DeRozan disappoints, and now it's do or die
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3


For 15 years, the Toronto Raptors have been haunted by the shot that wouldn't fall.

The 2001 playoffs. Game 7.

Down by one. Vince Carter hitting the back of the rim at the buzzer. A plagued franchise prevented from earning its only victory in a best-of-seven series by a few wayward inches.

How long ago was that? Steph Curry's father, Dell, made the inbounds pass.

Two years ago, because sports angst is best enjoyed fresh from hell's oven, they staged a reenactment.

Game 7. Down by one. Kyle Lowry picking up the ball on a broken play. Blocked by Paul Pierce. Though Pierce is almost a foot taller than Lowry, it was once again a question of an inch or two.

For all of Toronto's basketball sins, it gets to try that again on Sunday.

Gifted a chance on Friday night to step on Indiana's neck, Toronto planted its foot, slipped and landed on its collective face. It ended in an embarrassing 101-83 Game 6 loss.

All the things that had gone wrong for the Raptors in this series - turnovers, vanishing stars, feeble shooting, a lack of focus on either end - came together in a great, ugly aggregate.

If this is anywhere close to Toronto's best while under pressure, the city is now very close to another disappointment. One that should hurt more than any other.

It started so well. Though starts haven't mattered as much as the coaches would have you believe - both teams had won games in which they lost the first quarter - Toronto came out steaming.

After just a few minutes, Paul George was staggering around confusedly and Toronto had a 12-point lead. Uncharacteristically, it was the second unit that eased off. Indiana pulled itself back into it. George remained on the court, a peripheral figure in the early going.

His closely observed all-star counterparts from Toronto were having their usual "me or you?" playoff game. This time it was DeMar DeRozan's turn to disappear early and Kyle Lowry's turn to dial it up to 11 on the effort scale. Once again, the shot was not there - and you're beginning to wonder if he is suffering a physical impediment - but he was at his hard-charging, distributive best. Lowry's eight firsthalf assists were one off his career playoff high.

You suspected then this might be the first game of the series that wasn't either a runaway or late-in-the-day collapse. You would end up wrong, but you thought that.

The first clue was the physicality. Every playoff game is the sport at its most muscular, but this was smash-mouth basketball. Again and again, bodies were allowed to collide at speed with no calls made.

It got so that when Patrick Patterson fully tackled George Hill - plowing the much smaller man into the ground - you were halfsurprised it earned a whistle.

The second clue was George's sudden absence. After playing the first 15 minutes of game time, he retired to the bench for much of the second quarter. His vassals kept it close. It was 44-40 Toronto at the break. While the Pacers put on a BMX show at half-time, Drake did an impromptu set back in Toronto's Jurassic Park.

If you are a Raptor fan, this is when you began to feel the familiar fear.

Indiana emerged the more purposeful in the second half, notably on defence. The officials began to tighten their calls. The Pacers drew all the benefit. Suffocated on offence, the Raptors began bleeding out. A four-point lead became an eight-point deficit. Everyone was suddenly in foul trouble. All symmetry was abandoned as Toronto players began wading toward the rim like they were swimming in concrete.

DeRozan in particular was wretched. He's had some terrible games in this postseason. This was the worst by some distance.

The fourth quarter was largely a depressing formality.

DeRozan ended the night with eight measly points. What's worse, he had only one assist. So he neither scored himself or acted as an effective decoy for teammates. It's been said before, but now it's serious: DeRozan must be better. He can't keep saying it's coming, because it's almost over. And if DeRozan isn't worried now - his familiar refrain - there's something wrong with him.

Sunday's Game 7 is just one contest with all the randomness that implies, but there will be knock-on effects.

If it's a win, everyone gets well.

Coach Dwane Casey's job is safe.

There is no organizational discussion about offering DeRozan a five-year max contract beyond, "Did someone bring a pen?" Lowry sheds his image as a guy who is at his best when it matters least.

If it's a loss, all those things, to varying degrees, are up in the air.

There will be significant institutional pressure to change a losing game. With the Jays getting good and the Leafs failing to be dumb, there is a real danger of basketball locking itself back into third place in the market and languishing there for a good long while.

Unless there is a significant shake-up, the next regular season will feel like the one just passed - apathetic. Only much moreso.

This really has become a binary discussion - win big or lose much bigger.

There is also the existential question. For most of 20 years, being a Raptors fan has been like living gluten-free - it's something you endure rather than enjoy.

But only one of those things is good for you.

All the Raptors' highlights are actually lowlights - the two playoff misses, the time Kobe Bryant dropped 81 on them, all the stars who left, anything involving Oliver Miller.

Sunday is another rare chance to turn this story to the good.

History suggests that ... well, history suggests nothing when it comes to this team.

If this franchise has a problem, it's an abundance of history and nothing to really talk about. The Raptors aren't just facing Indiana in two days time. They're facing down the weight of all the things that have gone wrong before.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

The Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan, right, passes against the Pacers' Ian Mahinmi during Game 6 on Friday night in Indianapolis. DeRozan ended the night with eight points and one assist.


Toronto amazes in comeback victory
Patterson makes first career playoff start, a move that almost backfired after a horrendous first quarter that saw Raptors down 35-20
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- The decision to give key reserve Patrick Patterson his first start of the season didn't play out as the Toronto Raptors had hoped it would in Game 5. But Toronto's bench still managed to orchestrate a dramatic 102-99 comeback win that puts the team one victory away from eliminating the Indiana Pacers.

The Raptors had been reluctant to break up their bench unit all season - considered one of the NBA's best - worried that starting one of their core reserves would mess with the energy it provides. They set that aside on Tuesday with their first-round playoff series tied 2-2 and gave one of their most valued bench players the start in place of veteran Luis Scola.

The move was intended to avoid the kind of sluggish start the Raps had in their Game 4 loss to the Pacers by adding speed to the starting lineup. It didn't work - the Raptors got off to a horrendous first-quarter start, and Patterson didn't look like the spark plug he's been in recent months.

"Pat was a minus-20 [Tuesday night], and I love him to death, and I don't know if it took him out of his rhythm or whatever," said Toronto coach Dwane Casey.

"I just thought it would give us some speed and quickness to start the game, but we've got to re-evaluate that. I love Pat; he gives us so much. I don't know if starting him messed up his rhythm or what, but he's a very valuable piece for us coming off the bench."

The move was kept secret until game time, although there were whispers, since Patterson had averaged 4.3 rebounds and 9.5 points on 57-per-cent shooting in this series, compared to the two points, three rebounds and 21per-cent shooting Scola had averaged in the first four games. Patterson is quicker in transition - something Toronto felt may have helped combat the speedy tempo that caused Toronto's undoing early in Game 4.

Patterson hadn't started a game for the Raptors since the preseason, when he was competing with Scola for the starting job.

He instead kept his spot as a valuable spark off the bench, often playing more minutes a game than Scola did throughout the year. Patterson, typically one of the first Raptors off the bench late in the first quarter, instead played the entire first on Tuesday in his first career playoff start. He providing three points and a rebound in that quarter and shared his time between defending George Hill and Myles Turner.

His team trailed by a shocking score of 35-20 at the end of the quarter.

The change altered the usual early-second-quarter group.

DeMar DeRozan started the second alongside reserves Bismack Biyombo, Terrence Ross, Cory Joseph and Norman Powell. That group went on a run and narrowed the gaping deficit to just three points.

It wasn't until late in the fourth that the Raptors manufactured an incredible comeback behind big offence from players such as DeRozan, Powell and Joseph and a massive rebounding performance from Biyombo.

Patterson played 26 minutes and provided seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, along with two rebounds. He has led the Raptors in the plus-minus category this year, so his minus-20 stood out on the stats sheet. He was on the bench during Toronto's biggest comeback moments and the team didn't turn to him for critical fourth-quarter defensive moments in this game like they usually do.

Scola, who has started 76 games for Toronto this year and has 41 career playoff games on his résumé, didn't play a single minute in Game 5. Both teams have made significant counter moves throughout the series and found victories. The Raptors had swapped DeMarre Carroll into the starting lineup for Powell in Game 2 and won. The Pacers won Game 4 - a contest in which they added young Turner to the starting lineup.

Patterson gave huge props to Toronto's bench after the win.

"No matter if I'm in the starting lineup, no matter if I'm on the bench, the bench is still going to be strong," Patterson said. "There are so many weapons on the bench that can show up at any given time."

Associated Graphic

Indiana Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey falls into rapper Drake, left, while playing against the Toronto Raptors during NBA playoff action at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Tuesday.


Toronto to join English rugby league
The Canadian Press
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S4

TORONTO -- The Toronto Wolfpack, a fledgling franchise with big dreams and even bigger travel plans, took its first steps Wednesday.

Billing itself as the first majorleague transatlantic pro sports team, the Wolfpack plans to play in the third tier of English rugby league come March, 2017. The Toronto club will be the 16th entry in the Kingstone Press League 1, which currently has 12 teams from England, two from Wales and one from France.

The challenge that awaits is both immense and intriguing.

"It's a leap for faith for all concerned," said Nigel Wood, chief executive officer of the Rugby Football League, the governing body for rugby league in the United Kingdom.

Can the third-tier of rugby's lesser-known code succeed in what the NFL or NBA has yet to try? "That's a very legitimate question," said Wood, a hulking former rugby league player. "To a large extent, this could spiral anywhere. ... I think there's every chance [at success]. I think there's more reasons to celebrate than there is to be fearful."

It helps that the Wolfpack will reportedly pay the travel costs of other teams to get here.

The new franchise will play a 22-game regular season, with 11 games at home on the artificial turf of the 9,600-seat Lamport Stadium. It will also take part in the knockout Challenge Cup.

In truth, the team will be based in Britain. Head coach Paul Rowley, a former England hooker, says the team will share a training base with the Bradford Bulls, who play in the secondtier Kingstone Press Championship below the elite First Utility Super League.

The Wolfpack will play in three-week chunks, flying to Toronto to host visiting teams and then returning to train and play away games against the likes of the South Wales Scorpions, University of Gloucestershire All Golds, Barrow Raiders and Toulouse Olympique XIII.

Rowley says while the bulk of his roster will be English, he expects to have some North Americans on his roster. While most teams in the third tier are made up of part-timers, the Wolfpack says it will have fulltime players.

Rugby league is a 13-man game, as opposed to 15-man rugby union, that is primarily played in England, Australia and New Zealand. Unlike rugby union, rugby league stops when a tackle is made and the team in possession launches a new attack. Possession changes on the sixth tackle.

A try is worth four points with a conversion and penalty worth two points.

"I believe rugby league in itself is just the best-kept secret," Rowley said. "It's out there in the corner shop, we need to put it in the supermarkets."

The game is ultraphysical with big men gang tackling. But its influence has bled into rugby union in recent years, both on defence and attack.

"My teams entertain; we're known for entertaining," said Rowley, a former coach of the year in England's second tier.

"There'll be bloodshed, there'll be collisions."

The 41-year-old Rowley, who makes his home in Manchester, resigned as coach of the Leigh Centurions in January. Leigh owner club owner Derek Beaumont subsequently accused him of trying to lure staff away from his club, a charge Rowley denied.

Wolfpack CEO Eric Perez, a long-time supporter of the sport in Canada, says the team ownership consists of 10 people, some Canadian and some not, who made their money in mining and resources. He would not detail the expansion fee other than to say it was "significant."

Judging from Wednesday's launch, which drew nine cameras, Toronto Mayor John Tory and an enthusiastic crowd to Real Sports Bar and Grill, the franchise knows how to put on a news conference.

The team has already laid down a social media foundation via Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat and has publicists on both sides of the pond.

Wood says in Rowley and director of rugby Brian Noble, a former British coach, the Wolfpack already has first-class rugby league credentials. The Wolfpack also has some star power in club director Adam Fogerty, a jumbosized bullet-headed former pro boxer and rugby league player.

Associated Graphic

Toronto Wolfpack CEO Eric Perez, left, head coach Paul Rowley and Toronto Mayor John Tory hold up Wolfpack jerseys in Toronto on Wednesday. The new franchise will play 11 games at home.


Sanchez pounded by Oakland
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S4

TORONTO -- Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has been warning that Aaron Sanchez would have nights like these.

Friday night, against the streaking Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre, was one of them.

Pretty much unhittable through his first three starts this season, Sanchez was raked early and often by the hot-hitting A's lineup in an 8-5 Oakland victory, the sixth win in a row for the American League West visitors.

After winning the fifth spot in the rotation out of spring training, Sanchez has acted more like the ace of team than a No. 5.

Heading into Friday's game, he had gone at least six innings and allowed exactly one earned run in each of his previous three starts.

Gibbons has been delighted with the seeming ease the 23year-old flamethrower has grasped his starting role this year.

But Gibbons has been warning those who darken his office doorway on a daily basis that Sanchez will eventually fall to Earth. Every good pitcher, he prophesized, will get his lunch handed to him every once in a while.

For Sanchez on Friday, it was like a three-course meal as Oakland stung him for one run off two hits in the first inning and then three more off four hits in the second. It was just the second time in 15 career starts that Sanchez has allowed more than three earned runs in a game.

By the time he departed with one out in the fifth inning, Sanchez (1-1) had been clubbed around for six runs off 10 hits, including a three-run home run by Chris Coghlan in the second.

Sanchez also added to his own misery in the Oakland fifth, after Toronto had cut the A's lead to 4-1 on a Darwin Barney homer in the third.

With Oakland runners at first and third, Sanchez unleashed a wild pitch that carded the fifth A's run.

Coco Crisp then doubled to bring Stephen Vogt around from second to make the score 6-1.

Playing with a lineup depleted by injuries and the shocking drug suspension announced earlier in the day to first baseman Chris Colabello, the Blue Jays were ill equipped, mentally and physically, to mount much of a response.

Gibbons's hands were further tied heading into the first of three games against the A's by the absence of a couple of starters in shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and left fielder Michael Saunders. Tulowitzki was being rested for a sore hip that he developed after diving for a ball in Baltimore against the Orioles on Thursday night.

Saunders, the Toronto leadoff hitter, was being rested for a sore hamstring that has given him grief, on and off, throughout the season. Gibbons said he doesn't feel either injury is serious.

Still, Toronto fought back gamely, scoring singles in the sixth and seventh before Kevin Pillar found a hole through the left side on a ground ball with the bases loaded that scored two and cut the score to 8-5.

But the spirited Toronto rally was pretty much squelched in the top of the ninth when Oakland added two more runs with Toronto closer Roberto Osuna on the mound.

Khris Davis stuck the telling blow, a line-drive shot to left field that skipped past Ezequiel Carrera and was charitably ruled a double. That brought home Oakland runners from third and first.

Oakland starter Sonny Gray (3-1) worked hard to get the win after allowing three runs off six hits while striking out seven over seven innings.

To fill Colabello's spot on the 25man roster, the Blue Jays recalled left-handed reliever Chad Girodo from their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. Earlier in the day the Blue Jays also announced they have signed veteran outfielder Michael Bourn, 33, to a minor league contract. Gibbons said the former allstar will report to extended spring training in Florida.

In another development, Gibbons said that Drew Hutchison will be recalled from Buffalo on Sunday and will start that day in the finale against the A's.

The plan is to start to ease some of the workload on Toronto's starting pitching, meaning that everybody will be given an extra day's rest. And on another (bad) note, catcher Russell Martin left Friday's game after the fifth innings as a "precaution for neck spasms."

Morrison's recovery timeline still unclear
Olympic medalist suffers setback after having a stroke, but 'odds are in his favour' for recuperation
The Canadian Press
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

The timeline for Canadian long track speed skater Denny Morrison's return to the ice remained unclear Monday after he suffered a stroke over the weekend.

Morrison was taken to hospital Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, and tests later confirmed a brain blood clot and carotid-artery dissection. No surgery was required and blood thinners were not used, Speed Skating Canada said.

A federation spokesman said Monday that Morrison seems to be in good shape and is hopeful that he'll soon be able to return home. The team's medical staff have been in touch with doctors who treated Morrison in Utah and they're hoping to examine him later this week in Calgary.

Dr. Thomas L. Forbes, a professor of surgery and chair of the division of vascular surgery at the University of Toronto, said it can often take up to half a year for a blood vessel to recover in cases such as this.

"The vast majority of patients - regardless of whether they're an elite athlete or a weekend warrior - will do well after a carotid dissection because these are most often related to car accidents," Forbes said. "It's usually the other injuries in the car accident that are of more concern. But this being an isolated event, certainly the odds are in his favour that he would have complete recovery and at some point would be able to return to normal activities for him.

"But again, generally it takes three to six months for these to heal on average."

The stroke came less than a year after Morrison was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. He suffered a concussion, a bruised liver and kidneys, two bone fractures and a torn knee ligament.

Morrison still managed to return to action last month at the Canada Cup in Calgary. It was the final international speed-skating event of the season.

The 30-year-old from Fort St. John, B.C., recently completed a month of mountain bike touring on the Arizona Trail. He was spending some free time around the Utah capital with teammate and girlfriend Josie Spence when she noticed signs he wasn't doing well.

Spence, a certified lifeguard, drove him to hospital and advised medical staff with the national team.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Morrison had a recent fall or any kind of trauma.

"It would be unusual that this would be the first symptoms of a carotid dissection that occurred 11 months ago," Forbes said. "More mild levels of trauma can cause these. So whether while biking there was a hyperextension of his neck or twisting of his neck or even a fall during the biking, it could be something like that."

Morrison and Spence were not available for comment.

A carotid dissection occurs when blood burrows between the layers of a blood vessel, Forbes said. It can occur anywhere in the body but the carotid artery is a common area.

"Most commonly it occurs after trauma," he said. "The most common time we'll see it is in the early stages after a car accident where there is a significant sort of whiplash-type mechanism. They can also occur spontaneously in people who have not had trauma.

"But with those people, then we're concerned about some kind of underlying abnormality of their blood vessels - like a connective tissue disorder."

The chances of having a similar issue in the future don't usually occur in cases like this, Forbes added.

"Generally not, unless someone was in the very small proportion of the population that had an underlying problem with their arteries ... but I would bet against that with [Morrison], given he's been an elite athlete for so many years."

The Canadian long track speed skating team begins off-ice training next week. On-ice work will likely start in June and the season traditionally begins in early fall.

Morrison has won four Olympic medals over his career, including a team pursuit gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Associated Graphic

Canadian speed skater Denny Morrison, seen in Calgary in March, was taken to hospital Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, and tests confirmed a brain blood clot and carotid-artery dissection.


Stuard captures maiden PGA Tour victory
Heavy rains forced organizers to shorten the tournament to 54 holes and play the final round on Monday
The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S4

AVONDALE, LA. -- Brian Stuard made steady golf pay off on a waterlogged course in the haunting cypress swamps outside New Orleans.

The 33-year-old Stuard birdied the final hole of a largely unspectacular final round to sneak into a three-way playoff on Monday, then beat Jamie Lovemark on the second extra hole to capture his maiden PGA Tour triumph at the Zurich Classic.

Stuard never bogeyed a hole throughout the tournament on the long (7,425-yard), par-72 TPC Louisiana course, which was drenched with more than 41/2 inches of rain during the tournament. Weather delays on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday not only forced a Monday finish but also led officials to shorten the tournament to 54 holes.

"I wasn't playing great. I was just kind of, I don't know ... hanging around," Stuard said after his final-round 69, which wasn't even among the top 20 scores on the day. "I kind of hung in there all week. I just didn't get too ahead of myself and just stayed real patient."

Lovemark, Stuard and ByeongHun An entered the playoff at 15 under par.

An unraveled on the first playoff hole and Lovemark on the second while Stuard remained composed, virtually clinching the win with a 160-yard approach for an easy birdie putt.

Stuard's best previous PGA Tour finishes were a pair of second places in Mexico, one in 2010 and the other in 2014. He arrived in New Orleans with conditional status on the PGA Tour, meaning he could only play in tournaments that had room for him when enough higher-ranked players skipped the event. His victory not only earned him $1.26-million (U.S.), it also gives him a two-year exemption allowing him to play in majors and any other Tour event he wants.

"I've always been, I guess, a journeyman kind of player, just always grinded it out," said Stuard, who became the seventh first-time winner in New Orleans in the past 11 years. "You just had to have the confidence to say, 'One day, it's going to be your time.' " Lovemark came in with only five career top-10 finishes, but four of those had come this season.

"I feel good," Lovemark said after his best finish since his only other second place in 2009. "Not too disappointed. Just a little bummed, but moving on to next week."

Jason Day, the world's topranked player, wound up tied for fifth with Chris Kirk at 13 under.

"I just wish it was 72 holes," Day said. "At least I gave myself an opportunity to be around the leaders."

The saturated course rewarded players most adept at hitting long in the air off the tee and aiming right for the pin on approach shots. On many shots, balls hardly moved upon landing.

Players sometimes struggled to gauge abnormally slow greens. It happened to Lovemark at the most pivotal or moments; he left a 91/2-foot birdie putt for the win just inches short on the 18th green.

The narrow miss seemed to unsettle Lovemark, whose shots became erratic. He managed to par the 18th on the first playoff hole, but his approach on the second playoff - also on 18 - found a muddy area near the grandstand, well left of the green.

An did not look like a contender entering Monday, but he shot up the leaderboard with birdies on 11, 13, 14 and 15. His five-foot birdie putt on 18 landed him in the playoff - marking only his second top 10 and his first top three. But he botched consecutive approach shots on the first playoff hole, leaving him with a bogey that ended his tournament.

Valeri's late goal helps Portland edge Toronto
The Associated Press
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Diego Valeri scored on a free kick in the 74th minute to give the Portland Timbers a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday.

The winning goal, which gave Portland a three-match undefeated streak and snapped Toronto's three-game run without a loss, came on Valeri's birthday.

Portland took the early lead with a goal on in the 17th minute on a nice series from Darren Mattocks to Valeri and then to Fanendo Adi in the middle of the box for the goal. It was Adi's seventh goal of the season, tying him with San Jose's Chris Wondolowski for the league lead.

Former Timbers player Will Johnson scored for Toronto in the 40th minute, rushing in on a loose ball and beating diving Portland goal keeper Jake Gleeson.

"I have all the respect in the world for those guys and they know it. I think the feeling's mutual," Johnson said.

"Obviously, I compete for my team during the 90 minutes, but there's always a part of me that respects them, no matter what."

The match capped an eightgame trip for Toronto FC to open the season while BMO Field is renovated. The Reds went 3-3-2 over that span.

Toronto FC was coming off a 2-0 victory at rival Montreal.

Sebastian Giovinco scored both goals in the victory. Giovinco, the reigning MLS MVP, has six goals this season, but the Timbers managed to shut him down.

Portland saw the return of two key players - including Valeri, who missed Wednesday's 1-1 draw at New England because of accumulated yellows. Captain Liam Ridgewell also came back from a hamstring injury that has kept the defender out since he played in the opener.

Timbers fans were angered in the first half with Johnson's sliding tackle on Valeri. A trainer came out to attend to Valeri, who was able to shake it off and play on.

"Just a hard play. Just trying to make a tackle and he didn't see much in it either," Johnson said.

"Just went in for a play and that's my game and just move on to the next one."

Referee Baldomero Toledo told a pool reporter after the game: "The degree of force and speed of the tackle may have warranted a foul but nothing more. The contact was not sufficient for misconduct."

Portland had a good chance to pull ahead in the 55th minute when Lucas Melano took off on a fast break and passed to Adi charging at the goal, but the ball went wide right.

Jozy Altidore's point-blank header for Toronto in the 63rd minute was denied by Gleeson.

Gleeson came up with another big save on Johnson's attempt in extra time, and the Reds sent goal keeper Clint Irwin up the field on a corner kick but couldn't even it again before time ran out.

The Associated Press
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

Chicago -- The Los Angeles Rams have selected California quarterback Jared Goff with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and the No. 2 selection for the Philadelphia Eagles is North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz.

It's the second straight year that two QBs were the first names off the board. It's the seventh time in the modern era of the draft since 1967.

The 6-foot-4 Goff started every game during his three seasons at California and set school records with 977 completions, 12,220 yards passing and 96 touchdown passes. The Rams traded with Tennessee to get the pick.

Wentz led the Bison to their fifth consecutive FCS championship in January. He passed for 1,651 yards and 17 touchdowns during his senior year that was shortened by a broken right wrist.

Philadelphia acquired the No. 2 selection in a trade with Cleveland last Wednesday. It's the first opening-round quarterback for the Eagles since they grabbed Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 pick in the 1999 draft.

Associated Graphic

Jared Goff, left, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pose after the QB was selected as the first draft pick on Thursday.


Buzz killer
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P14

Summer in bug country makes remorseless killers of us all. We resort, without moral qualm, to chemical warfare against the buzzing fiends that bear down on exposed flesh. The nuclear option in this annual battle is Muskol, born of the Nova Scotia fishing grounds frequented by Charles Coll, a New Glasgow entrepreneur and outdoorsman. Legend has it that Coll came up with the formulation in 1951 after mixing some paint in his basement workshop. News of the repellent's properties spread by word of mouth, and eight years later he registered the name Muskol with the Nova Scotia government. By 1978, he was a millionaire woodsman whose fishing adventures made the pages of The Globe and Mail. The business slipped out of family hands in 1982, the same year Coll died. Bayer Inc. has since swallowed up the bug-dope company, but still formulates the repellent in Canada, at a factory near Toronto. Just as importantly, the brand maintains a sense of heritage: To this day, every bottle or can of Muskol bears the face and signature of Charles Coll. /Patrick White

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Proportion of DEET in Muskol, which is supposed to keep bugs at bay for up to six hours

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Number of black fly species found in Canada

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THIS STEEL MOSQUITO, WITH A 4.6-METRE WINGSPAN, is the main attraction in Komarno, Manitoba, hailed as the Mosquito Capital of the World. Komarno means "mosquito-infested" in Ukrainian.

Associated Graphic


Rafi Tahmazian
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P22

Plunging oil and gas prices have taken a toll on energy stocks. We asked Canoe Financial portfolio manager Rafi Tahmazian, who oversees $600 million in energy funds, how he is betting on a recovery.

What's your outlook?

We see bargains in Canada, and we're focused on buying shares of producers of light oil and natural-gas condensate. Our funds have gone down to about 20% in cash from 65% last summer. The sector is probably in a trough because debt restructurings and mergers and acquisitions are taking place, and oil supermajors have started to cut capital spending. We expect the oil price to eventually recover to the $50-to-$70 (U.S.) range.

Some energy firms have cut or halted dividends. How safe are payouts?

It's going to take a long time for the high-yield dividend game to return. When the oil price drops sharply, companies have to cut dividends. But some growth-oriented firms should never have issued dividends in the first place, and it won't be easy to bring them back.

What are your picks?

We like stocks of Saskatchewan-focused companies like Raging River Exploration and Crescent Point Energy, as well as Tamarack Valley Energy in Alberta. They have strong balance sheets, quality management and extensive land holdings. Since fall, we have also begun buying energy bonds trading at distressed prices.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Crime and no punishment
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- In the final frames of the movie The Big Short, the narrator laments that no one on Wall Street ever went to jail for fraud in connection with the 2008 financial meltdown.

Canada's Sino-Forest scandal is headed for a similar denouement.

More than four years after Canada's largest publicly traded forest products company collapsed under the weight of fraud allegations, top Sino-Forest executives are about to face the music.

Ya, not so much.

The final chapter in this sad saga is being played out before an Ontario Securities Commission panel, where lawyers began making their closing arguments this week in one of the longest and most complex securities cases in Canadian history.

In the mid-2000s, Sino-Forest was one of the hottest stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company took in $3-billion from investors and eventually reached a market value of $6-billion.

There isn't a trace of most of that money now, and the company's few remaining assets are in the hands of bondholders.

There isn't much sign of real justice in this case. Even if found to have committed fraud, former Sino-Forest chief executive officer Allen Chan and four top executives won't be going to jail because they haven't been criminally charged.

The OSC could fine them, but since all five of the defendants are Chinese citizens living in China, the chance of the OSC collecting anything is virtually nil. The most severe sanction the men face - a lifetime ban from Canadian capital markets - would also be meaningless because the men are unlikely ever to resume business activities in Canada.

It's a safe bet that Mr. Chan and his colleagues aren't losing much sleep over any of this.

The OSC did not have the power to make them appear at the panel hearings and it has limited powers to investigate wrongdoing outside Canada.

So, the case has quietly played out between lawyers for the OSC and the defendants, with little drama or intrigue in front of a near-empty hearing room on most days.

So why does the OSC even bother? The securities watchdog has devoted enormous time and resources to the investigation. So far, the hearings have lasted more than 170 days over nearly two years and involved thousands of exhibits. That's unfortunately typical of securities fraud proceedings.

It does seem like an awful lot of effort in pursuit of a company that, by all indications, was mostly a mirage.

The company purported to own 500,000 hectares of timber, all of it in China, valued at $2.5-billion (U.S.) in 2010.

Unfortunately, there weren't any trees. Neither the OSC nor an independent committee of the Sino-Forest board could find evidence that Sino-Forest owned any timber.

As OSC lawyer Hugh Craig told the hearing: "If you cannot find the trees, you can't prove existence, let alone ownership and value." He said there was very little evidence that the company's main timber operations did any "real business."

The company would report massive timber deals to investors, but no money actually moved through the company.

The heart of the OSC case is that Sino-Forest was a multibillion-dollar pile of nothing.

Through their lawyers, the former Sino-Forest executives have blamed low-level employees for providing them with inaccurate information about the company's assets. At other times, they blamed the OSC's lack of understanding of China's cultural and business practices.

The allegations against the men include fraudulent overstatement of assets, falsified evidence of ownership, and undisclosed control of both its suppliers and customers.

The OSC may well win the case.

But it would be a Pyrrhic victory - a flimsy deterrent to others who might try to dupe Canadian investors with empty promises. A finding against Mr. Chan and his colleagues won't offer much comfort to investors.

Maybe it's all about upholding the reputation of the OSC - a demonstration by the OSC that it won't tolerate white-collar crime and will aggressively pursue fraud cases, no matter how complex.

Instead, the case has exposed gaps in Canada's securities regulation regime - particularly when key elements of an alleged fraud occur in other countries, where authorities may be unwilling to co-operate.

Mr. Chan is probably smiling right now, confident that his Canadian misadventure won't come back to bite him.

Whatever happens, Sino-Forest will be an enduring stain on Canada's financial markets.

'Another Canadian economy' - but it doesn't measure up
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1



As he wrapped up a recent speech about slumping global trade, Stephen Poloz made a startling observation: Sales generated by foreign subsidiaries of Canadian companies now exceed the value of everything this country exports to the world.

"These foreign affiliates are almost like another Canadian economy out there," the central bank Governor explained.

His point is that Canadians should take a fresh look at how this country interacts with the global economy. It's no longer just about tracking conventional exports and imports.

Certain iconic images epitomize Canada's potent trading economy - grain being loaded onto cargo ships in the Port of Vancouver or tractor-trailers hauling cars across the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont.

Perhaps this picture is all wrong. Mr. Poloz pointed out that companies in Canada are increasingly using their foreign operations as a "substitute" for international trade. In 2012, sales by Canadian foreign affiliates reached $506.1-billion, or the equivalent of nearly 30 per cent of this country's gross domestic product. Merchandise exports, on the other hand, were just $461.5-billion that year.

Mr. Poloz views this as an encouraging development - a counterpoint to the drumbeat of negative chatter about the faltering trade performance of Canada and much of the developed world since the 2008-09 financial crisis. It suggests that, even in a slow trade-growth world, companies are growing, becoming more productive and creating jobs.

But the comparison is a bit disingenuous. It's unfair to equate the contribution to the economy of a Ford Edge made in Oakville, Ont., or a shipload of Saskatchewan wheat, to an insurance policy Manulife sells in Shanghai.

Goods produced in Canada generate much larger spinoffs, through wages and purchases of various inputs. These benefits are often spread broadly across the country, contributing enormously to GDP.

That isn't typically the case for what companies sell through their foreign operations. The bulk of those benefits remain offshore.

It's hard to put a positive spin on the fact that trade growth has slowed dramatically in recent years - not just for Canada, but for all countries. In the two decades before the financial crisis, global trade was expanding at a healthy clip of more than 7 per cent a year. It has since slowed to less than 3 per cent, and in the past 12 months expanded at just 1.5 per cent.

Producing goods or services overseas rather than at home can significantly lower costs and raise productivity, enabling companies to stay globally competitive. For some, it may even be what keeps them in business in a cutthroat environment.

In some cases, foreign affiliates may also support significant jobs back in Canada. At its peak, BlackBerry was making its smart phones offshore, but still spreading considerable wealth at home by doing much of its researchand-development, engineering, marketing, design and backoffice work in Waterloo, Ont.

Foreign affiliates are also good for the global economy, narrowing income disparities by giving jobs to workers in less wealthy countries.

But sales by foreign affiliates are a poor substitute for actual exports when it comes to their raw GDP-generating power. Their contribution is typically measured through the income multinationals choose to repatriate to Canada. Statistically, this shows up as earnings from foreign direct investment. And by that measure, they represent a drop in the bucket compared with what companies generate in export sales, according to economist Dan Ciuriak, a C.D. Howe Institute fellow and former deputy chief economist at the federal Department of International Trade. In 2014, for example, income from foreign direct investment accounted for just 2.4 per cent of GDP.

Mr. Poloz's comparison would also put the sales of a 51-per-centowned foreign subsidiary on par with the export sales generated by a manufacturer based in Canada. And yet a large chunk of the resulting foreign profit would never be repatriated because it doesn't belong to the Canadian company.

Foreign affiliates are very important for companies.

But the economic benefits may be a lot less apparent to the average Canadian. And an economy built on the profits of foreign affiliates may not be the economy Canadians want.

It is a powerful reminder to policy makers that they need to aggressively find ways to encourage companies to invest and create jobs in Canada.

Associated Graphic

The image of Canadian wheat being shipped to overseas markets no longer defines our international trade, but still has relevance.


Federal ruling expected to unleash innovation
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Realtors across the country are closely watching what is expected to be a precedent-setting ruling by the federal Competition Tribunal that could strike a blow to the industry's tight control over resale housing data.

In its ruling, issued Wednesday, the tribunal sided with the Competition Bureau, which had argued that the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) was stifling competition in the industry by restricting brokers' access to bulk electronic data about the housing market.

The real estate board had argued that allowing easy access to such data, known as the Multiple Listings Service (MLS), would violate the privacy of clients.The tribunal has yet to issue a full public ruling and is holding a new round of hearings to decide what changes it may order TREB to make to comply with competition laws.

However, industry players expect the ruling to help open up the real estate sector to technological innovation by allowing online brokers to offer much more information and analysis about the market to buyers and sellers.

At the heart of the Competition Bureau's case was a battle over whether TREB should add extra MLS data - particularly a home's selling price and details of agent commissions - to the electronic data feed it currently provides its members.

The ruling applies only to TREB's roughly 40,000 realtors in the Greater Toronto Area.

But the close-to-100 other local real estate associations across Canada are likely to follow any changes forced upon the country's largest real estate board by a federal ruling.

"This will be the trigger point which will result in the orderly transition to a more open market right across the country," said Phil Soper, chief executive officer of Royal LePage.

With the exception of Nova Scotia, where the real estate industry has taken a more relaxed stance on how realtors share data, most other boards in Canada have followed TREB's restrictions to varying degrees and often relied on TREB's argument over privacy concerns to resist making changes, said Walter Melanson, director of partnership at "TREB is the most important real estate board in the country," he said.

"So that's why the battle is there and why it's so important to every single board across the country."

In Saskatchewan, where local boards have also restricted bulk electronic access to their MLS data, the industry is watching to see if the decision will force it to change its policies.

"Anyone that does have an MLS system could be affected by it," said Bill Madder, CEO of the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors. We're watching it and, obviously, if it's been deemed to be a legal requirement, we'll make the changes."

Other major boards outside of Toronto are following the events closely, but saying little. Calgary's Real Estate Board declined to comment, saying it is still waiting for a final ruling. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver did not follow up on a request for more details about its own MLS data policies.

The local board has maintained similarly tight controls over home sales data in the Vancouver area, says Mayur Arora of Surrey, B.C.-based low-fee real estate brokerage OneFlatFee. Recently, the board sent a bulletin requiring all its members to change their passwords after reports that a realtor had shared login information with the media, he said.

He hopes the ruling will lead to sweeping changes across the country. "The more they open up, the better it is for the public," Mr. Arora said.

As the head of Canada's largest residential real estate firm, Mr. Soper also supports the tribunal's rulings, which he said would help improve the services that realtors already offer and do little to drive down commissions. Clients already spend an average of 16 weeks researching real estate online before contacting an agent, he said. Many are looking for much more from a realtor today than just access to listings or home sales data.

