants resulted in a de-coupling of housing from local labor markets as Vancouver was transformed from resource centre to gateway city."

A trickle-down effect is particularly noticeable when an incredibly wealthy group of people buys up houses and redevelops them into bigger, more expensive homes. In doing so, they have driven up prices by creating housing stock that is appealing only to other wealthy people, Prof. Moos said.

"The prices of nearby properties rise as well because suddenly the potential of these properties is that they could also be sold to higher-end owners or investors," Prof. Moos said.

The people who once could afford the west side are now pushed into areas they can afford - the east side, Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver and New Westminster. And in turn they are pushing up house prices in those areas. The effect is a lack of affordable houses throughout the region.

The west-side market does not operate in isolation. We can see the trickle-down effect on prices.

West-side benchmark prices rose 52 per cent in the past five years.

Prices for the east side rose 61 per cent.

"There is no firm line between high-, medium- and low-end," analyst and consultant Richard Wozny, whose company works on major real estate developments for developers and landowners, said. "Prices are on a continuum.

Strong sales in one price range [have an impact on] adjacent price ranges, and it affects the entire market. Overwhelming demand and a severe shortage of supply [affects] all housing. The market distinction between the east side and west side of Vancouver is an example of how higher values in one area spread to another.

"It's the gentrification of everywhere."

Donald Gutstein is adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and author of one of the first books on the impact of foreign investment on Vancouver real estate. His 1990 book, The New Landlords: Asian Investment in Canadian Real Estate, focused on the impact of Hong Kong investors' buying habits. That wave of immigrant buying was a trickle compared with what the city is currently experiencing, alongside intense speculation.

"There was a kind of an emerging global market where people who already had substantial real estate assets maybe in Paris or London or Hong Kong would buy another property here or in Whistler," he said. "And then you had the local market, and at the time they were quite separate. But now I think the magnitude of the investment at the high end has crashed down on the entire market.

"I can see it on my own street," he added. "We live in a workingclass neighbourhood in Burnaby overlooking Burnaby Lake, and four doors up this guy who drives a community bus bought a house and for the past five years he's been fixing it up. Just last week, he put it on the market and sold it within two or three days as a teardown, for $1-million.

"When we bought our house, we always had an eye for it as an investment, but that was pretty secondary. Now, that's become the dominant value."

Mr. Wozny, born and raised in Vancouver, is equally shocked at the speed and magnitude of change.

"No one person ever imagined this would happen. It's extreme and unique and it has the potential to alter the city in ways that no one can imagine.

"I feel for the people whose children just graduated from medical school. That used to be the way for the future. Now, they're a middle-class mortgage slave."

Associated Graphic

A trickle-down effect is particularly noticeable when wealthy people buy houses and redevelop them into bigger, more expensive homes. This drives up prices and pushes other buyers out of the market.


Big shrimpin'
An old Ontario hog barn has become a humid farm for thousands of saltwater crustaceans. They're sweet, delicate and delicious, writes Chris Nuttall-Smith, and just the beginning of Canada's eco-friendly aquaculture revolution
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L1

Paul Cocchio's introduction to inland shrimp farming did not go well. There is no manual, after all, for converting a rural Ontario hog barn into a temperature-stable complex of tropical saltwater shrimp pools - nobody had ever tried it before him. And it's a surprisingly finicky business growing baby crustaceans, each of them translucent and about the size of an eyelash, into the sort of full-sized, sweet-flavoured specimens that could grace a proper seafood plate.

Cocchio, who had spent most of his life raising pigs and dairy cows and farming his 450 rolling acres, and who had devoted his years so far to the terrestrial and the visible, could barely keep the tiny things alive.

They got sucked into water pumps. They got wiped out from over- and underfeeding; a few grams of food either way spelled certain doom. Last winter, his hot water heaters all gave out.

After years of planning and construction - not to mention the two years it took to have Pacific white shrimp added to the list of species that can be legally farmed in Ontario - the 49-year-old farmer nearly gave up.

"When you're putting 12,000 shrimp in one of those starter tanks and getting only 500 of them to survive, that's not great," he said.

But on a sunny afternoon this month, as his son - and business partner - Brad, swished a net through one of the barn's ponds, it filled with glistening, fighting, fully grown shrimp. Cocchio looked for all the world like a man who'd discovered the tip of a diamond seam under his living room rug.

The pair's pioneering operation, called First Ontario Shrimp, now spins out the most sublimely fresh and delicate-tasting jumbo shrimp ever served in this province, by all indications the first to be successfully farmed in Canada.

The tiny project provides a taste of a future that seafood lovers and many conservationists have long imagined: one in which maritime species can be raised indoors in otherwise landlocked regions, in zero-discharge aquaculture farms within a couple hours' drive of major markets.

"After 25 years in the seafood business, I don't get to see a lot of new things to get this excited about," said John Bil, who serves the shrimp at Honest Weight, his restaurant in Toronto's west end, and sells 40 pounds a week at the shop's fish counter.

It's not merely the freshness or quality, however: Cocchio's operation bears virtually none of the appalling ecological and human costs that continue to plague the shrimp industry worldwide.

Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium's influential marineconservation body, has thrown its support behind the project. This month, the Toronto restaurants Momofuku Shoto and the Black Hoof also put the Cocchios' shrimp on their menus, with many other places clamouring for supply.

Inland shrimp bonanza First Ontario is only the beginning of a central Canadian shrimp bonanza. A few hours southwest of Campbellford, in a former Imperial Tobacco plant in Aylmer, Ont., construction is set to begin on a state-of-the-art, 65,000 square-foot operation called Planet Shrimp. The facility's first phase, slated to open late this year and begin shipping by April, has the capacity to produce some 400,000 pounds of top-quality shrimp annually.

Planet Shrimp has hired expert aquaculture consultants from the southern United States, where closed-system shrimp farming is a booming business, to guide its operations. They've also brought in structural engineers and architects to develop a proprietary system that will stack the shrimp ponds seven or eight high, to maximize productivity, said company founder Marvyn Budd.

"We'll harvest at 10 o'clock at night, put it on our trucks at 2 o'clock in the morning, it'll be on the distributors' docks at 3 o'clock and in the restaurants by noon," he added. "It's fresh, man. Fresh."

"The Cocchios are the pioneers, the innovators - they started this," said Steve Naylor, aquaculture specialist with Ontario's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Planet Shrimp is moving the scale up by literally 50 to 100 times. If Planet Shrimp is successful, it's going to make a huge difference in the way that shrimp are grown in temperate climates."

A sea change Shrimp is North America's favourite seafood: Americans consume more than a billion pounds of it annually, with nearly all of it sourced from overseas. Shrimp farming has been commonplace in Southeast Asia for decades, but in open outdoor ponds that carry enormous environmental and human costs.

In Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries through the region, as well as in China, shrimp and prawn companies clear cut coastal mangrove forests, then pump the remaining ponds full of chemicals and antibiotics, said Daniel Pauly, a marine biologist and global fisheries expert with the University of British Columbia. Those drugs end up on our tables: Canadian federal inspectors have found tetracycline and fluoroquinolone antibiotics in imported shrimp, as well as nitrofuran, an antimicrobial drug that's banned here for use in food-producing animals.

For feed, those shrimp get a meal of cheap, ground-up wild fish that are, in many cases, caught by human slaves. (More than 2,000 captive fishermen, lured onto Thai trawlers, on which they were held captive and brutally abused, have been freed in the past six months alone.)

Trawling for wild shrimp, meanwhile, comes with its own consequences: Every kilogram caught requires many multiples its weight in marine fuel, Pauly said, and kills between five and 15 kilograms of other aquatic species, which are thrown away as bycatch. "Whether you catch them or farm them, the environmental cost is immense," he said.

Inland aquaculture farms such as the Cocchios' operation avoid many of those issues. That hog barn is divided into 16 concrete ponds, each with its own specialized pump and precisely calibrated water biology. The Cocchios don't use antibiotics or chemical additives save salt and a bacterial starter to encourage the growth of shrimp-friendly algae, which consume waste and grow into valuable food.

There's little risk of impact on neighbouring wild marine species; the Pacific white shrimp can't survive for more than a few minutes outside warm saltwater, and in any case, the nearest ocean is 500 kilometres southeast of here. The project is also a zerodischarge facility: The water in those shrimp tanks is constantly reused.

That's not to say indoor shrimp are entirely uncontroversial. Take the issue of what they eat: They still need to consume fish oil and wild fish, in the form of fish meal.

But most of that comes from the (reasonably responsible, sustainability-certified) South American anchovy fishery. Theodora Geach, seafood specialist at Ocean Wise, notes the rapid progress that aquaculture researchers and feed companies are making to reduce the amount of wild fish in their formulations, and to replace it with soy and other plant products.

Here to stay In any case, Geach says, inland aquaculture isn't likely to go away. In Victoria, PEI, a company called Halibut PEI produces topquality halibut in its inland tanks.

On the Pacific Coast, a similar project by Northern Vancouver Island's 'Namgis First Nation is producing terrific salmon, labelled "land-raised." In Ingersoll, Ont., a little-known but enormously successful tilapia farm produces 1.2 million pounds a year.

As for shrimp, a new farm is being planned in eastern Toronto.

In B.C., there are ongoing efforts to raise both crawfish and spot prawns inland. Last year, municipal planners in Pincher Creek, in southwest Alberta, approved a shrimp farm application. But nothing yet appears to have reached the commercial scale the Cocchios have begun to achieve.

Paul Cocchio began planning their barn conversion eight years ago: The price of pork was making life as a hog farmer too difficult, so he started googling alternative uses for his barns. Former pig farmers in Indiana and Iowa had begun experimenting with aquaculture with some success, usually installing cheap, above-ground swimming pools in their barns, and equipping them with expensive heaters and pumps.

Cocchio wanted to do it better.

Early indications are he's succeeding. He and Brad have got their feeding schedule fixed to prevent over- or underfeeding. The water quality has stabilized, thanks to the bacterial starter they're using; they even expect it to improve over time.

For now, they get 20,000 baby shrimp every two weeks, couriered overnight from a hatchery in Florida. It takes 17 weeks to grow them to full size. They've got far more demand for their shrimp at the moment than supply, though they expect their own production to quadruple in the next few months, to 400 pounds weekly.

But the family still has two empty hog barns. The other weekend, Cocchio said, a couple of strangers drove out to Campbellford and offered to put up the money to convert those into shrimp farms, too. "It'd be a lot cheaper than this barn, because we wouldn't make all the mistakes," he said.

The thing is, Cocchio says he isn't interested in working with outside investors. He's beginning to discover what a good thing he's got.

Associated Graphic

Farmer Paul Cocchio of Campbellford, Ontario shows off one of the Pacific white shrimp he sells to Toronto restaurants.


Paul Cocchio and his son Brad feed shrimp at First Ontario Shrimp, their indoor farm in Campbellford, Ont.


It's the most laid-back island in Japan, where vast wetlands entrance travellers with wildlife sightings and wide-open spaces. A new bullet-train line to the island means it's also going to be easier to reach
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page T1

HOKKAIDO, JAPAN -- The Japanese enthusiasm for Hokkaido can hardly be overstated. Every day, some 80 planes carry passengers between Tokyo and this northernmost Japanese island, famous for its mountains and wetlands, bears and foxes.

But even this air route, one of the busiest on the planet, is not enough to satisfy Hokkaidomania. In early 2016, the Shinkansen - the Japanese bullet train - will make its long-awaited arrival in Hokkaido.

The prospect of reaching this beloved northern destination by means of this cherished form of transportation has created a fever pitch of excitement in Japan. In Hakodate, the terminus of the new Shinkansen line, a gigantic silhouette of the dolphin-nosed ultra-fast train has been painted on the front of the rail station. The Japanese tourist board is running fullpage ads in international magazines announcing the hallowed union. Over dinner in Tokyo, some Japanese friends told me that as much as they had always wanted to go to Hokkaido, going by plane felt somehow wrong. They were already planning their trip by Shinkansen.

To a Canadian, all the fuss about Hokkaido can be a little perplexing. We already have plenty of mountains and bears, thank you very much, and the absence of bullet trains hardly prevents us from enjoying them. But there are a few reasons why even Canadians should get excited about Hokkaido. If you want to visit Japan in the summer months, Hokkaido is in many ways your only sane option. From June to August, it is incessantly rainy and unbearably hot in the southern islands, where an umbrella and a cold towel draped around your neck are mandatory accessories.

In Hokkaido, meanwhile, it is clear and pleasant. Although Tokyo and Osaka are rightly famous for their thrilling human throngs, claustrophobia sets in after a while. In Hokkaido - which has 22 per cent of Japan's land mass but only 4 per cent of its population - it is possible to enjoy the urban pleasures of its vibrant capital city, Sapporo, and then escape into the vastness of one of six national parks. Adding to the serenity is the fact that although domestic and regional tourism abounds, Hokkaido is relatively free of international visitors.

With all the talk of speed, I decided to explore Hokkaido in the slowest way possible. Sapporo is an hour and a half from Tokyo by plane; the Shinkansen will get you to Hakodate in about four. It took a full 36 hours to get from Tokyo to Hokkaido by sea aboard the Diamond Princess, a charming older ship recently renovated and deployed to Japan, and the cruise then continued around Hokkaido for another eight days.

My first stop was foggy Kushiro, a far-flung eastern city. (So vast is Hokkaido, roughly the size of Ireland, that it would take a further 10 hours to reach Kushiro by rail even after you'd arrived in Hakodate on the Shinkansen.) The highlight here is the nearby Kushiro-shitsugen National Park, a vast wetland that is home to the famous redcrowned crane, the elegant bird beloved of Japanese artists and featured in the logo of Japan Airlines. Protected natural areas are a rarity in Japan, a country with a spotty record of environmental stewardship, but the Kushiro wetlands are spectacular. Even before I had entered the park, I spotted a crane resting languidly in a field. Like Mount Fuji, the red-crowned crane is so perfectly proportioned - all stark, simple lines of black, white and red - that it seems to have emerged from a woodblock print. On a 20-kilometre canoe trip down the Kushiro River, I spotted several other famous residents of the park: eagles, herons and the incomparably cute red-furred Hokkaido fox.

The advantages of seaborne transit revealed themselves further the next day when we cruised through the southern Kuril Islands and along the spectacular Shiretoko Peninsula. The area serves as a reminder of Hokkaido's historical status as a massive pawn in the imperial rivalry between Russia and Japan.

Japanese colonization of Hokkaido began in earnest only in the late 19th century, when the native Ainu people were displaced in the Japanese effort to consolidate territory against Russian expansion in the Far East.

Today, several craggy volcanic islands off the northeast coast of Hokkaido remain disputed between Russia and Japan - and the only practical way to see them is by sea. The remote, 70kilometre-long Shiretoko Peninsula of Hokkaido, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a carefully protected national park, is likewise best explored from the water. It took nearly four hours for the Diamond Princess to make its way along the northern coastline, and although binoculars were necessary to take in all the sights - maritime regulations prevent cruise ships from coming within three kilometres of the shore - the endless waterfalls, volcanic peaks and dramatic caves rewarded the effort.

Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido, is a short train ride from the cruise port of Otaru.

As Japan's fifth-largest city, it offers much of the characteristic Japanese urban experience: huge crowds of people, tall buildings, neon signs and incredible shopping. Like Tokyo and Kyoto, it offers a version of city life almost entirely free of urban squalor. Its huge parks are leafy and clean, and even roadwork is infused with the famous Japanese cuteness: In Sapporo, construction pylons are pink and feature rainbows and the face of Hello Kitty. Sapporo is also home to the famous beer, and is, along with Fukuoka in southern Japan, perhaps one of the most laid-back and friendly of Japanese cities.

The real urban jewel of Hokkaido, though, is Hakodate, the destination of the new Shinkansen line. Located on the southern tip of Hokkaido, Hakodate was one of the first ports opened to Western commerce following the end of Japanese isolationism in the mid-19th century. This history of cultural mixing is still evident in the city's unique architectural fusion of Japanese and Western styles, in its juxtapositions of Buddhist temples and Christian churches, and in culinary fusions, such as the preferred local ice cream flavour, squid ink (despite the inky colour, it tastes pretty much like vanilla). The fascination with the Western world, particularly with the United States, remains palpable in the form of Lucky Pierrot, a popular local chain offering a bizarre, cartoonish take on the American burger joint, and in the fabulously camp statue, along one of the city's main streets, of an anthropomorphic hot dog wearing a stars-andstripes cape and pouring ketchup over its head.

It's hard not to worry that this distinctly Japanese celebration of Western culture will meet its ironic end with the arrival of the bullet train. It's not just the Japanese who are excited about the Shinkansesn; international tourists will flock here when they're finally able to use their Japan Rail passes to visit this mysterious northern island. Yet if history is any guide, Hokkaido - long a place where cultures have come together - can handle it. And Hokkaido has geography on its side. Until the Shinkansen reaches all of the island's furthest extremities, it will best be enjoyed from the slightly distanced vantage point of the sea, where its distinctive sense of isolation is preserved.

The writer travelled as a guest of Princess Cruises. It did not review or approve the story.


Although Princess is an American-run cruise line, its Hokkaido cruises cater mainly to Japanese tourists. Some notable differences from the cruising status quo include:

Japanese toilets: Yes, staterooms on the Hokkaido cruise feature the famously complicated Japanese toilets. They have heated seats; they have four different types of bidet streams, each with adjustable pressure; and they play a little musical ditty to cover the sound of your business.

Japanese food: Japanese delicacies such as kayu, soba and tsukemono are not relegated to special Asian-themed buffets - they are simply the buffet.

Unusual destinations: Cruising past the Kuril Islands or stopping for a day in the Russian port of Korsakov on Sakhalin Island are not likely to appeal to North American tourists - nor are they designed to. Since Japanese ships cannot go near the disputed islands without causing an international incident, foreign-registered cruise ships are one of the only ways Japanese passengers can see them.

They're drawn to Sakhalin by the history of Japan's occupation of the southern part of the island, which the Japanese called Karafuto, in the first half of the 20th century. Far off the beaten track for Western tourists, both destinations are fascinating, exotic, even brag-worthy.

Unusual excursions: The majority of organized shore excursions - most guided only in Japanese - feature demanding scrambles down mountains or kilometres-long kayaking adventures. It's the perfect way to work off those extra soba calories from the lunch buffet. For details visit

Associated Graphic

The red-crowned crane is an elegant sight in Kushiro-shitsugen National Park.


Cruising around Hakkaido, above, offers a spectacular view of the Shiretoko Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a carefully protected national park. In Hakodate, left, the destination of the new Shinkansen train line, Japan's fascination with Western culture can be seen in its American-style diners and bizarre hot dog mascot.


With protected natural areas a rarity in Japan, it is little wonder that the serene parks on Hokkaido are so popular among locals.


Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido that is known for its beer, offers a version of city life almost entirely free of urban squalor, with huge parks that are leafy and clean.


The battle to sell Hyena Road
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R1

If you want to sell a Canadian war movie to Canadians, you might want to go easy on the maple leaf.

At least, that's what executives with the film distribution company Elevation Pictures discovered last spring, as they were testing a handful of different posters for their upcoming Canadians-in-Afghanistan war drama, Hyena Road.

Some of the posters, prepared by the Los Angeles-based movie marketing company Art Machine, echoed one for the blockbuster American Sniper, which featured a U.S. flag billowing prominently in the lower half of the frame. An early test audience for Hyena Road said they liked the film in part because it was about Canadian soldiers. But the focus group brought in to review marketing materials reacted coldly to signs of overt patriotism.

"Waving the Canadian flag - it just wasn't resonating with Canadians in a meaningful way," noted Adrian Love, Elevation's senior vice-president of marketing and acquisitions, in a recent interview.

"They wanted something that was a little more subtle," said Love.

Selling English-language Canadian movies to domestic audiences is always a challenge: Very few ever earn more than a million dollars at the box office.

But Hyena Road is a deeply personal film for its writer-director Paul Gross. He is a former army brat, and the film grew out of goodwill visits that he had made to Afghanistan in the wake of his 2008 First World War epic Passchendaele. So Elevation, a two-year-old Torontobased company that began its life by distributing independent U.S. films such as The Imitation Game and Nightcrawler, and is now making bigger bets with homegrown movies, decided to swing for the fences.

Executives there devised a large-scale, big-budget marketing campaign for Hyena Road that, unusually for a Canadian film, takes several pages out of the Hollywood playbook: multiple trailers and TV spots; screenings with test audiences; months of behind-the-scenes promotional efforts; red carpet galas in cities across the country; and an extensive press tour by the film's stars that sought to ape the U.S. talk show circuit, a key part of building awareness for Hollywood movies that is missing from Canada's TV landscape.

Plans for the marketing began to take shape in early 2014, even before the film's shoot that fall. "We're always thinking, even as we read the script, 'What's the poster going to look like? What's the trailer going to look like?' " said Love. " 'Who are we selling it to?' - which is the core question."

Hyena Road is a serious-minded and sometimes morally ambivalent dive into this country's role in the Afghan conflict.

Gross focuses on three characters: a sniper, played by Rossif Sutherland, not given to ambiguities; an intelligence officer, played by Gross, who recognizes the war will have no clear winner; and a mysterious Afghan freedom fighter.

The film is like war itself: often thunderous, sometimes terrifying, and occasionally depressing as hell.

From its inception, Gross positioned Hyena Road as a film of national importance, something bigger than a mere entertainment. Like Passchendaele, which Gross said he made to help rectify a national amnesia toward Canada's role in the First World War, Hyena Road was intended to help Canadians come to terms with what they ask of their men and women in uniform.

About four years ago, Gross went to lunch with Michael Kennedy, who as the executive vice-president of filmed entertainment and film buying for Cineplex Entertainment, decides what plays on almost 80 per cent of this country's cinema screens. (The company operates 1,652 screens in 162 theatres.)

"I remember he said to me, 'I actually didn't want to make another war movie (after Passchendaele), but after being in Afghanistan, seeing what our troops are doing, I felt really compelled to tell their story,' " Kennedy recalled this week. "I asked him, 'What do you need from me?'" Gross was looking for a commitment that Cineplex would put its full weight behind the film: running trailers months in advance, and - again, unusually for a Canadian release - programming the film on many screens. "We don't normally agree to that, sight unseen," said Kennedy. "But I knew he would not let us down, and I felt strongly this was a story we needed to be involved in."

Kennedy says the film will open on between 100 and 125 Cineplex screens.

At Elevation, executives saw the core audience for the film as over-35-year-olds, the same demographic they expected would turn out for The Imitation Game. Distributors who have a movie in theatres get to attach a trailer for one of their upcoming films. So Elevation contracted the Hollywood-based marketing agency BLT Communications, which had done the trailer for Zero Dark Thirty, to create a so-called teaser trailer for Hyena Road to run in front of The Imitation Game.

But time was tight: Hyena Road was shooting in Jordan last fall, and The Imitation Game was due to open in January. "We needed to tell a story somehow without any footage," said Love, of Elevation. So BLT digitally created some black-and-white visuals that looked like drone footage of the film's tense opening sniper sequence, and Gross took some precious time out from the production to record voiceovers with a couple of actors.

Teaser trailers, which publicize a film's release date sometimes a year in advance, aren't commonly used by Canadian distributors, who must bob and weave to avoid getting knocked out by Hollywood heavyweights. But they help plant in the public's mind the idea that a film is an event, an increasingly important tactic in a crowded marketplace where audiences often need cajoling to bump something up from merely Netflix-worthy to theatrical must-see.

That promotional drumbeat became louder in July, when Elevation booked Gross to appear on Canada AM on the day the film's two-minute trailer debuted in theatres.

In June, Gross had also travelled to Quebec City to press the flesh with theatre managers at ShowCanada, the domestic exhibition industry's annual conference, and give them a 15minute sneak preview of the film.

By then, Elevation had committed itself to a Canadian Thanksgiving weekend release - a relatively quiet period for the U.S. studios, which are usually regrouping after the fall festivals and focused five weeks down the road, on the mammoth U.S.

Thanksgiving weekend.

Still, Elevation had no good way to know whether its efforts were bearing fruit. It can monitor chatter on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

But while there is robust market research in the U.S. that tells the studios how hotly their films are anticipated - allowing them to adjust their marketing expenditure and strategy on the fly - efforts to build a similar system in Canada have never succeeded.

Instead, distributors look at so-called "comps" in hopes of mimicking their success. For Hyena Road, says Love, "we looked at all the U.S. movies about the conflict in the Middle East - Lone Suvivor and Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker - and there's nothing we think is a direct comp to this movie."

Being a Canadian story, Passchendaele might have been a comp, but "it's about World War I, which is a different type of war." And it was out in 2008, when the marketplace was a different beast.

In early summer, Gross screened Hyena Road for Lt. Gen.

Andrew Leslie, the retired Commander of Task Force Kabul, who called the film, "A powerful and visceral look at modern warfare." That quote is now on one of the film's two posters; part of it is in one of two new 30-second TV spots. Love says those spots will get heavy play on news and baseball broadcasts from now until the end of Thanksgiving weekend.

Gross and members of his cast, including Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle) have also been interviewed by many local news shows: After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film travelled to festivals in Halifax, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton, as well as a gala premiere in Winnipeg.

"In the U.S., with The Daily Show shot in New York, and Jimmy Kimmel in L.A., you'll see people travelling back and forth," says Love. Since Canada doesn't have anything similar - after George Stroumboulopoulos decamped to hockey - distributors need to build their own publicity circuit.

"We wanted to make sure that, not just Canada AM, not just the national news, but also the regional news had time with Paul and Allan and Rossif, to really make it feel like an event, and to bring the red carpet experience across the country," said Love, "as opposed to it being, 'Oh, it showed at the Toronto Film Festival and here's the coverage.' " How long will it last? Passchendaele spent months in theatres, earning $4.4-million, becoming the top Canadian film at the box office that year. "Things just happen quicker now than they used to," notes Cineplex's Kennedy.

"The ambition is to play it for a minimum of two weeks. I would certainly hope this movie would play for four to six weeks. Not everywhere, of course, but we'd like to have it around in November. I hope it works."

The talented, if tone-deaf, Mr. Damon
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R1

The door to the hotel conference room swings open, and there's Matt Damon, sitting dead centre in a brown leather wing chair. He's chewing gum and scrolling on his phone. His hair is short and freshly cut, and his biceps bulge from his tight black polo shirt like Popeye's after a hit of spinach. Sitting opposite him is like hanging out with an energy-efficient generator - it's a compact package, but it emits a powerful heat. Not until he grins, however, do you fully appreciate why Damon, 44, is a movie star.

His is a grin for the ages, a cando, all-American, where-youwanna-be smile. It's so engaging, I almost reach for $12.50 to see him do it again.

He needs that grin these days.

Since we met at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, Damon has stuck his foot in his mouth and struggled to pull it out not once, but twice: first when discussing the issue of racial diversity in the film business on his HBO series Project Greenlight; and then in an interview published in The Guardian, where he said actors should keep their sexuality a mystery - which some interpreted as a suggestion that gay actors would be better off going back into the closet. To me, the latter is a twisted rendering of what Damon was trying to say, and the former a far more serious gaffe. (Ellen DeGeneres, the patron saint of Yep I'm Gay, seems to agree; she talked him through a mea culpa on her show.) Taken together, however, Damon's blunders suggest a tone-deafness that he should work on.

Perhaps he's no good at damage control because he hasn't had to do much of it.

Unlike his high-profile pals Brad, George and Ben (that's Pitt, Clooney and Affleck, obviously), Damon has avoided the hot seat, and the paparazzi and public have left him alone. "I don't think there's any defending against it when it's a full-on assault," he said to me, presciently. "To have people staking you out all the time, to be constantly followed by paparazzi, that's horrible. I think I got very lucky that I fell in love with a civilian."

That would be his wife of 10 years, Luciana Barroso, an Argentine whom Damon met in Miami when she was bartending and he was acting in the dreadful Stuck on You (a rare career misstep). A tattoo of her name, Lucy, in curling script, is visible on Damon's right biceps just below his sleeve.

He got it two years ago, after she woke one morning and announced they were getting matching tattoos, "apropos of nothing," he says, with that grin.

A tattoo artist friend came to their house in Los Angeles's posh Pacific Palisades and did it.

("Lucy" was a bonus tattoo.

Damon won't say what the matching one is, only that it's "personal.") Tabloids are sold "based on sex and scandal," he continues, so his narrative - married, with three daughters together and one from Barroso's previous relationship, "happy and kind of quiet" - hasn't been interesting until now. "I also think we got really lucky with the emergence of reality TV," Damon says. "The people on those shows don't have a marketable skill, they just want to be famous. So it's a match made in heaven. I'm grateful that whole cottage industry came out of nowhere, because it took a lot of the pressure off of us."

Maybe that's his trouble: Damon clearly wants to have honest, unprocessed conversations. But a long time has passed, and a lot of privilege has come his way, since he grew up with a single mother in a six-family home in Cambridge, Mass. Perhaps he's taking his popularity for granted. Not many actors can make us root for killers (Tom Ripley, Jason Bourne) and thieves (the Ocean's Eleven franchise) the way he can. And no one else has headlined two movies where large groups of people risk their lives to bring him home: first Saving Private Ryan, and now The Martian, the guaranteed-blockbuster-space-drama opening Friday. You have to be pretty affable to pull that off.

The Martian is Saving Private Ryan crossed with Cast Away (with potatoes subbing in for Wilson), and until this week, it seemed guaranteed to cement Damon's status as the new Tom Hanks, Hollywood's most likeable guy. In the film, his botanist/astronaut character is stranded on Mars. While his crew, NASA and the whole damn world fight for him, he ... makes a video blog. This allows Damon to charm the camera - that is, us - and to remain capable and upbeat no matter what flies his way. Again, it's hard to think of another actor who could so credibly not go insane.

"Movies like Touching the Void do a really good job of exploring existential desperation and dread," Damon says. "This one isn't that. It's optimistic and hopeful."

Which brings me to why I think Damon will survive his current bout of self-inflicted tsuris: He really is likeable. He's a master at sending himself up, whether it's in the Sarah Silverman video I'm F*cking Matt Damon, or playing a dark-side version of himself on Don Cheadle's spin-doctor series House of Lies. "Don and I were having dinner, and we got in our cups in the kitchen," Damon recalls. "We started joking about how far we could push the issues of celebrity and racism and philanthropy to create the most wretched, vile human being."

Damon's own charity,, is a good idea (who could object to giving people clean water?), and he speaks candidly about what he calls "the paternalism of Western aid."

"You have to focus on things that are sustainable and scalable," he says. "We've made mistakes like everybody. But with our microfinance model, we've reached over three million people. That's way more than we would have reached just digging wells."

And though he hasn't articulated it well of late, Damon does seem to realize how lucky he is.

"I felt much better turning 40 than I did turning 30," he says.

"At 30, I was optimistic, but my life was completely dominated by my career. From Good Will Hunting [which won him a bestscreenplay Oscar] until Lucy and I got married, I was going job to job, living out of a duffel bag. I hadn't met the woman I was going to marry, I didn't know if I would have kids, or what my life would be like. Those bigger questions have been answered now. I feel like I'm in the gear I'm supposed to be in, and I just want to keep it going."

Family life is "a deepening of everything, an expansion of emotion that's immediate and profound," he goes on. "Twenty years ago I'd have to tie myself in knots to get to a place emotionally. There would be a whole long preparation. Everything's more available to me now. The emotions are much closer to the surface. The well is a lot deeper."

The most moving moment in The Martian happened when Damon tapped that well accidentally. Director Ridley Scott and Damon had chosen a place for his character, Mark, to crack, but when they got to the scene, it didn't feel right. "We asked ourselves, 'Are we ducking it?' " Damon says. "But we didn't push it."

During a later scene, though, when the hero hears his crew on a headset, Damon choked up so suddenly he could hardly speak.

"They were being the opposite of emotional," Damon says. "They were going down a checklist. But it hit me that I hadn't heard another voice for years, and I just broke down. I wasn't expecting to. Twenty years ago, it never would have happened. I would have been trying to control everything too much." Now it's Damon's favourite moment in the film. "Because it's completely honest," he says. "There was no manipulation. It's something that's real. Sometimes it comes to you that way."

Sometimes it gets you into trouble, too. Despite his history of best intentions, Damon's currently in a bad PR patch. He has no choice but to ride it out, and try to fix it. "I decided a long time ago that trying to micromanage some image of myself was an utter waste of time, and a real waste of energy," he said to me, precontroversy. "And would make me sad, probably." He laughed at that. I suspect he's laughing less now.

Associated Graphic

Matt Damon, star of The Martian, has found himself in hot water for controversial comments twice in recent weeks. Perhaps the reason he's no good at damage control is because he hasn't had to do much of it.


It was one of the Middle East's best-preserved remnants of the ancient world - until Syria's civil war made it a battleground, and then the Islamic State decided to blow it up. James Adams explains how the militant organization's war on the past is different and why it matters to us today
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A8

In late May of this year, shortly after Islamic State forces gained control of the Syrian city of Tadmur and the adjacent ruins of ancient Palmyra, the local commander seemed to shine a sliver of light from the dark cloud that is IS.

Palmyra would be "preserved" by its conqueror as part of its great caliphate, he told an anti-Bashar al-Assad-regime radio station. Registered since 1980 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the oasis city some call the Venice of the Sands, famed for its gardens, 20 varieties of date palms and monumental white limestone buildings, has been one of the best-maintained complexes from antiquity. Said the commander: "The historic city," former capital of legendary rebel warrior queen Zenobia (240275), "will not be harmed, God willing."

Yes, the Islamic State would "break the idols that the infidels used to worship." But, he said, "the historic buildings," erected 250 kilometres northeast of Damascus between the first and third centuries, "will not be touched and we will not bring bulldozers to destroy them like some people think."

Admittedly, the world did not so much issue a sigh of relief as inhale deeply, then wait to exhale.

After all, in its tear through the Near East, IS had earlier shown no hesitation in breaking out the sledgehammers, knives and explosives to damage or destroy ancient shrines, statues and manuscripts in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Similar havoc has been wreaked on such ancient locales as Nimrud, Samarra and Hatra.

The commander's promise has since been shown to be a lie. In late August, Syrian antiquities director-general Maamoun Abdulkarim announced that the jihadis of IS, which is also known as ISIL, had destroyed three tower tombs in Palmyra dating back to the first and third centuries. This was the latest in a series of seemingly systematic, ongoing eradication of pre-Islamic structures undertaken by IS since mid-August.

In early September, the United Nations confirmed that IS had blown up the Mesopotamian Temple of Bel, described by Ross Burns, an ancient-history professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, as "the most significant building in Syria from the Roman period [roughly 63 BC to 500 AD]."

Shortly before that, IS also destroyed the smaller Phoenician Temple of Baal Shamin, Palmyra's second-most important religious shrine.

Add the demolition in June of two centuries-old tombs (one the resting place of a Sufi scholar, the other of a Shiite related to the Prophet Mohammed's cousin), and the torture and beheading in August of 82-year-old Khaled al-Asaad, former director of the archeological site at Palmyra, and you have an unprecedented level of wanton destruction and calculated callousness, according to a Royal Ontario Museum scholar.

Clemens Reichel, the Toronto-based ROM's associate curator of ancient Near East culture, said IS's savagery is analogous more to what he calls the thoroughgoing "Stone Age communism" of the Khmer Rouge's rule in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 than to the actions of previous Muslim conquerors.

"There have been periods before of iconoclasm and massive destruction," Dr. Reichel said in a recent interview. Byzantine Christianity was riven by such despoliation in the eighth and ninth centuries. By contrast, "Muslim conquests [of Christian lands and communities] normally did not result in the destruction, say, of a church.

"Sometimes, they were turned into mosques," added Dr. Reichel, who has made many visits to Syria and done excavations there, the last in 2010.

The paintings and mosaics in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia basilica, for example, "were not destroyed by the Ottomans, just painted over.

"What [the Islamic State] does now, it's a little hard to find a good parallel for that." Yes, the Taliban destroyed the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001, but "they didn't go after Islamic shrines and sanctuaries. [The Islamic State] is an extreme," Dr. Reichel said. "Like the way the Khmer Rouge stood for this primitivism that knows no individualism and no identity."

For Kristin Romey, an archeologist and editor with National Geographic, the mayhem of the Islamic State is less about theocratic nihilism than a demonstration of Muslim "piety." Archeology, to this mindset, is a "foreign import," she has written, fostering nationalism and materialism rather than the creation of the Muslim utopia of the caliphate.

Before the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Palmyra had been a point of pride for all Syrians, its oasis setting and well-preserved architectural mix of ancient Semitic, Roman, Greek and Persian motifs luring more than 150,000 tourists a year.

However, for IS, this pride and attention are idolatrous, a distraction from the asceticism required to build the self-styled caliphate.

Meanwhile, Dr. Reichel clearly and understandably bemoans the destruction of Palmyra - but with some caveats. He thinks, from a scientific viewpoint, that "the lootings from museums and archeological sites that [IS] is doing ... are probably the worst damage that is happening." Worst, that is, relative to the destruction.

That looting is believed to be systematic, coldblooded and enabled by greed on a global scale, prompting the United States to announce this week a $5-million (U.S.) reward for information leading to significant "disruption" of the IS trade in antiquites. "What ISIL has not destroyed, it has looted and sold through a highly methodical, highly efficient excavation operation to finance its twisted ambitions," deputy U.S. secretary of state Antony J. Blinken told art experts. "These ancient coins, stone, glass and mosaic fragments travel organized routes through black markets in the Middle East, Europe and the Persian Gulf. The profits return to line the pockets of these extremists - funding more savagery, more terror and more devastation."

To "lose" the Palmyra the world has come to know would be "really terrible," Dr. Reichel said.

"But the one thing is: Palmyra has been studied for decades." While much remains to be excavated, what has been uncovered has been much walked over, measured, photographed, videotaped, drawn, painted, catalogued, written about and contextualized.

At this, he wondered aloud, if perhaps the temple could be reconstructed with the aid of 3-D digital technology. It is not an entirely fanciful notion: Just last week, the Institute for Digital Archaeology, a joint venture of Harvard and Oxford universities, announced it was launching a project to distribute 10,000 inexpensive 3-D cameras across the Middle East between now and the end of 2016. The plan, according to a BBC report, is to get people to capture historical sites in pictures, print out the results and later, when the Islamic State collapses, "reassemble the sites if they're ever destroyed."

Of course, no one hopes that the replacement scenario will have to be realized.

"Heritage, like human life, is irreplaceable," Dr. Reichel observed. "If you blow up the Temple of Bel, it's not going to grow back in 100 years, just as if you wipe out a human being, he or she is never going to grow back. This is not like gold from the state bank that can be replaced over a number of years. It's gone; it's a unique piece that disappears and, more to the point, it's part of the very cultural heritage of the humans living there."

In the meantime, beyond these concerns about restoration and preservation, is there any hope that perpetrators of destruction on cultural sites will face justice some day? There was some encouraging news on this front late last week with the deportation from Niger to the International Criminal Court of Justice in The Hague of Mali-born Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi.

Mr. al-Faqi, a member of the militant Islamist group Ansar Eddine, is to stand trial for "the war crime of the intentional destruction of historic monuments and buildings in Timbuktu" in 2012.

This is the first case of this kind to be brought before the ICC.

Associated Graphic

The ceiling in the Temple of Bel, top, shown some time between 1920 and 1933, and the inner part of the Temple of Bel's 'cella,' bottom, shown some time between 1898 and 1946. In September, the United Nations confirmed the Islamic State had blown up the temple, described as 'the most significant building in Syria from the Roman period.'


The Temple of Bel, top and bottom, is shown before and after its demolition in images captured by the lenses of a Canadian satellite company, UrtheCast. The satellite images of the Temple of Bel and the Baal Shamin Temple in Palmyra, Syria, were posted on the website of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and confirmed by its satellite observation arm, the Operational Satellite Applications Programme.


At top, people walk past the ruins of Palmyra some time between 1925 and 1946. Before the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Palmyra drew more than 150,000 tourists a year to view such architectural antiquities as the Temple of Bel, seen below.


From compassion to cute guys: The reasons people get involved
How do people become involved with charities? Sometimes it's listening to a great guest speaker and sometimes it's seeing a cute boy on the front page of a newspaper. Writer Renee Sylvestre-Williams talked to alumni of Me to We and Free The Children to find out what got them involved in the organizations, how it changed their lives and what they're doing now
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page E6

Dean Delia, Melbourne, Australia

How did you get involved with the organization and what did you do?

I was a teacher who left for the not-for-profit sector to focus on youth leadership and self development. I moved to Canada in 2007 but with no real local professional networks and an interest in a very niche education segment. So I posted a cheesy video résumé on YouTube and would e-mail it along with my application for jobs, hoping that my accent would help get my foot in the door.

Me to We was the perfect fit. The culture, mission and approach to social change closely connected with my own beliefs, values and goals, so I applied for a youth facilitator role. I was offered a management role within Me to We leadership and went on to help develop programs, training and business development. I was heavily involved in the development of Me to We trip training and programming and was a team leader for several We Day events.

What did you learn from being involved in Free The Children and We Day that has served you well?

The biggest thing that still resonates with me, which was so obvious within the Free The Children and Me to We culture, is the importance of connection to mission. Being of complete service to others and having fun while doing it, that's the key to a fulfilled life-work relationship.

Bridget Arsenault, London

How did you get involved with the organization and what did you do?

I got involved when I was in the eighth grade through an incredible teacher, Ms. [Laura] Brock, at the Halifax Grammar School. I was a youth member from age 12 and led a successful Free The Children chapter at my school until I graduated and I continued to support the organization at university and worked as a youth co-ordinator in the Toronto office the summer of 2004, 2005 and 2006. As a youth member we raised money and built a school in Nicaragua; I organized and hosted a global awareness conference, which was attended by high-school students all over the province; and we supported developing countries with school and health kits.

What did you learn from being involved in Free The Children

Mostly that I could do anything if I just asked and I tried. I learned to put myself out there. I pushed myself to be comfortable public speaking and in front of large groups - at 12, I began speaking at our school assemblies, updating my classmates and teachers on our chapter's progress.

Jessi Cruickshank, former MTV host, Canadian media personality, host of Canada's Smartest Person and one of the first Canadian ambassadors for Free The Children .

How did you get involved with Free The Children?

I was 13 years old and sitting at my kitchen table. My parents had the newspaper sitting on the table in the morning and I was never interested in anything except the comics or the entertainment section. One morning I saw a very cute boy on the cover of the paper.

So I slid the paper over to see if he was a new pop star or a new Macaulay Culkin and I started reading the article and it turned out it was this boy my age who held a press conference to draw attention to the international crisis of child labour. Of course it was Craig Kielburger. It was that moment at my kitchen table for the first time I realized that as a 12-year-old kid I could be on the cover of a newspaper for doing something like that. I had the power to change the world, so in Grade 7 I started a little chapter at my school.

What did you learn from being involved in Free The Children?

There are so many things you take away from it. When I have been in the communities [Ms. Cruickshank filmed a documentary with Free The Children and MTV about living with a Masai community], I really realized that ultimately happiness is not about what you have in your life but what you have to give. That really resonated with me. It's easy to get caught up in all the wrong values, and my work with Free The Children has never ceased to ground me in what's important.

Kyle Shuster, Ottawa, a student of philosophy and Spanish who is involved in Carleton University's Free The Children association

How did you get involved in Free The Children?

I was 15 years old when I got involved and was 16 when I went on a Me to We trip to Ecuador.

The summer before I went on that trip, my parents decided not to do our typical vacation.

Instead to we went to Alberta and volunteered at a First Nations reserve. I became intrigued about volunteering and wanted to explore that. A couple Me to We speakers came to our school and I was super-intrigued by what they said, so I went home and researched it. Within a week I was signed up for my first trip.

What did you do?

We volunteered in two different communities there [Ecuador]. We did leadership and cultural activities. We were laying the foundations for an elementary school. That involved laying rebar and digging dirt. In the second community we painted.

Aislinn Paul, Toronto, actor best known for her role as Clare Edwards on Degrassi: The Next Generation

How did you get involved in Free The Children?

I got involved with Free The Children through Degrassi. A week after I joined the show, talk of a Me to We trip came up. [The cast] had done one the season before I joined the show and they were very excited about it. They asked if I wanted to join. It made me nervous but I still decided to go.

What did you learn from being involved in Free The Children?

I felt that I didn't have much to offer, but that's what Free The Children teaches. When you join them they show you that you're capable of making a difference no matter your age or size. That was the lesson I took back from my first trip to Ecuador.

Deepa Prashad, Toronto, a student of radio and televison arts at Ryerson University who is involved in Ryerson's Free The Children association

How did you get involved in Free The Children?

I was only 12 when I first started. I didn't really know about the organization until I started junior high. We had a speaker from Free The Children come into our school and they did a presentation. They talked about Craig Kielburger, who was only 12 when he founded [Free The Children]. I didn't know about any of these issues outside of my own little world. I started volunteering with them through my school's Me to We team.

What did you learn from being involved in Free The Children?

When I heard about the organization and Craig's story of how he started at such a young age and never let his passion die, that was my aha moment. Because before then, I didn't know what I could do, and he's been an inspiration to me for my entire life.

Sara Cousineau, a student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., who runs the Free The Children group at her school. She has been on a trip to Kenya and is finishing her degree in global studies

How did you get involved in Free The Children?

I was in Grade 10. I'm from Muskoka [region in Ontario] and there was nothing there to really combat the issues of bullying, and I really wanted make a difference somehow. I went to one of my teachers and told her. A bunch of students and I sat down and created a group called Heroes in the Hallway. Free The Children came to us and invited us to We Day. I went and it changed my life. I sat there with 20,000 people and I realized I could make a difference in the world.

What did you learn from being involved in Free The Children?

It was the fact that I never thought I could change the world. I didn't think it could be me who could do these things. I was listening to Craig [Kielburger] and felt like suddenly it wasn't just idealistic for me to want to change the world.

Associated Graphic

Seeing Craig Kielburger in a newspaper caught the eye of TV host Jessi Cruickshank, right, as a 13-year-old and gave her the belief she could change the world.


Toronto university student Deepa Prashad discovered 'issues outside of my own little world' after hearing a Free The Children speaker as a 12-year-old.

Ottawa student Kyle Shuster signed on for volunteer trips early.

In Canada, a musical movement emerges
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R5

Ten years after The Drowsy Chaperone took Broadway by storm, is Canada finally waking up to the full potential of its homegrown musicals?

It certainly seems as though the county's musical-theatre scene is at the tipping point - or, perhaps, the toe-tapping point. Not to look abroad for approval or anything, but ... this fall, two Canadian musicals are in the same position as Drowsy was a decade ago - about to open at major American regional theatres with big-name Broadway producers attached ready to rush them off to New York.

Next week, Ride the Cyclone - Victoria-based playwright Jacob Richmond and composer Brooke Maxwell's quirky musical about six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir who die in a rollercoaster accident - premieres in a new production at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Kevin McCollum, the Tony-winning producer behind Avenue Q and, yes, The Drowsy Chaperone, is on board as commercial producer.

Then next month, Come From Away - a new musical from Toronto's Irene Sankoff and David Hein about what happened when 38 flights were diverted to Gander, Nfld., on Sept. 11, 2001 - opens at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. It's backed by Junkyard Dog, the producers behind Memphis, the 2010 Tony Award winner for best musical.

The most exciting news, however, may be this: Ride the Cyclone and Come From Away are only the most prominent parts of a real musical movement that is emerging in Canada. Look around the country this theatre season and you see activity from coast to coast.

"It's a huge moment that's building," Hein says. The question, however, is: Will Canada's established theatre companies dare to capitalize on that moment?

Why Canadians can't write musicals It didn't look like this 10 years ago. Despite The Drowsy Chaperone winning Tony Awards for all four of its creators in 2006, its success was still seen as a bit of a fluke. The long-standing perception is that the musical is an American art form that Canadians didn't have the aptitude, or the attitude, and certainly not the resources to master - at least on the large-scale level.

An early surge of activity in the 1970s and 80s had crashed up against indifferent audiences, poor not-for-profit institutions and the arrival of imported megamusicals such as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables to fill commercial producers' pockets. Indeed, in 2010, Jim Betts - a veteran composer/lyricist from that first wave of homegrown musicals - gave a speech spelling out what was wrong, titled Why Canadians Can't Write Musicals.

"The truth is that, on the whole, the Canadian musical theatre is unprofessional - its writers, its directors and its producers," he said at a conference at Brock University. "Where does an aspiring young Canadian musical theatre writer go to learn the craft? There is nowhere to go."

Since Betts delivered his cri de coeur, however, there has been a concerted effort to alter the situation. Indeed, there has been a major new initiative born almost every year.

2010: Acting Up Stage Company, a musical theatre company in Toronto, started NoteWorthy, a two-week paid residency that plays matchmaker between composers and playwrights - and then began commissioning new musicals for the first time. (Seven to date.)

2011: Katrina Dunn at Vancouver's Touchstone Theatre launched a biennial event called In Tune in collaboration with the Arts Club Theatre. The latest edition paid for week-long development sessions for four new musicals - three of which are getting full productions this season in Vancouver.

2012: The Stage West Pechet Family Musical Award was established through the Playwrights Guild of Canada - a $5,000 award to the best unproduced musical in the country. (Come From Away was an early winner.)

2013: The Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective (CMTWC) was established by two composers - Vancouver's Landon Braverman and Toronto's Joseph Trefler - who met at New York University's graduate musical theatre writing program. The advocacy group's most public initiative has been a series of successful Blame Canada! showcases held in Vancouver, Toronto, New York and London.

2014: Adam Brazier - a wellknown and well-connected musical theatre actor - took over as the artistic director of the Charlottetown Festival with a plan to reinvigorate its new musical development.

And finally, today: With the CMTWC, Toronto theatre company Theatre 20 launched the Composium program - modelled after the long-running BMI Engel Lehman Musical Theatre Workshop in New York that has trained generations of Broadway creators.

Composer/lyricist Leslie Arden, who studied with the late Lehman when he ran a master class in Toronto, is currently teaching its first batch of students.

The Canadian musical theatre project

What has been happening at Sheridan College in Oakville, just outside Toronto, is the most important new initiative, however.

Four years ago, Sheridan changed its music theatre performance program from a threeyear diploma to a four-year bachelor's degree - and new associate dean Michael Rubinoff took the opportunity to launch what is known as the Canadian Music Theatre Project. The CMTP pays composers, lyricists and book writers to spend four weeks at Sheridan developing a musical with fourth-year students. At the end, participants get a public 45minute books-and-stand reading and a demo recording - tools too expensive for most Canadian theatre companies to offer.

Come From Away was the first show developed through the project in 2011. Hein and Sankoff went down to New York to the National Alliance of Musical Theatre festival in 2013 - Broadway's premiere industry showcase - and the response was immediate. "It was really quite a surreal experience - we spent a couple of months going through the theatres that were interested, the multiple commercial producers that were interested," says Sankoff, who previously created the hit Fringe musical My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding with Hein, her husband.

And Come From Away wasn't just beginner's luck for Sheridan's CMTP. Of the 12 shows that have been workshopped through the program to date, the majority have gone on to, or are going on to, professional production. The in-demand expat composer and lyricist Neil Bartram and book writer Brian Hill found the program so useful in developing their show The Theory of Relativity that they are back in Oakville again this term working on a new show called Senza Luce.

Indeed, 13 years after leaving the country to pursue successful musical-theatre careers in the United States, Bartram and Hill are finding themselves in Canada more and more. This season, their adaptation of Belles Soeurs gets a second production at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Then, next year, You Are Here will premiere at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, Ont.

"It's changed in the last two years," Bartram says. Hill adds, "The happy thing is that we're spending as much time in the States as in Canada right now."

A return to Canada - and an opportunity not to leave If new programs at Sheridan College, Acting Up and Theatre 20 have made Toronto Canada's hub for development of new musicals, Vancouver is outpacing the city in terms of new musical production.

At this very moment, there are four new tuners on stage - including The Best Laid Plans, based on Terry Fallis's satirical novel of the same name. "There's a real renaissance happening in this genre right now," says In Tune's Dunn, who is producing The Best Laid Plans with Patrick Street Productions.

Musical theatre is, of course, many times more expensive to develop and produce than drama.

But Dunn says the payoff is worth it. "Best Laid Plans, despite a few sucky reviews, is on track to be Touchstone's bestselling show in history," she says.

The fact is that American musicals are a big, but rarely acknowledged, subsidizer of Canadian theatre. Most of our big regional and repertory theatres produce them to generate box office to sustain other work. Dunn's dream is that the current movement will result in Canadian-created musicals that can be that economic driver.

And, in a way, it's beginning to happen. As part of its 50th season, the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton is producing two Canadian musicals: Evangeline, Ted Dykstra's epic show about the expulsion of the Acadians; and Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen.

"We'd like to call upon and challenge Canadian artistic directors and independent producers to look into the work, to commit a slot in your season, a slot in your development," Landon Braverman, from CMTWC, tells me over the phone from New York. "The quality is there."

And if Canadian theatre companies aren't noticing, Ride the Cyclone and Come From Away show that commercial American producers are.

Associated Graphic

Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell's quirky musical Ride the Cyclone premieres in Chicago next week.


System shortages put kids who need complex care at risk
As the province struggles to comprehend the circumstances that led to the deaths of Alex Gervais and Alex Malamalatabua, two teens in government care, a common link emerges that points to a long-known gap in services, Justine Hunter reports
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1

VICTORIA -- On March 17, a troubled teen walked away from his North Vancouver home and disappeared into the woods where he usually found solace.

Two and a half days later, searchers with North Shore Rescue located 16-year-old Alex Malamalatabua in a dense, wet forest. The distraught youth was airlifted out and delivered to hospital. Nearly five months after that, while hospital staff and social workers debated plans to move him back into the community, Alex slipped away from the secure psychiatric unit. His body was found more than three days later. Cause of death has not been determined.

Premier Christy Clark's government has been on the defensive over the recent death of another teen in government care, Alex Gervais, who was left on his own in a budget hotel after being bounced through 16 other temporary group and foster homes. By contrast, Mr. Malamalatabua received wraparound care during his stay in hospital. But there is a link: Both boys had a long history of ministry involvement, yet they did not have access to the complex care they needed in the community.

This gap in services is well-chronicled. In dozens of cases involving critical injuries and deaths of children in care, it is a consistent theme. The province has made some changes, hiring more social workers and adding some beds, but these two recent deaths underscore that vulnerable children and youth are still falling through the cracks. Mr. Malamalatabua was waiting, after 19 weeks in hospital, for someone to come up with a plan where he could safely return to the community.