"They're paying for negotiating services, the efficacy of a large value transaction where mistakes are expensive," Mr. Soper said.

"They're not paying our realtors to do home searches for them any more like they used to back in the day."

Associated Graphic

TREB has argued that allowing easy access to resale housing data would violate clients' privacy.


Real estate board hit by competition ruling
Competition Tribunal finds Toronto Real Estate Board unfairly restricts access to data on home sales
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

In a decision that is expected to be a game-changer for Canada's housing industry, Ottawa's Competition Tribunal has ruled that the country's largest real estate board engaged in anti-competitive practices by restricting the way its brokers share home sales data with clients and the public.

The tribunal confirmed in a statement that a three-member panel had issued a confidential ruling partly granting the Competition Bureau's lawsuit against the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). The tribunal has yet to issue its full decision publicly, but said it had ruled that the real estate board was stifling competition by restricting the ability of online brokerages to electronically access and publicly display data from the Multiple Listings Service. The MLS is a member-only data feed that offers non-public details about resale listings, such as the number of days a home has been on the market and the home's current and previous selling prices.

The panel ruled that TREB's restrictions "have substantially reduced the degree of non-price competition" in real estate services in the Greater Toronto Area.

"Most importantly, this includes a considerable adverse impact on innovation, quality and the range of residential real estate brokerage services that likely would be offered in the GTA."

In a statement, Competition Commissioner John Pecman cheered the ruling, calling it "a good day for competition and innovation."

Both TREB and the Canadian Real Estate Association, which have argued that allowing realtors to publish automated electronic home sales data would violate the privacy of buyers and sellers, said they were still studying the long and detailed ruling.

Realtors said the decision will likely pave the way for digital disruption of the country's housing industry by allowing online brokerages to offer the public far more details about the local housing market. As a federal body, the tribunal's decisions will likely have implications for other local real estate boards in Canada that have similar restrictions on their own MLS data.

"It's a new beginning for the real estate industry and consumers in Canada," said Bill McMullin, founder of Viewpoint Realty, a site that republishes homes sales data in Nova Scotia, one of few provinces to allow access to MLS data.

The ruling will likely help his efforts to expand his business outside of Nova Scotia, he said.

Under the current Toronto real estate board regulations, online brokerages can only provide data to subscribers, not on publicly accessible websites, and only with the permission of the buyer and seller. Last year, Toronto's real estate board sent letters to its members threatening to cut off access to the MLS for some virtual brokers that it warned were violating the rules.

The tribunal said it plans to hold a new round of hearings before issuing its final order. But realtors expect the ruling would ultimately require TREB to expand the electronic data feed it offers to members to include details that many buyers and sellers care about, such as the sale price of a home and how many days it was on the market.

Tarik Gidamy of online brokerage TheRedPin Inc. expects the ruling will open the door to technological innovation in Canada's real estate industry, which has long resisted the broader move toward low-fee, automated online services happening in many other industries. "There's so much of that data that's just golden and raw where companies like ours want to innovate technologically to give people really easy readable information," he said.

Several realtors challenged the concern that the ruling would undermine commissions.

John Pasalis, president of brokerage Realosophy Realty Inc., pointed to the U.S. experience, where a 2008 Department of Justice settlement with the National Association of Realtors allowed low-cost online brokerages access to MLS data, helping to create popular sites such as Zillow and Redfin. But the move has yet to shift a significant share of buyers away from using full-service commissioned realtors, he said.

Oil firms seek détente with environmental groups
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- Energy & Resources

Canada's biggest oil sands producers are in discussions with some leading environmental groups in an effort to parlay the companies' support for Alberta's climate policy into reduced opposition to the industry and its proposed pipelines.

Executives of four companies - Suncor Energy Inc., Cenovus Energy Inc., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., and RoyalDutch Shell PLC - have held meetings with prominent environmentalists with whom they shared a stage when Premier Rachel Notley unveiled her climate plan last fall.

Ms. Notley met with the federal Liberal cabinet at its retreat in Kananaskis, Alta., this week to press for approval for pipelines that would get Alberta crude to new markets by way of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supports the industry's goal of reaching new markets, but reiterated on Tuesday that it must be done sustainably, and with the support of First Nations and communities along the route.

Mr. Trudeau restated his opposition to Enbridge Inc.'s Northern Gateway project, saying the Great Bear Rainforest in northern B.C. should not be traversed by a heavy-oil pipeline.

Political and industry sources say the Liberals are eager to approve at least one pipeline, but it remains unclear how much political capital they would expend to override objections outside Alberta. Liberal officials have sent a message to environmentalists that the NDP Premier needs approval for pipelines to secure support for climate action in her province and to boost her political fortunes against the conservative Wildrose Party opposition.

Ms. Notley and Mr. Trudeau have argued that aggressive climate action would help win public support for the industry.

Environmental organizations are now more divided than they were when they could rally against the former Conservative government's inaction on climate regulations. Several organizations continue to campaign against pipelines, over both climate concerns and the potential impact of oil spills and tanker traffic.

Suncor has been meeting with environmentalists since 2014 looking for a way to break out of the polarized debate and sees some common ground forming around the need for climate action. "We're very pleased with where we are right now," Arlene Strom, Suncor's vice-president for sustainability, said on Tuesday.

"We are in this for the long term.

We want climate policy that helps us be carbon competitive and cost competitive and helps us to open up new markets for our products."

But the industry continues to face staunch opposition to pipeline proposals. It is waiting to see whether the province's climate policies - and indeed federal commitments - help build support from the public, said Terry Abel, director for oil sands at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "We're trying to speak to the ones who want to see clearly demonstrated the resources are developed responsibly and transported to market in a safe and responsible manner."

One prominent environmental group, Calgary-based Pembina Institute, has shifted ground since the Liberals were elected on the promise of climate action and Ms. Notley released her policy. Pembina is now more focused on working with government to fulfill the promises than on campaigning against projects, executive director Ed Whittingham said.

"Our concerns have focus on what pipelines would do to increase upstream [greenhouse gas] emissions," he said. The Alberta climate policy puts a cap on those emissions and provides an incentive for producers to drive down their emissions, although he said the provincial plan still allows for emissions growth from the industry and no reductions for the next 15 years, even as Canada has committed to cut GHGs by 30 per cent from 2005 levels over that period.

Toronto-based Environmental Defence's executive director, Tim Gray, stood on the stage with Ms. Notley and the oil company CEOs, but his group maintains its opposition to new pipelines. Mr. Gray said he supported Alberta's effort, but believes the industry cannot continue to expand emissions if Canada is to meet its international commitments.

Péladeau's political exit raises questions for Quebecor
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Pierre Karl Péladeau had a tough time breaking away from Quebecor Inc. when he left the media empire in 2014 to try his hand at politics. A return, should he choose that route, might be a whole lot easier.

In a surprise announcement Monday, Mr. Péladeau said he has stepped down as leader of the Parti Québécois - renouncing an ambition to lead Quebec to independence in a decision he pinned on the well-being of his family and children. He gave no hint of what he planned to do next.

Quebecor shares inched up 0.7 per cent in Toronto trading Monday, to $33.81. They've gained about 36 per cent since March 9, 2014 - the day Mr. Péladeau pumped his fist and declared he would enter politics to make Quebec a country.

"Quebecor's been on a decent run" over that time, said Louis Hébert, a management strategy specialist at Montreal's HEC business school. "There may be a period of uncertainty around the company until Mr. Péladeau clarifies his intentions. But he doesn't need to return to work. Given his personal situation, will he even want to come back in the near term or medium term? We'll see."

Mr. Péladeau, 54, controls Quebecor through a special category of multivoting shares.

He stepped down as Quebecor chairman when he announced his plans to enter politics and pledged to place his financial interest in the company in a blind trust if elected.

He won a seat a month later and eventually became PQ leader but a blind trust was never finalized.In those early days af-ter he launched into politics, Mr. Péladeau remained actively involved in Quebecor operations despite no longer holding a senior management or director position.

Sources have since confirmed that the departure of then-Quebecor chief executive officer Robert Dépatie and board chairwoman Françoise Bertrand in the weeks that followed were directly related to the unease created by this blurring of the lines of authority.

Brian Mulroney, Canada's former prime minister and longtime Quebecor board member, is believed to have resolved the situation and became chairman of the company at its 2014 annual meeting. Pierre Dion, who ran Quebecor's broadcast business TVA Group for almost a decade, became CEO around the same time.

Quebecor issued a statement Monday saying its management learned about Mr. Péladeau's decision with everyone else and extended its support to him. It said it wouldn't comment further.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Mulroney said he was unavailable to comment.

Mr. Péladeau also declined to elaborate more after reading a five-minute statement to the media in which he was visibly emotional.

"It seems a lot of things are on his mind right now," said Maher Yaghi, an analyst at Desjardins Securities. "And it's not like Quebecor right now is in desperate need to some kind of intervention. The company's doing very well under the management that's currently there so he can take his time before deciding to go back."

Mr. Yaghi said he does not believe Mr. Péladeau will change Quebecor's strategic direction should he decide to return to management or the board.

The company has retreated back into its home market by abandoning its national newspaper ambitions with the Sun chain sale.

And the introduction of the company's LTE wireless network and continued smartphone adoption by customers should fuel its growth in the quarters ahead, the analyst says.

"He was there when the current strategy was operational and in place," Mr. Yaghi said of Mr. Péladeau.

"After he left, the company did not change its strategy or its direction. And if he comes back, I don't think it it will change either."

Quebecor (QBR.B) Close: $33.81, up 25¢

Building a better battery
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Jeff Dahn's battery-research group at Dalhousie University in Halifax is about to begin a long-term project for Tesla Motors Inc., helping the electric car company's batteries hold more charge, last longer and become cheaper to manufacture.

Prof. Dahn and his students have been working for years on ways to make lithium-ion batteries more efficient, but the Tesla partnership, which was unveiled last year and begins this June, has boosted his lab's profile sharply.

Interest in its research, which could help accelerate the shift off fossil fuels, has blossomed.

"When the Tesla announcement was made ... my e-mail box went bananas, especially with students interested in doing graduate work, because Tesla is very recognizable," Prof.

Dahn said. His work includes developing better battery electrodes and creating devices that measure how long a lithium-ion battery will last.

It's not only Tesla that has recognized Prof. Dahn's work as an important contributor to technology, and society as a whole. He is one of six winners of the first annual GovernorGeneral's Innovation Awards that are being named Thursday.

The award program, first announced last summer by Governor-General David Johnston, highlights innovators who have boosted Canada's quality of life. The idea is to shine a light on all kinds of innovation and inspire young people to see the value of doing creative work.

The overall goal is to "change the culture in the country, to enhance the notion of innovation, and to help Canadians see themselves as an innovative nation," Mr. Johnston said in an interview. One reason he pushed for the establishment of the award was that he was worried Canadians might have become too complacent, and he wasn't sure that "we embrace change with sufficient enthusiasm."

The list of winners, in addition to Prof. Dahn, includes four individuals or organizations working in the medical field, ranging from a maker of robotic arms to a researcher who developed a burn treatment using nanotechnology. Another winner, Métis visual artist Christi Belcourt, was honoured for her innovative use of artwork to raise awareness of violence against indigenous women.

"We really do believe that we should cover the full spectrum of innovation," Mr. Johnston said, including social innovation.

"Certainly artistic and communication innovation should be very much a part of how we look at changes in our society."

Prof. Dahn, who helped create a spinoff company that makes high-precision equipment to measure the potential lifespan of lithium-ion cells, said stable research funding is one key to performing innovative work.

He also said arrangements with industry - such as his partnership with Tesla and earlier work with 3M Co. - help with innovation because it means he is "working on the problems that matter ... it puts one foot on the ground."

Essentially, these partnerships ensure "that our work has commercial relevance and relevance to society."

But the most precious resource for innovators is still "to have the time to think," he said.

Prof. Dahn said the GovernorGeneral's awards will help underline that there is very innovative work being done all across Canada. "It will be great for the Canadian public to see what is happening [and] what these six winners have done. I think people will be proud," he said.

The Governor-General's Innovation Awards will be presented at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on May 19. The Globe and Mail is one of the partners involved in the awards.

Associated Graphic

Jeff Dahn and his students have spent the past several years working on ways to extend the life of lithium-ion batteries.


EDC slashes export forecast
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- Canada's predicted export turnaround has been delayed - again.

Export Development Canada has slashed its forecast of goods exports this year to 2 per cent, down from a previous estimate of 7 per cent.

A cluster of Canadian sectors is likely to do very well this year, including autos, consumer goods, aerospace and machinery-and-equipment, according to a twice-yearly forecast by EDC, the federal government's export lender.

But that strength is being offset by a commodities price collapse that is proving to be unexpectedly deep and prolonged, EDC chief economist Peter Hall said.

"What's surprising is the extent of the volatility, the extent of the commodities price plunge, and the reactions in the marketplace to the [U.S. Federal Reserve Board] finally moving to raise rates," Mr. Hall pointed out.

He insisted that the export recovery is coming, but it's been delayed. EDC is calling for 6-percent export growth in 2017.

"Perhaps more slowly than in the past, but growth is catching on," he said. "Now is pretty close to the time our leading indicators would tell us growth is about to kick in."

The EDC's weaker export outlook is in line with that of Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, who is also cautious about the year ahead. Mr. Poloz has been warning that a long list of obstacles could derail Canada's economic prospects, including a downturn in the global economy, weak business investment and a recent rebound in the Canadian dollar.

Canada's economy continues to show evidence of a split personality.

On the up side, Mr. Hall pointed to strong expected gains this year in exports of autos (up 10 per cent), forestry (up 5 per cent), aerospace (up 13 per cent) and consumer goods (up 14 per cent).

All of these sectors are getting a lift from the lower value of the Canadian dollar.

"The weaker Canadian dollar is starting to show in the growth in Canadian exports, particularly the high value-added ones," Mr. Hall said.

But that performance is muted by what's happening in the depressed energy sector, where exports are expected to tumble 14 per cent this year. The EDC's forecast is based on an average price of crude (West Texas intermediate) of $40 (U.S.) this year, $45 in 2017 and $54 in 2018. Exports of fertilizers are also weak, now forecast to fall by 5 per cent this year.

The export sector is vitally important to Canada's fortunes because the domestic economy is showing signs of stress, including an overbuilt housing market and tapped out consumers.

"The domestic economy is fundamentally weak in Canada," Mr. Hall said. "It's going to need the export sector - every bit of growth to keep things going."

Associated Graphic


Raptors take Game 5 to come within one win of the second round of the NBA playoffs
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

Over the past calendar year, Toronto sports has enjoyed some remarkable curse-breaking moments - that seventh inning, the bat flip; the time the Leafs resisted the urge to trade for a 50-year-old with back spasms at the deadline.

On Tuesday, they managed another - reversing the spell of Paul George.

The Indiana Pacers' unsmiling assassin was in the midst of one of his signature sporting crime rampages on local streets.

Standing on 37 points, he'd single-handedly stolen the game and probably the series. George was about to become another villain a whole city can't ever forget. The list is so long, Canada ought to have a Basketball Anti-Hall of Fame.

Then something happened that never happens to the Toronto Raptors in these situations - things started going right.

Over ten remarkable minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters, Toronto turned a 15point deficit into a six-point lead. Given all that had gone before, the 23-2 run may be the most unlikely in local history.

The sweetest part of it was watching Indiana's Rodney Stuckey get inexplicably tied up by his own legs, lose the ball out of bounds, followed by Terrence Ross - a player who has been zero-for-four billion from threepoint distance - sink his first trey of the game.

A few seconds later, Norman Powell stole a Pacers pass and ran the length of the floor for a jam. Tie game. That's when you knew.

Here were two guys who should not matter - the one who's perpetually a good run away from his breakthrough as a star and a rookie nobody rated - putting George et al in their place. If there is a special place in hell for players who disappear when it matters, they can be redeemed by just one run like that.

It ended in - of course - gutchurning fashion. DeMar DeRozan sank two free throws to give the Raptors a three-point lead with 14 seconds remaining. Solomon Hill sank a three-pointer to tie it, but was not able to get it off before the game clock expired. Toronto's 102-99 victory gives them a 3-2 series lead.

Do you believe in miracles?

Because this wasn't one, but it may have felt like it at the time.

This building is always loud at Raptors games. Over the past couple of years, it's gotten quieter in the playoffs. Having been burned too many times over that span, the fans here no longer let themselves celebrate.

The low point on Tuesday night might've been the supposedly neutral PA guy trying to lead a chant of "We. The. North." Along with the stencils on the free T-shirt giveaways - a fighting beaver and a flaming snowball (summoning to mind "a snowball's chance ...") - this was some pretty damning stuff even by Toronto standards. You could smell the humid stink of collapse in the air.

But then all the bad mojo of two years - the last-play block in Game 7 against the Nets; the capitulation in Washington - bled away. The Raptors did something they had not been able to do for a very long time when it actually mattered - will themselves to a win.

Until the end of the third, all the will had resided in just one man. Indiana's George had spent most of the series so far inside Toronto's head, it appeared the team would need a brain surgeon and a cranial saw to get him out.

For most of Game 6, he was at the peak of his gamesmanship.

As it has in every Raptors loss, it started with a stumble out of the gate.

The Raptors had repeatedly talked about the initial effort.

Coach Dwane Casey banged on the image of responding to a "punch in the mouth." Once again, the Raptors walked right into it.

A much hyped lineup change - lengthy forward super-sub Patrick Patterson for human slowmotion replay Luis Scola - imploded. Pushed out of sync, the Raptors couldn't find any rhythm. While the Pacers could find the extra pass, Toronto couldn't locate a first one.

The emblematic moments of the first quarter involved Kyle Lowry (being stripped of the ball as he stood with his back turned on an in-bounds pass shrieking at Bismack Biyombo) and Terrence Ross (being called for basket interference after picking a George Hill miss off his own rim while under no pressure).

The Raptors heard copious boos - a first in this building for a long while - as they walked off during a timeout. One quarter down, they were already trailing by 15.

A small adjustment in the second - allowing DeRozan to stay in the game with the second unit rather than Lowry - switched the momentum. As George watched glassily from the bench, DeRozan found some measure of the self he left behind in the regular season. Those were four good minutes that whittled the Indiana lead to single digits. That was as close as the Raptors have looked to the team everyone had hoped to see here.

But once George returned, the flood resumed.

A great deal has been said in this series about George's ability to elevate his game. That might not be the right way to look at it.

Instead, he diminishes his opponents' confidence. As he checks in, he may as well do so in a cloud of brimstone.

Labouring under the George curse, the Raptors couldn't seem to do anything right.

All the Raptors could do was needle him. That seemed to work.

Lowry dragged him to the ground as he chased a loose ball.

That goaded George into a foolish technical for retaliation. He nearly saw himself out of the contest in the third quarter, as he flipped out after more physical play. He responded in both instances with more great shooting, but faded badly in the fourth.

That's when the Raptors - finally, and for the first time since Game 5 in Toronto against Brooklyn - found their form.

The trick now will be maintaining it for just one more game.

Associated Graphic

Raptors guard Norman Powell slam dunks the ball during Tuesday's game against the Indiana Pacers in Toronto. The Raptors won 102-99.


Suspended Colabello denies wrongdoing
Pillar says drug-testing program need to be fine tuned and that first baseman 'fell victim to a technicality'
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- Shortly before 3:30 Friday afternoon, the doors to the Toronto Blue Jays clubhouse at Rogers Centre were closed for a playersonly meeting.

Inside the spacious room, Chris Colabello was coming clean on a serious matter that had been weighing him down for more than a month and was about to break into the public realm.

The 32-year-old first baseman admitted to his teammates that Major League Baseball was suspending him for 80 games after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

And Colabello is falling back on a familiar defence: that he has no idea how an illegal substance could be found in his system.

Shortly after his shocking admission, the news was verified through a statement issued by the office of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred that Colabello had been suspended without pay after testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid.

The 80-game sentence is the minimum penalty that MLB hands out to first-time drug offenders.

"In some way I feel like, you know, Chris being able to tell everyone lifted a huge burden off him," said Blue Jays centre fielder Kevin Pillar, with whom Colabello had shared the bad news almost from the beginning.

"I think it's an extremely tough secret to hold onto for a long time," Pillar continued. "What he was going through is something that none of us can ever really experience and have to try to go out and play with what he was dealing with.

"The game's already hard enough as is. Him trying to go out on the field and try to hit with that 800-pound gorilla on his back, I can't even imagine what he was going through."

Colabello did not make himself available to reporters after the news broke.

Instead, he issued a statement that was released on his behalf by the MLB Players Association. In the statement Colabello said that he was informed of the positive test in March while the Blue Jays were still at spring training in Florida.

And he denied that he knowingly took a drug that is forbidden under MLB guidelines.

"On March 13, I got one of the scariest and most definitely the least expected phone calls of my entire life," Colabello said in his statement. "I was informed by the Players Association that a banned substance was found in my urine.

I have spent every waking moment since that day trying to find an answer as to why or how?

"The only thing I know is that I would never compromise the integrity of the game of baseball. I love this game too much! I care too deeply about it. I am saddened more for the impact this will have on my teammates, the organization and the fans of the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I hope that before anyone passes judgment on me they can take a look at the man that I am, and everything that I have done to get to where I am in my career."

The substance, known commercially as Oral Turinabol or Turinabol, is an anabolic steroid originally developed in East Germany in the 1960s. The drug is taken to increase a user's strength, speed and endurance.

It was the same drug that Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher Daniel Stumpf tested positive for earlier this month. He also received an 80-game suspension.

It is also the same substance that has landed former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir in hot water after a failed drug test.

Colabello, who appealed the original finding - the reason the penalty was delayed - will lose close to $228,000 (U.S.) of his $521,126 salary. Colabello is batting just .069 this year, but he was a key contributor to the Jays last season when he hit .321 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs.

"I love the guy," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of 6-foot-4, 210-pound Colabello.

"He's fought the odds his whole life. He'll fight this."

Pillar said he believes Collabello in his assertion that he has never used steroids and suggested that baseball's drug-testing process needs to be fine tuned.

"I just got drug tested before we went on the road and it was the first time I was intimidated taking a drug test knowing wholeheartedly I haven't done anything wrong," Pillar said.

"Being around Chris and getting out and travelling I know how careful he is with the supplements he takes. He's a guy that travels with his own stuff. He doesn't go to a smoothie place and ask for the protein. He provides his own."

Pillar went on to say that Colabello was caught up in a "flawed system."

"I'm a huge proponent of drug testing and I think it needs to be done in this game because I'm a guy who took the road a little bit less travelled as well and I've done everything according to the book," Pillar said. "I work hard, I eat the right things, I take the right supplements and so did Chris.

"And he fell victim to a technicality in the system. I think that the drug-testing policy and Major League Baseball are going to have some soul searching to do. And they're going to have to figure something out because it's really unfortunate for him."

When asked to elaborate on that technicality, Pillar said it wasn't for him to say.

"This isn't my story to tell," Pillar said. "These are things you're going to have to ask Chris, details regarding what was found and how it was found and stuff like that. It's not for me to comment on. This is his life."

Associated Graphic

Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello has been suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid.


Batters look for a Ray of hope
Team that dominated hitting last year is desperate for cold bats to warm up on road trip to Tampa Bay
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- The starting pitching was felt to be the Toronto Blue Jays primary concern as they opened the season.

But as the first month draws to a close, it is the surprising struggles of the offence that has bogged down the aspirations of a team many pegged as World Series contenders.

"A swing and a miss" has been a common refrain from Blue Jays broadcasters this year as Toronto's strikeout totals would skyrocket toward historic proportions if left unchecked.

The Chicago White Sox only added to Toronto's misery at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night, when starter Jose Quintana struck out 10 en route to a 4-0 whitewashing and a sweep of the threegame series.

Toronto batters were fanned a total of 13 times, the 11th time in 23 games this season that Toronto has struck out 10 times or more.

That was something Toronto did on just 28 occasions over the 162-game season last year.

The Blue Jays hope to be able to start ironing out the kinks in the batting order this weekend in St.

Petersburg, Fla., where they will play a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Jays open with Aaron Sanchez, in search of his second victory, on the mound at Tropicana Field on Friday night opposing Tampa Bay lefty Drew Smyly.

While Toronto tries to soft-sell its hitting issues so early in the season, it is a problem nobody anticipated after the Blue Jays dominated the majors a year ago in most of the key offensive categories.

"Well there's something to be said for putting the ball in play, that's for sure," offered Toronto manager John Gibbons about the team's continued lack of contact having a role in a tepid 10-13 start.

"We've got certain guys that put the ball in play but they're sluggers. But we have some guys in the lineup, too, they need to put it in play.

"Nothing good can happen when you're striking out other than maybe staying out of a double play sometimes. But [making contact] would help."

The Blue Jays have struck out 217 times this season, the secondhighest tally in the majors, trailing only the Houston Astros, who have fanned 224 times.

That works out to 9.43 strikeouts a game for Toronto's wouldbe hitters.

If that pace continues, Toronto will not only surpass the franchise record for most strikeouts in a season (1,142, set in 2002) but come close to the major-league record of 1,535 set by the Astros in 2013.

"It's kind of tough to tell," said Toronto catcher Russell Martin, when asked what he thinks the problem has been for Blue Jays hitters.

Martin has been Toronto's primary strikeout offender this season. His four strikeouts in four at-bats against Chicago on Wednesday raised his total to 29.

His batting average is .143.

Josh Donaldson has struck out 25 times, but the team is willing to live with that seeing how its allstar third baseman is hitting .297 and leading the team in home runs (seven), and runs batted in (19).

Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki each have 24 strikeouts. Jose Bautista has 20.

"Right now I'm just trying to get myself going," Martin said. "I feel like you just got to keep grinding.

There are times in the season where it feels like everything's going against you. You just got to keep your chin up and keep plugging away.

"Everybody's just got to take care of themselves, make sure they have good at bats and keep battling out there."

In Wednesday's game, Toronto starter Marco Estrada was pitching a shutout into the seventh inning when Chicago broke through for three runs.

Estrada, 1-2, was manipulating his right throwing shoulder throughout the game as though it might be bothering him.

Afterward, the 32-year-old conveyed mixed messages about his health.

"I don't know, it didn't feel very good," Estrada said when asked if his shoulder was okay. After a pause, he added: "I don't want to talk about it."

Later on he insisted: "I'll be fine."

Estrada, 13-8 for Toronto last season, threw 118 pitches, the third time in his career he has thrown that many pitches in a game but the earliest in a season his count has been that high.

Gibbons played dumb when asked if everything was all right with Estrada's shoulder.

"I don't know anything about that," Gibbons said.

Associated Graphic

Jays catcher Russell Martin, hitting a rare RBI single against the Oakland A's last Saturday, leads the team with 29 strikeouts.


Toronto faces new set of challenges against Miami
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

TORONTO -- The NBA playoff schedule can sometimes be agonizingly drawn out, but not in this case: Less than 48 hours after eliminating the Indiana Pacers in Game 7, the Toronto Raptors will be right back on their home court for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, facing Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.

The Raptors won three of their four meetings with Miami during the regular season, including two games in Toronto. There's little to glean from those contests, though - Wade sat out one of the games at Air Canada Centre, while most of the other starters were sidelined for the other. ExRaptor Chris Bosh, meanwhile, has been out of the lineup since February because of a blood clot on one of his lungs.

As the No. 2-seeded Raptors play into the second round for the first time since 2001, here are some of the challenges the No. 3-seeded Heat may pose - and how Toronto might overcome them.

Meet the supervillain: Dwyane Wade Raptors fans despised Paul Pierce in the playoffs. Then Paul George. Now it will be Wade. The veteran of 13 NBA seasons currently shares the playoff lead for field goals (56) with George and Kemba Walker. The 34-year-old has adapted his game in recent years, and while he may not be as athletic, he's still very creative.

So Toronto may enlist several players to guard him, likely DeMarre Carroll or rookie Norman Powell. "Dwyane Wade is one of the guys I modelled my game after growing up," Powell said. "He's really crafty with the ball and a great post-up player.

He uses his body so well, he finishes and gets to the line and he's a great pump-fake guy. It will be really a test for me not to get in early foul trouble."

Rim protector: Hassan Whiteside Miami's starting centre leads the playoffs in blocked shots (24). He has grabbed 80 rebounds - fourth among playoff rebounders (Toronto's Jonas Valanciunas is third with 83). Bismack Biyombo and Valanciunas can expect physical challenges around the rim from Miami's seven-footer.

"We're definitely going to be conscious of where he is at all times, but you can't be afraid to make the right plays, drive, make him jump, use dump-off passes," Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry said. "Obviously, J.V. might be shooting a few more jump shots than we normally would see because that's just the shot Whiteside gives up."

Point guard battle Lowry was teammates with Goran Dragic five years ago, playing for the Houston Rockets.

Dragic was the backup then, and the two had a tense competition for playing time. Now he runs the floor for Miami. Dragic had a tough go at times against Walker in the Charlotte series, but he is coming off a huge effort on Sunday, when he led his team with 25 points in Game 7 to help the Heat to a second straight elimination-game victory. "[Indiana point guard] George [Hill] played well, but Goran is a lot more of an attacker," Lowry said.

Return of Joe Johnson Remember Joe Johnson's 29- and 32-point games against the Raptors during the 2014 playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets?

Now he's providing veteran scoring to the Heat since they added him midseason and made him the starting shooting guard.

Carroll will likely see some minutes defending Johnson, since the Atlanta Hawks used Carroll on him last year against Brooklyn. "We went toe to toe in that one," Carroll said. "I know Joe."

Defensive specialists The Pacers were able to doubleteam and stifle DeMar DeRozan and Lowry through much of their first-round series, so you can guess the Heat have been studying up on the way Indy's defenders held the two all-stars to less than 32-per-cent shooting from the field, and 17 per cent from three-point range. Miami uses Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson for those assignments. Expect those reserves to get in the faces of Toronto's backcourt stars.

Atletico Madrid gets a leg up on Bayern
Niguez puts Spanish team in great position heading to Munich next week, while Manchester City and Real Madrid play to a 0-0 draw
The Associated Press
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

MADRID -- An early goal by youngster Saul Niguez gave Atletico Madrid a gritty 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old Niguez cleared three defenders before entering the area and hitting a low, wellplaced shot into the far corner in the 11th minute at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.

A draw next week in Germany will be enough for Diego Simeone's side to reach the final for the second time in the past three seasons.

Pep Guardiola's Bayern, trying to reach the final for the first time since winning the title in 2013, came close to equalizing with a long-range shot by David Alaba in the 54th, but the ball struck the crossbar with Atletico goal keeper Jan Oblak already beaten.

Striker Fernando Torres could have increased Atletico's advantage in the 75th but he also struck the woodwork after a breakaway.

"It was a fantastic night and I'm happy for all Atletico supporters," Torres said. "We've got what we wanted, which was to get the scoreline in our favour ahead of the second leg."

Real Madrid and Manchester City drew 0-0 in their first-leg match in England on Tuesday.

Wednesday's result ended Bayern's 11-game unbeaten streak, and kept the German side winless in its past eight knockout games away from home.

Bayern, in the semis for the fifth straight year, has been eliminated by Spanish clubs at this stage of the Champions League the past two seasons - against Real Madrid in 2014 and Barcelona in 2015. It was the team's ninth loss in 13 trips to Spain.

Guardiola's team controlled possession but was not able to break through the tight defence set up by Simeone.

Bayern was able to threaten more in the second half and created some clear scoring chances, but couldn't capitalize on any of them. In addition to Alaba's shot to the crossbar, Bayern also came close to scoring with a header by Javi Martinez in the 56th and a powerful shot by Arturo Vidal in the 73rd.

Both attempts required difficult saves by Oblak, who has kept a clean sheet in five straight games.

"We did very well in the second half," Alaba said. "We created a lot of chances, but in the end it wasn't enough."

Atletico also hadn't created much when Niguez scored to ignite the crowd of more than 50,000 fans at the Calderon. The midfielder left three defenders behind outside the area before moving into the box and clearing another one before calmly firing a left-foot shot past Bayern goal keeper Manuel Neuer. The ball struck the far post before going in.

French striker Antoine Griezmann, who scored twice when Atletico eliminated Barcelona in the quarter-finals, almost increased the lead from close range in the 30th - but Neuer made a great save with his left foot.

It was Atletico's 25th win in 30 European games at the Vicente Calderon. Simeone's team hasn't lost at home in 10 straight games, winning eight. Atletico hasn't conceded a goal in five straight games.

It was the teams' first meeting since the 1974 European final, when Bayern won the first of its five titles. Atletico has never won the Champions League.

Associated Graphic

Antoine Griezmann celebrates after Atletico Madrid scores against Bayern Munich in a 1-0 win on Wednesday. The Spanish team needs only a draw next week to secure a Champions League final berth.


Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

Auston Matthews Centre, 6-feet-11/2 inches, 210 pounds Zurich ZSC (Switzerland)

Matthews hails from that hockey hotbed of Scottsdale, Ariz., and unconventionally chose to play in the Swiss league's first division rather than major junior or U.S. college hockey, on the grounds that it would make him more NHL ready. Matthews scored 24 goals and 22 assists in 36 games for Zurich - excellent numbers in a low-scoring, defensive-minded league - and aims to be the first U.S.-born player to be drafted first over all since Patrick Kane in 2007.

"He is a complete elite centreman," TSN chief scout Craig Button said. "He is Anze Kopitar in the way he plays the game. He might be a little bit better of a goal scorer than Kopitar, but isn't as big - and he's got an indomitable will like Peter Forsberg. You're not pushing him out of the game.

You might limit him, but you're not stopping him."

Patrik Laine Left wing, 6-foot-4, 209 pounds Tappara (Finland) Laine is a right-handed shot who plays the left wing and saw his stock surge, beginning with an exceptionally productive performance for Finland's world junior championship team. Laine further cemented his reputation as a big-game player by winning the playoff MVP award in Finland's elite league, where he scored 10 goals in 18 games playing for eventual champion Tappara.

In a goal-starved era in the NHL, it is Laine's ability to shoot the puck - with power and accuracy, with a slap shot or a wrist shot - that most intrigues teams.

Though Matthews has been the clear-cut choice to go first overall, Laine has been sneaking up on him on some draft boards.

There is a school of thought developing that if a particular team has a greater need for a scoring winger than a No. 1 centre and wins the lottery Saturday, they might trade out of that position and drop down to the second spot to draft Laine, who would appear to be an excellent fit on teams such as the Edmonton Oilers (to play alongside Connor McDavid) or the Calgary Flames (to play with Sean Monahan).

Jesse Puljujarvi Right wing, 6-foot-3, 203 pounds Karpat (Finland) Puljujarvi is the youngest of the players ranked in the top three - he will not turn 18 until May 7 - but recently wowed scouts with a strong performance on behalf of Finland's winning team at the under-18 championships in North Dakota. Puljujarvi is 6-foot-3, 203, and Laine is 6-foot-4, 209, which makes them similar on one level because both have elite size and skill. But they differ in terms their long-term impact because Laine has more pure scoring ability, while Puljujarvi is a more, well-rounded player.

"Asking me to pick between the two of them is like asking me to pick between Teemu Selanne and Jari Kurri," Button said. "Selanne and Kurri each scored 600 goals in the NHL, each done in a different way. Did Jari Kurri show up on highlight reels very often? No. But he scored goals, killed penalties and was an unbelievable two-way player. And Selanne - he had that flair, he had that flash.

They didn't call him the Finnish Flash for nothing. So depending upon what a team wants, you can't go wrong with either of them."

Toronto's Ubermensch bench proving to be a driving force against Indiana
Thursday, April 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- The Indiana Pacers haven't seen the best of Toronto allstars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan in the playoffs, but they have seen how good the Raptors' bench is.

Toronto's bench has provided 45 per cent of the team's points through the first two games of the best-of-seven series and outscored Indiana's reserves 89-70.

The Raptors' backups have provided a much-needed punch as Lowry and DeRozan have made just 27 per cent of their shots and been the focus of Indiana's defence.

The series shifts to Indianapolis. Game 3 is Thursday and Game 4 is Saturday.

Cory Joseph has been a force driving the lane, and he is Toronto's second-highest scorer in the series, which is tied 1-1, behind starting big man Jonas Valanciunas. Patrick Patterson has hit timely three-pointers and has the best plus-minus on the team.

While DeRozan has struggled to get to the free-throw line, Joseph and Bismack Biyombo have stepped up in that category.

"Cory's reading the game at a high level, so that gives Kyle a chance to get off the ball," DeRozan said. "Then you have Bismack out there, able to rebound and contest shots. Terrence [Ross], he's able to knock down shots. It's just a deadly combination when our starters go out and that group comes and we can still feel confident. It's big."

There was just one vote cast for a Toronto Raptor in the media polling for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award - a third-place vote for Patterson (the award went to Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers). Yet together, the Raptors' bench had a net-efficiency rating in the regular season that was second only to that of the San Antonio Spurs.

"Cory's success has been all year, Bis has been having a solid year, and then the rest of us have picked it up and we found our groove a couple of months ago," Patterson said. "We've carried it into the playoffs."

Biyombo, Patterson and Joseph are all enjoying career playoff stats in several categories, including points. Joseph, who played a handful of minutes in 41 playoff games for the San Antonio Spurs and won an NBA title there, is putting that postseason experience to good use. He's averaging 24 minutes a game in these playoffs along with 17 points.

"He has been that warm blanket throughout the year," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said of Joseph.

"Even though he is a young kid, he has had 41 playoff games. No matter what you say, that is huge. When you have that type of experience - I mean this is an experience league - experience wins in the NBA."

Joseph, 24, is appearing in his fifth postseason. In Toronto's Game 2 win, he scored 16 points to help keep the Pacers from clawing back.

"Bringing that knowledge from San Antonio here to Toronto is big, whether it's on the court, where we trust him with the basketball, or off the court, when we can pick his brain about schemes, plays, momentum or things we can do to swing the game to our side," Patterson said of Joseph. "Having a backup point guard like Cory has made us a much better team."

Stroman takes the cake on his birthday
Young ace's strong outing through eight innings is topped off by fireworks from Jays' bats in the ninth
The Associated Press
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. -- Marcus Stroman gave himself and the Toronto Blue Jays a birthday gift.

Stroman allowed one run in eight innings on his 25th birthday, Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer during a four-run ninth and the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 on Sunday.

"It was awesome," Stroman said. "More importantly just to get the win."

The Blue Jays took two of three to win just their fourth series in the last 27 trips to Tropicana Field.

Stroman (4-0) scattered three hits, walked two and struck out a career-high nine. The Blue Jays' opening-day starter is 8-0 in 10 starts since returning from knee surgery last year.

"A special kid," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's got so many things that he can attack you with. He was on today."

Pinch hitter Darwin Barney doubled and Michael Saunders walked to open the ninth against Xavier Cedeno (2-1). Alex Colome entered and walked Josh Donaldson before striking out Jose Bautista.

After Edwin Encarnacion hit a tiebreaking run-scoring grounder, Tulowitzki made it 5-1 on his fifth homer.

"To come through on his birthday, it was nice," Tulowitzki said.

"He was great out there. It's always fun to play behind him.

Pitches with that intensity."

Tulowitzki had been hitless in his previous 10 at-bats in the series and is hitting .172.

"They made a good move to bring in Barney," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He gets a big hit and you have that feeling, know that those guys coming up get paid to drive in runs. They capitalized and got the big hits." Donaldson's ninth homer with one out in the fourth was the Blue Jays' first hit and put Toronto up 1-0.

Evan Longoria tied it 1-1 in the sixth on his fifth homer and second in as many days.

Jake Odorizzi gave up one run and two hits over seven innings for the Rays. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, the right-hander has allowed one earned run or fewer in 21 of 34 starts at home.

The three Tampa Bay starters in the series - Drew Smyly, Chris Archer and Odorizzi - allowed a combined five hits in 19 innings.

Four of the hits were homers.

"As tough as it's been, to get two out of three against those three pitchers down here you feel pretty good," Gibbons said.

Toronto had 15 hits, including eight homers, in the series to become the first major league team to be held to 15 or fewer hits and hit eight or more homers in a three-game series.

Toronto's next game is at home against Texas on Monday night.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (1-3) will go against Rangers righty A.J.

Griffin (3-0) in the opener of a four-game series.

Associated Graphic

Marcus Stroman pitches in the first inning on his way to a 5-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sunday.


Manziel's assault indictment expected to come Tuesday
The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

DALLAS -- Johnny Manziel is expected to be indicted Tuesday on allegations that he attacked his exgirlfriend in January, a lawyer for the troubled former NFL quarterback said Monday.

Robert Hinton told The Associated Press that prosecutors have notified him they expect a local grand jury to sign off on a misdemeanour assault charge for family violence for the 23-year-old Manziel. The Class A misdemeanour carries up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Hinton, a long-time Dallas defence laywer with ties to the district attorney's office, said he expected a judge to set a bond soon after Tuesday's indictment and that Manziel would then present himself for booking. He said there have not yet been any discussions about reaching a deal to end the case before trial.

Brittany Dunn, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney's office, previously declined to confirm media reports Monday that Manziel had been indicted. Prosecutors announced last week that they had presented a misdemeanour assault case against Manziel.

An indictment would further imperil Manziel's chances of playing pro football. He was cut by the Cleveland Browns, dropped by two agents and no longer has endorsements.

His indictment stems from allegations by his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, who alleges that he accosted her at a Dallas hotel and later struck her when they drove back to her apartment in Fort Worth.

Crowley was granted a protective order that requires Manziel to not see her for two years, stay at least 500 feet from her home and place of work, and pay $12,000 in legal fees.

Crowley alleged she and Manziel had a confrontation in the hotel room that eventually continued downstairs to the valet station. She said he forced her into a car and a valet disregarded her pleas for help. The two eventually drove to where her car was parked in front of a Dallas bar, she said in an affidavit.

She said Manziel got into the driver's seat and began to drive.

Crowley said Manziel stopped when she tried to jump out of the car, but then he dragged her back inside and hit her.

She also said in the affidavit that Manziel threatened to kill himself as he drove her back to Fort Worth, about 48 kilometres west of Dallas, where police were called.

In the wake of the allegations, Manziel's father said the family had made two recent, unsuccessful attempts to get him into a rehab clinic. Manziel, who entered the NFL with a reputation for partying and drinking, spent 73 days last winter in a Pennsylvania treatment centre specializing in care for alcohol and drug dependency.

A deal between Manziel's lawyers and prosecutors to avoid a trial could include an agreement that Manziel seek anger management or domestic battery counselling, or undergo some form of substance abuse rehab, lawyers watching the case have said.

Lawyers have noted the case has been handled unusually.

Rather than arrest Manziel, Dallas police sent their case for referral to a grand jury.

FOUR STRONG WINDS (but no Canadian offshore power)
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P47

x As the sun sets on A spring day in Toronto, the sight of hundreds of sailboats crisscrossing the sparkling horizon of Lake Ontario is a dreamy scene, seemingly far removed from workaday concerns and planetary peril. Yet the vista is also a reminder of a massive clean energy resource begging to be harnessed.

Enough wind blows over the Great Lakes to meet Canada's demand for electricity threeand-a-half times over. It's a better wind compared to the onshore variety--more consistent, predictable, reliable, and closer to power-hungry big cities. Yet to the delight of lakefront residents who tolerate the massive footprint of conventional energy but not changes to their views, not a single wind turbine has been erected in the Great Lakes.

Prospective developers, on the other hand, have been frustrated for years. "It's low-hanging fruit," says John Kourtoff, president and CEO of Trillium Power, which in 2006 announced a plan to build Canada's largest wind farm in Lake Ontario. Its first project, Trillium Power Wind I, would have been located about 40 kilometres southwest of Kingston, where winds average 35 kilometres an hour--approaching the strength and reliability of winds in the North Sea. It was planned as the first of four projects representing $15-billion worth of investment.

On this file, however, Ontario has been a tease. In 2006, the province's Liberal government banned development until environmental risks could be studied. Satisfied with what it had learned, Queen's Park lifted the moratorium in early 2008. It included offshore wind as part of the province's feed-in-tariff (FIT) program for renewable power, introduced in 2009. That meant developers like Trillium, if approved, could sell power into the grid for 20 years at a premium to onshore wind.

A handful of developers pursued the opportunity. Vestas Wind Systems, which vies with Siemens to be the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, hinted it might set up shop in the province. A consortium of Ontario steel, cement and equipment manufacturers declared itself ready for business. The Conference Board of Canada hailed the multibillion-dollar economic boost and job creation that offshore wind development could bring.

Then, suddenly, the political winds stopped blowing. In February, 2011, the government abruptly kicked offshore wind out of its FIT program and slapped another moratorium on development, citing the need for more research. Five years later, the studies drag on.

Jolanta Kowalski of Ontario's Natural Resources Ministry says four scientific reports have been completed and another two--one on noise and one related to end-of-life decommissioning of turbines--are in the works. Studies conducted so far seem to have raised no showstoppers. "Further analysis and scientific research are necessary," says Kowalski, repeating a line that has been used for several years.

Meanwhile, offshore natural gas drilling continues on the Ontario side of Lake Erie. The practice, banned on the U.S. side since 2001, has been permitted since 1913; about 500 wells remain in operation. "It's ironic," says Lorry Wagner, president of the Ohio-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo), which plans in 2018 to install six wind turbines in Lake Erie near Cleveland.

"We're doing offshore wind but can't drill for gas. You guys can do gas but not wind. Go figure." If LEEDCo succeeds, it will be the first to generate wind power from the Great Lakes.

Observers like Wagner suspect Ontario's early enthusiasm began fading as anti-wind protesters found their voice. That 2011 was an election year, and that electricity consumers were irate over rising rates, didn't help matters. "It just got out of hand," says Wagner, adding that Ontario already had plenty of onshore wind and solar projects coming on stream. "Given that it became so contentious, the reaction was, why don't we just wait until offshore technology becomes cheaper?"

That's little comfort to Trillium Power, which sued Ontario in 2011 for $2.25 billion. It later revised its suit after an appeals court tossed out most of its claims. The company now seeks $500 million in damages. Ontario is also at the centre of a $568-million NAFTA claim launched in 2012 by Windstream Energy which, like Trillium, had plans to develop a project near Kingston.

With those challenges outstanding, Ontario is unlikely to wade back into the waters. Kourtoff, for one, isn't giving up hope. Meeting climate targets agreed to in Paris last December means running more vehicles, industries and homes with clean electricity. The path forward for Ontario entails co-ordination with bordering states as part of a new binational clean-energy dialogue, he believes.

Globally, the trend is clear. The offshore wind market is booming, with Britain, Denmark and Germany leading growth. China, which only entered the market in 2009, has come on strong, approving more than 40 projects since 2014.

In Canada, Beothuk Energy of St. John's has four massive projects at various stages of development off the coasts of Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The only other active developer appears to be Vancouver-based NaiKun Wind Energy, which has struggled to find a buyer for the power its project would generate.

Beothuk CEO Kirby Mercer says the North American market is beginning to find its legs. The continent's first offshore project is expected to begin operation later this year off the coast of Rhode Island. Turbines are getting larger and more efficient, development costs are falling, and environmental best practices are well established thanks to European leadership. "What's happened in this sector over the past five years is tremendous," says Mercer, adding that Ontario should be part of the growth story. "Now that national and provincial policies are aligned in this country, it's time for them to push forward."

Kourtoff couldn't agree more, as long as past missteps and controversies can be avoided. That means starting small, with only a few projects far from sensitive "no go" zones and at least 15 kilometres from shore, he says. Knowledge gained from those out-of-sight but closely studied projects would be used to fine-tune the rules.

LEEDCo is taking a similar approach. "We're hoping Ontario looks at what we do and decides to jump back in," says Wagner, citing the benefits of building regional scale. "It can only help the industry and will help bring down costs."

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Trudeau vs. Trudeau
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P12

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced his first federal budget to Parliament in March, nearly 50 years after his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, unveiled his government's initial fiscal priorities to Canadians. Here's how Trudeau the younger's budget stacks up against Trudeau the elder's. /Steve Brearton

* * * * * * * * * *

| | Pierre Trudeau | Justin Trudeau |
| | Budget | Budget |
| | 1968 1969 | 2016 2017 |
($BILLIONS) | | |
| FEDERAL DEBT | $17 | $648.7 |
| REVENUES | $10.1 | $287.7 |
| EXPENDITURES | $10.8 | $317.1 |
| Canada Health Transfer | 4.7% | 11.4% |
| Indigenous and | | |
| Northern Affairs | 2.3% | 2.4% |
| National Defence | 5.9% | 18% |
| (% of total expenditures) | | |
| DEFICIT | $0.7 | $29.4 |
| * * * | | |
| (%) | | |
| Top marginal tax rate | | |
| (individual) | 80% | 33% |
| Top marginal tax rate | | |
| (corporate) | 50% | 38% |
| Debt-to-GDP ratio | 22% | 32.5% |
| Corporate income tax as | | |
| a share of GDP | 3.6% | 3.1% |
| Inflation rate | 3.8% | 1.4% |

* * * * * * * * * *

"Turning to our domestic problems, perhaps the most intractable is the continuing poverty of far too many of our citizens....I have often mentioned the responsibility of the more affluent segments of our society toward the less privileged ones. The majority of us have already satisfied our right to a minimum standard of satisfactory living. It is those who have not who need government help."

-- Pierre Elliott Trudeau

* * * * * * * * * *

Our entire budgetary framework is focused on growth that benefits Canadians, through investment, and through support for the middle class. And that's what we're going to continue to do.

-- Justin Trudeau

* * * * * * * * * *

Associated Graphic


Climate needs its 'Pearl Harbor'
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

ROME -- Hold the applause. The climate-change accord reached in Paris in December was signed at a leader-studded ceremony on Friday at the United Nations in New York. But that does not mean the agreement is in force; nor does it mean that planetwarming carbon dioxide emissions will fall any time soon even if it does come into force.

There is no doubt that the Paris Agreement marked a grand political victory, in the sense that 195 countries agreed that global warming - now undeniable except among Luddite U.S. Republicans and a few fossil-fuel companies - is a clear and present danger that has to be slowed, then stopped, if Earth is to avoid BBQ status.

As if on cue, the first three months of this year broke hightemperature measures by the biggest margin yet recorded. The Arctic and Greenland ice sheets continue to melt at alarming rates and coral bleaching, caused by warmer than usual water, is devastating Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Some of the warming probably can be attributed to El Nino, the periodic warming in the central equatorial Pacific Ocean, although record amounts of man-made carbon dioxide emissions cannot be ignored.

In Paris, the agreed goal was to limit global temperature increases to 2 C over preindustrial levels; beyond that all bets are off. The aspirational goal was 1.5 degrees, although many scientists think achieving that limit is impossible given the relentless carbon output. Even 2 degrees may prove elusive. Based on the carbon-reduction plans submitted by most countries at the Paris meetings, the Climate Action Tracker project estimates that a 2.7-degree increase is the best that can be hoped for. Before the Paris Agreement, its warming estimate was 3.1 degrees. Even the lower warming figure would make life somewhere between miserable and impossible for some or much of humanity.

To keep warming to 2 degrees or less, industrialized countries will have to launch Apollo moonshot-style renewable-energy innovation programs combined with rigorous environmental regulations over the next couple of decades. Coal plants everywhere would have to be eliminated along with the internal combustion engine. The bill could easily come to tens of trillions of dollars.

The omens are not encouraging. "Climate change" and "global warming" have been part of the everyday lexicon since the 1980s - German reinsurance giant Munich Re first warned about global warming in 1973 - but emissions have only gone up since then.

Every United Nations environmental summit since 1992's Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro has kicked the can down the road.

The ambitious 1997 Kyoto Protocol was never ratified by the United States and was abandoned by Canada in 2012, after then-prime minister Stephen Harper decided that carbon reduction was incompatible with allowing his cherished oil sands development to munch its way through northern Alberta. The Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 collapsed in acrimony.

The sad reality is that tackling climate change has yet to capture the imagination and resources of governments, voters and corporations. Maybe it's because the problem is so big that it seems impossible to fix, or maybe it's because climate change happens so slowly that it's easy to ignore - there has yet to be a climatechange "Pearl Harbor" moment that demanded the accelerated end of the fossil-fuel era.

Or maybe it's because fighting climate change in earnest would produce no short-term benefits in the way the previous environmental wins did in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, the United States was able to introduce the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Protection Agency. Leaded gasoline disappeared and the Montreal Protocol phased out the chlorofluorocarbons that were damaging the ozone layer. These measures improved the environment almost immediately.

The Paris Agreement still faces enormous political obstacles. Friday's signing ceremony was merely an intermediate step toward full implementation.

Many countries now have to go back to their parliaments and national assemblies for ratification, which could take two years or longer. The big risk is the United States, the second biggest polluter after China. In a clever move, President Barack Obama will implement the agreement through an executive agreement, because it is not a legally binding treaty, meaning it would not have to be sent to the Senate, where it would be killed. Which raises the question: If it's not a legal treaty, how will it be enforced?

The biggest question is whether a Republican president - Donald Trump or Ted Cruz - would shred the Paris Agreement. They have said they would, in so many words, although doing so could take years. "If the United States does not implement the Paris deal, or pulls out, the deal is dead," says Peter Hoeppe, head of the geo risks unit at Munich Re.

Friday's signing ceremony in New York was a declaration of intent. The Paris Agreement, like all the agreements before it, could still fail. Meanwhile the planet gets ever warmer. A Pearl Harbor environmental event appears inevitable.

Speculation rises over sale of Richardson GMP
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Streetwise A sale of high-net-worth management company Richardson GMP could generate in excess of half-abillion dollars, with a handful of firms likely interested in bidding.

According to an in-depth report penned by Scotia Capital Inc. analyst Sumit Malhotra, the frontrunners are Raymond James Canada, National Bank of Canada and Industrial Alliance, with a number of dark-horse candidates possibly joining the bidding as well.

RGMP is the second-largest nonbank-owned wealth manager in Canada, with $26.3-billion in assets under administration (AUA) as of Feb. 29. (Raymond James Canada is the largest with $26.9-billion.) The firm was established in 2009, when independent broker dealer GMP Capital Inc. fused its wealth-management arm with long-time wealth manager Richardson Partners Financial. Under the current ownership structure, GMP and Richardson Partners each own 30 per cent, with the financial adviser network owning the remaining 40 per cent - an unusual arrangement that has helped keep employee retention levels high.

This November, a so-called liquidity mechanism kicks in that will allow any of the three major shareholders to put the wealth manager in play. Under the arrangement, GMP will be given the first option to buy out the others.

But the most likely scenario, according to Mr. Malhotra, is that a third party will buy the asset.

"We believe a sale to a third party would represent the best valuecreation scenario for the partnership group (GMP, Richardson Family, investment advisers), though it should be noted that the partners could simply opt to keep the current ownership structure."

When the deal was initially struck, the notion that GMP would eventually acquire the Richardson Partners share seemed possible. Over the past number of years, as GMP's prospects have deteriorated, its ability to come up with the necessary funds became unlikely - or, as Mr. Malhotra put it, "the numbers do not work for GMP."

Despite its significant value - a number Mr. Malhotra pegs at $527-million, or roughly 2 per cent of assets - RGMP hasn't been a particularly profitable venture.

"Richardson GMP has contributed an average of $220,000 in earnings per quarter over the past two years for GMP. The low level is largely due to the heavy expense structure of the business," Mr. Malhotra said.

Where RGMP distinguishes itself is in the size of its average book. At $137-million per adviser, it ranks the second highest of any wealth-management company in Canada. Only RBC Dominion Securities, with $165-million per adviser, has a higher standing.

An influx of cash would give GMP a big capital buffer during a difficult time for the industry. It currently has about $150-million in working capital. A sale of RGMP could more than double that.

As to what GMP might do with the cash? On Thursday, in a conference call with analysts following the release of its first-quarter earnings, chief executive officer Harris Fricker was asked what he would do if the firm's capital position was materially stronger.

"Return of capital [to shareholders] would be No. 1 on the list," he said.

Among the possibilities he mentioned: reinstating the dividend, paying a special dividend or a share buyback.

Here are the most likely buyers, according to Mr. Malhotra:

Raymond James Canada "Raymond James Canada would appear to have the strongest strategic fit with Richardson GMP," according to Mr. Malhotra. "Both are Canadian broker-dealers which engage in retail distribution and investment banking.

Both have large networks of IIROC advisers capable of customizing investment solutions and are not restricted to selling certain types of mutual funds."

A deal between RGMP and Raymond James would see it double its AUA, which would firmly entrench it as the largest independent retail broker in the country.

National Bank of Canada Mr. Malhotra notes that National Bank of Canada has been building its adviser network and that CEO Louis Vachon has been vocal about the need to broaden its retail distribution network.

"One limiting factor for [National Bank] may be its regulatory capital position, which has consistently trended at the low end of the banking sector."

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce "Management has made repeated reference to wealth management as the primary focal point for growth at the bank, though since taking over in September, 2014, CEO [Victor] Dodig has been more specific in targeting private banking or high-net-worth capabilities in the U.S.," Mr. Malhotra said.

Industrial Alliance "CEO [Yvon] Charest has publicly stated that Industrial Alliance would be willing to spend 'up to $500-million' on an acquisition, with distribution capabilities in the wealth-management space one of the key areas of emphasis."

Mr. Malhotra writes that mutual fund companies CI Financial Corp. and IGM Financial Inc. have the financial wherewithal to buy RGMP, but he ultimately views a deal by either as unlikely.

"Given the mismatch between the two adviser bases - both CI and IGM are more heavily reliant on MFDA advisers that sell mutual funds as opposed to Richardson GMP's IIROC adviser base."

Realtor fears are overblown
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1


The gossip among real estate agents across Canada this weekend is likely to be all about the fallout from the Competition Tribunal's move to undo the industry's virtual monopoly over key home sales data.

Out of earshot of their clients, that is. The fear among brokers is that liberating this information will lead to the inevitable Uberization of the residential real estate business, and all that entails.

Gone will be the days of high fixed commissions and concentration of deals in the hands of relatively few larger brokers. And the door will be thrown wide open to online discount brokers and do-it-yourself house sellers.

Or not. On Thursday, a tribunal sided with competition watchdog John Pecman in a long legal feud with the Toronto Real Estate Board over access to the industry's Multiple Listing Service.

Full details of the decision aren't out yet, but it's expected the decision will force TREB to give online brokers access to key pieces of information, such as past and current sales prices of houses, the length of time properties have been on the market and real-time price changes.

The decision directly affects the Toronto real estate market.

But because MLS is owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association - the national organization of brokers - it's likely to set a precedent for the rest of the country.

Industry fears may be overblown. It's been eight years since realtors in the United States settled a similar antitrust case, forcing them to share their sales data with Internet brokers.

At the time, the government argued that breaking up the closed MLS system would reduce transaction costs and drive down commissions, of typically 5 per cent to 6 per cent.

The experience since has been mixed. Yes, the settlement has democratized the data and allowed online database intermediaries, such as Zillow, to thrive.

But it turns out that most Americans still want the handholding experience of a real, inthe-flesh broker when they buy or sell a property.

One consequence of this devotion is that commissions have held up surprisingly well. On average, they've actually firmed up slightly since 2008.

The U.S. settlement put more power in the hands of buyers and sellers. And better knowledge on both sides of transactions invariably fosters more efficient markets.

But there is no evidence that it's undermined the real estate broker model, as the Internet has done to travel, taxis, books and parts of financial services.

Inefficient intermediaries are being squeezed out all over the place.

So it suggests that perhaps there's something fundamentally different about buying and selling a house.

For one thing, most people buy (or sell) a house just a handful of times in a lifetime. And it's often the most valuable chunk of their accumulated wealth. So it's not a transaction that you want to mess up, with bad advice or none at all.

Move to a new city, and a good real estate agent can be your best friend, providing advice on everything from schools and shopping, to electricians and lawyers.

Knowledge is even more important on the selling end.

There is a strong incentive for sellers to find the hottest agents, encouraging greater industry concentration.

Another reason that commissions have held up so well in the United States is that too many sellers are reluctant, and perhaps afraid, to negotiate. Brokers may be more willing to accept discounted commissions than you might imagine, particularly in a down market.

The way commissions are shared between the buying and selling agents may also inhibit competition. Agents have a greater incentive to show their clients houses where the seller's agent is offering a heftier commission. And they are probably less likely to steer buyers to houses being sold by homeowners without an agent.

At the end of the day, the significance of the Competition Tribunal ruling is that it gives buyers and sellers more information, and in theory, more power.

Discount brokers currently have a relatively small share of the market in most Canadian cities - perhaps 5 per cent. Giving these companies access to more MLS data should allow them to make inroads.

The U.S. experience suggests that disruptive change may still be years away in the real estate business.

If you want it to happen faster, haggle with your agent the next time you sell your house.

Bull run races toward new milestone
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Inside the Market

The most-hated bull market in history is now history's second-longest.

As of Thursday, the bull run in U.S. stocks will reach a new milestone, having lasted longer than all but one major equity rally on record.

The market will cross that threshold amid considerable investor caution, which has never been in short supply despite the general upward trajectory of the past seven years. While the "most-hated" handle is hyperbolic, its common use reflects the skepticism reserved for stocks ever since the market crashed.

"It's certainly not one that's been enough to invite a whole lot of euphoria, especially given how long it's lasted," said Craig Fehr, an investment strategist at Edward Jones.

But a healthy amount of negativity has also helped to ensure the bull market's longevity. It's when the last bear turns bullish that markets tend to top out, it is often said. "You haven't seen widespread herd mentality into equities, which would push stocks well above fair value," Mr. Fehr said.

The absence of that kind of irrational exuberance should keep the bear at bay for the time being, he said. "But I don't think we [will] get to the first-place position."

That title belongs to the decade-long bull rally ending with the dot-com bubble bursting in 2000, spanning a total of 3,452 days, according to Merrill Lynch.

But the current rally has surpassed the bull market of 1949 to 1956, with a life span of 2,607 days and counting without a 20-per-cent decline, which conventionally serves as the start of a bear market.

It started when the market bottomed out on March 9, 2009, after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression had already erased trillions of dollars in U.S. equity value. "The humiliation of equities was complete," Merrill Lynch strategists Michael Hartnett and Brian Leung said in a note.

At that point, "policy makers panicked and have been panicking ever since," they wrote. The years that followed saw extraordinary financial stimulus in the form of quantitative easing and rock-bottom interest rates, a total of 629 global interest rate cuts, and central bank asset purchases worth $11-trillion (U.S.), the report said. "And it's worked wonders for asset prices."

The S&P 500 index, for example, has more than tripled since it troughed, rising at a rate in excess of 17 per cent annually.

But unlike the other two bull markets in the top three, the current one has not coincided with a great economic revival. Growth in the developed world has been persistently lacklustre, and besieged by potential economic threats.

As the West clawed its way back from the depths of the crisis, there were constant worries of a double-dip recession. Then the sovereign debt crisis in Europe threatened to derail the recovery.

More recently, the energy crash, compounded by fears of a hard landing in China, plus a U.S. profit recession, have renewed fears of a global contraction.

But it's just that kind of fear cocktail that dissuades investors from the kind of excesses that doomed previous bull markets, Mr. Fehr said.

"Markets often climb a wall of worry, and I think that's what we've seen in the last seven, eight years," he said. "The worries have been sufficient to keep expectations somewhat in check."

Retail investors have not been pouring money into equities at a rate that might be expected of the second-longest bull market on record.

Last week, data provided by Lipper showed that investors pulled $4.5-billion out of U.S.based stock funds over the previous week alone, making for a total of $51-billion in outflows since the start of 2016.

While retail sentiment has proved shaky, corporations have stepped in to buy back their own stock.

"Corporate repurchases are the main source of net demand for U.S. stocks," Goldman Sachs said in a report last week.

Critics of buybacks have questioned the sustainability of a stock rally fuelled in part by corporate purchasing.

While repurchasing is acting as a key support for stocks right now, the U.S. economy would benefit more from that money being invested in expansion, Mr. Fehr said.

"We haven't seen that level of confidence and optimism."

Follow me on Twitter: @tshufelt

Lending taps tighten in oil patch
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

CALGARY -- Energy companies are running out of slack as they scramble to meet debt payments, warning of possible defaults even as oil holds above $40 (U.S.) a barrel.

Lightstream Resources Ltd. on Monday said it has 90 days to avoid default after its borrowing limit was cut by more than half to $250-million (Canadian).

Twin Butte Energy Ltd. said it is in talks with lenders to extend the deadline on an $85-million debt payment that was due April 30, and that it may not survive without additional concessions.

Meanwhile, struggling oil sands producer Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. said it struck a deal for more time to negotiate with debt holders after it exhausted a grace period that expired on April 30. In March, the company skipped an interest payment tied to $153.8million (U.S.) in loans.

The warnings reflect mounting debt woes among cash-strapped producers that borrowed heavily to fund drilling when oil fetched closer to $100 a barrel.

With crude trading at less than half that level today, defaults in the industry are expected to spike as banks tighten lending restrictions and companies struggle to cover basic expenses.

"The banks have been pretty lenient throughout 2015 by relaxing covenants with a hope that pricing would eventually improve or companies could raise cash by selling assets," AltaCorp Capital Inc. analyst Thomas Matthews said in an e-mail.

Instead, mergers and acquisitions have been sluggish amid disagreements over asset valuations, exacerbating financial strains. To make matters worse, debt levels are in many cases judged against earnings for the previous four quarters, dampening the impact of a recent bounce in U.S. crude from lows under $30 that were hit earlier this year. "I think the banks are at a tipping point" in terms of how much more leeway they're prepared to give, Mr. Matthews said.

First-quarter results for the industry began rolling out last week, with a handful of integrated oil sands producers posting hefty losses and sharp reductions in cash flow that reflect oil prices that sank 30 per cent from the same time last year.

Like their smaller peers, the sector's biggest companies have slashed spending and staffing levels to weather the slump. But they have also used deep pockets and debt to finance growth, shrugging off credit downgrades from ratings agencies in a bet that oil prices will recover over time.

By contrast, Lightstream, Twin Butte and others are trying to sell their core holdings, threatening to further drain already meagre cash flow when it is needed most.

Twin Butte in December hired investment dealer Peters & Co.

Ltd. and National Bank Financial Inc. to study options, including a debt restructuring and alternative financing, as well as a complete or partial sale of the company.

It said Monday an extension on its non-revolving credit facility would enable those talks to proceed. TD Securities analyst Aaron Bilkoski said in March the "best case" the company could hope for is winning concessions from lenders, allowing it to defer filing for creditor protection until it can find a buyer or commodity prices recover.

On Monday, the company offered no assurances that a deal could be reached with lenders, or that it could sell itself or its assets.

"Within the context of the ongoing strategic alternatives process, the current low oil price environment and the aforementioned debt repayment milestone, there is uncertainty surrounding the company's ability to continue as a going concern," Twin Butte said in a statement.

Similarly, Connacher said it is studying possible financing and restructuring alternatives while it negotiates with some of its debtholders.

Lightstream, which operates in the Saskatchewan portion of the Bakken shale zone and in the Cardium region of Alberta, said it currently has $371-million (Canadian) outstanding under its credit facility including issued letters of credit - well above its reduced borrowing limit.

The company said it aims to study options for shoring up its finances between now and June 30. However, it warned it may not have enough cash to meet a June 15 interest payment.

Lightstream Resources (LTS) Close: 23¢, down 10¢ Twin Butte Energy (TBE) Close: 11¢, down 1¢ Connacher Oil and Gas (CLC) Close: 20¢, up 1¢

No rate cut barring economic 'shock': Poloz
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

OTTAWA -- Economics

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has set a high bar for cutting interest rates again.

It would take a "shock of some significance" - such as another economic setback in the United States or China - for the central bank to consider more rate relief, Mr. Poloz said Tuesday.

The bank cut its overnight rate twice last year after the global commodities price crash, which has decimated jobs and investment in Canada's oil patch.

But the rate has been fixed at 0.5 per cent since last July in spite of further deterioration in both the Canadian and global economies.

The new Liberal government's move in its March budget to invest $25-billion in infrastructure and families over two years "more than offset" the renewed downward pressure on the economy, according to Mr. Poloz. In its April monetary policy report, the bank estimated that federal stimulus would boost gross domestic product by 0.5 percentage points this year and 0.6 points in 2017.

Mr. Poloz said it would take a major delay in getting the economy back to full capacity for the bank to revert to an easing bias on rates. Those shocks could include a major slowdown in the global economy brought on by weaker growth in China or the U.S.

"It would be another negative shock but it would need to be obviously a shock which is of some significance or an accumulation of other shocks," Mr. Poloz told reporters after a speech to Wall Street financial professionals in New York.

He was quick to point out that either of these scenarios are built into the bank's current forecast.

"Those are just shocks that economists think about."

He expects the Canadian economy to get up to "full speed this year." But he cautioned that it will take a year or more for the economy to absorb any "excess capacity," including laid-off workers and idled plant production.

Canada is "fortunate" that the federal government is spending money on fiscal stimulus because it balances out the waning impact of monetary policy, he pointed out.

Mr. Poloz dedicated most of his speech to explaining a troubling drop-off in global trade growth since the 2008-09 financial crisis.

He warned that trade growth around the world is unlikely to regain the torrid pace of the years before the global financial crisis.

The days of 7-per-cent annual growth in international trade are gone, perhaps for good, Mr. Poloz said. "The rapid pace of trade growth that prevailed in the two decades before the crisis was the exception, and not the rule."

That's because much of the slowdown is due to the end of a long period of global integration - as multinationals specialized and built global supply chains, countries formed trading blocs and China joined the global economy.

"The big opportunities for increased international integration have been largely exploited," Mr. Poloz explained. "China can join the [World Trade Organization] only once."

He nonetheless put a positive spin on the outlook for trade.

Roughly half the post-crisis slowdown in trade is due to cyclical economic weakness, particularly lower business investment, most of which will be reversed.

"The weakness in trade we've seen is not a warning of an impending recession. Rather, I see it as a sign that trade has reached a new balance point in the global economy, and one that we have the ability to nudge forward."

Some analysts said his comments suggest Mr. Poloz remains a trade optimist. He could have said Canadian exports will remain volatile, Bank of Nova Scotia economists Derek Holt and Dov Zigler said in a research note.

"Instead, [he] walked on the sunnier side of the street."

Countries can bolster trade by striking free-trade agreements and boosting productivity, according to Mr. Poloz. Other sources of trade growth will come from the emergence of new, more productive companies - a process that has already begun, he added.

Valeant taps pharma veteran to lead turnaround effort
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

MONTREAL, TORONTO -- Troubled Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has hired drug industry veteran Joseph Papa as its new chairman and chief executive officer in a move to spur its turnaround efforts and restore credibility.

Mr. Papa is leaving as chairman and CEO of Perrigo Co. PLC to take over at Valeant from Michael Pearson in early May, Valeant said.

Veteran Perrigo insider John Hendrickson replaces Mr. Papa.

A pharmacist by training, Mr. Papa, 60, has been CEO of Perrigo since 2006 and was appointed chairman in 2007. He has more than 35 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Valeant said on Monday.

He leaves Perrigo in less than top shape. The company reduced its earnings guidance Monday due to lower prices on some prescription drugs amid "industry and competitive pressures in the sector." Perrigo also said in a statement that it could face impairment charges related to assets in its over-the-counter consumer health-care business.

At Valeant, the leadership values prized by the board have changed in the eight years since Mr. Pearson - an industry outsider and former McKinsey & Co. management consultant - was appointed. Back in 2008, Robert Ingram, who has been acting as board chairman, praised Mr. Pearson's management experience, business acumen and understanding of the specialty drug space as key leadership qualities.

Today, Mr. Ingram said the board valued Mr. Papa's strong shareholder orientation, a background in science and ability to lead companies through times of transition, among other skills.

Mr. Papa also has experience leading a company that's domiciled abroad for tax purposes, as both Perrigo and Valeant are. In 2013, he led Perrigo's $8.6-billion (U.S.) deal for Irish drug maker Elan Corp., which is why the company is now based in Dublin.

Meanwhile, some analysts and observers have pointed out that Valeant is carrying about $31-billion of debt and under growing pressure to sell off assets in order to clean up the balance sheet.

Wells Fargo Securities analyst David Maris said in a research note Monday that the appointment of an industry veteran as CEO represent for some "a signal that the worst is behind Valeant.

We do not believe that to be the case as we believe debt repayment will require the divestitures of core brands, and as a result, lower earnings and EBITDA."

Valeant "remains a company with poor operating and strategic prospects" as its growth enters a dramatic slowdown and as debt holders gain "effective control of future cash flows and proceeds from divestitures," he said.

Mr. Pearson, who spearheaded an aggressive growth-by-acquisi tion strategy at Valeant, had been preparing to step down; industry speculation was rife amid news reports that Valeant had recruited Mr. Papa to replace him.

Valeant has taken fire for steep drug price hikes on some of the products it acquired as well as for accounting issues and for its relationship with mail-order pharmacy Philidor Rx Services, which was criticized for alleged irregularities in its business conduct.

Valeant is also under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Mr. Pearson has been subpoenaed to testify before a U.S. Senate committee on drug price hikes.