Long before Mr. Malamalatabua was checked into the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency Unit at BC Children's Hospital in March, his mother knew he needed more support than she could provide as a single, working mother with a second son to care for. He had already been hospitalized earlier in the year because of depression, but was released back to his mother's care without a support plan. Two weeks later, he ran away into the forest. She knew something had to change after he was plucked off the mountainside. She made the difficult decision to sign a voluntary agreement with the Ministry of Children and Family Development, entrusting her son's care to the government. Although she visited him in hospital and took him on outings, the ministry was responsible for coming up with an appropriate placement once he was stabilized. The adolescent psychiatric unit is not designed as a longterm care facility - the average stay is just one month. Mr. Malamalatabua's 17th birthday passed.

His social worker told him he had found him a group home and promised to take him to see it. But the offer was pulled - it appears the medical team at the hospital did not agree with the proposed transition plan - and no alternative was proposed.

"He had been there longer than he should have been. But there was a long-term history, we had chronic issues, he needed individual care," Ms. Malamalatabua said. She does not fault the hospital, nor his social worker.

But she struggles with the fact that, until he was in crisis, support was hard to find. He refused to go to school, and she was unable to force him. "Had there been intervention, to help him at the front end, maybe we wouldn't have got to the point were he needed critical care."

Once in BC Children's, Alex started getting better. The medical team there began working with the ministry to find a home-like placement where he would get the one-on-one support he needed. Alex was keen to move out of the hospital.

"He was happiest in the forest among the strong, silent trees, or when he was being buffeted by the wind, feeling it on his face," recalled his aunt Elizabeth in her eulogy. She described a resourceful, passionate boy who excelled in math and loved to play Scrabble. Even in hospital, he made others laugh. "He was a gentle soul," she recalled. "He gladly spent time helping others, regardless of his own suffering."

On the night of July 31, a Friday, Alex negotiated a half-hour, unescorted pass to go for a walk.

Police were called in to search when he didn't return, but Alex could not be found.

On the morning of Aug. 4, a crane operator returned to work after the long weekend at a construction project on the hospital grounds. It was from his perch atop the crane that he spotted Alex's body on the ground, hidden from the sight of searchers at ground level.

Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development, said she doesn't know what the gap in services looks like today - her ministry's top officials are conducting a review of the mental-health services available and she expects to bring forward a plan to cabinet next June.

The plan may require more resources, she said, but she first wants to decide whether existing dollars are being spent in the most effective way.

"With anything in this ministry, there is always the argument that we could do more with more," she said. "But the other reality is, we have a broad spectrum of services across the ministry: Are they in the right place right now and are they talking to each other as well as they should, is the first thing to address."

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the Representative for Children and Youth, says she will wait for the hospital to complete its internal review of Alex Malamalatabua's case before deciding whether she will launch a full investigation.

But she said it is a deeply troubling case where it appears the ministry failed Alex and his family.

"He basically was living at the hospital - it appears to me he was in a holding pattern because there was nowhere to send him," Ms. Turpel-Lafond said in an interview. What Alex needed was a transition - a step down - to a supportive level of care in the community, but those kinds of beds are in high demand.

Although the hospital staff and ministry officials are bound by privacy laws that prevent them from speaking to the specifics of Alex's case, Ms. Turpel-Lafond as an independent watchdog has the power to look into such cases. She has published several reports on other instances where the lack of complex-care resources for youth have led to tragedy.

"We need a better care system.

We have completely de-funded therapeutic foster care," she said.

Jana Davidson is the medical chief of the child and adolescent mental-health and addiction programs at BC Children's Hospital.

She said the internal review will take a hard look at the factors around Alex's death - but she can't comment on those circumstances until the review is complete.

But in general, Dr. Davidson said clinical staff are working on a transition plan almost the moment a young patient comes into care. "We don't want to have any young person in hospital longer than they need to be," she said. Those plans, though, can take time and require coordination with multiple agencies. "There are times when discharge take a little bit longer to get to where there is a suitable placement."

The B.C. government acknowledged a shortage in services for youth with complex needs two years ago, in response to one of Ms. Turpel-Lafond's critical reports. The province responded by opening six new beds at the Maples Complex Care Unit in August of 2014.

Ms. Malamalatabua agreed to be interviewed after consulting with her other son, Nick. She hopes that talking about Alex's story will help other parents who are also struggling with access to mental-health services.

"Nobody can do this by themselves," she said.


For kids in a mental-health crisis, here are some resources, as provided by the Provincial Health Services Authority:

Kids Help Phone (for immediate support and information, as well as referrals to local services): 1-800-668-6868

Youth in BC Distress Line (24hour distress line committed to helping youths in crisis): 604-872-3311

For online resources: (Dealing with Depression) or 1-800-668-6868

Associated Graphic

Alex Malamalatabua died on the grounds of the BC Children's Hospital, above, after his move to community care was delayed.


Alex Gervais, who died in September, is seen in a Facebook photo.

Alex Malamalatabua was found dead at BC Children's Hospital.


The ups and downs of Concordia's wild September
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B1


A Canadian pharmaceuticals company on a winning streak. A "transformative" acquisition. Two of North America's most powerful investment banks in its corner. What could possibly go wrong? In the space of three weeks, it turns out, quite a lot.

This week, as the U.S. Congress vowed to crack down on "price gouging" in the pharmaceutical industry, the world watched former shooting stars - such as Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. - lose billions of dollars in market value in a handful of trading sessions.

But it would be at the much smaller Concordia Healthcare Corp. - a.k.a. "Baby Valeant" - where a larger drama would play out. Shares in the Oakville, Ont.based company ended the week more than 50 per cent below a record reached just 24 days earlier.

On the morning of Sept. 8, Concordia was riding high. The specialty pharma company, known for its Valeant-like savvy deal making, announced it was buying Amdipharm Mercury Ltd. (AMCo) for $2.1-billion (U.S.).

The reception was positive.

After all, this was exactly what investors had been waiting for. By purchasing the Britainbased firm, Concordia's sales and profits would surge. Shares rose in early morning trading on the Nasdaq - to an all-time high of $89.10.

But minutes into the session, the stock started falling. By the end of the day, they had plunged 11 per cent. The devil was in the details: The price tag was hefty, the $1.4-billion in debt Concordia was taking on was substantial, and a big part of the financing was contingent on an equity increase of at least half a billion dollars. Plus, it was unclear whether the Canadian market could absorb millions of new Concordia shares.

But the company had a plan.

"We are doing a U.S. institutional raise," Mark Thompson, Concordia's chief executive officer, said in an e-mail the day after the AMCo deal was announced. "Goldman is leading."

In theory, it was a great idea.

RBC Dominion Securities Inc., one of Concordia's go-to investment banks, had an extensive distribution network in the United States and was on board to sell its stock. More crucially, the company had an "in" with Goldman Sachs & Co. If anyone was going to be able to sell its shares on Wall Street, it was Goldman.

But the move wasn't without risk. Unlike a traditional Canadian "bought deal," in which a syndicate of brokers agrees to buy a block of stock and is responsible for reselling it to third parties - often within 24 hours - a fully marketed U.S. stock offering could take weeks. New American investors would need to be educated on the company's story and convinced to buy in.

In the days after the AMCo deal was announced, when investors realized there was no clear timeline for the equity issue, an "overhang" fell over the company. Over the next two weeks, shares in Concordia drifted downward. By Sept. 18, the stock had fallen to $72.23 - down 19 per cent from its peak just 10 days prior.

"It's kind of like 'well hurry up and do the deal,' because the faster you do it, the faster you clear the overhang," explained Bruce Campbell, president of Campbell Lee & Ross Investment Management Inc., a shareholder in the company.

Like a climber on Everest looking to make a final push to the summit, Concordia needed clear skies before it could make its move. On the morning of Sept. 21 - two weeks after the AMCo acquisition was announced - it was time. Concordia launched a public offering of eight million shares.

Multiple sources close to the deal told The Globe and Mail that early demand from U.S. investors was high. Just hours into the sale, the "book" was filling up fast, and it was clear not everyone who put in an order would get stock. But the brokers' job was about to get more difficult.

The same morning, a New York Times article with the headline "Once a neglected treatment, now an expensive specialty drug" appeared on the front cover of the business section. The piece focused on Turing Pharmaceuticals, a U.S. company that had raised the price of a 62-year-old, off-patent drug by more than 5,000 per cent. It went viral, generating almost instantaneous outrage.

"Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous," tweeted Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. "Tomorrow I'll lay out a plan to take it on."

Over the next few days, shares in pharma companies with exposure to the U.S. market started selling off.

"Concordia's business before [the AMCo acquisition] was 100 per cent U.S. and 100 per cent driven by price increases," said Neil Maruoka, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity Corp.

The company had made its big Everest push, but it was now caught in a stock market storm.

"I've never seen [anything like this]. I mean the whole group.

Unbelievable. And Concordia's doing a financing in the middle of it," Mr. Campbell said.

During the final sales push for the public offering, sentiment had dramatically shifted. Buyers that had committed to taking the shares 24 hours earlier were realizing the entire industry was potentially coming under threat.

Still, on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 24, Concordia announced it had raised $520million at $65 a share.

While the deal was done, Concordia had garnered a much lower price than it might have envisaged a few weeks prior.

"I don't think anybody feels good about the timing of the equity issue," said Jason Donville, CEO of hedge fund company Donville Kent Asset Management Inc., whose Donville Kent Capital Ideas fund has an 8-percent weighting in Concordia.

But with the stock closing at $66.50 on Thursday, it was still a satisfactory outcome for all involved. Concordia had raised the money, and those big shot U.S. investors had received a discount - albeit a small one. What nobody was prepared for was what would happen next.

The worst of the selling was yet to come - and it wasn't just big institutional investors who were about to get burned.

George McAllister, a 73-yearold retired emergency room doctor and a onetime commodity broker, had been following Concordia's share sale all week.

Heading into the Friday trading session he bought in.

"I waited until about 2 [p.m.].

And I thought this thing looks awful. There's something really wrong here. Do I get out there, down a few dollars, or do I wait and see if they close higher?" He didn't get out "until two minutes to 4." But by that point the damage was done. The stock had sunk 14 per cent.

It could have been worse.

On Monday, Sept. 28, Democratic politicians threatened Valeant with a subpoena that could force it to give up documents detailing recent price increases in some of its U.S. drugs.

Concordia got caught in the downdraft, losing a staggering 25 per cent of its value.

The next day, margin-call selling from a number of Bay Street brokerages put further pressure on shares.

"There were a couple of retail houses that had large margin calls. A whole bunch of clients that were underwater on the name. And they just had to sell," Mr. Donville said. Concordia shares plummeted another 16 per cent.

By this point, U.S. institutional investors - the so-called "smart money"- who had bought in the stock sale had lost nearly half of their investment, and the offering hadn't yet closed. It was akin to buying a house and seeing it lose half its value, before even taking possession.

Investors caught with their pants down seemingly had no way out.

"There is no market out for the equity deal. There are no conditions to be met for closing of the transaction," Concordia's Mr. Thompson said two days before the closing.

As long as the decline in the stock was caused by wider market forces, then nobody could ask for their money back. On Wednesday morning, Concordia closed the sale.

Concordia was a beneficiary - and a victim - of timing.

Had the Amdipharm deal, and its subsequent financing, been completed a week or two earlier, the stock sale would likely have passed without a hitch. Alternatively, had the company waited a week, the outcome could have been very different.

"There are certain things that are analyzable. There are certain things that are not. Sometimes [stuff] just happens and you have to just manage your way through," Mr. Donville said.

Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page P36

In the ever-expanding world of men's wear, the style-conscious man has more to choose from than ever before. For those with exacting tastes and a discerning eye for quality, however, finding just the right piece with just the right fit and just the right details can be a challenge. So what's a sophisticated fellow who wants to stand out from the crowd to do? The answer for a new generation of gents is, increasingly, bespoke. Not to be confused with custom or made-to-measure, the classification denotes something handmade from the ground up: a one-of-a-kind piece created to the exact specifications of a single customer. These wearable works of art are neither quickly produced nor cheaply purchased, but, as Jeremy Freed learns surveying bespoke offerings from around the world, they are truly the height of luxury


Perhaps no other garment has the potential to express confidence, power and presence like a bespoke suit. Walter Beauchamp is a Toronto tailor with more than 100 years of experience and its home at Holt Renfrew Men is a collaboration wherein modern style meets old-world craftsmanship. At the first meeting, a bespoke expert will guide you through the process of conceptualization: Are you a finance executive or a creative professional? Is this to be worn at the office or out on the town? Are you an adventurous dandy or a classic gent? The styling options are endless, from the length of the jacket and the width of the armholes to secret pockets, surgeon's cuffs and flamboyant silk linings. While the fit and style of a bespoke suit are superior, it's the experience and careful attention to detail that make it stand out as a true luxury item. As the crafting of your suit progresses, you'll return for several more consultations and fittings, and finally, between five and nine weeks later and some 50 hours of work, the process will be complete. You, however, will already be thinking about your next order. From $2,350 at Holt Renfrew Men (

Turtleneck, $2,030 at Hermès ( Z Zegna trousers (part of a suit), $1,495 at Harry Rosen.


In remote northern Sweden, a short distance from the Arctic Circle, sits the world's last remaining spruce bark tannery. While the process by which Böle creates its exquisite leather goods is more labour intensive than modern methods (it can take up to 12 months to tan a single hide), the results are pieces of supreme beauty and functionality designed to outlast their owners. While the 115-year-old company produces a ready-made line of spectacular briefcases, bags and rucksacks, they particularly pride themselves on their singular bespoke items, from sword sheaths to steamer trunks (Böle's philosophy is that with enough time anything can be made from good leather). A lengthy discussion with Böle's master saddle maker culminates with a design sketched and materials chosen from a library that includes Nordic reindeer hide, Swedish cattle leather, Italian and English brass hardware, and birch and alder wood structural elements. They won't use zippers or fabric - zippers break, fabric wears out - but pretty much anything else is on the table. Böle produces approximately five bespoke pieces a year, and each one can take up to 12 months to complete, but the finished product proves, beyond a doubt, that good things do indeed come to those who wait. From 2,000 through

Brunello Cucinelli jacket, $2,995 at Harry Rosen (


There is perhaps no accessory more personal than a pair of eyeglasses. This is one reason that the creations of Naoki Nakagawa are so special. When he realized that the pair of glasses he was seeking didn't exist anywhere, Nakagawa (or Nacky, for short) set out to create them, apprenticing for eight years at every level of optometric production and launching his eyewear brand Nackymade in Kobe, Japan, in 2004. Now, not only does he have the means to realize his own vision of perfect eyewear, he can do the same for his customers as well. From classic silhouettes in unusual materials like antique wood and metal to arms resembling dinosaurs, Nakagawa's commissions speak to both the designer's creativity and lengths he'll go to satisfy his customers. The process requires at least two consultations (either at Nakagawa's shop or on his frequent visits to see clients abroad): one for taking measurements and sketching a design, and a second to try on a prototype for final fit and approval. Nackymade frames are created entirely by hand, a process that takes anywhere from three to six months, and the specs are guaranteed to be a finely crafted extension of your personality. From $900 (U.S.) through

Calvin Klein sports jacket, $1,275, sweater, $750 through


For something we walk around in all day, most of us don't give much thought to what goes into making a pair of shoes. Toronto-based Peter Feeney, however, is an exception. After leaving a career in advertising, Feeney struck out for Florence, Italy, where he spent four years studying and apprenticing as a cordwainer. Not to be confused with a cobbler, who fixes shoes, Feeney turns leather, rubber and thread into some of the most beautiful footwear you've ever seen. For Feeney, off-the-rack isn't an option, and each pair of brogues and wingtips he creates is unique to the customer who buys it. From chocolate suede chukka boots with complicated Norwegian stitching to the shoes that Jared Leto will wear as The Joker in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, the only limit to what Feeney can produce is your imagination. To begin, each customer's foot is measured and a custom last (or mould of the foot) is made. The whole process takes six to eight months and requires at least two fittings to make sure the shoe is exactly right. Customers, Feeney warns, are often unprepared for the consequences of their purchase: Bespoke footwear is so superior in construction and fit that you may never want to wear anything else again. From $1,500 at Peter Feeney (

Coat, $10,415 at Hermès ( HUGO sweater, $195, pants, $215 at Hugo Boss (

Paul Smith shirt, $285 at Holt Renfrew (


What good is a signature fragrance if you're not the only one who wears it? This is the question asked (and answered) by Guerlain, the French perfume house founded in 1828 and still producing some of the world's finest scents. Among the most exclusive bespoke programs in the world, Sur-Mesure provides the rare experience of collaborating with Guerlain's master perfumers to create a fragrance completely unique to you. The journey begins in Paris at the Maison de Guerlain on the Champs-Elysées in the company of Sylvaine Delacourte, the brand's director of fragrance evaluation and development. In Delacourte's plush office you'll spend a few hours discussing your tastes (not only aromas, but sensations, textures, even memories) and sampling selected essences. Delacourte will then take your profile to Guerlain's master perfumer, Thierry Wasser, with whom she will collaborate to mix your perfect scent. The process can take up to a full year, during which time your discussion with Delacourte continues through several prototypes. The result is suitably luxurious and befitting its cost: two litres of perfume housed in three sizes of Baccarat crystal bottles, never to be replicated except, of course, when you need to order more. $56,800 through Guerlain (

Paul Smith suit, $1,595 at Holt Renfrew ( HUGO turtleneck, $275 at Hugo Boss ( De Ville House Vision watch, $7,150 through

Watch Peter Feeney fashion a pair of bespoke dress shoes by downloading the free Globe Style Advisor app at

Associated Graphic



PHOTO SHOOT CREDITS Set design by Caitlin Doherty for Grooming by Richard J for M.A.C Cosmetics/Kevin Murphy Hair Care. Model: Milan Krouzil at PUSH Management Inc.

THE ABCs OF TPP hat it would gain
The Trans-Pacific Partnership would create the world's largest free-trade zone. In this primer, Bill Curry explains which economic sectors in Canada would be most affected by the deal and which stand to benefit - or lose - the most
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A10

12 Countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Ratification would create the largest trade zone in the world, spanning four continents and 800 million people.

$28.5-trillion The combined gross domestic product of the 12 trade-pact countries which, it is estimated, collectively produce 40 per cent of the world's economic output.

45 Per cent of a vehicle's content that must come from Canada to avoid import tariffs, a change from the North American free-trade agreement (NAFTA), which established that 62.5 per cent of a vehicle's content must be local.


Subsidy the government has promised over 15 years to protect current dairy, chicken and egg farm revenues. TPP countries get dutyfree access to 3.25 per cent of Canada's dairy market and 2.1 per cent of its poultry market.


Average annual value of Canada's exports of metals and minerals to TPP countries from 2012 to 2014, according to numbers provided by the federal government. The sector includes petroleum products, potash, precious metals, iron, steel, aluminum and nickel.


Total number of countries, if TPP is ratified, with which Canada will have free-trade agreements, which account for roughly 60 per cent of the global economy, according to data released by the federal government.

What Canada sacrifices and what it would gain


Bottles of Canadian whisky will be well-aged by the time producers cash in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Malaysia will take up to 15 years before dropping its whisky tariffs.

Vietnam will drop its 55-per-cent duties within 12 years.

These are the types of details that make up the trade agreement, as varying timelines and tariffs apply to different products and countries.

Canadians are known abroad for their ice wine and Canadian whisky, and both products will have fewer barriers to entering TPP nations under the deal. Australia and New Zealand will drop duties on Canadian wine right away, while Japan will follow suit within seven years.


Canada's concessions on auto imports quickly came under fire Monday as the TPP deal was announced. Canada will allow vehicles to enter the country from Japan duty free within five years, yet the United States negotiated a 25-year timeline before erasing similar tariffs.

The privileged access of Canada's auto parts manufacturers to the North American market will also be diluted under the deal. Current rules under the North American free-trade agreement (NAFTA) require that 62.5 per cent of auto parts come from North America in order to avoid tariffs. Under the TPP, autos manufactured in Canada must meet a new standard that 45 per cent of the cost be based on parts made within the TPP.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association issued a short statement Monday saying it is "concerned to learn of a significant differentiation in the negotiated tariff transitions achieved by Canada and the United States."


Canada expects the TPP will be good for a large number of agricultural sectors as new export markets open up, thanks to the elimination or reduction of tariffs.

The timeline varies by country and by product.

Access to the large Japanese market is a key prize for TPP members. Once the deal comes into force, Japan will immediately end tariffs on 32 per cent of its agricultural imports, while other tariffs would be reduced or eliminated over the next 20 years. Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand will eliminate more than 90 per cent of their agricultural tariffs immediately once the deal is in place.

Canola and processed food and beverages were highlighted by Canadian officials as export sectors that should benefit under the deal.

Beef and pork

Canadian beef and pork producers are among the big winners under the TPP deal. From 2012 to 2014, Canadian producers exported $2.6billion worth of pork and $1.3-billion worth of beef to TPP markets, though much of that was to Canada's NAFTA partners. Within 10 years, Japan is promising to eliminate its tariffs on a wide range of pork products, while the current 50-per-cent tariffs on beef will be reduced to 9 per cent within 15 years. Vietnam will move more quickly, eliminating tariffs of up to 31 per cent on fresh and frozen beef within two years.


Canadian dairy farmers marched with their cows and tractors on Parliament Hill last week, urging the Conservative government not to surrender Canada's system of supply management during the closed-door TPP talks. Other TPP members, including New Zealand, had made clear they wanted major dairy concessions from Canada.

When the deal was announced Monday, Ottawa said it would pay $4.3-billion over 15 years to dairy, chicken and egg farmers affected by the TPP or Canada's free-trade deal with the European Union.

The supply management system was not abandoned, but Canada would give TPP members dutyfree access to 3.25 per cent of its dairy market and 2.1 per cent of its poultry market.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada responded favourably to the deal.

"We obviously would have preferred that no additional market access be conceded in the dairy sector," Dairy Farmers president Wally Smith said in a statement. "However, we recognize that our government fought hard against other countries' demands. ... We have come a long way from the threat of eliminating supply management."


Canadian officials highlighted the potential for gains in seafood exports under the TPP deal. Background documents highlight the fact that Japan has traditionally been known "for its high percapita consumption of fish and seafood." Japan has committed to eliminating 66 per cent of its fish and seafood tariffs once the deal is in place.

Snow crab, lobster, shrimp, salmon, scallops, halibut, mussels, tuna and oysters are also listed as Canadian seafood products that will gain easier access to TPP markets.


Free trade and forestry hasn't always gone smoothly for Canada.

The dispute-resolution clauses of NAFTA were invoked in the past to sort out differences between Canada and the United States over softwood lumber.

The Forest Products Association of Canada called Monday's TPP deal "an important boost" for Canada's forest industry. The lobby group noted Canada currently exports more than $22.6-billion of forest products a year to TPP countries and that is now expected to grow because of the deal.

Heavy industry

Industrial goods such as farming and construction equipment as well as aerospace products would get quick access to TPP markets under the deal.

"Canada has obtained an advantageous tariff outcome - the elimination of all tariffs on industrial goods from all TPP countries," states background information released by the Canadian government.

The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters praised the deal and said it would help its members reach the goal of doubling Canada's manufacturing and exporting output by 2030.


As the negotiators extended their deadline over the weekend, reports emerged that rules relating to so-called biologics were among the final points of disagreement.

Biological products include vaccines, blood and cutting-edge products that combine natural substances.

The final deal provides pharmaceutical companies with five years of exclusive use of new biotechnology before having to share their data with generic drug manufacturers. The Biotechnology Industry Association had been urging TPP countries to match the current 12-year intellectual property restrictions that are in place in the United States. The association called the shorter protections "remarkably short-sighted" and warned they would chill global investment in new health research.


Bankers, engineers, architects and environmental consultants are some of the jobs that fall under the broad category of services covered by the TPP. The deal will make it easier for employees to make temporary work trips within the TPP region.

There are also new provisions to make it easier for workers to bring their spouses on business trips.

Canadian officials argue that Canada's banking sector in particular should benefit from the deal.

They also insist the deal allows Canada to protect and promote its existing rules for supporting Canadian culture.

"Nothing in the TPP agreement prevents governments from regulating in the public interest, including with regard to adopting measures to promote culture, delivering public services [such as] health and education or providing protections for Aboriginal peoples," the government states in background documents.

Associated Graphic


Back to the garden of sculptures
This 'little cultural gem' will get a new lease on life with a fresh installation, which will be on display during Nuit Blanche
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L2

You can get yourself back to the garden this weekend, thanks to the ministrations of City of Toronto Arts & Culture Services, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. This would be the Toronto Sculpture Garden, a charming 720-squaremetre oasis of grass, ivy-covered brick, cascading water and art, located less than four blocks east of the busy Yonge-King Street intersection.

Opened in 1981 in what had been a city-owned parking lot, the Sculpture Garden has presented original works by dozens of contemporary artists, mostly Canadian, many unknown (at least initially), sometimes in group exhibitions, but mainly as solo showcases. Featured artists have included Micah Lexier, Kim Adams, Liz Magor, Euan Macdonald and China's Jiang Jie. The venue's last exhibition, Gold, Silver & Lead, a totemic mound of modified Honda Civic chassis stacked by Los Angeles-based Canadian sculptor Jed Lind, closed in 2014 after a run of more than three years.

The site's been bereft of art ever since, for reasons explained below, prompting many to fret that this "little cultural gem" and marker of Toronto's claim to bigcity sophistication was en route to extinction.

Now, though, the space is hosting a new installation, called Solid States, by noted Toronto sculptor/architect An Te Liu, 48.

It officially opens to public scrutiny Saturday at 7:15 p.m. as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. But unlike most Nuit projects, which vanish after their 12 hours of nocturnal glory, this one's staying up through early December, and very likely longer.

The installation not only represents a reanimation of sorts of the TSG, it also stands as the first "pop-up project" for MoCCA since it closed its long-time quarters on Queen Street West in late August. While MoCCA has new digs, in the rapidly gentrifying Bloordale/South Junction neighbourhood, they require major renovations and likely won't be ready until early 2017. Maintaining public visibility in the interim is a big concern. Which is why Terry Nicholson, director of Toronto's Art & Culture Services, approached MoCCA director/ curator David Liss this year to ask whether the museum would curate an installation for the TSG, the opening to coincide with that of Nuit Blanche, a famously high-traffic event that's pulled at least a million visitors to the downtown core in each of its past five or six years.

Liss jumped at the opportunity, even as he acknowledged recently that MoCCA already was "extremely busy" running exhibitions and programs at its Queen West location, organizing that location's eventual closure and negotiating with developers to lease new facilities.

Calling Liu in May, he invited him to the TSG and offered him the commission. Liss chose Liu, he said, because he's "wellknown in the art community as a trustworthy and hard worker with a track record of doing really amazing work in a range of media and in circumstances within and outside the conventional gallery space." Plus, "he always has a great team of studio assistants."

Liu hesitated at first - "The time was tight and there were other things I was doing" - then agreed. He was attracted by the opportunity to do an outdoor work in a specific space with materials more durable than the plastic, foam and other "detritus of consumerism" that have been the basis of much his oeuvre.

Indeed, Solid States consists of six bronze forms, several of them quite large, mounted on great plinths of Caledonia marble ("leftovers," in fact, from the Pan Am Games), each slab weighing as much as 2,200 kilograms. The forms unabashedly harken to the biomorphic sculptures of Henry Moore, Constantin Brancusi and Barbara Hepworth - although closer inspection reveals bronze castings of various appliances Liu has "eviscerated," including a Braun juicer, two humidifiers and an ice crusher.

For the artist, the presentation at the TSG is "very archeological ... It's like I'm taking stuff that has a short lifespan and making it forever in a way, petrifying it like something that happened at Pompeii and it got fossilized or weirdly preserved."

Of course, Liu's weirdness isn't the only weirdness that has found a home, at least temporarily, in the TSG, as a visit to its archives at will attest. The history of the garden, too, is weird and certainly interesting. Its creation is due largely to one man, Lou (Bud) Odette, co-founder, in 1951, of Eastern Construction - and a passionate connoisseur and collector of sculptures. A visit in 1974 to a restaurant in a former mansion outside Rome that had sculptures scattered on its grounds got Odette thinking that the concept might just work in Toronto.

Five years later, seeing merit in his vision, the city agreed a sculpture garden, open daily and free to the public, could be located at 115 King St. E., in what was then a city-owned parking lot wedged between two city-owned buildings. The city agreed to lease the building on the lot's western perimeter to Odette for 35 years at "a lower-than-market rate," Nicholson explains.

The understanding was that Odette would rehabilitate 111 King St. E. to suitable commercial standards, then sublet it to a restaurateur. (Since 1983, it's been home to the French restaurant La Maquette.)

"Proceeds from the commercial operation were then used to fund the programming and maintenance of the sculpture garden," Nicholson says. Odette established a foundation and hired well-regarded local art consultant Rina Greer as director of the space and an artistic advisory committee was formed to vet applications from sculptors.

Three hundred guests attended the TSG's official opening, with a largely Canadian group show, on Sept. 11, 1981.

For 13 years, the garden, under Greer's supervision, mounted three exhibitions per year before going to a two-exhibition policy.

Occasionally, a work's duration would be shorter or longer: Hugh LeRoy's The Arc and the Chord, for instance, was up for a little over two months in mid-1987, while Katie BethuneLeamen's massive Mushroom Studio, erected in 2008, stayed in situ for a year. This scenario held until mid-2011, when Odette died. With that, the Odette family foundation decided it wouldn't try to negotiate another lease with the city once the extant arrangement expired in 2014.

However, Greer observes, the foundation did agree to mark the TSG's 30th anniversary "with the commissioning of a significant work by Jed Lind, intending to let it remain [onsite] for the duration of the lease as a lingering tribute to the founder."

There are no firm plans to extend Liu's installation beyond its advertised close date of Dec. 6. But both Liss and Nicholson believe conversations will occur later this fall about leaving it up longer. "I would say the city has a long-term commitment to do something," Nicholson says. "The idea here was to at least kickstart things again using Nuit Blanche as a pilot," then see how the TSG might be resurrected more permanently.

"Bronze and granite - that should be able to carry over through the winter," Liss says, referring to Solid States. "Of course, there's the issue of the ground freezing and how that might affect the footings. I think the original idea probably was to get it out before the freeze, but we'll see."

Liss indicates that, strictly from a personal point of view, he'd "love" to see MoCCA curate the TSG in future. "But there are budgets to consider, costs. Maybe the city wants to open it up to other organizations. Maybe MoCCA will want to stay focused on Sterling [158 Sterling Rd., where the new MoCCA will be based].

But I think it'd be great."

Meanwhile, Dave Dyment, an artist, curator and former director of Mercer Union, the artistrun, Toronto-based contemporary art centre, thinks a revived TSG might also provide a modest riposte to those who criticize Nuit Blanche for being too ephemeral and lacking in legacy.

Each year, you could launch a new installation at the TSG as part of Nuit Blanche, keep it there for a year, then replace it for the next Nuit.

Associated Graphic

A new installation by An Te Liu will be on display at the Toronto Sculpture Garden during (and after) Nuit Blanche.


Developers put new stamp on Old Post Office
Western money comes east as Edmonton investors transform the Saint John architectural icon into upscale condo units with impressive views
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B6

SAINT JOHN -- When the Great Fire of Saint John wiped out 80 hectares of the New Brunswick city in 1877, a post office on Prince William Street was one of the first buildings to rise from the ashes. Nearly a century and a half later, the Second Empire building has once again become a beacon of regrowth: Thanks to a pair of developers from Alberta, the heritage property is transforming into a luxury condo complex in the heart of the city's core.

Long referred to as the "Old Post Office," the three-and-a-half storey stone building is one of Saint John's most recognizable architectural icons. It boasts a mansard roof and high Roman arch windows; when lit up at night, it's impossible to look away from it while walking or driving along Prince William or Water streets. The waterfront-facing property was designated a historic place in 1982.

Two years ago, Edmonton developers Rob Fediuk and John Kupchenko bought the property for $2-million with plans to convert the upper floors into seven condo units. Enticed by the proposed Energy East pipeline, which would connect to the Atlantic Ocean through a terminal in Saint John, the developers saw a chance to invest in the city's prospects for renewed growth.

"From an outsider's perspective, it's just an absolute rarity to see something like that," Mr. Fediuk says of the Old Post Office, which has been renamed The Royal. Even if Energy East falls through, he's confident he'll be able to entice buyers to the building: "It's got all the character in the world."

This century, developers have rediscovered the boom-bust city's core after years of suburban flight left many of its heritage buildings neglected. Much of the effort is homegrown: Historica Developments, for instance, focuses on creating loft-style rentals for young professionals. Commercial Properties Ltd., meanwhile, oversaw the restoration of a city block's worth of heritage buildings to create the CentreBeam Place office and retail complex.

The Old Post Office is a different, but welcome, addition to the mix: In a province where so many workers flock to Alberta, Alberta dollars are investing in history.

When TransCanada Corp. announced Energy East in August of 2013, Mr. Fediuk immediately "got on the horn" with Saint John realtors. Less than a week later, he was on a plane to the city, eager to view properties even though vacancy rates were high.

"Some could look at that as a fear factor, others can look at it as an opportunity," he says.

He had plans to convert an apartment property into condos, but didn't like what was available.

"There was little sex appeal," he says by phone from Edmonton.

"They were old and worn down and troubled."

While Mr. Fediuk was in town, local realtor Jeremy Hallworth took him out for lunch on the patio of Prince William Street restaurant Bourbon Quarter, purposely seating the developer so he'd be staring at the Old Post Office across the intersection. It was late summer, and the city was bustling with cruise ship traffic; passersby couldn't help but ogle the architecture. Mr. Fediuk, too, was smitten by the building.

Less than two hours later, he was inside. It was the right fit. He and Mr. Kupchenko soon bought the building for $2-million. While they held onto the street-level business tenants, including the 25-year-old Callahan's Pub, they began converting its upper-floor space into condos.

On a misty day this past August, interior designer Judith Mackin and general contractor Jean Pierre Forget walk through the $410,000 third-floor model suite with 13-foot-high ceilings, and which Ms. Mackin helped mock up. She can't help but marvel at what Mr. Forget's team has done within the constraints of the 134year-old building, down to oilrubbed original floors and the baseboards he installed on the new walls to match the originals.

The floors are supported by arched brick on steel rails, which provides a strong structure, but forced the contractors to find clever ways to install new plumbing. The walls in the twobedroom condo, meanwhile, are painted Oxford white - a deliberate choice by Ms. Mackin to use clean colours to enhance history.

"You'll go into some old buildings in Saint John and they've done the Victorian gold trim, blue trim, yellow trim - it's awful," she says with a laugh.

"Whereas here, we've just left everything as much as we possibly can."

The second floor of the building, a former event space called the White Room, holds three twolevel units. The two penthouse condos each have second-level lofts, and the Prince William-side unit still has the original streetfacing clock in the wall; Mr. Hallworth is in the midst of getting the mechanical parts back from the building's previous owner.

That unit, at $525,000, is the building's most expensive.

Each of the units offer impressive views, including the waterfront, Fort Howe, and the city's many rooftops and steeples. "A lot of people come through and say, 'The water doesn't really excite me - the views of the city rooftops excite me,'" Ms. Mackin says. "It's like an old Gerry Collins painting or something... It's just quintessentially Saint John."

All the units are for sale. Most of them are finished to a primer stage, waiting for buyers to pick out finishes, flooring and kitchen design, though the model suite is ready for occupancy.

Mr. Fediuk has already bought an additional building down the street to convert to condos, and would consider buying more property in Saint John if sales go well. It's hard to get a sense what kind of demand there'll yet be for the units: The growth of condo sales is only a recent phenomenon in the city, which has historically favoured single detached homes, according to the Saint John Real Estate Board.

There's also the issue of price: the Royal's most expensive unit is more than double the average cost of a luxury condo in the city, which hovers around $250,000.

But other new developments, such as Harbourfront Residences at Three Sisters Inc. just down the street, have been selling strong, says SJREB president Sheila Henry. "An awful lot of younger, more urban folks are looking for that condo market," she says. After years of fanning out from the core, too, older residents are selling their detached homes, buying uptown and becoming snowbirds.

Mr. Fediuk believes the Old Post Office should, at least in part, sell itself. "From an Albertan's perspective, it's an absolutely gorgeous building," he says from Edmonton. "It's hard to compare the reality here with the reality there. We obviously don't have an ocean, but a condo with a river valley view in that type of building would be worth well north of a million dollars here."


6.7% Biggest one-week REIT gainer: Wall Financial. CIBC

9.0% Biggest one-week REIT decliner: Temple Hotels. CIBC

17.0% Percentage of Montreal's occupied office space used by the high-tech sector. JLL

2 The rank for Montreal's hightech sector in office space used in the city, among all industries, behind only financial services. JLL


In Saint John, which is flush with single detached homes, the average price of a condo comes close to the average price of all homes sold: .

$159,491 Average price of a condo in Saint John based on units currently for sale.

$249,157 Average price of a "luxury" condo in Saint John based on units currently for sale.

$160,225 Average price of all homes sold in Saint John in August of 2015.

Josh O'Kane, with data from Saint John Real Estate Board

Associated Graphic

Two years ago, Edmonton developers bought Saint John's 134-year-old Old Post Office and began converting the upper floors into condos. The 1,460-square-foot model suite, right, comes with 13-foot-high ceilings, two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms for $410,000.


Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1




Chris Colabello, the baseball journeyman who finally found a home this season with the Toronto Blue Jays, led the charge to the mound from the dugout after the final out was recorded.

As the players played ring-around-therosie with veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins in the eye of the hurricane, general manager Alex Anthopoulos started to make his way to the field from his seat in the stands to join in the celebration.

The revelry was 22 years in the making and the man responsible for the on-field product, which has electrified and unified baseball fans across Canada, did not want to miss a minute.

For the first time since 1993, when they won their second of back-to-back World Series titles, the Blue Jays are the champions of the American League East.

And they clinched first place in emphatic fashion, pummelling the Baltimore Orioles 15-2 in the first game of a doubleheader at Camden Yards on Wednesday. Baltimore took the nightcap 8-1.

The crowd was sparse but the presence of many Blue Jays fans made the moment all the more special to the players.

"It felt like a home game," said Toronto starter Marcus Stroman, who enjoyed another brilliant outing since his return to the lineup after knee surgery. It felt like the majority of the stadium was Blue Jays fans and that just kind of shows how excited people are to make the trip down from the north, from the 'Six,' to see us clinch."

Anthopoulos usually does not sit in the stands during games, but the general manager broke protocol on this occasion and sat behind the Toronto dugout. For most of the game he kept an arm around his wife, Cristina, who was sitting beside him.

As he was making his way to the field, the fans around him started chanting, "Thanks Alex, Thanks Alex."

"It was great, it was a little weird," Anthopoulos said about the chant. "I know you want to smile and it's nice, you're definitely grateful. It's a little odd.

You're not a player, you certainly don't expect that, but their support has been great. I can't say enough about that.

"Our fan base is amazing to see.

I still get blown away when we go on the road, we're going all over the place and the turnout of the fans the last three years has been amazing to see."

Toronto didn't just win - it dominated a listless Baltimore outfit that gift-wrapped the game by committing four errors. The Blue Jays pounded out 18 hits, including home runs by Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Justin Smoak, to win their sixth in a row.

For most of the game the Jays players stood watching from the railing at the front of the dugout, like a bunch of excited littleleaguers, before racing on to the field after the final out. With another game still to be played, the Jays kept on-field celebrations to a minimum. A more strenuous celebration was to unfold in the clubhouse after Game 2.

Stroman was marvellous - again - winning for his fourth consecutive game since rejoining the team after missing almost the entire season recovering from knee surgery. He pitched eight innings and allowed one run and five hits, with eight strikeouts.

Stroman said the atmosphere in the Toronto dugout waiting for the final three outs was electric.

"Just antsy, man. Just waiting for that final out to get out there," he said. "It's truly special."

Toronto's season started in despair, with the spring training knee injuries to Michael Saunders, who was pencilled in to be the starting left fielder, and Stroman, who was being counted on to be a cornerstone of the rotation.

Saunders never got healthy enough to return to the lineup as a regular and the season for Stroman was also thought to be a write-off after he had surgery to repair a torn ligament.

Stroman proved everybody wrong, throwing himself into a rigorous rehabilitation program while also attending Duke University to complete his degree.

And his unexpected return has been nothing short of spectacular.

Along the way there were other concerns - a shoulder injury to Bautista and another to Devon Travis, which eventually claimed the year for the good-looking rookie second baseman.

But with the injuries came opportunities to the likes of Kevin Pillar, who blossomed into a stalwart in the outfield, and Ryan Goins, the smooth-fielding middle infielder.

Goins contributed five hits in Wednesday's first-game win, a career high.

And with the coming of age of most-valuable-player candidate Josh Donaldson, the back-stopping acumen of free-agent catcher Russell Martin, and the booming bats of Bautista and Encarnacion, the Blue Jays persevered.

"Obviously it was extremely unfortunate with some of the injuries we suffered in spring training," Pillar said. "But it made us a better team. It gave some guys an opportunity to step up. It really showed how deep our team is."

Trailing the front-running New York Yankees by as many as eight games on July 28, the Blue Jays erupted on an 11-game win streak that began on Aug. 2.

When it was over, New York's lead was a tenuous half game and the Blue Jays knew this was more than just an average season. "I think that was the moment everybody in this room realized we had the ability to be able to do something special," Pillar said.

And if there were still any doubts, they were erased by the slick trade-deadline manoeuvrings by Anthopoulos with the addition of two blue-chippers in pitching ace David Price and Troy Tulowitzki, the game's best allround shortstop.

All Price has done is go 9-1 in his 11 starts with his new team while the Blue Jays soared to a 30-8 record with Tulowitzki in the lineup.

Tulowitzki has since been injured but the Blue Jays have barely skipped a beat and his imminent return will certainly boost Toronto's hopes as it looks to the postseason.

Baltimore entered the day out of the playoff hunt and with nothing to play for, and it showed. The Orioles played with little pride or passion.

The Blue Jays got rolling in the second inning when a Martin double scored the lumbering Encarnacion from first base.

Goins then collected his first hit to score Martin to increase Toronto's lead to 2-0.

Toronto added two more in the fourth inning, which included a bases-loaded walk to Bautista, and Baltimore's spirit was clearly broken.

In the fifth, the Orioles committed two errors, which led to four unearned runs and an 8-0 Toronto lead, and the rout was officially on.

Stroman, 24, has no recollection of the previous time the Blue Jays were in the playoffs.

But he said the team is intent on creating more lasting memories this season.

"I was one year old in 1992, I was two in '93, so yeah, I don't remember any of that," Stroman said. "I realize that it's been a pretty long playoff drought and this city has been dying for [a playoff appearance]. And I'm just excited the guys could bring it to them. It's special."

Associated Graphic

Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays scores in the second inning in the first game of Toronto's doubleheader against the Orioles in Baltimore on Wednesday.


Toronto's Josh Donaldson doubles in front of Orioles catcher Steve Clevenger in the fifth inning of the first game in Wednesday's doubleheader in Baltimore. The Jays won 15-2. In the second game, in which the Jays fielded a team entirely of backups save for starter R.A. Dickey, the Orioles cranked out four homers en route to an 8-1 victory.


Jays' success reaps rewards for Rogers
After years of strict budgets, the communications conglomerate decided to 'double down on sports'
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S2

Executives at Rogers Communications Inc. love to talk hockey, but it is America's pastime that's been in focus at the wireless and cable company ever since baseball's trade deadline.

Ted Rogers, the company's late founder, faced criticism when he bought the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000 - paying $112-million (U.S.)

for 80 per cent of the team and later acquiring the rest from Interbrew SA of Belgium - and the team floundered for many of the years that followed. Critics are hard to find now as the team prepares to head into its first postseason in 22 years.

The Jays say they sold out 20 of their last 21 home games (Rogers also bought the stadium, formerly known as the SkyDome, for $25-million) and for their 81 home games this season, attendance totalled 2,794,891, the most since 1995, when the team attracted 2,826,483.

"We've doubled down on sports," Rogers CEO Guy Laurence said at an investor conference in Montreal on Sept. 17, pointing to Rogers's hockey coverage and the boost it has given to the company's Sportsnet television network. "At the same time, we invested in the Jays.

And this year we've got a hell of a return on our hands."

"Realistically, on the financial side, it's not the biggest part of the business," Laurence said of baseball a few days earlier, telling reporters, "but it's certainly one of the most important to us, particularly at this moment in terms of supporting the Blue Jays as they go through this period." Baseball is such a small part of the telecom company's overall business that Rogers doesn't break out the Blue Jays' numbers when it reports its financial results, although it occasionally points to higher player salaries as a factor in the media division's costs or notes that increased Blue Jays revenue gave the unit a lift. Similarly, Rogers only provides sporadic updates on how its $5.2-billion (Canadian) investment in the national NHL broadcast rights is paying off.

Forbes magazine prepares annual estimates of professional sports teams' valuations and revenues and in March it pegged the Blue Jays' revenue for the 2014 season at $227-million, including $48-million in ticket sales, and estimated the club had an operating loss (negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA) of $18-million.

In early September, telecom analyst Greg MacDonald used the Forbes numbers to prepare a rough estimate of the gain the Blue Jays could enjoy because of the increased excitement around the team and its playoff run. He estimated the club could see an additional $20-million at the gate and a boost of about $40million from higher merchandise sales and ad revenue. Higher costs, including player salaries, could increase expenses by about $20-million, he said.

That all adds up to a net increase of about $40-million or a profit of around $20-million for the year, which he said represents about 50 cents a share at Rogers's then-current stock price of $43.96 a share.

MacDonald said in an e-mail he assumed the Forbes revenue estimate was in Canadian dollars, but if it were in U.S. dollars, the ultimate impact would be a profit of about $27-million in Canadian dollars. Either way, he said, his conclusion remains the same: "It is great for the sentiment, but given the massive size of Rogers' other businesses, not really a needle-mover for the stock. That said, the trade moves at the deadline were [in pure economic terms] almost certainly a positive in our view."

Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL properties at Rogers, told The Globe in early September he expects a boost of about 10 per cent in advertising revenue this season, depending on how well the Blue Jays do. "If they go all the way to the World Series, I would expect our revenues to be even better," he said in an interview Friday.

"But the interesting challenge is that marketers don't necessa rily keep millions of dollars sitting on the sidelines just waiting for sports teams to do well. ... It's easy to say there could be a substantial windfall, but marketers have to find the money within their budgets to support the Blue Jays," he said. "So it's still a challenge in an environment where advertising on traditional media is perhaps on a different trajectory. But I'd far rather have this content in a challenged advertising environment than anything else."

Rogers is also likely to benefit from happy feelings around the Jays in both concrete and hardto-quantify ways.

"I think there is a bit of a halo effect that may be positive if you look at the Rogers brand - let's face it, the airtime that they get on this is tremendous," Scotia Capital Inc. analyst Jeff Fan said in an interview Friday. "But I actually think the real potential positive effect - that may be more material - is the higher carriage fees that Sportsnet may be able to charge going forward."

Using 2014 numbers published by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Fan said Sportsnet received an average of $2.38 per month per subscriber while its main rival Bell Media-owned TSN took in about $3.07 per subscriber per month.

For argument's sake, Fan said, if Sportsnet could charge its cable, satellite and IPTV distributors at least as much as TSN's 2014 rate, that could translate to close to $70-million in additional revenue.

Moore said ratings are obviously an important factor in negotiations with distributors over fees. "That's why we made it our stated goal five years ago to be the No. 1 sports-media brand in the country," he said, adding that hockey and baseball helped him reach that goal a year early.

Sportsnet and TSN have recently been locked in a battle to assert they are in first place, each pointing to various favourable statistics to bolster their claims.

Sportsnet enjoyed an enviable run in September as the Jays chased a playoff berth and clinched the division with just a few games to play in the regular season. The network claimed 7.9 per cent of the viewing audience in Canada, an average per-minute audience over 24 hours, according to Moore. "That's the highest it's ever been." he said, adding that it was the No. 2 network in Canada in prime time, ahead of "Global, CBC, City and every specialty network in the country."

The network's website saw a 450-per-cent boost in traffic over September, 2014 and usage of its mobile app, Sportsnet Now, spiked on Wednesday afternoon (when the Jays defeated Baltimore to claim the division title) with usage similar to what the company saw at the beginning of last year's hockey season.

It's not just the post-tradedeadline drive that has contributed to this success, Moore said. He said it dates back to a push in 2011 when both the network and the team "made a concerted effort to make both the fan and the broadcast experience more fun and higher quality."

"There's whole new generation of Blue Jays fans," he said.

"That's good for the team, that's good for us, and it's good for Rogers as a company."


Total attendance at 81 home games: 2,794,891 (up 17.6 per cent from 2014 and the largest season attendance since 1995's 2,826,483)

Average attendance for 2015 season: 34,305

Number of sellout games: 27, including the past 12 games in a row

Increase in merchandise sales over the last two months: 100 per cent

Jerseys sold over the past two months: 25,000 .

Source: Toronto Blue Jays

Associated Graphic

Thanks to the playoff run by the Jays, the Rogers Centre has been filled with huge crowds, but the big payoff for Rogers is the ratings spike Sportsnet is having.


Many Canadian universities are seeing a sharp increase in the number of professors hired to primarily teach rather than research, reports Simona Chiose. While that might be good news for students, the change could threaten the mission of universities
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A10

Shauna Brail never planned on a career as a university professor. With family in Toronto, she could not move to wherever in the world an academic job was offered. So when she graduated with a PhD from the University of Toronto in the 1990s, she went to work for government and as a consultant in urban planning.

The fact that she is now an associate professor in the urban studies department at her alma mater is due to the fact Dr. Brail kept up a research program, but also to a nationwide shift in who is teaching Canada's students, one that is redefining what makes a good professor and that, over time, will challenge what separates universities from any other type of education.

More than 40 Canadian universities provided The Globe and Mail with data on their faculty ranks. In spite of differences among universities, what becomes clear is that teachingfocused positions have seen consistent and sharp increases at many of the country's most prominent postsecondary institutions, and the model is growing at smaller schools as well.

Unlike research-focused faculty, teaching instructors lack the iron-clad job guarantees and academic freedom that come with tenure, as well as the ability to progress through to the highest levels of academia.

Dr. Brail has a teaching appointment - she still does research, both about pedagogy and urban geography, but more of her time is spent in the classroom than the library.

For her students, there have been clear benefits to her focus on teaching. She has connected them to community-service jobs and has organized trips to New York's Tenement Museum and Chicago's City Hall during reading week.

"If I was a research-based professor, I would be staying home and writing."

Keeping up with enrolment

To many institutions, teachingfocused appointments can reconcile seemingly incompatible goals: improving learning quality, containing tenured faculty salaries and advancing research.

For more than a decade, universities have struggled to do all three. Student enrolment across the country has grown 40 per cent since the turn of the millennium, and in that time, students have also sharply increased their contribution to university coffers to make up for declining government funds.

That rise in enrolment has not been matched among faculty: Between 2000 and 2011 - the last year Statistics Canada kept track - the number of full-time tenured professors increased about 30 per cent.

At most large and even medium-sized institutions, one of the main sources of student unhappiness is the lack of contact with senior faculty.

Teaching-track faculty hold the promise of resuscitating university education on a more personal scale. They have 20 per cent more time to teach than do research and usually get their jobs because they've proven they care about the student experience.

'Creators of knowledge'

Yet separating teaching and research could make universities not that different from colleges or high school.

"The difference between universities and other educational institutions is that we are not just disseminators of knowledge, we are creators of knowledge," said Chris Manfredi, provost at McGill University. "We want our professors to be able to communicate the knowledge they are creating to the students."

McGill has chosen to make other sacrifices, increasing class sizes in first and second years, although the university declined to provide a breakdown of its faculty numbers.

"Some of our students have argued that McGill does not provide as much contact ... We argue it's high-quality contact," Dr. Manfredi said.

Schools that have chosen to bulk up their teaching numbers, however, say the benefits for undergraduate learning are too great to ignore.

"Part of the rationale behind [teaching-track hires] is a recognition that teaching and learning has gotten much more complex in the last 15 years or so," said Simon Bates, the academic director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology at the University of British Columbia. "There is so much open educational content, that there's a valid question as to what is the role of the instructor. It's certainly not simply standing in a classroom giving students content they could get from a multitude of sources."

Since 2006, teaching appointments have increased by more than 40 per cent at UBC, compared with a 12-per-cent rise in tenure-track hires.

Some research shows that non-tenured staff can be as effective, if not more effective, than tenured professors. A 2013 study from the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research found that undergrads taught by academics working on long-term contracts, but without tenure, were more likely to take a second course in the subject and had results as good as, or slightly better than, students taught by tenured staff.

At the same time, hiring teachers first and researchers second has distinct benefits for universities. The former are cheaper, for one: UBC's faculty association has argued that teaching professors can have so many classes that they end up being paid less than contract instructors, who are paid by the course. And their work allows established and recognized researchers to devote even more of their time to that part of the job.

Second-class citizens?

In the global race for university rankings, the hardest currency is that of subject-specific publications in refereed journals. Even as they inadvertently help their research colleagues, though, teaching faculty can sometimes feel like second-class citizens.

In a comprehensive 2011 study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, half of teaching-focused faculty said they lack the status of their tenured colleagues.

The best way to combat that feeling, Dr. Brail said, is to stay active as a researcher. For example, she has worked with David Hulchanski, the university's team leader on an extensive project examining income and social polarization in Canada's urban centres.

"Whether research is expected or not, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it," she said. "Most faculty in the teaching stream will tell you they need to be engaged in research in their field."

For faculty unions, that reality - of professors who continue their research while they have teaching, or even contract, appointments - is one reason they have been reluctant to embrace this new type of academic.

Universities, they say, are moving to a future where there are fewer tenure-track jobs and more contract instructors - one of the main points of contention in this spring's strikes at York University and U of T. They say teaching faculty are an improvement to this kind of precarious labour situation, but not a solution.

"All of us came through a research program, we went to grad school and finished our grad school programs in part because we enjoyed research," said Robin Vose, the president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. "... We recognize that it's an attempt to give people a decent wage and a bit of recognition, but it fails to see that it's a splitting of academic jobs that is fundamentally unfair."

A move toward equality

Still, universities can improve the status of the teaching specialists they do hire by making such positions almost equivalent to tenure-track ones. That's what happened this summer at U of T, (which followed the model UBC adopted several years ago).

Salaries are still lower, but titles and promotions follow an almost identical path. Making such changes is good for building respect between colleagues and improving everyone's teaching, UBC's Dr. Bates said.

"These people become the catalysts within their departments.

They are able to infect other faculty members with new pedagogical practices much faster than waiting for these things to be adopted."

The promise of improving educational quality makes professors who are teachers first and researchers second an easy sell.