The company also faces the threat of default on some of its debt on the delayed filing of its annual report and it has said it plans to restate 2014 and 2015 earnings. Its share price has plummeted in the wake of the allegations and setbacks.

In a news release Monday, Mr. Ingram said Mr. Papa can be counted on to foster "an ethical culture" at Valeant.

CIBC World Markets analyst Prakash Gowd said in a note Monday he expects Mr. Papa "to make significant changes at the executive level at Valeant ... to restore confidence."

Valeant (VRX) Close: $44.85, down 72¢

Getting used to the feeling of winning
Being a sports fan in Toronto has been like standing on the deck of a ship in rough waters. But these playoffs are changing that
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S3

When his team went up by 16 points in the fourth quarter of Game 7, a friend texted Raptors GM Masai Ujiri: "Congratulations."

From the safety of a day later, he re-enacted the scene. He held his phone up and stared at it incredulously. His head slowly pulled back in revulsion. His face sagged into a great, slack O of horror. It was at precisely that point that the Raptors began to stumble toward the finish on their figurative knees.

"Why?" Ujiri said. "Why would he do that?!"

He said it the way Brad Pitt said, "What's in the box?" Ujiri's got his fist balled up in front of his face and he's laughing hard. But it's only funny because it worked out. Like everyone else, even Ujiri can barely believe it.

Though he's lived in Toronto for years, Ujiri said he did not fully appreciate how tight the city could get until the Indiana series.

"I have never felt anything like it," Ujiri said. He raised his hands above his head and mimed shouldering something enormous.

"The weight of it."

This wasn't just the history of the Raptors, all 20-plus years of nearly uninterrupted futility. This was hockey and baseball and every other sporting disappointment that has shaped the ur-Toronto fan.

He or she is a true believer ... that things will go terribly wrong and always in the most painful possible way. But given the slightest wedge into winning, he or she becomes deliriously thankful for any small crust of achievement thrown their way.

Having finally given them the city from that unlikely angle, the Raptors were a different team on Monday. Looser. No longer giving off the feel of a wrung-out dishcloth.

"The whole talk about us not being able to get out of the first round was tough on some guys," Norman Powell said. "Everybody is happier today."

Only a rookie would be gormless enough to admit it, even after the fact.

On the other end of the worldweary spectrum, 115-year-old allstar Kyle Lowry had already dropped back into combat mode.

"You said you're worried about ..." a reporter began.

Lowry cut her off.

"You said 'worried?' ... " - pause to stare - "I'm focused on the Heat. I'm focused on the Heat."

On the subject of beating Indiana - only the second playoff series win he's been a part of during a decade in the NBA - Lowry was deliciously blasé: "It's something we did. It's over with."

You get where he's coming from, but that doesn't wash. This was more than a step on the road to somewhere. This was passing through NBA Heaven's Gate (Toronto Entrance).

The Raptors have simultaneously closed off a long, bad chapter and opened up a whole series of possibilities.

We could move immediately to obsessing about the matchups, but it is important to first note that the Raptors cannot lose to Miami. Even if they're defeated.

Given how low they were, they've exceeded expectations.

If they lose - as long as it's not a grim surrender - fans and assorted bandwagon jumpers will congratulate them on a success. Ujiri can tick this season off his to-do list. It's been done.

Now he's free to begin fresh.

Coach Dwane Casey gets an extension. DeMar DeRozan signs a max deal. The core remains intact (unless Ujiri decides that their value is so high, it's time to sell).

Regardless, there is no pressure to do anything drastic. In fact, it'll work the opposite way. As with the Toronto Blue Jays, there will be huge, pre-emptively nostalgic pull toward letting Lowry, DeRozan et al try it together one more time.

If the Raptors beat Miami, then it will get kooky. Arms linked in the streets. Streetcar singalongs.

General euphoria.

None of us can prepare ourselves for the Twilight Zone feeling of winning two postseason series.

It hasn't been done by one of Toronto's major-league teams since 2002.

Back then, you had a flip phone and it took 15 minutes to type out anything. So you didn't send bone-headed texts that acted like voodoo curses. It was a better time.

When you stop to think about winning two, it forces you to consider the fact that other cities win in the playoffs regularly. Sometimes every year. Sometimes in multiple sports.

How do they manage that? Psychologically? Does it get boring after a while? Are they all, like, "Sorry, mom, I'm going to skip the championship parade. I'm still tired from the last one."?

You can imagine yourself getting to a pretty smug and insufferable place. (The exact geographic and emotional location of that spot is called Boston.)

There's no risk of that happening in Toronto. Not right now, at least. This is still the period of profound adjustment.

The past eight months have been the most perfect time in a generation to care about sports in this city. All at once, the teams began doing smart things. More important, they stopped doing incredibly stupid ones.

It's created a disorienting sense of equilibrium.

For years, being a Toronto sports fan was a little like standing on the deck of a rolling boat.

After a while, you learn how to keep your balance through the storms. Even when the ship hits the rocks. Repeatedly.

But what happens when the waters calm? How do you negotiate that headspace? For the next while, watching people react to the teams may be as interesting as watching the teams themselves.

What is going to change?

"It's going to be a different theme, a different story. It will be totally different than it was against Indiana," Casey said Monday.

He was talking about basketball.

He might have meant much more.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

Raptors guard Norman Powell celebrates after scoring a three-pointer during the Game 7 matchup against the Pacers in Toronto on Sunday. 'Everybody is happier' after that win, Powell says.


Should teens be fighting adults? They do in the OHL
A father's painstaking research has revealed that one-third of fights in the Ontario league are between a minor and a veteran
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

It was early in the 2011-12 season when Shawn Bryan first pinpointed what he didn't like about fighting in junior hockey.

Bryan, a father of three and a long-time Barrie Colts seasonticket holder, spent that year watching Aaron Ekblad's first season with the team. The phenom defenceman was granted a rare special exemption to play in the Ontario Hockey League at 15 years old, making him up to five years younger than some players in the league.

What Bryan noticed was several of these much older players were trying to bully Ekblad into a fight, something that is supposed to be against junior hockey's unwritten code. He also realized just how young Ekblad was when the defenceman began attending Grade 10 at the local high school with his daughter.

"That's where it kind of clicked for me that this isn't quite right," Bryan said. "Especially with what we know about [degenerative diseases of the brain such as] CTE."

Four years later, when Bryan began a research project as part of an executive MBA program, he chose the issue of age disparities in fights in junior hockey as his topic. What he discovered was one-third of all the fights in the OHL were between a minor and an adult.

Bryan, now an insurance executive in Edmonton, spent months scouring every OHL game summary - all 3,400 of them - from the past five years to get to that number. Much of the work was painstakingly recording every fight and the age of the participants in a spreadsheet, along with other information, such as who instigated the fight.

Going into his research, Bryan wasn't sure how common a fight between young junior players and veterans really was. But he set a dividing line at 18 years old in order to incorporate the idea of legal - and ethical - consent into junior hockey.

He also looked carefully at whether there was any justification for the OHL to allow minors to fight by evaluating whether fighting improved either attendance or players' draft rankings.

But the more he searched, the more convinced he became that this was an overlooked problem in the game.

"Physical altercations between adults and minors have not been generally accepted in Western culture, inside or outside of sport," Bryan wrote at one point in his study, which later concludes that: "A gratuitous risk exists for the underage participants and an unnecessary ethical conflict exists for ownership" given the age gap.

Of the more than 2,250 fights in the OHL in the past five years, Bryan's data reveal that nearly 400 - or 17 per cent - involved an age difference of two years or more.

More than 80 fights, meanwhile, had an age difference of three years or more.

Some of the most extreme cases in the league involved overage players instigating fights with rookies such as Ekblad.

In January of 2012, Sarnia Sting veteran Tyler Brown, who was almost 21, fought Tyler Bertuzzi of the Guelph Storm. Bertuzzi, 16, was listed in that season's media guide as three inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter than Brown.

In December of 2014, Windsor Spitfires forward Slater Doggett (20) went after Sudbury Wolves rookie Brady Pataki (16) for a hit on a teammate. The age gap in that bout was 41/4 years, the largest in the past five years.

Bryan also discovered that 15year-olds fought four times over that time period. Only one of those fights was against a similarly aged player.

Those extreme mismatches aren't typically permitted in combat sports and certainly not in fights involving minors. Boxing Ontario, for example, stipulates that young fighters face opponents within their age bracket, weight class and experience level.

That's because the physical development curve is so sharp for young athletes. While some junior hockey players are exceptions, a typical teenager's body changes considerably between 15 and 19. They gain on average four or five inches in height and 35 to 45 pounds in those few years.

In fact, many prominent boxing federations around the world call for underage combatants to fall within 12 months of each other in age when they fight.

In the OHL, only half of fights meet that criteria.

"It's too big of an age difference at a developmental time for kids," Bryan said. "And I'm sure they feel pressure [to fight]."

Bryan provided the results of his study and the data he collected to The Globe and Mail in the hope that someone in a leadership role with the Canadian Hockey League sees his research.

He wants president David Branch to push for all three leagues to adopt NCAA rules that give players progressively heavier suspensions for each fight, effectively eliminating them from games.

Bryan points to the fact that OHL attendance has increased even as fighting has fallen substantially in the past five years as further proof that junior hockey can live without teenagers dropping the gloves.

He knows there are fans who aren't willing to pay to watch minors fight adults.

"Both my dad and my fatherin-law refuse to go to the games because of the amount of fighting," Bryan said. "[The CHL] may actually have people who aren't going right now come back [if it's eliminated]. Goals are ultimately what we want to see. At least what I want to see."

Associated Graphic

Of the more than 2,250 fights in the Ontario Hockey League in the past five years, data show that nearly 400 - or 17 per cent - involved an age difference of two years or more.


Gibbons tells fans to relax, then gets tossed in loss
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- You have starting pitcher R.A.

Dickey struggling through another dismal April and reliever Brett Cecil blowing up practically every time he toes the rubber late in games.

The offence, while showing recent signs of having a pulse, has been mostly so-so, and the club continues to have an aversion to playing .500 baseball.

Sounds like the first month of the season for the Toronto Blue Jays.

It also sounds like the Blue Jays from a year ago, when they would manage to shake themselves out of the early season doldrums and power their way into the playoffs for the first time in more than two decades.

So for those fans who already have their angst meters switched on high over a season that is not even a month old, the Blue Jays are advising to sit back and take a deep breath. Maybe take a sip on that umbrella drink.

It's not time to panic - at least not yet.

"If there's panic out there, I don't quite understand that," Toronto manager John Gibbons said prior to the Blue Jays game Wednesday night against the Chicago White Sox. "Who's going to quit? Where I come from, nobody quits."

That was the composed Gibbons speaking.

Several hours later, Gibbons was anything but composed, getting tossed from the game in the seventh inning where things turned suddenly awry for the Blue Jays in a 4-0 Chicago victory.

With the win at Rogers Centre, the White Sox (16-6) swept the three-game series from Toronto (10-13).

It was a well-pitched game by the starters, with Marco Estrada of the Jays and Chicago lefty Jose Quintana stringing up zeros across the board heading into the seventh inning.

There it fell apart for Estrada, who allowed a triple off the bat of Dioner Navarro with two runners aboard that lifted Chicago in front 2-0.

For the former Blue Jays catcher, who is not exactly fleet of foot, it was his first triple since Sept. 27, 2012, when he played for the Cincinnati Reds.

Jesse Chavez was brought in from the bullpen and he immediately surrendered a triple off the bat of Austin Jackson that made it 3-0 for Chicago.

With Adam Eaton now at bat for the White Sox, Gibbons - who had been having a running commentary with home-plate umpire John Tumpane for several innings - was ejected as he stood inside the Toronto dugout.

When you compare the Blue Jays over the first 22 games of the season in 2016 with the club from last year over the same time span, the similarities are startling.

Both teams, for instance, sported 10-12 records, and in 2015, that was good enough for fifth place in the American League East for the Blue Jays, three games back of the front-running New York Yankees.

Heading into Wednesday's game against the White Sox, that mark was good enough for fourth place in the A.L. East for Toronto, 2½games back of the Baltimore Orioles.

The pitching from a year ago was still in a bit of flux, both in the rotation and in the bullpen, where Roberto Osuna was just starting to leave his imprint as a quality reliever.

Over all, the pitching staff had a collective earned run average of 4.96 compared with 4.00 this season, where the work of the starting five has, for the most part, been Toronto's strong suit.

From an offensive perspective, the Blue Jays were hitting .249 as a team in 2015 with 28 home runs after 22 games, compared with the .242 with 23 home runs from this year.

Before the Chicago game, the Blue Jays recalled right-handed pitcher Ryan Tepera from their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. To make room on the roster, switchpitcher Pat Venditte was optioned to the Bisons.

Quintana has always been a difficult chore for Toronto, having gone 4-2 in seven career starts with a 1.88 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 48 innings pitched.

And Wednesday night was no different, giving Toronto hitters fits once again, especially Jose Bautista, who seemed rather taken aback with the strike zone of Tumpane.

The Toronto right-fielder struck out in each of his first three appearances against Quintana with runners in scoring position, twice looking at pitches that appeared within the strike zone.

Quintana (3-1) earned the win after blanking Toronto on four hits while striking out 10 over six innings.

Estrada (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs off three hits over 6.2 innings.

Associated Graphic

The White Sox' Avisail Garcia reacts to a strike as Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin throws the ball to the pitcher in Toronto on Wednesday. Chicago swept the three-game series.


Two games left for Leicester to its clinch first title
The Associated Press
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND -- One chance gone for Leicester in its attempt to clinch a first English league title.

Over to you, Tottenham.

Needing three points to pull off the ultimate underdog success story in sports, Leicester only managed to pick up one from a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Leicester still has two games left - against Everton at home next weekend and Chelsea away on the final day - to collect the required two points. It might not even go that far, as second-place Spurs have to beat Chelsea on Monday to keep the title race alive.

"I'd like to watch the [ChelseaSpurs] match," said Claudio Ranieri, Leicester's Italian manager, "but I'm on a flight back from Italy so I might not know the result until I land."

Spurs can at least prepare for that game at Stamford Bridge knowing they are guaranteed a top-four place and therefore a spot in next season's Champions League.

The same can't be said for either of the Manchester clubs.

While United stayed in fifth place, Man City dropped to fourth by losing 4-2 at Southampton as manager Manuel Pellegrini's risk in playing a weakened team backfired.

Key players such as Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany were among those rested ahead of the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Wednesday, and it showed in City's loose display at St. Mary's Stadium. Sadio Mane scored a hat trick for seventh-place Southampton, while Kelechi Iheanacho scored both of City's goals.

In the tight race for the final two Champions League spots, Arsenal is third - three points ahead of City and seven points ahead of United, which has a game in hand. West Ham is a point further back in sixth.

In the other game Sunday, Swansea guaranteed Premier League soccer for another season by beating Liverpool 3-1, with Andre Ayew scoring two of the goals.

Like City, Liverpool seemed preoccupied by a looming European game - Thursday's second leg of its Europa League semifinal against Villarreal, which stands at 1-0 to the Spanish side - and fielded a depleted starting lineup.

Christian Benteke scored the only goal for Liverpool, which finished with 10 men following the 76th-minute red card to left back Brad Smith.

For Leicester, a seemingly impossible dream is one step closer and there's now a good chance the team could seal the title in front of its own fans at the King Power Stadium next weekend against Everton, in the next-tolast round of fixtures.

Danny Drinkwater, Leicester's box-to-box midfielder, will miss that game after being sent off against United for collecting a second yellow card in the 86th minute.

United opened the scoring at Old Trafford through Anthony Martial's powerful sidefoot volley in the eighth minute, by which time Leicester had barely got out of its own half.

Ranieri's team of rejects, journeymen and unheralded foreign players has been confounding the doubters all season and they did so again here, digging deep and equalizing with their first genuine chance when Wes Morgan headed in from Drinkwater's free kick in the 17th.

"I am very pleased with our performance after the goal," Ranieri said. "We keep calm and score a goal. After that we get a lot of confidence and play better.

After that, it was another match."

United could also have finished with 10 men had the referee spotted Marouane Fellaini lashing out at Leicester defender Robert Huth, first with his forearm and then with his elbow, as they jostled at a set piece. Fellaini appeared to be reacting after his hair was pulled by Huth and United manager Louis van Gaal empathized with his player.

Mimicking the incident by appearing to grab a TV reporter's hair off camera, van Gaal said: "What is your reaction when I grab your hair? Your hair is shorter than Fellaini's but when I do that, what are you doing then?

It's a reaction."

Leicester's vocal fans stayed behind after the final whistle, chanting "Tottenham Hotspur, we're waiting for you," and "Are you watching, Tottenham?" The pressure now moves onto Spurs, who haven't won away to Chelsea in the league since 1990.

Associated Graphic

Leicester goal keeper Kasper Schmeichel tries to stop the ball in Sunday's match against Manchester United. After a 1-1 draw, Leicester needs to pick up three points to win the Premier League title.


Concussions top of mind for superfans
Season-ticket holders question NFL commissioner on head injuries, international expansion and fate of San Diego Chargers
The Associated Press
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

CHICAGO -- The floor belonged to Philip Feliciano, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell waited patiently for his question.

Given an opportunity to ask Goodell about anything he wanted, Feliciano, a 55-year-old vascular surgeon from Bellevue, Wash., wanted to know about the league's efforts to help prevent head injuries. Even for the NFL's most ardent fans, head injuries remain one of the biggest concerns.

"I think it threatens the viability of the game if we can't make it safe," Feliciano said.

Feliciano is one of 32 seasonticket holders who travelled to Chicago this week to join the NFL for a variety of activities surrounding the draft. The fans and their guests had breakfast Thursday before participating in a question-and-answer session with Goodell and taking pictures with the commissioner.

The league allowed The Associated Press to watch as Goodell fielded questions on topics ranging from the Chargers' future in San Diego, the number of preseason games and the possibility of putting a team in another country.

Feliciano has been a seasonticket holder for 19 years. He said he was watching the Seahawks' game at Dallas on Nov. 1 when Ricardo Lockette suffered ligament damage, a disk injury and a concussion in a collision late in the first half of Seattle's 13-12 victory.

Lockette's injury prompted his question to Goodell, but the subject of head injuries also was on the mind of Terry Broyles, a 64year-old season-ticket holder for the Chargers for 30 years.

"Very concerned about that," Broyles said. "I'm concerned about the mothers and their kids and letting kids play football and get into the sport, and I think it's something that's very alarming and concerning, but somehow, you've got people that are larger big men crashing into each other, there's going to be injuries. But the concussion thing is a very serious problem."

A federal court this month upheld an estimated $1-billion (U.S.) plan by the NFL to settle thousands of concussion lawsuits filed by former players. Critics of the proposed deal appealed the decision Thursday, contending the lead players' lawyers negotiated away compensation for chronic traumatic encephalopathy because the science is still being developed.

The settlement would cover more than 20,000 NFL retirees for the next 65 years. The league estimates that 6,000 former players, or nearly three in 10, could develop Alzheimer's disease or moderate dementia.

Goodell said making the game safer is the league's No. 1 priority, pointing to rule changes, improving equipment and investment in research as signs of the NFL's commitment to player safety.

"And I think the last is just what we do from a medical support standpoint," Goodell said.

"There's greater awareness, which I think we're a large part of that because we brought that on, and I think we've promoted that. We said, 'You have to manage injuries properly,' and it's affected not just football, but all sports."

Broyles used his question to take Goodell's temperature on the future of the Chargers, who are trying to get an initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot that calls for an increase in the hotel tax to help pay for a $1.8-billion stadium and convention centre annex in downtown San Diego.

If the stadium measure fails, the Chargers have the option of moving into a stadium with the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood in 2019.

"I think your community is better off with the Chargers. I believe the Chargers are better off with San Diego, too," Goodell told Broyles.

Goodell also told the fans he thinks the league should eliminate at least one preseason game, and the chances of an international NFL team some day were "very high." He mentioned Toronto and Mexico City as possible locations before pointing to Britain as the most likely destination.

The NFL is playing three games in London next season.

Elimination games have become a specialty for the Rangers
The Associated Press
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Trailing 3-1 in a series is nothing new for the New York Rangers.

It's the third consecutive year it's happened.

They rallied against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference semi-finals in 2014. They did the same thing against Washington last season, becoming the first NHL team to overcome 3-1 deficits in consecutive seasons.

The Rangers have won 15 of the past 19 playoff games in which they faced elimination, going back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals in 2012 against Ottawa. New York has also won nine of 11 playoff games when facing elimination since the start of the 2014 playoffs.

Once again the Rangers face a win-or-else scenario, and it's the Penguins again this season. The difference is this is the opening round of the post-season, and these are two different teams, although many of the faces are the same. This Penguins team is playing two-way hockey under Mike Sullivan. The Rangers, who went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2014 and the Eastern Conference finals last season, don't seem as sharp this season. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been a little off, the defence has been lacking and no one is carrying the offence.

Lundqvist said that overcoming 3-1 deficits in the past means nothing heading into Game 5 at Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"It's now," said the 34-year-old said Friday. "It's what we do this year, in this series."

Lundqvist, who was lifted in Thursday's night's 5-0 blowout after giving up four goals on 18 shots in 26 minutes, feels the experience of coming back in recent seasons will be useful, but it will be more important for the Rangers to play their game.

For him, personally, it involves being more focused emotionally and technically. While he is quick to add that Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and most of everyone on the Penguins is playing well, confidence is not something the Rangers lack.

"You can't look at the big picture, that's when you get lost," Lundqvist said. "You just have to break it down and focus on your process. We know we are playing a good team and we know they are confident. But last time there we managed to win. We just need to do everything right."

Coach Alain Vigneault said the most important thing for the coaching staff is to make sure the team has a short memory after consecutive bad performances and to narrow their focus and stay in the moment during games.

"What is in front of us is a must game," Vigneault said. "We're aware of it if we want to continue.

To a man in that room, I know they all know they can play better than they have so far."

Special teams have killed the Rangers in the series. New York is 1 for 16 on the power play. Pittsburgh has converted 7 of 19 chances with the extra skater, including 3 of 6 in Game 4.

New York also has to make sure Penguins goaltender Matt Murray works a little harder than he has in the past two games. He has faced 48 shots, but most of them were not difficult. The Rangers' best chances ended with shots that missed the net.

"Just because we have done it before does not mean it is going to happen again," Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello said. "It's not going to work without hard work and dedication from everyone. At the same time, we have to believe that it can happen."

Ducks fire Boudreau after playoff loss
The Associated Press
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday, two days after their disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs.

Ducks general manager Bob Murray announced the decision to fire Boudreau, who hasn't been able to pair postseason success with steady excellence in his two NHL jobs in Anaheim and Washington. Boudreau has won 409 regular-season games and eight division titles, but just five playoff rounds in his coaching career.

The Ducks have lost a Game 7 on home ice in four consecutive playoff years, culminating in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Nashville in the first round.

"This was a very difficult decision to make," Murray said in a statement. "Bruce is a good coach and character person, and we wish him the best of luck in the future."

Boudreau had spectacular regular-season success with the Ducks, leading them to four consecutive Pacific Division titles while going 208-104-40 in nearly five seasons in charge. He had similar success in his first NHL coaching job in Washington, going 201-88-40 and winning four Southeast Division titles in parts of five seasons.

But the Ducks' past four seasons have ended in much the same pain experienced by Capitals fans, whose teams won just two playoff rounds in four postseasons under Boudreau. The coach is an inexplicable 1-7 in Game 7s in his career, including six consecutive losses in the decisive game since 2009.

The Ducks also blew a 3-2 series lead in each of the past four postseasons, missing two opportunities to eliminate their opponents.

Anaheim outshot the Predators 28-10 over the final two periods of Game 7 at Honda Center, but couldn't overcome two early goals in a gut-wrenching loss.

Anaheim fell one game short of the Stanley Cup final last season, losing the Western Conference final to Chicago in Boudreau's longest postseason run.

That was the second straight year the Ducks were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champions, following their 2014 loss to Los Angeles in the second round. Anaheim's first-round losses to Detroit in 2013 and to wild-card Nashville this season were more embarrassing.

The Ducks won three playoff rounds in four seasons under Boudreau, never reaching the Stanley Cup final with Murray's talent-loaded rosters.

Boudreau is the second coach to fail to coax postseason poise out of Anaheim teams led by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, the two fixtures on the Ducks' roster since their only Stanley Cup title run in 2007. Perry didn't score a goal in the entire seven-game series against Nashville, while Getzlaf failed to inspire his teammates to success as their captain.

Coach Randy Carlyle, who led the Ducks to the 2007 title, was fired by Murray in November, 2011 after a slow start. Boudreau took over and immediately sparked the franchise to a second-half rally that fell short of the post-season.

Boudreau then won the next four division titles, and this season featured a remarkable second half. Anaheim got off to a 1-7-2 start and struggled all the way to Christmas, but responded with an NHL-best 34-10-5 performance after the Christmas break to steal the division title on the final day of the season.

Murray showed patience with Boudreau and the Ducks during the start of the year. When it wasn't rewarded with postseason success, he fired Boudreau.

Associated Graphic

Bruce Boudreau

Best-kept secrets
In the digital world, only the businesses that can protect customers' private data--even from the government, if necessary--will thrive
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P18

Law enforcement and other government agencies regularly ask companies for help in retrieving private customer data--when someone's suspected of a crime, they tap their phones and access their bank records. So, you might well ask, why was there such an uproar over the Apple case--in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation requested the company break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters?

It all comes down to privacy, a crucial new battleground between business and government. In this digital age, privacy is as necessary a condition for business to function as free markets and infrastructure.

For one thing, there's the need to keep data safe from hackers, from the government and from competitors. For another, being able to assure consumers that the data they often unwittingly hand over will be kept private is crucial to gaining their trust.

Businesses have always collected and stored our secrets--health-care records, legal documents, financial investments, and so on. But the scale and scope of the data collected today--by small retail shops to cable companies to financial institutions--has increased exponentially. These days, some insurance companies collect fitness data directly from our FitBits. Automakers track our driving habits via in-car computers. Banks use social media to help determine credit scores.

And this stuff isn't stored behind s te e l d o ors , fla n ke d by g uys with guns. It is stored on servers and in the cloud. And no matter how sophisticated the digital locks protecting it, this data is without doubt more vulnerable.

The digital locks used to protect your data are called encryption, which was at the heart of the Apple-FBI case. The feds had asked Apple to build custom software for that one phone in order to break the encryption. In the end, the FBI let Apple off the hook after figuring out how to crack the phone all on its own. But Apple had argued the request was overly onerous and invasive.

That's because, rather than being a one-off act--like delving into a single safe-deposit box or tapping a single phone line--breaking encryption radically increases the risk that all digital locks will be more easily crackable. Any enterprise that employs encryption has become a custodian of privacy, with the onus of defending customers from incursions by the government itself.

Safeguarding encryption, then, becomes paramount. The digital locks rely on so-called keys--very simply, long strings of numbers that can either be used to decrypt coded information or to act as guarantors, like a digital signature. The reason that breaking encryption is so risky is that it increases the likelihood that those keys will fall into the wrong hands. If and when that happens, it is not just one database that gets cracked--it's any database that shares the same digital lock. In the case of a smartphone, that could affect millions of people.

That's only one reason Apple pushed back so hard against the FBI's request. The other is that, in today's reality, the accumulation of so much data by private companies presents them with a new opportunity for marketing. Don't be concerned about entrusting us with your private information, Apple was saying. We are so committed to protecting it that we are willing to fight the federal government on your behalf.

Canadian law--specifically, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA-- reg ulates which information private companies are allowed to collect, and Canada tends to be comparatively aggressive in policing privacy. (One example: the Privacy Commissioner's targeting of Facebook for, among other things, oversharing users' private information with third-party app developers.) But there's no doubt privacy will increasingly be a tug-of-war between government and enterprise in this country. Consider the RCMP's recently expressed desire for warrantless access to online subscriber information, or Bill C-13, passed last year under the Conservative government: Ostensibly aimed at eradicating cyberbullying, it could be used to force companies to hand over information encrypted in the cloud.

All of this makes one thing clear: Companies need to have a clear policy around privacy--what data they'll keep, how they'll keep it safe and, perhaps most importantly, how they'll execute their public duty around encryption when it comes to the state.

Beyond that, a company's future can depend on how safe it is perceived to be by a public deeply and increasingly worried about privacy. Which means that, in the modern digital era, secrets themselves might just be the secret to success.


That's how much cybercrime and cyberspying costs the global economy each year, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies


WAR GAMES (1983)


HACKERS (1995)



*according to ROB staff

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P5


Last month, John Daly reported on the lawsuits and dismal sales plaguing Toronto's Trump Tower ("Donald Trump has a situation on Bay Street"). There doesn't seem to be many Trump fans among our readers: 'I used to tell people I would need a discount to buy into any property with the Trump name. That discount has grown since the presidency stunt. Significantly. ...Who wants to own yuck? Or stay at yuck? Or eat at yuck?' One reader pointed to the fact that the building's developer got financing from a bank in Austria. 'That should be a warning sign. Did it mean that no local bank would touch the project?' Another added: 'Good for our bankers!'

Others were harder on the investors now suing the building's manager: 'I wonder why people look on in disbelief when their investment doesn't work out, as if it must be someone else's fault! First off, if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is. Secondly,...if you don't have the capital to play, then don't use leverage or, god forbid, family money. No sympathy here.'

* * *


Last month, Corporate Governess had some advice for a female manager who was being undermined by a colleague. The column sparked a conversation about bullying and resonated particularly with this commenter: 'Female targets of female bullies lose their jobs 89% of the time. And even if you're not forced out, the stress can get so bad that you MUST leave the job. ...My advice to you is to do whatever it takes to look after your own health.' Another commenter had similar thoughts: 'This worker should be ready for any eventuality, including a job change. It is important to document the bad behaviour but ultimately it is her responsibility to herself to ensure this does not become a career-limiting situation. Abandoning ship might be the best option, particularly if there are opportunities with other companies.'

* * *


In April's Exit Interview, Susan Eng claimed that she was fired by Moses Znaimer and CARP for her neutral stance on assisted suicide. Znaimer and CARP deny Eng's characterization of the termination and insist it was for other reasons.

* * *


17% | Donald Trump has a situation on Bay Street

16% | How murder shook the Oland family dynasty to its core

11% | Fired by Moses Znaimer

7% | Gazprom is a wounded bear

4% | Inside Simon's ambitious westward expansion

* * *


In March, 2013, Sean Silcoff wrote about Valeant pharmaceuticals ("Side Effects") and its high-flying CEO, Michael Pearson. A lot can change in three years. Valeant's stock is down 86% from its peak last July, and Pearson is out. Silcoff's investigation was an early warning for investors: "It may be the work of a strategist rather than a maverick entrepreneur, but Valeant is still following the plot line of industry consolidators that grow rapidly on debt-stories that often don't end well."

Tech entrepreneur hits restart
Maher Arar CEO,
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B2

OTTAWA -- The first thing you notice upon meeting Maher Arar is his smile. It is a wide, effortless and gentle smile. It's also difficult to reconcile with the ubiquitous image from a decade ago of a sympathetic, devastated human rights casualty of the post-9/11 war on terror who demanded and eventually received justice.

"People I see today who haven't seen me for a while, first they tell me, 'I like your smile,' " Mr. Arar says as we settle in for a buffet lunch at the East India Company restaurant in downtown Ottawa.

"It's a polite way of saying, 'You know, you're now smiling.' This is not to say that I don't have flashbacks. I have them when I read a news story about somebody being detained [and] tortured.

But nowadays I try to avoid reading those stories."

In September, 2002, Mr. Arar was detained without charges by U.S. authorities on suspicions he had links to terrorists, then turned over, not to his adopted home of Canada, but his native Syria. There, he was held captive in a cramped, decrepit cell and tortured repeatedly. The yearlong experience, he later said, made him forget every enjoyable moment in his life.

After his return to Canada, Mr. Arar pressed to clear his name and in 2006 was exonerated by a public inquiry. He received an apology and $10.5-million from the Canadian government for its role in his trauma. The Canadian edition of Time named him News Maker of the Year and one of the world's most influential people.

"He's secured a place in Canadian history as one of our most iconic human-rights figures," says Alex Neve, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada.

But on this day in mid-March, Mr. Arar wants to talk about something else - something that brings him contentment. He stopped talking publicly about his case "because it just brings me back to the past," he says in a pronounced voice, his smile draining away. "But also, it just makes this perception of me being the victim and only the victim, or only the survivor of torture, stick. I'm kind of tired of being labelled like that.

This is not how I wanted to become known. I want to focus on the other side of me, which is the entrepreneur. ... This is what I love doing in life. I'm a tech guy."

At the time of his rendition, the Ottawa-based Mr. Arar was preparing to launch a technology startup. Now, he is about to launch the first product from his first technology startup since then: a mobile platform, CauseSquare, for helping non-profit institutions target, engage and solicit millennials.

"I would like CauseSquare to become the Facebook for good causes," he says.

Like any good entrepreneur, Mr. Arar isn't just selling technology, he's telling a story. Non-profit organizations are struggling to connect with millennials, who have grown up digital, embraced new concepts such as ride-sharing and live on their mobile devices. Studies suggest many have fleeting attention spans, distrust big organizations and expect transactions to be convenient. "We also discovered that it's a misunderstood generation by the non-governmental organizations themselves," he says. "Non-profits mistakenly think of millennials as donors. They should think of them as fundraisers." Most fundraising websites aren't optimized for mobile platforms.

CauseSquare is a mobile-first fundraising platform that will allow users to donate to a range of participating organizations.

The goal is to make it simple for people to give the moment that impulse happens. Having a oneclick donation button is "nonnegotiable," he says. Millennials like to be associated with causes they support, he says. CauseSquare will reward points and electronic "badges" to people who hit certain donation thresholds to encourage repeat giving.

"We think we can mobilize this generation to be involved in good stuff and be recognized."

He's signed up 15 non-profits, including Amnesty, to test the platform when it launches in May.

CauseSquare "gives us an opportunity to reach a constituency our other avenues and channels don't reliably reach," Mr. Neve says.

Mr. Arar immigrated to Canada with his family when he was 17, avoiding military service in Syria.

He was running a currencyexchange operation in his early teens in Damascus and building computers while studying engineering at McGill University, where he met his wife, Tunisianborn Monia Mazigh. He was an honest workaholic, determined to make it as an entrepreneur and start a family, Ms. Mazigh says.

The couple moved to Ottawa in 1997 and he worked for a couple of local tech ventures as a systems engineer before joining Bostonbased MathWorks, which sells mathematical computing software, in September, 1999. He visited U.S. customers as a technical sales rep while his wife stayed in Canada to complete her PhD (she later emerged as an outspoken human rights activist and ran for the NDP in 2004). "He was always able to take extremely technical things and explain them in simple terms that I could understand" and could talk to senior engineering executives "as their peer," says Chris Rutan, a former MathWorks salesman who often travelled with Mr. Arar.

In 2001, Mr. Arar quit to become a consultant - MathWorks remained a key customer - and start his own tech company, developing a tool to speed up the development of programmable chips. He had a five-year-old daughter and a newborn son and was months away from launching when his life was shattered.

Upon his return from Syria, Mr. Arar struggled to establish some normalcy amid the media frenzy.

He had no luck finding work in his field. Ms. Mazigh encouraged him, but eventually concluded "that it was almost impossible that he would be hired again," she says. "His name has a heavy weight, and I think for companies, they are not ready to ... associate their name with his."

Mr. Arar enrolled at the University of Ottawa in 2005 and earned a PhD in wireless communications. He invented and sold the patent for an algorithm. He started an online magazine in 2010 covering national security issues, but it shut three years later.

Mr. Arar spent a year figuring out what to do next, thinking he should try the startup route again. "Every time there was this urge that pushed me to go back, I was always scared. It was, 'How will people perceive it, am I going to be successful or not?' " The trauma of his past also loomed. In March, 2014, Mr. Arar found himself in an ambulance, convinced he was having a heart attack. He'd experienced anxiety symptoms a year earlier; this was a full-on anxiety attack. He was hospitalized once more that year at the behest of his psychologist.

Anti-depressant medication helped, as did his continued determination. "I said to myself ... I have to do what I love in life."

If one had no prior knowledge of his story, Mr. Arar would come across as no different than many other tech entrepreneurs. He is all-in, upbeat and single-minded as he talks about a business he believes will change the world.

In his case, it's more poignant.

Just by getting to the starting line, Mr. Arar has triumphed. "Why should an experience of horrific human-rights abuse define who you are to the rest of the world?" Mr. Neve says. "That's an experience, it's not your identity."

Mr. Arar admits he sometimes feels guilty that he isn't as active as he could be as a human-rights advocate. "But then I say, 'Well, if you go back to that and you don't enjoy life, you're going to collapse again ... that's why I chose this field, because I think it's a balance between me doing what I want to do, and I think there is a need in the market for it. But it also helps make the world a better place."

CauseSquare is young. There's no guarantee non-profits will adopt it en masse, that it can be a sustainable business. Few startups succeed. He and his partners are self-financing for now and plan to tinker with the platform for a year, but prospective financiers could have different ideas about what CauseSquare should be, or demand growth it can't deliver. "I don't want to grow fast and go down fast," he says. "I want to take my time with this."

Add to that one complicating factor: Mr. Arar may be on the U.S. no-fly list. He's not sure, but suspects so (his pursuit of justice there has been less successful.

He's reluctant to attempt travelling to the United States, which could limit his company's ability to engage customers.

He knows there are risks, but is feeling positive, even drawing on his experiences for motivation. "I had an objective, to clear my name and restart my life. ... That's not easy. This is what entrepreneurs face. You're starting XYZ, nobody knows about you, people don't believe in you.

... I have my doubts every morning about CauseSquare. But you have to fight these internal voices and say, 'I just spoke to three customers and they're already paying me.' "CauseSquare "is very important" for Mr. Arar, Ms. Mazigh says. "At the same time, it is very fragile, because he is still very fragile. I think it is important for him to start believing in himself and to start trying to do something on his own. ... I think he's ready."


Age: 45

Place of birth: Damascus

Education: BEng., computer engineering, McGill University (1995); MSc, digital signal processing, McGill (1997); PhD, wireless communications, University of Ottawa (2009)

Family: Married for 26 years to Monia Mazigh, with one daughter and one son.

Currently reading: Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore

Who he'd like to have lunch with (alive or dead): Prophet Moses

Favourite TV show: This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Favourite type of music: Classical

Favourite sport/activity (to watch or play): Soccer. "During my teen years, I played for two national soccer clubs in Syria for one year each. The experience left a bad taste in my mouth as it was my first experience of what nepotism really meant. I would be kept on the bench most of the time and the sons/relatives of government officials would be allowed to play on the pitch for most of the game."

Hobbies: Filming with a camera crane I invented

Favourite cuisine: Mloukhia (Syrian dish)

Guilty pleasure: Spending too much time on Twitter (@ArarMaher)

Associated Graphic


The builder: How Cope cuts a deal
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1


One of the Canadian wireless industry's consummate deal makers has struck again.

BCE Inc.'s $3.1-billion deal to buy Manitoba Telecom Services Inc., announced on Monday, is the latest notch in chief executive George Cope's belt. Acquisitions have been a hallmark of the BCE boss's career - from scooping up wireless retailers such as the Source and half of Glentel Inc., to media-rich properties such as CTV for $1.3-billion and Astral for $3-billion, to grabbing stakes in some of Canada's most beloved sports franchises, such as the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Raptors.

But this latest purchase may be the purest bet he has made since arriving at BCE in 2006 on wireless telecommunications, the business that was his training ground and first love before he took the helm of the Montrealbased behemoth.

Mr. Cope, 54, knew how to strike a big deal well before his BCE days, having sold Clearnet Communications Inc., a pioneer in cellular service at a time when only about one in 10 Canadians had a cellphone, to Telus Corp. for $6.6-billion in 2000. But the picture of Mr. Cope that emerges from those who have watched him at a negotiating table is that of a disciplined deal maker whose tactics have changed little in the years since.

"He sticks to a game plan," said Thomas O'Neill, who just retired as BCE's board chair and rode shotgun with Mr. Cope on an array of transactions. Mr. Cope's predecessor in BCE's top job, Michael Sabia, echoed that sentiment almost exactly, adding: "Relentlessly."

Mr. Cope is meticulous in preparing and pitching deals, say those who know him, and the guiding force is always the bottom line - shareholder interest, dividends, ways to mitigate risk.

"When he brought a [slide] deck to the board on any given acquisition, you knew what was going to be in it from the inventory of past deals. It wasn't a mystery," Mr. O'Neill said. "His analytical mind is just frightening."

At first glance, Mr. Cope cuts an imposing figure, too. His 6-foot-7 frame helped make him a talented basketball player until weak joints steered him to less punishing sports (his golf swing reportedly suffers from a tendency to slice the ball).

But neither does his penchant for analysis make him plodding or overcautious. "He's remarkable at seizing opportunities quickly," said Robert Prichard, chairman of Bank of Montreal's board of directors, of which Mr. Cope is a member. The portrait of a man capable of capitalizing on a fast-break opportunity is borne out by the fact that this week's deal for MTS came together in about two weeks.

When bargaining with Mr. Cope, "It's all on the table. This is what we'd like to do. This is what I need. What do you need?" said Jim Leech, the former CEO of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, who has found himself on both sides of Mr. Cope's deal making. "There's not a lot of wasted time. You get to the point quickly."

Those who know Mr. Cope say he doesn't lack confidence. But it is clear he has lived and breathed the wireless market throughout his career, beginning with a job in his mid-20s at Brooktel Communications Inc., a seller of first-generation cellphones. That led him to Clearnet, where he was president by 1987 and one of the executives who understood early how valuable wireless spectrum would become. After selling to Telus, he ran that company's wireless business for five years before joining Bell Canada.

Bill Downe, the CEO at BMO, now describes him as "a trusted acquirer" and his deals have helped revive BCE's fortunes.

At one time, before Mr. Cope arrived, BCE was a Canadian company that "was on its knees," Mr. Leech said.

He can be tough and competitive, but has also shown a willingness to put rivalries aside if there's a business case. When bidding for the Teachers' stake in Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs among other franchises, he formed an early alliance with archrival Rogers Communications Inc.

Throughout the bidding, those strange bedfellows "stuck together so there wouldn't be an auction," Mr. Leech said, and eventually split the $1.07-billion price tag, each acquiring a 37.5per-cent stake.

His tenure hasn't been altogether without stumbles. In 2013, BCE lost out to Rogers in bidding for the $5.2-billion National Hockey League broadcast rights.

Under his tenure, BCE has also occasionally sparred publicly with the federal government, and the $3-billion acquisition of Astral was initially spiked by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in 2012, sparking tensions with the federal regulator that are still evident today. (A second crack at an amended deal was approved in 2013).

"I don't know if [clashing with regulators] was a mistake, but it was a difficult time for the industry," said Pierre Boulin, the former CEO of Manitoba Telecom.

Even so, "you look at the performance of BCE, it's still very strong performance."

Associated Graphic

BCE chief executive George Cope 'sticks to a game plan,' says former BCE board chair Thomas O'Neill.


A mogul's last big deal: Munk to sell Montenegro marina
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Barrick Gold founder Peter Munk is selling his last significant investment, Porto Montenegro, the superyacht marina and resort that he built as a Mediterranean rival to Cannes, to Investment Corp. of Dubai for an undisclosed amount.

Mr. Munk would not comment on the sale, which had been widely rumoured and was leaked over the weekend in the Montenegro newspaper Vijesti. On Sunday, sources said that Mr. Munk is to announce the sale on Friday.

The price is thought to be 200-million ($287.5-million) or more, though the seller and buyer are not expected to disclose the amount. In an interview in Montenegro in mid-2014, Mr. Munk said that the project by then had cost 287-million, split between debt and equity. The sale price is expected to leave Mr. Munk and his investors whole, with maybe a small profit.

ICD is Dubai's sovereign wealth fund whose holdings include Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates; the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, the world's tallest skyscraper; Emirates airline, one of the world's fastest-growing carriers; and Emirates National Oil Co.

It has been an open secret that Mr. Munk has been trying to sell Porto Montenegro for a year or longer.

The marina and resort are located on a former Serbian naval base on the Bay of Kotor, on the Adriatic Sea.

Mr. Munk owns 52 per cent of Porto Montenegro's holding company. His co-investors include some of the world's wealthiest businessmen - among them Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, Lord Jacob Rothschild, the fourth baron of the Rothschild banking dynasty and Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, the French luxury group that owns Hennessy, Louis Vuitton and dozens of other upscale brands.

Mr. Munk's son, Anthony, a senior managing director of Onex Corp., the private equity company controlled by Gerald Schwartz, is also an investor. The group purchased the Porto Montenegro site for 23-million in 2007 and slowly turned it into one of the world's largest superyacht marinas.

The investors were reluctant to put in fresh funds in recent years, which meant it had to rely on the sale of condos and property leases to fund the development.

Almost two years ago, the $60million Regent Porto Montenegro five-star hotel was added to the property portfolio.

The sale of a nearby shipyard is thought to be included in the sale to ICD. The shipyard, where yachts can be overhauled, was coveted by ICD because yachts typically spend 10 per cent of their value every year on repairs and maintenance.

The precise reasons for the sale are not known, but Mr. Munk apparently felt that he had taken Porto Montenegro as far as he could and that a wealthy, bigname investor was needed to take the project to the next level.

"Peter's concern was to find a buyer who would complete the development and who would be best for its future," a source close to the project said.

It appears that ill health was the other motivating factor behind the sale. Mr. Munk, who is chairman emeritus of Barrick, underwent heart surgery about six months ago. His doctors have instructed him to avoid trans-Atlantic flights, and he is not expected to attend the Friday news conference announcing the sale.

The sale of Porto Montenegro signals that Mr. Munk is winding down after turning Barrick into the world's biggest gold company and creating, then selling, the Trizec Properties (previously known as TrizecHahn) real estate empire, among other ventures.

As Mr. Munk retreats from active business life, he is expected to sell his ski chalet in Klosters, Switzerland, and bring his 43-metre superyacht, Golden Eagle, which is moored in Porto Montenegro, to his new home on the exclusive Lyford Cay in the Bahamas.

He owns about two million shares of Barrick, which have fallen to $24 from more than $50 since 2011, though they have climbed 50 per cent this year. As chairman emeritus, he attends Barrick board meetings but is not allowed to vote.

Porto Montenegro is the biggest private-sector investment in Montenegro, the tiny Balkan country tucked between Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania on the Adriatic's eastern shore.

The development, next to the port town of Tivat, can handle superyachts as long as 250 metres - more than 100 metres longer than a Canadian navy frigate - in its 450 berths. A section of one of the piers has been leased to the Saudi "golden fleet" - the 100-metre-plus megayachts owned by members of the Saudi royal family.

In the 2014 interview, Mr. Munk said, "The combined value of all these yachts is bigger than the GDP of Montenegro."

One of the marina's main draws is fuel that is exempt from fuel taxes and excise charges. The deal, which was negotiated by Mr. Munk with the Montenegrin government, allows yacht owners to fill up at about half price compared with other ports in the European Union parts of the Mediterranean (Montenegro is not an EU member but uses the euro). On the biggest yachts, the fuel arrangement can save owners as much as 100,000 a fill-up.

Associated Graphic

Porto Montenegro is located on a former Serbian naval base in the town of Tivat.


Liberals' OAS reversal is short-sighted
Thursday, April 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Economic Insight

The Liberal government's decision to restore Canada's Old Age Security eligibility to age 65 may be shrewd politics. It may even be fiscally manageable. But it's lousy economic policy.

Perhaps I should elaborate. It's lousy, short-sighted, dim-witted economic policy. It ignores everything we know about the aging demographics in this country, and the things policy makers should be doing to address the economic fallout from them. It's a remarkable step in the wrong direction.

The Parliamentary Budget Office, the federal fiscal watchdog, weighed in this week on the Liberals' intention - pledged during last fall's election campaign and promised in last month's budget - to cancel the previous Conservative government's plan to raise the eligibility age for OAS to 67, beginning in 2023.

The PBO estimated that the lower eligibility age will cost Ottawa an extra $11.2-billion in 2029-2030 - the first year that the phased-in age change was to be fully in effect - over what it would have spent with the age-67 eligibility.

The good news is, the government can probably afford it. The PBO declared that the OAS program would remain quite sustainable with eligibility at 65, and the additional costs wouldn't impede future governments from continuing to whittle down Canada's federal debt-to-GDP ratio, although a bit more slowly. (The additional cost amounts to a thin 0.35 per cent of GDP.)

But the price tag largely misses the point. In reverting to the age-65 eligibility, the new government, which bills itself as coming into office with fresh ideas to address Canada's economic future, is instead sticking its head in the sand with regard to an OAS program that is decades out of step with Canada's demographic realities.

In the mid-1960s, when Ottawa created the system of old-age benefits that essentially is still in place today, the eligibility age for OAS was 70 - at a time when the average life expectancy for a 40year-old male was just 73. Not long after, the government lowered it to 65, but even then, it could be viewed as a relatively short-term bridge between retirement and death.

In the nearly half-century since, the eligibility age hasn't budged - but the length of our lives has stretched out beyond anything policy makers could have imagined in the 1960s. When the average Canadian of today hits that 65-year eligibility age, that person is expected to live for another 20 years. OAS isn't just helping us be more comfortable in our fading twilight any more; it's paying out for nearly a quarter of our (average) lives.

Where the typical 65-year-old Canadian in the 1960s was, frankly, old, the typical 65-year-old Canadian of 2016 is, relatively speaking, healthy and vibrant. He or she is in many cases more than still capable of working, and is years away from needing government support to maintain a livable income.

And given the harsh economic ramifications of the country's aging population, the Canada of the next couple of decades is going to need all the able-bodied workers it can find. As more and more boomers head into retirement age, growth in the country's labour force looks destined to slow to a crawl. And since growth in productive labour is critical to expanding economic output, that means the economy is in danger of slowing to a crawl, too. This is the biggest challenge to the Canadian economy over the next decade - how to keep it growing with a greying and increasingly non-productive population.

One obvious solution is to craft government policy around encouraging more of the country's older workers to remain in the work force longer. That would improve labour growth, lift the economy's growth potential, and generally raise the prosperity levels for the entire country.

A higher age for qualifying for elderly benefits is a very practical way to do that; it would make retiring at 65 financially less palatable. Instead, this government has committed to spend an extra $11billion a year to provide a disincentive for older workers to keep working.

It's not that this government doesn't grasp the demographic challenge. Indeed, it's the impetus behind the Liberals' massive infrastructure spending plans (only in that case, the idea is to put in place the physical tools so that each worker is capable of producing more).

So why is it tilting its policy away from this when it comes to the OAS eligibility? It's hard to see any logic beyond scoring political points with the huge lump of baby-boomer voters who stood to be hurt by the Conservatives' age change. When you consider that one-third of voting-age Canadians are between 50 and 70 years old (that's roughly the boomer generation), there's a pretty compelling political argument for keeping them happy.

But as economic policy, it's pretty much the opposite of what a government facing a demographic roadblock to future prosperity should be doing. It doesn't much matter whether the government can afford it. It's money poorly spent.

Bombardier pitches for 'cushion' from Ottawa
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

MIRABEL, QUE. -- Bombardier Inc.'s chief executive officer stepped up his pitch for federal aid as the company's founding family said it has no plans to relinquish control of the Canadian plane maker.

At Bombardier's annual shareholders meeting Friday in Mirabel, Que., CEO Alain Bellemare said Quebec's $1-billion (U.S.)investment pledge for the company's C Series airliner program last year bolstered customers' confidence that the company would survive in the long-term and handed Bombardier the financial flexibility to compete with rivals. The Montreal-based company is seeking a matching investment from Ottawa in the program, saying a federal commitment would provide an additional "cushion" that would pad its resources and create more jobs.

"Bombardier's not going away.

We're not in a bailout mode," Mr. Bellemare told The Globe and Mail in an interview, noting a multimillion-dollar C Series order the company clinched from Delta Air Lines the day before is a turning point for the plane program. "We have a much stronger position today and I think that's well understood."

A federal investment would further increase customer confidence in Bombardier, Mr. Bellemare said. He said it would also help free up company resources to fund its next major project beyond the C Series and upcoming Global 7000 luxury jet, still under development.

"The sooner I can start thinking about the next step, the better," Mr. Bellemare said. "Given the cycle of these products, you need to start thinking today about the next one you're going to start doing in two to three years from now.

So that's where the strategic investment from the federal government would make a difference."

Bombardier got into financial trouble in 2014 in part because it had too many products on the burner given its financial capacity, including three separate plane programs. It subsequently cancelled the Learjet 85 program, revamped the Global 7000 development schedule and focused on getting the C Series to market. Those decisions reduced risk at the company. But they also left it without much in the pipeline, Mr. Bellemare said.

"It's one thing to generate a lot of value and get the stock price up - and that's what we're committed to doing," Mr. Bellemare said. "But a responsible leader in aerospace needs to start thinking today about where you go next. ... If you want to retain your talent, you need to have something else in the system."

He declined to talk about any specific projects on the drawing board. Bombardier is widely expected to approve a larger version of the C Series called the CS500 at some future date but Mr. Bellemare's thinking casts beyond that to other products.

The comments came as Bombardier's founding family reaffirmed its hold over the company, saying it had no plans to loosen its grip in any discussions with the federal government.

Bombardier executive chairman Pierre Beaudoin, whose family controls the plane maker through a special category of shares that gives them a 53.23per-cent voting stake, was asked by a shareholder whether the Canadian government demanded the family give up that control. Without addressing exactly what's been asked of Bombardier in the negotiations, Mr. Beaudoin said the family has supported the company through good times and bad.

"Our multivoting shares allow us to invest over the long-term and to protect against the dismantling of this company," Mr. Beaudoin said. "We have no plans to change anything."

Bombardier's dual-class share structure has long been an irritant for many investors but has come under heavier scrutiny in recent years because of the company's poor financial performance. Ottawa is at odds with the company over the dual-class shares and other issues in its own negotiations with the company, according to senior federal officials.

Many shareholders at the meeting Friday expressed their support for the family's control, saying it protects the interests of its Quebec-based stakeholders.

But others have argued it has entrenched poor decision-making, raising questions about the risk management and returns of some of their plane programs such as cost overruns on the C Series and trouble with the Learjet program.

At the moment, investors aren't able to tell how the holders of subordinate voting shares differ in their opinions from the family because both classes of shares are pooled when shareholder proposals are voted on at annual meetings. A pitch by shareholder rights group Médac to split the two classes of shares when votes are counted was defeated at the meeting.

Médac also denounced the pay of Bombardier's executives, particularly that of Mr. Beaudoin and Mr. Bellemare, which it said totalled more than $10-million (U.S.) last year. "We think you are paid too much," a spokesman for the group said to a smattering of applause. Mr. Bellemare later defended the remuneration, saying it has helped the company attract top global talent to lead its turnaround.

Bombardier (BBD.B) Close: $1.89, down 15¢

First Nations vs. pipelines
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

CALGARY, OTTAWA -- Ottawa and the provinces may be aligning on support for new oil pipelines, but the most problematic hurdle remains - staunch opposition among First Nations.

Native leaders in British Columbia and in Eastern Canada say they have no intentions of softening their resistance to projects that would ship bitumen to coastal waters through their territories, even as Alberta Premier Rachel Notley insists approvals are closer than they have been in years.

Stewart Phillip, grand chief of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), said his members have not budged from their position that pipelines through the province, including Enbridge Inc.'s Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain Expansion, pose unacceptable oil-spill risks.

The group has also lent its support to Eastern First Nations' stance against TransCanada Corp.'s Energy East project.

"Like everyone else, we're monitoring these touchy-feely public statements [from governments] that are floating around. But to my knowledge, there isn't an emerging groundswell of support in First Nations communities, or anything of that nature," Mr. Phillip said.

"[B.C.] Premier [Christy] Clark and Premier Notley are talking to each other and [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau is talking to Notley, but they don't want to talk to the indigenous people who are standing in opposition to these projects. They want to dismiss and ignore the opposition and the concerns that underline that opposition," he said.

Ms. Notley said this month she has softened her stance against the Northern Gateway line to Kitimat, B.C., from Alberta. She has also said her officials are discussing a potential deal with Ms. Clark's government that could result in British Columbia's support for a pipeline in exchange for Alberta buying hydroelectric power.

The Alberta Premier spoke to Mr. Trudeau and his cabinet in Kananaskis, Alta., this week about the economic importance to her province, and to the country, of getting Alberta crude to markets that would offer better returns to producers by shipping from the East and West coasts.

Mr. Trudeau said he supports the goal, but reiterated that it must be accomplished with support of First Nations. As it stands, many aboriginal groups are unmoved after years of attempts by governments and industry to convince them that the environment and their territorial rights will not suffer harmful effects, and in some cases have turned down offers of equity stakes in projects.

Their opposition raises thorny legal and constitutional issues.

The $7.9-billion Northern Gateway project has a conditional approval from Ottawa, but has bogged down without B.C. First Nations support. Ms. Notley reportedly broached with the federal cabinet the idea of moving the terminus north to Prince Rupert, potentially a less controversial locale.

That won't change the opposition from the UBCIC or Coastal First Nations, a coalition of nine nations in the region, leaders said.

"I can't speak for First Nations broadly. All I know is our position continues to be opposed to Enbridge, whether it goes through Kitimat or it goes through Prince Rupert. At the end of the day, consultation by Enbridge will result in the same answer from us, which is, we oppose it," said Kelly Russ, the Coastal First Nations' chairperson.

TransCanada is expected to file its application for the $15billion Energy East pipeline to Saint John from Hardisty, Alta., next month. It faces resistant First Nations along much of its 4,500-kilometre route. Regional chiefs from Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick have all raised concerns and complain there has been inadequate consultation undertaken by the National Energy Board and federal government.

The leaders argue they have a special relationship with the land and must protect it. And they say they are already seeing the impacts of a changing climate from burning of fossil fuels, such as crude derived from the Alberta oil sands.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr extended the hearing deadline by six months to give more time for those talks, but some chiefs suggest there is no room for compromise.

"I would rather starve before I took any money [from TransCanada]," said Serge Simon, grand chief of the Mohawks of Kanesatake in Quebec, in an interview. "My grandchildren would curse me for leaving them with that legacy."

TransCanada's route requires new pipeline to be built through Quebec, traversing the traditional territory of the Mohawks from Kanesatake and neighbouring Kahnawake. The two bands are opposing the project at the upcoming hearings of Quebec's energy regulator, and have applied for intervenor status with the National Energy Board.

In a written brief to the Quebec regulator, Kahnawake's environmental chief, Clinton Phillips, said the community has no confidence in TransCanada's ability to ensure the safety of the line.

Made in Canada?
Moose Knuckles says its parkas are Canadian-made. The Competition Bureau disagrees
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

How Canadian is the Made in Canada claim of premium coat maker Moose Knuckles?

Not Canadian enough, the Competition Bureau says.

In the first case of its kind, the bureau on Wednesday said Montreal-based coat maker Moose International Inc. (known as Moose Knuckles) uses "false or misleading" Made in Canada claims and should stop doing it.

The bureau is seeking a $4-million penalty from the company and "restitution for consumers."

According to bureau guidelines for Made in Canada, at least 51 per cent of the "direct" costs of producing or manufacturing goods must be incurred in Canada, and the bureau said most of the company's parkas are made in Asia.

Moose Knuckles "vigorously rejects the allegations" made by the bureau, president Ayal Twik said in an e-mail. "Moose Knuckles core products are made in Canada and always have been."

The case underlines the importance that companies place on Canadiana and wrapping themselves in the Canadian flag as a way to gain a customer following and charge a premium price.

Rival Canada Goose led the way in the upscale coat category in flagging its product as Made in Canada and worthy of its high prices. Now Moose Knuckles' claim is being put to the test.

"In this industry, branding, brand value and brand reputation is very important," Chris Hersh, a partner at law firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP who specializes in competition law, said in an interview.

Moose Knuckles identifies itself as a Canadian company with a Canadian product, he said. "To the extent that this case challenges their Canadian-ness, that could potentially have a negative impact on their brand reputation and the willingness of some consumers to pay a premium, based on a Made In Canada claim."

Susan McGibbon, president of consultancy the Retail Lab, said it's risky for a company to try to take advantage of Canada's global reputation for being dependable and trustworthy if the company can't fully back up its claim.

"Being uniquely Canadian and Made in Canada mean something on the global stage" with both economic and emotional value tied to it, she said.

The bureau, in filing an application with the Competition Tribunal, alleged that the Moose Knuckles parkas, which cost from $595 to more than $1,000, are mostly manufactured in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia. The bureau accused the company of only doing the finishing touches to the jackets, such as adding the trim, zippers and snaps, in Canada.

"Consumers are willing to pay a premium for Made in Canada products and manufacturers know this," said Matthew Boswell, senior deputy commissioner of competition at the bureau.

"The bureau has taken action in order to ensure that consumers - and retailers - have the correct information to allow them to make informed purchases."

Moose Knuckles countered that government officials are "using costly litigation against a small and proud Canadian company to test their vague guidelines." It said in a statement that it had on several occasions "pro-actively" contacted the bureau for clarification on its guidelines to ensure compliance. The company said it meets all requirements "to proudly and legally bring its Made in Canada products to the world."

It said it has more than 400 Canadians employed in three domestic garment factories as well as in other production for its core coat collection. "Like virtually every other garment made in Canada, textiles and components from abroad are used in the Canadian manufacture of Moose Knuckles parkas," it said.

In a category dominated by Canada Goose, Moose Knuckles sells jackets with hood trims made from blue and silver fox fur from Finland, gaining a following among well-heeled consumers in North America, Europe and Asia.

Its name conjures a Canadian strain of good humour but has a double entendre, with the word also connoting the bifurcation of an area of the male anatomy.


The Competition Bureau's guidelines for products labelled 'Made in Canada' and 'Product of Canada' require that: .

The last substantial transformation of the good occurred in Canada .

At least 51 per cent of the total direct costs of producing or manufacturing the good have been incurred in Canada .

The 'Made in Canada' representation is accompanied by a qualifying statement, such as 'Made in Canada with imported parts' or 'Made in Canada with domestic and imported parts'

Associated Graphic



Sir Terry's fight to save a steel town
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Sir Terry Matthews made a fortune in the technology sector with a string of companies including Mitel Corp., Corel Corp.

and Newbridge Networks, which he sold in 2000 for $7-billlion (U.S.) in stock. Now, Sir Terry is returning to his roots in Wales for what may be his greatest challenge yet: trying to revive Britain's largest steel plant.

Sir Terry has created Excalibur Steel UK Ltd., and he's rounding up investors to buy the troubled Tata steel mill in Port Talbot near Swansea.

Tata put its British operations up for sale in March, saying the division, which includes three steel-making facilities, was inefficient.

The Port Talbot plant is the largest, employing roughly 15,000 people directly and indirectly.

The challenge for any buyer is daunting. The integrated plant, which makes strip steel used in auto manufacturing, construction and appliances, is outdated and losing about $2-million a day.

Energy costs are twice as high as elsewhere in Europe and steel prices have plummeted because of oversupply from China."I've never been one to shy away from some kind of a fight," Sir Terry said in an interview from his office in Ottawa. He added that he chose the mythical name Excalibur deliberately because it's "a sword that was invincible."

Sir Terry, 72, is convinced the plant can be turned around and he points to a restructuring plan that was rejected by Tata officials because it involved nearly $200million in upgrades.

"In my view, everything I've heard says that a turnaround plan could work well," he said, adding that the operation could be profitable in two years. "I would say steel is a critical and strategic item in the U.K."

The buyout effort has won support from Welsh officials and the British government, which is pledging financial assistance and a 25-per-cent ownership stake.

Local Tata management is also onside and Sir Terry has help from his business partner, Roger Maggs, a former Alcan executive also from Wales and ran a Canadian venture capital company founded by Sir Terry in the 1990s.

Sir Terry is revered in southern Wales, where he was born and raised. While he left for Canada in the 1970s and built a career as a successful entrepreneur, he is deeply involved in the area. He owns a five-star resort near Cardiff, chairs a regional development board in Swansea and has invested in 10 tech startups. He's constantly hailed in the local press as the first billionaire from Wales and he was knighted in 2001. "He's got a big commitment to this area and he knows his way around finance," said John Warman, 71, who spent 30 years as a maintenance worker on the blast furnaces at the Port Talbot plant and is now a town councillor.

"We're fully supportive of trying to make Port Talbot a success."

Mr. Warman said the steel plant is the heart and soul of Port Talbot, which has a population of 45,000 and has been the centre of the British iron industry for hundreds of years, thanks to the abundance of metallurgical coal in the region. "Nearly everybody over the years has had somebody working at the works, their father, grandfather, uncle, aunt," he said.

Steven Phillips, the chief administrator for Port Talbot who is working on the Excalibur effort with Sir Terry, said closing the plant would ruin the economy.

"We know the scale of the challenge, but we also know the potential impact that it will have ... [on] the whole of the South Wales economy," he said.

Even so, saving the mill won't be easy. Tata recently sold a plant in England for just £1 ($1.45) to an investment firm that's promising to invest $700-million in the facility in return for wage cuts and changes to the pension plan. And so far, no firm bids have surfaced for Port Talbot.

None of that fazes Sir Terry, who has been invigorated by the battle to keep the plant open. "People are fighting back as a team," he said emphatically. "And I like that."

Associated Graphic

Terry Matthews, seen in 2010 is rounding up investors for the troubled Tata steel mill in Port Talbot, Wales.


Closing the steel plant in Port Talbot would ruin the economy, chief administrator Steven Phillips says.


Sino-Forest's final cut: $242-million
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

The company created to hold the remaining assets of Sino-Forest Corp. has negotiated the sale of the last of the failed company's holdings for $242-million (U.S.), signalling there was significant remaining value within the company's disputed forestry assets.

Emerald Plantation Holdings Ltd., which was created to manage the company's assets after it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2013, said it has entered into a conditional offer to sell subsidiary Emerald Plantation Group Ltd. to New Plantation Ltd., a private forestry company.

Emerald Plantation Holdings, based in Hong Kong, is controlled by former bondholders of Sino-Forest, who took control of the company's assets under a court-supervised reorganization.

The sale price for the subsidiary includes an initial consideration of $214-million, plus a further $23-million to be deferred and paid within 12 months, as well as $5-million which has been seized and frozen under court orders but is expected to be released.

Emerald Plantation management could not be reached for comment Monday, and the company's release did not specify which of Sino-Forest's former holdings are included in the subsidiary being sold to New Plantation.

The sale, which still requires approvals from shareholders, comes after several other smaller assets were sold by Emerald Plantation Holdings last year, including two plantations sold for a total of $13.2-million and shares of subsidiary Greenheart Resources Holdings Ltd., which sold for $111-million. All were sold to unidentified "outside buyers."

Combined with the current proposed sale, Sino-Forest's assets have been liquidated over the past year for an anticipated total of almost $366-million, which suggests the company held significant real business assets, but they do not appear to be worth nearly as much as the company claimed in its financial statements prior to its collapse.

In 2010, for example, Sino-Forest reported holding $5.7-billion in total assets, including timber holdings worth $3.1-billion. The company, which traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, collapsed after a short seller wrote a damning report in 2011 questioning its accounting practices and calling Sino-Forest a "Ponzi scheme."

The Ontario Securities Commission has accused Sino-Forest founder and chief executive officer Allen Chan and four other senior executives of fraud, alleging management overstated the value of the company's standing timber business and falsified evidence of ownership for the vast majority of its timber holdings.

The OSC's long-running hearing in the case continued Monday with closing arguments by the regulator's staff, which began a week ago.

In his remarks last week, OSC lawyer Hugh Craig repeatedly stressed that senior staff of SinoForest have had years to prove the company owned the significant standing timber assets it reported, but have not been able to produce any documents to back the claims.

The company's timber subsidiary, registered in the British Virgin Islands, held most of the company's reported assets, which Sino-Forest said were located in China. Mr. Craig said "no clear or cogent evidence" had been produced at the OSC's hearing to show the existence of most of the standing timber in the BVI division, saying there was "very little evidence that Sino-Forest did real business" within the BVI model.

The OSC had no immediate comment Monday on the sale of Emerald Plantation assets.

Mr. Chan's lawyer, Emily Cole, also said she could not comment on the sale announcement.

Proceeds from asset sales by Emerald Plantation Holdings are being paid out to the company's note holders, allowing the former bondholders to reap some return on their investments.

In November, for example, Emerald notified investors of a plan to repurchase $39-million of outstanding notes using proceeds from asset sales last year. In July, the company paid out $85-million to repurchase senior notes.

Associated Graphic

A Sino-Forest plantation shown in June, 2011.


Red Wings should part with Datsyuk and start anew
If the Russian returns home, he will do so having had a stellar career - and open the door for a changing of the guard in Detroit
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

If this is indeed the end of Pavel Datsyuk's distinguished NHL career, it will go into the record books this way: Two Stanley Cup championships, three Selke Trophies, four Lady Byng Awards and more electrifying highlightreel goals than any Russian player since Pavel Bure.

Datsyuk didn't want to make it official Thursday night, when the Red Wings became the first team eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs and that's perfectly understandable. In the immediate aftermath of a five-game loss to a team missing two of its key players, the disappointment was palpable, the realization of an opportunity lost still too raw.

But Datsyuk had indicated before the playoffs began that he might return to play in Russia next season for both personal and professional reasons. Nor does Datsyuk's desire to return to Russia come as a bolt out of the blue to the Red Wings.

Two years ago, he made his interest known to general manager Ken Holland after his contract expired. Holland persuaded Datsyuk to stay, on the grounds that he remained a star player in the NHL, could easily sign one more lucrative contract and still be a competitive player in Russia before age caught up to him.

Datsyuk turns 38 in July. In the past, once a player clearly tied to a single NHL organization passes his 35th birthday, he signs a series of one-year contracts, which provide him with the flexibility to reevaluate his playing future at the end of every season. Teemu Selanne did it that way for years in Anaheim, Joe Sakic with Colorado, even Nicklas Lidstrom with the Red Wings.

The mechanism helps both sides - the player and the team.

Instead, the Red Wings gave Datsyuk a three-year extension, which paid him $10-million in the first year, $7-million this past year and drops to $5.5-million next year. Under the collective agreement, if Datsyuk leaves, the Red Wings will have to carry that final year - and the $7.5-million cap charge - on their books, which would put them in a financial pickle for one year anyway.

The Red Wings have made the playoffs for an astonishing 25 years in a row, a record of consistency and excellence that requires a moment to digest and appreciate. No one else in the NHL comes close.

Of late, however, they have settled into the NHL middle, a dangerous place to be. Consistent success means low draft picks.

There are only so many Dylan Larkins available 15th over all in the entry draft, only so many Anthony Manthas at 20th over all.

Holland and his staff have done a remarkable job of drafting players and, in recent years, of resisting the temptation to move out blue-chip young talent in exchange for short-term help.

They were keenly aware that the cupboard needed to be restocked, with Datsyuk having a foot out the door and Henrik Zetterberg probably not all that far behind.

In the meantime, there are more prospects in the pipeline.

The 110th player chosen in 2012, Andreas Athanasiou, came up in the second half and showed that he might have NHL offensive chops. Tomas Tatar and Gus Nyquist are still young. Tomas Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen, two players who played well for coach Jeff Blashill in the minors in Grand Rapids, Mich., have not settled into regular NHL roles, but will get a fresh opportunity to show they belong next year.

Although he faltered down the stretch, the Red Wings believe Petr Mrazek will develop into a legitimate No. 1 goaltender.

But if Datsyuk leaves, it will likely mean the Wings are facing a transitional year until they get his contract off the books, a year that will feature lots of young players playing on inexpensive contracts at the NHL level.

It probably wouldn't hurt to take one deliberate step backward and see where it all ends up.

Blashill told reporters earlier this week that, organizationally, the Red Wings' primary goal is to develop winners. Detroit's winning tradition is indisputable. It remains the last team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998 and it also won in 2002 and 2007. Most fans of most teams would happily take four titles in two decades.

But now, after four first-round exits in the past five years, there is no clear sense that the Red Wings are legitimate championship contenders any more. Even if they can persuade Datsyuk to change his mind for a year - and that's doubtful - it doesn't alter the fact that his era is mostly over. They need to move on to the next chapter. If it happens sooner rather than later, so be it.

Datsyuk's exit should be viewed the same way Lidstrom's was - both left nothing but wonderful memories behind. If this was his swan song, out of respect for everything Datsyuk's done for the organization, the Wings should just let him go, with their thanks.

They'll find a way without him.

In Detroit, they almost always do.

Follow me on Twitter: @eduhatschek

Associated Graphic

Pavel Datsyuk, as with the rest of the Red Wings, had trouble scoring on Lightning goalie Ben Bishop in the first round of the playoffs.


Colabello says he 'won't rest' till he figures out drug test result
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- There was sadness etched all over his face and the occasional tear rolled from his eyes as Chris Colabello made his first public pronouncements after getting busted late last week for ingesting performance-enhancing drugs.