The danger, particularly as tuition continues to rise, is that parents and students could begin to ask a simple question: What makes university education so different after all?

Associated Graphic

Shauna Brail, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, is part of a growing cohort of teacher-track professors.


Here's a bright idea
Let kids with life-and-death conditions bring their meds to class. Sounds simple, but as Wency Leung reports, it's not - and kids have died as a result. Why can't every school in the country play by the same rules?
Monday, October 5, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L1

Chantale Turgeon was horrified to discover that her young son had gone on a field trip and left his backpack at school.

The backpack contained the boy's asthma inhaler and EpiPen - medications that could save his life if he had trouble breathing or came into contact with allergens such as tree nuts and sesame - so it was vital to have it near him at all times.

"I was livid, of course. I was in the principal's office the next day," Turgeon says, acknowledging that the oversight, which occurred last year, was no fault of any one person. Although the Montreal mother had taken pains to ensure school officials were aware of his medical condition and of what to do in case of an emergency, neither she, her son Kyle Aragona-Turgeon, now 10, nor teachers and administrators had considered who would be responsible for his medications during school trips.

As Turgeon and others who have children with chronic illnesses can attest, the stress of a new school year is often compounded by life-and-death concerns about where their children's medication will be kept and how they will be administered.

This year for the first time, Ontario students with asthma began the school year under the protection of a law that requires principals to develop individual plans for each of them, allows students to carry their own inhalers and makes it mandatory for school employees to receive training on asthma symptoms and triggers.

Ryan's Law was introduced after a 12year-old boy died after his inhaler was locked in the principal's office, and yet, for now, Ontario students with diabetes or epilepsy lack the same protections and must settle instead for a patchwork of protocols.

That same scattershot approach applies across the country. In some provinces, it is left up to school boards or individual schools and parents to come up with appropriate measures. As a result, students with chronic illnesses can fall through the cracks, with sometimes fatal consequences.

The solution seems simple: Design a universal set of rules that means all Canadian students, and their teachers, have access to medications when they need them. How could that be so difficult to apply?

Part of the reason why there is no consistency across the country is because education is a provincial matter, says Joan King, manager of outreach and individual advocacy for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

For example, Manitoba has had a policy since 1999 that ensures any kind of emergency medication is not stored in a locked location and is either carried at all times by the child or adult responsible to administer. But in Alberta, there is no provincewide policy and school boards and schools choose how to address individual circumstances.

To overcome provincial barriers, advocacy groups have pushed for national guidelines.

However, their focus has been on the specific conditions they represent.

For example, the Canadian Diabetes Association has guidelines for managing diabetes in schools, as does the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology for anaphylaxis.

Separately, Turgeon and other volunteers of the Asthma Society of Canada's National Asthma Patient Alliance have created a new set of guidelines for parents and educators of students with asthma, which they hope can be applied nationwide. To be released in the coming weeks, their document aims to clarify the responsibilities of parents, students and schools when it comes to addressing students' asthma.

"I think we're all on the same page," King says. "But we haven't worked directly with each other."

Legislation can ensure that safeguards are enforced, yet too often the introduction of a law is spurred by a tragedy and tends to be specific to a particular condition.

This is the case in Ontario, where Ryan's Law was passed this April. That law was named after 12-year-old Ryan Gibbons, who died in 2012 after having an asthma attack at school. It was preceded by the province's introduction of Sabrina's Law in 2006, named after Sabrina Shannon, a 13-year-old girl who died in 2003 after an anaphylactic reaction while her EpiPen was stored in her locker.

According to Ontario's Ministry of Education, there have been a series of other bills proposed in the province for managing various illnesses in schools, ranging from diabetes to inherited heart rhythm disorders.

The ministry says it is now working to develop a comprehensive approach on how to deal with prevalent medical conditions in schools, including asthma, diabetes, anaphylaxis and epilepsy. Such an approach "would be much better" than having to pass separate laws for each condition, it said in an e-mail.

Contributing to the lack of consistency around dealing with students' illnesses is the fact that not all educators understand the seriousness of certain conditions, King says.

For example, she notes, students with diabetes have been made to walk unaccompanied to the office to receive treatment for low blood sugar, some have been refused the ability to keep snacks at their desks and many schools refuse to make glucagon, an emergency treatment for severe low blood sugar, available because it requires mixing fluids together and injecting it with a syringe.

Similarly, as Ontario MPP Jeff Yurek discovered when he first proposed Ryan's Law as a private member's bill, some schools in the province prevented students from carrying their own asthma inhalers and required them to be locked away for misguided safety reasons. "They deemed it as a medication and lumped it in their general medication policy and felt it needed to be administered in an office or nurse setting, when really, it's an emergency relief medicine that needs to be administered as soon as possible," Yurek says.

Faced with ill-conceived or non-existent policies, parents are taking matters into their own hands. In parts of the country where the approach of locking up asthma medication continues, some parents flout the rules and send their children to school with inhalers anyways, Noah Farber acting president and chief executive officer of the Asthma Society of Canada says.

"We don't really want kids carrying medication unbeknownst to their teacher. But ultimately, parents are saying, 'My kids' health comes first,' " he says.

Other parents have found themselves continually educating educators. Turgeon, for example, took it upon herself to create a plan that included instructions and emergency contact details, which she could send to school with Kyle.

But collaborating with her son's school to ensure his safety has been an exercise in trial and error. While Kyle's condition was easier to manage when he was younger and attending a home daycare, enrolling him in kindergarten was a bigger step as he no longer had one-on-one adult supervision. For starters, Kyle wasn't old enough to know when he needed his inhaler, so Turgeon relied on his teachers to watch for symptoms.

In gym class, Kyle was expected to participate in cross-country runs during peak allergy season or lose marks if he didn't, Turgeon says. (She made him wear cargo pants for these runs, with pockets for his inhaler.) She now makes sure Kyle's teachers remind him to take his inhaler on excursions or bring a spare themselves.

Turgeon is vigilant about keeping a backup inhaler in the school office.

The solution she really wants, she says, is pretty basic: Create a federal requirement for all schools to support students' health conditions.

But that's not something she can wait for. Kyle's backpack is staying with him. Turgeon will make sure of that.

Associated Graphic


Chantale Turgeon struggles to make sure her 10-year-old son, Kyle Aragona-Turgeon, has access to his asthma inhaler and EpiPen while at school.


Joe's fresh start
After a decade at the helm of Canada's buzziest fashion brand, Joe Mimran surprised the industry by announcing his next venture would be a starring role on CBC's Dragons' Den. Courtney Shea speaks with the clothing mogul about how making it big in the style biz can equal success on the small screen
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page P34

It is the Season 10 premiere of Dragons' Den and newly anointed fire-breather Joe Mimran is making his first offer: a $300,000 buy-in on Drake: The Dragon Wargame, a tabletop battle simulation played with figurines and dice. It's a promising product in a Game of Thronesobsessed market, though Mimran has some reservations about the game's creator - a know-it-all nerd whose lack of business savvy is as glaring as faux Gucci. "Creativity and business are two very different aspects, and it's rare to find both in one person," says Mimran, peering out from behind a pair of Tom Ford tortoise shell specs, offering up entrepreneurial tidbits the way he once dispensed fashion tips.

That he is that rare combination - a visionary spirit with a brain for numbers - might explain what seems like an illogical career pivot from designer-slash-retail-giant to investment-guru-slash-reality TV-star. But to Mimran, those disciplines draw from the same tool kit. "I think I have always had a skill for seeing where the market place is going and where the opportunities are," he says of the Dragon/designer parallels. Ultimately, he calls out the game developer as a loose cannon. Whether it's a medieval-themed board game or a juicy orange raincoat, Mimran knows a great idea isn't worth a penny if you can't sell it.

As any Canadian who has gone to the grocery store for a butternut squash and returned home with a new fall wardrobe knows, Mimran has spent the last decade as the creative director and public face of Joe Fresh. The line of stylish-but-affordable sportswear that started as an in-store label at Loblaws has since expanded to stand-alone locations from Fifth Avenue to the Middle East. In March, Mimran announced his departure from the company that he founded, just a few days before the CBC revealed he would be joining Dragons' Den. Alongside fellow-freshmen Michele Romanow (a millennial tech millionaire) and Manjit Minhas (a beer industry titan), Mimran joins original Den-member Jim Treliving (a venerable Canadian biz whiz who owns Boston Pizza and Mr. Lube) and last year's newbie Michael Wekerle, the infamous Bay Street party boy whose boisterous manner is balanced by Mimran's measured persona.

"Joe Mimran is the brand master," says Wekerle. "He has an incredible depth of knowledge about branding and about the fashion industry. And he has beaten me in an arm wrestle - but I have the bigger office."

If Werkerle and Mimran sound like old chums, it's because they had a lot of bonding time on set. A full season of Dragons' Den is taped during 10-hour days, five days a week over a single month, a regimented schedule Mimran hasn't observed since his days as an accountant at Coopers & Lybrand. "Imagine going on a canoe trip with four strangers. It's not like you can just say, 'Oh, we'll have lunch next month or something,'" he jokes, flicking to the air kissy I'll-call-you-babes of the fashion world.

To avoid continuity issues, each Dragon must select a single outfit for the entire run, which would be cruel and unusual punishment for most professional clothes horses. But Mimran saw it as an opportunity to convey his classic-with-a-twist sensibility, opting for a conservative navy suit and saving the flair for his footwear. Slippers (the kind that Hugh Hefner might wear in combination with a paisley smoking jacket) are a Mimran signature, and for his small-screen debut he chose a pair of velvet Ralph Lauren loafers with a military motif and the phrase "Don't Give Up the Ship" embroidered on the side. "I thought the words were appropriate," he says. "When you're an entrepreneur, you don't give up, you keep going, you keep working."

Mirman's career has frequently been a crystal ball for where the sartorial landscape is headed. Even before Melanie Griffith laced up her Reeboks, Mimran was making clothing for working girls at Ms. Originals, a spinoff of his mother's sewing business. At Club Monaco, he was onto the minimalist look long before Calvin Klein and Kate Moss turned "less is more" into a fashion mantra. With Joe Fresh, he helped to usher in the "high-low" street-style aesthetic, where last season's Céline, vintage treasures and fast-fashion pieces work together to form an Instagram-worthy #ootd.

"In the early nineties in Canadian retail, you either had a luxury shopping environment or you had these lower-price-point stores that were all about pushing the product," says Nicholas Mellamphy, a buyer and VP at Hudson's Bay, who worked at Club Monaco in the nineties and considers Mimran a mentor. "What Joe did was bring that high-end shopping experience to affordable clothing."

"With Joe, there is this feeling that he's the chosen one," Mellamphy continues, comparing Mimran and his wife, Kimberley Newport-Mimran (the designer behind Pink Tartan) to the king and queen of the Canadian fashion prom. "You just feel like you want to be part of that energy and maybe, just by proximity, some of that stardust is going to rub off on you."

As a public figure, Mimran has mostly steered clear of the scandals that are seen so frequently in fashion. In a world characterized by excess, he's the guy at the party who holds the same glass of bubbly for an hour. Good judgment, studied consideration and diplomacy served him well in 2013 when Rana Plaza, a garment factory where Joe Fresh merchandise was produced in Bangladesh, collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The incident divided consumers and the industry over the ethics of $5 T-shirts. Mimran was made to answer for the entire fast-fashion system's shortcomings while other retailers implicated in the tragedy hid from the headlines.

And then he left - but don't suggest that Mimran's Joe Fresh departure qualifies as giving up the ship. "That was 10 years of my life," he says. "Operating a company is a huge responsibility. It was something I loved doing for a long time and then it felt like it was time to start something new."

These days, Mimran is as likely to be flipping through Wired magazine as Vogue, doing everything he can to educate himself about the fast-moving tech sphere. He spent two weeks in Italy over the summer ("I haven't done two weeks in...forever," he says), reading novels and only checking his iPhone occasionally. He says it's "way too soon" to predict any future endeavours in the fashion industry, though admits that the concept of a high-end men's-wear label has "always been really exciting to me." Smart money says that when Joe Mimran gets excited, a business venture can't be too far behind.

For now, he's happy supporting other people's big ideas and maybe even letting down those coiffed silver locks a little. At the Dragons' Den wrap party, he took to the stage along with Wekerle, who had brought in his band for the occasion. The song: This is the End by the Doors. Though, in the case of Joe Mimran, a final chapter seems nowhere in sight.

Dragons' Den Season 10 premieres October 7 at 8 p.m. on CBC.


Grooming by Taylor Savage for M.A.C Cosmetics/

Associated Graphic


ON WITH THE SHOW Joe Mimran, pictured at left in his Toronto home in front of a painting by U.K. artist Clare Woods and above with Dragons' Den co-stars Jim Treliving and Michele Romanow, is making the leap from designer-slash-retail giant to investment guru-slash-reality TV star.

How the arts are redrawing St. Catharines
The new $46-million arts school at Brock and two performance centres have stimulated a makeover of an Ontario city trying to distance itself from its rust-belt roots
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B6

... ST. CATHARINES, ONT. -- The view from Highway 406 of downtown St. Catharines has for decades been the ramshackle back of old buildings.

Their fronts sit on a shelf of earth along St. Paul Street. Their backs stretch down to the valley of an old section of the Welland Canal. It had become a disused space, exposed to passing drivers, part of the city's rust-belt roots left derelict (and even a little dangerous, say a few St. Cathariners). Some of the old brick buildings rest on stilts anchored down onto the lower valley floor.

But as residents drove past year after year, accepting and finding beauty in the familiar, a former dean of humanities at Brock University, Rosemary Hale, also saw opportunity. Eight years ago, she convinced artist and philanthropist Marilyn Walker that the university (which can be seen on the horizon, a considerable distance away) needed to bring its art faculty to the site.

And the school has now arrived. The city sees it as central to the revitalization of the downtown and calling card for new development and investment.

"You won't recognize St. Catharines 10 years from now. I guarantee it," Mayor Walter Sendzik said.

The old, brick Canada Hair Cloth Co. factory on the valley floor, a factory that used to make parachute silks and linings for men's suits, has been renovated into Brock University's new, $46-million Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Inside, the white-washed interior with an array of airy art studios, music practice spaces, digital media labs and faculty offices blends the typically tightly packed academic spaces required with the old wooden floorboards, overhead beams and other details of the original factory.

Behind the building, a few paces away, lies the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, a brand new four-theatre venue. Both buildings were designed by Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects, won with separate rounds of tenders with Brock University and the city.

Then at the other end of the patch of land behind the downtown, what was once a raceway of water from the canal and used for powering the cloth looms, now sits the 5,000-seat Meridian Centre, only a year old and used for larger concerts and Niagara IceDogs' junior hockey games.

The aim is to invigorate the downtown through arts, education and entertainment.

Already developers are planning new apartment buildings and downtown high rises, the mayor said. Since St. Catharines is surrounded by the Green Belt of protected natural land, the only direction for building significantly more homes is upward, he said.

"This will be a catalyst which will draw not just people, but investors as well. We're already seeing in our office a heightened interest in the downtown, buying properties with the intention of building up...We've been seeing it for the better part of a year now," Mr. Sendzik said.

"There's a 17-storey building, we've seen the drawings for that.

There are two apartment buildings that are currently being built in the downtown. There are other ones that'll be forthcoming in another month, which will be nine-, seven- and five-storey buildings. That's all going to be within walking distance from this centre."

Revitalizing downtowns through academics and the arts has been happening elsewhere in southern Ontario. For instance, in Hamilton, he noted.

(He didn't mention the occasional voices in Hamilton disparaging a perceived Toronto-fying of that city.)

Among political leaders and planners, "there is a new feeling of optimism in downtown St. Catharines," said regional MPP Jim Bradley at the recent opening the new school, adding that this was something the community needed.

It was easy to get the impression at the art school's opening ceremony that the city is riding a wave of good luck. Brock University's decision to immerse its art students and facilities in the downtown (including such details as not including food services in the school, so that students and faculty will need to venture into the downtown that much more every day) is a stroke of good fortune for the city.

But that belies Brock saying it is just as dependent on the city, as the city depends on Brock.

True, the new performing arts space wouldn't have been as big without the new neighbouring art school. "Without the relationship with the university, we would only have built two [theatres], like normally an arts centre would. But because of that relationship and the need of the university, we were able to bring two more performing stages to the arts community," said Steve Solski, executive director of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

Brock president Jack Lightstone indicated that the planning was very much a two-way relationship. Brock needed the city on board, or the art school's move wouldn't have worked.

"If someone is not willing to really join you as a partner - and that means not just joining with words, but with deeds - then how do you know you matter? If someone is not willing to say, 'We'll throw in our lot with you.

You do this, we'll do that,' it's the only measure that you really matter," he said.

During the initial stages of Brock's planning, Dr. Lightstone noted that the redevelopment of the downtown was also an issue in a municipal election, with a call for a new economic development plan for the city centre.

And it was a cause championed by the area's chamber of commerce, led at that time by Mr. Sendzik, who was later elected mayor in 2014.

"The university said that, 'If you're going to do that, we insist on being at the table' - in other words, not just to carry out the plan, but to be a partner in drafting out the plan, which we did," Dr. Lightstone said.


St. Catharines, Ont., has three new significant facilities for the arts in the core:

FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre A 110,000-square-feet of space to house an 800-seat concert hall, a 180-seat cinema that doubles as a lecture space by day, a dance venue capable of holding an audience of up to 150, and a 250seat recital and rehearsal hall.

Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Brock University's arts faculty has room for 50 full-time faculty, part-time instructors and other staff, plus 500 students. Includes art studios, a framing shop, an art store, digital classrooms, music practice rooms, a 235-seat theatre, a wardrobe, design and scene shop, rehearsal rooms, learning commons and a student gallery.

Meridian Centre A 5,000- to 6,000-seat venue for larger concerts, opened in September of 2014. Also home ice for the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League, among other hockey teams.


5.8% Biggest one-week REIT gainer: FirstService. CIBC

5.6% Biggest one-week REIT decliner: Gazit Globe. CIBC

12.5% Percentage decline in the second quarter year-over-year for average rents in downtown Calgary's office market, amid softer oil prices. CBRE

14.4% Vacancy rate in downtown Calgary's office market, as of the second quarter. CBRE

Associated Graphic

Brock's new arts faculty blends an old factory, left, with an annex that includes classrooms and a studio theare on stilts.


'Everybody is elevating themselves'
Arie Assaraf, the stylish eyes behind fashion emporium TNT, opines on retail's competitive landscape and staying current
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L4 @Jeanne_Beker

For more than 24 years, Arie Assaraf has had his finger on the pulse of international style, making it his mission to bring Canadians up-tothe-minute looks and giving them reason to sartorially celebrate the latest and the greatest in fashion. Today, his four style emporiums, dubbed TNT - which stands for "The New Trend"- are deemed urban style meccas by his loyal clientele. These tony boutiques - three in Toronto and one in Montreal - are shops where personal service rules supreme. Assaraf regards his staff not as salespeople but as "professional stylists" who are passionate about wardrobe building. But these are both heady and perilous times in retail, and Assaraf, who emigrated to Toronto from Israel to realize his dreams, makes no bones about the fact that he'll have to step up his game and keep a sharper focus than ever in order to maintain his unique edge in this increasingly crowded arena. Accordingly, later this fall, he's opening another new frock shop especially dedicated to event dressing. Assaraf recently took time out from showroom hopping in New York to talk about his retail strategy, getting up close and personal with his clients, and why he's on a mission to seek out new labels.

With such a rapidly evolving retail landscape, you must really be on your toes these days. What's your strategy going forward?

I'm shifting a little bit with everything that's going on in New York, obviously because the dollar makes such a big difference now. With the state of our dollar, plus the duties that we're paying, our costs are about 50-per-cent higher than the States.

And what makes it really difficult is that when you deal with brands like Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, Theory... the prices are just getting too high. And we were depending on a lot of those big American anchor brands. So about six months ago I shifted totally. These big brands were no longer our anchors, and we started finding some new lines. We still work with the big American brands but we're buying a little bit less. We're expanding more to Europe, and I'm doing lots of research in Milan. We're bringing in new brands from London and Australia. It's all very exciting.

But it seems that everybody is elevating themselves. They all understand now that things need to change. They can't just keep on recycling bestsellers.

It's exciting to think about this new vision that we're going to be offered in Canada.

Well, I look at my customer, and my customer is 90-per-cent local. My customer is not a tourist. I'm going back into the DNA of clothing. It's all about dressing a woman you know, and it's all about customer service and shopping for the customer.

I'm also getting into more dresses. We're opening an event-dressing store later this fall. I think that there is a big movement toward this and I'd like to actually make it an anchor. Before, it all revolved around denim and the street and the androgynous look. We still have to do that, but now we're bringing other elements into what we offer.

We're dressing all kinds of women, and I love that. We're mixing the clothing up, and that's what I love the most.

The retail landscape is getting so crowded, but you're looking at it as a wonderful challenge and a springboard to whole new possibilities.

Oh, absolutely! I mean, I've been doing that for 20 years. For me, this new time is a very difficult time, but we're always trying to innovate. This is what really makes me love this business - the challenge of making it different. With Nordstrom and Saks coming in, unfortunately we cannot compete with them with certain brands.

But that's why I'm curating a whole different vision. We're always going to try to be unique, and we're always going to be all about the service. People are telling me it's going to be very crowded, so I say, "Yeah, and they're all going to make me look great, so it's all good." If it's going to be crowded, we need to shine. I'm going to do whatever it takes, you know, because we are a local retailer and we're hands-on.

A department store cannot do what a boutique can do because they have their own way of doing things. And at the end of the day, when they ask me, "Arie, who's going to be your competition?" I say, "I'm not in the Olympics! There's no competition. I'm not running to get a gold medal." Basically, we have a woman who has a closet and we all need to be in her closet.

You get to see it all, and pick what you believe your customer is going to want.

But how hard is it to maintain that focus when there's so much coming at you?

I know exactly who our customer is. And we also buy differently. The unique thing with us is that because I see about 350 brands, I see the whole closet, I see everything that's available. There are not too many buyers today who buy or even see all these categories. In a department store, there is a designer buyer, a contemporary buyer, a denim buyer, a dress buyer... and they are not connected. They don't see what everybody's buying. I see everything and I buy everything. So, I look at things with a different eye. And I choose it very differently. I have to be honest with you, 2014 was very stale. Nothing was inspiring - 2014 was a really slack year in fashion as far as I'm concerned. I knew we had to change our buying direction, and for that, you need to do research, travel, go to showrooms. You need to go see many, many designers. Now, it's the talented small designers I love the most.

What would you suggest to young Canadian designers behind the brands that are trying to get off the ground here.

What hope can you give them?

Talent is talent, but at the end of the day, if they do not have the infrastructure behind them, unfortunately, there's nowhere to go. There's so much talent out there, but they don't have the money behind them, and they're not going to be able to do what they need to do. The people who actually have some money and some direction behind them are doing okay. But it's not easy for Canadian designers to actually make it in Canada, because it's a very limited business with the retailers. It's also important to understand that it's not just what's happening in your backyard. You need to see what's happening in the world, what's going on in China, in Russia, in Europe. We need to understand the shift of fashion.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

TRENDSETTER TNT owner Arie Assaraf depends on a nimble approach to buying to differentiate his boutiques in a crowded marketplace.


Reno boom brings bad behaviour
Vancouver sees 74-per-cent spike in stop work orders as homeowners and builders cut corners
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S5

As the city is deluged with permit applications for new houses, laneway houses, garages and renovations, bad behaviour is also on the rise.

Homeowners and builders are increasingly pushing boundaries on what's allowed in order to speed the process. Because of a massive spike in residential permit applications, the city has seen a 74-per-cent overall monthly increase in stop work orders issued this year compared with last year.

Stop work orders are typically issued to homeowners when work is being done without a permit. As of the end of August, Vancouver had issued an average of 20 stop work orders each month this year.

"We just have a huge number of permits coming up - new homes, commercial, you name it. We have very high construction values and an increase in numbers, so that is part of the problem," the city's chief building official, Pat Ryan, said.

"That's putting a lot of pressure on city staff to keep up with everything."

The spike in permit applications is mostly due to major increases in residential work. And the majority of the stop work orders have been for residential jobs as well, he says.

As a result, the city is hiring extra staff to respond to the problem. Chief city planner Brian Jackson said he's in the process of reviewing the situation.

"The increase [in stop work orders] is due to the frustration out there and the slowness of our approval of permits, so people have gone ahead and started work without them," he said Thursday. "So we are trying to address that. We are meeting with the city manager today. The current situation is unacceptable to our employees, to our department, to our management and certainly to council.

"When you look at the total number of dwellings approved to date in 2015 compared [with] the total number approved to the end of August, 2014, we are up almost 1,000 residential units. This is in all [housing] categories."

Currently, the maximum fine for working without a permit is $5,000. In a housing market in which the average house is priced at $2.23-million, that sort of fine is pocket change. Mr. Ryan says the real deterrent is the time delay that follows a stop work order. Basically, if you break the rules the city will spend more time issuing you permits and inspecting your work.

"If someone is doing work without a permit, obviously there is potentially more of a problem," Mr. Ryan said. "It's going to be a more thorough check, because the trust is gone."

Mr. Jackson said the increase in stop work orders is exacerbated by new regulations, such as the required deconstruction of old homes that are demolished, or better energy or wheelchairaccessibility requirements. Also, earlier this year there was an intense crackdown on projects that were supposed to have sprinkler systems. The regulations mean it takes more time to get a project through the system.

"[Stop work orders] are rising faster than we'd like," he said.

"That's why we have to get the permitting system back to functioning the way it was in 2013.

"And that's why I'm requesting additional permanent staff," he added.

If the fines were an actual deterrent, there would be fewer attempts at illegal, potentially unsafe work, and the city would save money on the administrative costs associated with having to respond to bad behaviour. As well, there would probably be more trees standing. About half the city's tree canopy is on private properties, and as a result the city's once amazing canopy area has shrunk to 18 per cent.

Unbelievably, Toronto has a bigger tree canopy than Vancouver.

Mr. Jackson said an increase in fines would be something to consider, perhaps an amount "proportional to the value of the building." For legal reasons, the city couldn't raise them sky high, but they could be much higher.

"The amount of the fines may be one of the reasons why it's not much of a deterrent when dealing with a multimillion-dollar house. A $5,000 fine is a drop in the bucket compared [with] the contractor being able to deliver a house on time to a client."

It appears the high cost of Vancouver housing is directly linked to contractors pushing through with illegal work to meet their budgets. Other municipalities such as Burnaby, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Coquitlam, Langley and Richmond have not experienced a similar increase in stop work orders this year. But the pace of development in those communities has not increased significantly this year over last.

Burnaby's chief building inspector, Patrick Shek, said the city issues about 350 to 400 permits for new homes and renovations a year. Only Delta's planning chief, Jeff Day, mentioned an increase of about 5 per cent to 10 per cent in building and renovation permits.

"South Delta and North Delta are definitely busier than last year," he said.

Meanwhile, some Vancouver residents are turning to vigilante tactics in an attempt to curtail illegal work. In June, one Dunbar resident got between a tree cutter and his chainsaw. The man had already removed several trees from a neighbour's yard legally, with a permit. Under the developer's instruction, he was proceeding to remove three more tall trees that were supposed to be protected. The woman, who didn't want to be named, phoned the police and the city, and then grabbed the chainsaw away from the man. As other neighbours gathered around, she caused quite a commotion.

"[The developer and tree cutters] were absolutely beside themselves that I had tried to stop the work. They were furious," she said.

A police officer arrived and ordered the cutter out of the tree, even though the officer couldn't actually stop the work since it wasn't a criminal act. It was only when a city staffer showed up that the illegal tree removal work was shut down.

The owner faces fines of up to $10,000 per tree, and potential other costs.

The house, at 3854 West 38th Avenue, also had a stop work order put on it when the city discovered unpermitted work being done. It now sits half-finished, the wood framing exposed for months, and its forest of trees mostly cleared. There is what's left of the three, sad 30-foot-tall trees, with most of their limbs lopped off. The site has gone from a charming house with a garden to a neighbourhood eyesore.

The woman has written to the city to raise the fines, especially considering that the house cost about $2.7-million.

"The $10,000 fine per tree is not a deterrent. It almost encourages you to cut them down," she said.

Mr. Jackson said he'll also be reviewing aspects of the tree bylaw and requesting changes in the next month.

Added Mr. Ryan: "You want the work done properly, by experienced tradespeople with appropriate permits. You may try to save a bunch of money, but it could cost you a lot more in the end."

Associated Graphic

The city issued a stop work order at 3854 West 38th Ave. when it was found work was being done without a permit.


Swedish pioneer of Nordic noir
Popular Wallander crime novels sold millions around the world, and were adapted for film and TV
Associated Press
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S8

STOCKHOLM -- Henning Mankell, the internationally renowned Swedish crime writer whose books about the gloomy, soul-searching police inspector Kurt Wallander enticed readers around the world, died early Monday, his publisher said.

He was 67.

The hesitant figurehead of Scandinavian crime fiction, who last year revealed he had cancer, died in his sleep in the southwestern city of Goteborg, his publisher, Leopard, said in a statement on its website.

Mr. Mankell wrote some 50 novels and numerous plays, selling more than 40 million copies worldwide.

Following in the footsteps of the popular 1960s Swedish crime-writing duo of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, Mr. Mankell's Wallander series helped to define the Scandinavian genre that became known as Nordic noir. Set in the bleak landscapes of southern Sweden, the series drew on the dark, morally complex moods of its main protagonist and was heavily infused with social commentary.

Mr. Mankell was deeply engaged in social and political issues. Since the mid-1980s he had divided his time between Sweden and Mozambique, where he helped build a village for orphaned children to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

He was also among the activists who were attacked and arrested by Israeli forces as they tried to sail to the Gaza Strip with humanitarian supplies in June, 2010. In a confrontation with Israeli forces on one of the boats, nine people were killed.

Mr. Mankell, who was on another vessel, was arrested and deported to Sweden.

"You have to act, not just by writing but by standing up and doing. For me, you cannot call yourself an intellectual if all you use your intellectual gifts for is to find excuses not to do anything. Which, sadly, is what I think a lot of intellectuals do," he told Britain's Guardian newspaper.

The first Wallander novel, Faceless Killers, was published in 1991, when Mr. Mankell was 43, and the series ended in 2009 with the 10th novel, The Troubled Man.

The books have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. They have been adapted into films and TV series in Sweden and a popular BBC series, starring British actor Kenneth Branagh.

Mr. Branagh described Mr. Mankell as "a man of passionate commitment," who leaves an "immense contribution" to Scandinavian literature.

"Those privileged to know him, together with readers from all over the world, will mourn a fine writer and a fine man," Mr. Branagh said in a statement Monday.

Mr. Mankell's international success paved the way for other Scandinavian authors, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo author Stieg Larsson and Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo.

Yet Mr. Mankell disliked talking about the Scandinavian crimefiction phenomenon and said he was mostly influenced by Sherlock Holmes and classical Greek drama.

"It was never my intention to write crime novels as such, but to use the crime as a sort of mirror of a society and of a time.

That is my starting point and I know that very many of those who are called crime writers today, they don't do that," he said in a 2009 interview .

Mr. Mankell was born in Stockholm on Feb. 3, 1948, the son of judge Ivar Mankell and librarian Birgitta, but his mother abandoned the family when he was only a year old. He said that it was a "terrible thing for a child to deal with" and that he couldn't get over disliking his mother, when he met her again at 15, for what she had done. She later died by suicide.

He, his father and older sister, Helena, lived in the courthouse in the town of Sveg in central Sweden, where his father was a judge, and young Henning grew up listening to grown-ups' discussions about crime and punishment.

As a boy he read books about Africa, the most exotic place he could imagine, and decided to go there one day. He has said he started dreaming of becoming an author from the day his grandmother taught him how to write.

Hoping to emulate Joseph Conrad, he dropped out of school at 16 and went to sea in the Swedish merchant marine. He later described that period, loading and unloading ships in the hardworking community, as his "real university." But he quit the merchant marine when, after numerous voyages, he got no farther than the British port of Middlesbrough. At 19, a play he had written was produced in Stockholm. A year later, he was named an assistant theatre director and travelled around the country with touring productions.

Mr. Mankell released his first novel in 1973, The Rock Blaster, which was set in the midst of a workers' union movement.

With the money he got from the book he bought a ticket to Guinea-Bissau in Africa and set off on a journey to realize his childhood dream. The trip would mark the start of his lifelong relationship with the continent.

"I don't know why but when I got off the plane in Africa, I had a curious feeling of coming home," he later wrote.

After that he spent a big part of his life in Africa, living in countries including Zambia and Mozambique, and in 1986 he started to work as artistic leader at Teatro Avenida in Mozambique's capital, Maputo.

Back in Sweden in the 1990s, he worked as head of a small theatre in the town of Vaxjo. In addition to the Wallander series, he also wrote a number of children's books and independent novels, including The Eye of the Leopard (1990) and The Man from Beijing (2008).

Mr. Mankell eventually tired of Wallander.

He ended the detective's career in The Troubled Man, in which Wallander bows out of the police force because of Alzheimer's disease. "I shall not miss Wallander," he told The Guardian in 2013.

But his readers and many reviewers did.

"Detective Chief Inspector Kurt Wallander has solved his last case," Marilyn Stasio lamented in a 2011 New York Times review.

"Making this news more bitter, the alcoholic, diabetic, antisocial and perpetually dour Swedish detective is at his gloomy best in The Troubled Man."

Income from his novels and their screen adaptations made Mr. Mankell a multimillionaire.

He married and divorced three times before his final lasting marriage in 1998 with Eva Bergman, the daughter of film legend Ingmar Bergman ("It shows I am an optimist," he told The Guardian).

Together the couple worked with various charities in Africa.

He was particularly involved in a project in Uganda of "memory books," in which parents dying of AIDS recorded their life stories for their children.

He leaves his wife and son, Jon Mankell.

"My driving force is, I guess, the same as all artists and authors," Mr. Mankell told the Associated Press.

"To try to understand the time and the world one lives in. Like most other people, I want to know why I have lived by the time I die."

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

Henning Mankell was deeply engaged in social issues. 'You have to act, not just by writing but by standing up and doing,' he said.


Firearms occupy an intrinsic role in U.S. society and remain a potent symbol of freedom and democracy, writes Omar El Akkad in Portland, Ore. So much so that the prospect for real change is slim
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A14

A half-hour's drive west of Portland, Ore., deep within the forestland that separates the city from the ocean, a ruined train track runs alongside the Salmonberry River.

Following what remains of the tracks, mangled by mudslides and years of neglect, makes for a pleasant day hike. The forest, thick with moss-lacquered trees and nests of amber chanterelles, is quiet - save for the trickle of the Salmonberry, and a hail of gunfire. On the old logging road leading to the trailhead, dozens of shooters congregate. They come here to practise, their targets crudely drawn on old wooden boards placed haphazardly in the roadside clearings. On a bright summer day, the forest comes alive with the pop-poppop of handguns - the shooters as much a part of the landscape as the hikers.

On Thursday, Oregon became the site of the 45th school shooting in the United States this year, after a 26-year-old named Chris Harper-Mercer walked into Umpqua Community College in the small logging town of Roseburg armed with five handguns and a rifle. In 10 minutes, Mr. HarperMercer killed more people than all the fatal shootings in Japan last year.

Once again, the massacre unleashed a torrent of calls for tighter gun-control laws - the most pained of which came from U.S. President Barack Obama. In the United States, where there are almost as many civilian firearms as there are civilians, almost all talk of gun legislation now seems to ebb and flow with the frequency and intensity of mass shootings.

But that kind of debate obscures a simple American reality: Throughout much of this country, from rural towns, such as Roseburg, to the vast majority of the Deep South, guns are part of the social and cultural fabric.

In these places, there exists a significant portion of the population that views gun ownership not as a standalone issue, but as a bellwether of individual freedom. For this outspoken and politically influential bloc, any measure to limit weapons - even a recent proposal to ban a single type of armour-piercing bullet - impinges on the basic American right to be left alone.

In one Georgia town named Kennesaw, gun ownership is mandatory. The law is purely ceremonial, meant not to compel but to make a statement.

Earlier this year in Kennesaw, The Globe and Mail interviewed Robert Jones, the town's unofficial historian. With his rifles on display upon the kitchen table, he explained why he owns a set of weapons he hardly ever uses.

"People ask me, 'Why do you have guns, do you hunt?' No. 'Do you target-shoot?' Rarely," he had said.

"'Well, why do you need a gun, who do you need to protect yourself from?' And my response is: 'To protect myself from liberals like you, who want to abrogate my constitutional rights.' "I think if liberals had their way ... they would take every private gun away."

Many firearms supporters ascribe to the notion that any gun-control measure inevitably precedes every gun-control measure. But twinned with this ideology is something far more tangible - the persuasive power of money.

Guns and ammunition constitute a $17-billion (U.S.) industry in the United States, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, with an indirect economic impact of more than $40billion. Roughly 134,000 people rely on the weapons business to earn a living. The National Rifle Association, the biggest and most influential of many industry lobby groups, shells out more than $3-million a year to just about any candidate opposed to gun restrictions.

Pressed by ideological and financial pressure, few politicians who depend on the pro-firearm vote have ever seen a gun-control law they saw fit to support. The day after the Oregon shooting, even as a parade of big-name Democrats voiced their support for tighter restrictions, several Republican presidential candidates dismissed them off-hand: Ohio Governor John Kasich said increased use of the death penalty and stiffer prison sentences, not new gun laws, were needed to stop mass shootings.

Jeb Bush dismissed tighter controls, saying: "Look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something, and it's not necessarily the right thing to do."

In reality, when it comes to gun control in the United States, that impulse to do something has rarely resulted in something being done. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December, 2012 - when a man killed 20 children - U.S. states have passed more laws to loosen gun laws than to tighten them.

On Friday, Democrat Richard Blumenthal became the latest politician to try once more to turn that tide. The Connecticut senator introduced federal legislation that would ban gun sales until background checks are complete (in some parts of the country, the law allows for "default sales" if background checks are still pending after 72 hours).

"Gun violence is a public health epidemic and menace that must be met at peril to our moral as well as physical survival," Mr. Blumenthal said. "We cannot allow another tragedy to pass with only words of grief and regret."

But there have been no shortage of tragedies, no shortage of potential turning points at which, ultimately, no turn was made.

There have been 142 school shootings in the United States since Sandy Hook. Thursday's killings in Oregon were the first school shooting since an incident in Sioux Falls, S.D. - one day earlier. None has prompted even temporary reconsideration among those who oppose any measure to make weapons harder to obtain.

"Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out," Mr. Obama said on Thursday.

"'We need more guns,' they'll argue. 'Fewer gun safety laws.' Does anybody really believe that?" In much of the country, the answer is an unflinching Yes.


2013 51 Number of shootings involving four or more victims

231 Total number killed

41 Total number injured


31 Number of shootings involving four or more victims

140 Total number killed

39 Total number injured


32 Number of shootings involving four or more victims

161 Total number killed

37 Total number injured


In advanced countries, according to the Human Development Index

While the United States ranks highest in the developed world in per capita gun deaths, the firearms-homicide rate outside the developed world is considerably higher. While the United States has 32 firearmsrelated homicides, Honduras recorded 684, Jamaica 394 and Brazil 181, to name three of the 25 countries ahead of the United States. When it comes to total gun deaths in a country, Brazil overshadows all with 43,768. The United States is fifth in that category with 9,960, behind Colombia (12,539), Mexico (11,309) and Venezuela (11,115).

(UNODC's homicide data is from 2010 and 2009, depending on the country.)

Associated Graphic

Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Cox bows her head during a prayer at a vigil to honour victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting on Thursday night.


H McALASTER / THE GLOBE AND MAIL SOURCE: UNODC, Small Arms Survey, Guardian Datablog

Students, staff and faculty are evacuated from Umpqua community College.


Ephemeral ghost particles lead to solid Nobel win for Canadian
Arthur McDonald's groundbreaking neutrino experiment sheds light on the deeper nature of matter
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

Hold up a finger toward the sun.

It doesn't matter if it's a cloudy day. Every second about 65 billion neutrinos, forged in the sun's fiery core, are travelling at nearly the speed of light through the one square centimetre taken up by your fingernail.

Ditto for the rest of you. Right now trillions upon trillions of neutrinos are passing through you and the entire planet like bullets through wisps of cloud.

You can't feel them. Yet these ephemeral essences - mere ghosts on the particle family tree - have nabbed something entirely tangible: Canada's latest Nobel Prize.

For Arthur McDonald, the Queen's University professor emeritus who shares this year's physics prize for the pivotal neutrino experiment he directed at the bottom of a Sudbury nickel mine, the outcome could hardly be more perfect.

"It was a pretty pleasant awakening," said Dr. McDonald, of the 4 a.m. phone call he received on Tuesday from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The prize is the ultimate validation of a gutsy decision made by Dr. McDonald together with many other researchers and government funding agencies to build an experiment on the strength of an unproven idea. It will stand as an example of Canadian-led science at its best, with an emphasis on collaboration, a blending of theory with technical prowess, and the combined expertise of both university and government researchers supported by industry and all converging on a single challenging problem.

"I think you have to be willing to have an overall objective that only a team can accomplish," said Dr. McDonald, when asked what it took to bring the $73-million experiment to fruition. "It's too big for any one person."

Dr. McDonald, 72, shares the $1.26-million (Canadian) prize with Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo. Together they represent complementary experiments in Canada and Japan that were the first to show neutrinos have mass and can switch from one type or "flavour" to another - a property that is subtly connected to the deeper nature of matter and reality itself. The prize comes 14 years after Dr. McDonald and his team announced their groundbreaking result at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, and about three decades after the experiment was first conceived.

"Art McDonald's Nobel Prize for his trailblazing discoveries serves as a powerful example of what can be done in Canada today, with focus, foresight and persistence," said Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ont.

For non-physicists, the effort was as abstract and unseen as the neutrino itself. Yet, it's an area that grew out of the practical development of nuclear science that followed the U.S. Manhattan Project, the race to build the first atomic bomb - and an area in which Canada was, for a time, at the forefront, because of a cluster of talented researchers at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories (now Chalk River Laboratories) northwest of Ottawa.

Dr. McDonald, who was born in Sydney, N.S., came to Chalk River in 1970 after earning his PhD at the California Institute of Technology. He spent a dozen years at the federal lab before taking up a professorship at Princeton University. But a few years later, an exciting proposal for a neutrino experiment set in motion his return to Canada.

By then, physicists had been puzzling for years about what had come to be known as the solar neutrino problem. After the neutrino was first verified in 1956, experiments designed to capture neutrinos generated by nuclear reactions in the sun were coming up short. Either physicists' basic understanding of how the sun shines was wrong or there was something unexplained about neutrinos that could reveal more about particle physics as a whole.

One possible answer was that the three known flavours of neutrinos, called electron, muon and tau neutrinos, were swapping identities - a situation that is mathematically possible if the mass of each neutrino flavour differs from the others by a small amount. Since the sun makes only one kind of neutrino, experiments that were built to spot only that type would have missed this.

Canada proved to be the key to cracking the mystery. The heavy water that is used in Candu reactors makes an excellent neutrino catcher. Importantly, it can also be used to detect neutrinos in two ways. One reaction is sensitive only to electron neutrinos, the other involves all three flavours (but without distinguishing between them). By comparing results from both reactions, physicists reasoned it should be possible to test the idea that neutrinos can switch identities and therefore have mass.

To provide meaningful results, the experiment would need 1,000 tonnes of heavy water surrounded by sensitive detectors and carefully shielded from radioactivity as well as from cosmic rays more than two kilometres below ground. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory was born, and starting in 1989 with Dr. McDonald at its helm, the audacious plan began to gain funding and momentum. "It was a difficult project, never done before," said Pekka Sinervo, senior vice-president of research for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research in Toronto, who served on the experiment's advisory committee.

He said that Dr. McDonald led the difficult process of building the experiment with a light touch and a genuine concern for the people behind the science.

"He was very clear on where the experiment had to get to ... and he was also the one who understood everything that was going on."

There would prove to be many hurdles along the way and there was competition, too. In 1998, researchers with the Japanese neutrino experiment, SuperKamiokande, announced their first evidence that neutrinos produced in Earth's atmosphere were switching flavour. The following year, Dr. McDonald and his team were taking data on solar neutrinos.

"We really had a eureka moment," said Dr. McDonald, referring to when the entire team first saw the accumulated data.

The missing solar neutrinos were now accounted for. They had shown that electron neutrinos from the sun can change flavour after they are made, and a new and intriguing property of matter was waiting to be explored.

How SNO worked

Nuclear reactions from the sun are known to produce electron-type neutrinos (e). To test whether electron neutrinos can change into other types, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory measured two different reactions within heavy water in a giant acrylic container lined with lightsensing detectors. One involved only electron neutrinos, while the other detected all three types of neutrinos. By comparing results from the two reactions, physicists were able to prove that neutrinos can switch between types after their creation in the sun.

Associated Graphic

Arthur McDonald poses for photos with Queen's University students Wakaba Onose and Max Neugebauer in Kingston on Tuesday.


The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory sits more than two kilometres beneath the surface near Sudbury. Top right: Arthur McDonald, left, speaks with Doug Hallman of Laurentian University in 1995. Bottom right: Japan's SuperKamiokande detector, which conducted complementary neutrino experiments, consists of a 50,000-tonne stainless-steel water tank and about 11,000 photo sensors.



You've got to Gozo
With its dramatic cliffs, golden beaches and cerulean sea, this picturesque Maltese isle looks as if it's made for the movies
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L3

GOZO, MALTA -- There's a sexy scene-stealer in the new movie By the Sea, and no, we don't mean Brad Pitt's bushy blond porn-star moustache or Angelina Jolie's perfectly sculpted, tear-streaked cheekbones. Rather, it's the sultry setting itself that's making waves, with the camera lavishing the blue seas, dramatic cliffs and gold stone facades of Gozo with fetishistic devotion.

Brangelina's upcoming tale of fractured romance is set in 1970s France, but it was shot on this tiny Mediterranean isle last year.

It's not the first time Hollywood's hottest couple has filmed in the Maltese archipelago, but previously, they focused their attention on the island of Malta, a 25-minute ferry ride to the southeast. Gozo's big sister featured in Troy and Alexander, starring Pitt and Jolie respectively, and also in blockbusters Gladiator, The Devil's Double, Munich, Midnight Express and Pitt's World War Z.

By contrast, little Gozo's most memorable role until now was a wedding scene in Season 1 of Game of Thrones.

With the release of By the Sea on Nov. 13, it's finally Gozo's turn to step into the spotlight. If you're keen to explore the isle's silver-screen charms yourself, here's a roundup of Gozo's best attractions.

Go Coastal

In one scene from By the Sea, Jolie walks along a rocky bluff as the cerulean sea crashes below her. Take your own cinematic stroll along the towering Ta' Seguna cliffs on the south, where you might pass a taciturn shepherd tending his marble-eyed goats. Further east, admire 18thcentury Fort Chambray crowning undulating hills, and pause at a crystalline cove to watch local fisherman cast their rods from the rocky shores.

To the north, bask on the golden sands of Ramla Bay before continuing northwest towards Xwejni Bay and a series of placid salt pans that reflect the sky above, muddling the line between water and sky like a maritime mirage. You could realistically circumnavigate Gozo - which measures just 67 square kilometres - on foot in a week.

The Azure Window

The fossil-encrusted plateau surrounding this 28-metre-high natural stone arch in western Dwejra Bay is where Game of Thrones' dragon-taming queen Daenerys Targaryen tied the knot with Drogo, a Dothraki chieftain. The distinctive setting is instantly recognizable, although you're more likely to find camera-toting tourists licking ice cream cones than leather-clad lasses twerking around a tribal drum circle.

Yet this wave-lashed stretch of coast has seen its share of historic drama. Fungus Rock, a sloping limestone outcropping just offshore, is home to a rare and supposedly medicinal plant. It was so highly valued in the 16th century that trespassers could be sentenced to death.

Mgarr ix-Xini

In By the Sea, the film crew transformed a small seafood café in secluded Mgarr ix-Xini Bay into a village grocery store. Today, the shelves they built and left behind are strung with snapshots from the set, and an autographed photo of Jolie hangs on the wall as a keepsake.

"Beautiful eyes. Beautiful lips.

Beautiful cheekbones," restaurant owner Noel Vella rhapsodizes, as he gestures towards the glossy headshot. "But a bit skinny," he concludes with a shrug, turning to write the day's menu on a chalkboard.

That's all the encouragement you'll need to tuck into Vella's victuals. By the time he's completed his frenzied list, consisting of mussels, marinated sardines, smoked salmon, whitebait and more, the chalk is whittled to a crumbling nub, and the sea is presumably empty.


Gozo's capital is so picturesque, it could have been purpose-built as a movie set. Peruse the market, where the perfume of floral bouquets competes with the briny scent of freshly caught fish. Wander the meandering sun-washed lanes, where cantilevered wrought-iron balconies shield shrines to saints embedded in the old stone walls. Don't be surprised if you spy a key in one of the brightly painted doors. "It's a sign of welcome," explains local guide Darrell Azzopardi.

While the Maltese might not hesitate to leave their homes unlocked, their ancestors weren't quite so laid-back. Victoria is dominated by the hilltop Citadel - a walled city within the city, with fortifications dating back to the 15th century. Walk along the walls for panoramic views of the island.

Ggantija Temples Dating to 3200 BC to 3600 BC, these Neolithic temples on the Xaghra plateau are among the oldest man-made structures on Earth, predating even the Egyptian pyramids. Though the temples' exact purpose has been lost to the ages, some speculate that they were built by a fertility cult.

Stock up on souvenir booty at the adjacent gift shop, which sells replicas of apple-bottomed goddesses that pack more junk in the trunk than Kim Kardashian.

Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa

Hotel Ta' Cenc is a family-run boutique property that sprawls over 150 hectares, with multiple pools, a spa and A-list celebrity guests. Pitt and Jolie rented one of the romantic bungalows to chill out during filming, and the definitive 007 and his wife have stayed here, too.

"Everyone loved Sean Connery," says Monica Borg, the hotel's sales and marketing director. "It was his wife's birthday, and we made her a cake; she was so happy about it. They really appreciated everything people did for them."

As for Brad Pitt, "I thought he was even more gorgeous in real life," Borg gushes. Just wait until she gets a load of that moustache in all its big-screen glory.

The writer's trip was subsidized by Headwater Holidays. It did not review or approve this article.


There are no direct flights between Toronto and Luqa Malta International, but several airlines offer flights with one stop, including Lufthansa and KLM. Consider a mix-andmatch approach for the best fares. For instance, you could fly from Toronto to Charles de Gaulle on Air France, then take a connecting flight from Charles de Gaulle to Malta on Air Malta. From Malta, it's a 25-minute ferry ride to Gozo.


If Ta' Cenc was good enough for Brangelina, you're not likely to find anything lacking.

Luxuriate by the swimming pools, indulge at the spa and plan to spend a few boozy nights in the bar trying to get the staff to spill the beans about glitzy guests. Doubles from 190 ($283). .


British-based Headwater Holidays offers seven-night walking and cycling holidays that include accommodations in two five-star hotels, round-trip ferry between Gozo and Malta, transfers, bike rentals, breakfast and evening meals, from £1,239 ($2,509) including round-trip airfare between Heathrow and Malta, or from £999 ($2,023) not including airfare. For more ideas visit and

Associated Graphic

Scenes from the new Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie film By the Sea were filmed in the scenic bay of Mgarr ix-Xini on Gozo.

For some of the best views of Gozo, walk along the walls of the Citadel in the capital of Victoria.


Obama, Putin clash signals a shift in the world order
U.S. President concedes he will have to negotiate with Moscow and Tehran over fate of Syrian leader
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

For the past quarter century, the green marble dais in the United Nations General Assembly Hall has been a pulpit from which U.S. presidents told the rest of the planet how things were going to be.

Bill Clinton used the rostrum to publicly prod Israeli and Palestinian leaders toward a hoped-for peace, and to belatedly justify NATO's military campaign in Kosovo. George W. Bush stood in the same place to foreshadow his intention to go to war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. In 2011, Barack Obama celebrated - too early - the Arab Spring and the fall of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.

Mr. Obama was back at the same podium on Monday, this time to implicitly acknowledge that the old U.S.-led world order had disintegrated somewhere along the way. An age of multipolarity, for better and for worse, has arrived.

"Dangerous currents risk pulling us back into a darker, more disordered world," was how the current U.S. President put it. Mr. Obama went on to concede that he would have to negotiate with Moscow and Tehran over the fate of Syrian President Bashar alAssad, though he vowed there would be no return to the "prewar status quo" in the shattered country.

An hour after Mr. Obama spoke, Russian President Vladimir Putin - who seethed for years as Washington toppled Moscow's allies in Belgrade, Baghdad and Tripoli - made it clear that the United States no longer gets to make the rules by itself. "We can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world," Mr. Putin said in his first address to the General Assembly since 2005.

Mr. Putin already backed those words up earlier this month with the surprise deployment of Russian fighter jets and ground troops into western Syria.

The speeches were followed by a 90-minute bilateral meeting between Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama, their first in nearly two years.

While there was little personal warmth on display - they exchanged a quick handshake, but no words or smiles, for the TV cameras - Mr. Putin said afterward that he and Mr. Obama had agreed to improve relations and "overcome existing differences."

There's quite a gap to bridge. The clashing ideologies of the two leaders were plain throughout their remarks to the General Assembly.

Mr. Obama lamented the rise of the idea that stability, even when brought by a "tyrant" (as he referred to Mr. al-Assad), was more valuable than freedoms. Mr. Putin spoke of greater chaos ahead if the United States (which he managed to criticize at length without using the country's name) carried on with its relentless promotion of democracy.

The applause that Mr. Putin received at the end of a 25-minute speech spent blaming the United States for all the trouble on the planet must have felt like vindication. A year ago, it was Mr.

Putin - having just seized and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine - whom Mr. Obama painted as a villain from the UN podium.

China's Xi Jinping and Iran's Hassan Rouhani were among the other leaders who called for an international system based more closely on national sovereignty, rather than universal values. Mr. Xi backed up his call for greater multilateralism by promising that Beijing would establish an 8,000-strong force on standby for use in peacekeeping missions. He also pledged $1-billion (U.S.) in new support for UN programs.

On Monday, Mr. Putin also offered multilateral co-operation, calling for a UN-sanctioned military mission against the so-called Islamic State. (A U.S.-led coalition, which includes Canada, has been carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State for more than 13 months without a specific UN mandate.)

It's a barbed offer, one that Mr. Putin insists must include co-operation with Mr. al-Assad. But with hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees arriving in Europe, and few gains on the ground to show from the campaign of air strikes against the self-declared caliphate, Western leaders have little choice but to consider Mr. Putin's offered hand.