It is no doubt a difficult time for the 32-year-old Toronto Blue Jays first baseman. It usually is for those who get caught cheating.

Interviewed on camera by Blue Jay broadcaster Jamie Campbell and broadcast on the club's Blue Jays Central television broadcast before Toronto's game Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox, Colabello said there can be no denying the presence of an illegal sub.

stance in his system.

But he said he remains totally mystified as to how it got there.

"I have no idea how this happened and I'm still trying to figure that out," Colabello said.

"And I won't rest until I do."

Colabello will have plenty of time on his hands to try to dig up those answers as Major League Baseball on Friday slapped him with an 80-game suspension after he tested positive for traces of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone in his system.

An anabolic steroid known commercially as Turinabol, the 32-year-old first learned of the positive test on March 13 after a routine drug test in February during spring training in Florida.

In the world of performanceenhancing drugs, Turinabol is what Pac-Man is to video gaming - old school.

According to the medical journals, the drug's main attributes are to enhance strength and endurance.

Sounds like a perfect pick-meup for a baseball player looking for a little help to get through the grind of a gruelling 162game regular season.

Colabello said he didn't actually test positive for the drug itself but for a "long-term" metabolite that is supposedly generated from the use of Turinabol, or DHCMT as he referred to it.

"I've never even heard of this so I'm being told I put this in my body?" Colabello said during the 12-minute interview that was taped in Toronto on Monday. "It was, it still is, gut-wrenching. I cried and cried and cried and cried, just because, my career means everything to me.

"Anybody that knows me, anybody that knows my track record as a person, as a human, more than just a baseball player, understands what this game means to me. And to think it could all be called into question at some point because of this - it's something that I would never have imagined."

The revelation that Colabello was using a banned performance-enhancing substance has been shocking to his legion of fans who came to love his ragsto-riches story of the underdog athlete who persevered to finally realize his dream of playing in the big leagues.

Undrafted out of college, Colabello never gave up his pursuit of playing the game at the highest level and toiled for seven seasons in independent baseball before he finally broke though into the major leagues.

Last year, his first in Toronto, Colabello was a revelation and key component to the Blue Jays playoff drive, hitting .321 with 15 home runs in 101 games.

This season, while Colabello was unsuccessfully appealing the original finding of the positive test, his production had dipped drastically with just two hits in 29 plate appearances in the 10 games he played before the suspension was announced.

During Monday's interview on Sportsnet, Colabello said in no way does he fit the bill of an athlete who would turn to steroids for a career boost.

"Come look at my body," said the slender, 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete. "Come look at my body.

Come look at the way I work.

Come look at the change I've made in my life to get to be a big leaguer, swing-wise. Look at my track record in minor leagues. I hit everywhere I was. I hit everywhere.

"In the last four years, I've passed 20 drug tests - 20! Nineteen in the regular season, one I think in the playoffs last season.

"I played independent ball for seven years. Why wouldn't I have done it then if I was ever going to do it? I stayed in indy ball for seven years, watched guys in that league cheat. Why wouldn't I do it then?" When he first learned of his positive test, Colabello said he did everything he could to try to figure out how Turinabol got into his system.

"I've sent my dog's blood and urine in to get tested," he said.

And now Colabello said that he feels like the game he has cherished his entire life is being ripped out from beneath his feet, and there's little he can do about it.

"I love baseball so much," he said, tears welling up once again in his eyes. "I love the purity of the game, I love everything about it.

"Just the thought that somebody turns the lights on, I get to go out and play. That's all I've ever wanted to do. I'll always love the game. That will never go away."

Bats and bullpen share blame for loss
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

TORONTO -- More than half a year after it all came down - or, in this case, went up and then came down - Jose Bautista is doing his best to get on with his baseball life after the infamous bat flip.

The demonstrative right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays has been declining interview requests if the topic of discussion was to include the now epic heave after his three-run home run sunk the Texas Rangers in the playoffs last October.

The chatty Bautista is usually willing to partake in any conversation, especially if it affords him an opportunity for a little giveand-take with members of the meddlesome media.

And with the Rangers returning to the scene of the crime at Rogers Centre on Monday night for the first time since Bautista's flippant flip, it seemed like a natural storyline for reporters to pursue.

But Bautista was unwilling to play ball. To his way of thinking, that moment is so ... 2015.

And no batters were thrown at in Monday's game. Nor were there any over-the-top or controversial moments to stoke whatever animosity might have existed between the two clubs.

It was just another loss coughed up by the Toronto bullpen in a 2-1 Texas victory in which the Blue Jays and their struggling offence managed just seven hits and reached double figures in strikeouts (10) for the 12th time in 27 games this season.

After Nomar Mazara homered off Toronto reliever Gavin Floyd in the top of the eighth to move the Rangers in front, there was a delicious déjà vu moment in the bottom of the frame with Texas hurler Sam Dyson now on the mound.

It was Dyson whom Bautista victimized for his memorable home run in the playoffs and, with two runners on board, the crowd at Rogers Centre wanted a repeat performance.

Instead, Bautista lined out to rightfield.

Later on in the inning, with the bases loaded, Troy Tulowitzki hit a fly ball to right for the second out.

Michael Saunders tagged up and tried to score what would have been the tying run from third, but was nabbed on a perfect relay home by Mazara to quell the uprising.

It's not that Bautista or the Blue Jays would ever want to capitalize on what has been Toronto's biggest sporting event in recent memory - at least until the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled out that scintillating triumph in the National Hockey League draft lottery this past weekend.

The Blue Jays are only giving away free T-shirts to the first 15,000 paying customers into Rogers Centre for Thursday's fourth and final game of the series against the Rangers.

Emblazoned on the front of the giveaways is a picture of the man-crush the Blue Jays rapturously fell into around the mound after they dispatched the Rangers in that rollicking fifth and deciding game of the American League Division Series last fall.

And earlier on Monday, Bautista was front and centre at a promotional soiree hosted by General Mills Canada to announce a new working relationship between the baseball star and the food conglomerate.

It was announced that, for a limited time, a reproduction of the Bautista bat flip will soon be making its way onto the boxes of some of their cereal products, including Golden Grahams Crunch.

Nothing like starting your day with a bowl of cereal while staring at an event that many socalled baseball purists have condemned as over the top and not in line with the staid traditions of the grand old game.

And while the idea is obviously to use that controversy to sell more cereal, Bautista's public relations minions were busy spreading the word at the news conference that the player would only entertain questions to his endorsement of the product, not the bat flip itself.

Along with being an all-star baseball player, Bautista is also a shrewd businessman and realizes better than most when to capitalize on a moment. So it was interesting to see him sitting courtside Sunday night, just hours after the Blue Jays played the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., to watch Game 7 of the Raptors basketball playoff game against the Indiana Pacers at Air Canada Centre.

Bautista was sitting beside Marcus Stroman, the young Blue Jays pitcher, and the pair were shown on television during a break in the action.

A lifelong supporter of the Raptors' Round 2 opponent, the Miami Heat, after growing up in the area, Bautista said he now roots for the Raptors, primarily out of deference for the amount of time he spends in Toronto.

He said he understands how easy it is for fans to get caught up in the emotions of a big game.

"You're watching, you get into the moment," he said. "It's almost like you're on the court with them."

Associated Graphic

Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, right, attempts to tag out the Toronto Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar as he slides into second base in the third inning. The Jays lost 2-1.


Close call gave rookie 'leaps and bounds of growth'
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- Rookie Norman Powell was one of the stars in the fourth quarter of the Toronto Raptors' epic Game 5 comeback win over the Indiana Pacers. But in the final two seconds, as the Raptors clung to a 102-99 lead and he chased Paul George, Powell also made a mistake that he could have long regretted.

The Pacers were inbounding under their own basket, hoping to tie the game and send it to overtime, so the Raps made a plan. George would almost certainly receive the ball, and Powell was to slap it away for a steal or foul George if he motioned to dribble.

In those two seconds, George raced around, caught the ball, dribbled and then zipped a fast pass to wide-open teammate Solomon Hill. It happened in such a dizzying flash that Powell didn't reach in quickly enough to foul, and Hill scored an open three.

Luckily for Toronto, video review showed that Hill didn't get that shot off before the buzzer, giving the Raps the win and a 3-2 series lead with a chance to clinch the team's first playoff series in 15 years on Friday in Game 6.

It also provided a valuable learning experience for the player chosen 46th in the last NBA draft, and Powell has meticulously studied game film of his mistake.

"After the game, he was almost distraught, like 'I didn't do the right thing,' but he wants to do the right thing all the time - he's so coachable," Raptors assistant coach Jama Mahlalela said.

"For him, there were leaps and bounds of growth done in that two seconds of film and now that will probably never happen to him again in his career. He loves watching film - he knows the mistakes before I even press play, and that's so impressive from a rookie."

How much the rookie will be used in Game 6 is anyone's guess.

He started Game 1 and played 17 minutes. He came off the bench in Game 2 just three minutes into the game to defend George after DeMarre Carroll got into foul trouble. He played just three minutes in Toronto's shabby Game 3 loss, but then had 10point performances in both Games 4 and 5, highlighted by his game-tying dunk Tuesday night off a crafty steal.

"I give myself up no matter what my role is, and I play with passion and heart," Powell said.

"I just told myself, I've put in the work and time and I've dreamed of being on this stage my whole life, so I should go out and prove to people that I belong."

The 22-year-old guard, who played four years at UCLA, started 24 games this year and defended players such as James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

So it's no surprise he's been asked to help on George.

The task gets tougher on Friday as George will be desperate to avoid elimination and could play the entire 48 minutes. Indy coach Frank Vogel was criticized for leaving his star on the bench too long as the Raptors kick-started that fourth-quarter Game 5 comeback. George said he could play the whole game - and do so at a high level - if asked to.

"If that's the direction the game is going, I'm all for it," George told Indiana media on Thursday.

"We had a chance to make Friday night a special night, a closeout game here, and we blew it."

Toronto fans are once again scooping up tickets to watch the game in Indianapolis. The Pacers announced they will give out gold T-shirts at the game with an outline of the state of Indiana and the words "United State of Basketball, #WeTheGold."

Raptor Patrick Patterson wasn't surprised at the imitation, saying that when Raptors fans sing the Canadian anthem loudly wherever they go, it really gets noticed.

Then suddenly they see opposing fans singing the U.S. anthem loudly in response.

"Same thing probably with, 'We The Gold,' " Patterson said. "Just because we do 'We The North,' they're just trying to find something to get at us."

Associated Graphic

Raptors rookie Norman Powell shows his emotion during Game 5 against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.


Biggest losers are biggest winners - maybe
Maple Leafs have the best shot, but any of Canada's seven non-playoff teams could win the Auston Matthews sweepstakes
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2


Let's hope Auston Matthews is fond of the cold after playing in Zurich this season.

Because the odds are the star 18-year-old from Arizona - who is expected to go first over all in the NHL draft this June - is coming to Canada.

The league's long-awaited draft lottery will finally play out Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada (8 p.m. EDT), and it will be the first chance for the seven Canadian teams to have a starring role during the NHL playoffs.

All seven teams finished in the NHL's bottom 12 - including five in the bottom six - and missed the postseason this year. Under the league's new lottery format - in which all of the top three picks will be involved in separate draws - the reward for that futility means that a Canadian NHL team has a 68.5-per-cent chance of getting the first overall pick.

Matthews - a talented two-way centre who grew up in Scottsdale as a fan of the Phoenix Coyotes - isn't making any predictions.

"We'll see what happens," said Matthews, who will watch the lottery unfold in the middle of the night from a TV studio in Helsinki, where he will be training with Team USA in advance of next week's world hockey championship in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The lottery is expected to be a big ratings draw for Rogers, which is the main reason it was delayed until the second round.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were last this season and as such have the highest chance of getting the top pick (20 per cent), followed by the Edmonton Oilers (13.5) and Vancouver Canucks (11.5).

Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and Ottawa also all have reasonable chances of picking in the top three.

In the new format, teams can't fall further than three spots from their place in the standings, meaning the Leafs will pick no worse than fourth overall.

Edmonton, which has had the first pick four of the past six drafts - including Connor McDavid last year - can fall no further than fifth.

The chance that the Canadian teams will come away emptyhanded is negligible. According to hockey statistician Micah Blake McCurdy, the likelihood of no Canadian team getting a top three pick in the lottery is only 2 per cent.

The probability of a Canadian sweep of picks one through three, meanwhile, is 25 per cent.

This would be a strange year for Canadian NHL teams to have every high pick, if that's how it plays out. More than any draft in recent history, the top end of the draft may not have much Canadian content at all.

Matthews, the top prize, would be the first No. 1 pick from a nontraditional, warm-weather city.

The next two highest ranked prospects are Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi, who led Finland to gold at the world juniors in January.

It's possible a Canadian player isn't picked until seventh over all, as some scouting services have Matthew Tkachuk (USA), Olli Juolevi (Finland) and Alexander Nylander (Sweden) tabbed to go in the top six. It's never taken longer than six picks in the past for a Canadian to be drafted, dating back to 1999 when Patrik Stefan and the Sedin twins went 1-2-3 followed by Pavel Brendl and Tim Connolly at four and five.

As few as three Canadians could go in the top 14 this year, which would be another historic low. Pierre-Luc Dubois, Jakob Chychrun (who was born in Boca Raton, Fla.) and Michael McLeod are widely considered this country's top draft-eligible prospects this year.

Follow me on Twitter: @mirtle

Associated Graphic

Team USA's Auston Matthews, centre, celebrates a goal during a World Junior championship game in Helsinki last December.



*Less than 0.1%

The Toronto Raptors have finally won a playoff series Game 7, although it was close at the end. DeMar DeRozan poured in 30 points as the Raps beat the Indiana Pacers. Next up: the Miami Heat, in Toronto, starting Tuesday
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors delivered something many doubted they would, overcoming the noise that reverberated about their failings in the past two postseasons. They won the team's first playoff series since 2001, defeating the Indiana Pacers 89-84 in Game 7 on Sunday night, earning a second-round meeting with the Miami Heat.

Led by 30 points from DeMar DeRozan, the No. 2-seeded Raptors eliminated the seventh-seeded Pacers in a white-knuckle contest. Indiana superstar Paul George had 26 points on 8-of-18 shooting as the Raptors withstood a furious late-game run by the Pacers to win Toronto's first Game 7 in franchise history.

Kyle Lowry had 11 points, making five of his 14 attempts as his shooting woes continued, but he contributed nine assists and fierce defence.

One couldn't help but replay memories of exactly two years ago, when the Raptors faced the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 of an opening-round playoff series on a Sunday in Toronto. Just as in that series, the Raps were coming off a Game 6 in which they choked away a chance to finish the series. The Raptors lost a heartbreaker in that Game 7 and followed it up last year by getting swept by the Washington Wizards.

"The pressure's there, so you have to embrace it," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said before the game. "You can't run from it; you can't hide from it."

The Raptors began with the same starting lineup they had used the previous two games - one with Patrick Patterson in at power forward. After a series full of shaky shooting moments from Toronto's two all-stars, both DeRozan and Lowry drained their first field-goal attempts of the night, to a roar from the anxious crowd.

The teams went bucket for bucket in the first, DeRozan knocking them down at one end and George at the other. The Raptors went without a turnover through the first eight minutes, but then committed two quick ones - one of which George took in for a cocky and casual 360degree dunk.

The crowd jeered everything George did - every basket, foul, touch or frown. He had 12 points by the end of the quarter, while DeRozan had 13, and Toronto held a 28-23 lead.

The Raptors' bench kept the pace in the second before starters transitioned back in. The Pacers continued to smother Lowry with double and triple teams and crush him with physical screens - one of which knocked him to the hardwood for an anxious moment. Rookie Norman Powell took advantage of what that opened for him, hitting a trio of threes and scoring with crafty moves in the paint for a 10-point quarter. It helped keep Toronto ahead 50-44 by halftime.

The Raptors began the second half with an 11-2 run. Patterson got loose for three from beyond the arc, while DeRozan exploded for a 13-point quarter, following each bucket with his signature sneer up at the delirious crowd.

The Raps took a 78-64 lead into the final quarter.

The Pacers kept the fans' stomachs churning, chipping to within three in the dying minutes as Toronto struggled with some turnovers. George, who had 17 in the first half, scored only nine in the second, guarded by Powell and DeMarre Carroll. Powell finished the night with 13 points, Patterson had 11 and Jonas Valanciunas had 10 along with 15 rebounds.

The Raptors will open the Eastern Conference semi-finals at home, welcoming the Heat on Tuesday.

Associated Graphic

DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors shoots past Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers during their NBA playoff game at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday night. The series win was just the second in Toronto's 21-year franchise history.


Naturopath gets light reprimand for doping documentary involvement
Vancouver-based Brandon Spletzer has his practice suspended for 10 days but is not fined for role in Al Jazeera feature
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver naturopath implicated in a sports doping documentary has been lightly reprimanded by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia.

The case against Brandon Spletzer is the first to be officially resolved, after the airing of an Al Jazeera documentary in late December on sports doping.

Spletzer plays a relatively minor role. In one scene, he talks to an undercover reporter about evading the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). In another, Spletzer delivers the reporter peptides not authorized for human consumption. Peptides are prohibited by WADA. The documentary caught wide attention for scenes Spletzer was not in. Several prominent athletes, led by Peyton Manning, were named. The allegations of sports doping were denied and haven't been proven. Baseball players Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman sued Al Jazeera.

The reprimand against Spletzer by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. was a suspension of his practice for 10 days.

Other conditions included taking an ethics course and not working with athletes for one year. There was no fine.

The college, in a statement, said it imposes sanctions to protect public safety "that are commensurate with the seriousness of the misconduct."

Spletzer was found to have recommended, ordered and provided a patient with two peptides that are not authorized for sale in Canada and a third peptide that cannot be prescribed by naturopaths. The college, in its public notification of the reprimand, also said Spletzer had made statements to a patient that "could be interpreted as being willing to engage in disgraceful, dishonourable, or unprofessional conduct."

On Wednesday, in his first interview about the case, Spletzer said he never aimed to facilitate sports doping.

"I was not, and I never have been, intentionally involved in sports doping," Spletzer said.

He said he fully co-operated with the investigation and said the details of the reprimand indicate he wasn't what was portrayed in the Al Jazeera documentary.

"If I was deliberately going out and making a whole lot of money, like it was shown in the video, doping athletes all over the place, you'd think I would have been punished a little more heavy-handed," Spletzer said.

Spletzer said he was wrong to prescribe the peptides. He said he had checked whether he could prescribe them as a naturopath and erroneously believed he could. He said the undercover reporter, a former athlete, didn't present himself as aiming to compete. Spletzer added that he was wrong to talk about evading WADA.

"It's cut and pasted," Spletzer said of the documentary. "He [the undercover reporter] was asking a lot of questions, a lot of hypotheticals. I'll be the first to admit I said something I shouldn't have. I said that to my board, as well. It was a mistake on my part to say those things."

In the documentary, Spletzer works with Vancouver-area pharmacist Chad Robertson. An investigation of Robertson by the College of Pharmacists of B.C. is ongoing, according to Bob Nakagawa, the college's registrar.

Robertson remains a full pharmacist with no limits or conditions on his work, according to the college's website.

Robertson is heard saying in the documentary that he has doped people - "I can take a guy with average genetics and I can make him world champion" - and later is shown with the undercover reporter organizing the acquisition of substances banned in sports. The reporter was Liam Collins, a onetime British hurdler.

The documentary positioned Collins as an athlete looking for one last shot at the Olympics.

Spletzer said he had cut ties last year with Collins, when the idea of competing was raised.

"I'm not some big-wig player in all of this," Spletzer said. "I literally got blindsided."

Dickey struggles early, Jays lose in extras
Thursday, April 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S2

Beleaguered knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey gave the Toronto Blue Jays the start they have been patiently waiting for all season.

Unfortunately, the end result was not to his liking.

Manny Machado singled off Toronto reliever Joe Biagini in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Caleb Joseph from third base as the Baltimore Orioles won 4-3 at Camden Yards on Wednesday night. The winning run crossed on a passed ball by Josh Thole.

It was a bitter loss for the Blue Jays (8-8) to swallow after batting back from an early 3-0 disadvantage. The setback also snapped a three-game Toronto win streak.

Dickey struggled early and surrendered three runs off three hits in the first inning, which allowed Baltimore to scoot in front 3-0.

It was the second consecutive game that Dickey has coughed up three runs in the opening frame.

But Dickey settled down after that, shutting down Baltimore on just two more hits through the next five innings before departing after six innings and the Jays trailing 3-2.

After falling behind early, the Blue Jays chipped away at the Baltimore lead, scoring one run in the third and another in the fifth on an opposite-field home run by Josh Donaldson that cut Baltimore's lead to 3-2. The homer was the American League leader's sixth of the season.

The Blue Jays tied it in the seventh when Edwin Encarnacion doubled home Michael Saunders from third base.

Saunders was grateful for the second chance to score after he failed to tag up on a line drive by Jose Bautista to centre.

If anybody needed a favourable outcome on Wednesday, it was Dickey, whose performance over the first month of the season has provided a year's worth of fodder for the sports-radio junkies.

Over all, Toronto starters have been surprisingly spry this season. In their past nine starts heading into Wednesday's game, they were 6-3 with a 2.30 earnedrun average along with a .207 opponent's batting average.

Dickey has been the outlier to that.

In his previous outing, a loss against Boston on Friday, Dickey lasted 42/3 innings, his third consecutive start that he has failed to reach six innings. You have to go all the way back to the 2008 season to find the previous time he has struggled like that.

Historically, Dickey has shown a penchant for throwing late in into games, his 6542/3 innings over his past three seasons the most by a Blue Jays hurlers since Roy Halladay exceeded 710 from 2007-2009.

At 41, some are wondering if Dickey's age is becoming a factor, something that Toronto manager John Gibbons will pass off as rubbish.

Dickey, Gibbons notes, is a notorious slow starter - and the numbers since the knuckleballer has plied his trade in Toronto back that up.

In his three seasons in a Blue Jays uniform heading into 2016, Dickey's combined record the first half of the year is 18-29, a win percentage of 38.3 per cent.

Over the second half, his win-loss record is 21-8, a 72.4-per-cent success rate.

However, it is interesting to note that in 2012, Dickey's Cy Young Award season with the New York Mets, he went 12-1 in the first half and 8-5 in the second.

Associated Graphic

Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard slides to score a run as Toronto Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole can't hang on to the ball in the first inning in Baltimore on Wednesday night.


Friday, April 22, 2016


A Thursday Sports story on the Blue Jays incorrectly said Manny Machado singled to score Caleb Joseph in the bottom of the 10th inning. In fact, Machado walked and during another player's atbat, Joseph scored the winning run on a passed ball by Josh Thole.

Sudanese man faces second review hearing with Canadian refugee board
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- Jonathan Nicola, the high school basketball player who may be almost 30 years old, faces his second detention review hearing on Tuesday in front of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Nicola came to Canada in November from South Sudan on a student visa that indicated he was born Nov. 25, 1998. He then attended Catholic Central High School in Windsor, Ont., as a 17year-old student in Grade 11, and played on the basketball team.

He was arrested by the Canada Border Services Agency on April 15 and is being held at the South West Detention Centre, a maximum-security jail in Windsor.

Nicola had his first detention review hearing last Tuesday and it was determined he was a flight risk.

Detention reviews occur until the main case is heard. On Monday, the Canada Border Services Agency applied to the Immigration and Refugee Board for an admissibility hearing.

Border Services has alleged that Nicola misrepresented material facts in his application for a permit to study in Canada.

Border Services said Nicola had previously used a date of birth of Nov. 1, 1986, for an earlier application to enter the United States.

If the allegations are found to be true in an admissibility hearing, Nicola faces deportation from Canada, said Anna Pape, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Nicola's basketball coach, Peter Cusumano, is hopeful the former player will not be deported.

Nicola stayed at Cusumano's home throughout the winter, brokered by the Canada Homestay Network.

Cusumano said Nicola was an excellent guest, living alongside his wife and 24-year-old daughter.

"Everybody went into this with good intentions, and it's blown up in our face," Cusumano said on Monday.

Cusumano wondered about Nicola's age but there was an array of official documentation that had been vetted by government officials. Cusumano once asked his other players if they thought Nicola was older but there was no outcry.

"He had a kind soul," Cusumano said. "He was desperate to get out of a bad situation."

According to Cusumano, Nicola had previously applied for refugee status in the United States in 2007. Then there was an application in 2015 to go to a prep school in Florida.

These emerged in December, when Cusumano and Nicola went to the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto to apply for a visitor visa to the United States, so Nicola could join the Catholic Central team for some games in Michigan.

The visa was eventually denied.

Cusumano said Nicola told him he didn't know about the previous applications. There were questions about aliases and the spelling of Nicola's mother's name.

On the basketball court, some were skeptical about Nicola.

"We all said, 'There's no way that kid is 17,' " said Trish Biffin, a coach at Pine Ridge Secondary School, which played Catholic Central early in the season and then defeated them in the provincial playoffs.

"I didn't know how old he was."

The stress has been difficult, Cusumano said.

"It's been bad for me. It's been horrible for my family. I can't imagine how bad it is for this kid," Cusumano said. "I do feel I was duped in a way. I question myself, for sure. I don't like being called the village idiot."

The Silent Partner
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P26

Ottawa says it is powerless to change the contract to sell armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

That's odd, considering Ottawa--under both Harper and Trudeau--had, and used, the power to make the deal happen

As he took the podium, avid Hind could take considerable satisfaction from the vista before him.

Arrayed at his feet in a gigantic auditorium inside London's Twickenham Stadium were the leaders of some of the world's most powerful armies and weapons manufacturers. They had joined Hind in January for a conference on armoured vehicles, an industry that Hind's employer, General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, all but dominates. "Our Canadian production line has been running continuously since the 1980s," Hind boasted, after explaining that GDLSC's plant in London, Ontario, has sold 10,500 fighting vehicles to 10 countries. "Whatever the challenge is, we've been there and done it."

And then it was showtime. To the accompaniment of thundering music,Hindrolledavideopromoting GDLSC's showpiece, the Light Armoured Vehicle 6. The polished production showed the LAV in a multitude of fighting situations: The eight-wheeled, 30-tonne behemoth can travel at high speed over rough terrain while pumping lethal force through its cannon and complement of machine guns.

As the lights came up, Hind asked his audience, "What's not to like?"

For this crowd, it was a rhetorical question. But as powerful as Hind's presentation was, the preceding speaker was even more potent: Colonel Glenn Dean, manager of the U.S. Army's 3,700-vehicle LAV fleet. Dean delivered an unequivocal endorsement for GDLSC's machine, which in the U.S. is called Stryker. The only real doubt Dean had was whether the multipurpose vehicle should be called a "personnel carrier" or an "infantry fighting vehicle."

For Hind, Colonel Dean's praise--invested with the authority of the U.S. Army--was the ultimate stamp of approval. As GDLSC's director of strategy in the United Kingdom, Hind's quest is to persuade the British Army to select the LAV 6 for a multibillion-dollar contract over competing models from manufacturers in Finland, Germany, France and Singapore.

Seemingly no expense was spared in this campaign: GDLSC even shipped a LAV 6 to the U.K. and sent it on a cross-country trek. Even so, the sales pitch was selective. When taking questions on the podium after his pitch, Hind was reluctant to get into certain details: "Let's talk about that outside," he suggested to a ripple of laughter in the auditorium after I asked him for the LAV 6's sticker price.

Despite all the hyperbole, Hind also had nothing to say on the biggest coup in GDLSC's history: the sale of $15-billion worth of LAVs to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's National Guard in 2014.

The deal is akin to a holy grail for anyone in the armoured-vehicle industry. But like the federal Conservative government that forged the deal, and like the Liberal successors who now stand by it in the face of a growing chorus of political and legal challenges, Hind--along with his colleagues at GDLSC and at General Dynamics headquarters in Virginia--emphatically resisted peeling back the mysteries surrounding the transaction that Conservative Trade Minister Ed Fast called "the largest advanced-manufacturing export win in Canada's history."

Like darts targeted with growing accuracy at a highly political bull's eye, the questions have accumulated, unanswered, ever since the deal was publicly announced in early 2014: How many LAVs are the Saudis buying from GDLSC? What weapons will be mounted on them? How will the Saudis use the vehicles? Is the sale legal under Canadian law? Why did General Dynamics, a U.S. corporation with annual revenues exceeding $30 billion (U.S.), need the federal government's Canadian Commercial Corp. (CCC) to backstop the deal? What exactly was CCC's role? And why will neither GDLSC nor CCC allow their employees to discuss any aspect of the deal?

Although Canadians may like to think of themselves, at least nostalgically, as a peacekeeping nation, we have a large defence industry--all the more so, relatively speaking, as other sectors have withered in the face of globalization.

And the future looks good for Canadian arms manufacturers. In the view of Christyn Cianfarani, president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, a 2008 $490-billion federal plan for military investment, including new ships and fighter planes, could "define the future of our industry for a generation."

But domestic sales are just half the story. According to a 2013 report prepared for Ottawa by a panel headed by Tom Jenkins, executive chairman of Waterloo-based Open Text Corp., Canadian defence-industry revenue is almost equally split between domestic and export sales. The sector in 2011 comprised more than 2,000 companies, over 70,000 employees, and an estimated $12.6 billion in annual revenues.

Among these 2,000 companies, only a few, such as Bombardier, CAE and SNC-Lavalin, are well-known Canadian names. The overall sector shows its roots in the expansion of the American industry in the middle of the last century. Ever since, the U.S. has been the world's largest arms manufacturer and exporter by a wide measure. Thus, domestic players in the Canadian industry are overshadowed by subsidiaries of American companies such as General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Textron and United Technologies. The sector's Canadian-owned companies tend to be low-profile, small and medium-size producers of components for the American subsidiaries. They're typically located in Southern Ontario's manufacturing heartland, reflecting the industry's interlocking history with the auto and tech sectors.

When Canadian companies do innovate, they tend to get acquired by U.S. and European heavyweights in whole or part. For example, L-3 Communications, whose 38,000 employees worldwide generated net sales of $10.4 billion (U.S.) in 2015, took over Spar Aerospace in 1999, Wescam in 2001, Bombardier's Military Aviation Services in 2003 and CAE's Marine Controls unit in 2005.

It's a unique industry, the Jenkins panel report noted, "in that governments are essentially the only customers, and have flexibility under international trade agreements to favour domestic suppliers." That means that "a nation's defence industrial capability is inextricably linked to government policies and practices." The government policies that matter most, of course, have to do with defence expenditures. These totalled $1.8 trillion (U.S.)--roughly 2.3% of global GDP--worldwide in 2014.

In recent years, defence spending in the United States--which absorbs roughly three-quarters of Canadian defence exports--has dropped 20%. Meanwhile, new markets in the Middle East, South and East Asia and South America were projected to grow about 40% between 2009 and 2016. Not surprisingly, many exporters are pivoting toward these markets--especially the Middle East, where the Canadian Commercial Corp., a Crown corporation established to assist defence exporters following the Second World War, energetically seeks new contracts. Alongside Export Development Canada, the federal Crown corporation that insures and finances private-sector export deals, CCC has a long track record of stewarding defence deals.

CCC may be publicly owned, and the beneficiary of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies over the decades, but it would not allow its president and CEO, Martin Zablocki, nor any other officer, to be interviewed. However, Zablocki spoke frankly in a 2015 interview with The National, a United Arab Emirates newspaper. "For us in Canada, we serviced the U.S. for many years--and this is an area where definitely their budgets are going down," Zablocki said. "So with [that] dynamic and with the money being spent in the Middle East, it's a strategic region for Canada on many fronts."

As CCC's corporate plan elaborates, "in every country where a material rise in defence spending has occurred since 2004, one of the identified drivers of the increase in spending has been attributed to the involvement of that nation in significant armed conflict or other violence." The 2014 deal with Saudi Arabia, the plan explains, provided "tremendous momentum."

CCC expects to grow defence transactions from $2.5 billion in 2015-'16 to $3.6 billion in 2019-'20. It forecasts that the fees it earns on those contracts will grow from $19.4 million in 2014 to $32.2 million in 2020--an increase that will leave the corporation in the black after its public subsidy is discontinued next year. (CCC's non-defence fees, meanwhile, are expected to grow from $2.6 million in 2015-'16 to $7 million in 2019-'20.)

According to CCC, "arguably the most significant determinant of CCC's success in a given market tends to be the openness of a foreign government buyer to CCC's value proposition." For CCC's approach to be successful, the corporation says in a footnote to its corporate plan, "a foreign government buyer must be willing to politically defend a decision to undertake a directed, sole-source contract with the Government of Canada as an alternative to an open-tender process." (This despite open tenders for public works being a traditional hallmark of Western democracy and trade.)

The $15-billion LAV contract with Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest example of CCC's value proposition in action. By acting as purchaser on behalf of the Saudis and vendor on behalf of GDLSC--a classic middleman collecting a fee--CCC recast the transaction as "government to government." Thanks to this legal alchemy, which CCC has widely employed, non-controversial Canada stood in Saudi Arabia's stead as GDLSC's client. CCC says in its buyer's guide that this arrangement reduces the risks "that would normally be associated with an open call for proposals, including the confidential nature of certain defence and security acquisitions," and "provides value across a balanced scorecard of success factors."

Further details on CCC's value proposition are not available. Indeed, government lawyers completely censored a description of its value proposition within documents the corporation was obliged to release under the federal accessto-information (ATI) law last year.

Such sweeping secrecy is intrinsic to CCC's culture, notes Patricia Adams, a veteran analyst with Toronto-based foreign-aid watchdog Probe International. Not even CCC's own board members--many of whom have backgrounds with defence and technology companies including CAE, Stratos Global, Spar Aerospace, Cascade Aerospace and software maker OMX--were permitted to see a 2012 external audit of the corporation requested by the federal government.

Whatever the details of CCC's value proposition are, board member Martin Gagné told the CCC's annual meeting last December that it has been extremely useful to General Dynamics, the world's sixthlargest weapons maker, which purchased its London plant from General Motors in 2003.

At an industry conference in the Ontario city last November, defence association president Christyn Cianfarani described GDLSC as "the anchor company in the London defence industry, not to mention one of Canada's defence industry crown jewels, recognized in this country and in many others for producing the best light armoured vehicles in the world."

What is perhaps less well understood, Cianfarani added, is that GDLSC "is at the core of a nascent defence cluster in this city and region, one which, according to the London Economic Development Corp., employs more than 12,000 highly skilled people working in 45 defence-related companies."

Over the past decade, GDLSC's plant--which got its start making GM-brand armoured vehicles for the Canadian army in the 1970s--has delivered thousands of LAVs with a total sales value of $17 billion (not including the notorious new contract). The purchasers included the U.S. and Canadian militaries, as well as Saudi Arabia, which bought an estimated $8-billion worth of LAVs in three separate deals in 2006, 2009 and 2011.

The benefits of the latest Saudi LAV deal will be spread among some 500 companies, according to federal officials. But the names of the subcontractor companies have not been released, and they are not eager to make their identities known. When word got out last year that Brampton, Ontario-based shock-absorber manufacturer General Kinetics was supplying parts for the LAV 6, the company's owner, Scott Griffin, a celebrated patron of the arts, quickly disassociated himself from his own company.

The focus on armoured vehicles at General Dynamics and CCC is commercially astute, says Ben Barry, a retired British brigadier general and senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, U.K. "Armoured personnel carriers are very attractive to a lot of countries," he explains after naming competitors to the LAV 6 made by BAE of Britain, Nexter of France, Patria of Finland, and Rheinmettal of Germany. GDLSC's success with the U.S. and Canadian armies lends its LAVs huge appeal internationally, notes Barry--and not just for military users. "These vehicles are very successful for internal security. Lots of dictators are putting them on the streets. The Saudi deal, for example, is not with the army but with the national guard--which is police and internal security."

As GDLSC's David Hind told me prior to his speech at the armoured vehicle conference in London, the future augurs well for GDLSC. Raging cross-border conflicts and civil unrest have prompted a huge increase in sales of armoured vehicles in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Latin America. GDLSC, said Hind, is in "a sweet spot."

As it turned out, Hind wasn't willing to talk to me again "outside" after he descended from the stage at the conference. His colleagues at GDLSC headquarters also refused my interview invitation. Nor was a visit to the GDLSC plant permitted.

This is all in keeping with a thorough-going strategy of obfuscation. Although General Dynamics mentioned its Canadian operation three times in its 2014 annual report, the words "Saudi Arabia" do not appear. Rather, the U.S. dollar-denominated report refers to a "$10-billion award to provide wheeled armoured vehicles, training and support services to an international customer through 2028."

The shroud of secrecy extends to Ottawa, where at least three ministries, in addition to CCC, helped win the contract with the world's top arms importer.