After the speeches, Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin held their first bilateral meeting in more than two years, a conversation the Russian leader described afterward as "very constructive, business-like and frank." Mr. Putin suggested that Russia could join the current campaign of air strikes against the Islamic State, though he ruled out any ground operations in the country. He stuck to his line that Mr.

al-Assad's fate must be decided by Syrians alone, without outside interference. A U.S. official told reporters that the two leaders had agreed to explore a political solution to the war in Syria, but disagreed over the future of Mr. al-Assad.

The tête-à-tête was an acknowledgment that Mr. Obama's strategy of isolating Russia and punishing it with economic sanctions until it changed its behaviour in Ukraine has thus far failed. The White House official said half of the 90-minute meeting had been dedicated to Ukraine, with Mr. Obama expressing concerns about the implementation of a ceasefire in the east of the country between the Ukrainian army and Kremlinbacked separatists.

Mr. Putin effectively forced the meeting by escalating the stakes at every turn. The presence of 28 Russian combat jets at an airfield near Mr. al-Assad's hometown of Latakia means there won't be a no-fly zone over the country unless Mr. Putin allows one. Russian tanks and artillery mean that Mr. al-Assad won't be toppled by a bunch of U.S.-trained "moderate" rebels.

After the disappointments of the Camp David peace summits, and the debacle of the Iraq invasion, it was perhaps inevitable that it would be in the Middle East where the era of American hyperpower came to an end. Mr. Obama's hesitation over Syria has proved as costly as Mr. Clinton's misplaced optimism over Israel and Palestine, and Mr. Bush's misguided war in Iraq.

Four years ago, when Syria's civil war was still in its infancy, Mr. Obama declared that "the time has come" for Mr. al-Assad to resign. Two years ago, after evidence emerged that the regime had used chemical weapons against its own people, Mr. Obama brought the United States to the brink of military action against Mr. al-Assad's forces, until Mr. Putin emerged with a plan to remove Syria's chemical weapons (though allegations of attacks involving chlorine gas and other agents remain part of the horrifying conflict) and save his ally.

On Monday, Mr. Obama was left acknowledging that Mr. al-Assad - after 41/2 years of war, 200,000plus deaths and millions driven from their homes - would likely remain in power for the near future, until a "managed transition" could be arranged.

And it won't be a U.S. president who decides alone what happens next.

Follow me on Twitter: @markmackinnon

Associated Graphic

There was little personal warmth between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the UN on Monday.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, says his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama was 'frank.'


Sweet 16: Let James Adams guide you through the 10th iteration of Toronto's all-night 'contemporary art thing'
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page M4

It's impossible, of course. Impossible for one person to take in the 110-plus projects that make up Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2015, the 10th iteration of Toronto's fabled all-night freebie "contemporary art thing."

Sure, you have a little more than 12 hours to trip the dark fantastic, from 6:55 p.m. Saturday to 7:18 a.m. Sunday. Sure, Lines 1 and 2 of the subway are operating all through the night. Sure, organizers are extending the runs of 14 projects through Oct. 12.

And, yes, some interactions, installations and exhibitions are helpfully positioned in clusters in and around downtown.

But, finally, no matter how fleet the transit (or your feet), how cooperative the weather and effective the particular elixirs at your disposal (as of this writing, five watering holes have had their last calls extended to 4 a.m. Sunday), Nuit Blanche's too-muchof-a-muchness - the crowds! the stuff! the artists! - will defeat you. Which, of course, is entirely the point and all of the fun.

The happening's very ephemerality - here tonight, gone tomorrow - makes it next-to-impossible to determine what project will deliver the biggest punch, the most nuanced moment, the greatest puzzlement or the most charm. Still, let's make the effort, shall we?

Herewith a largely random selection of art that has the potential to brighten the night of Nuit Blanche 2015. (Details as ever at

If you like ...

Outdoor installations

1) Inside Out, by JR

The New York-based artist has been given several sites to program/curate under the rubric Black and White Night. One is Nathan Phillips Square, always a popular Nuit destination, where visitors are invited into a photobooth to take their portraits, then paste the results at locations on the square. (Queen Street West at Bay.)

2) The Work of Wind, curated by Christine Shaw

For the first time in Nuit history, the lakefront expanse between Parliament Street and Harbourfront Centre is being taken over by a 13-part thematic exhibition/ installation, inspired by the wind scale devised in 1807 by Sir Francis Beaufort. A mix of mostly outdoor multidisciplinary works at the Soya Mills Silos, The Power Plant, the Westin Harbour Castle, et cetera.

3) Silent Knight by Ekow Nimako

Ever wondered what 50,000 Lego pieces assembled in the shape of an Ontario barn owl might look like? The answer can be found outside the Gardiner Music of Ceramic Art. (111 Queen's Park, directly east of the Royal Ontario Museum.)


4) noissecorp, by Amalia Pica

What's a Nuit without audience participation? Here, as part of the multipart conceptual project HTUOS/HTRON curated by Argentina's Agustin Perez Rubio, Ms. Pica invites visitors to create a "geographical inversion"/ "social sculpture" by walking or marching backward counterclockwise around Queen's Park Circle between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.

5) an occasion hosted by Isabel Lewis

Dominican Republic-born, Berlin-based Ms. Lewis hosts what she calls "occasions" - mixtures of dance, music, talk and refreshments, plants, performances and scents, "a space of relaxation where the entire human sensorium can be engaged." Part of the 10 for 10th project, curated by Che Kotari, to mark Nuit's first decade. (Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario.)

6) FluxDelux, developed by Peggy Baker with Jacob Niedzwiecki and others

The all-abilities audience are the performers here in this marriage of contemporary dance with new media technology, conceived by the famous Canadian dancer/ choreographer. Participants create and perform an instantaneous, ever-changing mass choreography. (Trinity Community Recreation Centre, 155 Crawford St.)

Sound and/or video

7) Music (Everything I know I learned the day my son was born), by Alfredo Jaar

Working in association with the Toronto Birth Centre, Riverdale Community Midwives and others, the Chile-born, New Yorkbased Mr. Jaar will play recordings of the first cries, gurgles or coos of babies born in Toronto between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. in the first months of 2015. So if a babe was born at, say, 9:05 p.m., that's when his or her voice will be heard in Allan Gardens. (19 Horticultural Ave.)

8) Night Flight by Michael Snow and Claudio Caldini

No stranger to durational cinema, Mr. Snow goes for broke here with a single, uninterrupted, 12hour video of the face of Mr. Caldini, one of the giants of South American avant-garde filmmaking, en route by jet to Toronto from Buenos Aires. Part of the HTUOS/HTRON project. (MaRS Discovery District, 101 College St.)

9) Walking Together, produced by Serene Porter and Lorrie Gallant

Definitely off the beaten Nuit path, this artist-led project features images shot during a tour of the former Mohawk Institute residential school in Brantford by school survivors and projected here on the windows of the historic 19th-century home of Toronto's first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. (82 Bond St.)

To light up your life

10) Light Upon Light! by Abdullah M.I. Syed

The noted Pakistani-Australian artist suspends a large, glowing moon, its surface covered with Muslim prayer caps, above a stage with a floor containing a pool of ocean-blue glass. (TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 5, 350 King St. W.)

11) Light Cave, by FriendsWithYou

An abstract semitranslucent cathedral-like space flooded with colour, installed by a two-member Los Angeles-based art collective on the Drake One Fifty's groovy patio. (150 York St.) Later, you can walk south on York to Union Station to catch

12) Domestic motion, a prismatic light installation by famous Dutch artist Olafur Eliasson. (65 Front St. W.)

13) I've Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day, by Catherine Chan

Described as a "literal and figurative representation of sunshine," this outdoor text-art installation by Vancouver's Catherine Chan takes its title, of course, from a line in the Temptations' uplifting 1964 hit, My Girl. Part of the 10 for 10th project, produced in association with University of Toronto Art Centre/Justina Barnicke Gallery. (15 King's College Circle, U of T.)

The weird

14) Lava Field No. 2, by Robert Wysocki

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Nuit Blanche finally gets its first mobile volcano, the lava spewing forth from a "customized cokefired cupola capable of generating temperatures upwards of 1,800 C." See it happen in the parking lot of George Brown College's lakeside campus, near Sugar Beach. Part of the Work of Wind project. (51 Dockside Dr.)

15) Glaciology, by Anandam Dancetheatre

Members of the Toronto dance troupe will form a human glacier that will slide and shift, writhe and slip ever so slowly westward from Queen's Quay to Lower Simcoe Street. The journey, another Work of Wind project, will take 12 hours. Is this what is meant by slow art?

16) Cambio de Sentido (Change of Direction), by Tercerunquinto

Torontonians know the stretch of Mutual Street between Carlton and Maitland streets as a oneway route going south. But for Nuit Blanche, the three-member Mexican art collective is reversing that flow, sending traffic north as part of the HTUOS/ HTRON inversion project.

Associated Graphic


What has become of our Bill Murray pope?
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page F10

'It is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill," Pope Francis, then Cardinal Bergoglio, wrote in 2010 in reference to a bill to introduce same-sex marriage in Argentina, "but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."

That would look great on a wedding invitation: "Please join David and Barry as they machinate with the Father of Lies seeking to confuse and deceive the children of God. No gifts."

It's so metal, and I bet the Pope and Kim Davis had so much to talk about.

Lots of people were dismayed this week when it was revealed, at the end of his hugely successful visit to the United States, that the Pope had a private meeting with Ms. Davis, made famous by her tireless efforts to stop gay people in Rowan County, Kentucky, from getting married, as the law of the land now entitles them to do.

Ms. Davis, the county clerk, has refused to issue marriage licences, a task that is part of her job, because, she maintains, issuing them to gay couples would compromise her religious beliefs. Having spent five days in jail for refusing to do her job, or to step aside from her elected position and let someone else do her job, or even to allow her subordinates to do her job for her, she has become something of a folk hero in certain circles.

Somewhere Johnny Appleseed wonders how much greater his legacy would be if he'd just made a big thing about not planting apples and not letting anyone else plant apples, either, but here we are: Ms. Davis is a legend and the belle of the Republican primary ball.

That the Pope chose to have this meeting, even in secret - it was divulged by Ms. Davis's lawyer, who reports that His Holiness asked his client to pray for him and told her to "stay strong," which one assumes means continue the yeoman's work of not doing her job and still getting paid for it - upset a lot of people who haven't really being paying attention.

There was an outcry from the disillusioned; this was not the Pope the media had introduced them to, with cherrypicked quotes in headlines and cherrycheeked children in Buzzfeed GIFS. It was like hipster-Pope had sold out and played a stadium, but the truth is, the Pope started playing those stadium shows a long time ago, and has never stopped.

"Beware of the new ideological colonization that tries to destroy the comes from outside and that's why I call it a colonization," he said of the movement for gay rights in a January speech in the Philippines.

"When conditions are imposed by imperial colonizers, they seek to make [these] peoples lose their own identity," His Holiness Francis, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church said on his flight out.

There are only three theological virtues, and a strong sense of irony is apparently not one of them.

The Pope is from Argentina and must know the power the spectre of colonialism can have in a country like the Philippines but, excess being one of the hallmarks of the Catholic church, he added: "It is not new, this, the same was done by the dictators of the last century.

They came with their own doctrine ... think of the Hitler Youth."

In summary, if lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are not Christopher Columbus, they're Hitler.

I, like many, fancied the idea of us having a Bill Murray pope - a charming old guy who pops up in odd places, seemingly delightful and delighted to be there. It's a narrative the press embraced - being so largely free of abused children, a story that had tragically become so "dog bites man," but no one should be surprised that the man who likened LGBT people to Nazis met with Kim Davis.

She may have even asked him to dial it down a notch.

Many were quick to say that not too much should be read into that meeting.

We have only Ms. Davis's word on what was said and, as writer, editor and Jesuit priest James Martin explained defensively in the Catholic publication, America Magazine, "The pope meets with many people ... Pope Francis also met Mark Wahlberg, and that does not mean that he liked Ted."

To which I can only say: True, but if the Pope had a long history of talking up crap movies about teddy bears, that would not be an unreasonable conclusion to draw.

Yes, the Pope has said: "If a person is gay and seeks God, who am I to judge?" - and that got a lot of play. Many people, including me, are thirsty for evidence that the church (in which I was raised) is moving forward on this issue but, in saying that, the Pope wasn't actually moving anywhere.

Instead, he was essentially channelling the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which beneficently says that gay people "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity," the better to encourage them to "fulfill God's will" by overcoming their "inclination, which is objectively disordered" and to accept the fact that they are "called to chastity."

Wheeeeeee - congratulations, David and Barry! And who is the Pope to judge? I don't know; would he be the same guy who said that "at stake" in the issue of gay marriage "is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts"?

Yes, that's him, and that hardly puts the man on a different page from Kim Davis, where so many people, for so many good reasons, want him to be.

Much was made of the Pope meeting with a transgender man at the Vatican last winter and, indeed, that was big of him - given that he has likened transgender people to nuclear weapons. I wonder if he wore a special suit.

"Let's think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings," he said of people who "manipulate" their bodies in an interview last year. "Let's think also ... of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation."

If a pope portrays LGBT rights as an invasion, a form of cultural occupation, local gay people become collaborators, a group by whom "the family is threatened," and it's easy to see how this could nurture a kind of collective gay panic - and that never ends well.

Calm down, people. We didn't lose our cool Pope. We never had a cool Pope.

We've just, for own comfort, been in denial of papal warming.

Associated Graphic


Happy (gluten-free, paleo, nut-free, kosher) Thanksgiving!
When it comes to food restrictions, I, Sarah Hampson, have some rules. A good host is accommodating, and a good guest doesn't make a fuss. I'll put as many options on the table as I can, but the bottom line is, my home is not a restaurant
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L1

This is a story about Thanksgiving, and it begins with a sausage. It is a cautionary tale.

Large gatherings of friends and family involve food. That often means having to consider food restrictions, everything from allergies to vegan diets to religionor health-based food preferences. The whole thing is more fraught than some family relationships. It's not just an issue for the hosts - how much do you accommodate diet issues?

What's the etiquette? - but also for guests. Do you communicate your preferences beforehand?

What happens if you arrive and can't (or prefer not to) eat the food being served? And if you offer to (or are asked to) bring your own food item, what should it be?

Enter the sausage. Recently, some friends invited me for a lobster dinner. They know I'm allergic to shellfish, but my husband was away and they kindly wanted to include me in a casual Friday-night gathering.

"Could you bring some protein for yourself?" the wife asked me politely over the phone a few days before.

"Of course," I replied.

But on the night in question, the only protein-y thing I could find in my fridge was a sausage.

An artisanal sausage, I should add, made by hand with pork, spices and little green things.

Still, a sausage. I put it in a little baggie, uncooked, and off I went.

When I arrived at my friends' beautiful house, I pressed a bottle of wine (a good one) into the hands of the hostess. And onto the counter in their gleaming, professional-looking kitchen, I surreptitiously plopped my little bag.

We sat around for a while, drinking wine, and then we were invited to take our seats at the long dining table in the large kitchen.

First came a lovely vichyssoise.

But then the host, who was preparing the lobsters at the stove, spied the sausage and held it aloft in its little bag, pinched at the edge between two fingers as though it might be something unpleasant belonging to a dog.

"What's this?" he asked, looking a little alarmed.

Heads swivelled in my direction.

And I had to explain. The allergy.

Empty fridge. On my own. Hadn't been food shopping etc. Everyone laughed.

My sausage was worse than a date who embarrasses you with poor table manners. Immediately, I began silently berating myself - for not bringing something already cooked that just needed warming up, for not having made an effort to bring something nice for myself. Somehow, I had managed to not only alert everyone to my lazy food habits (I've been known to eat a boiled egg for supper when I'm on my own) but also diminish the hospitality standards of my hosts. Bringing a lonely sausage in a sack to a dinner party - even if it's just for yourself - was like showing up to a dinner party in my nightie (which, thankfully, I haven't been known to do).

The host, being a gracious man, made no fuss. As other guests were presented with succulent lobsters, my sausage arrived, perfectly cooked, sliced lengthwise with a drizzling of hastily-prepared mustard sauce and a scattering of fresh cilantro as decoration. There was a garden salad and, later, cheeses and dessert.

It was delicious and I had more than enough to eat. But from that experience, I have pulled together some guidelines for guests and hosts on this issue of food restrictions.

To start, communication is key. Allergies are the most important to discuss. I have a niece who is fatally allergic to nuts, so we know to be extra careful by checking all cooking oils, everything, when she comes over. People with severe allergies are bound to tell the hostess at the time of invitation. Even so, as hostess, it's good to ask ahead of time.

When someone asks me, for instance, I mention the shellfish problem. "I get very sick but I don't die," is how I usually characterize it. Because it's not severe, I tend not to bring it up unless I'm asked, but I actually think I should. I usually manage to quietly avoid the sautéed-scallop appetizer without anyone noticing, but on the occasions when I've had to turn down some shellfish-y, seafood-y main course, I've only served to embarrass the hostess when no alternative is available.

I am of two minds on the vegetarian issue. It's a handy thing for the hostess to know, but I don't think the vegetarian should expect a gourmet accommodation of their diet. I do find it a bit precious for someone to make a fuss about it beforehand. This view is likely due to having grown up in a sort of old-school family in which we children (five of us) were expected to eat everything on our plates. It would be shockingly impolite, for example, to turn down anything on your grandparents' table: You just swallowed your food opinions along with that nasty slice of ham. (As children, we were also expected to ask our father for permission to be excused from the table. Like I said, very old-school, and also, in the context of modern life, rather quaint.)

Still, there's something to be said for being a generous hostess who thinks about the comfort of her guests. One Thanksgiving, one of my sons brought a vegetarian girlfriend home, giving me the dietary heads-up beforehand.

Wanting to make a good maternal impression, I produced a tofu alternative for her. It was horrible.

Since the rubber tofu incident, I've generally presented vegetarians with a nice, small lasagna, store-bought.

Is that mean? I don't think so.

We're a bird family on major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. And once a traditional bird family, always a traditional bird family. What I'd appreciate from vegetarian guests is for them to offer to bring an interesting protein dish. It would be a fun way of sharing food ideas. If you decide to bring something just for yourself, first ask your host if that's okay. When they say yes, remember the tale of my sausage.

On the issue of guests' other food preferences - not allergies, but choices - frankly, they're just not my problem. I follow the advice I once read in Bon Appétit magazine. Remember that you are their host, not their nutritionist. Nor is my home a restaurant.

Forget about preparing meals with special needs for each guest.

Just make sure there are options.

I, too, have gone on obsessive cleanses, avoiding sugar, gluten, dairy, meat and alcohol. It can be fun and interesting to find alternatives, some of which, such as quinoa dishes and a vegan "meatloaf," we now eat regularly and often serve at parties.

But when you're a guest, you eat at the generosity of your hosts, in their home with their traditions and their menu choices. In the spirit of the holiday, just be thankful.

How charities can take their impact to the next level
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page E5

Jason Saul, the founder and chief executive officer of U.S.-based Mission Measurement, is one of the world's leading experts on measuring social impact. He has advised global corporations such as Starbucks and nonprofit charities like the Easter Seals on how to measure their performance and improve their impact on the communities they serve. Here, he lends his insight into how charities can create a greater social value proposition.

How do you define a social value proposition?

I think about a social value proposition as basically what impact or what outcomes a charity has to offer. Again there's a difference between activities and outcomes.

An activity is like holding a conference; an outcome is changing people's behaviour or status in some way. So I look at a social value proposition as what outcomes can this charity produce, what do they have to offer?

What are some of the indicators that a charity is making an impact?

The indicator that I recommend every charity to look at is the advocacy rate, meaning how many people are getting a positive outcome. So forget all the number of people reached, number of meetings held, number of pamphlets distributed, all we care about is how many outcomes do you produce. How many kids got a positive outcome, and at what cost? So charities should start to adopt a simpler language and stop worrying about all the mindnumbing detail of every administrative statistic. What really matters is: Are we producing outcomes and at what cost?

What how can charities build or create a greater social value proposition?

I talk about this in my book, The End of Fundraising. I talk about this shift between basically begging for charity or selling your impact. I encourage charities to start selling their impact, figuring out what outcomes they produce and finding the people who value those outcomes and are willing to pay. It's a different relationship than waiting for the leftover table scraps, whatever people have in their pocket. It's sort of a more mature form of engagement. I think the way charities can build a greater social value proposition is to create higher-value outcomes. I'll give you an example: Giving a coat to a homeless person is a really nice thing to do, but it doesn't really produce an outcome. Maybe the outcome is the homeless person is less cold for a few hours. The real outcome is how do we eradicate homelessness? That's a higher value outcome. One of the challenges I have for charities is to aim for bigger outcomes. What that means is that a), you need to expand your programming or b), you need a partner. If this small charity that gives coats to homeless people partners with a homeless shelter who partners with a soup kitchen as one entity, now I can buy that outcome more efficiently. It's very inefficient to have all these charities doing bits and pieces and fragments of an outcome because we can't really solve anything.

What are the biggest challenges that charitable organizations face in building a greater social value proposition?

A lot of charities are wedded to their one particular activity, so they are more allegiant to the activity than they are to the outcome. They are stuck in programming that may not be producing outcomes, just because we've always done it.

When I first came back to Chicago I met with this arts organization who said, 'We're trying to help young artists sustain themselves economically and become business people.' I said, 'What are you doing [to raise] money?' 'Well, we put out this newspaper about the arts.' I said how many young artists read that newspaper? 'Nobody really reads it any more, we just do it because we've always done it.' You're outcome is to help young artists be financially selfsufficient, so why would you spend $300,000 on a newspaper?

One of the big impediments that charities face is that they are not outcomes-driven. They don't know what their outcomes are, they don't know how to measure them and they don't know how to speak about them to donors, so they resort to begging for handouts, talking about how great their programs are. In a market where people rely on outcomes, we need to change that discussion.

What advice would you give charities, particularly smaller ones, to improve their work?

I always say that we need to engage our stakeholders, we need to change our frame of mind from our need to sell to the customers' need to buy. Our need to sell is, let me tell you how amazing Free The Children is. Nobody cares, to be honest with you. What they want to know is, what outcomes are you going to produce for my kid, what are you going to do in my district, what outcomes are you going produce for my company? We need to change the frame from my need to sell to focusing on the customer's need to buy.

Data and analytics are used in many walks of life to measure performance. How can they create greater social value for charitable organizations?

This is the only sector in the economy that measures only after we invest. No one buys a stock and then analyzes their financial performance. What we're doing is sort of silly. What we do in the non-profit sector is we give money to charities and then measure and see what happens. So the emergence of predictive data and analytics is going to be the most transformational factor in the social sector in next 10 years. It's not just measuring afterward but predicting the outcomes of charities and government programs before we fund them so we can make better decisions.

You've talked previously about the X-factor behind a brand. As a charity, how do you create that X-factor?

Frankly, I think charities are the X-factor. When you look at big corporate brands, all the big brand names in the world are pretty boring, they're all pretty much the same. What's the real difference between McDonald's, Wendy's, Tim Hortons, Burger King? They're on every corner, they all pretty much have the same food and the same price.

The average grocery store has 150 kinds of salad dressing. What makes Newman's Own dressing gravitate off the shelf and into someone's grocery cart? It's because it has an X-Factor, a social value proposition. I know that when I buy that, something good happens in the world, giving money to charity. Big companies and brands are looking for a social value proposition. Frankly I think charities are the X-factor and I think the opportunity for them is to find a way to associate with brands that enhance the value proposition of those brands.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Buehrle's slow fade from grace has something poetic about it
Few have ever managed to be so creative with so little flair as the Jays pitcher. He isn't an artist or a craftsman. He is a labourer. Some have worked better. None has worked more consistently
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1


After qualifying for the postseason on Saturday, the Blue Jays got together for a quiet moment of celebration. In starter Mark Buehrle's words, everyone agreed to keep it "muted."

A few minutes later, someone had turned on the champagne hose, cigars were produced in clear violation of city bylaws and the clubhouse was tilting into vomitorium territory.

Buehrle, a veteran so world-weary he ought to have a front porch instead of chair at his locker, looked on from a distance. He was appalled.

"I think it's probably a little overboard," he said.

Heavy ironic emphasis on "a little."

A day later, Buehrle was still grumbling about it: "I hope they just partied in here. I hope they didn't go out around the city and party too much."

The Blue Jays had just won the game 5-4 with real flair - a walk-off Josh Donaldson home run with two out in the ninth - but Buehrle was still a little peevish.

His day hadn't gone quite as well. He knows it's over. We know it's over. But nobody wants to say it out loud.

Buehrle's fade into the background is the one small, sour note highlighting the sweetness of the Jays' past two months.

There will be plenty of time for further celebrations in the coming week.

Toronto should clinch the division in short order. After sweeping Tampa Bay at home, their magic number is reduced to four (any combination of Jays and Yankees losses) with seven games remaining.

Toronto (90-65) is tied with Kansas City for the best record in the American League. That's the target now - home field throughout the postseason.

But before we get to that, it seems like a good time to acknowledge Buehrle. Quietly, the 36-year-old has put together one of the most remarkable careers in modern baseball. In an age in which most pitchers expect to lose a year at some point to major surgery, and in which the ace of a playoff contender can threaten to quit on his team in order to protect his arm, Buehrle's signal talent was an uncomplaining resilience.

In 15 big-league seasons, he's never missed a start because of injury. He's never been on the disabled list. He's thrown at least 200 innings in each of those campaigns, before this year's.

Though he's a big man, he is the opposite of powerful. Rather, he is relentless. Buehrle is baseball's weeble-wobble. You hit him, and he stands back up. There is only one thing about him that is graceful - his approach. Few have ever managed to be so creative with so little flair.

He isn't an artist or a craftsman.

He is a labourer, but with Stakhanovite ambitions. Some have worked better. None has worked more consistently.

Buehrle is in the midst of stumbling at the final hurdle. He stands on 1911/3 innings with one start remaining. Essentially, he needs to pitch a complete game to manage it. His shoulder has been nagging him - no one but Buehrle is sure exactly how much. He hasn't pitched more than six innings since the middle of August.

To try it now would qualify as a foolish risk, and you can see that it's killing him a little bit.

Fourteen other pitchers have thrown 200 in 15 straight seasons.

All of them are in the Hall of Fame. Buehrle's just going to miss getting into that club.

"Mathematically, it's still there," Buehrle said. "But the reality is that it's pretty slim."

He threw six decent innings on Sunday. Manager John Gibbons might've pushed him out for the seventh - if only so that Buehrle could get an ovation as he came off in what may be his final home start for Toronto - but pulled him instead.

Gibbons apologized for it afterward. Buehrle said he wasn't bothered one way or the other.

Both of them meant it.

On a superficial level, it's hard watching someone who was once so reliable lose their capacity to perform. It's a foreshadowing of the decline we all face at some point, one that's rather more grim than dropping a few miles an hour on the fastball.

But there's also something poetic in it. It's as though Buehrle's internal workings were meant to wind down at the very end of his career, and not before. It's as if they knew.

Humans are not designed to throw a ball 90 miles an hour, over and over again. It's a physiologically destructive act. Buehrle's arm was built differently, and he babied it along. He never did more than he could, but he also never did any less.

He got a lot out of that remarkable limb - a World Series title in 2005, a no-hitter in 2007, a perfect game in 2009.

No one ever thought of him as the best. Buehrle, 36, figured in Cy Young voting only once in his career, finishing fifth.

Instead, he was always one of the best. But he was one of the best for a hell of a long time, just as baseball's common wisdom was giving up on the idea. That might be more impressive.

He probably won't figure largely in Blue Jays mythology, regardless of how this turns out. In three years here, he's been too efficient.

His game wasn't built for heroics.

In a best-case scenario, we'll be remembering guys like Donaldson, whose talent is designed to stand out.

On Sunday, Donaldson saved the game with a smart tag at third in the eighth.

Then he won it with the final atbat in the ninth, just like you're starting to think he's going to do every time he comes up.

The next few weeks belong to Donaldson, and David Price, and Jose Bautista and one or two other guys who always seem to appear from thin air at this time of the year. Men such as Pat Borders and Scott Brosius.

While that's happening, Buehrle will be creeping up to the cliff's edge.

He hasn't exactly said he's retiring, though he mentions it an awful lot.

He says he hasn't thought about it yet. That doesn't ring true.

There was a very small moment Sunday that spoke to it. During the break in the third inning, the whole Jays team emerged from the dugout to acknowledge the crowd. Most of them seemed jubilant, feeding off the crowd's energy, just boarding the rocket that leads to real madness of the postseason.

Buehrle was one of the last guys out. He was also one of the last guys off. Before he walked back in, he knelt down for a moment. I wonder whom he was thanking.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Don't judge a community by its box of book covers
This Toronto suburb has taken on pricey, but worthwhile, downtown revitalization projects
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R3

Can you build a community with a box of books?

In Newmarket, Ont., the answer is yes. But the box is a special one - a wooden pavilion, lined with rich mahogany and stacked with volumes brought in by people of the town. Just eight square feet, the Story Pod, as it's called, is a takeoff on the free book exchanges known as Little Free Libraries that are popping up on front lawns across North America. This idea has been given an elegant architectural expression by Toronto architects Atelier Kastelic Buffey (AKB). But the modest, modern little building reflects a larger vision: to draw people to the park in which it sits, to the nearby Holland River, and to the town's original downtown. It is to create a centre.

"For years, a lot of people here were busy commuting and on the weekend there was no place to gather," says Newmarket's Mayor Tony Van Bynen. The park, called Riverwalk Commons, opened in 2011. "This gave them a place," Van Bynen says, "to come together and meet their neighbours."

For decades, the main spot to find your neighbours in Newmarket was at the mall. This town of about 86,000, just 50 kilometres from Toronto, saw the same pattern of car-oriented growth that gutted many of Canada's Victorian streetscapes. Upper Canada Mall, which opened in 1974, prospered; the dense, handsome Main Street, which dates back to the 1850s, was full of vacant stores.

Now, the town's leadership sees a need for change, trying to create public spaces where citizens - both millennial parents and youthful retired boomers - will want to hang out together.

This is where the books come in, together with some new thoughtful urban design, landscape architecture and architecture. The town's effort is still a work in progress, but it is a textbook example of how to create a centre and a sense of place, the task that so many Canadian towns and cities are trying to confront.

Back in 2001, Newmarket commissioned a strategy to revitalize its Main Street, which is a wellpreserved row of Victorian shops and apartments. What did it need? A survey found that locals wanted to see more and better restaurants and cafés, and also a place that was simply more attractive.

Accordingly, the town decided to turn an eight-acre site next to Main Street, including a parking lot and an arena, into a new park - and they hired Toronto's Janet Rosenberg and Associates, one of Canada's leading landscape architecture firms, to design it. "The town had no hub," principal Janet Rosenberg says. "The river was, historically, at the heart of the place, and there was so much potential to make something special out of it."

Despite some skepticism from the public about the vision - "at the public meetings, some people said the best thing about Newmarket was that it's always easy to find parking," Rosenberg recalls - the project moved ahead.

Called Riverwalk Commons, it is a beautiful place and well-used.

There is a handsome square built around a wading pool and skating rink; an outdoor stage for events; new riverside walking paths, ter.

races and seating that link the site to a 10.6-kilometre walking trail that spans the town and winds up at the commuter-rail station.

None of this came cheap. The new trees are large, and the landscape is built from quality materials - when you sit, it is on benches made of a hardy tropical wood called ipe. To clean up a community centre that sits outdoors, Rosenberg's office brought in the architects Superkul, who added a canopy, more ipe and a handsome new cloak of multicoloured steel siding. "We realize when you build public space, quality is important," Van Bynen says; the park has cost $10.1-million. (The Story Pod was built by staff and materials were bought by a sponsor.)

To keep the place busy, the town programs it actively. A farmers' market takes place here each week; in the warm months, a variety of other public events (a pet fair called Newbarket, a cultural festival called Urban Alley) give people specific reasons to come.

All of this is heavily pedestriancentric; while there is still plenty of parking, the goal is to get people out of their vehicles and faceto-face. "I think downtown is the heart of a community," Van Bynen says. "This was a parking lot; not a lot of conversations take part in a parking lot, unless you're having a fender-bender."

This all reflects the influence of the planning movement known as placemaking, which is devoted to restoring an active civic life to suburban and urban streets. But while the leading proponent of placemaking, the American nonprofit Project for Public Spaces, often argues for a "traditional" architectural language, the Newmarket work is modernist in character. Rosenberg, Superkul and now AKB have each worked with materials, details and forms that are free of historic references.

Many visitors won't notice or care; but the mayor believes that this language sends a subtle message to younger people, whom the town is eager to attract. "We are showing the Newmarket of the future," he says.

The Story Pod, installed in August, is the latest signal of this agenda. It sits in a quiet end of the park as a black box, harmoniously proportioned and precisely detailed, wrapped in a rhythmic screen of wooden slats. Its two hinged wings close up at night, leaving a glowing, translucent window to suggest what's inside; during the day it swings open like a dollhouse to reveal mahogany benches on each side, comfortable places to sit and browse through the titles on offer. The pod, built by town parks staff, speaks of craft and quality.

The architects, AKB, are ambitious and skilled designers who rank among Ontario's best small firms; through a friendship with a town employee, AKB's Aaron Finbow learned of the project and easily convinced principals Kelly Buffey and Rob Kastelic that they should do the work pro bono. "We were inspired by the agenda of literacy," Buffey says, "and also we were excited to create a place of exchange - of books and of ideas."

People can take the books and sit down by the river, or take them home.

And they do; a town staffer told me that each of the pod's original books had been replaced at least once in the first six weeks. The city's director of parks and recreation, Colin Service, said he often brings his children here for the weekly evening storytime.

"It's amazing," Buffey muses, "that such a small project could have such a broad reach." Sometimes it is exactly the little things that bring people together.

Associated Graphic

The Story Pod, located at Riverwalk Commons in Newmarket, Ont., is a spot for the community to take or leave a book.


B.C. activist refused to be silenced
With impassioned speeches and an engaging smile, outspoken 'women's liberationist' campaigned for change
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S6

In her journey from secretary to front-line activist, Frances Wasserlein battled a premier, helped change a law and confronted discrimination against gays and lesbians.

She also sought to protect, shelter and aid women and their children seeking relief from violence on the street and in the family home.

For four decades, Ms. Wasserlein, who died at 69, was an activist of note on the West Coast and a prominent figure in feminist groups. She was one of 18 women to co-found a group providing assistance to women who had been raped. They also successfully lobbied to add domestic sexual assault to the Criminal Code.

In certain circles, she was one of those people you bumped into wherever you went in Vancouver.

Go to the annual folk music festival at Jericho Beach, and she'd be volunteering in some role.

(Eventually, she became executive producer.) Buy a ticket for the Vancouver International Writers Festival, and she'd be managing the box office. Attend a play, or a concert, or some other shindig at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, and she'd be in the foyer, because she handled the centre's bookkeeping, as she did for many other arts organizations.

While both arts and political activist groups can be known for petty grudges and internecine warfare, Ms. Wasserlein navigated rough waters by relying on her warmth and good humour. While she could be intense in debate or while making a speech, she more often could be spotted flashing a gap-toothed smile.

Frances Jane Wasserlein was born in San Francisco on June 14, 1946, to Helen Therese (née Maier) and Robert Lohrs Wasserlein. She moved to Vancouver with her family at the age of 14.

She graduated from Little Flower Academy, a private Roman Catholic girls' day school.

She was working as a secretary at the University of British Columbia when her work with the union, as well as a summer job with Vancouver Rape Relief, guided her toward an interest in social justice. By then, her second marriage had ended and she declared herself to be a "women's liberationist."

She enrolled as a full-time student at the university, completing a history degree with honours in three years. While an undergraduate, she worked with the Women's Office on campus, learning about the important role women had played in establishing the university and in continuing to fight for equitable treatment.

Ms. Wasserlein worked as comanager of the YWCA's Munroe House, a temporary residence for women who were victims of violence. She did research and writing for the Women's Research Centre, a non-profit society that advocated for women. She topped up her income by bookkeeping for a wide variety of groups, which made her a familiar figure in arts, publishing and feminist circles.

In 1978, Anita Bryant, a pop singer and orange-juice pitchperson who became a crusader against gay rights, was reported to be coming to British Columbia to speak. Opponents quickly formed a group called Coalition Against Discrimination, for which Ms.

Wasserlein was an indefatigable mobilizer. "You organized by telephone," she once told the publication Xtra. "You put leaflets out in bars and places where people went. You told your friends, people you knew. You set a date and hoped that people showed." Ms. Bryant, citing exhaustion, limited her speaking tour and not did address a Vancouver audience.

Four years later, Ms. Wasserlein was a co-founder of Women Against Violence Against Women, a rape crisis centre. She also continuously worked in supporting women seeking to escape being beaten in their homes by their male partners.

Several years of organizing seemed to culminate in the widespread protests of 1983, when a re-elected Social Credit government proposed a harsh budget targeting many of the groups - unionized workers, community groups, gays and lesbians, as well as feminists - it considered to be enemies. Playing a strong hand gave rise to a mass movement in opposition which, inspired by the insurrection of Polish workers, took the name Solidarity. Ms. Wasserlein led a coalition called Women Against the Budget. In July, 1983, she addressed a march of 20,000 protesters, which had earlier stretched five kilometres along the streets of downtown Vancouver.

"We will not be silenced," she told the crowd. "We will defeat this legislation and we will defeat this government."

In the end, she would be right only about the first assertion.

Trade union leader Jack Munro negotiated an agreement with Premier Bill Bennett as the province teetered toward a general strike, a move seen as an abject sell out by many of the community groups that had been involved in the protests.

Ms. Wasserlein soon after returned to her studies, completing a master's degree at Simon Fraser University. Her thesis was an important history of the 1970 Abortion Caravan, a cross-Canada trek from Vancouver to Ottawa to demand the procedure be legalized. After gaining her degree, she taught women's and lesbian studies at the university and at Langara College.

She ran for a seat on Vancouver city council in three elections, twice for the left-wing Coalition of Progressive Electors and once as an independent, finishing well down the at-large ballot each time. She also served for six years on the board of the advisory group that came to be known as the B.C. Arts Council.

In 2003, just eight days after same-sex marriage became legal in British Columbia, she married Marguerite Kotwitz, an American potter, in a ceremony in a grove on the site of the folk music festival. They had met on the Internet.

"It was love at first sight," Ms. Wasserlein told the Globe's Rod Mickleburgh, "or maybe love at first site."

The midlife marriage surprised Ms. Wasserlein. "In 1975, I left my second husband and I said, then and many times thereafter, 'I will not get married again, not even for the revolution,' " she told Xtra.

The couple moved to Halfmoon Bay, on the province's Sunshine Coast, where they operated a bed and breakfast called Honeysuckle Rose Cottage. Ms. Wasserlein served on the local arts council and as a library trustee.

She suffered a medical incident three years ago, which was eventually diagnosed as posterior cortical atrophy, a form of dementia.

Ms. Wasserlein died at home on Aug. 23. She leaves Ms. Kotwitz and two sisters. The announcement of her death led to an outpouring of grief on her Facebook page with many praising her as a teacher and mentor.

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

Frances Wasserlein was intense in debate or while making a speech, but more often than not, she could be spotted flashing a gap-toothed smile. Her warmth and good humour helped her navigate rough waters.


Ontario teen is taking pop stardom in stride
Alessia Cara's debut single, Here, is an ode to introversion - and it has found fans from Drake to Taylor Swift to the Tonight Show
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R9

Curled up in a chair in the corner of a café in Toronto's Kensington Market, Alessia Cara is barely finished introducing herself before she apologizes for wearing elaborate makeup. She's just come back from a photo shoot, she explains; it's something she's not exactly used to, let alone comfortable with. For the past six months, the 19-yearold Brampton, Ont., native has been inundated with new experiences - some elating, others tedious - as she's ridden, and attempted to build upon, a sudden burst of pop-music fame.

Cara's debut single, Here, an R&B-flavoured ode to introversion and introspection, came out on Def Jam in April to immediate fanfare. In less than half a year, the single has racked up close to 30 million Spotify streams and 10 million YouTube views, while selling more than 240,000 copies in the United States alone. When she followed it up last month with an EP, Four Pink Walls, it debuted at No. 4 on iTunes.

As she prepares to release her first full-length later this fall, Cara, who is most comfortable in jeans and Chucks, is busily crafting a pop-star narrative that focuses on being herself. Like she sings on Here, she has little interest in subscribing to the ideals of others. "Creation," she says in her first Canadian print interview, "is all I know how to do. I just don't see the point in focusing on what I'm wearing - I'm not a fashion icon - or how I do my hair or what I look like or if I'm fat or skinny. I'm not a fitness model; I'm just a singer.

If people focus on that, that's what I care about."

Growing up in Brampton with Italian parents, Cara (born Alessia Caracciolo) was exposed to a mix of music. From her father, she heard classic radio staples like Queen, the Beatles and Michael Jackson. Her mother, on the other hand, exposed her to contemporary Italian music from the likes of Laura Pausini, Tiziano Ferro and Eros Ramazzotti.

She fell in love with singing, but usually kept it to herself, in her room - she was terribly shy.

She's never taken vocal lessons; at 12, she took lessons for guitar, but dropped out after a couple months to teach herself instead.

To perform without the anxiety that comes with an audience, she started recording covers at home and uploading them to YouTube. Many are still online.

One of the earliest is of Jessie J's Price Tag, uploaded in 2011 when Cara was 14; in it, the power of her voice belies her age.

Vocal power and range is something Cara was once preoccupied with; when she first started singing, Mariah Carey was her pop-diva guide, and she found her own range, which skews deeper, "different and strange." But then she stumbled upon Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill, "it just made me more comfortable - like, okay, this is my lane."

A talent scout from EP Entertainment, a Universal Music Group-affiliated production company, came across Cara's covers several years ago, and the company invited her to perform for them in New York. She flew down with her father, auditioned and got an offer to record with them. Paired with EP artist Sebastian Kole, she put together a half-dozen demos over the course of a year, including the song that became Here.

Cara and her team shopped the demos around to different labels, getting minor traction but nothing serious. Meanwhile, she went about high school as if nothing was happening. Even during her occasional performances, like a 2013 medley of Drake songs at her school, she kept her professional aspirations hidden. She applied to universities as a backup plan.

As she approached graduation, the head of EP Entertainment bumped into Def Jam A&R rep Tab Nkhereanye, who'd expressed interest in Cara with a previous label but changed jobs before sealing the deal. Nkhereanye was surprised Cara hadn't signed with anyone and brought her demos to Def Jam. She signed to the label in 2014, on her 18th birthday, just a month after graduating.

She soon rerecorded Here, releasing it this April to much fanfare. Fans evidently related to her true-life story about a party she hated: "Since my friends are here I just came to kick it," she sings, "but really I would rather be at home all by myself." On top of millions of streams, the song has been certified Gold in Canada and landed her a spot on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show.

The outfit of choice for her Roots-assisted TV debut? Sneakers and a T-shirt that read, with more than a splash of irony, "Life of the Party."

It's also earned her co-signs from both Taylor Swift and Drake, the latter of whom went out of his way to meet her this summer at the Squamish Valley Music Festival in British Columbia. "He said all these amazing things," Cara says. "It was very nice of him, 'cause I feel like I'd be too afraid to go up to him."

The Four Pink Walls EP, which she dropped at the end of August, includes Here and deliberately expands upon that song's attitude, both lyrically and sonically. The songs explore more of pop's nuances, and the lyrics, while still carefully reflective, bend a little more toward nostalgia. It's a calculated move as she prepares her first fulllength, tentatively titled Know-ItAll.

With Here, "you assume that I'm just R&B," she says. "But I knew that I was more than that, and I wanted people to know early that I do a whole bunch of different sounds." And lyrically, on tracks like Seventeen and Four Pink Walls, she mulls how far she's come from her bedroom recordings: "Who knew there was a life behind those four pink walls?" These days, she's barely home.

Between recordings and special appearances, she spends most of her time on a plane; less than four hours after our Toronto interview, she was on the ground in New York. The year's biggest anti-party crusader has been forced to face more of the world every day. "Once you put songs out, they're not yours any more," she says. "They're everyone else's."

The world around her has changed, but Cara's still operating on her own terms. "I was kind of shy before," she says, but "I never really necessarily liked being quiet. I feel like this is me - this is who I've always wanted to be."

Associated Graphic

Alessia Cara, a 19-year-old singer from Brampton, Ont., will release her first full-length album this fall.


Micro-caps: 'more of an art than a science'
Summer's market washout took a toll on small-cap stocks but produced some real bargains, traders say
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B9

You've got some money in your jeans and you're feeling lucky. You could head down to the casino. Or you could dip your toe into the vast pool of microcap stocks, where bargains abound thanks to the recent market selloff.

Risky, yes, but early-stage or micro-cap stocks can be a tantalizing play for nimble investors with nerves of steel and a long time horizon. Be careful, though: Identifying them can be tricky and playing them challenging, analysts say.

"From my experience, you can make a lot of money on them but you have to be very vigilant - and quick," says Fabrice Taylor, a chartered financial analyst and publisher of The President's Club investment newsletter. The newsletter has a joint distribution agreement with The Globe and Mail. Mr. Taylor specializes in promising early-stage companies, small-caps and turnaround situations of all sizes.

"You want something with blue sky behind it, a business that can grow, attract big investors and become more liquid [more easily traded]," Mr. Taylor says. He does not share the view held by some analysts that investors should avoid micro-caps because they are too risky. "Every company starts small."

The market washout this past summer was terrible for the TSX Venture Exchange, where many small companies trade, but it produced some real bargains, he says. "There are some amazing opportunities."

Harrison Keenan, an investment adviser at Dundee Goodman Private Wealth in Toronto, has been watching the sector for the past 15 years.

"I see ideas come across my desk every day - street research, promoters and industry insiders I deal with," Mr. Keenan says. He looks for "something that works, that makes your life easier, that could catch on and potentially be something worthwhile," he adds.

"It's more of an art than a science."

The odds are not great for do-ityourselfers. Of any 10 micro-cap stocks, one or two might do well, three or four will languish and the rest "will go bankrupt," Mr. Keenan says. Diversifying is important.

The best way to buy a carefully chosen mix of micro-caps is through a pooled fund such as the Hillsdale Canadian Micro Cap Equity Fund, offered by portfolio manager Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. of Toronto.

Hillsdale manages more than $1-billion in assets for high-networth individuals and institutions. The fund is also available to investors with discretionary accounts managed by a portfolio manager or investment counsellor.

Since it was first offered as a standalone fund in December of 2013, the Hillsdale Canadian Micro Cap fund has handily beaten the benchmark S&P/TSX Small Cap Total Return Index, rising 3.1 per cent net of fees and expenses while the benchmark dropped 7.7 per cent. The fund was down 1.5 per cent at Aug. 31, while the benchmark was down 8 per cent. The current dividend yield is 3.1 per cent.

Chris Guthrie, Hillsdale Investment's chief executive officer and portfolio manager of the Hillsdale Canadian Micro Cap Equity Fund, expects Canadian micro-caps to be one of the best performing asset classes over the next five years. Financial market jitters have made the stocks "desperately cheap" - more so than at the depths of the 2008-09 financial crisis, Mr. Guthrie says. The fund is trading at less than book value.

Mr. Guthrie uses a combination of fundamental and quantitative analysis to select the 40 or so stocks in the fund - mainly companies that export to the United States and so benefit from the lower Canadian dollar. Its top 10 holdings are Tree Island Steel Ltd., Klondex Mines Ltd., envelope-maker Supremex Inc., Hardwoods Distribution Inc., Acadian Timber Corp., tech firm Vecima Networks Inc., Ten Peaks Coffee Co. Inc., Claude Resources Inc., tour operator Transat AT Inc. and Noranda Income Fund.

While advisers may be tempted to wait for signs the market is recovering before buying, microcap stocks can snap back quickly, Mr. Guthrie says. "Buy before the last seller stops selling, not after."

From Mr. Taylor, some words of caution: "Temper your enthusiasm." Keep micro-caps to no more than 2 per cent of your portfolio, and never, never margin (borrow against) your blue-chip stocks to buy micro-caps. If you do and the stock market tumbles, there will be no buyers for the micro-caps, so you'll have to sell your blue-chips to pay for them.


Here are questions Fabrice Taylor asks when analyzing an early-stage company:

What is the business proposing to do?

"Does it make sense and is it simple to understand?" he asks. "If they're developing something you don't understand, just walk away."

Who is on the management team?

"Google their names, look at their bios and their track records to see if they have made people money," Mr. Taylor says. "You want people with an entrepreneurial background."

What is the company's capital structure?

Examine how many shares, warrants and stock options are outstanding, the analyst says.

Find out what managers and other insiders paid for their shares. Call them up if necessary. "The closer you can buy it to their price, the better off you're going to be."

How committed is the CEO?

If the person running the company has 10 other jobs, "forget it," Mr. Taylor says.

"Walk away. He will never make you money." Look for an entrepreneur who gives his all to his company and is paid mainly in stock and stock options, he adds.

How is the company financed, and can it raise more money?

The biggest risk facing most early-stage companies is running out of money, Mr. Taylor says. This can happen even to firms that are doing well. If their "burn rate" - what they spend - is $100,000 a month and they have $1-million in the bank, they'll run out of money in 10 months unless they can raise more. "That's difficult to do today," he notes.

Some firms are lucky enough to have the backing of a wealthy "angel" investor.

What is the company's growth potential?

Ideally, it will be vast - with few competitors. "I find manufacturing micro-caps rarely work out," Mr. Taylor says, because the competition is too great. Tech, mining and oil and gas companies do better.

Is the stock price attractive?

Valuing a micro-cap company with no earnings can be difficult, the analyst says. Investors might consider a 5-cent stock cheap, but "it may still be overpriced."

Associated Graphic

Keep micro-caps to no more than 2 per cent of your portfolio, advises Fabrice Taylor, a chartered financial analyst and publisher of The President's Club investment newsletter.


'That's because you're being self-righteous'
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R5

Margaret Atwood's latest novel, The Heart Goes Last, can be described in many ways: It's a book about prisons, a book about capitalism, a book about sex robots, a book about free will. But at its core, it's a book about a couple, Stan and Charmaine, who are forced by an economic crisis to live in their car, trying to avoid gangs and other threats, until, one day, a remarkable opportunity presents itself: to join a communal initiative called The Positron Project, and live in the town of Consilience, where people spend half their time as free citizens and half their time in prison. Needless to say, this complicates things for Stan and Charmaine. The Globe and Mail spoke with Atwood last month about the book, and the two very ordinary characters at the centre of it.

This book started as a serialized set of single issues on Byliner. Why did you do it that way?

Because I knew this person named Amy Grace Loyd who was my editor at, of all places, Playboy. Why would I be publishing in Playboy? Because women made a big hoo and hah about how, in the seventies and eighties, Playboy, which was one of the premier venues for fiction, didn't publish fiction by women. So when they did start publishing stories by women, you kind of had to shut up or put up your hand. Amy is a very picky editor and very smart. She had gone over to Byliner because Playboy had decided that they weren't going to do any more fiction or any more interesting journalistic articles or anything but T and A.

She said, 'Let's give it a whirl.'

What was it like to go back to working in a less-detailed universe than the MaddAddam trilogy?

Not as many Post-it notes were involved.

I was struck by the opening of this book. In the MaddAddam trilogy, the reader could at least imagine or hope that what was depicted was a ways off. But this is so much more collapsed, timewise, and feels so immediate.

In some ways it's already happened, because it was the 2008 meltdown hitting the rust belt and hitting, in particular, Detroit, that is what happened to people - there were people living in their cars, there were roving gangs.

For me, there was a real urgency that you couldn't ignore.

I was talking to someone today, and she said, 'Do you approve of their choices?' It's a completely different thing. Stan and Charmaine are in a situation of extreme danger that they want to get out of. And if you're in a position of extreme danger that you want to get out of and somebody offers you safety, that's your only choice. You're going to be very tempted to take it.

I thought about that a lot, too, because the book again and again reminds you of the danger of acquiescing to things.

Yeah, but on the other hand, if your other danger is going to be killed by a gang ... they don't have a lot of choice. These people aren't stupid. But they have limited choices.

Stan and Charmaine both felt like ciphers a bit to me - a kind of obliviousness that allowed me to project into them in a way I might not otherwise be able to.

I don't think that's cipherhood. I think that's a kind of willed ignorance. Do you know what cognitive dissonance is?


You can't face this alternative, so let's pretend it's not there. You can't face global warming, so let's pretend it's not there. We know that Santa Claus is really our parents, but we don't want to look at that too closely. People do that all the time. We know Stephen Harper is a dictator in the making, but he's convinced some people that they're going to be financially better off under him, which is untrue.

Have you met Stephen Harper?

Once, before he was prime minister.


Not a huggy-bear type of guy.

Back to Stan and Charmaine - their kind of profound normalcy.

There's something about them that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

That's because you're being selfrighteous about them.

Am I?

Yes! They have a right to be like that. You're not living in your car. Neither of them are philosophers. What do you expect?


Fair enough.

They're taking life as it comes, day by day, and struggling onward. And they continue to do that.

That makes them psychologically interesting to me as literary characters.

Have you seen Mother Courage and Her Children? Bertolt Brecht play? One goddamned thing after another, but she keeps pedalling onward, because really what choice does she have? That moment in Beckett: You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on. That's where most people are, when they are in a state of desperation.

I guess what I mean is ... Have you read the Book of Job?

Yes, when I was younger.

Time to read it again!

I guess what I mean is: There's a baseline simplicity to that dilemma that somehow comes alive here ...

Because you're exactly right. It's a baseline simplicity, and when all of these other choices, like which pearls to wear with the little black dress, are taken away from you, the number of choices you can make is very much reduced.

But I'm talking about how you make a novel out of that. That's what's interesting to me. By denying yourself those choices, you give yourself less and less to work with as an artist.

When I grew up during the war, dear, we played with pieces of wood. It was very minimalist.

How many things can you make with these three pieces of wood?

Depends on their shape, I guess. Stan has this sort of oblivious narcissism that reminded me of many men I know ...

Oh, no! You said that! I didn't!

At one point he gets very mad when he realizes the man his wife has been cheating on him with wasn't having sex with her out of lust, but to get this sort of scheme going. And he gets very mad ... It's an insult!

I was sort of wonderfully appalled by that. It really seemed to capture something.

Well, you know. I read fiction by men. It's all in there.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

Author Margaret Atwood's latest book is The Heart Goes Last.


Toronto hopes that Bennett's not broken
The 22-year-old, who has had a tough start to a once-promising career, hopes for a revival closer to home
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S3


Asked what had changed in his game, new Toronto Raptor Anthony Bennett said, "Last year, it was just kind of a setback for me, but I'm just trying to put that in the past ... I'm trying to have fun."

Bennett said that in 2014, during Summer League in Las Vegas.

He was coming off one of the most roundly panned rookie seasons in NBA history. At the time, he was still a Cleveland Cavalier.

Everybody, including Bennett, seemed excited about a second chance. Until Cleveland packed him as a makeweight in a trade to Minnesota.

Minnesota was excited, too.

Bennett said some nice things about new opportunities and being healthy for a change. Once he got out on the court, he was just as bad. Minnesota cut him a week ago, an unheard of ending for a No. 1 overall pick still on his rookie deal. Bennett agreed to give back $2-million (U.S.) in salary in order to escape. Clearly, both sides were desperate to be rid of each other.

Now he's home. Bennett grew up just west of the city. His breakthrough in the draft felt like the first bugling of Canada's emergence as a serious basketball country. He's got sentimental pull.

The city's excited. His teammates said they were excited.

Bennett? He doesn't seem very excited any more. He's only 22 years old, and all the excitement has been beaten out of him.

More than any other, the NBA is a swagger league. Players of significance carry themselves with full confidence of their place in that world, on and off the court.

If you spend enough time in their company, you begin to notice all the subtle gestures that separate the guys who know they matter and the ones who know they never will.

On Monday, the Raptors presented the team in a school-gym setting. There were different stations for different media - a TV and print scrum, portrait set-ups, various radio and TV shows.

The chum of the roster came creeping in in a nervous group, hanging onto one another, trying to look as if they belonged. The settled returnees sidled in one by one, looking bored and/or amused by all the bother.

The shiniest new arrival, DeMarre Carroll, strolled in as if he was entering his own living room, a little surprised to see so many unexpected guests. Until the Raptors backed the free-agent money-truck up to his house, Carroll was a journeyman. Now he's a star. You can see the change.

"I'm a very unique individual," Carroll said. "I've been through a lot. I just want to share my story with a lot of people and let them see how I live day to day. I'm an average joe. Just like you, holding this ..." Carroll stared for a while at the "..." he was talking about. He couldn't locate the words "digital recorder." Because he never has and never will have to hold one.

That's sort of the point.

For Bennett, this should be an upbeat time. He's home with family. Expectations are low. At best, he slots in fifth on the forward depth chart.

He's a useful, possibly even intriguing, piece on a league minimum salary ($950,000). There's no downside to this move for either party.

He said all the same things he'd said before - healthiest he's been since college, no pressure, looking forward to having fun.

"I feel like it's the perfect situation for me," Bennett said. "Just being comfortable."

But, man, he didn't look it.

While he talked, Bennett tugged nervously on his right arm. His leg was jittering. He didn't smile until someone mentioned his experience on the Canadian team this summer - the only successful stretch of basketball he's had in the past two years (and it wasn't all that successful).

Bennett should be used to this routine by now. The questions were gentle lobs from sympathetic homers. Yet he carried himself like a guy who's just gotten swarmed coming out of a massage parlour.

If he had a choice in the matter, would he do it again? Would he want to be picked first?

"Honestly, yeah. Why not?" I can think of a bunch of reasons. I'm pretty sure Bennett can, too.

There have been so many knocks on him, it's hard to tell which side is the dented one.

After going first overall, he showed up to his first professional camp overweight and injured.

He suddenly had asthma and sleep apnea. He's big, but the wrong sort of big - too slow to play the three, too short to fill the power slot.

He didn't work hard enough. He drifted out of games. All the tall foreheads agreed that Bennett is a 'tweener. At everything.

Everyone who's ever gotten rid of him says a lot of nice things as he leaves, none of which amounts to actual praise.

"He has a lot of talent," was the closest Minnesota general manager Milt Newton would get to commenting on Bennett's game.

That's true of every single player at this level, and so means nothing.

The bottom line: If he was good enough, Bennett wouldn't be saying goodbye so often.

He'll get a decent chance in Toronto, but not a great one. This team is beyond the developmental stage. Everything it does is building toward a singular goal - winning a playoff round. That's the only definition of success this year.

It's been rejigged to create what management hopes is a positive sort of friction - between Kyle Lowry and newcomer Cory Joseph at the point-guard spot, between the tough-minded brand of basketball played by Carroll and Bismack Biyombo and all the soft touches who remain from last year's postseason surrender.

The new Toronto Raptors are a house divided, just hopefully not against itself. But prepare for "against itself."

Bennett will have to find his own way in the midst of all that tumult. A lot of people will be pulling for him. He seems like a decent young man, and it'd be a great story.

But just based off a snap impression on Day 1, you wonder if the disappointments and rough treatment of the past two years have already broken Bennett.

And if anyone can put him back together again.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

Anthony Bennett poses during the Raptors' media day in Toronto on Monday. Bennett grew up west of Toronto, and has sentimental pull for many Canadian fans.


Orchestral history with a 'cinematic quality'
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L2

The music of Dan Bejar's Destroyer project has taken many forms in the past 20 years, from synth-laden soundscapes to skronky acoustic folk-rock. In 2011, he unexpectedly earned the most attention of his career with the release of Kaputt, a nine-song pop album that blends smooth jazz and yacht rock and may or may not have spawned a whole generation of imitators.

After four years, Bejar and his band finally released its followup, Poison Season, in August. It's at once more subtle and more bombastic than its predecessor.

There's chamber pop (Girl in a Sling), swinging Springsteenian jams (Dream Lover), and songs that incorporate both approaches (Hell). They have even turned the ambient 2010 track Archer on the Beach into a "smoky, latenight jam." The Globe and Mail spoke to Bejar by phone in Vancouver just before he and his band crossed the border to begin touring Poison Season.

You created this piece of art that had a huge reaction, mused about following it up with a disco salsa record, threw that out, and made Poison Season. Your photographer-pianist Ted Bois said that when shooting the album art for Kaputt, he tried to create the image of a "disillusioned, alienated, existentially bored" character. In recent interviews, it almost feels like that has been your reaction to Kaputt. Do you think that's true?

It seems like that's become part of the narrative somehow. I know that as a lowly musician, that's not really how I operate. I can't really work conceptually like that. I just write the songs, and then I imagine a world for them and I just follow what I'm into. It's more just the story of the shit that I'm into. I think, also, there's probably a lot of people who didn't know what Destroyer was before Kaputt.

Maybe even a lot of music writers. It wasn't part of people's worlds. But if they listened to Destroyer before that, I think that the distance between Kaputt and Poison Season would seem nominal at best.

It's so many of the same players playing in their distinct style. If anyone saw our show in 2012, they'd be like, "Oh, I totally know what this record is." The way that band sounded onstage is pretty much what we did - with the added element of these 20th-century chamber treatments that happened with the string quintet. But none of it is supposed to be a reaction for or against the record that came before it. It's just me attending to my needs.

How did the string aesthetic come to be?

It really just reflects the kind of music I've been listening to. Just like a baby in the store - I grab at it and I want it for myself. I haven't really been listening to much rock music in the last few years. When I started making Kaputt, I was listening to a lot of jazz. And from there, I started listening to jazz vocalists for maybe the first time in my life.

So I was listening to Johnny Hartman sing his version of Lush Life and blown away. Or I would listen to I Loves You, Porgy. And, probably more than anything, I listened to the original versions of Mack the Knife. That was probably the biggest inspiration for Poison Season.

All the songs have a history of orchestration. Through Scott Walker, I got really into Frank Sinatra. I also got really into the last few records that Billie Holiday did, when she was so ravaged - her voice, she sounded very damaged, but it's still really swinging, with its amazing phrasing, and cloaked in strings.

I also listened to lots of film soundtracks. That was probably the other main thing that I wanted Poison Season to have - a widescreen, cinematic quality.

How do you plan on translating that sound live?

I think the band is really good at taking whatever song we want to take and making it our own.

Some of those are going to sound like the versions that appear on albums and some of them are going to not sound like that. If it feels good to us, then we play it. But I'm not going on tour with a 13-piece. There's eight of us; I'm not going to add a string quintet. We're not going to get a second bus for members of the VSO.

When you toured Kaputt in 2011, the War on Drugs opened for some dates. After the band put out Lost in the Dream last year, your saxophonist, Joseph Shabason, played with them in Toronto. Have you found Kaputt's sound or instrumentation has rubbed off on people?

I think [War on Drugs front man Adam Granofsky] is pretty into seventies rock, and saxophone is a pretty standard instrument for that decade. No one would blink an eye at it. I don't see Kaputt as a torchbearer for the saxophone as an instrument. It's definitely something that people wanted to talk about when Kaputt came out - like, "I can't believe there's saxophone on the record" - even though there's more trumpet on the record. I'm not sure people know the difference between the sound of a saxophone and a trumpet, which I find mind-blowing. Some day I'm gonna write an essay about it.

I've heard things where people say, "That that kind of sounds Kaputt-ish," but not in any way that I want to be connected to.

Even when the record came out, there seemed to be a desire to line it up with the aesthetic of a bunch of younger bands that were around at the same time that I felt nothing for. Or part of some grander zeitgeist, I guess. I don't know what kind of influence Destroyer's had on anyone.

It's possible that maybe we're responsible for a lot of terrible music you hear right now. But I don't think War on Drugs is one of those examples, because a) I think they're good, and b) I think they have a love for a certain era where the sax is definitely in play.

Destroyer plays Toronto's Danforth Music Hall on Sept. 30, Montreal's Théâtre Fairmount on Oct. 1, and Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom on Oct. 17.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Associated Graphic

Destroyer's Dan Bejar says the band's new album, Poison Season, 'reflects the kind of music I've been listening to.'


Toronto's sports psyche is not prepared
As Jays players calmly head into the postseason, manic supporters have already issued a list of complaints - and it's adorable
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S9


Since it's important to fill the time between the end of the season and the beginning of the playoffs with distractions, Jays fans have decided to go with outrage and signs of apocalypse.

The first problem - scheduling.

Thursday's Game 1 will go off around 4 p.m. On Friday, it'll be 12:37 p.m.

This is bad news for anyone who is a) gainfully employed and b) would like to stay that way. Which is good news for future Jays marketing efforts - that appears to be the majority of their fan base.

The club has been gently reminding people that it gets no say in when the games go off.

That's a choice made by Major League Baseball to suit its U.S.based broadcasting partners.

People have been gently reminding the club that they don't care whose fault it is, and that this should be grounds for cross-border skirmishes.

They've been flooding into the Twitter account of club vicepresident Stephen Brooks, who's taken upon himself the Sisyphean task of trying to roll a PR boulder up the hill to Toronto's happy place. As if - ha ha! - such a thing existed.

Here are a few more disappointments: No, you do not get a hard-copy ticket. Welcome to the digital age you were once so excited about.

No, the dome might not be open. Welcome to October.

No, we won't be forced to play God Bless America mid-game (someone tried floating that theory). Welcome to the paranoid style in Canadian baseball politics.

Toronto needs to lie down for a little bit. No, we weren't asking. We've brought along restraints. This is for your own good.

The Toronto sports psyche is unprepared for most sorts of postseason fun. Too brittle and too often disappointed.

The idea that this team may be good enough to win a whole, entire round?! Well, that's pushing people toward a mental cliff.

If things go wrong, some of them may jump.

If the Jays really want to do a meaningful promotion during the playoffs, they'll give the first 20,000 fans a handful of Valium and a few breathing exercises.

I can see the problem here - an entire city with an "L" branded into its forehead trying to wrap its head around rooting for a favourite. Not just a competitor. A bona fide favourite. It's too much dissonance.

Suddenly, the Blue Jays are more cursed than an unlooted tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Taylor Swift worked her antimagic over the weekend.

According to several reliable sources, all of them self-published, she's already sunk the Astros, Padres and Nationals.

Now she's taking her bad juju international. The Jays have lost twice since she performed at Rogers Centre.

I'm a great believer in Swift's power and fully expect to be living under her benevolent rule some day soon (I hear there will be cookies), but this really is a very special sort of stupid. It's almost aspirational stupidity.

On Tuesday, someone asked outfielder Ben Revere if he's worried about the Taylor Swift curse. Revere - God love him - appeared to have no idea what he was being asked about. Then he said, "No." Just to be safe.

Sports Illustrated showed up Sunday for a photo shoot, and then did Toronto the favour of putting them on the cover. On a possible curve of past SI cover jinxes, that could mean anything from a playoff sweep to the CN Tower cracking in half and slicing through Rogers Centre midgame to an attack by giant, nuclear lizards.

ESPN polled baseball executives anonymously. Eleven of 14 tapped the Jays to win a championship.

"They've now been officially picked by me to win the World Series," said the article's writer, Jayson Stark. "So they're doomed."


Noted pop-culture Dadaist Charlie Sheen has also offered to bring the wrath of the gods down on the local ball club.

"These gangsters are no joke," Sheen said over social media, as he began shoving people out of the way to get to the front of the Jays' bandwagon. That's presumably where the beer cooler is.

Having Charlie Sheen turn up in your corner is a nice, little surprise. Sort of like finding a raccoon living in your Christmas tree.

We appreciate that you care, Charlie, but there's no need. No, seriously. Stay away. We've got enough metaphysical problems without adding karma to the list.

And we've got spare restraints.

Everyone who cares about this team is all sorts of rattled. In its way, it's adorable.

The only people who really matter - the players - aren't flustered. Or don't seem so. On Tuesday, they were in the phony war stage of the baseball season - pitching sim games and heading to the cage and just trying to keep things normal while all about them lose their heads.

Manager John Gibbons was sitting the dugout - a spot you will rarely find him during the pregame - talking about the movie he'd gone to see the night before.

(For the record: Sicario. Also for the record: "Really good.") There are few things more soothing than watching a professional baseball player at his relative leisure. Few people can burn away the hours doing nothing in particular - staring blankly into a locker, for instance - like these men. It's quite calming. They should've invited the whole city down to watch and learn.

They know they're the favourites. How does that feel?

"That's fine," said shortstop and human Sphinx Troy Tulowitzki. "We know we have a good team in this locker room.

That doesn't mean, hey, give us the ring right now. There's a lot of good teams out there and we're going to have to play good baseball."

Actually, if that's a possibility, things would probably go easier if they just gave you the ring right now.

We've been underfunding various aspects of civic infrastructure for a while now, and this feels like the sort of event that could shatter them.

Barring that, the city would really appreciate it if they could move past the manic stage of playoff baseball and straight into the ulcer stage.

It can be more painful, but everyone knows it's the waiting that kills you.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

After a 22-year absence, the Jays return to the postseason Thursday. But news that their first two matches would be afternoon games has drawn outrage from fans.


Sex-ed protests give birth to small rash of private schools
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

In a strip mall in northwestern Toronto, behind a blank storefront, old wooden desks are lined up in rows of three. At 3 p.m., children pour into the parking lot carrying books, while a little girl and boy stay behind at their desks, giggling and copying vocabulary from a blackboard while they wait to be picked up.

The school opened in September and has 30 students. Their six teachers lead Somalian and Arabic language lessons on top of the regular curriculum, plus Islamic studies.

They're poorly paid, as tuition is only $250 monthly per student.

But there's a waiting list of more than 200 and the teachers have been promised that the school will balloon, along with their salaries, as soon as its directors can find a bigger space.

Called Rauf Academy, it is one of a handful of similar brand-new schools in the Toronto area, a legacy of parental anger over Ontario's new sex-ed lessons that promises to outlive this year's protests, such as a day of mass absences planned for Thursday.

"We heard the rumblings that a lot of parents are going to remove the kids, so we said, well, that might give us the kick-start, the momentum we need," said Rauf Academy's director, Yacoob Bayat.

His staff count two other homegrown schools nearby in Etobicoke, and another school director says two more opened their doors in Mississauga a month ago.

The sex-ed curriculum took effect in September, although its lessons won't be taught in Toronto schools until later this year. Mr.

Bayat said the province made another mistake by not reaching out to protesting parents, leaving them feeling there would be no meaningful religious accommodation.

Islamic schools have long gotten their starts in Toronto with bare-bones operations similar to this one. But Mr. Bayat and other school leaders say their ultimate goal is to create an alternative for Muslim families, a community-funded system of free education. So far 11 schools are working together as an informal board.

"As crazy as it sounds, maybe this was a good thing. Maybe this is what the community needed to galvanize and to do something," said Mr. Bayat, a car mechanic originally from South Africa.

Others in Toronto's Muslim community say they don't want parents to lose sight of the benefits of regular public education.

"The level of quality is really high," said Rabea Murtaza, a mother, college teacher and member of two groups supporting the new curriculum. "And if you walk away, you lose the opportunity to make any difference at all."

It won't be clear until next fall, when private-school enrolment is tallied, whether there's been a noticeable boom in private schools.

The province does, however, keep more recent numbers on "notices of intention to open a private school," which have jumped in the past two years. In 2013-14, there were 94; then 155 in 2014-15. For this school year, there have been 148.

"We respect that many parents choose to home-school their children or enroll them in private schools," said a statement from the Ministry of Education.

The sex-ed curriculum, last updated in 1998, is a question of student safety, said the statement, adding that parents who need concerns addressed should talk to their child's teacher or principal.

Mr. Bayat said that offer has been too weak for the parents he knows. He settled in north Etobicoke 30 years ago and became close with the Somali community, recently working with a local charity. He wanted to open a school built around the needs of newly immigrated Somali families before the protests over sex ed began last spring, he said.

But he also sympathized with parents' worries, particularly about how the curriculum presents homosexuality as acceptable. "I think that is something that's becoming more mainstream throughout the world, I know," he said. "We're not going to change that. We just don't want it forced on our kids as a subject."

Rauf Academy is a non-profit operation, Mr. Bayat said, and it will operate under the auspices of the charity he had worked for, which is registered federally and listed last year's revenues and expenditures as $7,800 each.

So far the school has free rent, thanks to friends who lent the storefront. Mr. Bayat is negotiating with a landlord for a $4,000monthly space that would allow separate classes.

The ministry said an inspector visited the school on Sept. 21 to validate it, which means checking that basic rules are followed such as having a principal and schoolwide assessment and attendance policies. Private schools in Ontario do not need to follow provincial curriculums and are not inspected in more depth unless they want to offer Ontario Secondary School Diploma credits.

Some schools Mr. Bayat works with take a minimalist approach.

"We take out the extravagances and we take out the unnecessary and we keep it to the basics, and that allows us to remove a lot of extra costs," said Noor-ud-Din Ghauri, the principal of Ummati Elementary School in Oshawa, which opened in 2006 with an Islamic focus and has almost 80 students. Tuition is a sliding scale from $50 to $150 monthly.

"Having an [Ontario College of Teachers] qualified teacher is, to us, an extravagance," he said. "Developing or setting a certain standard when it comes to furniture, setting a certain standard when it comes to cosmetics of the classroom, setting a certain standard with regards to selection of course material," he listed.

"It's like saying you'll only be smart if you use an $8 pencil instead of a 50-cent pencil."

Parents complained on a "rate my school" website about one of the older schools in the network in Whitby, saying it was held in a repurposed garage and teachers sometimes didn't show up.

One school did get its start in a garage, said Mr. Ghauri, but it moved to a better location when it grew. "You'll never be able to please everybody," he said.

Mr. Bayat's mission hasn't changed, he said: to teach his students to thrive in Canada. He sees no contradiction in the fact their parents have chosen to opt out of mainstream schooling. They feel rejected by the schools, he said, and he doesn't blame them. "We are not asking anybody else to follow our beliefs, but we would like to follow our beliefs and to not let anybody else tell our kids otherwise," he said. "That freedom of belief is something that I think is pretty Canadian."

Activism, entrepreneurship in perfect harmony
Free The Children teaches the value of conviction, problem-solving and other useful tools for enterprising young business owners
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page E7

For Elias Roman, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Songza, the free Internet music streaming service, there is little doubt his work with a charitable organization earlier in life helped him get to where he is today.

"Absolutely," the 31-year-old says. "I'd never heard the word entrepreneurship when I first got involved with Free The Children."

That was 15 years ago when the charitable organization's co-founder, Craig Kielburger, urged Mr. Roman to look past his own doubts and fears and start a chapter of the charity at his Long Island, N.Y., high school, Friends Academy School. But the unyielding conviction that Mr. Kielburger showed on that occasion is something that Mr. Roman relates to in his daily work as an entrepreneur to this day, as both CEO of Songza and Amie Street Inc., a media company from which Songza emerged.

"One of the recurring factors to me at that moment is just going back to how powerful conviction can be when you're selling a room, and that could be employees, team members, it could be investors or board members," he says.

Conviction, though, is just one of the many characteristics that Mr. Roman developed in his work with Free The Children. And he certainly dove in at the deep end in that regard, throwing an impromptu fundraising concert, which as an aspiring guitar player he also took part in, to raise funds to build a school in Calcutta, India.

"One of the biggest challenges when you're starting a company or dealing with any big problem at home or otherwise is knowing where to begin," he says. "If you can't break a big problem into smaller problems it's really hard to know where to begin, it's kind of overwhelming."

By breaking a problem down into smaller chunks, Mr. Elias explains, it allows you to celebrate small victories along the way to solving the whole thing.

Doing so also allows you to build up confidence as you go as well.

With 5.5 million monthly users and a team of 50 music experts to create playlists - Songza's signature application - Mr. Elias and his company attracted the attention of Google last year. The New York Times reported the sale price as being in excess of $39million (U.S.).

But for Mr. Elias, it all started with his activism.

"If you look at the stats, Free The Children alumni are way more likely to start a non-profit or social enterprise organization," he says.

The numbers certainly back Mr. Roman's assertion. Compared to their peers, Free The Children youth and alumni are 2.7 times more likely to have started a nonprofit or social enterprise organization, according to numbers released by Mission Measurement, a world leader in measuring social outcomes. In addition, they are 3.9 times more likely to mobilize others to solve a social problem, 2.7 times more likely to actively seek opportunities to lead in front of others, and 1.6 times more likely to never let obstacles stand in the way of their goals.

"I think a lot of young people are turning toward entrepreneurship as an opportunity to create their own jobs," says Leah Pollock, who works at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.

"Not only that, but support the economy by creating jobs for other young people."

In her role, Ms. Pollock, who was previously manager of leadership operations for Me to We, a social enterprise also founded by Craig and Marc Kielburger, helps to bridge the gap between smart ideas and good actions.

She is firmly of the belief that those who are involved in activism tend to think critically, and when you're looking at a problem from different angles it allows for social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Mitch Kurylowicz saw firsthand an opportunity to contribute when he was just 9. The Ottawa native accompanied his mother, Lynda, on a trip to Kenya in 2007, and witnessed how the education system was a rare privilege accorded to few.

And while Western charities lately have really focused on giving girls access to education, in the Narok south region of Kenya, while there were two established girls' schools, young boys had to make do with a structure made of cow dung, mud and sticks.

Upon returning to Canada, Mr. Kurylowicz started Project Jenga - the Swahili word for "to build" - with a goal of raising $2-million to build a bricks-and-mortar school for the boys of the Narok south district. Having raised more than $500,000 thus far, ground has broken on the school, with an estimated completion date of January of 2017. Now 17, Mr. Kurylowicz is just starting a bachelor of commerce degree at the University of Toronto, with the aim of building a solid business foundation for wherever Project Jenga takes him next.

"The reason why I want to build a school in Kenya is not because I'm going to go there or because I want attention," he says. "It's because I really want these boys to go to school.

"So it's really I think about the authenticity in activism that can truly make a change and help you be entrepreneurial."

Whether there is a direct link between activism and entrepreneurship is still a matter for debate. Though the numbers support that assertion from Free The Children's point of view, that's not enough to make a firm judgment call on the subject.

"I think the link may be indirect but I think it's certainly worth exploring further to see if youthful activism results in a different kind of person and therefore a different kind of organization such as a more entrepreneurial one, a more social one," says Ann Armstrong, a lecturer at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto and previously director of the school's Social Enterprise Initiative.

While Ms. Armstrong admits more youth are taking to social entrepreneurship and social justice as a way of addressing social needs, she also says there are some tangible benefits to be had.

"When people volunteer in the non-profit sector, they come to realize actually how you have to do so much with so little and I think that really reinforces a pretty effective entrepreneurial mindset because it's inadvertently kind of a risk-seeking environment."

Associated Graphic

University of Toronto commerce student Mitch Kurylowicz, 17, is raising money to build a school for boys in Kenya's Narok south district. His Project Jenga was inspired by a visit he took to the African country with his mother.


Ottawa commits to $4.3-billion in compensation to shield farmers
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

OTTAWA -- The pact Ottawa was forced to make key concessions in two main areas - autos and agriculture - to open opportunities in Asia

The politics While Stephen Harper began trumpeting the benefits of the trade deal, Thomas Mulcair rallied opposition to it

The long view Implementing the TPP could take a while, with all 12 countries required to ratify a final legal text

Canada is joining a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal that will open vast opportunities in Asia, but also expose the economy to more foreign competition at home, particularly in the dairy and auto industries.

Negotiators for the 12 member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership struck a tentative deal in Atlanta early Monday morning that will eliminate or sharply reduce most tariffs in a region spanning roughly 40 per cent of the global economy.

China, the world's second-largest economy, is not part of the agreement.

From the start, Canada's strategy was more about protecting what it has than conquering new markets. The outcome is a tricky balance of preserving the benefits Canada now enjoys in the U.S. and Mexican markets through the North American free-trade agreement, while exposing itself to more foreign competition.

In the end, Ottawa was forced to make key concessions in two main areas that were better protected in NAFTA - agriculture and autos. Farmers, however, will be subsidized for any lost income, according to government officials. Ottawa is promising $4.3-billion in compensation over 15 years to keep farmers "whole" for losses from both the TPP and the earlier CanadaEuropean Union trade agreement.

In spite of the celebratory mood around the negotiating table in Atlanta, implementing the TPP could take a while. All 12 countries must ratify a final legal text, which hasn't yet been drafted. Pushing the deal through the Republican-held U.S. Congress could prove particularly tricky, with just over a year before the next election.

Likewise, the possibility of a minority government in Canada after the Oct. 19 federal election could complicate approval of the deal in this country.

Once in place, Canada will open its tightly protected dairy, poultry and egg markets, allowing in relatively small quantities of duty-free imports, while maintaining a steep tariff wall that protects the supply management regime. In dairy, for example, Canada will open 3.25 per cent of its market to duty-free imports - mainly from the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

But it resisted calls by the United States and New Zealand to completely dismantle the supply management system, which controls prices and production in Canada. And Ottawa vowed to clamp down on persistent efforts by importers to creatively skirt the high tariff wall by blending high-duty cheese or chicken into lowerduty processed food products.

"We have come a long way from the threat of eliminating supply management," said Wally Smith, a B.C. dairy farmer and chairman of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Canada is giving on autos, as well. A 6.1-per-cent import duty will be phased out over five years. The deal also lowers the domestic-content rules for vehicles and car parts, overriding rules in NAFTA that have protected Canadian auto jobs for decades. Under NAFTA, the content rule was 62.5 per cent, the threshold will now be 45 per cent for cars and certain higher-value components, allowing more foreign parts to be used by auto makers in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Union officials have warned that these concessions could put at risk some of the 80,000 auto-parts manufacturing jobs in Canada - a fear rejected by Trade Minister Ed Fast.

"We certainly don't anticipate that there will be job losses," Mr. Fast told reporters in Atlanta.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper highlighted the costly downside of non-membership in the TPP.

"Ten years from now, I predict with 100-per-cent certainty people are looking back, they will say if we've got in it, they'll say that was a great thing," Mr. Harper told reporters in Ottawa shortly after the agreement was announced.

"And if we haven't, they'll say that was a terrible error."

Canada simply could not afford to sit on the sidelines as the United States - the market for 80 per cent of its exports - and Mexico did a major freetrade deal with Japan and other fast-growing Asian countries, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, said Cam Vidler, director of international policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

"We can't find ourselves in a position where we are locked out of regional supply chains," he said.

Canada's primary objective was not being left out of the TPP, pointed out Len Edwards, a former top Canadian diplomat and now a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

"Our starting point was very defensive," he said. "Measured against that, we've done well."

The benefits of TPP membership may actually be smaller than what Canada would have lost by not joining. Dan Ciuriak, a former deputy chief economist at the federal trade department, has estimated that the TPP will boost Canada's economy by 0.1 per cent, while staying out would have cost it 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product.

The terms of the actual deal announced Monday are somewhat different than his model.

Even with those details, Mr. Ciuriak insisted his net-benefit estimate would be "a similar number."

Beyond the new concessions granted in autos and agriculture, TPP and NAFTA rules will generally co-exist. For example, if Mexico has a lower NAFTA than TPP tariff on an item, the lower rate would apply to imports from Canada.

The big gains for Canada are in Japan, the world's No. 3 economy, as well as in Malaysia and Vietnam. All three countries have relatively high tariffs on key Canadian exports, including beef, pork, canola oil, barley, forest products and aerospace. Tariffs on these items will be eliminated or sharply reduced - some immediately, and the rest over 1015 years.

Although the TPP spans 40 per cent of the global economy, Canada already has freetrade deals with roughly three quarters of that envelope - via agreements with the U.S., Mexico, Chile and Peru.

Mr. Vidler of the Chamber of Commerce said Canada also stands to make major gains in services, including digital commerce, where new rules will make it harder for countries to restrict the movement of data across borders.

Associated Graphic

Once the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal is in place, Canada will open 3.25 per cent of its market to duty-free imports.


Black buildings used to be a design stunt - an avant-garde gesture that said, "Do not enter." But, when it comes to residential builds, Alex Bozikovic reports, a growing number of Canadian architects are uncovering the art of darkness
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L1

When did houses turn black?

Look carefully around a major city and you'll see them: old homes that have acquired black windows and even full black coats of paint. Thoughtful architects are building new houses that are all black.

It's strange to see the places we live wearing dark clothing; in architecture, black has long been the colour simply of soot and ash. Yet in today's un-grimy cities, black houses are the new black, thanks to a trend that has spread from the insular world of avant-garde architecture into the broader culture.

In 2002, painting a house black was an edgy move. That year, the British architect David Adjaye completed "Dirty House," a home and studio in East London. Designed for a pair of artists, it is an old brick building given a coat of black paint and dark reflective glass.

Now, it carries itself somewhat like a fortress - an attractive quality in what was a somewhat rough neighbourhood.

But the Dirty House's darkness also gives it visual strength. In photographs it reads as a beautiful monolith and the project has appeared in publications around the world. It was one of several black houses of the era to become media favourites, and as design and architecture blogs such as Dezeen began to flourish in the mid-2000s, images of these houses travelled widely.

Young Canadian architects, like their counterparts elsewhere, were inspired. Vancouver-based designer D'Arcy Jones has used black to fine effect in several British Columbia houses over the past decade. To explain the appeal of black, he points to Scandinavia and the design world's recent vogue for Danish and Swedish traditional buildings. There, time-honoured pigments include iron oxide, ochre and black. "Nothing is new," Jones says. "Things are circular."

There is also Japan. Black has long been part of the architectural language there, through inkbased pigments and the charred-wood surfaces known as shou-sugi-ban. Shou-sugi-ban has recently become a trend of its own and a few influential Japanese architects, including Sou Fujimoto, have designed blackclad single-family houses.

Adjaye is one Westerner who has acknowledged the influence of Japanese traditional architecture on his own ideas.

It's difficult to pinpoint precisely how such ideas travel, since architects never want to talk about trends - unlike their counterparts in fashion or even interior design, their professional culture denies the very idea.

That's especially true today: Young architects are increasingly inclined not to talk about aesthetic questions at all, focusing instead on sustainability and building performance.

And yet if you look at the built work of those engaged with the global avant-garde, certain ideas percolate from building to building. Such as black.

By now, in some contexts, a black dwelling raises merely a shrug. Montreal architects naturehumaine, for instance, have completed a number of black houses: generally not in the city, but on the South Shore and in the Eastern Townships.

"Using black and white makes things, visually, very simple and elegant," naturehumaine architect Stéphane Rasselet says.

As they design interiors, the architects frequently employ black walls and cabinetry; this is a less risky move than a black exterior, and indeed black walls became a trend in the interiordesign world as early as 2011.

Last year, naturehumaine completed a beautiful loft-like apartment in Montreal with an interior dominated by surfaces of unpainted plywood and lots of black drywall. In the apartment, designed for restaurateur Trudy Resch, this vocabulary makes perfect sense, as the interior has a distinct sculptural quality.

The long, two-storey space has neat boxes suspended at either end and the limited colour palette "makes those volumes seem very pure," Rasselet says. Resch's two grown children live there and one of them uses the twostorey atrium to work out on rings suspended from the ceiling.

In this youthful, urban context, a black-and-white palette isn't at all controversial.

In Cape Breton, however, black is a different story.

When the Halifax-based architect Omar Gandhi completed an exquisite home in 2014, he had a very specific intention to make it standoffish. Since his client was artist Jonah Samson, whose provocative work often evokes or depicts acts of violence, Gandhi felt that the home should not be too eager to fit into its context.

"Aside from the grotesque images he uses," Gandhi says, "the next most extreme thing I can think of is a building that's all black and tells people not to come to the door."

That idea suited Samson, who is also a family doctor, and was settling back in his hometown of Louisdale, N.S., after years in Vancouver and Toronto. While he has deep roots in the community, he also wanted to retain a sense of privacy and separation. "I wanted the most inhospitable building you can get," he says, explaining that he wanted to send a clear message to his neighbours, many of whom have known him since childhood.

"You already know way too much about me. You don't get any more information!"

Accordingly, Samson's house and an adjacent studio building are wrapped in cedar shingles, metal cladding and metal roofs that are all jet black. The two buildings resemble a pair of barns - or, rather, beautifully proportioned abstractions of barns, with texture and details obscured by the lack of colour.

From the road, neither the windows nor the door are visible; from the other side, Samson can see the ocean through large windows. Gandhi calls the home he built "Black Gables."

In town, Samson says, people rarely question his decision to live in a black house, "except, occasionally, someone will ask me while they're really drunk."

So, I ask, what is the answer?

Why build a house that is so surprising? Samson confesses to mixed feelings: He wanted to send a message, but he also enjoys his house on his own terms. "I sometimes use disturbing images in my art," he says, "but I never feel that I'm using it for shock value. This is similar. I feel that this is incredibly beautiful."

Associated Graphic

Montreal architects naturehumaine use black to achieve visual simplicity and elegance.


A house in Cape Breton known as Black Gables, designed by Halifax-based architect Omar Gandhi for artist Jonah Samson, has an exterior that is entirely clad in jet black.


Montreal architecture firm naturehumaine used black drywall for a loft-like apartment in Montreal, left. British architect David Adjaye's Dirty House appeared in publications around the world when it was built in 2002.

'I was approaching these B-movies like it was Chekhov'
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R3

If you enjoyed Charlize Theron's brutal turn in Mad Max: Fury Road this past summer, you can thank Pam Grier, the original bad-ass female action hero.

While working as a receptionist for American International Pictures, Grier was discovered by Roger Corman in the 1970s and cast in his women-in-prison and "blaxploitation" films. But Grier is more than just an icon of that grindhouse era, and her feminist influences on filmmakers and actresses feels equally resonant today, not to mention recognizable in nearly every movie scheduled for the TIFF Bell Lightbox's new series Beyond Badass: Female Action Heroes. Grier is an inspiring feminist both onscreen and in real life. In her memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts, she recounts tales of sexism and racism, and two sexual assaults in her younger days, all of which made her more determined to succeed at a time when women of colour had few opportunities to make it in showbiz.

The Globe and Mail spoke with Grier before she makes her way to Toronto to introduce a handful of her films at the retrospective.

What is it like being the original bad-ass female action hero?

Oh, you're trying to blame me?

[Laughs] But there was Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis and Betty Hutton! I grew up on that. I got picked on a lot, so I would escape by watching Rin Tin Tin and Lassie and Roy Rogers. I wasn't wussy, but I was thin and bird-like, and I wanted to learn how to fight back because sometimes I was just thrown down the stairs for entertainment. And I wanted it to stop. It was traumatic. I grew from it and it helped me become less fearful and to be able to have confidence and show women that it's okay to be a leader. My grandfather wanted the girls [in the family] to do everything the boys did - to hunt, fish, shoot, drive, bring the boat in. He wanted us to be self-sufficient. That formed my inner strength. I wanted to bring all of that to film. With humour.

You brought your self-sufficiency to your work, including early on when you were doing your own stunts. What was that like?

The Epper family were a superb group of stunt people and they taught me so much. But I didn't have an African-American or woman-of-colour stunt double.

So I did a few of my own.

And that ability helped you get the title role in Coffy.

Roger Corman was the real frontrunner on making these films with women, and they hadn't thought of a woman of colour until they found out that I could do martial arts. I watched martial-arts films with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, because he was a good friend of Bruce Lee's, and I'd studied martial arts growing up on military air bases.

You've worked with so many directors and actors ...

Not enough, girl. Let me tell you the truth. I haven't worked with Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg. But between Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino, I tell everyone: I've been to the mountaintop. When someone devotes two years of their life to write a script for you [Jackie Brown], you know, not everyone gets a script written for them. After all that, I'm good. I'm okay.

Of those you have worked with, who has inspired you or transformed your approach to acting?

There's Ray Bradbury with Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Florence Henderson [in Ladies of the House] - she and I came from parallel worlds. I learned a lot from Jennifer Beals and Ossie Davis in The L Word. And there was Michael Keaton in Jackie Brown, watching him and Samuel [L. Jackson]. I learned from them that as an actor, your body is an instrument, and you can move kinetically and speak faster, slower or rhythmically.

Your work ethic seems inspired by the feminist influences in your life.

On Twitter I found an AfricanAmerican woman who was one of the first forest rangers. She's 94 and an amazing human being.

That could have been me. I came from a certain mindset of women in an era where, thanks to things like the Vietnam War, so many men didn't come home, or came home wounded and couldn't take care of the home. So if you were female and had a degree or trade, you got out there and used it.

You uprooted yourself while holding down three jobs to go to the Philippines and shoot these movies with Corman. And you were reading Stanislavski while on set, because you wanted to be prepared.

I was saving every dime and I was so crazy and heartbroken thanks to a third attack on my life, which nearly killed me. It's not in [the memoir]; the editors took it out. But that's when I changed, because I fought back.

This was the ultimate decision that changed me into who I became. I'm now working on a film script about my life, and we put that third attack back in.

Because that was the moment where I said, 'You know what, I don't give a shit about marriage, I'm so tired of men raping women and getting away with it.' For several seconds during the attack, I went fucking crazy, all hell broke loose. I was so mad at the world. So I went back to Roger and asked, 'Is that job still available?' I needed to get away.

He told me to read Stanislavski, and I did and grew at such magnitude. I'm so respectful of the actor. I was approaching these B-movies like it was Chekhov or Tennessee Williams. For me, it was just like theatre, and there is no take two. You've got to be perfect. I had to go to the other side of the world to find out who I was. I didn't think I would survive it, but here I am talking to you.

You made an entire career out of it.

It's been 45 years. [Laughs] And I have at least three gold watches.

And an Apple watch, too.

Pam Grier will introduce screenings of Coffy and Foxy Brown on Oct. 2 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Beyond Badass: Female Action Heroes runs through Dec. 3.

Associated Graphic

Pam Grier, seen in Foxy Brown, did her own stunts because an African-American stunt woman wasn't available.

After two decades of self-doubt, the Jays are believing that they're the best
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1


Twenty-two years is a while ago, but in celebrating taking the American League East, the Toronto Blue Jays managed to make it look prehistoric.

Between the goggles and GoPros and champagne hose jobs, these guys didn't look like they'd won the division. They looked like they'd all just gotten out of jail.

The ne plus ultra was the many wobbly party postures of back-up infielder Munenori Kawasaki - hanging on to teammates and TV hosts and jumping in the ice bath to wake himself up. He seemed a thimbleful away from needing to be taken out on a stretcher. This is the second time in five days that Kawasaki has been the hit of a Jays clubhouse party.

The guy had four hits. For the year.

If you missed it, you got the gist from a couple of Sportsnet's post-party headlines: "1 beer, 2 beers, 3 beers, 4 beers!" and "We don't need bananas, we need champagne."

It seemed like a lot of fun. It also seemed like a lot, full-stop. For the first time since it started at the trade deadline, you've just started getting the creeping sense this team has been reading its own press.

What's most remarkable about the Jays' two-month run to the playoffs is not that they won, but how they won.

They didn't beat people. They beat them up. They got on top of you early, or left it late. It didn't seem to matter to them.

Either way, you knew it was coming. It became so predictable; you could see their opponents tightening up, even with the lead.

The key to the season was two late series against the Yankees.

In retrospect, the Jays won both those stretches before they got on the field. They had the biggest franchise in the game doubting themselves. They bullied the bullies.

Even the most in-sync teams have their little periods of collective mental drift, but the Jays didn't allow them to pile up.

Toronto hasn't lost three games in a row since the All-Star break.

You can go up and down the lineup, the rotation and the bullpen and pick out the second-half performers. Just about everyone belongs on the list.

The stars looked like it, the average guys were better than that, and the ones just stuck in there for lack of a better option - the Ben Reveres of the world - had plenty of moments. Everyone played over their heads.

Talent wins you games, but this was something more than that.

This was a contagious outbreak of self-belief. After two decades of doubt and a few pretty decent teams, a Blue Jays roster finally believed it was better than everyone else again.

They went a best-in-baseball 42-15 after the Troy Tulowitzki trade. They won the division. If they keep their wits about them, they'll finish the final four games of the season with the best record in the league and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Two months ago, you wouldn't have believed it possible.

A month ago, you were beginning to consider the likelihood, but didn't want to say it out loud.

Even going back two weeks, it felt like a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming scenario.

From the perspective of Thursday morning, it seems very real.

Oddly, almost inevitable.

Which is where you start worrying again.

Because what the Jays have managed to this point will only seem like a cruel tease if they don't do more.

Looking back over recent history - much of which is not that recent - Toronto teams and their fans are bound by a shared tendency to over-celebrate minor achievements.

Getting to the playoffs seems like a big deal in Toronto, because it's Toronto. This is the city that treats getting named to host things like it's something we won.

It's not that we take our victories where we can. It's that everything becomes a victory once it goes our way.

This inferiority complex is also contagious. It's convinced several iterations of Maple Leafs teams that "just barely competent" is a species of moral triumph. It's allowed the Raptors to confuse a successful marketing campaign with a successful season.

Somehow, all the temporary residents who play here get in.

fected with this local malaise. In this city, "good enough" becomes good enough.

And it isn't. Once you start believing, that is the moment when you're on your way to something tangible.

Twenty-two years is a long time, but two frantic bacchanals in less than week seems forced.

As Wednesday night's party stretched on and on, you began to cringe. You're already imagining how silly it will seem in a couple of weeks' time if things go wrong. That's a very Toronto thing to do as well.

Over the past few days, a consensus has begun to form inside baseball. The bookies installed the Jays as favourites to win a championship. Future Boston Hall of Famer David Ortiz called Toronto "the team to beat." A whole bunch of Americans woke up and began to notice us, which hardly ever happens and feels nice even though it shouldn't matter.

All of them agree that it's the Jays' World Series to lose.

I hope they're not thinking that themselves. Though it didn't look like it on Saturday, or again last night, I hope they haven't bought into the hype.

When the Jays last won a division in 1993 - their fifth in nine years - the celebration was pro forma. Nobody flipped out. They ambled out onto the field to give each other a few hugs. They opened a few bottles. Then they went back to work.

That championship team is the template for this one - a decent bit of pitching and a lot of hitting. They were also flush with confidence.

The key difference was the fan base. After a decade's slow build, those Toronto fans expected to win. It had gotten so you believed the Jays could not lose.

That's what seems familiar about this run - that feeling. But this new generation didn't get the benefit of the slow roll to the top.

The trick now - for the team and its supporters - is not confusing a great run through the regular season with having won anything. The real work is all still left to do.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Town hits the jackpot with innovative lottery
It was all in the cards as Chase the Ace contest dealt revitalizing boost to small community that became a magnet for thousands of people hoping to win big prize
Monday, October 5, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

The party's over in Inverness, Nova Scotia. The contest that clogged its streets and buildings with visitors from near and far, bringing thousands together under a spell of fiddle-playing and a dream of getting rich, the game that led municipal leaders to set up a temporary cellphone tower to accommodate the once-aweek surge in digital activity, is done. It might never happen again.

Every Saturday for nearly a year, the town of 1,500 on Cape Breton's west coast has played host to a lottery fundraiser called Chase the Ace. A game of chance in which the jackpot grows as long as the ace of spades remains unpicked from a deck of cards, the pot had ballooned to nearly $1.78-million this past Saturday when it was finally won by retired puffin-boat tour operator Donelda MacAskill.

Beyond Ms. MacAskill's luck, which is the stuff of any lottery, what happened in Inverness is really the story of how a tiny local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion stumbled upon a fundraiser that will net it hundreds of thousands of dollars - and how a tiny town became the magnet for thousands of Atlantic Canadians weekend after weekend. Under contest rules, you had to be in Inverness to win.

"There's a saying going around here," said Alec O'Neill, whose family owns the Village Grill in the town, a short drive from the region's acclaimed Cabot Cliffs golf course. "'The golf course spent $500-million to put us on the map. And the legion just bought a deck of cards.' "

Of course, it wasn't that simple. It began, says the contest's chief organizer, Cameron MacQuarrie, at a biennial meeting of the Royal Canadian Legion in Nova Scotia, whose provincial command is shared with Nunavut. Members were discussing fundraising ideas last year and someone mentioned a lottery game called Chase the Ace that they believed originated in the northern territory. A local legion in Hants County, N.S., gave it a try and generated a jackpot of $300,000, said Mr. MacQuarrie, vice-president of legion branch 132 in Inverness.

His branch offered to try the contest, too, despite warnings that the work involved could be considerable. As long as the ace of spades isn't picked, the contest continues, potentially for up to 52 weeks as each card chosen is removed from the deck.

The game works in this way, like a 50-50 draw: Participants buy a numbered ticket. The holder of the ticket that wins the weekly draw gets a 20-per-cent cut of that week's ticket sales and a chance to pick the ace. If the ace is chosen, the picker wins the jackpot and the contest ends. If it isn't chosen, 30 per cent of ticket sales are piled in to form the next jackpot. The other 50 per cent of sales go to the charities. At Inverness, $20 bought you 12 tickets.

At first, things were going as expected, Mr. MacQuarrie said.

The winter months went by, no one picked the ace and, by the start of summer, the jackpot was at about $59,000. Local residents played and, from time to time, people from neighbouring towns and counties did, too. Mr. MacQuarrie said organizers believed at the time that with a bit of luck, the jackpot would grow to maybe $200,000 or $300,000.

That would generate a decent haul for the two organizations splitting the profits - the legion and a local skills-training centre for adults with intellectual disabilities. Both non-profits planned to use the money to upgrade their facilities.

But something happened over the summer. Inverness got busier as people returned to their summer homes in the area and vacationers passed through.

And the jackpot grew. The town by the sea held its annual Inverness Gathering, a week-long Celtic festival of dances and general merriment. And then the contest bled into the entertainment and festivities.

"At that point in time, something changed," Mr. MacQuarrie said. "It became part of the festival. And it continued. After July and into August, it kept growing and growing. And people kept coming every week, from all over Cape Breton and all over the province."

By the end of September, the jackpot topped $1-million. And because of the volume of people coming to their town - more than 10 times the local population at its peak - local residents recognized they had to chip in and help the two small organizing committees. Volunteers stepped up to prepare the tickets. Others offered to help organize parking. Musicians entertained the lottery players, who had a lot of spare time to kill.

"The community just seemed to embrace the idea that this Chase the Ace is more than just a fundraiser," said Mr. MacQuarie. "It's our community putting forward our best foot. And that wasn't anything that was planned."

Reached on Sunday after her big win, Ms. MacAskill, 62, was in Port Hawkesbury, perusing Tupperware, jewellery and other offerings at what she called a "fall extravaganza" put on by local merchants. A non-drinker and non-smoker who lives modestly, she says Inverness's contest became her "big splurge." Since August, she says she spent about $100 every Saturday on the game, even though she never really believed she would win.

Asked why she kept returning to Inverness, about an hour's drive away from her home in Englishtown, when she felt the odds were against her, she said the town put on a "carnival atmosphere" that was very friendly and welcoming.

"It was like a great big kitchen party," she said, adding she believes only a minority of communities would be able to rally similar support from their residents for such a disruptive event.

Going to the store was not an option on Saturdays because it was too crowded. Driving somewhere was impossible because the streets were choked with cars and people.

"They literally didn't have a home town for that day. ... When [we talk about] duplicating this somewhere else, that's what they would be coping with.

They'd have to be prepared to give up their community every week. It's quite a thing."

Associated Graphic

Hundreds of people fill the local arena in Inverness, N.S., waiting for the Chase the Ace draw to begin on Saturday.


Donelda MacAskill, centre, celebrates with volunteers after winning more than $1.7-million in Inverness, N.S., on Saturday.


Isolated, vulnerable and at-risk children join the cause
Free The Children reaches beyond its 'middle-class, suburban, homogeneous contingent of kids'
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page E3

At the We Day celebration in Saskatoon last year, there was a group that had come a long way - in more ways than one.

Seven students travelled 835 kilometres to Saskatoon from Ben McIntyre, a one-classroom school in Uranium City, Sask.

Uranium City was once a booming town of 10,000, but the population has dwindled to just 80 in the years since the 1982 closure of the nearby Eldorado uranium mine. The only access out of this northern community is by flight or by the Lake Athabasca winter ice road, which is open for approximately six weeks in the winter.

Despite living in a small and isolated community, the intrepid students from Grades 5 through 9 - who call themselves Go! Students for Positive Change - generated enough money through fundraising efforts to pay for their transportation and accommodations in the big city.

(Any group that completes the We Schools program receives free tickets from the organization to a We Day in their area - a stadium-sized event set up like a rock concert where We Schools groups are recognized for their fundraising efforts among celebrities and inspiring speakers.)

"The students wrote letters, managed the monies raised, made posters, baked, cooked a ham dinner and pasta lunch for the community," says Dana Case, a mental health therapist for Uranium City who flies in three times a month and the administrator of the We Schools program at Ben McIntyre. Students also had to volunteer by doing "random acts of kindness" for community members. "After the activities were complete, the students had their activities logged and signed by the person they had helped," she says.

The trip to Saskatoon was an eye-opening experience for many of the students. "Some of the students had never visited a big [city] or even stayed in a hotel, watched a movie in a theatre, or listened to live music with flashing lights," she says.

"One of the students commented to me when he realized that the group had reached our financial goal to attend We Day, 'Dana, I am so excited. Finally I will get to meet other people that are not my cousins!'" During their time in Saskatoon, the students volunteered at the Saskatoon Friendship Inn, a soup kitchen and community centre.

And by the end of the school year, they had raised $4,500 and donated it to the Inn.

"Before we formed this group, sometimes the students would feel that because they live in an isolated and small community [they couldn't] make a difference, and that nobody even cares about us up here,'" says Ms. Case. "This attitude has completely changed.

"We Day sent a message to our students, that no matter where you come from, everyone can make an impact."

While some might think of Free The Children and We Day as primarily a middle-class, suburban, homogeneous contingent of kids, Alyssa Chan, director of business development for Free The Children, says reaching out to isolated, vulnerable and atrisk children is a priority for the organization. To that end, they work with school boards and provincial departments of education to identify students in communities with the greatest need.

To engage the kids effectively and ensure consistency, they work with teachers and support staff within the schools they operate in, says Ms. Chan. "We're working in partnership with teachers, someone they're seeing every day who is focusing the students toward that year-long local or global action," she says.

To keep things relevant to students regardless of their backgrounds, We Schools lets students choose the local and global actions that they want to champion, says Ms. Chan. "As long as they've actually showed us they are making a difference, they've learned about a problem they're solving, we recognize it in the same way, and that is a really important part of the program."

Laura Arndt, director of advocacy service for Ontario's Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, says that for a service organization like Free The Children to engage isolated, marginalized or at-risk youth, they need to ensure that these young people can see themselves in the program.

"It has to speak to the cultural base that those kids come from," she says. "These are children that if you're going to work with them, you can't just invite them in and then leave. The most vulnerable and at-risk children need you to stay engaged, because often they are struggling themselves.

"When I think of our vulnerable groups - First Nations, disability, special needs - the reality is these young people don't even have an understanding that they have a voice, that they can be part of the conversation."

Ms. Arndt says she loves "the Kielburger approach" because it challenges youth out of their passive nature. "The sense that, 'I can change the world,' that's a pretty powerful thing to give a child, a sense of empowerment that they can nurture throughout their lifetime."

Craig Kielburger, co-founder and chief executive officer of Free The Children, says they've made it a priority to engage more with aboriginal youth.

Through sister organization Me to We, it runs a program called Sacred Circle in reserves or in urban environments with a large percentage of self-identified aboriginal young people. Through workshops that incorporate aboriginal principles of the Seven Teachings and the Medicine Wheel, Sacred Circle seeks to empower aboriginal youth as leaders.

"We want to shift the narrative from the idea that youth are problems to be solved, to youths who are problem solvers," he says.

To reach even more young people, Ms. Arndt suggests that Free The Children might want to partner not just in the school system but also in communities and in the health-care system, because "education isn't just limited to the classroom," she says.

"When you have kids who are dropping out of school at [a rate of] 50 to 70 per cent, those are the young people who need to be mobilized and the kids you really want to target."

Back in Uranium City, Ms. Case says she hopes the Ben McIntyre students will inspire other schools in the Athabasca Basin to follow suit. The students have continued to act as "local champions," providing volunteer services for families in need and being positive role models.

"These young people are going to do amazing things in their lives," she says. "They totally immersed themselves in the [We Schools] program and they continue to make an impact in their community."

Red and Orange Waves wash over Nipissing First Nation
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A6

GARDEN VILLAGE, ONT. -- It's not just the leaves that are turning red and orange here along the north shore of Lake Nipissing.

It is also the lawns along the streets of the several communities that make up the Nipissing First Nation - though far more Liberal red than NDP orange. The blue lawn signs of the incumbent member of Parliament, Conservative Jay Aspin, are less common than nuisance bears.

Where one could find lots of Tory blue this week in the Northern Ontario riding of NipissingTimiskaming was in the mailboxes: a curious brochure with a smiling Mr. Aspin on one side and a long-frocked Justin Trudeau on the flip side.

Opposite the photograph of the Liberal Leader was a bucolic shot of a father and young son walking in the autumn woods, shotguns by their sides, a couple of ruffed grouse in hand.

Mr. Trudeau, who was elected to Parliament 15 years and four elections after Bill C-68 brought in the long-gun registry, is quoted saying he would vote again to keep it. In capital letters opposite, over the Conservative Party logo, is a capital-letters reminder that the Tories were the ones who "SCRAPPED THE LONG-GUN REGISTRY."