The initial legwork for the contract was done by John Baird, who visited Saudi Arabia as Canada's foreign minister in March, 2012. He made a return visit in October, 2014; Trade Minister Ed Fast also visited in both 2012 and 2013. During his term, Baird also closed the Canadian embassy in Iran, which is Saudi Arabia's arch-enemy. Baird even went so far as to tell the Saudi ambassador to Canada, in a 2014 meeting described in a document released under an ATI request, that Canada considers Iran to be "the world's greatest threat to peace and security." Business analysts worry this stance is now costing Canadian exporters dearly following the lifting of international sanctions against Iran this year.

(As for Baird, a few months after resigning as foreign minister in 2015, he became global strategic adviser at Mississauga-based engineering giant Hatch, which has had extensive contracts in Saudi Arabia.)

Some of Ottawa's reticence to talk about the LAV deal undoubtedly stems from Saudi Arabia's infamous human rights record: Under the House of Saud, there is no due process, no free press, severe repression of women's rights and gay rights, and systematic state violence against civilians ranging from mass executions to brutal suppression of dissent. The regime has also fomented wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

One of the few released documents relating to the deal that has not been fully obscured by censorship is an April, 2014, e-mail written by Anne-Tamara Lorre, a Canadian diplomat stationed at the United Nations in Geneva. Lorre told her colleagues at the Canadian embassy in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, that Saudi Arabia was resisting Canada's call at the UN for bans on child marriage, discrimination against women, judicially sanctioned corporal punishment and the execution of juvenile offenders. Meanwhile, scores of Canadian officials were scrambling to land the LAV deal.

Whether from embarrassment at the Saudi human rights record or not, secrecy was explicitly written into the LAV deal. As Aliya Mawani, a Canadian diplomat based in Riyadh, explained in a January, 2015, e-mail, Canadian officials "would be breaking the terms of the contract" if details were made public.

In another e-mail exchange in January, 2015, Brigette Walenius, deputy director with Foreign Affairs' GulfLevant-Maghreb Commercial Relations unit, cited General Dynamics officials who spoke of a "confidentiality clause in their contract with the Saudis"; she warned the Saudis "could terminate [the] contract if too much info is released."

As The Globe and Mail has reported, the Saudis' insistence on secrecy reached all the way into the federal cabinet. When then-minister of state for foreign affairs Lynne Yelich was invited to speak about the deal at a 2015 event to celebrate a Saskatchewan-based company's role as a subcontractor, her speechwriter was advised not to mention Saudi Arabia by Lina Seto, a CCC official. Sure enough, Yelich's speaking notes contain no reference to Saudi Arabia.

Little is known about the lethality of the LAVs. But in an October, 2012, e-mail with the subject line "GDLSC lands the Big One," Canada's ambassador in Riyadh wrote that the LAVs "are going to be 'fully loaded.' " What that meant was revealed in a Jan. 21, 2015, memo prepared by an official in the Export Controls Division at Global Affairs Canada (formerly Foreign Affairs). The export permit indicates each vehicle could include turrets equipped with automatic firearms, smoke grenade launchers and "a coaxial machine gun in addition to its main armament."

ATI documents also show that Ottawa announced the GDLSC deal before satisfying the federal law on exports of lethal weapons. When sales are proposed to countries "whose governments have a persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens," the government is obligated to obtain assurances that "there is no reasonable risk that the goods might be used against the civilian population."

More than two years after the Saudi deal was signed, there is no sign of whatever assessments Ottawa made of human rights in Saudi Arabia. An ATI request for this article was met only by procedural stalling.

Meanwhile, in February, the European Parliament passed a resolution stating that arms transfers to Saudi Arabia violate European arms regulations, and calling for an EU embargo.

The government of Germany, which has been the world's thirdlargest weapons producer over much of the past decade, has been especially vexed by the issue. When Saudi Arabia wanted to buy a large fleet of Boxer armoured vehicles from Germany in 2012, the decision was reviewed under German law by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Federal Security Council. In April, 2014, the council rejected the sale of 800 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia. And the following January, the government suspended all arms sales to the country. This news delighted officials at the Canadian embassy in Riyadh, according to a series of internal e-mails released under ATI. The German hesitation was just long enough to allow the Canadian sales job to swing the Saudi deal.

As the sales effort unfolded, so did negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty, a United Nations-sponsored pact aimed at imposing human-rights accountability on the weapons trade. Canada was one of a handful of countries--along with Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Syria and North Korea--that declined to sign. The Trudeau government also hasn't signed the pact--although it says it intends to.

Perhaps the ultimate issue surrounding the LAV deal is not how it sits with Canadian lawmakers, but rather how it can be justified under U.S. export control laws.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which are part of the 1976 U.S. Arms Export Control Act, require that Congress is formally notified 30 days before the U.S. can conclude a government-togovernment military sale or issue an export licence for military goods valued at $14 million (U.S.) or more.

The aim is to ensure that exported weapons don't end up being used against either U.S. forces or civilians abroad. Saudi Arabia has long been a hot file in this respect. In 1986, when President Ronald Reagan proposed the sale to Saudi Arabia of missiles, the Senate blocked the sales--a move Reagan then vetoed. During the Persian Gulf crisis in 1990, the first Bush administration triggered a congressional standoff when it proposed to sell $20-billion (U.S.) worth of weapons to the Saudis.

A 2016 report from the Congressional Research Service says that since October, 2010, Congress has been informed of proposed Saudi sales including fighter aircraft, helicopters, missile defence systems, missiles, bombs and armoured vehicles, with a potential value of more than $100 billion (U.S.). But as these contracts proceed, congressional concern has intensified regarding Saudi Arabia's use of U.S.-made weapons (including armoured vehicles) to suppress dissent at home and in neighbouring countries. Here again, regional rivalries come into play. No less an authority than U.S. President Barack Obama recently stated that Saudi-Iranian rivalry "has helped to feed proxy wars and chaos in Syria and Iraq and Yemen."

As the congressional report notes, civil protests in Saudi Arabia are growing, leading to clashes with security forces. Evidence of this is revealed on a video obtained from dissenters, showing troops using armoured vehicles to attack and destroy residential targets in Qatif, a city in the oil-rich Eastern Province, on April 15, 2015. According to Ali Adubisi, director of the Berlin-based European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, Qatif is ringed with troops and armoured vehicles.

LAVs also figure in Saudi Arabia's interventions abroad. In 2011, during the Arab Spring, the Saudi army suppressed protests in Bahrain using its existing fleet of Canadian-made LAVs. More recently, the congressional report notes, "the U.S.-trained Saudi military has used U.S.-origin weaponry, U.S. logistical assistance, and shared intelligence to carry out strikes in Yemen."

Given the stringency of the U.S. export control rules, and the fact that General Dynamics' foreign subsidiaries must abide by them under U.S. law, it comes as no surprise that GDLSC's 2011 sale of LAVs was reviewed under ITAR, and Congress was duly notified. But for GDLSC's 2014 deal, Congress wasn't notified. In other words, Congress was not informed of what proved to be the largest single weapons export deal won by a U.S. company in that year.

How the GDLSC deal squares with the long reach of U.S. law is a topic Canadian officials will not publicly discuss. Sifting through the thousands of pages of documents regarding the LAV contract that have been released to date by CCC, Global Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence, and the Department of Public Works and Government Services, it is striking that there is not a single reference to American military-export law.

In an ironically revealing response to requests for documents relating to United States government "terms and conditions," CCC has confirmed that the volume of relevant records is so vast that an ATI review "would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the corporation."

Despite calls to correct course from former Liberal cabinet ministers Irwin Cotler and Lloyd Axworthy, the Trudeau government stuck to the position that the deal is a private business transaction and could not be stopped. Yet, as the Globe's Steven Chase reported, the deal is proceeding precisely because Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion signed export permits for the LAVs on April 8.

The groupthink even extends to the New Democratic Party, whose then-leader, Thomas Mulcair, was told by a key union official not to bring up the LAV issue during last fall's election campaign. (GDLSC workers are represented by Unifor.)

On a clear day, the United States is visible from the boardroom of Toronto law firm McCarthy Tétrault. So it seemed a fitting place to sit down with John Boscariol, one of Canada's handful of experts on how companies north of the border can navigate ITAR.

As Boscariol possibly knows better than anyone else in Canada, the U.S. export control regime is a complex legal labyrinth. Those who get lost and incur the wrath of the U.S. government will almost certainly pay huge fines, or do jail time, or both.

A big part of Boscariol's job is helping to ensure that his Canadian defence-industry clients don't fall afoul of the "reach-through" provisions within ITAR, which allow the U.S. to track every single item subject to ITAR control no matter where it goes in the world. Enforcement is pursued by globetrotting American officials. (Boscariol agreed only to discuss government policies, without naming any companies.)

Adhering to ITAR gets tricky if you're a manufacturer supplying both military and non-military customers--"dual use," as it's called. As the panel on Canada's defence industry chaired by Tom Jenkins reported, "ITAR is particularly problematic for dual-use technologies, since even a single, small ITARrestricted component renders any product that contains that component also ITAR-restricted."

The report observed that, since the global market "comprises both ITAR and non-ITAR segments," many Canadian defence companies--especially those with dual-use technologies--"need to establish very sophisticated firewalls--in effect, ITAR and non-ITAR strategies--to ensure compliance for sales to thirdcountry markets."

In the late 1990s, Boscariol recalls, Washington, concerned that Canada had become a hunting ground for unfriendly nations seeking access to U.S. military technologies, suspended some long-standing exemptions to ITAR that Canada's industry had enjoyed. That led the Canadian government to quickly implement its own system of export controls.

In the current decade, Boscariol said, Canadian weapons makers began quietly streaming their production into two channels: one for ITAR-compliant products utilizing U.S. components and technology, the other for products that were free from the long reach of ITAR.

The ITAR-free products stand much better chances in competition against products from companies in Europe and Asia, Boscariol explained. While Canada's defence industry association holds that ITAR is "a critical impediment to Canadian industrial competitiveness," association president Christyn Cianfarani added in a February interview that ITAR "became an impediment for American companies as well." Any time exporters encounter control points like ITAR, she said, "we will look for opportunities to...I don't want to say get around the control point." (She then shifted to another aspect of the problem.)

The push to get clear of ITAR is extremely sensitive for U.S. officials and politicians, Boscariol says. "They likely recognize that ITAR represents a competitive disadvantage for U.S. companies who must force their customers to be ITARcompliant," he acknowledged. "But that doesn't mean they want U.S. companies to pursue workarounds to ITAR. And Canadian officials wouldn't want it to get out that they are actively discouraging use of U.S. technologies."

Although Boscariol agrees that many in the Canadian industry are rankled by the American export control regime, he says, "I've never seen anything indicating that the Canadian government--as opposed to industry executives --wanted to be ITAR-free."

After telling me that, however, Boscariol revised his o pi ni on while scanning a series of diplomatic wires sent from the U.S. embassy in Ottawa to the State Department in Washington.

The wires, released by WikiLeaks, describe a May, 2009, meeting in which Frank Ruggiero, a senior State Department official in charge of political and military affairs, met in Ottawa with officials representing Canada and the Canadian defence industry. Ruggiero was vigorously lobbied by Canadian and industry officials to let Canada go ITAR-free. "Public Works and Government Services Canada Assistant Deputy Minister Jane Meyboom-Hardy observed that ITAR relief for industry is a 'top priority' for the Government of Canada," the diplomatic note states.

"Department of National Defence Chief of Staff to the ADM for Materiel Jake Jacobson [now a vice-president at defence contractor Babcock Canada] attributed other 'unintended consequences' to the current implementation of [ITAR] in Canada that, he said, undermines bilateral defence relations," the note continued.

According to the diplomatic note, Jacobson told Ruggiero, in words that astutely predicted GDLSC's success in competing against Rheinmetall, that U.S. allies like Canada and the U.K. "are seeking ITAR-free products. Being ITAR-free is not a ploy to permit sales to unsavoury regimes. Rather, it is seen as a useful way to ensure timely bidding and product delivery, as well as ease of post-delivery service on domestic procurements, and to compete with European manufacturers."

At that point in the meeting, defence giant Lockheed Martin Canada's vice-president for business development, Don McClure, added that his company's "ability to develop Canada's new $2-billion combat ship systems integration without ITAR components was key to winning the contract in the face of European competition."

The report then noted that Ruggiero said "that the U.S. is willing to consider extending to industry the government-to-government ITAR relief that State had negotiated with the Canadian Department of National Defence and other agencies in 2007."

To John Boscariol at McCarthy Tétrault, this interchange was news. Boscariol also viewed the version of the CCC document concerning its value proposition that was released under ATI law. His reaction began with a burst of laughter. "I wonder why?" Boscariol marvelled as he looked at the entirely censored document. "Maybe they feel it's a competitive issue with regard to the strategies of other governments?"

It appears that, after the Ruggiero meeting, his office did grant Canadian manufacturers the ITAR relief they sought--but that news of this exemption was not shared with American legislators.

Steven Staples, a veteran Ottawabased defence industry analyst, sees an agenda at work in the WikiLeaks wires. Staples has tracked GDLSC's sales to Saudi Arabia since 2009, when, as president of the Rideau Institute, a think tank dedicated to foreign-policy research, he first demanded the Canadian government curtail the company's transactions with the Saudis. "It used to be that Canada used the U.S. as a country of convenience for the re-export of weapons, because they were less restrictive than us," says Staples. "But now we've lowered our standards in order to become a country of convenience for U.S. weapons companies....We've gone from being quite cautious about weapons proliferation to being quite irresponsible."

In Staples's view, GDLSC's Saudi contract represents the culmination of a long push by Ottawa to attract investment from, and win business for, U.S. defence firms seeking freedom from ITAR's clutches, despite the laws requiring U.S. f irms to notify Congress about large weapons export deals.

"Once they got the ITAR issues resolved, they could easily rubberstamp it through the Canadian export controls," Staples says. "Meanwhile, thanks to CCC, General Dynamics gets the Boy Scout stamp of approval that their deal was a sale to Canada, not Saudi Arabia."

In Washington, Colby Goodman, a researcher at the Center for International Policy (CIP), a foreign-policy watchdog, shares Staples's concerns. "This is a very major U.S. deal and it has circumvented our system for reviewing such deals," Goodman says. "There is substantial concern in Congress now about much smaller deals with Saudi Arabia at a time when weapons exported there are being used against civilians in Yemen. And there is strong evidence that these weapons could be used domestically against civilians."

Last December, an impending $1.3-billion (U.S.) weapons sale to Saudi Arabia prompted two senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to request, under new weapons export rules, that the committee be notified of future weapons shipments. The vetting will get more granular. "By invoking this new authority, the Senate committee is now saying that we want to monitor each shipment of the ordnance-- and it's a lot of ordnance," an aide to the committee says.

According to CIP research, U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia between 2009 and 2014 came to $13 billion (U.S.), the "highest of any country in the world during that time span." The number also illustrates the immensity of the GDLSC deal.

Goodman doesn't question the legality of General Dynamics' actions: The relaxation of ITAR application in Canada, and the insertion of CCC with its "governmentto- government" contract structure in between GDLSC and the Saudis, indicates to him that every legal precaution has been taken. Indeed, the document signed by Stéphane Dion to permit the export says, "the U.S. government supports this new program, and has issued the necessary export authorization to GDLSC."

What Goodman does question is whether it is seemly for the Canadian government to be creating workarounds for U.S. weapons exporters seeking relief from U.S. export controls that are explicitly intended to permit the U.S. Congress to intervene to safeguard human rights and reduce conflict escalation. "If this deal was reviewed by Congress, it would generate very serious discussion and calls for thorough legal review," Goodman says. "Reporters and civil-society groups here in the U.S. would do some serious digging and call for congressional action to protect human rights in Saudi Arabia, and in Yemen," he adds.

"But because this huge deal for General Dynamics is up in Canada without any congressional notification, none of that is happening."

Associated Graphic





Saturday, April 30, 2016

Oregon wades into marijuana business
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

PORTLAND, ORE. -- In a low-key press release last Friday, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced an important milestone in what is perhaps the state's most significant new economic endeavour - legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana.

After months of criminal background checks, land-use approvals and all manner of bureaucratic hoops, the commission handed out its first batch of recreational marijuana licences late last week.

The licences allow businesses to grow and sell legal weed to anyone over the age of 21.

"These licensees reflect the pioneering spirit Oregon is known for," said Rob Patridge, chair of the OLCC.

"They come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and possess the entrepreneurial spirit of this industry."

Few industries in the United States are caught in a state of flux as great as that of the burgeoning recreational marijuana market.

In states such as Washington, Colorado and Oregon, where weed is essentially legal, thousands of businesses have inundated the infant industry. They range in size from one-shop mom-and-pop operations to would-be Wal-Marts, drawn by the lure of a massive new revenue source - the same motivation driving many of the state governments that have opted to legalize sale of the drug.

But even as several states scramble to build a legal framework for the marijuana, the situation in Oregon illustrates the Wild West nature of a business no one is quite sure how to properly regulate. Even as the OLCC expects upward of 2,000 licence applications this year, it has yet to finalize the set of rules by which those new businesses will operate. And even when it does, it's still unclear how well those rules will mesh with the federal government's regulations, which still put marijuana in the same class as drugs such as heroin.

In the past year, Oregon has become a sort of buyer's and seller's paradise. Even before the state decided to legalize recreational sale, Oregon's Pacific Northwest climate was the source of some of the most highly valued strains of weed in the nation. But since then, the state has also made it less costly to buy and sell marijuana than in many other parts of the country.

Oregon currently imposes a 25per-cent tax on the drug, and that rate is expected to drop to between 17 per cent and 20 per cent later this year. Washington, the state's northern neighbour, imposes a tax of 37 per cent.

When it comes to setting up a dealership, Oregon also has slightly looser residency requirements than other states. Even though the state is prioritizing applications from local businesses, it doesn't require all applicants to have lived in Oregon for years beforehand.

But the residency requirements - and the fact that many states have felt the need to impose them - illustrate just how dicey marijuana regulations can be.

One of the main reasons states want their weed dealerships to remain local is because marijuana is still classified, federally, as a Schedule I drug. That class of drugs, which includes the likes of LSD and bath salts, is very heavily regulated - so much so that almost all large U.S. banks will still refuse to work with marijuana dealerships, regardless of state law. That, in turn, means that the vast majority of weed stores are all-cash businesses.

Earlier this year, in the first full month of recreational sales, the Oregon Department of Revenue announced it collected almost $3.5-million (U.S.) in taxes from the new industry (some observers didn't expect the state to collect that much in all of 2016) - it's likely that much of that money was paid with rubber bandbound stacks of bills.

That burden doesn't just make it difficult to scale, it poses a serious security issue. When the city of Salem was trying to decide which parts of town to zone for marijuana businesses, several councillors worried about the cost in police resources necessary to keep an eye on such enticing targets for theft. In at least one instance in Portland, a group of nearby businesses balked when a startup dealership tried to move into the same commercial building.

And yet, the onslaught of new applications continues. The OLCC expects to issue about 850 licences this year, even though full recreational sale is still technically illegal in the state (until the floodgates finally open later this year, only medical marijuana dispensaries are currently allowed to sell recreational weed).

The reason so many entrepreneurs are willing to jump headfirst into so uncertain an industry was made clear in another announcement made last Friday.

Around the same time the OLCC was announcing its first permits, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs broke ground on a facility that will soon become Oregon's first tribal-owned weed operation. Members of the tribe voted overwhelmingly in December to authorize the plan.

The primary impetus for those who voted in favour? The prospect of 50 new jobs and tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

For a region hit hard by plant closures and the resulting unemployment, it was too good an opportunity to pass up, even if it'll be a long time before the regulatory kinks are finally worked out.

Associated Graphic

A man shops at a medical marijuana dispensary on Oct. 4, 2015, in Portland, Ore.


Get ready for the spoon flip
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

No matter what it may say on the Wheaties box, cereal is rarely thought of these days as the breakfast of champions. Concerns about sugar have pushed many consumers to other breakfast options.

But General Mills Canada Corp.

is hoping to change that with a new campaign, placing Blue Jays star batter Jose Bautista on its Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Golden Grahams cereal boxes for a limited run. It's not the norm for the company in Canada: Wheaties, the cereal known for decorating its boxes with pro athletes, is not sold here. A sponsorship with the Canadian Olympic Committee means that during the Games, amateur athletes make an appearance on boxes, but otherwise General Mills does not use celebrities in its advertising. It has not had a marketing relationship with the Jays for 15 years and has not had a pro baseball player on one of its boxes since Roger Clemens.

But last fall, an employee noticed that Mr. Bautista, who is active on social media, had posted on Instagram a picture of himself hugging a box of Golden Grahams to his chest.

He tweeted about enjoying both that cereal and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, so General Mills sent him a case of each. Then it reached out to his business manager and started discussions about a marketing deal.

"At first, I didn't know they came from the same company," Mr. Bautista said, sitting in a lounge surrounded by cereal boxes at Rogers Centre on Monday, during an event General Mills held for grocery retailers.

The retailers were there to meet the star, tour the dugout and the bullpen and see the famous "bat flip" bat, the image of that is on one of the boxes. It was orchestrated in hopes that stores will give General Mills' instore displays better play, including the life-sized cardboard Bautistas that will decorate hundreds of grocery aisles across the country.

It's the first time a sponsorship has come together because of Mr. Bautista's social-media presence, but like some other athletes, he has cultivated it not just to connect with fans, but to set himself up as a more attractive sponsorship prospect.

"I definitely try to maintain close tabs on who is following me. ... I have a team that helps me with that," Mr. Bautista said.

"I get a pretty broad audience through social media. It's something I'd like to continue to take advantage of," he added.

Mr. Bautista is assisted also by being surrounded by the calibre of players among whom he's always been vocal about wanting to play. A series of dream trades and a playoff run last year ignited excitement among a fan base all too accustomed to defeat and made the team a contender for more sponsorship dollars.

Last fall, the Jays invited General Mills Canada's vice-president and marketing director, Dale Storey, to a game, partly to explore whether the company may be interested in a sponsorship in the future.

To promote the boxes, General Mills has paid for an in-stadium "takeover" of all the digital boards in Rogers Centre for half an inning each for the next five games, beginning on Monday night, and a smaller signage deal for another 10 games.

"We're very open to working more with Jose, we're very open to working more with the Blue Jays, beyond the term of this particular partnership," Mr. Storey said in an interview Monday.

"His presence in Canada will give us a chance to have brand consideration from people who may love these brands, but have forgotten about them," he added.

People have moved on partly because of health concerns about the sugar content of cereal, questioning its role as part of a balanced diet - particularly sugary confections such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Golden Grahams, with nine grams of sugar per 3/4-cup serving, which have been marketed on their sweetness.

"The fact that one of the most prolific athletes in Canada eats our cereal, loves our cereal and endorses our cereal as part of his lifestyle, we think that helps make the case that cereal is actually good for you," Mr. Storey said. "Cereal is healthy. We believe in balance, moderation and exercise. That's how we think about nutrition."

Mr. Bautista says he eats cereal occasionally as a meal replacement when he's on the road and finds the menu on airlines or in hotels somewhat "shaky." More regularly, he has it for breakfast or as a late-night snack - sometimes in place of dessert.

"I don't think this is worse than cheesecake," he said. But what about for people who care about their health, and don't burn as many calories a day as a professional athlete? "If you exclusively eat cereal five times a day, and don't get other nutrients in your body, are you going to be okay? I don't think so," he said. "But cereal has a purpose in the modern diet."

Cereal makers such as General Mills are fighting to regain that place in the modern diet.

"We believe strongly that all of our cereals are part of a balanced lifestyle," Mr. Storey said. "... Aisle 8 needs some excitement."

Associated Graphic

Jose Bautista is the first pro baseball player to work with General Mills since Roger Clemens.


Consumer puts BoC in policy quandary
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Economic Insight

Friday's double whammy of key economic data from Statistics Canada - retail sales and inflation - raises an interesting prospect for the Bank of Canada: Its rate policy may become a victim of its own success.

Statscan reported that February retail sales climbed a solid 0.4 per cent from January, despite a slump in the cost of gasoline that sapped overall retail prices. On a volume basis, sales were up a strong 1.5 per cent.

At the same time, March's consumer price index inflation came in at 1.3 per cent year over year - down a shade from February's 1.4 per cent, but still higher than economists had expected, given the massive 14-per-cent decline in gasoline prices from a year earlier. The core measure of inflation - which strips out eight volatile components of the CPI, most notably gasoline, in order to get a better picture of underlying inflation pressures - jumped to 2.1 per cent from 1.9 per cent.

Both were considerable surprises. Retail sales had been widely expected to take a step backward in the month, after a supersized 2-per-cent gain in January, especially given that most other key economic indicators had stumbled badly in February from a white-hot start to the year. Core inflation was expected to be a much more tame 1.7 per cent.

The Canadian dollar leaped nearly a half-cent against the U.S. dollar within minutes of the news, and why not? The retail sales numbers put economic growth back on track for a strong first quarter - perhaps north of 3 per cent annualized. And core inflation jumped the central bank's 2-per-cent target, putting it in territory where an inflation-targeting central bank would typically start contemplating whether a rate increase would be appropriate to cool the price pressures.

The data underlined that the momentum in the Canadian consumer sector is a driving force in the country's growth recovery, even as many other parts of the economy remain fitfully mixed.

Retail sales have risen in eight of the past 10 months, and their momentum appears to have accelerated markedly in early 2016.

In the first two months of the year, retail sales volumes (seasonally adjusted) surged 3.6 per cent.

The blistering pace may now be fuelling consumer inflation to heights where the central bank will have to start taking notice.

And yet it was the Bank of Canada itself that provided the vital fuel that is driving the consumer surge.

The Bank of Canada's two interest rate cuts last year were intended to stimulate the country's oil-shocked economy, but it takes months for rate cuts to work their way into the economic fabric. Only now are the stimulative effects becoming palpable.

Nor were their effects going to be equal across all contributors to the economic recovery. Canadian rate cuts aren't going to stimulate capital spending in the energy sector, where acutely low commodity prices have obliterated the business case for those investments. And while they do help to drive down the Canadian dollar, making our exports more competitive, there's nothing they can do about sporadic demand in those export markets - something that remains an issue.

But what they do particularly well is keep the foot on the gas of consumer spending. The pace of household credit growth has actually increased in the past year, even as incomes have slumped badly in resource-heavy regions. Dirt-cheap interest rates are helping keep the consumer sector buoyant, and are underpinning demand in the housing sector. Which is kind of what the Bank of Canada had in mind when it made the rate cuts in the first place.

So the rate cuts are working their magic on the consumer - maybe, from the Bank of Canada's perspective, a little too well.

The central bank believes the economy needs sustained growth in non-resource exports to get properly back up to full speed; that export growth will, in turn, fuel investment in business expansion and increased hiring, which will generate a virtuous circle of income, spending and growth.

But if booming consumer spending is going to fire up inflation to the point where the currency markets start contemplating Bank of Canada rate increases, a key support for export growth - the dollar - gets pulled out from beneath the whole recovery structure. That has already started; the dollar topped 79 cents (U.S.) this week, a ninemonth high, and it gains a little more strength with every statistic that suggests the Canadian economy is growing faster than expected.

Expect the bank to address this by sticking with its long-standing position that core inflation is overstating underlying inflationary pressures, that it has been distorted by "transitory" factors, most notably the previous sharp declines in the Canadian dollar. It may also play down consumer spending as having gotten ahead of itself, while expressing greater concern about the uncertain momentum in exports and business investment. This could cool speculation in the currency about an earlier-than-expected rate rise.

But as the influence of the 2015 rate cuts continues to get stronger as 2016 progresses - something the bank itself fully expects - the consumer momentum could prove resilient. Ultimately, the question will be at what point will that might push inflation to the bank's breaking point.

A Saudi warning on oil prices
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1


Saudi Arabia, the world's mightiest oil power, is throwing in the towel.

Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy Crown Prince, has vowed to treat the lethargic, oilobsessed kingdom to an economic revolution. His plan - "Vision for 2030" - would do away with oil as the country's lifeblood and bring in a diversified private sector economy. It calls for the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, potentially valuing the world's biggest oil company at more than $2-trillion (U.S.).

We can debate forever whether the Prince, who has emerged as a young royal to watch, will succeed in his mission. The better question for the global oil industry, especially the high-cost producers like Canada, is what the Prince's plan says about long-term oil prices.

Here's a guess: If the Saudi oil gurus were convinced oil prices would go back to, say, $100 a barrel and stay there, the country would put the revolution on hold indefinitely. Why risk years of economic adjustment pain and social upheaval if high prices would guarantee that the cash gusher will remain intact for another few decades?

Oil consultant and analyst Olivier Jakob of Switzerland's PetroMatrix thinks the Prince's economic overhaul plan is bearish for prices.

In a note published this week, he said "the plan can be taken as Saudi Arabia realizing that oil prices will be lower for longer and that the global economy is moving to a new post-carbon era."

There could be another motive, though this one seems less credible. It says the Saudis fear the United States is losing interest in the Middle East in general and Saudi Arabia in particular, allowing an ascendant Iran to emerge as the dominant power in the region. The Iranians control the Strait of Hormuz - the choke point between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman - through which most of Saudi Arabia's seaborne oil exports pass. The Saudis and the Iranians don't much like one another and the Saudis may fear that the day will come when its oil tankers can't get through the strait, so wiser not to base your entire economic future on a single product that needs to be floated out of the country.

The theory that Prince Mohammed's economic diversification plan is based on his belief that the high-price era is over might seem far-fetched. Brent crude, the international benchmark, has been on a tear. In January, it reached a low of $27.

On Friday, the price was $48 - a four-month gain of 77 per cent.

The bull case says the price will keep rising because two years of low prices stimulated demand and crimped U.S. oil production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects total American crude production (dominated by shale) to decline to 7.9 million barrels a day in the third quarter from 9.1 million in the first quarter of this year. Skepticism about the speed of the transition to electric cars and surging demand all over the world for SUVs support the bull case, as does the slow but steady economic recovery in the euro zone.

The bear case says the recent price surge was partly driven by the weak U.S. dollar and that once it strengthens, the price will reverse course. It is supported by the desire of Iran and Iraq to expand production, and Russia's desire not to trim its own production. The bear case also rests on the theory, promoted with religious fervour at the Paris climate change conference in December, that the oil era is coming to an end and that, for the sake of the planet, it must end soon, before we all fry to death. Fuel subsidies are being reduced or eliminated everywhere.

The most compelling nearterm bearish argument is that U.S. shale oil will come surging back if the price rises another 10 bucks or so.

The shale producers have been crunching costs, dropping their break-even point. At $30 a barrel, shale was doomed; at $60 or higher, drilling will come back.

The Saudis appear to be betting on the bear case and are fully aware that it demands the rollback of the welfare economy.

Almost half of Saudi gross domestic product and about 80 per cent of exports comes from fossil fuels.

The International Monetary Fund calculates that Saudi Arabia's fiscal break-even in 2016 demands an oil price of $67.70 a barrel - well above the current price. The IPO of 5 per cent of Saudi Aramco might raise $100billion, enough to buy the country some time to make the transition to a private sector market economy, but only some time.

If the deputy Crown Prince is right, the high-cost producers - the Alberta oil sands, the deep offshore wells - and the fragile oil states such as Venezuela and Nigeria face a whole lot of pain.

His ambitious fix-it plan for the Saudi economy suggests he is playing it safe. His bet does indeed seem to be lower for longer.

The Caisse's transit plan is half 'wow,' half 'how'
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1


For years, Montrealers have suffered from infrastructure envy as they've watched new subways, LRTs, airport terminals and highways being built in other Canadian cities while they make do with patches that keep their own crumbling roads and bridges from disintegrating entirely.

So, the news that the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec wants to build a $5.5-billion light rail transit (LRT) network spanning 67 kilometres linking downtown to north- and southshore suburbs, Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport and the western tip of the Island of Montreal was greeted with the kind of giddiness you imagine lottery winners feel on learning they've won the jackpot.

"Wow! Wow!" exclaimed YvesThomas Dorval, head of Quebec's main business lobby, the Conseil du patronat, after the Caisse unveiled its plan last week. He insisted that the largest public transit project since the Metro opened 50 years ago would reposition Montreal as "a global metropolis," helping it recapture the can-do dynamism that propelled the city in the Expo 67 era.

It did not take long, however, for reality to bite.

The Caisse's chosen route for its LRT, through some of the leafiest and lowest-density areas in the region, was decried by east-end Island of Montreal mayors whose low-income neighbourhoods would be entirely bypassed.

The project would also require $2.5-billion in funding from the provincial and federal governments, leading critics to worry that other infrastructure projects that need public financing could be scrapped.

A new Metro line through northeastern Montreal could be the first casualty. Or it could be the quid pro quo politicians must deliver in order to get lower-income voters in east-end Montreal to buy into an LRT that will primarily benefit property owners in well-off suburbs, most of whom will still drive to work. The Caisse estimates that its LRT would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by just 16,800 tonnes a year, a blip compared with the 81.2 million tonnes Quebec emitted in 2013.

The wisdom of allowing the Caisse to design, build, own and operate the most important Quebec transit project in decades, whose influence on real estate values and development will create winners and losers for years to come, is suddenly a matter of intense public interest.

After all, as the manager of $250-billion in Quebec publicsector pension assets, the Caisse does not share the same priorities as transit users, taxpayers and politicians, all of whom have their own wish lists.

This is just one of the hurdles Caisse boss Michael Sabia will need to clear quickly if he is to silence the skeptics and adhere to his ambitious (many say unrealistic) timeline of having the LRT up and running by late 2020.

Mr. Sabia needs to make a smashing success of his all-electric Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) if it is to serve as a demonstration project that allows the Caisse to sell its innovative turn-key transit model to other cities and countries.

The Caisse says its REM would be Quebec's first "public-public partnership." But while one public partner (the Caisse) is focused on earning a long-term "commercial" return on its investment, the other public partners (governments) are likely to seek political as well as financial dividends.

The Caisse is counting on pocketing the lion's share of the enhanced property tax revenues generated by a projected $5-billion worth of real estate developments along the LRT route. But municipalities may have other ideas.

There's also the question of whether the LRT would require permanent public subsidies to operate. Although the Caisse argues otherwise, it can't guarantee that its LRT would not require operational subsidies.

Should Quebec taxpayers be subsidizing Quebec pensioners?

And what's more important, ridership or profits, since the two are not always correlated?

Low fares can draw riders but still lead to ongoing operating deficits. The Caisse's preferred route suggests it is more interested in drawing a well-heeled clientele than average Joes, although Mr. Sabia has no doubt internalized the painful lessons of Toronto's troubled UnionPearson Express.

As for deciding which engineering firms, construction companies and rolling stock manufacturers win juicy REM contracts, Mr. Sabia will face relentless pressure to choose Quebec-based suppliers. No sooner had the Caisse gone public with its LRT proposal than Quebec Transport Minister Jacques Daoust blurted out: "For us, it would be so good to see the name Bombardier written when the [rail car] door opens."

Despite its caveats, the Caisse proposal is a genuine cause for optimism. Most government-led infrastructure projects in Quebec get bogged down in bureaucracy and politics, if they proceed at all. By handing responsibility for this project to the Caisse, the provincial government increases the odds it will get built, period.

On time and on budget, too?

That would really be like winning the lottery.

Bombardier poised to clinch Delta order
Multibillion-dollar order from U.S. giant Delta Air Lines Inc. could be a turning point for the C Series program
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

MONTREAL, TORONTO -- Bombardier Inc., trying to recapture investor confidence after two straight annual losses, is poised to make a major breakthrough with its C Series airliner that would ensure the plane program's viability into the next decade.

The Montreal-based company, the world's only manufacturer of both planes and trains, will announce on Thursday that it has won a multibillion-dollar order from U.S. giant Delta Air Lines Inc., according to a person familiar with the situation. The commitment is potentially as large as 125 aircraft, industry analysts have estimated, including 75 planes needed with some urgency and options on 50 more.

Ahead of its annual general meeting Friday morning, Bombardier could also announce the firming up of a letter of intent by Air Canada for up to 75 C Series airliners. That order includes 45 aircraft that Canada's flagship carrier will definitely take and options on another 30 planes.

"This leaves the C Series program in pretty good shape," said Ernie Arvai of consultancy AirInsight in Windham, N.H.

"Once you begin landing very well-respected customers, you can typically go forward. They've got an opportunity to lay out that, 'Yes we're delivering what we promised way back when and nobody believed.' "

A Delta order would be the largest so far for the C Series program.