They have long memories in these parts, and Oct. 19 will determine just how fondly, if at all, they remember Anthony Rota, who held this riding for the Liberals through three federal elections, only to lose to Mr. Aspin in 2011 by 14 votes - a razor-thin win for the Conservatives that was stretched to 18 votes in a judicial recount.

Those 18 votes will be easily covered, and far more, by a surprising surge in voting interest found among the indigenous voters of the riding, a riding that has been adjusted, coincidentally, to take in more of the sprawling Nipissing 10 Reserve to the north while dropping a couple of townships that traditionally voted Conservative.

No one, given the recent track record of polls, not to mention the daily fluctuations of this unfocused election campaign, would dare suggest that Mr. Rota, Mr. Aspin or NDP challenger Kathleen Jodouin has a lock on Nipissing-Timiskaming. All three parties believe they have a legitimate chance.

But what is certain is that another player - the First Nations voter - is going to be more deeply involved than ever before.

Newly elected chief Scott McLeod has completely bought into the notion of "strategic voting."

Several weeks back, Perry Bellegarde, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, announced that he would not be voting - thereby allowing him to remain impartial - but quickly changed his mind when there was an outcry. Now Mr. Bellegarde is working to mobilize the indigenous vote, convinced that "we can influence 51 ridings."

Perhaps none so much as Nipissing-Timiskaming.

"On average," Mr. McLeod says, "First Nations have not been very active."

In Manitoba, for example, only 37.6 per cent of those eligible on indigenous reserves voted last time out, compared with nearly 60 per cent for the country as a whole.

This time, there is an "Indigenous Rock the Vote" movement.

And the latest indigenous celebrity, Alberta's Ashley Callingbull, celebrated her win in the Mrs. Universe contest by calling on her people to vote the current government out of office.

Mr. McLeod believes that Nipissing 10 is more active than most and will be even more active come Oct. 19. Native Canadians may make up only about 7 per cent of the riding's population, but he believes that in a close election they might carry the day.

He also wants the same result as Mrs. Callingbull.

"There is a feeling across First Nations," he says, "against the attitude of the Conservative government. We're not happy - and we want change."

What he and others want, he says, is a new "treaty partner," a government they can work with rather than one that they feel has been adversarial. He says he realizes the risks inherent in coming out against the party that might well win the riding in which he lives, but it is a risk he is willing to take.

"At the grassroots level is where it does the most damage," he says.

"But we don't care any more. It's scary for First Nations, because we're going out on a limb and we're not being as non-partisan as perhaps our national chief might want. But we're getting to a point where we're fed up.

"Harper boasts of all his cutbacks, but a lot of them are on the backs of First Nations programs - and then he boasts about balancing the budget. It's not right.

"We can't be silent. We have to get out there and vote him out."

This thinking, he says, has turned his First Nation from voting, when they have voted, for an individual candidate to voting strategically - and Mr. McLeod, for one, has settled on the Liberal candidate as the one best positioned to bring that change.

To that end, the Nipissing First Nation has launched information programs, complete with electronic signboards, to get potential voters out registered in time for the advance polls and the Oct. 19 election day.

Mr. McLeod has gone to Elections Canada and the North Bay Nugget to complain that First Nations voters are finding it difficult to register because when they go online to do so they are often being sent an "error" message - the home address entered not being recognized as being part of a polling division. He says he himself failed on eight attempts. Elections Canada has acknowledged the computer glitch and is working to make registering easier for eligible voters in the Nipissing First Nation.

Another initiative is to encourage young indigenous voters to cast their first ballots. On Thursday morning, Mr. McLeod had made a note to contact his daughter Robin, an 18-year-old taking aboriginal studies at the University of Ottawa, and talk to her about the importance of voting, and voting strategically.

"First, though, I checked her status on Facebook," he says. "And what's the first thing I see? A link to a website telling people how they can work together to vote the Harper government out.

"She was already ahead of me."

Associated Graphic

Chief Scott McLeod of Nipissing First Nation believes in 'strategic voting' to get the Stephen Harper government out of office. 'We're not happy - and we want change,' he says.


FIFA's cleanup crew needs cleaning up, too
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1

Chung Mong-joon, who you will never have heard of, made a statement Tuesday to announce something that would carry just as much authority coming from you or I: "FIFA ... is in a total meltdown."

At this point, soccer's governing body has become an indestructible Three Mile Island.

Permanent meltdown, but business as usual.

About every other week, another rotten limb is amputated.

Shortly thereafter, another oldguard opportunist appears in its place, trying to cast himself as the man who will put things right.

In mid-September, FIFA vicepresident Jérôme Valcke was released from his duties for all eternity, implicated in a ticket resale ring. This is how low things have gotten. FIFA barters hosting, TV and commercial rights to the World Cup for billions of dollars. Everybody appears to be in on the backhanders.

Yet, the guys at the very top couldn't limit themselves to wire transfers of Qatari oil money or whatever gets skimmed off the top of the advertising take. No, they're scalpers now.

Next, they'll be pulling all the copper tubing out of the bathrooms of the Zurich HQ and hauling it off to the scrapyard in shopping carts.

Valcke was FIFA boss Sepp Blatter's human shield. You'll remember Blatter's humiliation a few months ago, when a dozen of his colleagues were arrested for corruption. Yeah, well, he's gotten over it.

Blatter promised to quit at the time. Then he unpromised. Then he promised again. He's going to continue on with his good work until a new president can be elected at an extraordinary congress in February.

(I'd still lay money the "new" guy is Blatter, possibly in mustachios and a wig. He'll retire in the first sentence of his acceptance speech and name himself Generalissimo for Life by the last.)

The man standing with a sieve between Blatter's tide of corruption and the clean waters of transparency is current European soccer chief Michel Platini.

Though he's been around forever, the former French star has cast himself as the change candidate. At first, he was coy about entering the race - a worrying attempt at having everyone beg him to do so.

"I weighed up the future of football alongside my own future," Platini said when launching his campaign. "I was also guided by the esteem, support and encouragement that many of you have shown me."

That doesn't sound good.

Platini hoped everyone would forget two things: that he was once Blatter's majordomo; and that he'd voted in favour of giving the 2022 World Cup to Qatar after a bid process that was almost certainly rigged.

In the weeks since, Platini has been shoring up his support among the European and North American outsiders who hope to topple Blatter's African, Asian and South American voting bloc.

Despite all the talk of ethics committees and renewal within FIFA, that systemic divide - between the developed and developing worlds - remains. It ensures that nothing will change, regardless of who occupies the throne.

Nonetheless, we continue with our charade.

While the Americans were stealing all the judicial thunder with their indictments, Swiss police reopened their own turgid investigations. After going through FIFA's books, one particular line item stood out.

In 2011, Blatter paid Platini two million Swiss francs ($2.75-million) for services unknown.

That's interesting. Well, everybody else thought it was interesting. Platini does not think it's very interesting.

He had a simple explanation.

This was the final instalment for work Platini had done in a previous incarnation as Blatter's adviser.

A small problem: That work finished in 2002. If Platini is to be believed, he waited nine years to be paid. On Tuesday he explained the delay in payment by saying FIFA did not have the funds to reimburse him.

This doesn't pass the most basic sniff test. If someone owed me almost $3-million, they'd roll over in bed at night to find me wedged between themselves and the missus.

Maybe I'd give them three months. Six months, tops. After that, I'm selling the debt to whichever mafia is currently most ferocious and asking to be compensated in human teeth.

Another interesting thing: When the payment was made, Platini was in the midst of running against Blatter for FIFA president. A few days later, he dropped out. Blatter ran unopposed and won.

It's pretty obvious what's happened here. Neither Blatter nor Platini have been charged. Both have hit "Send" on their pro forma denial e-mails.

Now, Mr. Chung, a formerly anonymous FIFA powerbroker from South Korea, comes hurtling into this small window of opportunity. He would like the whole operation suspended and an emergency presidential vote taken immediately.

Did I mention that Chung is also running for president? And that he's also been around for years?

"During my tenure as a FIFA [executive committee] member, I worked ceaselessly to confront and correct what I thought were opaque and illegal ways in which Mr. Blatter and his predecessor, Mr. [Joao] Havelange, ran FIFA," Chung said Tuesday. "I am sad to say that, at the time, I did not have the power to stop such corrupt practices."

He didn't need "power." All he had to do was call a news conference and say what he's just said out loud. Instead, Chung did what everyone else did.

Give him this much at least - it's a bold campaign plank: "Having already done this job once and failed at it, no one is better placed to understand how things go wrong. That you have no reason to trust me now is the best possible reason to trust me."

Problematically, this is everyone's plank. All the current candidates are tainted by associations with Blatter's fiefdom, and at the very top level.

Platini at least had brand value.

Unlike the others, he played the game professionally. Now, he's finished. Or should be. Which, in FIFA's upside-down world, means he probably isn't. He remains the bookies' favourite to take the job.

Despite all the sanctimonious column inches expended on this farce, nothing has changed and nothing will change.

In the future, when FIFA hacks go to collect their payouts, they'll just see a new, vaguely familiar face at the cashier's window. It doesn't really matter whom.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

The tenacious nature of Argentina and Chile's signature grapes is helping ease sluggish wine sales
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L9 @Beppi_Crosariol

Shed a tear for Argentina, because the malbec machine has begun to sputter. Exports from the South American nation hit a wall after a decade that saw sales to key foreign countries, such as the United States and Canada (its No. 1 and 2 markets), soar on the strength of cheerfully grapey wines made from malbec, Argentina's signature red grape.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service, Argentine wine exports decreased 16 per cent in volume and 4 per cent in value in 2014 from the previous year. Value of shipments to the United States and Canada in 2014 dropped by 11 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.

It's not the wine's fault, mind you. Blame it on the economy.

More specifically, the Argentine economy, which is in a sinkhole. Runaway inflation has helped push production costs into the stratosphere.

Wineries have had to hike wages to ensure that labourers can afford to put food on the table. And trade restrictions imposed by the government have made it harder for wineries to afford imported equipment, such as costly French oak barrels.

Producers at the cheaper end of the market - where profit margins were already thin - have been hit hardest.

In many cases, wholesale grape prices destined for low-end bottled wines now exceed the market value of the wines themselves, forcing some wineries to stop making bargain-basement cuvées altogether. It's been a virtual swan song for some of the decent $8 malbecs that conquered the world. Only the very large producers with significant economies of scale have been able to weather the storm.

Yet there are bright spots on the horizon. The latest figures from Wines of Argentina, an industry trade group, suggest that stability may be returning. Exports of packaged wine (which are more profitable than bulk wine) edged slightly up in volume, by 2.7 per cent, between January and July 2015, versus the same period a year earlier, though the average price per litre dropped by the same amount. The USDA forecasts an export-volume increase of 10 per cent for 2016, on the assumption that inflation is kept in control and exchange-rate issues are solved. And doubledigit growth has in fact been coming from countries that, it must be noted, count for a relatively puny share of Argentina's sales, such as Malaysia and Spain.

Ironically, another such place is Chile, the wineexporting competition on the other side of the Andes, whose domestic wine consumption has in fact flatlined. Chile has been having its own export troubles of late, hit with bad frosts and droughts in 2014 that saw production fall by 24 per cent over the previous year; one reason it may be saying "si" to more Argentine imports.

Production troubles aside, South America's two powerhouses continue to deliver compelling value, at least above $12 or $13 a bottle.

Match any of these densely fruity reds with grilled steak or lamb or, better yet, beef-filled empanadas.

Trapiche Terroir Series Orellana de Escobar Malbec 2010 (Argentina) SCORE: 92 PRICE: $39.95

There is generally a significant difference between basic factory-farmed malbec - with its Welch's-style grapey fruit - and handcrafted juice like this. Call it complexity, the quality that satisfies you as much, or more, well into the second glass. A singlevineyard expression, the Orellana de Escobar is voluptuous, at 15-per-cent alcohol, a velvety chocolate-espresso bar studded with plums and blackberries, with firm structure and a mineral note on the way out. Available in Ontario.

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Terroir 2012 (Argentina) SCORE: 91 PRICE: $22.95

There's impressive structure in this full-bodied red, which hints at cherry jam, dark coffee and spice set against a firm backbone of astringent tannins and fresh acidity. Various prices in Alberta, $23.10 in Quebec.

Finca Flichman Paisaje de Tupungato 2012 (Argentina) SCORE: 91 PRICE: $17.95

It's mainly made from malbec, but I wonder if somebody didn't accidentally back the syrah tractor into the fermenting vat. This is one spicy, aromatic red, with heady syrah-style pepper and lovely floral overtones, bringing life to the chunky-smooth thickness. Luscious plum jam and dark chocolate provide the crowdpleasing, sweet core. Available in Ontario.

Finca Flichman Expresiones Reserve Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Argentina) SCORE: 89 PRICE: $15.95

Chunky blackberry and dark chocolate, with spicy, cedary overtones and a pleasantly dry-dusty outer shell.

Very good value. Available in Ontario.

In Situ Reserva Carmenere 2012 (Chile) SCORE: 89 PRICE: $15.95

Chile's signature red grape, carmenere, delivers sweet, syrupy-berry flavour in this ripe red, with lively balance supplied by fresh acidity and notes of spice and eucalyptus.

It's almost off-dry, which I suspect should please many palates. Available in Ontario.

Alamos Syrah 2013 (Argentina) SCORE: 88 PRICE: $14.95

There's a sappy richness here not normally associated with the peppery, firm syrah grape (unless we're talking about the 15-per-cent alcohol monsters of Paso Robles in California). The blackberry jam and coffee level out nicely with lively baking spices and tight tannins in the second act. $16.50 in Quebec.

Escorihuela Gascón 1884 Estate Grown Malbec 2013 (Argentina) SCORE: 88 PRICE: $16.95

Escorihuela Gascón, founded in the 1880s, boasts that it was the first winery in Argentina to bottle a 100-per-cent malbec, a red variety that would become the country's global calling card. This one comes across like grape and blueberry jam, intensely fruity and almost sweet, with vanilla and coffee nuances and well-integrated tannins. Available in Ontario.

Tabali Reserva Syrah 2012 (Chile) SCORE: 88 PRICE: $14.95

Closer to Australian shiraz than to the more classically firm syrahs of France's northern Rhône valley, Tabali's 2012 syrah is a tad overripe for my palate, but it may impress those who like the style. Jammy plum takes a dip in dark-roast coffee and vanilla extract, with a nuance of spice thrown in for good measure.

$15.06 in Manitoba.

Cristobal 1492 Barrel Selection Shiraz 2012 (Argentina) SCORE: 88 PRICE: $15.95

This aims for the sweet spot of the moderate-price shiraz market, which is inhabited mainly by another southern hemisphere country, Australia. Grapey and youthful, it's got sweet fruit and plenty of vanilla and savoury oak flavours from 12 months in new French barrels.

Executives brace for worsening economy
For the first time since 2008 more than half those surveyed have a negative outlook, but opinions are divided on the best solution
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B1

A growing proportion of Canadian executives think the economy is in trouble, but they are torn over what a new government should do about it after the federal election.

The latest quarterly C-Suite survey shows that corporate executives are more discouraged about the economic outlook than they have been since the midst of the recession seven years ago. More than half think the economy will decline in the next year, the first time since November, 2008, that a majority have felt that way.

Just three months earlier, twothirds thought the Canadian economy was bound for expansion.

But the executive suite is split on what the federal government needs to do to get the economic wheels back in motion. Forty-six per cent want stimulus, while 48 per cent say Ottawa should focus on restraining spending to ensure a balanced budget.

Those two opposing views are increasingly coming into focus in the election campaign as the Liberals promise spending on infrastructure - and a few years of deficits - while the New Democratic Party and Conservatives vow to keep the budget balanced.

"My view is to stay with restraint and let the economy take care of itself," said Paul Baay, chief executive officer of Touchstone Exploration Inc., an oil and gas firm based in Calgary. "Any time the government gets involved, it tends to swing the pendulum too far one way or the other."

It is too early for the low Canadian dollar to have generated many gains in manufacturing, but "those are around the corner," Mr. Baay said.

"Sitting in my corner office in downtown Calgary, it feels like doom and gloom, but you don't have to travel very far to Vancouver or Toronto, and there seems to be a fairly positive feel, that there are a lot of things going on outside the energy sector."

Indeed, the C-Suite survey shows a sharp geographical divide, with almost 70 per cent of executives based in Alberta saying they believe the economy is currently in a recession, while just more than 40 per cent of those based in the rest of the country think that's the case.

Mr. Baay said he fully supported the government's intervention to stimulate the economy in 2008 and 2009, because that was a much broader downturn, but now the problem is a commodity issue "and I'm not sure the government can fight commodities." ABOUT THE SURVEY The quarterly C-Suite survey was conducted for Report on Business and Business News Network by the Gandalf Group, and sponsored by KPMG.

The survey interviewed 152 executives between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18, 2015.

John Simmons, CEO of solar lighting firm Carmanah Technologies Corp. in Victoria, said he is concerned that deficit spending, when combined with the loss of energy revenue, could "dig quite a hole" in public finances that will be tough to reverse.

He said he is okay with "modest deficits from time to time" if they are matched with the same number of surpluses, but that scenario doesn't seem to happen very often.

On the other side of the debate, Capstone Infrastructure Corp.

CEO Michael Bernstein said he is in favour of deficit spending, as long as it pumps money into projects that increase productivity or provide a long-term benefit to society.

These projects should have a long-term payback, he said, and could include transit infrastructure, for example, or educational research facilities.

Still, he said, this would not mean the same kind of deep deficit spending that was necessary in 2007 and 2008, when "you had a patient having a heart attack and you had to give it a jolt."

In contrast to the C-Suite's generally discouraging view of the Canadian economy, a large majority of executives think the U.S.

economy is set for a year of expansion. More than 90-percent predict growth south of the border in the next 12 months.

Despite Prime Minister Stephen Harper's claims that only the oil patch is in recession, a majority of Canadian executives - 56 per cent - say the contraction is not exclusively in the energy sector.

"We're spluttering along. We are not in great shape," said Rupert Duchesne, group chief executive of Montreal-based Aimia Inc., the company that runs the Aeroplan points system and other international loyalty programs.

Mr. Duchesne said his firm deals mainly with relatively welloff households all across the country, and "they appear to have pulled their horns in." That suggests the overall economy has declined "compared to what it was a year or two ago."

Mr. Duchesne said he is in the group that feels the economy does need some stimulus, especially in areas that create and sustain employment. That would include infrastructure projects and aid for industrial development. Moderate deficits that might be generated by putting money into "deep stimulus" should not be a problem for the country, he said.

Whatever party wins the election, he added, "we've got to put aside some of the ideology and really think about how to get the country back on its feet."

Willy Kruh, global chair of consumer markets at auditor and tax consultants KPMG, said the divide among executives when it comes to stimulus versus restraint is a reflection of confusion about the state of the economy.

What they are seeing "is some smattering of good news among the doom and gloom," he said.

Some executives who believe in restraint may also have been influenced by years of deficits in which they felt the money was not spent wisely, Mr. Kruh said. If they had a better idea of where the funds would go, there might be greater support for deficit spending, he said.


Q: Which countries should get top priority for two-way trade and investment?

A large majority of C-Suite executives think the United States - already our biggest trading partner - should be a top priority when Canada looks at opening up trade and investment.

But there is a much wider range of opinion on what other countries should also be in our sights for two-way commerce. The European Union comes second, with China close behind. A year ago China was the top pick for executives, but a weakening economy there seems to have shifted corporate priorities.

India is still high on the radar, followed by Mexico, South Korea and Brazil.

Associated Graphic


Welcome to the unfair logic of playoff baseball
Monday, October 5, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1


During the final week of the baseball season, the Toronto Blue Jays have veered into Donald Rumsfeld territory.

They've made correct decisions, incorrect decisions, correct-incorrect decisions and an as yet unknown number of incorrectcorrect decisions. Get your highlighter out. We're entering the fog of playoff war.

Giving all the regulars the second leg of Wednesday's doubleheader off after they'd won the division in the first - correct.

Giving every single one of them the next day off as well - incorrect. They were all a weekend away from three successive days off. How badly do these men need their rest?

With the exception of Jonathan Papelbon, we've rightly turned away from the old-timey tyranny of 'play-hard-on-every-outwhether-it-matters-or-not' philosophy.

However, the pendulum has begun swinging a little too hard in the other direction. These are elite performers. They know how and when to protect their bodies.

Standing in the outfield and going to bat three times in the course of an afternoon - even if they're hung over - is not going to drain them of their vital essence. You and I have done it.

They can, too.

Considering that the Jays gave back their best-in-the-league record on the final day of the season, that decision looks profligate.

Scratching David Price from his last start of the year? Yet to be determined. If he's sharp in Game 1 of the American League Division Series - correct. If he isn't - it's a nice idea that blew up on you, and therefore incorrect-correct.

Welcome to the unfair logic of playoff baseball. A lot of things that are textbook good choices will be revealed as real-life bad ones when they don't work out.

They may have been the smart thing to do, but they weren't the right thing to do - ipso facto. This is why we don't erect statues of visionary military tacticians who lost wars.

Conversely, every dumb thing the Jays do from now on will, in the end, not have been dumb if they win. Winning makes everybody a genius. Even the idiots.

You can try this at home with a simple test: Does home-field advantage matter in the baseball playoffs?

I don't know what you said, and it doesn't matter. You're wrong and you're right. For now.

Last year, home teams went 1-8 in nine postseason rounds.

So it doesn't.

In 2009, home teams went 6-1.

So it does.

Over the past decade, the home team has gone 41-42. So it's a statistical wash.

The bottom line on home field: If you have it and you win, it works. If you don't and you win, it doesn't. Because you're not playing a statistically average series. You're playing a very specific, chaotic one.

Should you be feeling a little worried today that the Jays lost four of their past five, lost home-field "advantage" and lost the right to play a wild-card entrant who'd already burned their ace?

I'll tell you in a week, when they've either won or lost their first-round series against Texas.

That's how every decision works from now on - its wisdom is a mystery ... until it isn't.

On Sunday, Toronto started Mark Buehrle on one day's rest in an attempt to push him to 200 innings pitched for the 15th consecutive year. Buehrle is beloved in the clubhouse, making the team's gesture of respect not just cordial, but cunning.

Then it got all no-good-deedgoes-unpunished. Buehrle allowed eight runs in two-thirds of an inning. It wasn't all his fault. Toronto committed two errors behind him. But by the end, he looked like he was throwing batting practice.

Buehrle has made nearly 500 starts. He'd never before given up six or more runs while working for less than an inning.

So what was likely the last outing of his career is arguably his worst. It was the wrong thing done for the right reasons, but you could see the disaster coming a long way off. Call this one correct-incorrect.

This is the sort of choice you now need to eliminate.

The Jays can no longer afford to be sporting - letting a pitcher stay in one batter too long because you don't want to hurt his confidence; or giving a guy a shot at postseason glory when you're pretty sure he's not up to it.

Baseball puts a high value on chivalry, but it's a luxury born of the regular season and its interminable length. Those mistakes even out.

In the postseason, every minor ripple can become a campaignending, reputation-destroying tidal wave. Ask Bill Buckner.

This is the time to be ruthless.

The Jays will make errors - physical and tactical - in the coming week(s). It's an inevitability.

We'll spend a great deal of time obsessing over what the manager does or does not do, because that's easy.

Few of us have the bonafides to second-guess the players, and most would not assume to do so. All of us imagine we could handle the pitching staff under in-game pressure. We're wrong, but we still think that.

However it turns out, you hope it comes down to a Joe Carter-esque moment of brilliance rather than a Buckneresque miscue.

But I suspect it comes down to plays and decisions that only seem smart in retrospect - the incorrect-correct.

When the San Francisco Giants pitched their now-and-future ace, Madison Bumgarner, on two days rest in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, that was an iffy decision. Sure, you want to win a championship. Also, you do not want to break or humiliate a cornerstone of your organization.

Had it gone wrong, it would be remembered as a Buehrleesque pratfall at the most critical moment. Instead, Bumgarner pitched five, remarkable shutout innings.

So a choice that could have been panicky and foolish became inspired and brave.

Have the Jays made that sort of decision yet, or can they, or should they? Maybe. We'll know when it's over.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

Jays manager John Gibbons will be second-guessed in the weeks ahead.


There's cowboy Texas (San Antonio), cowboy-with-airs Texas (Dallas) and cowboy-done-struck-oil Texas (Houston). Then there's Arlington, home of the Rangers. The Blue Jays' ALDS opponent doesn't play in Texas. They play in a strip-mall wormhole you pass through on the way to Fort Worth. Arlingtonians don't have much of an identity now, but as our temporary enemies, it's our job to give them one
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1


A few years ago, I asked Blue Jays manager John Gibbons - then in his first swing with the club - about one of his prospects in spring training, Curtis Thigpen.

"The two of you have a lot in common," I said.

"What's that?" "Well, you're both catchers. And you're both from Texas."

"Curtis isn't from Texas," Gibbons said.

I'd just come from speaking with Thigpen. He'd talked about growing up in the hippie redoubt of Austin, and how he didn't feel very Texan in the Friday Night Lights, boots-and-belt-buckles sense. So I knew he was from Texas.

"Sure, he is," I said. "He's from Austin."

Gibbons smirked: "Austin ain't Texas."

From the perspective of the infrequent visitor, there are several varieties of Texas. San Antonio is cowboy Texas. Dallas is cowboy-with-airs Texas. Houston is cowboy-done-struck-oil Texas.

And then there's Arlington, where the Jays will be playing the Rangers in the ALDS next weekend.

Arlington isn't Texas, because Arlington isn't really any place.

It's the strip-mall wormhole you pass through on the way to Fort Worth.

The city was painfully reminded of this reality when Major League Baseball shipped them their celebratory, division clinching T-shirts. All the league's winners got variations on the same theme - a tag line ("The West Is Ours") emblazoned under the city's skyline.

Arlington doesn't have a skyline (unless it's a Klimtian jumble of highway overpasses). So MLB subbed in Dallas's.

Some people were upset. Presumably, they're from Arlington.

Or maybe Dallas. It's hard to tell.

They were more exasperated than angry.

They won't be selling those T-shirts at the ballpark. Nor will they be building a skyline. It's a lose-lose.

They have the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, but Arlington is mainly the place to which Dallas outsources its live baseball and football. As it turned out, no one else was super keen on helping to pay for the crashed spaceship that is AT&T (formerly Cowboys) Stadium.

Since you'd like to think you've bought something for a few hundred million dollars in public money, Arlington's then mayor threw a snit when NBC's Bob Costas referred to the new building as "the palace in Dallas." You feel for both of them.

The mayor has his legacy to think of. And nothing rhymes with Arlington.

As in all the rest of Texas, people in Arlington are so cordial and solicitous you think you've wandered into a very low-return long con. You'll be ten minutes deep in a conversation with some random passerby when you'll have a "Wait.

Do I actually know this person?" moment. You don't. They're just built to act as if you do.

When a couple of us debated one night about how we should get back from the stadium in Houston - walk or take a cab? - a woman wandered into the midst of the conversation, saying, "I cannot in good conscience allow you to walk. You won't survive."

That was very kind of her.

Also, life-saving. Don't walk in downtown Houston after dark, people.

Despite the cattle-driving cult, cars are a bigger deal in Texas than anywhere else. A week before the most recent Super Bowl in Dallas, they had a freak ice storm. Three days later, we were being bused to a suburban college campus where one of the teams was practising. As we passed through a neighbourhood, something struck me as odd. After a while, I figured out what it was - no tracks in the unshovelled snow. Neither tire nor foot. Not a one.

None of these people had left their houses for three days because they couldn't drive. I understand that a lot of people will live their whole lives in Texas. I assume it's because they dropped out of driving school, and are trapped.

You can't walk in Arlington. If you must walk, you walk from one parking lot to the next. It always seems to be 4 million degrees outside. If you get lost, your best plan is to lie down and wait to be rescued by friendly Texas vultures.

One day, walking from my car to the stadium in the vast parking-lot nothingness, a gentleman happened by in a golf cart. As one does.

I'm not sure why he was there, but unlike any sane Canadian, he stopped to give a stranger a lift. I'll never forget him, whoever he is. He's my ideal Texan. I'm sure his ancestors were the last people to die at the Alamo.

Three hours before a game in Arlington, there's no one around. An hour after a game, it returns to that state. You find yourself drifting toward the light - which is always a highway. It's as if the city itself knows you don't belong here and would like to point toward somewhere a little more happening.

But when a game's on, people just appear. Where are they from? How did they get here?

No one knows. Or, at least, I didn't bother asking. The press box is air conditioned, and only a maniac with reptile blood would go out into the stands for more than a minute.

It's generally a good crowd, buoyed by a few years of good teams. They play Deep in the Heart of Texas mid-game, which is fun. I'll take their word for it that that's where we are. If so, it's a weird place. Friendly locals, but an odd locale. It's like Robert Moses doing the setdressing for David Lynch.

Arlingtonians - our temporary enemies. Since the whole point of the postseason is picking a (gentle) fight with the fans of the other city, this could be a tough one.

There's no history between us.

Beyond the most tiresome clichés, they have no idiosyncrasies to poke fun at. Also, I'm still not sure if they actually exist.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

The Texas Rangers' Yovani Gallardo throws against the Detroit Tigers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Tex., on Sept. 30.


Muzzo name looms large in the 905
Mother of alleged impaired driver - the scion of an Ontario construction family - offers 'deepest sympathy' to victims' relatives
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A7

Amid growing public outrage over the deaths of three children and their grandfather when their minivan was T-boned on Sunday, family members of a man accused of impaired driving in the crash offered condolences to the relatives of the victims.

"We are all greatly saddened by yesterday's tragedy and express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Neville, Lake and Frias families," Dawn Muzzo, the mother of Marco Muzzo, 29, said in a statement dated Monday and made public on Tuesday. The family also requested privacy "during this very difficult time."

Just after 4 p.m. on Sunday, Gary and Neriza Neville were driving with their grandchildren - Daniel, 9, Harry, 5, and Millie Neville-Lake, 2 - and the children's great-grandmother Josephina Frias when an SUV slammed into the side of their minivan at an intersection north of Toronto. Mr. Neville and all three children died of their injuries.

The parents of the children, Edward Neville and Jennifer Neville-Lake, were not in the minivan. Ms. Neville-Lake learned of the collision while watching TV news at home and has called the loss "the worst nightmare."

The tragedy and the suggestion drunk driving was a factor have incensed supporters of the family in the Greater Toronto Area, and brought the spotlight onto the Muzzo family, and its construction business built over several decades by Mr. Muzzo's grandfather, an Italian immigrant also named Marco Muzzo, who came to Canada in the 1950s.

According to police and fire officials, the collision occurred near Kleinburg, when a vehicle slammed into a minivan. Gary Neville died at the scene. The three children died in hospital.

Neriza Neville and Ms. Frias are expected to survive.

Mr. Muzzo, who lives in King Township, faces 12 impaired-driving charges and six charges related to the dangerous operation of a vehicle. He is expected to appear in court on Friday for a bail hearing.

The Muzzo name looms large in Ontario's building industry - a driving force in the construction of suburban homes, condo towers and retail malls. In Canadian Business magazine's ranking of the 100 wealthiest Canadians, the Muzzo estate ranks 52nd - worth more than $1.7-billion.

The business had humble beginnings - born out of the entrepreneurial spirit of Marco Muzzo and his brother Elio. The plastering business Elio started was transformed into a drywall construction company called Marel Contractors - a source of skilled tradesmen and construction know-how for projects across the GTA and Southern Ontario.

The area now known as the 905 - a political and economic powerhouse named after the telephone area code of the vast suburban belt around Toronto - bears the elder Marco Muzzo's imprint.

Through the 1970s, Marco Muzzo and his partners amassed swathes of land in Southern Ontario that became suburban developments in the real estate boom of the 1980s, when the Golden Horseshoe's population rapidly expanded. By the end of the decade, the business owned or was developing more than 60 square kilometres of land in the GTA. A domineering and hardworking businessman known to work up to 18 hours a day and seven days a week, the elder Marco Muzzo became a real estate tycoon and billionaire with strong links to politics. In the 1980s, his company was one of the largest donors to provincial and municipal politicians.

The Muzzo family was well positioned for the condo boom.

Its Pemberton Group is behind 19 Ontario condominium projects in areas such as Oakville, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Richmond Hill, Brampton and Toronto, including U Condominiums near Yorkville and The Uptown Residences at Yonge and Bloor Streets.

Marel Contractors continues to focus on large-scale residential and commercial drywall construction projects - including the new Oakville hospital and the Aga Khan Museum. It has offices and projects in Ottawa and Calgary.

Marco Muzzo died in 2005 at the age of 73. His son Marc Muzzo runs the Vaughan-based group of companies with other family members. He is a board member of Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation.

The elder Marco's other son, Robert, died in 2004 of bladder cancer.

The younger Marco Muzzo is the son of Robert and Dawn Muzzo. He is listed on the website of Marel Contractors as a director.

Robert Muzzo is remembered in an annual charity event that celebrates his love of fast cars and raises money for the Muzzo Family Surgical Innovation Fund at the University Health Network.

The event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, Ont., lets participants drive their own cars around the racetrack.

A young Marco Muzzo, in grey hooded sweatshirt, can be seen posing alongside his mother Dawn and uncle Marc at the first racetrack fundraising event in 2004 in a photograph published in the online magazine TORO.

Since then, the event has raised more than $4.3-million.

The Muzzo Family Charitable Foundation raises and distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for hospitals and services to help people with physical and learning disabilities, as well as children and youth. The family has also backed the Because I am a Girl campaign with $250,000.

According to the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General, the younger Marco has seven noncriminal offences in Ontario - including speeding and driving with a hand-held device in recent years. His lawyer, Rudi Covre, said the offences would not affect the criminal case against his client.

"There may be a minimal role that they play, but I don't think there will be any impact," he said.

"A lot of kids, a lot of people have traffic tickets."

At St. Joachim Elementary School in Brampton, two masses were held for Daniel and Harry on Tuesday. A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Thursday night at St. Padre Pio Church in Vaughan.

A fundraising page set up for the family has had a surge of donations - with more than $175,000 raised since Sunday.

"My heart breaks for your family, for the unbearable and unfathomable pain you're going through right now ... and must endure in the days to come. You are in my thoughts; sending you love and strength," donor Tracy Lee Fawcett wrote on the GoFundMe donation page.

Associated Graphic

Harry Neville-Lake, 5; his sister, Millie, 2; their brother, Daniel, 9; and their 65-year-old grandfather died after the crash that took place Sunday afternoon in Vaughan, Ont. Marco Muzzo has been charged.

Marco Muzzo

Valeant: a $50-billion debate
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B1

Inside the Market

It is only Valeant Pharmaceuticals' amazing rise to a market value of almost $120-billion that makes its decline over the past month look like a mere stumble.

After all, $50-billion in capitalization - what Valeant lost between its Aug. 6 high and Tuesday's low - is more than all but five other companies in the S&P/TSX composite index. It's like an entire BCE gone poof.

That track record of shareholder gains means that Valeant's boosters are out in force calling this drop a chance to snap up the shares. BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Alex Arfei, who was among at least a half-dozen analysts to reiterate "buy" ratings on Valeant this week, headlined his note Fear and Uncertainty Create Another Buying Opportunity. For Valeant skeptics, however, the recent declines prompt a decidedly different reaction: Are investors finally coming around to the risks inherent in the company's much-praised business model?

For years, Valeant has been making its critics look like chumps. I am one of them. Even with the decline from $347.84 in August to $238.20 Wednesday, you would have made healthy gains if you ignored my warnings about the company's accounting in April, 2012 (when Valeant was at $50 a share), my June, 2013, reiteration of those concerns ($85) or my May, 2014, comments about the proposed acquisition of Allergan ($138).

Valeant's success is a result, in no small part, to its rejection of one of the core philosophies of the pharmaceutical industry; namely, you need to spend money on research and development to create drugs and succeed.

Instead, Valeant spots already-developed drugs it likes and buys the company, keeping the products and often laying off staff.

At the same time, its Canadian incorporation and its corporate structure save it a ton of taxes: The company's effective tax rate is in the low single digits, versus roughly 20 per cent for peers. Meanwhile, the success of the shares has made CEO Michael Pearson a billionaire.

That particular combination has made Valeant a repeated target of U.S. politicians. Its shares' recent fall came amid a downdraft for all pharmaceutical companies as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made negative comments about prescription drug price "gouging" and a public backlash developed against Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who raised the price of a parasitic infection drug to $750 (U.S.) a pill from $13.50.

Monday's sharp fall in Valeant's shares came after 18 Democratic members of Congress compared Valeant's business model to that of Mr. Shkreli and said they want both executives to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Even if Valeant is raked over the coals on Capitol Hill, BMO's Mr. Arfei said, "it is very unlikely to lead to new pricing regulations for pharmaceuticals. Once we get past the political grandstanding and the negative headlines, we believe the focus will shift back to Valeant's fundamentals."

Mr. Pearson, in a letter to employees that was also filed with U.S. securities regulators, says the current "bear thesis" that Valeant is dependent on large drug-price increases and is exposed to potential cuts in U.S. government drug reimbursements "is incorrect ... Valeant is well-positioned for strong organic growth, even assuming little to no price increases. ... We have consistently pursued profitable growth through diversification, strong execution and financial discipline while minimizing exposure to governmental policy changes and volatility."

Let's look at fundamentals, growth and execution. My past critiques centred on Valeant's presentation of its earnings and whether it gave the best possible picture of its financial performance. Since 2012, Valeant has dialled back some (but not all) of the aggressive choices it made in reporting its numbers, and its cash flow often better matches its reported earnings.

Organic growth remains a question, however. Veritas Investment Research's Dimitry Khmelnitsky previously observed that Valeant was not counting discontinued drugs in its organic calculations, helping boost the numbers. More broadly, he says, "the growing reliance on the acquired pipeline means that VRX's 'organic' growth critically depends on new acquisitions in the longer term." I went to Standard & Poor's Capital IQ and checked out Valeant's EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. This is Capital IQ's calculation, not Valeant's own heavily adjusted "cash earnings" metric.

From 2005 to 2014, Valeant reported cumulative EBITDA of $12.25-billion. Over the same period, in lieu of R&D expenditures to develop its own drugs, it spent $12.1-billion on cash acquisitions. The net number of adjusted profit, in my view: $150-million, total, over the course of a decade. To be fair to Valeant, this analysis fails to recognize the future profits these acquired drugs will generate. My response to that, though, is that if Valeant is a perpetual acquisition machine, constantly plowing all the money it makes back into deals, there are never any real profits for the shareholders, or to truly support the valuation of $61.2-billion ($81.2-billion Canadian.)

To pay for its deals, Valeant has pumped up its debt, to more than $30-billion at June 30, and pays more than $1-billion a year in interest expense - which is not reflected in EBITDA, because the "I" stands for "interest."

In this happy October of the Blue Jays' first postseason in more than two decades, some baseball analogies: A recent article on the website of U.S. business channel CNBC compared Valeant and Mr. Pearson to the Moneyball Oakland A's and their general manager, Billy Beane, who overachieved by acquiring players undervalued by other teams.

I have a different team in mind: The New York Yankees of the late 1970s and early 1980s. They outspent everyone in the early days of free agency, snapping up superstars and neglecting their farm system. The team went to the World Series three times, winning twice, but afterward spent more than a decade in the wilderness when its players got old and they'd developed no homegrown players to replace them.

The Yankees returned to winning championships by reversing their strategy. For now, Valeant is content on staying the same course. Time will tell whether it can return to Yankee-like dominance.

Valeant (VRX-T) Close: $238.20, up $26.14

Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R19



1 1 4 The Girl In The Spider's Web, by David Lagercrantz (Viking Canada, $34).

2 3 38 The Girl On The Train, by Paula Hawkins (Doubleday Canada, $24.95).

3 2 3 The Illegal, by Lawrence Hill (HarperCollins, $34.99).

4 4 15 Grey: Fifty Shades Of Grey As Told By Christian, by E.L. James (Knopf, 4 $18.95).

5 5 3 Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel, by Lee Child (Delacorte, $36).

6 - 1 Sleep, by Nino Ricci (Doubleday Canada, $30).

7 8 11 Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee (HarperCollins, $34.99).

8 7 4 Undercover, by Danielle Steel (Delacorte, $35).

9 10 2 Eve, by Wm. Paul Young (Howard, $19.99).

10 6 2 Devoted In Death, by J.D. Robb (Putnam, $35.95).



1 1 2 Why Not Me?, by Mindy Kaling (Crown Archetype, $32).

2 3 30 My Secret Sister: Jenny Lucas And Helen Edwards' Family Story, by Jenny Lee Smith (Pan Macmillan, $15.99).

3 - 1 Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, by Jenny Lawson (Flatiron, $31.50).

4 2 3 Open Heart, Open Mind, by Clara Hughes (Simon & Schuster Canada, $32).

5 - 1 Weology: How Everybody Wins When We Comes Before Me, by Peter Aceto with Justin Kingsley (HarperCollins, $32.99).

6 4 4 Unflinching: The Making Of A Canadian Sniper, by Jody Mitic (Simon & Schuster Canada, $32).

7 - 1 Sins Of The Mother: A Heartbreaking True Story Of A Woman's Struggle To Escape Her Past And The Price Her Family Paid, by Irene Kelly, Jennifer Kelly and Matt Kelly (Pan Macmillan, $16.99).

8 5 3 History's People: Personalities And The Past, by Margaret MacMillan (House Of Anansi, $24.95).

9- 1 Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed A Presidency, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co., $34.50).

10 9 2 The Midwife's Sister: The Story Of Call The Midwife's Jennifer Worth By Her Sister Christine, by Christine Lee (Pan Macmillan, $16.99).

The bestseller list is compiled by The Globe and Mail using sales figures provided by BookNet Canada's national sales tracking service, BNC SalesData.




1 The Illegal, by Lawrence Hill (HarperCollins, $34.99).

2 Sleep, by Nino Ricci (Doubleday Canada, $30).

3 Five Days Left, by Julie Lawson Timmer (Berkley , $21).

4 Eve, by Wm. Paul Young (Howard, $19.99).

5 The Nature Of The Beast, by Louise Penny (Minotaur, $32.50).

6 Room (Movie Tie-In), by Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins, $10.99).

7 Undermajordomo Minor, by Patrick deWitt (House Of Anansi, $32).

8 An Irish Doctor In Peace And At War: An Irish Country Novel, by Patrick 8 Taylor (Forge, $17.50).

9 Every Second, by Rick Mofina (MIRA, $11.99).

10 The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood (McClelland & Stewart, $34).


1 Open Heart, Open Mind, by Clara Hughes (Simon & Schuster Canada, $32).

2 Weology: How Everybody Wins When We Comes Before Me, by Peter Aceto, with Justin Kingsley (HarperCollins, $32.99).

3 Unflinching: The Making Of A Canadian Sniper, by Jody Mitic (Simon & Schuster Canada, $32).

4 History's People: Personalities And The Past, by Margaret MacMillan (House Of Anansi, $24.95).

5 An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth, by Chris Hadfield (Random House , 5 $22).

6 You Are Here: Around The World In 92 Minutes, by Chris Hadfield (Random House Canada, $29.95).

7 Canoe Country: The Making Of Canada, by Roy MacGregor (Random House Canada, $32).

8 Stephen Harper, by John Ibbitson (Signal, $35).

9 The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account Of Native People In North America, by Thomas King (Anchor Canada, $19.95).

10 This Is Happy: A Memoir, by Camilla Gibb (Doubleday Canada, $29.95).



1 Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead, $29.95).

2 Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution., by Brené Brown (Spiegel & Grau, $35).

3 The Big Book Of Mandalas Coloring Book: More Than 200 Mandala Coloring Pages For Inner Peace And Inspiration, by Adams Media (Adams Media, $20.99).

4 How To Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie (Pocket, $21).

5 What To Expect When You're Expecting: 4th Edition, by Heidi Murkoff, Sandee Hathaway and Sharon Mazel (Workman, $16.95).

6 The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle 6 (New World Library, $20.95).

7 The Gifts Of Imperfection: Let Go Of Who You Think You're Supposed To Be And Embrace Who You Are, by Brené Brown (Hazelden, $17.50).

8 The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer (New Harbinger, $22.95).

9 The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change, by Stephen R. Covey, foreword by Jim Collins (Free Press, $22).

10 The Big Book Of Mandalas Coloring Book, Volume 2: More Than 200 Mandala Coloring Pages For Peace And Relaxation, by Adams Media (Adams Media, $20.99).



1 My Secret Sister: Jenny Lucas And Helen Edwards' Family Story, by Jenny Lee Smith (Pan Macmillan, $15.99).

2 Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, by Jenny 2 Lawson (Flatiron, $31.50).

3 Open Heart, Open Mind, by Clara Hughes (Simon & Schuster Canada, $32).

4 Unflinching: The Making Of A Canadian Sniper, by Jody Mitic (Simon & Schuster Canada, $32).

5 Sins Of The Mother: A Heartbreaking True Story Of A Woman's Struggle To Escape Her Past And The Price Her Family Paid, by Irene Kelly, Jennifer Kelly and Matt Kelly (Pan Macmillan, $16.99).

6 Yes Please, by Amy Poehler (HarperCollins, $19.99).

7 The Midwife's Sister: The Story Of Call The Midwife's Jennifer Worth By Her Sister Christine, by Christine Lee (Pan Macmillan, $16.99).

8 An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth, by Chris Hadfield (Random House, $22).

9 Girl In The Woods: A Memoir, by Aspen Matis (William Morrow & Co., $21.99).

10 Secret Child, by Gordon Lewis and Andrew Crofts (HarperCollins, $16.99).

The Canadian Fiction and Non-Fiction bestseller lists, and the Canadian Specialty Books list, are compiled for The Globe and Mail by BookNet Canada.

Sixty years ago, Bob Levin writes, the blue-collar Dodgers finally beat the lordly Yankees in a World Series for the ages
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1

It's all black and white, the footage at once familiar and achingly antique. The World Series bunting. The ballplayers in their baggy uniforms. The well-dressed fans in the stands, partisans of the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers both, chock-a-block in the Bronx for a momentous Game 7.

Nostalgia is a tricky business, easily overdone, and especially suspect when it's not really your own. I wasn't there. I didn't live it. But the film and books devoted to a baseball game played six decades ago, on Oct. 4, 1955 - the documentary evidence of Brooklyn's beloved Bums beating the detested Yanks at last for their first Series triumph ever - are so affecting they feel personal, like a borrowed memory.

It's at least arguable - and let the counterclaims begin - that no fans of any athletic team anywhere have been more entitled to their bliss than those of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

This was not, after all, just a baseball game. This was a cause, a civil war, a culture clash. This was the lordly, corporate, pinstriped Yankees - the damn Yankees - facing the scrappy, blue-collar Dodgers in the Series for the sixth time since 1941, the previous five all ending in Yankee victories. "Wait 'Til Next Year" had become the Brooklyn refrain, defiant and hopeful and deeply enamoured of these talented alsorans.

"Their skills," Roger Kahn wrote in The Boys of Summer, about a club he covered in 1952 and 1953, "lifted everyman's spirit and their defeat joined them with everyman's existence, a national team, with a country in thrall, irresistible and unable to beat the Yankees."

Part of the allure was the place and time. New York was the undisputed capital of baseball then, one of its three teams, the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants, winning the Series all but one year from 1949 to 1958. "The Fifties were the last decade when America suffered from the defect of vision known as New York-centrism," columnist George F. Will wrote, noting that the nation's gaze was about to shift south and west.

Then there was the matter of race, the agonizing theme at the core of so many American stories. The Dodgers were the club that broke baseball's toxic colour barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, assigning him to the Montreal Royals for a season, then bringing him to the big leagues in 1947. In the process, they became not just a baseball team but a bold social experiment, one playing out in the chippy, diverse, immigrant mecca of Brooklyn.

By 1955, though, the incomparable Robinson was nearing the end of his career and the Dodgers, for all their other stalwarts - Hodges, Reese, Snider, Campanella, Furillo, Newcombe, Erskine - were in tough against the Yanks again. The Bronx Bombers took the first two games at Yankee Stadium. The Dodgers rallied to win three straight at Ebbets Field, then succumbed uptown to set up Game 7.

The clincher was, by all accounts, excruciating. It featured the superb pitching of Dodgers lefty Johnny Podres, two RBIs by Gil Hodges and a dashing, stick-out-the-glove grab that Sandy Amoros, a young Cuban, made on a Yogi Berra slice into the left-field corner. That catch, with two Yanks aboard and no one out, was the game-saver, the start of a stunning double play that dominates highlight reels of the 2-0 Dodgers victory. But the film doesn't quite capture the crackling tension of Brooklyn faithful conditioned to expect the worst.

"In truth," Thomas Oliphant wrote in his lovely memoir Praying for Gil Hodges, "the game was nearly three hours of unrelenting torture and suspense, a roller-coaster ride mostly evocative of all the past years of disappointment until literally the final pitch."

And then - delirium, on the field and back in Brooklyn, car horns honking, church bells ringing, confetti flying. My friend Fred Bruning was there. He was 15 and had heard most of the game on the PA system at his high school, Brooklyn Tech, but after class he'd reached the subway stairs at Flatbush and DeKalb just as the final out was recorded.

"From the Dodgers Café poured the working-class crowd," he recalls, "men and women, and dance in the street they did, just like the books say." It's a recollection for the ages - made more poignant, of course, by the Dodgers' defection to Los Angeles just two years later.

I have some Brooklyn in the blood, too. My grandparents lived there, my parents were married there and took an apartment on Prospect Park and I grew up on Dodgers tales from the 1940s - of Leo the Lip, Ladies Day at Ebbets Field, Pete Reiser crashing into walls. My folks left, though, and I was born and raised in Philadelphia (where I had my own baseball cross to bear, but that's another story). Later, as a young adult, I lived in Brooklyn for a few years, and even in the early 1980s you could still hear the occasional soul bemoaning the Dodgers' departure. I'm sure you hear it still.

But no one can take '55 away, and ever-noisy Brooklyn, wielding the media megaphone of New York, has made certain no one forgets.

Watch the film 1955: Seven Days of Fall and just try to be unmoved - not only by the striking images but by the simpler times they depict.

The Dodgers, we're told, actually lived in Brooklyn. They worked in the off-season in factories and on farms, sold clothing and cars. You'd see them and their wives around the neighbourhood. That is not a world we know, and it's worth celebrating its charms and the singular, ecstatic moment when, in the freighted words of sportscaster Vin Scully, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world."

It only happened once but it lasts forever.

Bob Levin is news features editor of The Globe and Mail. He is working on a novel in which the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers figure prominently.

Associated Graphic

Brooklyn left fielder Sandy Amoros made this game-saving catch on a ball hit by New York's Yogi Berra in the seventh game of the 1955 World Series at Yankee Stadium. The Dodgers won the game 2-0.


Even the founders weren't sure it would last this long. But the youth organization for social change has not only survived but inspires new generations to get involved in service projects
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page E1

At 17, Razan Samara is a Free The Children veteran. The high-school student from Mississauga has been involved in the charitable organization since the age of 12. While in social studies class, Ms. Samara read the story of how Craig Kielburger founded Free The Children when he was just 12 and was inspired to join. A self-proclaimed "shy kid," she says being involved has helped her find her voice.

"Now I'm probably the loudest kid you could ever meet," she says. Much of Ms. Samara's free time is devoted to organizing fundraising efforts for her school's Free The Children club - campaigns with names like We Are Silent and We Scare Hunger. Her club has also built homes with Habitat for Humanity and volunteered at local food banks. "I've realized that a huge portion of my happiness comes from helping other people," she says.

Now that she is applying to university, Ms. Samara says she hopes to some day get into medical school so she can work for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). An immigrant from Palestine, she says she always understood the challenges faced by people of her background during times of civil unrest, but says that Free The Children opened her eyes to the suffering of people all over the world.

"It makes you realize that no matter how different a person is, we go through the same troubles and turmoil and we need to be there to support each other," she says.

"We need to work together to overcome all our problems."

Ms. Samara is just one of the 2.3 million children worldwide who participate in Free The Children and its sister programs each year. In the 20 years since Free The Children was founded by Thornhill, Ont., brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger, it has grown into an international organization that also includes Me to We (a social enterprise that donates half its proceeds to Free The Children) and We Day (star-studded stadium events that celebrate young people's fundraising accomplishments). Through Free The Children's Adopt-a-Village development model, more than 1,000 schoolhouses have been built in countries such as Kenya, India, Ecuador, China and Haiti, and one million people now have improved access to clean water, health care and sanitation.

When asked his perspective on the organization's 20-year milestone, Craig Kielburger says, "I think it's highly improbable that we're still here.

"When we first applied for charitable status and the Canadian government said, 'You can't because no one is over 18 and you can't sign the paperwork,' it was very challenging to shift peoples' thinking," he says. "The idea that kids had the ability and responsibility to get involved in service projects, 20 years ago, that was foreign to people."

In the early days, there was a debate whether Free The Children should be discussed during school time or limited to an extracurricular activity, says Mr. Kielburger. Now, Free The Children is in the classrooms of 5,000 Canadian schools through the We Schools program. "Every week we have a new curriculum resource to teach about a cause, every month there's a new civic campaign," he says. "We're engaging the next generation to serve."

Clearly, Free The Children has had a huge impact - one that grows with each passing year. But can organizations like Free The Children continue to engage the youth of today - the technologically savvy, YouTube-watching, social media-loving Generation Z - and will these kids become the socially responsible, globally engaged adults of tomorrow?

Generation Z youth (generally accepted as the under-20s and the children of Gen X, though it depends on whom you ask) have developed a reputation for being more socially aware than their millennial predecessors. Robert Barnard, chief executive officer of Toronto-based strategic consultancy Decode, has been studying youth attitudes and culture for 20 years, and he says Generation Z is definitely more aware of the world's problems than previous generations. "Each generation gets more aware of more issues because of the pervasiveness of the media," he says. "It continues to accelerate."

However, Mr. Barnard says his company has done studies on each generation as they come of age - Generations X, Y and Z - and have found this generation (specifically kids 13 through 19) is not necessarily any more involved in social justice or activism than Y or X was at that age.

The voices of Gen Z's most passionate young activists - be it Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai or U.S. environmental crusader Kelsey Juliana - are inspiring and influential, but when it comes to the whole cohort, "people may be putting [Gen Z] up as more involved than they really are," he says.

When it comes to activism today, "there's a difference between breadth and depth. If you change the colour overlay on your Facebook photo because you believe in a particular cause, it's an interesting statement, but the real change takes depth and sometimes I think that's where young people can get it mixed up," says Mr. Barnard.

Mr. Kielburger agrees that the massive amount of information young people have access to can be overwhelming for them. "You can click, you can see the heartbreaking image of the little boy on the beach, but what are you supposed to do about it?" he says.

"It is actually a careful balance - we don't want to expose young people and not give them the ability to help, because they'll just close their eyes and close their hearts. You need to give them tangible tools."

As for whether alumni will remain engaged, Mr. Kielburger says they've found through thirdparty measurement that 80 per cent of participants continue to volunteer after being in the program and 79 per cent voted in the last federal election. "I'm fascinated to see the long-term impact on philanthropy in our country and service and political involvement and people running for office. It's a giant experiment in civic engagement at a country level."

Associated Graphic

Razan Samara, at her high school in Mississauga, is one of 2.3 million children worldwide who participate in Free The Children and its sister programs each year.


Luxury at entry-level
German architect Felix Leicher brings a continental approach to a Leslieville semi
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page G12


Asking price: $839,000

Taxes: $3,235.47 (2014)

Lot size: 18.75 ft. by 113.41 ft.

Agent: Steven Fudge, sales representative,, Bosley Real Estate Ltd., brokerage

Felix Leicher came to Toronto with his Canadian wife, Elisa Moolecherry, in search of an opportunity. An architect in Germany, he was looking to build his own creations.

"But Munich is set up with big apartment buildings and there are hardly any semi or single homes; so you can only do interior renovations," Mr. Liecher said.

"Here you have the option of transforming both the inside and outside."

The back story

The dowdy semi at 34 Louvain Ave. in Leslieville was in dire need of a transformation.

When the couple bought the house, it was your typical century-old semi that had seen better days.

There was a mishmash of repairs and home hacks that had turned the first floor into a multipurpose level for its previous owners, an aging couple.

"There is huge potential here, but it required a certain amount of artistry to achieve it," Ms. Moolecherry said.

To realize that potential, the home underwent a 41/2-month renovation, where every aspect was refreshed - right from the joists to the front yard.

As Mr. Leicher started to sketch out options for his new design, he found himself doing multiple iterations, tweaking each to get the façade of the home just right.

"It would have been nice to have a bigger addition with two bathrooms and a roof terrace but it was too much [for the home]," Mr. Leicher said.

"I wanted to design something that fit into the context of the street."

The attention to setting is very relevant to Mr. Leicher's design philosophy, which is revealed by the name of his company: Baukultur. Translated literally, it means building culture. But Mr.

Leicher explained that its meaning has more to do with "the human effort to change the surrounding to create a more liveable environment."

So instead of building an extravagant outlier on the quiet street, he settled on building a threebedroom, 11/2-bathroom house.

He did add to the house, but instead of going up, he went further out on the second floor, which is slightly cantilevered over the backyard.

On the main floor, he kept the focus on entertaining with distinct spaces for lounging, cooking and dining. The upper floor features the sleeping quarters, with the master on the south end and the second bedroom and a nursery (which could also be an office) on the other side. A luxuriously spacious and sophisticatedly finished bathroom separates to the two zones.

The home also features three liveable outdoors spaces: a semi-enclosed front deck, a large backyard and deck and a quaint side terrace that is protected from the adjacent laneway by a bamboo fence.

Central to his design were two very European tenets. One had to do with flow, which is encapsulated not just by seamless transitions between rooms but also by the way air and sun spread through the house.

"What this house represents is the intangible qualities that make a home special," agent Steven Fudge said. "Like the sunrise-tosunset natural light."

This flow is achieved through a series of purposeful doors and windows. For example, the main floor has a door that opens on every side (except for the one that they share with their neighbours). And the skylights that shine light onto the staircase can also be opened to let air in.

"Germans, in particular love opening their windows, it doesn't matter what time of year it is," Ms. Moolecherry said. "And this is one of those houses where you can do that and still feel like you have your privacy."

"Plus, the airflow also helps connect the inside to the outside," Mr. Leicher said.

Often, architects rely on openconcept floor plans to achieve flow but Mr. Leicher tempered his design with discreet spaces. This is especially true on the main floor, where there are no interior, separating doors but instead half walls which help foster a sense of privacy and definition to the different entertaining areas.

A perfect example of this design thoughtfulness, Ms. Moolecherry said, is the powder room, which is right at the front of the house.

"Generally, the powder room is in a place where you don't really want to use it, like off the kitchen," she said. "But here, people have complete privacy because no one is really trafficking this area and the front-entrance wardrobe breaks it off from the living areas."

Favourite features

It is that kind of detail that makes the home very special for Ms. Moolecherry. But it's not the only detail. She can easily list half a dozen features that she loves: the built-in alcove for keys in the front entrance; the ample, organized closet space in the master bedroom; the pocket door for the nursery that saves space on the second floor.

"The design has really been thought through to its completion," she said. "He has been successful in anticipating needs and desires and building them into the home."

The functionality of the home is most noticeable in its kitchen, which is Mr. Leicher's favourite space. For example, there is plenty of storage but it's unobtrusive - there are no door handles on the cabinets and the appliances are flush. There is also an island that lets you avoid turning your back to your guests when preparing dinner.

"It's the perfect place to create a dinner with friends, which could then be eaten on the back deck," he said, adding that the side deck is an ideal locale for drinks and appetizers beforehand.

For Mr. Fudge, the thing that makes this home special is its marriage of functionality, thoughtfulness and lavishness.

"There is a freshness to Felix's design, both aesthetically and functionally," he said. "This is a luxury home in the entry-level market."

Associated Graphic

This Leslieville semi underwent a 41/2-month renovation where every aspect of the house was refreshed.


Architect and owner Felix Leicher wanted to keep distinct spaces for lounging, cooking and dining.


The outdoor spaces of the house include a large back deck and a side terrace.


What's in a famous name? The answer is not much for backward Brazilian town
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

Nine months ago, some citizens of this forlorn and dusty town in the northeast of Brazil began a campaign to rebrand it.

At present it bears the name of the region's most famous son, Jose Sarney, who held public office from 1955 until last year.

He served as president of the country from 1985 to 1990. A great many things in his home state of Maranhao bear his name - from bridges to hospitals to schools - and this town, near his birthplace, adopted it in 1997.

"People thought they might get some benefit if the town had his name," said Sidney Almeida, 25, who works with the local farmers' union. "But as you can see, that didn't really work out."

President Sarney the person currently divides his time between the capital and a mansion on an exclusive island. He writes poetry, collects antiques and presides over a political dynasty.

President Sarney the town has no sewage system. There is no industry and no employers except for a handful of shops and City Hall. Some 17,000 people live here, the majority in houses made of mud. They get their water in weekly deliveries or from wells. Only a couple of roads are paved. There are schools, Mr. Almeida said, but the teachers are friends of the mayor and most barely got through high school themselves.

And the hospital is nicknamed "the travel agency" because all it can do for sick people is give them a bus ticket to a bigger town, where they might find a doctor.

This is a Brazil that tourists, and investors, rarely see. But there are hundreds more towns like it in Maranhao, long one of Brazil's least-developed states.

And a growing number of people are starting to blame the Sarney family.

"For a long time we thought that things in other parts of Maranhao were great and we were just the poor ones," said Vito Louzeiro, who works in the lonely bank branch. The Sarney family controls 80 per cent of the media outlets in the state, he added, and they provide glowing reports of progress. "But now people have access to the Internet and we're discovering that it isn't just us."

The long reign of the Sarney family came to an end late last year, when an opposition politician named Flavio Dino was elected governor, taking over from Mr. Sarney's daughter, Roseana Sarney. And now many residents want to change the town name back to Pimenta (pepper, in Portuguese), as it was known before, while they wait for the new government's ambitious development plans to reach them.

When Mr. Louzeiro, 33, was growing up, his grandparents and parents spoke reverently about the Sarneys. "To this day you can't speak ill of them. My grandfather would slap me if he heard me say anything insulting about them," he said, struggling to explain why his family held the Sarneys in such esteem when their political rule produced so little for citizens.

Per capita income in Maranhao, for example, was the lowest in the country when Mr. Sarney was president 30 years ago, and it's still the lowest today - just $5,500 a year.

So why was Mr. Sarney returned to office repeatedly and, when he left for federal politics, how did his daughter win four terms as governor? Why do people keep electing her brother, Jose Junior, to Congress, and his son to the state legislature?

"It's sort of a feudal thing," Mr. Louzeiro said. "They are in charge, so people love them, so they're in charge."

Mr. Sarney has been the subject of more than a dozen different probes for alleged misuse of public funds, kickbacks, illegal sale of public land and other crimes. Ms. Sarney ran for president in 2002 but had to drop out of the race when police found a stack of banknotes worth 1.3-million reais - then worth $575,000 (U.S.) - in her husband's office and alleged the money was siphoned from public accounts.

No one in the family has ever been convicted of illegal activity, although Ms. Sarney is currently being investigated in a huge national graft scandal.

Wagner Cabral, a professor of Maranhao political history in the state capital, Sao Luis, has studied the family for years. He says it is not surprising that investigations to date have produced no charges, given the Sarney family appointed most of the senior people in the institutions responsible for oversight of their governance.

"They set up networks of corruption and power within the institutions of the republic," he said. And until a few years ago, it was almost unheard of for a Brazilian politician ever to be convicted for crimes while in office.

The family did not respond to requests for an interview with The Globe and Mail. A spokesman, Pedro Costa, however, was keen to share his own thoughts, saying in an e-mail that the state was transformed under Sarney family governance. "When public buildings are named after President Sarney and his family, it was not proposed by them - rather, it shows how much they are valued in the state," he said.

In 2012, when Ms. Sarney was governor, she spent $1.2-million (Canadian) in state money on food and drink in three residences, including 160 kilograms of lobster and crates of champagne.

There is no longer a line item for champagne or lobster in the budget: Mr. Dino, the new man in charge, is a member of the Brazilian Communist Party. The food budget, he said in an interview, has been reduced by 87 per cent.

He also said his administration intends to slash ghost employees and fake consultancies tied to the previous regime. "The central issue we're pushing is to establish control of the state ... making it clear that they don't have the control any more, above all in the business sector, from which they drew their energy."

But Prof. Wagner, the historian, said the new governor's challenges will not diminish quickly. "The Sarneys' networks do not disappear overnight."

And indeed, in the town called President Sarney, the plan to change the name is stalled.

"The mayor is blocking it," said Mr. Almeida. "Because, you know, he's a friend of the family."

New spirit haunts the hallowed halls
Neighbours despaired as an abandoned school fell into disrepair, and so they acted - and a black hole was filled with artistic light
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page G4

Note to readers: In August, this space featured an Uno Prii apartment tower in the running for a 2015 Heritage Toronto William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship Award. In September, it was the Little Trinity Annex. Today, a third candidate is featured. Winners will be announced on Oct. 13 at the Heritage Toronto Awards gala.

A black hole sucks away everything - light, energy, warmth - until nothing remains.

In architecture, an abandoned building performs in much the same way. And, like the ripples from a stone tossed into a pond, repercussions can be large or small based on the size of the black hole building: an empty house, and perhaps a half-block feels it; a 75,000-square-foot school, and a whole community hurts.

Such was the case in 2000, when the Toronto District School Board declared the former Shaw Street School - a handsome, three-storey, cruciform-shaped structure built in 1914 - as "surplus." Residents on Argyle, Givins, Rebecca, Bruce and Halton streets felt the thrumming void daily.

Luckily, a pulse remained, says Artscape president Celia Smith, as neighbours fought "so strongly" to keep the 1957 addition at the rear of the site in operation, since, "as some of them would say: 'The heart closes in a community when you close a school like this.' " Local resident and architect Chris Radigan and Teeple Architects, his employer, performed the necessary surgery: by removing the bricks-and-mortar umbilical cord between the two buildings, the Givins/Shaw Junior School could continue to enjoy the echo of little footsteps and gleeful shouts against its walls while the old building could be sealed up and given a siphon containing just enough heat to survive.

"So really tragic," Ms. Smith says. "A 100-year-old, beautiful sandstone building like this closed in the middle of a really vibrant neighbourhood, which, over the course of that time, was getting more little kids again."

By 2006, residents had had enough, and that's when Ms. Smith's organization was approached: Could this building be transformed into an artsfocused, community hub? Could it be a place that once again welcomed young people? And, if so, could it be as successful as Artscape's other projects, such as the Wychwood Barns or the Distillery District studios?

In retrospect, the answer to those questions has been a resounding yes, but the road to Artscape Youngplace was, predictably, full of twists and turns.

After intensive study and a community consultation period, a generous lead gift from the Michael Young Family Foundation enabled Artscape to purchase the building from Toronto Lands Corp. in 2010.

While it was only listed as a heritage property (and not designated), the team, which now included architect Ida Seto of heritage specialists Goldsmith Borgal & Co., wanted to "keep as many of the elements of the old school as possible," Ms. Smith says. Of course, this had to be balanced, on the interior at least, with the need for modern niceties, such as air-conditioning with individual suite control (the old school didn't have it), new electrical wiring and more plentiful plumbing.

And, "as it turns out," Ms. Smith says with a laugh, "almost everything" else. "We used to say, 'the old lady, she's got good bones,' but, actually, she didn't."

On the exterior, sandstone was crumbling, wooden windows were failing, and water penetration had caused steel columns between the windows to corrode and weaken. "At one point, a couple of years before we got involved," Mr. Radigan says, "some cornice stone fell off, so the [school] board had it all wrapped up in safety nets."

Also, a good part of the more intricate, decorative stonework had long since shed its craggy coil, but, since the budget was tight, the team prioritized which decorative bits to replace as, ultimately, safety was the biggest concern.

Today, eagle-eyed architourists will notice sturdy new sills and stone headers in many places, some "Dutchman" repairs here and there, new wood windows everywhere, repointed patches of brick, and, in some areas, entire sections of sandstone meticulously reproduced, such as the cornice at the building's west gable, where only one small piece was salvageable.

But because not every missing tooth in the dentil moulding could be replaced, nor could every battered sandstone column receive a new skim-coat, Artscape Youngplace comes off as a heritage building of character rather than a clinical reproduction of one.

Step inside, however, for an eyeful of sexy and new: While terrazzo floors in the extra-wide (and original) foyers and hallways still show cracks, first-time visitors won't notice thanks to the whimsical and edgy design work of WilliamsCraig Inc. In the "Urban Living Lounge," neon squiggles compete with serpentine wooden furniture for attention, while heritage-heads will immediately gravitate to the cluster of original classroom clocks and metal door plaques (which read "Exit No 6," "Matron" and "Athletic Storage") arranged in artful fashion.

If the eye grows tired, it's a short walk to the gorgeous onsite coffee pubs for a restorative cappuccino.

And one never grows tired of seeing the variety of tenants who have called the building home since it opened in November, 2013: individual artist's studios; art collectives; 3-D print shops; a dance troupe; musicians; the Luminato offices; a yoga studio; and the Koffler Gallery, to name but a few.

Throughout, original, brasshinged doorways with large transom windows have been retained, and, overhead, lighting fixtures are repurposed originals. Inside some of the studios, original slate blackboards remain.

This is, once again, a place pulsating with life: music spills out of windows, children's laughter echoes off walls, bright white hallways are ever-changing art galleries, and folks stop to chat on the front steps.

In short, a black hole has been filled with the light of creativity.

And artists - once chased out of this neighbourhood because of skyrocketing rents - are the new beating heart of this community.

Associated Graphic

The century old school, deemed surplus, has beeen repurposed as Artscape Youngplace.


Mothballed in 2000, the building soon began to fall apart, forcing renovation crews to address crumbled window sills, cracked sandstone mouldings and a damaged I-beam.


Conducting herself out of the box
Though in demand for her sparkling soprano voice, this week Barbara Hannigan makes her North American conducting debut
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L2

Barbara Hannigan, although she was born in Nova Scotia and studied in Toronto, was a name many in the Canadian musical community heard only when a classical-music video first appeared on TV, on Bravo!, CHUM's arts channel and a sister station to MuchMusic. Toothpaste was a five-minute, mini "soap opera," with an original score by Alexina Louie, about a couple who split up because she leaves the cap off the toothpaste tube.

It was silly, but a first for CHUM.

Hannigan played the offending wife in the video.

Toothpaste appeared in 2001, a mere 14 years ago. Since then, Barbara Hannigan has transformed herself into one of the seminal musicians in contemporary music in the world, a singular presence in modern music.

She is a regular collaborator with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Alan Gilbert, in Berlin, Vienna, Paris, London and New York. She has put her fearless creative spirit and crystalline soprano voice in the service of contemporary composers around the world.

And they have responded enthusiastically - she has performed close to 100 world premieres in her career, many of them pieces written especially for her.

Her list of creative colleagues reads like The Oxford Companion to Music's entry on the most significant composers of the 20th and 21st centuries: Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Henri Dutilleux, Gyorgy Ligeti. The opera that British composer George Benjamin wrote for her in 2012, Written on Skin, has been called the most successful contemporary opera of the past 30 years, a masterpiece.

Hannigan has become a central player in the world of contemporary music. And she's done so almost entirely on her own terms. Her career is as original as her extraordinary performing style.

In 2010, Hannigan started to conduct as well as sing - well actually, conduct and sing. In original programs of her own fashioning, she might include a concert aria, which she will both sing and conduct, an a cappella solo contemporary performance, and straight renditions of classical symphonies and 20th-century works. Until now, her conducting work has been confined to her European home base. But this week, she appears in this newer role with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. It will be her North American conducting debut. Her program in Toronto includes vocal pieces by Luigi Nono and Mozart, as well as orchestral works by Ligeti, Stravinsky and Haydn.

Hannigan's unique success is a combination of artistic daring and extreme creative discipline.

"The red thread that runs through my career," she says, "is that I only perform music about which I'm passionate. I've turned down many big opportunities because it didn't feel right for me. It's like food allergies. There are foods I just can't eat. And pieces I just can't perform. I'm very careful. It's physical for me.

It affects my body. "Hannigan may be selective, but her taste and musical instincts have been proven true, time and again. Her interest in contemporary music began in Toronto, in her student days, under the tutelage of Mary Morrison, the patron saint of so many Canadian singers. "Mary would encourage me to seek out contemporary scores in the [University of Toronto] library and then listen to the recordings of the pieces. I spent hours in the U of T stacks. It was like educating your palate, developing your taste buds."

But her interest in contemporary music also had its roots in her fiercely independent personality. Hannigan's glassy, perfectly focused coloratura soprano made her a perfect match for the angular, acrobatic vocal writing that has characterized so much contemporary music over the past 30 years, the "crazy stuff," as she calls it. Her alternative was to be forced to sing, over and over again, the few traditional operatic roles that suited her unique range and voice. No way.

"I did a Queen of the Night for Opera Atelier here," she says, "and I thought - I'm never singing that again. Ever. It was too easy to be put in a box. A box I didn't want to be in."

And it's partly to avoid other boxes, ones that she has fashioned for herself, that has led Hannigan to conducting. It's a different experience for her, but one that has similarities to her performing self. "There's less anxiety with conducting. It's a different kind of focus. But I feel I'm the same musician, working the same way, with the same concentrated attention. Maybe more attention. You have to hear everything in conducting.

There's more responsibility of service."

There's also a whole new set of technical skills to learn and absorb. Conducting an orchestra isn't simply waving your hands about and looking inspired. "I've had great mentors help me not just in the technique of conducting, but also in the planning and scheduling of my programs," she says. "They've been very generous. When I was in New York for Written on Skin in August, Alan Gilbert of the New York Philharmonic turned to me and said, 'See? When I do this, this is how the orchestra reacts. This gesture gets that effect.' It was very instructive.

"Whether you're a singer or a conductor, your body is your instrument. And however I perform, I'm not thinking about intervals or harmonic progressions, the technical side of things. I'm thinking about emotional connection, about passion."

And for you Canadian nationalists out there, even though Hannigan has made Europe her professional base, she says Canada will always be her home. It's not just that she has purchased property in her native Nova Scotia and that a picture of that property is the wallpaper on her iPhone. It's deeper than that.

"I'm free," she says, "in a way that's very Canadian. Clearing a path - that's what we do."

Barbara Hannigan conducts and sings with the TSO at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall on Oct. 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. (

Associated Graphic

Barbara Hannigan sees similarities between her creative roles: 'Whether you're a singer or a conductor, your body is your instrument.'


What did the COC know?
Allegations of improper behaviour remain despite Aubut's resignation from Canadian Olympic Committee
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A3

MONTREAL, OTTAWA -- The women of the office had a distant early warning system of sorts: They called it the "Marcel alert."

So when Marcel Aubut would pitch up at VANOC, the organizing body for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, sources allege that text messages and e-mails would zip around the building.

According to multiple sources who worked in and around VANOC at the time, Mr. Aubut stood out with his gregariousness and ambition, but he was also known for flirtatiousness and physical affection.

"Not everybody was comfortable with it," said a woman who occupied a senior role at VANOC and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Aubut may have stepped down as head of the Canadian Olympic Committee after an employee made a complaint of sexual harassment against him, but questions remain about how much the organization was aware of unease among staff about his behaviour, which includes allegations of unwanted advances.

The Globe and Mail revealed last week that Mr. Aubut was the subject of a formal sexual-harassment complaint by a staff member who works at the Canadian Olympic Foundation, which is affiliated with the COC, but allegations of unwanted advances long predate his formal involvement with the organization. One former Olympic athlete alleges she was fondled as far back as 1999.

But sources say VANOC's senior management was sufficiently concerned to conduct an internal human resources investigation in the summer and fall of 2009.

There were multiple reports, but in the end no one decided to pursue a formal complaint.

However, the findings were shared with the COC's top brass, former VANOC officials said. The organization's chief executive officer at the time, Chris Rudge, left his post not long after Mr. Aubut formally took office.

In the intervening years, the discomfort around Mr. Aubut has only grown, and on the weekend, the 67-year-old power broker stepped down from his position at the COC.

The investigation into the complaint has been called off, the COC said, but the organization has pledged to continue with a third-party probe of the broader questions of workplace harassment and impropriety. The employee who filed the grievance against Mr. Aubut has apparently indicated she will participate in it.

None of the allegations against Mr. Aubut has been proved in court.

Among the questions the yetto-be-named investigator will have to address is: Who in management and on the board knew what, and when did they know it?

And how was this behaviour allowed to continue?

Part of it has to do with power.

Mr. Aubut, the former owner of the Quebec Nordiques hockey team, enjoyed a great deal of it because of his vast array of contacts and his golden touch with fundraising. Some of it is the result of influence and the way in which the amateur sports establishment is structured. There is a wide range in governance practices, and fiefdoms are commonplace.

The higher levels of amateur sports organizations in Canada are like a feedback loop: Only those already inside the circle may be elected to most boards (including the COC's). And as critics of the system point out, the people who elect the COC's president and directors invariably stand to benefit directly from the programs they oversee.

In discussions with former Olympic athletes, current and former COC personnel and various other players in the sports apparatus, a consensus has emerged: Deep reforms are needed to the way the COC operates.

"There needs to be systemiclevel change. When are the structures that support athletes finally going to be held up to the standard of ethics and respect athletes are?" said Sylvie Fréchette, a two-time Olympic medalist in synchronized swimming who later became a COC official and says she left in part because of the work environment.

Delicate questions will also be asked of senior management at the COC, including current CEO Chris Overholt, who attended a 2011 meeting with his predecessor, Jean Dupré, and then-COC counsel Jolan Storch to confront Mr. Aubut over allegations of inappropriate comments and touching.

According to a June 13, 2011, letter from Mr. Dupré - first obtained by La Presse but also viewed by The Globe - the parties agreed to keep the matter, which was "not an isolated incident," confidential. Mr. Aubut agreed to refrain from touching, kissing and sexual innuendo.

One of the frequent criticisms of the COC is that its stated aim of focusing all of its efforts on the athletes often feels like lip serv..

ice. The organization is deeppocketed and has become more so under Mr. Aubut, doling out money to various national sporting organizations. It has also spent lavishly on new offices in Montreal and a museum, in addition to bulking up its staff during Mr. Aubut's tenure.

The hope inside the broader Olympic community is that the COC's critical self-examination can start to happen under Mr. Aubut's interim replacement - board vice-president Tricia Smith, a lawyer and former Olympic rower who was runner-up in the last COC presidential election.

Meanwhile, Mr. Aubut exits quietly to focus on his Quebec City law practice - and does so with some degree of serenity. He said in a statement, "I leave with a sense of accomplishment."

That stands in marked contrast to the approach earlier in the week. Mr. Aubut and his team searched old e-mails to find elements to defend him, including friendly notes to Mr. Aubut from the woman making the allegation. As other women came forward in the media, his allies quietly circulated previous correspondence that raised questions about their motivations, actions or ethics.

But on Friday morning, a report on the 2011 meeting and letter proved impossible to defend. Early Saturday, Mr. Aubut began to signal he was willing to resign.

In a statement announcing his decision to leave the COC, he said, "Although I assume full responsibility for my effusive and demonstrative personality, I would like to reiterate that I never intended to offend or upset anyone with my remarks or my behaviour."

Associated Graphic

One sexual-harassment complaint against COC president Marcel Aubut was dropped when he resigned last week.


'Smoke point' matters in cooking with oil
It's about more than flavour - overheating the oil you choose not only breaks down nutrients, it also creates harmful free radicals
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L5


What does "smoke point" mean? I was told not to cook with extra virgin olive oil because it has a low smoke point and will break down when it's heated. Is this true? What is the best oil to sauté vegetables with?


It's a myth that you can't cook over high heat using olive oil.

Contrary to popular belief, you can even sauté vegetables with extra virgin olive oil.

Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke. When you cook with oil that's been heated past its smoke point, you do more than impart a burnt flavour to foods. Beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals found in many unrefined oils are destroyed when the oil is overheated. Overheating also creates harmful free radicals.

The smoke point of cooking oils varies widely. In general, the more refined an oil, the higher its smoke point, because refining removes impurities and free fatty acids that can cause the oil to smoke.

Refined oils typically have a neutral taste and odour and a clear appearance. Light olive oil (light in colour, not in calories), for example, has been refined and has a higher smoke point (486 degrees Fahrenheit) than extra virgin olive oil (410 degrees F), which has not been refined.

Even so, the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil makes it suitable for many types of cooking. Cooking on average home stoves, such as roasting in the oven and sautéeing, pan-frying and stir-frying over mediumhigh heat, is typically done between 250 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other oils that have high smoke points (400 degrees F and higher) include avocado oil (refined), almond oil, corn oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil. These oils are better suited for cooking at higher temperatures.

Unrefined oils such as flaxseed oil, wheat germ oil and walnut oil have a low smoke point and should not be heated.

Whether you use cooking oil for stir-frying, drizzling over vegetables or blending in a smoothie, don't stock up on Costco-sized bottles you won't use within a year. Over time, heat and light can generate free radicals that degrade an oil's taste and quality. Store cooking oils in a cool, dark cupboard or the refrigerator.

A guide to cooking with oils The cooking oil you choose depends on how you intend to use it, its nutritional qualities and its flavour. Depending on the source referenced, the smoke point of cooking oils will vary slightly due to impurities in the oil and the fact that oils break down gradually, rather than at one specific temperature.

Avocado oil: Smoke point: 520 degrees F. Use for searing, frying, grilling, roasting, baking and salad dressings. High in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (70 per cent).

Almond oil: Smoke point: 430 degrees F. Use for frying, grilling, roasting, baking and salad dressings. High in monounsaturated fat (70 per cent) and an excellent source of vitamin E (1 tablespoon provides 5.3 mg, one-third of a day's worth), a potent antioxidant.

Butter: Smoke point: 350 degrees F. Use for sautéeing and baking.

Canola oil: Smoke point: 400 degrees F (refined). Use for sautéeing, pan-frying and baking. A good source of monounsaturated fat (61 per cent) and high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid. One tablespoon delivers 1.3 g; women require 1.1 g ALA per day; men need 1.6 g.

Coconut oil: Smoke point: 350 degrees F. Use for sautéeing and baking. It's high in saturated fat (86 per cent). The saturated fat in coconut oil raises LDL (bad) blood cholesterol, but not nearly to the same extent as butter.

Coconut oil also seems to raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

Extra virgin olive oil: Smoke point: 410 degrees F. Use for sautéeing and frying over medium-high heat, and salad dressings. A good source of vitamin E and antioxidants called polyphenols.

Flax oil: Smoke point: 225 degrees F. Use for salad dressings, smoothies and drizzling over cooked foods. Excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (one tablespoon provides 7.2 g, more than four days' worth).

Grapeseed oil: Smoke point: 400 degrees F. Use for sautéeing, frying, baking and salad dressings. A good source of vitamin E, serving up 4 mg per tablespoon, 25 per cent of an adult's daily requirement.

Light olive oil: Smoke point: 468 degrees F. Use for all-purpose cooking and baking (due to its neutral taste).

Peanut oil: Smoke point: 450 degrees F (refined). Use for searing, deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéeing, roasting, grilling, baking and salad dressings (mild flavour). A good source of monounsaturated fat (46 per cent).

Safflower oil: Smoke point: 450 degrees F. Use for searing, deepfrying, pan-frying, sautéeing, roasting, grilling, baking and salad dressings (mild flavour). An excellent source of vitamin E (one tablespoon supplies 30 per cent of a day's requirement).

Sunflower oil: Smoke point: 440 degrees F (refined). Use for deep-frying, pan-frying, sautéing, roasting, grilling, baking and salad dressings (mild flavour).

High in vitamin E, delivering 5.6 mg per tablespoon.

Walnut oil: Smoke point: 320 degrees F (unrefined). Use for salad dressings and drizzling over foods after cooking. A good source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA; one tablespoon delivers 1.4 g.

Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is based at the Medisys clinic in Toronto.


Oils are extracted from nuts, seeds, olives, grains or legumes by chemical (e.g., foodgrade hexane) or mechanical processes.

Expeller pressing is a chemical-free process that removes the oils from their source using a mechanical press. Minimal heat is generated in the process.

Cold-pressed oils are extracted using an expeller press but under a carefully controlled temperature setting below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures preserve the flavour and aroma of heat-sensitive oils. Cold pressing also retains naturally occurring phytochemicals, such as polyphenols and plant sterols, as well as vitamin E.

Associated Graphic


Growing family? Add a block
Homes made from shipping containers can easily expand to fit changing needs
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S4

CALGARY -- Chuck Lemieux thinks he's hit on the perfect home for modern families: an affordable structure that offers durability and a flexible floor plan and one that can easily expand, with all the renovations performed off-site.

Mr. Lemieux's company, Blocks Container Structures based in Okotoks, Alta., is a shipping container construction startup offering creative solutions for multigenerational households that challenges the conventions of how we up-size.

"It's really about building homes that grow as your family grows and grow as your budget grows" the 31-year-old founder and real estate entrepreneur said.

"We've had a big increase in demand for secondary suites recently and we're building them primarily for aging parents or older children. A lot of parents see them as a stepping stone for teenagers, and even kids in their twenties, who need their independence and privacy but aren't quite ready or able to move out yet. They also make a great investment, so it makes sense all round."

Costing as little as $120 a square foot, the compact units can work for compact budgets.

But Mr. Lemieux has his sights set higher than granny flats, student pads and tiny rental units.

His vision is to create homes that evolve over time to fit the changing needs of your family.

"The really unique thing about building with containers is that we can start you off with a small one- or two-bedroom house and then we can add to that to grow your home around you as your family grows, as your circumstances change and as your budget increases. We start by planning where you want to be and then we build for where you're at right now."

It might sound futuristic, but Mr. Lemieux says this model is proven and working right now.

"I have clients who've called me and said they're expecting their first child, so can we look at putting together a couple of new units for them and delivering in six months' time. We can stack upwards or outwards."

The added benefit with containers is that units can be constructed and kitted-out off-site, minimizing time spent living in renovations. It's a benefit the commercial construction industry has been enjoying for years.

Even with so much potential within their humble 8-foot-by-40foot dimensions, shipping container houses have had a hard time gaining a foothold in the single-home residential market.

Shipping container construction for family homes is an idea that's been around since at least 1987.

But some see a growing acceptance and demographic change that may propel the market.

Jyoti Gondek, an urban sociologist and director at Calgary's Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies, says the changing face of the typical North American household could hold the key.

Canada's aging population is growing. Simultaneously, many millennials have "failed to launch" from the family home.

Thirty-five per cent of Calgarians from the ages of 20 to 29 were still living with their parents in 2011.

These trends are combined with rising numbers of immigrants from cultures where family homes regularly feature a full spectrum of generations co-habiting.

The result is more than half a million three-generation households in Canada, a number that is growing each year.

"We have more family unit types than ever before in Canada, from blended families to multigenerational families, and builders are starting to try to build for that market," Ms. Gondek said.

"Privacy, flexibility and compartmentalization, coupled with communal space, are all becoming key features."

And she's enthusiastic at the prospects afforded by Mr. Lemieux's evolving container homes. "By allowing people to be less transient because they don't have to sell up and move when their needs change, we achieve greater social cohesion and sense of community. That's a really exciting prospect."

Nora Spinks, CEO at the Vanier Institute of the Family, a national organization dedicated to understanding family life in Canada, agrees that the social climate for shipping container homes could be just right.

"There's an abundance of them in Canada; we're starting to see examples of them in action and they're economical," she said.

"Plus the generation now looking to buy their first home grew up with that reduce, reuse, recycle message and it's important to them."

Ms. Spinks expects multigeneration homes will continue to increase in number, but the bigger developing real estate opportunity for container construction could be congregate living.

"Every generation is facing new and unique challenges ,which means people are becoming much more creative in the way they live. Occasionally, seniors will outlive their savings; we're seeing a rise in 'grey divorce'; young people are struggling to find work and pay off student debt. All of these challenges create a strong case for co-habiting. Humans are very adaptive creatures; we adapt our living spaces to our reality."

But the limits of how creative we're willing to get with our homes might not be quite as wide as Ms. Spinks believes. Mr. Lemieux said his biggest hurdle to date has been educating people on the end product.

"Alberta is a pretty traditional market, so we've spent a lot of time setting up show homes so people see that the finished product can look as much or as little like a shipping container as you want it to. That's also one of the biggest challenges we've faced with communities where people want everything to look the same.

And we can do that - people just don't realize we can do it."

So we shouldn't expect to see any life-size Lego brick homes any time soon? "No," he said with a laugh. "Most of our finished homes are unrecognizable as containers."

Associated Graphic

A house made of shipping containers can easily grow with a family by adding units as needs evolve.


The idea for using shipping containers as homes has been around since at least 1987, but it is difficult for some people to visualize the end product.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Artists speak out about politics. Why don't politicians speak out about the arts?
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A2

I noticed a group of people standing on a Vancouver corner, pointing at a parking lot and having an animated confab. It was Wednesday and I knew exactly what they were discussing. The issue that has dominated the city this week has not been pipelines, pot or even politics, but a conceptual design for a new Vancouver Art Gallery.

When the proposal, planned for that parking lot, was revealed on Tuesday, Twitter blew up. The reaction was mixed - much of it negative, even nasty ("seriously ugly," "dog pile," "just because it's weird looking doesn't mean it's good"). But still - people cared.

Meanwhile, in Edmonton last weekend, tens of thousands took in the city's first Nuit Blanche event. About one million people are expected at Toronto's Nuit Blanche this weekend. Want to attend "An Intimate Evening with Lawrence Hill" at the Vancouver Writers Fest later this month? Sorry - sold out (along with 22 other events and counting).

Translation: A lot of Canadians are interested in art. And by art I mean not only paintings and installations but also the architecture to house them, the book you read in bed last night, the music you might be listening to right now, even that Netflix series you're binge-watching. The arts contribute to our lives in a profound way, illuminating our condition or distracting us from it (there is honour in that too).

Art matters. And yet.

During a heated federal election campaign, wouldn't you think the arts might capture at least a tiny bit of that heat?

The arts have received a modicum of attention, with a few campaign announcements - the Liberals in particular have highlighted their cultural platform - and some talk about the CBC.

(Full disclosure: My husband works for the CBC and I am a former employee of the public broadcaster.) But none of this seems to be getting much traction.

I get it: Child care, budgetary spending, carbon emissions, foreign policy - these issues are top of mind, and rightly so. But the arts are a key, consistent ingredient in the salad of daily life. For most of us, arts and culture have an impact far surpassing, say, "barbaric cultural practices" (or the niqab or marijuana).

And with federal funding so key to arts and culture in Canada, it seems odd that this importance is not reflected in an election campaign. It almost makes you pine for 2008 and that nonsensical Stephen Harper quip about galas for rich, whining artists. (Okay, maybe not.)

There have been some attempts to get a conversation going. The Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) sent questions to the four major parties about issues such as support for the CBC and the Canada Council for the Arts. As of late Thursday, the group had received responses from all but the Conservatives. The CAC also created a Twitter hashtag for these discussions. But #ArtsVote isn't exactly dominating my feed.

Meanwhile, some artists are mobilizing, and not necessarily to discuss the arts.

The #ImagineOct20th movement is putting on shows across the country (Feist and Joseph Boyden were among the participants in Toronto this week) with the stated purpose of booting the Conservatives out of power.

"I felt like I could not live with myself if the Conservatives won one more time and I didn't do what I could," said musician Dan Mangan, who is leading the charge along with musician Torquil Campbell.

"The hope is that we're not preaching to the choir; the hope is that we're actually making some converts out of this," added Shane Koyczan before the Vancouver event on Thursday night (emceed by that famously rogue Senate page, Brigette DePape). Mr. Koyczan is the poet best known for bringing the house down at the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony with his poem We Are More. He refused to perform it this past Canada Day, saying he could no longer stand behind lines such as "We are an experiment going right for a change."

He brought down the (much smaller, grittier) house again on Thursday, with a piece he wrote for the occasion, The Cut. "We're looking for change and not just the penny you phased out," he roared.

Margaret Atwood, meanwhile, is leading a group of more than 200 artists (including filmmaker Paul Haggis and children's musician Raffi) who have signed an open letter opposing Bill C-51.

Arguing that the legislation "directly attacks the creative arts and free expression in this country," the letter asks if writing a spy novel about an assassination plot or recording a song questioning the government's agenda amounts to promoting terrorism.

If so, watch out, Blue Rodeo.

The band's new protest song Stealin' All My Dreams pulls no punches, touching on issues such as child poverty and the treatment of First Nations, refugees and government scientists ("you muzzled all the white coats in your laboratories").

So artists are speaking out, or singing out, about politics. It would be great to hear politicians speak out about the arts.

Take the Vancouver Art Gallery, which has been tasked with raising $100-million from Ottawa for the project. The Conservative government was clear that it would not provide that funding, and its position hasn't changed.

The Liberal incumbent for Vancouver Centre, Hedy Fry, told The Globe and Mail that the project might be eligible for funding under the party's social infrastructure funding plan, depending on priorities. (The NDP and the Green Party did not respond to requests about this issue by press time.)

Given that spirited social-media debate about the VAG design, it would be refreshing to hear candidates discuss the issue - and the question of arts and funding priorities - with the same vigour.

I think many of us would take that over Mr. Harper belting out another off-key Beatles tune. So let's do it. There's still time.

Great civilizations aren't remembered for their tax policies; they're remembered for their art. The economy and the environment are essential issues, of course. But really, we are more.

Hat vendor's aim: sales in these here parts, too
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B10

Each week, we seek expert advice to help a small or medium-sized business overcome a key issue.

If you've ever imagined yourself as Butch Cassidy, you'd need the perfect hat to pull it off. The Last Best West can make you one - maybe whisky coloured, with an open, gentle hand-rolled brim.

The business, which is based in Calgary, designs and makes handmade cowboy and Western hats, leather holsters, rifle sheaths, chaps and other cowboy leather. It was launched as a website in 2000 by sole owner D.

Longfellow Wood, 57, originally as a vehicle to promote his adventure book The Last Best West, written under the nom de plume Longfellow Deeds.

Today the company ships all over the world, and its website attracts about four million visitors annually.

Among its customers are the Smithsonian museums as well as the entertainment industry, including Fox Entertainment Group, for the character Jedediah the Cowboy in Night at the Museum 3; cable channel AMC for Hell on Wheels; and the TV series Fargo, which is shot in Calgary. Hats range from $350 to more than $900.

The Last Best West sells online to a primarily U.S. customer base (it has no bricks-and-mortar location). For that reason, the company employs an American hat maker and leather maker, and it ships its goods from the United States.

However, Mr. Wood would like to have more customers in Canada. He plans to find a Canadian manufacturer, which would keep prices reasonable for Canadian customers, given the rise in value of the U.S. dollar. He would also like to open a flagship store for Canadian-made goods, ideally in a small Alberta town close to a tourist destination.

"It could be tied into a whole Old West theme," Mr. Wood says.

However, he wonders whether that's a good idea, given that Amazon has just eclipsed WalMart as the biggest retailer in the world without having one single store.

"It's a very difficult decision to make," says Mr. Wood, who has a background in retail management. "Is there any margin in it?

Is it feasible to have a bricks-andmortar location in today's world?

The experts Should the Last Best West open a retail store in Canada or focus on increasing sales online?

Sunil Mistry Partner at KPMG Enterprise, Toronto

So many companies are battling this issue, and what we've found is that not opening up a bricksand-mortar store is becoming the norm.

They could try something halfway in between as a test. When you talk about Alberta, you think of the biggest event out there every year - the Calgary Stampede. They should try to get a short-term lease, say two months right smack in the middle of the Stampede and see how they do.

Whether or not they open a store, they should launch a separate Canadian website. Since they've been doing this strictly online for some years for their American customers, why should it be any different for the Canadian market?

On a per capita or population basis, Canada is right up there in terms of using the Internet to buy goods and services. We don't have that issue of needing to touch, smell and feel the goods any more.

Berkeley Warburton Customer strategy lead, Accenture in Canada, Toronto

Your first thought shouldn't be, "Do I need to open a physical store?" It should be, "How can I sell through other people? How can I get other people to be my promoters, therefore pointing others toward my digital presence, Facebook or website and encouraging people to shop there?" They could create a physical community through social media and brand ambassadors - for example, by establishing a group of aficionados who actively promote the brand. They need to tap into the people who are shopping on their site who love their product and treat those people as brand ambassadors to get the message out to other people within their circle.

An actor would be a great brand ambassador, but local people can be, too. For instance, Lululemon's community of brand advocates include yoga studios and teachers.

The market for this product is very niche. For most niche products, what's working in the U.S. would extend into Canada.

Before they do anything, they could conduct customer interviews or surveys to see whether Canadian customers are looking for something different than U.S. customers. They might undercover something very interesting or fundamental to confirm why they haven't been able to get much traction in Canada.

Alex Tilley Founder, Tilley Endurables, creator of the Tilley hat, Toronto .

In 1984, when I decided to make an actual business out of selling our hats and travel clothing, I rented space deep within an office building, hired staff, and began advertising, using testimonials. But the majority of our customers sought us out, and our offices became an ever-expanding store until we later moved into our flagship store a couple of years later. I learned that Canadians were not mail-order-oriented when it came to hats. They needed to touch, feel and see how they looked in a Tilley by visiting us and trying them on.

Before going to the expense of a store, I'd do what Tilley Western in Vancouver did: They opened a "store" in the basement of their home. After its success, they rented a small actual store, then a much larger one. Another idea is to share another retailer's store for a few hours per week, to test the idea. The other retailer would benefit by having potential customers enter his/her store.

Facing a challenge? If your company could use expert help, please contact us at

Interviews have been edited and condensed.

Associated Graphic

D. Longfellow Wood of Calgary sells his hats, chaps and holsters primarily to U.S. customers. He'd like to market to Canadians, too, but should he open a retail store in his home country?


More answers to your investing questions
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B10

Your questions have been piling up in Investor Clinic's inbox, and today I'll answer a few of them.

Just a reminder that, while I can't respond to every e-mail I receive, I do read all of them and select certain questions to answer in my column.

So keep the questions coming (

They help me know what's on readers' minds and they're a great source of column ideas.

Now, on to your e-mails.

I'm generally not a fan of borrowing to invest. Although the math can look compelling, it's the behavioural and emotional side of leveraging that concerns me.

That said, I have certainly seen it work for some experienced investors. Here's a question I received on the topic recently:

I bought some Suncor stock (75 shares) a while back and borrowed money to do so. The interest is of course deductible. Later I bought additional Suncor stock (500 shares) without borrowing any money. Yesterday I sold some Suncor stock (300 shares) in order to buy shares of a Canadian bank. Would the interest I'm paying on the original purchase still be deductible? Or would it be assumed that I sold the original 75 shares and therefore the deductibility is gone?

Before I answer your question, a couple of reminders: First, interest is only deductible if you borrow to invest in a non-registered account. You can't deduct interest for investing in a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or tax-free savings account (TFSA), for example.

Second, the borrowed funds must be used to purchase eligible property that either produces income now (such as dividends) or has the potential to produce income. (Suncor pays a dividend and therefore meets that test.)

To answer your question about whether the interest remains deductible, I reached out to Talbot Stevens, author of The Smart Debt Coach.

Good news: "Since the borrowed money linked to the original 75 shares continues to be used for an eligible purpose, the interest expense continues to be deductible," Mr. Stevens told me.

"If the situation was reversed, where the original 75 shares were purchased without borrowing, and then 500 shares were purchased with borrowed money, all of the interest would continue to be deductible as well.

This is because the proceeds from the 300 shares that were sold were reinvested in a different eligible property."

Now, let's move on to a question about Canadian-listed companies that pay dividends in U.S. dollars. In this case, the reader is asking about Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, which is listed in Canada under the symbol BIP.UN.

When a company trades in Canadian dollars but pays a dividend in U.S. dollars, how can a Canadian evaluate the yield that this stock produces? Does the Canadian value of the dividend fluctuate daily with the exchange rate?

Let's look at the numbers: BIP.UN closed Oct. 1 on the TSX at $49.32 (Canadian). It pays a distribution of $2.12 (U.S.) annually. Since these are different currencies, you can't divide the dividend by the share price to calculate the yield. That would be mixing apples and oranges.

So, you need to either convert the U.S. dividend to Canadian dollars, or convert the Canadian share price to U.S. dollars, and then calculate the yield.

Let's try the first option. Using the Bank of Canada's noon exchange rate on Oct. 1 of 75.52 cents per Canadian dollar, BIP.UN's $2.12 distribution is worth about $2.81 (Canadian), calculated as $2.12 (U.S.) divided by $0.7552.

Based on BIP.UN's Oct. 1 closing price of $49.32 (Canadian), the yield is therefore $2.81 divided by $49.32, or about 5.7 per cent.

In fact, we can check this answer easily, because Brookfield Infrastructure's shares also trade in U.S. dollars on the NYSE under the symbol BIP. Dividing the $2.12 (U.S.) distribution by BIP's Oct. 1 NYSE closing price of $37.18, we get the same yield of 5.7 per cent.

Keep in mind that, because the Canada-U.S. exchange rate is always changing, so too will the value of BIP.UN's quarterly dividend of 53 cents when converted to Canadian currency. And, of course, the yield also changes as the share price moves up and down.

Also be aware that, if you hold BIP.UN units in a brokerage account, your broker will usually convert the U.S. dividend to Canadian currency on the payment date.

Brokers make money on currency conversions - typically 1 per cent to 2 per cent - so the rate you get will likely not be as good as the one you see on the Bank of Canada's website or on that day.

In some cases, you may be able to minimize currency conversion costs.

BIP.UN (and a few other Canadian-listed stocks that pay distributions in U.S. dollars) gives shareholders the option to receive the payment in Canadian currency from the company itself.

In such cases, the company's transfer agent converts the distribution to Canadian dollars on the record date - usually several weeks before the payment date - using the Bank of Canada's noon rate.

You'll be able to choose this option if you hold shares in registered form with the company's transfer agent.

However, if you own the shares through a broker, you'll have to check whether your broker makes this option available.

My discount broker doesn't.

So, unless I want to go to the hassle and expense of registering my shares (which I don't), I can either continue to receive my U.S. dollar distributions in Canadian dollars - based on my broker's conversion rate on the payment date - or I can move my Brookfield Infrastructure shares to the U.S. side of my account and receive the distributions in U.S. dollars.

Follow me on Twitter: @JohnHeinzl

A quieter piece of the refugee experience
Documentary shows the plight of a family forced to flee Syria, and how finding a new home doesn't end the suffering
Monday, October 5, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L3

VANCOUVER -- British filmmaker Sean McAllister was in Damascus in 2009, looking for a story to tell about the real Syria - not the one the government was trying to sell as the next tourist hot spot. The Syria he was interested in documenting was not the exotic, history-rich land being shown off to foreign journalists on media junkets, but the Syria where citizens were impoverished, oppressed and imprisoned.

"The allure of Damascus has this feeling of secularism and freedom but actually if you scratch the surface ... and you get beyond the glitz of the one square mile of the old city full of American tourists at the time, then you see actually quite a lot of poverty and hardship amongst ordinary people, a lot of unemployment," says McAllister, who has been making films in the Middle East for years - most recently in Iraq and Yemen. "I realized actually that it was far from this happy-golucky, free Syria which Bashar [alAssad, the Syrian President] had brought from Britain where he studied and worked. And actually the prisons were jam-packed with political prisoners, same as his father [former president Hafez alAssad]."

McAllister's tour guide into the real Syria was Amer Daoud, whom the filmmaker met in a bar in the old city one evening. They were chatting when Daoud took a phone call. It was his wife - calling from prison.

"And it was at that point he sort of said, 'Look, if you really want to make a film that is insightful about this country, you should follow me,' " McAllister recalls.

"Those are the people you're kind of looking for as a documentary filmmaker - the people who are brave enough to let you in."

That moment in the bar turned into a five-year, multicountry film project. McAllister, who for years had trouble selling the idea of a documentary about Syria, would never have guessed that the film would make its way into theatres just as the Syrian refugee crisis would - finally - be capturing the world's anguished attention.

"At the beginning I couldn't get a commission because no one knew where Syria was. And [more recently] they said, no, we don't want Syria; Syria's on the television all the time now," McAllister says.

"I persevered and actually towards the end I got it commissioned because the BBC were trying to send me somewhere else and I just kept going on with this," he says. "They could see that it was something I wasn't going to let lie. They commissioned my passion in the end."

The British Film Institute also came on board and the film received a theatrical release in Britain in September. A Syrian Love Story has its Canadian premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival on Monday.

The documentary has been on the festival circuit as the situation in Syria has captured the attention of the world - illuminating another dimension of this enormous tragedy.

"I think that after that boy was washed up on the beach, if anything, this film characterizes those dead, empty images in the papers," McAllister says.

Amer Daoud and Raghda Hasan met and fell in love 20 years earlier - in prison, where they communicated through a tiny pipe between their cells. "Amer was a Palestinian freedom fighter. And Raghda a Syrian revolutionary," McAllister explains in the film.

They were released, got married and had children.

Hasan wrote a book about their story that was critical of the Syrian government. She was arrested and imprisoned.

It was during her imprisonment that McAllister entered their lives.

Over five years, he shot intimate footage, telling a political story that became more and more personal.

McAllister was careful - shooting demonstrations, for instance, with a secret camera embedded into a pair of eyeglasses. But he was picked up by Syrian security forces at one point - blindfolded and held for five days where he was exposed to sounds of brutal beatings. The incident was lifechanging - for his subjects.

Because McAllister's camera was seized with footage he had filmed of Hasan and Daoud, the couple knew they were in trouble. The family was forced to flee to Lebanon. It wasn't the last time they would be on the move.

McAllister continued to visit with the family and document their story, even as they began a new life in France. He became personally involved - often serving as therapist and mediator in the couple's increasingly strained marriage. He became attached to the children.

"What I learned from all of this is that actually kids are really resilient; it's the adults that suffer," says McAllister from Zurich, where he was showing the film earlier this week before heading to Germany and Hungary with it - two places where he knew the film would have a particularly strong resonance, given recent events.

"It's very important right now because I think people need to add some emotion and understanding to the lives of all of these people that are jumping on boats," McAllister says. "Amer says he and Raghda were lucky in a way, through me and through the film, that they exited in a different way. But their story is just one story of millions."

The film illustrates the refugee experience - not the desperate flight we see in the news, but life afterward - a quieter piece of the puzzle we don't often hear about.

As the film demonstrates, even safe and sound in another country, a family that has been forced to flee its homeland will suffer - sometimes in the most intimate, domestic of ways.

"In a narrative Hollywood structure, it's a happy end, isn't it? Two revolutionaries who dream of freedom find it in the south of France, happy ending," McAllister says. "But it isn't."

A Syrian Love Story screens at VIFF on Oct. 5 at 9:30 p.m. at International Village, and Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. at Vancity Theatre (

Associated Graphic

A Syrian Love Story is being shown as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Conflict enters more perilous phase after Russia attacks Syrian rebels
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

WASHINGTON -- Russian warplanes attacked rebels in Syria on Wednesday, as President Vladimir Putin reasserted Moscow's role as a major power while creating a dangerous clash of political objectives - with Russia backing Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, while U.S. warplanes support some rebel groups seeking to oust the Assad regime.

Within hours, the Obama administration warned Moscow against attacking rebels backed by Washington. However, it also voiced cautious approval if Russian air strikes were limited to Islamic extremists who pose a threat to the West.

With Russian and U.S warplanes attacking rebel groups in pursuit of divergent political aims while President Barack Obama and President Putin both jockey to win support at home, the Syrian war has entered a more dangerous phase. No longer a proxy war, the Syrian conflict has brought warplanes from the old Cold War rivals into close proximity.

After the two presidents failed, as expected, to agree on a joint Syrian strategy in a face-to-face meeting at the United Nations on Monday, both U.S. and Russian air force officials scrambled Wednesday to keep their warplanes away from each other - "deconfliction" in military jargon.

Early efforts seemed inadequate. A Russian diplomat in Baghdad warned U.S. officials less than an hour before Sukhoi fighter-bombers, recently deployed to a Syrian air base, launched air strikes against rebels engaging forces loyal to the Assad regime.

While the Kremlin insisted the Russian attacks were aimed at the Islamic State, U.S. officials said Russian attacks hit targets west of Homs, far from areas controlled by Islamic State in eastern Syria.

At least one group under attack had been trained by the CIA, U.S. officials said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned "we would have grave concerns should Russia strike areas where ISIL and al-Qaeda affiliated targets are not operating," referring to the Islamic State by its older acronym and adding: "Strikes of that kind would question Russia's real intentions; fighting ISIL or protecting the Assad regime."

Genevieve Casagrande, of the Institute of the Study of War, said at least one Russian air strike on Talbisah "did not hit [IS] militants and rather resulted in a large number of civilian casualties."

"The fact of the matter is, the Russians are responding from a position of weakness," said Josh Earnest, Mr. Obama's spokesman.

Russia and Iran, both staunchly allied to Mr. al-Assad, back the embattled Syrian regime in a war that has killed hundreds of thousands, displaced millions and created the largest refugee exodus in decades.

Washington is already uneasily co-ordinating its military operation, including air strikes and thousands of Special Forces, in Iraq to avoid Iranian Quds special forces sent by Tehran to back Shia militias fighting the Islamic State and other Sunni rebels.

Now, the Obama Pentagon faces deconflicting air strikes so U.S. and Russian warplanes remain separated as they attack an overlapping set of rebel groups in Syria.

In Moscow, Mr. Putin said Russian air strikes would "be supporting the Syrian army purely in its legitimate fight with terrorist groups" - claiming much of the same sort of political legitimacy Washington invokes for the U.S.-led air war, which includes six Canadian warplanes, in Iraq. There, it is cast as an air campaign at the request of the Iraqi government against rebels and terrorists seeking to topple the Baghdad regime.

U.S. officials have invoked the right of self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations charter as justification for bombing targets outside Iraq in Syria. Mr. Putin's chief of staff said Russia was coming to the aid of its long-time ally, Syria, at the request of Mr. al-Assad. The difference between Russian bombing and U.S. bombing in Syria is that "they do not comply with international law, but we do," Sergei Ivanov said.

In announcing the air campaign, Mr. Putin, like Mr. Obama, ruled out sending large numbers of ground troops to Syria. But Moscow has sent roughly 1,000 marines to guard the Syrian airfield where about two dozen Sukhoi fighter-bombers are based.

For Mr. Obama, the Russian leader's military gambit creates an unwelcome dynamic and will fuel accusations by domestic critics that the U.S. President's dithering on Syria allowed the violence to worsen and spread.

"It did not have to be this way - but this is the inevitable consequence of hollow words, red lines crossed, tarnished moral influence, leading from behind and a total lack of American leadership," said Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, defeated by Mr. Obama in the 2008 presidential election and long a fierce critic of his Democratic rival, hours after the Russian warplanes attacked.

Earlier this week, in a speech to the United Nations, Mr. Obama said: "The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict" in Syria, but he offered no specific plan and in a subsequent meeting with Mr. Putin came to no agreement on joint action.

U.S. and Russian military deconfliction may be far easier than sorting out the convoluted and often conflicting political aims of the United States, Russia and Iran. All three powers have different stakes as Syria collapses in violence, but they also share the goal of destroying the nascent caliphate being carved out of western Iraq and eastern Syria by Islamic State extremists.

American and Russian, previously Soviet, militaries have decades of experience and plenty of communications channels available to avoid unintended encounters.

"My problem isn't that I don't understand what they're doing," U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said at a Pentagon briefing.

"My problem is that I think what they are doing will backfire and is counterproductive."

Like Mr. Obama, Mr. Putin made the case for attacking Islamic extremists on the basis that if left unchecked and allowed to create a caliphate, the jihadis would eventually pose a threat at home.

"If they succeed in Syria ... they will come to Russia, too," Mr. Putin said.

Success slowly puncturing distrust over Canadian Ebola vaccine
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A1

CONAKRY, GUINEA -- The vaccinators stepped down a narrow alley, between mossy walls, and ventured into the tiny dirt courtyard where half a dozen families were preparing meals and washing dishes.

Among them was the grieving family of Fatmata, a 10-year-old girl who had died of Ebola a day earlier.

The health workers tried gently to persuade the families to agree to an experimental new Canadian vaccine. "We're not here to cause you any trouble," a doctor reassured them. But the residents, suspicious and fearful, refused to be vaccinated. Some shut their doors. "They are here with the powder to spray us with the virus," one woman muttered angrily.

It took four days of regular visits by doctors and community leaders before the families finally agreed to roll up their sleeves for the shot in their shoulder.

Even here in Guinea, the West African country where the world's deadliest Ebola epidemic began, many people are nervous and mistrustful of the vaccine.

Yet slowly they are being won over. While some resistance remains, the wild rumours are fading. In early trials, the vaccine is proving to be a lifesaving breakthrough, with a stunning 100-per-cent effectiveness rate.

And now the vaccine program, originally limited to front-line health workers and adult contacts of Ebola victims, is expanding to include children as young as 6.

"We think the vaccine is good for our health," says Houissatou Sangare, grandmother of a 13year-old girl who is currently being treated for Ebola in Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

She lives about 50 metres down the street from Fatmata's family in a Conakry shantytown known as Dar-es-Salaam. When two of her family members died of Ebola and her granddaughter was infected by the virus this month, she agreed to take the vaccine, and so did the rest of her family and neighbours. Now they are firm believers in it.

Ebola has infected more than 28,200 people and killed more than 11,000 since the latest outbreak began in southeastern Guinea in December, 2013. While the outbreak has now been contained, sporadic cases are still occurring in Guinea and Sierra Leone, and officials in Guinea are calling for a massive expansion of the vaccine to halt the outbreak completely.

This won't be easy. The vaccine has to be stored in specialized energy-intensive freezers at a consistent temperature of minus 80 degrees Celsius - a tough challenge in an impoverished country where electricity is unreliable.

"It's a nightmare, very complicated," says one health worker.

There are also regulatory and licensing hurdles to be cleared before the vaccinations can be expanded beyond the clinical trials.

The Canadian vaccine, known as VSV-EBOV, was developed by scientists at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg over a 15-year period. It has been licensed to Merck and Co., but Canada remains involved in supporting the clinical trials.

According to the early results announced in July, the vaccine was given to 2,014 people who had contact with 48 Ebola-infected people in Guinea and none of them developed the virus after a 10-day window for the vaccine to become effective.

But the trials have been arduous. Ebola has been cloaked in fear and rumours for so long, and its destructive power is so notorious that many Guineans are fearful the vaccine could somehow spread the virus.

Health workers are resorting to intense campaigning and unorthodox methods to persuade people to take the vaccine. They are recruiting local chiefs and religious leaders, including imams and pastors, to try to reassure anyone who seems nervous. They even get the religious leaders and health officials to take the vaccine themselves, in front of those who hesitate, to show it is safe.

"People always ask me if I took the vaccine," says Dr. Aboubacar Soumah, primary investigator for the portion of the vaccine trial that targets front-line health workers. "If I said I hadn't taken it, nobody would listen to my advice. So I took it."

Guinea's national Ebola co-ordinator, Dr. Sakoba Keita, agreed to take the vaccine while television cameras were rolling. But his wife and mother misunderstood what was happening and thought he was being injected with the virus.

"They panicked," he recalls. His mother was especially alarmed.

"They want to kill my son!" she told people.

Sponsors of the vaccine trials cannot give inducements to anyone who receives the injection, since it could taint the results. So they provide only the equivalent of a few dollars for transportation, a beverage and a sandwich. And they spend up to an hour with each participant to explain the potential risks and side effects.

In a clinic in Conakry, a nurse named Oumou agreed to be vaccinated, but 13 of her 15 colleagues refused. When she told a friend that she would take the vaccine, her friend bade her a gloomy farewell, convinced she would die.

"But I didn't hesitate," Oumou said. "I like my health and I want to protect myself. I'm very happy that I'm protected now."

Even in the government's national Ebola co-ordination centre, which is supposed to spearhead the battle against Ebola, most of the communications staff have refused to take the vaccine. "It's an experimental drug, so it should be for laboratory animals," scoffs Fodé Tass Sylla, main spokesman for the centre. "What if I took the drug and died? We should never experiment on our brothers and sisters. Would the Prime Minister of Canada allow a drug to be tested on him?" Another spokesman, Dr. Mohamed Kone, says he was the only communications officer at the Ebola co-ordination centre who agreed to take the vaccine.

"I'm a medical doctor, and I believe in the truth of the vaccine," he said. "I trust that it will protect me from Ebola. But there is a crisis of confidence between the population and the medical profession. Whenever there is any small rumour, people trust the rumour immediately."

Holding on to McDavid's hockey history
With the 18-year-old prodigy's NHL debut comes his team's task of deciding how to memorialize the momentous occasion
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S3

EDMONTON -- THE PROSPECT A season with teenage Canadian hockey sensation Connor McDavid, and his impact on the Oilers, the NHL, and the city of Edmonton.

Connor McDavid has experienced many firsts since he was drafted No. 1 overall by the Edmonton Oilers this summer, but none are likely to compare with his inaugural regular-season game in the National Hockey League on Thursday night.

A fruitful sporting career is a collection of moments - the physical feats they require and the objects involved in making them happen.

The sweater worn for a first shift in a first game in a first season. The puck that found the back of a net for a first goal. The stick that puck was shot from.

Skates that helped carry a Stanley Cup.

For athletes, the items are keepsakes that link material and memory. For fans and collectors, they represent love of a player or team, a moment in time, an investment even. For the Hockey Hall of Fame, they are pieces of history.

A player such as McDavid rarely comes along. If he performs and develops as expected, there could be scoring records, Stanley Cups and individual awards and an abundance of smaller milestones along the way.

His first NHL game seems like a shrewd time to start setting a few things aside.

The Oilers very well might grab a piece of gear from his first NHL game in St. Louis on Thursday, either as a souvenir for him or for purposes of their own. The team is moving out of Rexall Place into a new arena next season, and plans are already being discussed to collect historic items for display at Rogers Place.

The five Stanley Cup banners will surely head there, as will the retired sweaters hanging from the rafters belonging to Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and a handful of other players. A bronze statue of the Great One will be moved to the new rink, as will a dressingroom door that has been dented over 40-odd years.

The Hall of Fame has a jersey McDavid wore with the Erie Otters. The Hall will likely soon find itself with much more.

"Normally, we ask for a particular item at the completion of a season, or if there is a milestone of note we are aware of," said Craig Campbell, the manager of archives for the Hall of Fame.

"There is usually a sense of pride in donating an item.

"It's better to plan now than to try to go back and find things 20 years later."

Panic grips the hockey world when a prominent item such as a game-used stick or glove suddenly goes missing. Reebok offered a $10,000 reward and set up a hotline after Sidney Crosby lost both in the aftermath of scoring Team Canada's winning goal in the gold-medal game at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

The stick was found, mistakenly placed in a shipment of items headed for the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in St. Petersburg, Russia. One of Crosby's teammates, Patrice Bergeron, discovered the glove in his equipment bag. The players' dressing stalls were side by side, and Bergeron inadvertently grabbed Crosby's sweaty mitt believing it was his own.

Brian McDavid, Connor's dad, says he has considered the implications of Thursday night's game, but has not yet requested that the Oilers save anything.

It would be surprising if he didn't ask.

"It is definitely on my mind," he said. "We have his first pair of skates, every jersey he has ever played in, all of his trophies.

"We have it all."

Jennifer Bullano Ridgley, senior director of communications for the Pittsburgh Penguins, says Crosby was given the jersey and stick from his first game. He keeps key items throughout the year.

The Islanders, meanwhile, saved a few items from John Tavares's first regular-season game in 2009. The team saves all the pucks from their players' first points and goals, has them mounted and framed, and presents them to the players later.

McDavid, who has turned professional at the age of 18, says he hasn't had time to give it much thought.

His agent, Jeff Jackson, says one of the prodigy's game-worn sweaters from this season has to be retained as part of a contractual obligation with Upper Deck, the official trading-card licensee for the NHL. After McDavid scores his first goal, the puck will be retrieved by one of his teammates, handed off to somebody on the bench and then be presented to him later.

Jackson, who played in 263 games and scored 38 goals over nine years with the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Nordiques and Blackhawks, still has the puck from his first tally against the Hartford Whalers during the 1985-86 season.

"I can still recall the goal in my head," Jackson said.

For McDavid, there will likely be many more big moments than that, right to the end of his career.

After Gretzky announced his retirement in 1999, sticks from his final few games at Madison Square Garden were saved. At the end of a shift or during a stoppage in play, No. 99 would hand them to a Rangers' equipment manager to be set aside.

In 2005, one of Crosby's jerseys went missing after Team Canada's gold-medal victory at the world junior championships in Grand Forks, N.D. It was found later in a mailbox outside a post office in Lachute, Que.

But some significant articles never turn up.

The goalie stick Lester Patrick used while making 18 saves for the Rangers against the Montreal Maroons in Game 2 of the 1928 Stanley Cup final was never seen again.

With hockey history in mind, it's better to start keeping an eye on McDavid's accomplishments now to ensure his memorable moments don't simply become memories.

Associated Graphic

A generational player such as Connor McDavid doesn't come along very often.


VAG's design proposal rejects city's current architecture trends
The 310,000-square-foot gallery is a tall, distinctive monolith that's everything but generic
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- You descend below ground, and then rise up into the air.

This is how the architects Herzog and de Meuron imagine visitors will enter the new Vancouver Art Gallery. If the scheme is ever realized - and even if it isn't - that unusual promenade will change the way the city thinks about its architecture.

The design proposal, which was unveiled Tuesday, is both a sensitive response to Vancouver's building culture and a dramatic argument for doing things differently. Where other cultural buildings are horizontal, it would be vertical, rising 70 metres; while downtown Vancouver is a city of glass, it would be wrapped in wood; and while the low "podium building" is integral to the city's urban design, the gallery complex would leave much of the ground level wide open - even bringing public space down below the earth.

In the design, the 310,000square-foot gallery is a tall, distinctive monolith. In drawings it appears as a stack of slabs, growing bigger at the middle and then smaller again at the top; some of these boxes are wrapped in wood-and-glass screens, others almost entirely in wood. An inukshuk? An Inca temple in the air? Pick your likeness. Like many of the cultural buildings designed by the Swiss-based architecture firm - not least the de Young museum in San Francisco - it would have a strong and haunting presence on the street.

Speaking about the design on Monday, HdM partner Christine Binswanger explained that boldness was precisely the goal. "Vancouver is a vertical city," she said. "If we designed a museum that is lower, it would have been dwarfed by all that is around it."

Logical enough. But what happens at the bottom is most unexpected. The building would face Cambie, Georgia and Beatty streets with low pavilions; inside this perimeter, the bulk of the building would be lifted off the ground by 12-metre columns to create a 40,000-square-foot public courtyard, sheltered from the rain and open to the air.

Beneath this plaza would be a lobby and substantial gallery spaces, plus a sunken garden open to the sky. This solves the problem of the site's steep slope while creating a weave of open and interior space, streetscape and enclosure.

This is the theme that Arthur Erickson and Cornelia Hahn Oberlander played at Robson Square, taken to a new level of complexity.

From here, visitors would rise by escalator or elevator right through the courtyard and into the building above, to an auditorium, a restaurant and then the main galleries on levels five, six and seven. This sequence makes perfect sense; the galleries would be sober boxes, lit through carefully placed skylights and high windows. Just as Herzog and de Meuron did at the Tate Modern in London - the most visited contemporary-art museum in the world - they have determined how to make a vertical gallery serve art.

And add the bonus of some killer views, that crucial Vancouver amenity.

Winners of the Pritzker Prize, HdM are one of the world's leading architectural offices, and unlike many of their peers, they have no signature style. Indeed, they pride themselves on making a close read of the place where they are building, and responding to it sensitively. With the VAG scheme they're doing just that, and their main insight is that downtown Vancouver - filled with generic buildings "where the view from inside took precedence over the architectural expression of the city," as they write in a statement - needs a shakeup.

The gallery must be innovative enough to match the work produced by Vancouver's artistic community, and different enough to mark a new era in the city's cultural history. This design would accomplish just that.

One important ingredient is wood - the material and the commodity that built Vancouver before concrete and glass. The low wooden buildings that face the street are a nod to the 19th-century streetscape, and equally to the creative use of wood in local modernist houses. Ms. Binswanger said the architects would like to make as much of the gallery's structure as possible out of wood, including new lumber technologies such as cross-laminated timber that have strong potential for innovation.

"And wood is an unexpected choice of material for a building of this type," she added. "To let it soften in some places, to let it age and transform, I think would be very interesting."

The gallery must also help provide a real agora, a public gathering place, of which the downtown has too few; the gallery site, once Larwill Park, served that purpose until the 1940s. To that end, the architects suggest blowing up part of Queen Elizabeth Square next door and bringing a new square down to the level of the gallery. That's a bold gambit, which is exactly what is needed here.

And while the VAG's leadership is now engaged in a daunting lobbying effort and capital campaign - assuming a $300-million construction budget, which might or might not cover the cost of this scheme - it now centres on an urbanistic and architectural vision that is bold and compelling.

If you read it closely, there is a polemic in this design. Part of the Larwill Park site would be redeveloped for profit by the city; Herzog and de Meuron have designed the block to push that commercial component into two towers along Dunsmuir Street. Those towers - which are not the architects' to design - appear in the drawings as glassy, squared-off and entirely generic; they stop right at the ground to make room for an open plaza. Herzog and de Meuron have a message: In Vancouver, money takes the form of glass towers, but it should stop somewhere to make room for public space, and a place for culture that is beautiful, knotty and strange.

Associated Graphic

The wood-wrapped Vancouver Art Gallery, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, would have a strong, haunting presence on the street.


Restaurant event raises funds, hope
At BaBa Gannouj restaurant in Campbell River, a couple realize how supportive their community is
Monday, October 5, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. -- For weeks, Merell Nassar worried about the food - whether there would be enough, how it would be served and which dishes should take pride of place at a meal that could be a lifesaver.

So she cooked her heart out, chopping and grilling and spicing until 2 a.m. Saturday, working with her husband, Fouad Awad, to ensure everything would be just right.

Those efforts paid off Saturday evening, as the scent of marinated pork and spicy falafel drifted through the doors of the Campbell River community centre and nearly 400 people showed up for a $40-a-ticket fundraiser that featured a sit-down meal and entertainment that included Mr. Awad on the electric piano, playing sinuous music for belly dancers. The couple own BaBa Gannouj restaurant, a Campbell River restaurant that serves Syrian and Lebanese food, and want to bring a dozen family members to Canada from their homeland of Syria.

"There were 382 tickets sold," Ms. Nassar said on Saturday night, her eyes welling.

"I never thought it would happen, but it did."

The weekend fundraiser was a watershed event for Ms. Nassar, who came to Campbell River from Syria in 2009 and has since watched the country be torn apart by war. The event also speaks to Canadians' receptiveness to sponsoring refugee families, which appears to have gained momentum since a photo of drowned, three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi on a Turkish beach thrust the country's refugee crisis into the Canadian election campaign and into the public eye in a way it hadn't been before.

In many Canadian cities, that receptiveness has a launching pad in the form of community groups that have been down the sponsorship road before.

And in Campbell River, that launching pad is St. Peter's Anglican Church, or more properly, the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia, which is one of 14 sponsorship agreement holders in the province. Such federally approved groups exist across the country: Ontario has 45, for example; there are six in Saskatchewan. Most are church-affiliated.

Last year, as conditions in Syria worsened, Ms. Nassar started looking for ways to bring her family to Campbell River and was advised to connect with a sponsorship agreement holder.

Eventually, that brought her to Mary Cook, a St. Peter's parishioner who didn't blink when Ms. Nassar said she wanted to sponsor 12 people.

"She just said, 'Well, we did six last time, we'll double it,' " Ms. Nassar recalls of their first meeting in August. "She said, 'We'll have a counsellor in a couple of days, I'm positive, we'll do it - go sleep, we're going to do it.' I felt we were in the right hands. She was the voice of an angel - and I knew that would be it."

Ms. Nassar wants to bring 12 people in all: her mother; her two sisters, their husbands and their children; and three cousins.

They currently live in Latakia, a port city where Russian forces have arrived in recent days. The group includes an accountant, a marine engineer and a carpenter as well as preteen children.

Because of health concerns, they haven't joined the thousands of people fleeing the country. Ms. Nassar's mother, 70, is an amputee and one of her nephews received a kidney transplant five years ago - following a fundraising campaign in Campbell River that helped pay for his operation.

Now, with roads closed and hospitals under fire, the family can no longer reliably get his medication. As Christians, they are also encountering harassment and persecution. Bombs have fallen near her niece's school and Ms. Nassar treats every phone call with her mother as if it might be her last.

Under government rules, St.

Peter's is required to raise $150,000 for the group. That would provide enough to cover essentials - rent, food, clothing and utilities - for a year. If fundraising falls short, the Anglican Church would step in to fill the gap.

St. Peter's has sponsored three other groups, from Bosnia, Pakistan and Kosovo.

The weekend banquet was the work of many hands. Several churches of varying denominations pitched in with donations and with volunteers. City council waived the rental fee for the community centre. The local newspaper, The Campbell River Mirror, designed a poster and ran free advertisements. Local artists and businesses contributed goods for a silent auction, ranging from handcrafted jewellery to lavish gift baskets from St. Jean's, a family-owned fish-processing company based in nearby Nanaimo.

Through it all, Ms. Cook bustled - handing out crayons for kids to draw on paper tablecloths, greeting guests and popping in and out of the kitchen, where Ms. Nassar and Mr. Awad directed a squad of volunteer servers that included high school students.

Once the money is raised, the sponsorship group will begin the process of getting the family first to Lebanon and then to Canada, which could take months.

Asked if residents of Campbell River - the self-described salmon capital of the world, with a population of about 36,000 - might be tapped out by repeated appeals for money to help refugees from distant parts of the world, Ms. Cook dismissed that concern with a wave of her hand. The city has a long tradition of community spirit and of companies stepping up with $5,000 and $10,000 donations even when times are tough. A recent fundraising drive for hospice programs raised $500,000 in three months, she said proudly, and she was rarely turned down in recent weeks as she canvassed high and low for silent auction items.

"You don't worry about it in Campbell River."

Associated Graphic

Restaurateurs Merell Nassar and Fouad Awad are seen in Campbell River, B.C. The couple own BaBa Gannouj restaurant.


Merell Nassar, left, and Fouad Awad prepare for their fundraiser to help bring family members to Canada from Syria.


The revenge of the old-fashioned socialists
Monday, October 5, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A14

The remarkable thing about Jeremy Corbyn, the hard-left outsider who stunned the British establishment by capturing the leadership of the Labour Party, is not his alleged lack of patriotism.

Whether he wishes to sing God Save the Queen at public events seems a rather trivial matter. The remarkable thing about his brand of leftism is how reactionary it is.

Mr. Corbyn is an old-fashioned socialist who would like to soak the rich and put transport and utilities back under state control.

His rhetoric of class war suggests a complete break with mainstream social democracy.

Postwar European social democracy was always a compromise with capitalism. Left-wing ideology, especially in Britain, owed more to certain Christian moral traditions ("more Methodist than Marx") than to any political dogma. Labour leaders such as Clement Attlee, the first prime minister after the Second World War, were not opposed to a market economy; they just wanted to regulate markets in such a way that might best serve working-class interests.

During the Cold War, social democracy was Western Europe's egalitarian alternative to communism. Mr. Attlee, for one, was ferociously anti-communist. Lip service was paid at Labour Party conferences to the old symbols of socialism. Party leaders sang The Internationale with teary-eyed nostalgia. And, until Tony Blair struck it out in 1995, Clause 4 of the party's constitution still promised "common ownership of the means of production" and "popular control" of industry.

(Mr. Corbyn might well try to restore it.) But when it came to national government, ideological socialists were swiftly shunted aside to make way for more pragmatic operators.

By the time Mr. Blair, following the example of his friend thenU.S. president Bill Clinton, became prime minister by promoting the "third way," socialism seemed to be dead and buried.

Messrs. Clinton and Blair - who came to power after that other odd anglo-American couple, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, had started to tear at the fabric of social democracy - made compromises of which Mr. Attlee would not have dreamed.

The genius of Messrs. Clinton and Blair was to combine genuine concern for the underprivileged with an unseemly devotion to the fat cats of Wall Street, the City of London and some murkier places, too. Mr. Blair vacationed with Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's plutocrat prime minister. Mr. Clinton used his presidential pardon to allow wealthy cronies to elude justice.

And after leaving office, both men swiftly put their reputations in the service of their bank accounts.

One might say that by compromising with capitalism too much, the third-way leaders compromised themselves. This is one reason why, under Mr. Corbyn, the hard left struck back and finally managed to wrest power from the compromisers. Especially to many young people, Mr. Corbyn is the longed-for man of conviction, the "authentic" voice of the people. Never having had much of an ideology in the first place, the soft-left social democrats, faced with a real socialist, ended up having nothing much to say.

Could Hillary Clinton be similarly punished in her quest to be the Democratic Party's nominee in next year's U.S. presidential election? Could the centre-left, which she represents, lose control of the party?

In recent opinion polls, her main opponent, Bernie Sanders, who proudly calls himself a socialist, is edging ever closer to Ms. Clinton - and is actually leading her in some states. Like Mr.

Corbyn, he has the air of authenticity, a politician who says what he thinks, unlike the scripted professionals of mainstream Washington.

And yet there is no Democratic left, including Mr. Sanders, that is remotely as hard as the Corbynites. Compared with Mr. Corbyn, Mr. Sanders is a moderate. More important, what a militant faction did to the Labour Party is being done now not to the Democrats, but to the Republicans. Indeed, the Republican rebels look far more extreme than Mr. Corbyn, let alone Mr. Sanders.

The Republican Party is in danger of being taken over by fanatics who see compromise in government as a form of villainous treachery. Forcing the arch-conservative John Boehner to quit as Speaker of the House for being too soft was an act of war by Republicans against their own party. Most aspiring Republican presidential candidates are not only extreme, but also more reactionary than Mr. Corbyn.

Their favoured slogans ("Take back our country" or "Make America great again") invoke a past when neither the New Deal nor the expansion of civil rights disturbed the peace of upstanding white Christians. These hardright Republicans, too, prize "authenticity" - indeed, they prize it above anything else (hence the appeal of Donald Trump). And they, too, are in angry revolt against party leaders, who are believed to have compromised themselves simply by trying to govern.

It is too soon to predict who will win the Republican nomination. It is unlikely, but possible, that a hardliner, such as Ted Cruz, or a rank amateur with deep religious convictions, such as neurosurgeon Ben Carson, will capture the party. But taking the leadership of a political party is still easier than being elected U.S. president. Few people expect Mr. Corbyn to win a national election in Britain, either; that is why his party is in such despair.

So Ms. Clinton, despite her so far lacklustre campaign, and despite a popular perception of inauthenticity, even outright shiftiness, will probably hang on to her party and scrape through in the end. She will prevail not because her views look any more convincing than those of the centre-left professional politicians of the Labour Party, but because her opponents look so much worse.

Ian Buruma is professor of democracy, human rights and journalism at Bard College in Annandale-onHudson, N.Y.

Associated Graphic

Could the Democratic Party's centre-left, represented by Hillary Clinton, lose control of the party, as happened in Britain's Labour Party with the rise of hard-liner Jeremy Corbyn?


Toronto doesn't just need a winner, it deserves a winner
The buttoned-down city is going a little nuts for the 2015 Blue Jays. The buzz that filled Rogers Centre on a perfect fall Sunday can be felt all over town - and that's a good thing
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page S1


Toronto, let's face it, can be a pretty cold place.

The dour presence of its churchy founders still hangs over the modern, multicultural metropolis.

Say "hi" to a stranger on a residential street and you will get a look that says: Back off, crazy person. Even arrivals from warmer, more outgoing locales seem to take on some of the city's native reserve.

Its sports fans are fickle and undemonstrative. The packed, perpetually sold-out Air Canada Centre can be a tomb when the Maple Leafs play. The vast bowl of Rogers Centre down the road is usually an awful place to watch a ball game - dead, dead, dead when the roof is closed and it's half full, which it has been for baseball these many years.

But just look at it now. On Sunday's game, the last homestand of the regular season, Blue Jays fans filled every row, right up to the into-thin-air sections at the lip of the open dome. They cheered a greeting when the first Jays took the field to do their stretches. They roared when the national anthem wound down, a spine-chilling sound that hasn't been heard in this town in a generation. When the Jays recorded the last out of the first inning - not the last out of the World Series, mind, but the last out of a regularseason inning in which the opposing Tampa Bay Rays had gone ahead by a run - an earth-shaking "Yeah!" went up from the throng and spinning rally towels turned the stands into a snowy sea of white.

And when - boom - Josh Donaldson sent that blast into the teeming stands to break a tie and end the game, the howl must have carried all the way across the lake to Rochester.

This buttoned-down city is going a little nuts for the 2015 Jays.

The buzz that filled the stadium on a perfect fall Sunday can be felt all over town. To starved Toronto fans, it seems almost too good to be true.

Can a team that was losing more games than it won for the first few months of the season really be sitting on top of its division, kicking dirt in the face of the storied New York Yankees? Are they actually going to the playoffs, after a drought of 22 years? Could they - gulp - go all the way?

Everyone above a certain age can remember the pure electricity that coursed through the city's veins when the Jays won those back-to-back World Series in the early nineties. Everyone has seared on his retina the image of Joe Carter galloping and leaping around the bases when he hit the homer that gave the Jays one of those titles. Even the hint of a chance that something like that might happen again has the city on an incredulous high.

Like those glory-days teams, the 2015 Jays have a cast of appealing personalities leading this riveting late-season charge. Kevin Pillar, with his gold cleats flashing as he dives for yet another death-defying catch; fair-haired home-run ace Donaldson, the self-described Bringer of Rain; David Price, the clubhouse leader who gave the team a goofy boost by buying them all cozy blue bathrobes; Marcus Stroman, the irrepressible, bantam-sized pitcher who, throwing baseball cool to the winds, leaps off the mound in triumph when he strikes someone out; yeoman sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Heck, the Jays roster even includes a leading player who was born in Toronto: bearded Russell Martin.

Million-dollar jocks, a cynic might call them, mercenary sportsmen without a trace of loyalty to the city where they play.

The cynic might say something similar about the people in the stands: devoted to their team only when the Jays are suddenly exciting; fair-weather fans. Where were they in the bad times?

That kind of talk seems out of place now. This city needs a winner. No, this city deserves a winner.

Toronto has grown since its baseball glory days all those years ago. Even down in the bowl of the stadium you can see new condo and office towers, with their tinted green glass on frames of steel, jutting into the sky. The city, now fourth largest in North America, has a big-league feel. The crowd at the ball game, once pretty suburban, looks younger and more mixed. People come to games straight from all those towers.

But Toronto still lacks what you might call school spirit. For all its successes - at building a thriving downtown, at taking in hundreds of thousands of newcomers without visible strife - it can have a flat, almost placeless feel. A nice city to live in, you would have to say. A peaceful, orderly, prosperous city. But where's the heart?

Great runs like this - however they end - bring a kind of unity that is rare and valuable. They give the town a chance to cheer together, to bite nails together, to dream together. Strangers talk to each other about the Jays. Cabbies chew your ear off about them.

Office mates jabber about them.

Neighbours stop to enthuse about them. Can you believe it? How far do you think they'll go?

It would be wrong to dismiss that feeling as mere froth. And, cynics be damned, it just feels great. The sun shone on the green turf on Sunday. The crack of bats meeting baseballs echoed in the crisp air. Close to 50,000 people - and countless more elsewhere - watched a band of unexpected heroes play a thrilling game of professional baseball. All of a sudden, a great city has a great team.

What could be wrong with that?

Follow me on Twitter: @marcusbgee

Associated Graphic

Blue Jays fans celebrate Kevin Pillar's game-tying double against the Tampa Bay Rays in Toronto on Sunday.


Stupid-fast super-expensive vehicles are more than just pretty faces
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Print Edition, Page D1

VANCOUVER -- There's no hard and fast definition of what makes a supercar, other than most cost about the same as a mid-priced Vancouver condo and must feature arresting performance and head-turning design.

Buyers expect neck-snapping acceleration with a sound that tells the unwashed that you are behind the wheel of something special.

But this is a world where someone can walk into a Dodge dealership, spend $75,000 and drive away in a 707-horsepower Hellcat, or pick up a 650-horsepower Corvette at the local Chevy store for less than $100,000. Supercars must up the ante to justify $200,000-plus asking prices.

At the far end, there's the stupid-fast 16-cylinder Bugatti Veyron hypercar, with 1,001 hp on tap in standard trim, 1,200 hp for the Super Sport. It's out of production so you'd have to wait for its expected successor, the Chiron, with 1,500 hp and a rumoured top speed of more than 460 km/h, almost 50 km/h faster than the Veyron.

Boutique supercar makers such as Pagani take a more conventional route, relying on brute power, such as the Huayra's Mercedes-AMG-sourced 730 hp V-12.

High output numbers are mostly about bragging rights, says Frank Stephenson, design director for McLaren Automotive, the English sports and supercar maker.

"If you get over a thousand horsepower, you're doing something incredible," he said in a recent interview at the Vancouver Luxury and Supercar Show. "But who can use that? I think it's all about how you can use the power and how you can put it to the road."

McLarens are not exactly slugs, with power ranging from 562 horsepower for an entry-level 570S to 666 horsepower for a 675LT and the P1 hybrid, whose combined gasoline-electric power train pumps out 903 horsepower. All use variants of McLaren's 3.8-litre V-8.

Stephenson said McLaren, which shares technology with its Formula One team, prefers to focus on reducing weight and increasing aero efficiency so it takes less power to punch a hole through the air.

"That's why our cars are driveable," he said. "People are surprised but it's probably more due to the weight than the performance of the engine."

Supercars, though they live in a rarefied world, are not immune to the forces that influence the rest of the auto industry. The pressure is on to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Chiron, for instance, adds electric power to the monster 16-cylinder engine to produce its added horsepower without hurting fuel consumption.

Koenigsegg also has an internal combustion-electric power combo that the company resolutely avoids calling a hybrid. The 5-litre V-8 is coupled to electric electric motors without a transmission to create what it calls Koenigsegg Direct Drive. Its claimed combined output is 1,500 horsepower.

Porsche's flagship is the 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid that uses two electric motors and a 4.6-litre V-8 to deliver almost 900 horsepower and fuel consumption of about 10.5 litres/100 km, all for about $1-million - if you can find one because, like the Veyron, it's sold out.

Porsche's supercars, such as the 918, Carrera GT and twin-turbo, all-wheel-drive 959 before it, historically provided a peek into the company's future technological direction, said Porsche Canada public relations manager Patrick Saint-Pierre. The Le Mans-winning 919 showcased hybrid technology in racing conditions.

"It successfully demonstrated that a level of performance typical for Porsche is not limited to conventional drive concepts," he said.

Porsche's Mission E concept, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, hews to that philosophy. The battery-electric sports sedan, aimed squarely at Tesla, is rated at the equivalent of 600 horsepower with a range of more than 500 kilometres.

"Mission E is indeed a concept that hints at what could be in store for the future," Saint-Pierre said. "It is an all-electric concept which defines our vision of e-mobility."

The Mission E also gets its electric-motor technology from the 919, just as the competition-oriented 959 served as a testbed for 911 components. The V-10 Carrera GT had roots in plans to develop an F1 engine and a Le Mans car, canned after Porsche withdrew from factory-supported racing in 1999.

"Although we don't yet know which new technology will make its way to which production vehicles yet, it sure is a tantalizing thought, especially in the case of the Mission E," Saint-Pierre said.

Stephenson, who before joining McLaren designed the resurrected Mini for BMW and the FXX and F430 for Ferrari, sees hybrids such as the P1 and 949-hp LaFerrari as stopgaps. He's not sold on battery EVs.

"They're efficient but, at the same time, there's so many negatives to them that you're defeating the purpose," he said. "You're using a lot of energy to create energy, and then you have obviously the range and the longevity of the batteries. It doesn't make any sense after a while."

Stephenson sets more store in much-delayed hydrogen fuel-cell technology and hints McLaren is looking at it.

"If it happens, it could be a P1 successor," he said. "The P1 only makes sense as a technology carrier or innovator. I like that I could see the next generation P1 using a different type of propulsion system, being the first one to do it."


Deals of the Week, written by Andrew Tai and posted on Wednesdays.

Associated Graphic

. The Jaguar C-X75 supercar, which will be featured in the soon-to-be-released James Bond movie Spectre, was on display during the Frankfurt Auto Show.


The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: only 1,200 horsepower.


Friday, October 02, 2015

Kim Novak trips down memory lane
New Toronto exhibition showcases selection of fan scrapbooker Edith Nadajewski's collection, including images of the Vertigo star
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Print Edition, Page R5

In one of the many now-famous scenes in Alfred Hitchcock's famously haunting psychological thriller Vertigo, Jimmy Stewart spots Kim Novak across a restaurant room wallpapered in vermilion silk and the camera tracks closer to her bare shoulder, swathed in green taffeta.

Today, nearly 60 years later, Novak, 82, is seated at another table. I first spot her across a similar red room - the dark gallery of In Love with the Stars, a new Toronto exhibition that showcases a selection of fan scrapbooker Edith Nadajewski's collection, in the Film Reference Library of the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Actually, I hear the peals of Novak's husky laughter before I spot her poring over the Nadajewski scrapbooks and regaling curator Sylvia Frank with stories while a photographer hovers and snaps. In place of Vertigo's famous spiral chignon is a fluffy, tousled honey-blond bob, and she wears a painterly tunic in watercolour shades of ochre draped over a black top and trousers.

"This is such a fun, special thing," she tells Frank, delighted at the off-the-record trip down memory lane. "I'm thrilled to have seen them."

Novak reaches out a whitegloved hand to mine - it's an effusive greeting and robust - and I don a similar set of cotton conservator's gloves as we settle in to chat while she turns the last pages of nine scrapbooks Nadajewski devoted to her.

Elizabeth Taylor was still a work in progress when Nadajewski died in 2007 at the age of 87 - Taylor's scrapbooks number 36 to Novak's nine, reflecting Novak's shorter stint in Hollywood. After reaching the height of fame, in 1965 Novak left the company town behind, save for sporadic later parts, to get back to her original love, art ("that's the thing I'm most proud of in my life"). She headed north, first to Big Sur, Calif., then to the Sams Valley in Oregon, where she lives on a ranch with horses, a herd of llamas and Dr. Robert Malloy, her husband of nearly 40 years.

The story of Kim Novak goes something like this: Former Art Institute of Chicago student from suburban Chicago is discovered in 1954, signed to Columbia and plays roles from Madge in Picnic to Somerset Maugham's Mildred in Of Human Bondage to Moll Flanders - but is eventually made indelible as an icy Hitchcock blonde. There is none of that froideur here - the chatter in between bites from a bowl of enormous green grapes (evidently an archival-safe snack) is voluble and unfiltered.

A page settles on a 1950s publicity photo of Novak draped in a mauve dress and scarf on a mauve backdrop. There's that lavender again, I joke - a reference to the Columbia publicity department touting her as not merely another platinum blonde but "The Lavender Blonde" - her locks were rinsed with a lavender tint and fan magazines gushed, on cue, that it was her favourite colour.

"Suddenly they were selling pieces of sheets that were supposedly from my lavender room," she remembers. "It's like they wanted me to hate it; it was made into such a phony thing!" I mention that it must be back in her good graces, since I've seen it in her pastels and portraits - including her recent mural that riffs on Vertigo themes.

"It's in a lot of my art," she continues. "I paint a lot with purple and lavender. But on the other hand, you get to resent something when it's imposed," she says. We're talking about hues, but we could be talking about the whole celebrity publicity factory.

A few years ago, Novak revealed that during her Hollywood heyday she suffered from undiagnosed bipolar disorder. I ask about this in regard to her most famous role, Vertigo's dual Judy and alter-ego Madeleine, Scottie's fantasy object of desire.

"I think I brought a tremendous amount to the role. I know I did," Novak nods. "I wasn't a fool just being there. I know a lot of people think, oh, she just happened to fall into that," and she elaborates about how Hitchcock wasn't a director interested in actor motivations or method.

"He was strictly concerned about the stand here, do that, da da da.

He separated completely all the external things and allowed you to go wherever you wanted to in your head. It was wonderful to be able to have that time to know what I could use and what I couldn't - for me it was a total godsend. And I used it all."

She says recent film depictions of Hitchcock are not of the man she knew: "I never saw any signs whatsoever of that, of any voyeur-type character." But she did endure unpleasant experiences with Columbia, where the studio boss changed her look, attempted to control her personal life (breaking up her romance with Sammy Davis Jr.) and tried to change her Czech last name.

In a few minutes, she will be whisked to Roy Thomson Hall to introduce the Toronto International Film Festival's special screening of the 1958 film, featuring a live Toronto Symphony Orchestra performance of Bernard Herrmann's score. As she gets ready to leave, she remarks.

"I loved Hollywood, actually. I learned a lot from the fantasy world," she adds. "It's influenced me a lot in my painting. Although I have a very keen imagination and Hollywood intensified it. I am grateful for what it's given me. Including perspective - now that I've been away from it long enough that I can appreciate it!" We turn the last page, and she's off.

In Love with the Stars runs at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto through April 2, 2016 (

Associated Graphic

Sylvia Frank, director of the TIFF Film Reference Library, sits with retired Hollywood actress Kim Novak.


It takes more than talking points to spur an innovation economy
Politicians continue to chase the same set of tired strategies that have underperformed for 30 years, Jim Balsillie says
Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Print Edition, Page B5

Jim Balsillie is the former co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion Ltd.

Among slogans and political advertising this election season, one line is curiously missing: "Get Rich From Your Ideas!"

Even the leaders' debate devoted entirely to the economy showed that our political leaders have no interest in addressing innovation.

The words "entrepreneur" and "innovation economy" made it into party talking points only this past week.

This is troubling for two reasons: 1. Entrepreneurs commercializing ideas is how new and enormous wealth is generated in the innovation economy; 2. Canada's prosperity depends on succeeding in the global innovation economy.

Such prospects are not lost on the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who are clearly trying to get rich by commercializing ideas. A recent report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that Canada ranked second only to the United States for its share of working-age population either engaged as entrepreneurs or working directly for one.

More than 140 publicly funded incubators are currently in operation in Canada.

Yet, candidates who vow to lead Canada's economy continue to stick with the same public policy strategies employed over the past 30 years: Pour more taxpayers' money into the same inputs of traditional infrastructure, manufacturing subsidies, basic research funding and targeted grants or tax credits. In addition, they promise more funding for incubators even though we have no metrics to determine if they are delivering revenue growth, external financing and job creation. This mix of policies has consistently delivered zero innovation output growth.

When this "innovation strategy" fails - as it predictably has over the past 30 years - leaders of all political stripes chastise businesses for being "complacent" with "weak receptors" for highquality research while "sitting on dead money." Except that business invests only in research that can be commercialized profitably.

Candidates on the campaign trail often quote experts who have never commercialized a Canadian idea globally but who suggest that the key to improving our innovation record is a change in grant and tax policies. They keep selling us the illusion that we are always one policy tweak, or one fast train, away from joining the ranks of global innovation leaders.

Instead of focusing on building the infrastructure required to succeed in the innovation economy, our leaders are counting on traditional infrastructure to spur growth. Traditional infrastructure spending is good for the country. New infrastructure creates immediate jobs while being constructed and leaves better communities to live and work in. But productivity in the innovation economy does not come from fast trains or new roads and bridges. Productivity in the innovation economy comes from generating new ideas that generate new revenue.

Traditional infrastructure does not help Canadian entrepreneurs sell more ideas globally. We need the type of infrastructure that's designed to capture new wealth from Canadian ideas. Ideas are not tangible goods. The global market for ideas is created primarily in the United States by judges, legislators and agency heads. The rules for this market change are frequently based on aggressive lobbying by interested parties. Those parties are usually tech companies with broad swaths of intellectual property and strategies for capturing more wealth from them.

This summer, U.S. website Politico reported that in 2014, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google shelled out record amounts to influence Washington. Federal lobbying records in Canada show that over the past two years, the U.S. tech firms Google, Microsoft, Amazon and eBay lobbied Canadian officials, including cabinet ministers, at an increasing rate: more than once every week - 108 times to be exact.

They have met with our officials to discuss the Copyright Act, broadcasting and online content, programs for the adoption of their technologies by small and medium-sized enterprises, Internet advertising and data protection. These are all areas in which these companies are already generating big profits. Compare that with promising new Canadian tech companies Shopify and Hootsuite and their zero listed lobbying engagements.

We can't expect our politicians and policy-makers to create strategies to advance our prosperity unless they have the benefit of working together with our entrepreneurs to understand their businesses and how they can help them scale up globally. Scaling up technology companies is a systemic and deliberate exercise born out of a sophisticated public-private framework designed to capture wealth from ideas globally. That framework has to be created by industry and Ottawa working together to advance our collective prosperity just as they do in leading innovation countries.

We need an innovation lobby that's exclusively devoted to helping Canadian companies scale up globally. Our current business associations involved in innovation and trade policy are overly dominated by foreign multinationals whose global business agendas are not set in Canada and whose CEOs lack incentives to advance Canadian prosperity.

By organizing themselves and working closely with Ottawa, Canadian entrepreneurs can help our policy-makers design strategic policies for intellectual property rights in trade agreements, judicial strategies when ideas ownership is on the line, technology standards strategies and many others.

As it stands in the realm of innovation public policy, Canada is adopting the rules shaped by U.S. business interests that the U.S. government imposes on us and that are designed solely to advance U.S. interests. This type of economic colonialism is all the more troubling given the fact Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs have the potential to generate new wealth that is needed to pay for the promises we're hearing this election season.

It's disheartening to see so little attention paid to innovation in this election, especially as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecasts slower growth in Canada's economy. So where will the new wealth we so desperately need come from? Ask your local candidate and their party leaders. Canadian entrepreneurs need a party that campaigns on the slogan: "It's the innovation economy, stupid."

Associated Graphic


'Not ready' Trudeau defies talking points
The comeback-story narrative surrounding the Liberal Leader only applies if you believed his rivals' scare tactics in the first place
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Print Edition, Page A9

In retrospect, the Conservative line against Justin Trudeau heading into this election campaign - the one in which Stephen Harper's Conservatives invested many millions of advertising dollars - may not have been quite as brilliant as everyone thought.

The point of the Tories' "not ready" attacks against the Liberal Leader, beyond immediately driving down his poll numbers, was to at least plant in the backs of Canadians' minds that Mr. Trudeau was a laughable lightweight. All they needed, once the campaign began in earnest, was for him to confirm it - which based on his previous performance, particularly his tendency to say ill-considered things in unscripted situations, seemed a very good prospect.

But Mr. Trudeau has refused to oblige. Instead, he has defied the Conservatives' expectations and in turn the ones that they set for voters, by turning to his advantage situations all but designed for him to embarrass himself.

And there has been no better or more crucial example of that than what happened Monday night, in a debate on foreign policy that Liberals must have viewed with some trepidation when it first appeared on their calendars.

The shift to having more leaders' debates in this campaign than in previous ones, initiated primarily by the Conservatives, was clearly aimed partly at exposing Mr. Trudeau. In events most Canadians don't watch live, a few clips of him saying something stupid would do the trick.

But his performances in the first three were at a minimum competent. And in the best remaining chance to commit some horrific gaffe as he navigated his way through nearly two hours of discussing Canada's place in the world, he looked perhaps the furthest yet from the caricature that his opponents painted.

The more passionate of the two opposition leaders on stage, Mr. Trudeau managed to give fired-up critiques of Conservative policy, including the treatment of refugees, without veering into the "whip out our CF-18s" glibness that plagued him precampaign. He took on Mr. Harper on whether the government should be able to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals convicted of terror-related crimes, which could easily be a political loser when arguing against, and at least scored a draw. On Arctic sovereignty, trade policy, support for Israel - on which he offered a single, sharp line about all parties having the same position and only the Tories using the issue as a "domestic political football" - he held his own.

In his most memorable exchange with Thomas Mulcair, Mr. Trudeau somehow managed to present his (blatantly political) quasi-support for Bill C-51 as a matter of principle. When the NDP Leader invoked the memory of the War Measures Act, Mr. Trudeau used it for one of the night's most clippable moments, as he embraced his father's record in a way he has not done previously.

Perhaps most important, through all of this, there were no gaffes. When the highlight of the night for the Conservative war room was some audience members tittering when the moderator asked Mr. Trudeau about standing up to Vladimir Putin, the Liberal Leader evidently didn't offer much fodder.

To the uninitiated, Mr. Trudeau would not have seemed to be some force of nature relative to the other leaders. But the problem, for his opponents, is that Canadians aren't uninitiated.

They were conditioned to expect a bumbling idiot who - as Mr. Harper's spokesman put it before the first debate in what has proved to be a gaffe in its own right - would impress by remembering to put his pants on. By being decent at what he does, he has fashioned a comeback story.

Despite all the money they spent setting expectations, the Tories might not suffer most for Mr. Trudeau defying them. There are Liberal-Conservative swing voters the Tories expected to put in their camp with the attacks, and if those voters don't wind up there, that could be enough to deny them a majority. But the nearly one-third of the electorate firmly behind Mr. Harper tends to have an allergic reaction to the Liberal Leader, no matter how he performs. And Mr. Harper was strong enough in this debate to help rally those voters behind him.

The New Democrats' problem is worse. They came into this campaign clearly believing that Mr. Trudeau, courtesy of those Conservative attacks and his own missteps, was incapable of being taken seriously. Their strategy, resulting in an effort by their leader to assure rather than inspire, is to present Mr. Mulcair as the only adult alternative to Mr. Harper. Now that Mr. Trudeau has fairly convincingly presented himself as also being an adult, while coming off as more of an agent of change, the NDP Leader's offer is a bit lacking.

Occasionally during this campaign, Mr. Trudeau has shown flashes of what his rivals expected from him. Perhaps the most notable example came in a Global Television interview that aired last weekend, when he made the peculiar comment that budget deficits "are a way of measuring the kind of growth and the kind of success that a government is actually able to create."

Those flubs, though, have been too few and far between for the other parties' liking. There is less than three weeks left in this long campaign, including one more debate, for Mr. Trudeau to do something that puts him back in the frame his opponents set for him. For now, it's hard not to wonder if readiness - for office, but also implicitly for nights like the one on Monday - was really the best case to be made against him.

Associated Graphic

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has shown flashes of inexperience that his rivals expected of him during the election campaign, but those have been too few and far between for the other parties' liking.


Authenticity valued over history
Monday, September 28, 2015 – Print Edition, Page L3

Yours Forever, Marie-Lou Written by Michel Tremblay Translated by Linda Gaboriau Directed by Diana Leblanc Starring Geneviève Dufour, Christian Laurin, Patricia Marceau, Suzanne Roberts Smith At the Young Centre in Toronto 3

What's in a name? À toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou - one of Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay's greatest works, the Long Day's Journey into Night of his oeuvre - had its English-language premiere at Toronto's Tarragon Theatre under the title of Forever Yours, Marie-Lou in 1972.

Since then, Tremblay's unremitting family drama about two sisters rehashing old arguments on the 10th anniversary of the death of their parents has been produced in English many times under that title, notably at the Stratford Festival in 1990. Forever Yours, Marie-Lou is easily as much an English-Canadian classic as it is a French-Canadian one. Now, however, Soulpepper is presenting this familiar play under an unfamiliar title in a new translation by Linda Gaboriau: Yours Forever, Marie Lou.

Forever Yours, Yours Forever.

Such an inconsequential transposition of two words is hard not to see as a willful rebranding - and as a repudiation of the previous translation by Bill Glassco and John Van Burek and, more troublingly, the play's English-language performance history. Indeed, Diana Leblanc's production - cast with francophone actors performing in English - implicitly makes the argument that Tremblay does not belong to English-language performers, the rest of the country, or the rest of the world, in an authentic way.

This is an especially problematic position to take at a theatre company that has consistently shown that Hungarian plays and Russian plays and Norwegian plays can be English-Canadian plays, too. Forever Yours, MarieLou, like so many great plays, has a creation myth behind it.

Tremblay wrote it over 11 days in New York's Chelsea Hotel, inspired by a Brahms quartet he had heard at Lincoln Center.

Yours Forever, Marie-Lou - I'll use the new title to discuss Soulpepper's production - is a quartet, too. Carmen (Suzanne Roberts Smith), a country-andwestern singer on Montreal's Saint-Laurent Boulevard, visits her pious sister Manon (Geneviève Dufour) to implore her to stop wallowing in the tragedy of 10 years ago, when their parents and younger brother died in a car crash.

While the sisters argue about whether it is possible to move beyond their tragic past, we also watch Marie-Lou (Patricia Marceau) and Léopold (Christian Laurin) argue on the morning of their deaths - perhaps in the minds of their daughters, perhaps in a kind of Beckettian purgatory. A fight over peanut butter and toast slowly escalates into a harrowing excavation of the true causes of their deep unhappiness - which are cruelly rooted in the domination of the Catholic Church, the exploitation of the Quebec working class and even in genetics.

When Yours Forever, Marie-Lou premiered, it was set in the present day - and the issues it grappled with were the same ones that Quebec was grappling with at the time, as the Quiet Revolution unfolded. And yet, while Carmen is seen as a force of sexual, religious and political liberation, Tremblay's play does not entirely side with her, resisting propaganda. She seems as trapped by her parents as her sister is - reacting against them in every action. Roberts Smith's hard, bullying performance suggests she may be as deluded as her sister, misguided in her own way.

Leblanc has liberated Tremblay's play a little here, allowing Manon and Carmen to expressionistically move around an apartment full of furniture made out of the mangled remnants of a car. In the original stage directions, all the characters are static - not just the parents, who here sit perched above the stage on car seats.

Both Leblanc and set designer Glen Charles Landry are coming at the play for a second time; they worked as director and designer, respectively, on a much-lauded revival in French (with English surtitles) at the Théatre Français de Toronto in 2011.

Leblanc's decision to stick with francophone actors for this English-language production, she writes in the program notes, was motivated out of a desire to work with actors "who were familiar with the pulse, the heartbeat, of this oddly poetic language." Imagine if Soulpepper staged Uncle Vanya with Russian-Canadian actors speaking in their (natural?) Russian accents in order to get at the pulse, the heartbeat of Chekhov - you'd find it a foolish artistic choice and one that limits the play rather than opens it up.

It's the same thing here with Leblanc's production: With Tremblay's text translated into English, the rhythm and poetry of the language inevitably has changed, and, arguably, only anglophone actors with a history of performing for English-Canadian audiences might have the facility the director is seeking. Instead, there is a stiltedness to the acting, a lack of variation in tone, that distances the audience from the action - the only payoff being accents that signal authenticity in a superficial way.

Which isn't to say this cast falls short. Laurin, in particular, gives a finely wrought performance - hinting at how Léopold might have been a good man instead of a monster under different circumstances. But if we're going to reinvent and revisit Tremblay in English Canada today, why not translate or adapt his plays for today? Why not put Marie-Lou into a Jamaican-Canadian context or Muslim-Canadian context - or cast the Asian-Canadian cast of Kim's Convenience in the play but keep it in Quebec? Let's not simply fiddle with the title and burn English Canada's own tradition with Tremblay.

Follow me on Twitter: @nestruck

Associated Graphic

Suzanne Roberts Smith and Geneviève Dufour star in Soulpepper's production of Yours Forever, Marie Lou.


Copyright © 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.