Plane makers consider backing from the carrier to be highly valuable, both because of its sheer scale - it is the second-largest airline in the United States by traffic - and also because of its influence. Bombardier's commercial aircraft sales chief, Colin Bole, calls such customers "market makers." Many smaller carriers without the same buying analysis resources as their larger peers often wait to see what the big airlines do before making purchase decisions.

A deal with Delta for 75 aircraft would be worth between $5.4billion (U.S.) and $6.2-billion at current list prices, depending on the models chosen. Airlines typically negotiate big discounts for that volume of planes and the actual price paid would be far less.

The two deals, if confirmed, would bring Bombardier's C Series order book to 370 firm airplanes - enough aircraft to ensure production at the manufacturer's facilities for five years.

Based on a transformation plan outlined by management last November, the company estimates it will build 255 to 315 C Series planes from 2016 to the end of 2020.

"What this tells you is that they're pretty much sold out into 2021," said Chris Murray, an analyst with Altacorp Capital in Toronto, adding that Bombardier now has validation for the C Series from three major carriers including Lufthansa AG as well as smaller airlines and leasing companies. "This would actually put the Bombardier C Series program in a better position from a starting point than where Airbus was with the A320 when it was launched in 1988."

The C Series is Bombardier's big bet to drive revenue growth in its commercial aircraft division over the next generation. The plane is the first clean-sheet design of a single-aisle airliner in nearly 30 years and easily beats existing aircraft on operating costs because of its advanced technology and fuel burn, Bombardier says. But the aircraft has suffered problems, coming two years late to market and $2-billion more than its initial $5.4-billion development cost.

More significantly, rivals Boeing and Airbus have used aggressive tactics in trying to keep Bombardier from winning sales campaigns with the airplane.

"It is not a friendly world," Bombardier's Mr. Bole said at the Aero Montreal industry conference this week. "There's no question that the competition is severe."

There is also lingering concern that with far less resources than its two big rivals, Bombardier will have a hard time mounting the war chest needed to compete on pricing. The company has longterm debt of $9-billion and has gone to both the Quebec and federal governments for investment backing for the C Series program after striking a train deal with pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec that bolstered its balance sheet. Quebec pledged $1-billion while talks with Ottawa continue.

Bombardier's Delta win suggests price isn't the only issue.

The airline, which is seeking to replace its aging fleet of McDonnell MD-88 jets, has a record of giving makers of all-new planes a chance over established manufacturers. Northwest Airlines, absorbed by Delta in a 2008 merger, was the first U.S.-based carrier to buy the Airbus A320 plane.

Delta faces a pressing need to replace 113 MD-88s with an average age of more than 25 years.

The maintenance costs on the planes are growing and replacement parts are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.

Delta already flies Airbus and Boeing planes and this is a coveted order among airplane manufacturers. "It's Bombardier's to lose," said one industry source.

Thornton: 'Barrick is back'
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

TORONTO -- Basking in the comfort of a share price that is finally rising after years of disappointment, Barrick Gold Corp. now aims to strike a deal with a Silicon Valley company to help it wring more value from its mines.

John Thornton, the company's executive chairman, announced the impending transaction during a surprisingly exuberant address in which he declared victory in the gold producer's campaign to turn around its operations.

"Barrick is back," he told the company's annual general meeting.

Never one to be afraid of the grand statement, he added: "We will not be satisfied with being a leading mining company. We mean to be nothing less than one of this century's leading companies in any industry, in any region."

During the past year, Barrick has slashed its debt load, streamlined its corporate hierarchy and sold several properties.

It has also received a boost from an unexpected rise in the price of gold, which has defied predictions and climbed from below $1,060 (U.S.) an ounce late last year to above $1,240 today.

The rising gold price and falling fuel costs have lifted profits across the sector and sent share prices of most producers surging upward.

Barrick's stock has doubled since January. But the recent gains only bring the shares back to a level they first touched in 1993.

Despite its recent success in reducing its mountain of borrowing, Barrick continues to be one of the most heavily indebted companies in its sector. Its credit-rating clings to the lowest tier of investment-grade status, one level above junk.

Barrick borrowed heavily during the commodity boom to make bad acquisitions - most notably, the $7.3-billion (Canadian) purchase of copper producer Equinox Minerals Ltd. in 2011. Its share price had been sliding for four years before beginning its recent climb six months ago.

Mr. Thornton, a former president of Goldman Sachs who took over the top job at Barrick in 2014, has focused on reducing bureaucracy, paying down debt and trimming costs.

On Tuesday, he said he intends to make Barrick "a company you hold forever" that can produce free cash flow at any gold price.

He said aggressive use of technology would be one tool that would help the miner create value for shareholders.

"We will soon announce a new partnership with one of Silicon Valley's leading companies, which will make us and our business safer, faster and better," he said. The company declined to comment further on the matter.

Mr. Thornton's pay package had been a lightning rod for criticism in the past. Many investors objected to his generous compensation during a period in which the company's share price was in freefall.

Shareholders twice voted against his arrangement in non-binding "say-on-pay" resolutions.

However, this year's resolution on executive compensation received strong support from shareholders, with about 91 per cent voting in favour.

The vote probably reflected Mr. Thornton's decision, announced a month ago, to forfeit his bonuses and make do with $3.1-million (U.S.) in total compensation - a dramatic decline from the preceding year, when he was paid $12.9million. It also suggests a growing comfort level with the company's recent results.

In results published before the market opened, Barrick said it swung to a loss in the first three months of the year, but continued to shrink its debt at a rapid rate while making impressive progress in reducing its costs.

The miner said its first-quarter loss of $83-million was because of one-time foreign currency losses.

In contrast, its adjusted net earnings - an in-house measure of profitability - rose to $127-million during the first three months of 2016, more than double the $62-million achieved a year earlier and slightly better than analysts' expectations.

The company said it has trimmed debt by $842-million since January, staying on track with its plan to shrink debt by $2-billion this year.

In another positive sign, the miner's all-in sustaining costs - an inclusive measure of how much money it requires to produce gold - tumbled to $706 an ounce. That is far below the $927 an ounce that Barrick notched in the same quarter of 2015.

Kelvin Dushnisky, Barrick's president, underlined the company's intention to further boost free cash flow and streamline the business. "Our head office is less than half the size it was two years ago," he told the annual general meeting.

Barrick Gold (ABX) Close: $20.78, up 29¢

CN Rail cuts profit outlook as freight volumes slow
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Canadian National Railway Co. cut its profit expectations for 2016 amid weak demand for freight shipments and a stronger Canadian dollar.

Montreal-based Canadian National said revenue fell by 4 per cent in the first quarter to $2.9-billion as profit rose by 13 per cent to $792-million or $1 a share.

Analysts expected revenue of $3-billion and per-share profit of 92 cents for the three months ended March 31.

CN downgraded this year's forecast for per-share profit to $4.44, or about the same as last year, after earlier predicting profit would rise by about 5 per cent.

"We're chasing every carload.

We're holding our own but the overall volume is down," Claude Mongeau, CN's chief executive officer, said on a conference call with analysts.

Like other railways in Canada and the United States, CN is facing declining freight volumes amid weak economic conditions and slowing demand for such bulk commodities as iron ore and coal.

Carloads at CN and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. are down by 6 per cent this year, including their U.S. operations, according to the Association of American Railroads.

The number of crude oil carloads CN hauled fell by half to 14,000, and the commodity has become the least profitable of the company's bulk lines, said Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN's operating chief.

"With the collapse in energy markets, Brent crude purchased by the refineries was very cheap and affordable and there was plenty of pipeline capacity to go around," Mr. Ruest said.

Coal carloads fell by 31 per cent, metals and minerals declined by 25 per cent and grain and fertilizer slipped by 5 per cent. Automotive carloads rose by 21 per cent. Volumes of energy-related cargo - coal, oil and sand used for hydraulic fracturing - will continue to fall this year, the company said.

"We are doing what we can to protect profitability," Mr. Mongeau said, pointing to faster trains and greater productivity that contributed to the company's industry-leading operating ratio of 58.9 per cent. (An operating ratio is a closely watched measure of expenses and revenue; lower is better.)

CP last week reported a 5-percent drop in first-quarter revenue and a 69-per-cent increase in profit to $540-million.

Benoît Poirier, a stock analyst with Desjardins Securities Inc., said in a research note he is "cautious" about investing in CN and CP. "The stronger Canadian dollar and [weak oil] prices, combined with the ongoing uncertainty in the macro environment, are key factors that will likely pressure both stocks in the coming months," said Mr. Poirier, who downgraded CN shares to "hold" from "buy" after the price rose by 20 per cent from a 52-week low.

CN is Canada's largest railway, with 23,000 employees and 32,000 kilometres of track that reaches three coasts, in Canada and the United States. CN's share price has risen by 4 per cent in the past 12 months, compared with a 22-per-cent decline at CP. The Toronto Stock Exchange has fallen by 10 per cent in the same period.

Walter Spracklin, an analyst at Royal Bank of Canada, said CN's exposure to consumer goods and lower focus on bulk commodities make it a "preferred name" he rates as "outperform." CN's container operations in B.C. let the company capitalize on rising cargo shipments to and from Asia.

"With about 5 per cent of containers loaded on the West Coast destined for the U.S., CNR's faster single-line access into the U.S., efficient loop around Chicago and access in southern states and ports represent key advantages in capturing greater market share," Mr. Spracklin said in a note to clients, adding that container terminal expansions in Milton, Ont., Detroit, Joliet, Ill., and Memphis will let the company manager greater volumes.

CN (CNR) Close: $82.77, down 68¢

Associated Graphic

Though its share price has risen over the past year, CN is struggling with profitablity.


Jonathan Nicola seemed too old to play high school basketball, but he was tall and muscular and could play. Turns out, he was almost 30. As the South Sudanese immigrant's story began to unravel, more questions were raised, the biggest of which is: What happens to him now?
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

WINDSOR, ONT. -- 'It's become a circus." That's the first thing you hear when the video link flickers to life.

It isn't clear who's speaking, but they're right. The Windsor office of the Canada Border Services Agency isn't used to holding international media events. But now they have Jonathan Nicola in custody.

Extra chairs are secured for the reporters. It's Tuesday; this is Nicola's second hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board, and his first since becoming famous everywhere with an Internet connection.

He is the South Sudanese man who spent the past winter impersonating a 17year-old and playing basketball for a Catholic high school in Windsor, Ont. Nicola is in custody because his age is likely closer to 30.

When everyone is seated - the reporters, the local South Sudanese pastor, the government lawyer, the basketball coach - Nicola enters the room, stooping slightly as he passes through the door.

He is enormous, and still his orange jumpsuit hangs loosely on his body. A row of stitches at the waist suggest that the garment may have been sewn together from two smaller jumpsuits.

It is hard to fathom how anyone took this man for a teenager. His hardened, weary features suggest middle age; so does his hairline.

And yet it's also immediately clear why so many people were willing to believe him - Nicola looks as if he would be very good at basketball.

Everything about the man is long. He's 6 feet 9 inches, but his wingspan is reported as 7-foot-4. His legs are stork-like and his wrists are supple. His shoe size is 16. His fingers are the kind that can bend independently in three places.

As he listens to the judge, Nicola perches his chin in those long digits, and it's possible to picture how easily he must manipulate a basketball.

Nicola seems dazed during the short hearing. He answers "yes" (to whether he understands the presiding board member) and "no" (to whether he has anything to say for himself).

His only polysyllabic reply is to a question about whether he has a lawyer.

"Yes, I have. But he can't come today."

With his detention upheld on the grounds that he continues to present a flight risk, Nicola is escorted out of the room. Even stooping as he passes through the door again, he looms over the guard.

Facts are sometimes a bit hazy There's something prismatic about Nicola.

As they pass through him, simple questions - of identity, fact, responsibility, right and wrong - erupt into rainbows of interpretation.

The question of how to characterize his story has been treated, at various times, as a farce, a tragedy, a scandal and a parable.

The matter of what to call him pulls people in all kinds of different directions, too.

"Kid" or "man"? Jonny, Jonathan, Mr. Nicola? Or - as in the transcript of his hearing - the "Person Concerned"?

And then you get to the question of how to look at him, morally. Is he a victim of injustice ("Free Jonny" one of his teammates cried); a gentle giant who made a mistake; a surrogate son who's hard to stay mad at (roughly the feeling of his coach); or a compulsive liar who will stop at nothing to enter North America illegally?

Those who have seen him play basketball can't even agree on how good he is: it depends on how old they thought he was, and when they saw him.

The wheels were already in motion The facts are sometimes a bit hazy in Nicola's story, but it goes something like this: Last summer, the Catholic Central High School basketball team, a powerhouse program in the city, began boasting to opposing players about a new guy it was getting for the coming season. It said he was 6-foot-9 and African.

"I didn't believe them," said Anthony Zrvnar, the starting centre for St. Anne's, a perennial Catholic Central rival.

Zrvnar didn't have to believe them - the wheels were already in motion.

What ensued was in many ways typical of the new international basketball economy, which has been churning rumour and grainy video and faith into professional hoops contracts for decades, but only recently alighted on Africa as a veritable Athabasca of untapped talent.

Pete Cusumano, the gritty, streetwise, and widely respected coach of Catholic Central, got a call from a man named Deng D'Awol. D'Awol, a former U.S. college player from Sudan, had seen Nicola play back home and came away impressed. He was referred to Cusumano by Greg Dole, a Canadian scout whose bloodhound nose for obscure foreign players had helped bring Brazilians such as Nene and Leandro Barbosa to the NBA.

Catholic Central seemed like a natural destination for the young man.

Fuelled by Cusumano's hard-earned basketball savvy - he had been coaching at the school for nearly 30 years - the program had earned a reputation for sending kids to play their college ball in the States.

Cusumano is also known as a skillful and kindly shepherd of foreign-born players.

Catholic Central has the only ESL program in its school board, so immigrant kids are funnelled its way.

When he went to pick up Nicola at Toronto's Pearson airport on Nov. 23, the coach brought another Sudanese student to make the newcomer feel welcome. He remembers the date, Cusumano says, because it changed his life.

There Nicola stood in the arrivals lounge. The coach was expecting a 16-year-old - perhaps baby-faced, or gawky, or thin.

Instead, his first thought on seeing Nicola was how old he looked.

At first, there were ways to rationalize this fact, which in retrospect seems so glaring. For one thing, there was the paperwork.

Nicola had a passport, immunization records and a student visa from the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, all of which seemed legit. (The High Commission did not respond to a request for comment.)

And then there was cultural sensitivity, at giving Nicola the benefit of the doubt, which even now seems hard to fault.

"We were told that it's not uncommon for kids coming out of South Sudan, with the harsh sun and the harsh situation, to look older than their age," Cusumano said.

The coach had arranged for Nicola to stay with him through a program that connects Canadian families with foreign students and the young man was from the beginning an impeccable house guest, helping with the laundry and evincing a quaint fascination with the comforts of Western life.

The first thing he asked Cusumano was whether he could drink the tap water. His house in South Sudan, Nicola said, was about the size of his host's living room. And the ready supply of electricity was a novelty: in Juba, the South Sudanese capital, only families with a generator and plenty of diesel fuel could turn the lights on when they liked.

And with South Sudan, the poverty is really secondary to the war. With a few brief interruptions, bloody civil conflict has ground on throughout Nicola's life, no matter when it began.

'He was a cool guy' Despite the horror of what he was fleeing, Nicola seems to have adapted quickly to the life of a Canadian teenager. Patricia Jeppo, whose locker was next to his, remembers Jonathan being on his phone all the time, scanning Instagram. (His handle was apparently half_man_half_amazing31).

"He was a cool guy," said Marcus Pierce, a Grade 12 student.

"Never disrespectful. Quiet."

Since his arrest, some have wondered whether Nicola had a girlfriend at the school, a disturbing prospect given his likely age.

Cusumano, and several school friends, denied that this was the case.

Basketball soon consumed Nicola's life in Windsor. Within days of arriving in Canada, he was playing in the annual Freeds tournament against some of the country's best high school teams.

A scout named Elias Sbiet was on hand and remembers being suspicious about Nicola's age, but impressed by his physique.

"There was a physical ability there, and the physicals checked out for me as a scout," he said.

"I believe he had 10 [points] and 10[rebounds] in one of the games I watched, maybe two blocks. That was off just being plunked in and see what you can do."

If Nicola's game was "raw," his physical advantage over other high school kids was often overwhelming. During a Dec. 3 game against the Massey Mustangs, the footage of which is on YouTube, Nicola takes the opening tipoff with ridiculous ease, leaping above a skinny kid who can't be more than six feet. Then, on the team's first trip down the floor, he sets himself up in the post, towering over his defender and waving his arms manically. When an entry pass finally comes his way, Nicola promptly dribbles the ball off his shin.

On the next defensive stand, however, you can see why Catholic Central was starting him and why scouts were already writing little exclamatory things about him in their notebooks. The Mustangs have a fast break and look set to score easily. But with a knock-kneed stride, Nicola comes racing back down the court and flails at the guard's layup, not blocking it, but scaring the player into missing badly.

Grabbing the rebound, he kicks his legs out and juts his elbows.

His body - sinewy, strong and vast - looks a full generation older than those of the other nine boys on the floor.

His body always held clues Nicola's body is the only thing about him that doesn't seem to act as a prism - that doesn't refract the light of people's inquiries so much as absorb it. People - scouts, opposing coaches, journalists - have a way of falling into creepily anatomical descriptions of the young man. You hear about his teeth, how their solidity suggests his age; you even hear speculation about his bone density.

But while the colour of his skin can make the historical echoes of this form of assessment shade into the sinister, it is hard to avoid in Nicola's case. The truth is, his body always held clues.

Zrvnar, the rival big man for St. Anne's, remembers having doubts about Nicola's age when he noticed flecks of grey in his beard. Guarding him in the post also offered hints. At 6-foot-7 and well built, Zrvnar is no pipsqueak. But he was shocked by Nicola's strength and aggression, which left bruises on the younger man's arms the first time they played.

"It was man strength," he said.

That adult musculature grew into a powerful force on the court as it increasingly became paired with a sound basketball mind. By the time of the OFSAA tournament in early March, Nicola was playing at another level.

By this point, Ontario Basketball had flagged him as a prospect for the province's Under-17 team. Tariq Sbiet, Elias's brother and fellow scout, had placed Nicola among his top 20 prospects for the 2018 college class and thought he had the potential to play in an elite NCAA conference such as the Big Ten.

"Everything was checking out when I watched him," said the scout.

A story unravels But even as Nicola built up his young career bit by bit, and with remarkable speed, its foundations were starting to crumble. In December, just a month after arriving in Canada, Cusumano took his new player to the U.S. consulate in Toronto to secure a travel visa for a team tour through Michigan. As part of his application, Nicola was fingerprinted and gave his birth date as Nov. 25, 1998.

On Jan. 6, Nicola was called back to the consulate for an interview. Officials there told him that his request for a visa had been denied. They also told him that his fingerprints from December matched those of a man with the same name who had applied for refugee status in the United States nine years earlier, using a birth date of Nov. 1, 1986.

It is not clear when Cusumano learned of Nicola's rejection, or the fact that he appeared to be 29 years old. But the new arrival did not accompany his team to Michigan. And according to the transcript of Nicola's first detention hearing earlier this month, the U.S. consulate also sent a rejection letter, which presumably would have arrived at Cusumano's address, where Nicola was staying. Cusumano declined to answer questions on the subject.

In any case, as Nicola played out the rest of the season, the CBSA began investigating. When it asked Windsor police to compare the fingerprints he submitted during his 2007 refugee status application to the prints he gave to the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi last year, there was a match.

On April 15, border officials arranged for Nicola to be called to the principal's office at Catholic Central - a final moment, it now seems, of his life as a North American teen - where he was arrested and discreetly removed from the school. Nicola would spend the night in Windsor's South West Detention Centre.

The discovery that unravelled his scheme came just six weeks after he had arrived. And now he was in jail for his trouble.

Nicola lasted about five months - a full basketball season - living as someone 12 years younger than his biological age, all the while flaunting a grown-man body, in a sleeveless Comets uniform, that gave him away to nearly everyone he crossed paths with.

What happens to him now?

In his detention hearing on April 19, Nicola sounds distraught, almost hysterical. He worries what his mother will think. He asks to be sent back to South Sudan. At one point he even seems to describe suicidal thoughts.

Still, the hearing contained small victories for him, in that it went strangely and, perhaps, frustratingly for the officials who presided over it. In the transcript, their terminology keeps encountering the vagueness of life in an impoverished, war-ravaged, recently invented country, as related in broken English and at a high emotional pitch. Reading the transcript is like watching hands grasping at smoke. Things that are ostensibly stated for the record actually grow vaguer over the course of the hearing: where he was born; his age; his parents' social status; the name of the man who filled out his visa application; and what happens to him now. There are probably others.

Kelly Cutting, the lawyer representing the CBSA, states that Nicola was born in Saudi Arabia, where his father now works - but without a credible birth certificate, and in the general documentary void of this whole situation, you're left wondering.

And then Cutting says that because their children were born in Saudi Arabia and because the father is a mechanical engineer, Nicola's parents should be "sophisticated" enough to know their son's date of birth, which Nicola says they do not.

But when you ask someone who's Sudanese, such as Rev.

Nicholas Mauro-Ika of St. Alphonsus Church in downtown Windsor, what it means to be an "engineer" in South Sudan is "nothing at all."

"In some cases, in Africa an engineer can be anybody else. If you work in petroleum field, or you work in any factory, and you happen to be promoted to be a supervisor, in a literate world they will call you anything - a doctor, an engineer, anything."

So maybe his parents weren't so sophisticated. Certainly Nicola depicts the process of determining his age back home as little more than opportunistic guesswork based on getting enrolled in different schools.

Finally, he says, a doctor assigned him a birth date, a common practice in South Sudan.

Cutting, the government lawyer, says that Nicola admitted to her that he was older than 17.

But that doesn't mean 1986 is his real birth date either: when he last used it, in 2007, it would have made him 21. That's the age of an American university junior, which would have been convenient for someone looking to play collegiate hoops and maybe go pro before too long.

'I am not a liar' Out of this jumble of information, the government has assembled a picture of Nicola as a compulsive liar with no regard for the law and the suggestion of a gnawing, maybe corrupting hoop dream.

This part seems to bother Nicola more than anything else that comes up during the hearing.

"To be honest Miss, I am not a liar person, I am religious, I pray to God," he said.

Not a liar. A good guy, by all accounts - despite the kaleidoscopic array of perceptions he has generated, people agree on this. Soft-spoken, generous, kind.

But the question then becomes, what else is he? Not just a good guy, surely. There's more there - more texture to his motivations.

And here the consensus gets scuppered.

Some treat him like a fearless refugee who has taken his fate in his hands; others like a victim of the African basketball industrial complex. Some still, like MauroIka, who met Nicola in church a couple of times, describe him both ways in the course of a single conversation.

What's next for him is also still radically uncertain. His admissibility hearing is scheduled for May 11 - it will determine whether he broke Canada's immigration laws. But even then, the government's options for what to do with him become obscure.

Deportation isn't an option: In November, 2014, Canada put South Sudan on a list of countries that migrants can't be returned to. Nicola's lawyer, Frank Miller, says that migrants in cases such as this often end up living in Canada for years, suspended in legal limbo.

For now, Miller and members of the South Sudanese community in Windsor are working on securing the $5,000 bond that would get Nicola temporarily released.

Then Nicola may be faced with the decision of whether to stay.

It's not even clear that he wants to. "So please if you let me - send me back home," he told the hearing on April 19. "It would be much more better for me and for my family and for my mental health."

It's an odd thing to hear from someone who has seemed to want a North American life so badly. But then, guessing at what Jonathan Nicola wants, or who he is, hasn't got anyone very far.

It's probably telling that MauroIka - Nicola's priest and his countryman - takes the most deferential view of what his young parishioner might be looking for, and seems to arrive at the wisest conclusion of anyone who has puzzled over his case, so full of deceptions and misconstruals, both blatant and not-so-blatant.

"I don't know if he wants to stay - we want to know that from him," he says. "We want to know that from him."

Associated Graphic

Jonathan Nicola impressed those who saw him play for Windsor's Catholic Central High School team.


Jonathan Nicola, centre, was playing high school basketball at Windsor's Catholic Central High School before officials discovered he was much older than the 17 he claimed to be.


An elite team on and off the ice
From satellite TVs on the bus to free meals to the AHL's most sophisticated support staff, the Marlies have everything this season except a championship, James Mirtle reports
Thursday, April 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- There are nice cars in the parking lot.

There is free food, customized protein shakes, free massages and an open-concept gym available, too.

But this isn't a high-end getaway. It's Ricoh Coliseum, the 1920s-era arena just west of downtown Toronto that's home to the Marlies, the Toronto Maple Leafs' minor-league team that piled up 114 points this season as one of the best American Hockey League teams in history.

The Marlies have been preparing all week for what the organization hopes is a run at an AHL championship - potentially the franchise's first Calder Cup. They're the favourites after finishing first over all with one of the league's youngest rosters and their NHL parent borrowing heavily from their lineup all year.

In all, 58 players skated for first-year Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe this season, an almost unthinkable number that included players from just about every league possible.

It's common knowledge the Leafs have built one of the better prospect pools in the league, and that in turn helped fuel the Marlies' rise.

But one of the less-heralded secrets to their success has been their ability to tap into Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment's resources.

The Leafs have spent money to make the Marlies' travel schedule less onerous. They've spent money to bring in top-end staff to develop and take care of their prospects. They've spent money on how they eat and how they train.

The players are treated well - almost like NHLers - and some now even make NHL-level money. Those perks have helped make the Marlies the most desirable place to play in the minor leagues.

It's about as far from Slap Shot as you can get.

"It's not like that at all," Sam Carrick said. "They put us up in nice hotels. We go a day early before games. They really do treat us like we're an NHL team, and I think that's a big advantage."

"The bus rides are basically the only difference," said teammate Brendan Leipsic, who had a taste of both worlds after he spent six games with the Leafs. "We get treated really well here."

And the bus? Even it has satellite TVs, he said.

What the Marlies players rave about, however, more than any other amenity, is the food. In an initiative brought in this year by GM Kyle Dubas, the team supplies a nutritionist-approved breakfast and lunch every day to the entire roster and staff, a big expense for a typical minor-league organization.

Players who have played in other AHL cities say they have never had this luxury before. It saves them time and considerable money and also ensures they get a diet fit for a pro athlete, which can be a challenge for young players on an entry-level salary (about $70,000).

Keefe, a second-round pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1999, recalled how his diet was filled with fast food when he was a 20year-old trying to make the jump from junior to the pros. Not having a billet for the first time and living in a strange city on a tight budget with limited time to cook meals was a bad combination.

"It just makes a lot of sense at this level," Keefe said. "Players personally don't have the same resources that NHLers do, so we should take care of the guys here.

They're younger. They need development and nutrition more, in terms of adding weight and strength and all of that."

Several young Marlies - the team's average age is a little more than 23 - said they are taking what they're learning about food at the arena home for their other meals.

"It's really good," Carrick said.

"There's rice. There's sweet potatoes. Steak and chicken. It's all healthy. There's nothing really that's going to make you fat."

"We talked about doing this in [junior]," Keefe said. "We just didn't have the resources to pull it off."

That - like a lot of things - isn't a problem for the Marlies.

Another big difference in the organization is how much staff the team has. In addition to the typical pair of assistant coaches, the Marlies have a goalie coach, fulltime video coach, multiple equipment managers, three or four staff focused on physio, massage and rehab, and what Keefe calls a "full army" of doctors. They also have an analytics staffer, socialmedia staff and a sales group that has helped boost attendance by 20 per cent this season.

Because they're in the same city as the Leafs, the Marlies have the added benefit of being able to train in the NHL team's facilities and work with its staff. It's common to see the Leafs' four development staffers - led by former NHLer Scott Pellerin and Olympic figure skater Barb Underhill - around the Ricoh working with players.

Like the free food, these are resources AHL veterans haven't experienced elsewhere.

"Not to take anything away from [the other teams]," said Rich Clune, who played multiple years in Manchester, N.H., and Milwaukee. "They do the best with what they've got. But it's obvious MLSE has a little bit of coin to throw around to take care of athletes pretty well. It's just a first-class organization."

"They really take away virtually every excuse that a player can come up with to not be feeling good and not fight their way through a difficult schedule," Keefe said. "It makes our job easier as a coaching staff."

Even Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello, who spent almost 30 years in the New Jersey Devils organization - including when their affiliate, the Albany River Rats, won the Calder Cup in 1995 - has been impressed by the Marlies operation.

"You can't do everything exactly the same [as the NHL]," Lamoriello said, likening what they're doing to how Triple-A teams function as vital feeder systems in major-league baseball. "But you treat them as close to [the Leafs] as you possibly can. With the type of ice time that's given. The type of travel they have. The support staff. ... We're able to do all of that.

"To be able to have the type of team we have [in the standings] - and still develop players who will potentially be in the NHL - is really a utopia as far as an [AHL] team. Not all teams look at it that way, but the Toronto Maple Leafs do."

The Marlies' wealth is visible in more overt ways, too. Some players who have had a taste of NHL money drive BMWs or Range Rovers. The majority of the team lives in downtown condos, either on their own or with a teammate.

The team's payroll likely topped $5-million (U.S.) this season thanks to big-ticket salaries for players such as Mark Arcobello ($1.1-million), Matt Frattin ($850,000), T.J. Brennan ($675,000), Clune ($350,000) and captain Andrew Campbell ($250,000), whose contracts guaranteed big money even when they played in the minors.

That's equivalent to what many of the high-end European teams pay their rosters - Swedish prospect Tobias Lindberg said the operation reminded him of his team, Djurgardens, back home - and it allows the Marlies to supplement their top draft picks with mentors who are proven contributors in pro hockey.

AHL salaries are also not subject to escrow, so a high-end player on a one-way deal, such as Brennan, actually made more money playing for the Marlies than during his seven-game callup to the Leafs.

While the Marlies attendance was up to 6,400 fans a game this season, the club is still believed to be a money loser for MLSE. But the organization believes the benefits of having the team in Toronto - with Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, Lamoriello and head coach Mike Babcock always a short drive away - is worth that investment.

The Leafs can also save money on the salary cap every year by making last-minute demotions and call-ups, something that is far more difficult for NHL teams with affiliates that are a flight or long bus ride away.

None of what the organization spends on the Marlies, meanwhile, is limited by the NHL's collective agreement, which makes improving their minor-league setup an obvious area for a cashflush team to focus on.

That emphasis could pay off in the AHL playoffs. The Marlies will fly - commercial not chartered - to Bridgeport, Conn., on Thursday morning in order to prepare for Saturday's Game 1 of their firstround series against the eighthseeded Sound Tigers.

As they have all season, they'll be there a day early, booked into one of the nicest hotels in town and ready to have a decent meal.

"It probably helped our road record a lot," Clune said.

With the last-place Leafs' season long over, the organization's focus - and financial heft - is on the Marlies.

It's championship or bust, for at least one professional hockey team in Canada this spring.

"The schedule is a grind," Campbell said. "You have a lot of ... tough bus trips. It definitely makes it easier when the organization is doing everything in their absolute power to make it as good as they can for you.

"If you're an [AHL] player and you have a choice of where you want to be, this has to be at the top of your list."

Associated Graphic

Toronto Marlies players, shown practising at Ricoh Coliseum in advance of their AHL playoff series, lack for nothing as the team's parent company focuses on improving its minor-league squad.


Players change lines during a Marlies practice at Ricoh Coliseum on Wednesday. Besides making players' lives easier, the Leafs organization itself benefits from proximity of its NHL and AHL teams.


'Better lucky than good' is the Leafs' new motto
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1


Taken in full, the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs is one of working-class aspiration. Putting the Cup drought aside, no franchise in all of sports has managed more with less top-of-thescale talent.

Only two Leafs (Ted Kennedy and Babe Pratt) have been chosen league MVP. The last time one of them led the NHL in goals scored was shortly after the end of the Second World War.

As such, Toronto isn't looking for its next best-in-the-game talent. It is looking for a first.

It's a two-fold advantage for the teenager the Leafs will take with the No. 1 pick in June's entry draft.

As a native of Arizona, Auston Matthews can't fully comprehend the weight of expectation that is about to be dropped on him from a great height. You need to be from here to catch that sickness.

If the Leafs are smart, they will encourage Matthews to learn nothing about the market he's coming to. They don't want him arriving with pre-emptive shellshock.

Second, the bar Matthews has to reach to qualify as 'very good' by local standards is so low, it'd be harder to limbo under than leap over.

He doesn't have to be a Gretzky, a Richard or a Hull to qualify as a success. If he can reach up to Doug Gilmour levels, they'll tape a gold halo around the crown of his helmet.

The space between the draft lottery and the draft itself requires a great deal of airtime to be fulfilled, so we'll spend the next few weeks wondering if Matthews deserves the top slot.

It hardly matters since the Leafs cannot afford to take anyone but the long-time consensus No. 1. Because in failing to do so, they would be giving up the main thing they've won in the short term: time.

The whole point of 2015-16 season was not getting a promising player. It was getting a promising player whose name people recognized.

If Toronto had been put in the position of trying to feed Alexander Nylander or Pierre-Luc Dubois to the mob, they'd have spit the kid back.

After losing the lottery, everyone would be back to whining about the curses. That's the opposite of what the Leafs organization wants to sell.

Their motto for the foreseeable future is 'Better lucky than good.' As soon as people begin to believe the team isn't lucky, they will begin to notice that it may never be good.

A draft-lottery disappointment would have put huge pressure on the organization to show something next year - some glimpse of promise in the form of William Nylander or Mitch Marner or a goalie who isn't so knockkneed he can't get his legs together.

If that doesn't go to plan, ownership starts getting fidgety, which in turn makes management stupid. The rebuild timeline gets compressed. Before you know it, the panic has set in and you're back to Courtnall-for-Kordic territory.

Matthews frees them from all that. The knock-on effect of his mere acquisition cannot be exaggerated.

It doesn't matter how good he is now. It doesn't matter if he plays or if anyone sees him or if he can be said to be doing anything beyond 'progressing'.

In fact, the less people see of Matthews, the better.

The Leafs have made a developmental philosophy out of hiding players in the AHL or other foreign parts. What's never mentioned is how much that absence insulates them from criticism.

As long as Marner, Nylander et al are out of sight, they may still be the reincarnation of Charlie Conacher. Nobody's seen them play for an extended period against top pros, so who's to say any different?

Thus, the Leafs fanbase is rooting for an imaginary team. It won't start playing together until two, three or even four years from now. It's never lost a game.

Theoretically, it may never lose one.

The only reason people aren't lining up outside the Air Canada Centre with torches is that they believe - deeply - that some version of that is coming. The longer they wait, the more bolded names added to the as-yetunseen talent pool, the greater the number of picks accrued through trade, the larger the hype, the harder they believe.

The Leafs are following the organized-religion template - the more difficult it is to prove something, the more likely people are to cling to it. There is no pressure to arrive.

So what will next year look like? Were you paying attention this year? You weren't? Too boring? Good news. It's going to be a lot like that. Actually, it's going to be exactly like that.

Having won the Auston Matthews sweeps, the only pressure the Leafs will feel in 2016-17 is to find another like him.

That means another headfirst dive into the standings well. That means another year of unwatchable hockey at the NHL level, and huge strides taken by the obscure future stars.

How will people know that's what's happening? Because that's what the team is going to tell them. How will they know it's true? Because they want it to be.

It's a tidy little circle. If they try it for another five years, it might even work.

(That moaning you hear in the background is coming from the accounting department at Rogers. Last year, you'd have said they bought BlackBerry just as the first iPhone was coming out.

Now it looks as though they bought two Dixie cups connected by a string.)

Based on the past 20 years of No. 1 overall picks, the odds are Matthews will be a very good NHL player. There is a small but significant chance he will be a special one.

But as long as he isn't playing at the top level, he might be the greatest of all time.

The primary goal of the Leafs' executive is to extend the period between that hope and the reality for as long as possible. Every lost season they buy themselves is precious.

On that basis, the worst team in hockey is on a historic winning streak.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Chris Colabello, whose hardscrabble journey to the Blue Jays was an inspiration, tests positive for a PED and MLB suspends him. A great tale takes an unexpected turn
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

Chris Colabello isn't just a ballplayer. Until it all fell apart late Friday afternoon, he was a heroic anomaly. He was the exception that proved the rule - that you cannot gut your way to the top level of professional sports.

But Colabello did. The Toronto Blue Jays first baseman spent four years playing at the college level.

They drafted 1,500 players the year he graduated. Colabello was not among them.

He kept playing in the independent leagues. They are baseball's frontier country, populated by no-hopers and guys who can't let go.

Most of them stay there a few years. Colabello played seven.

He didn't get his first big-league shot until he was 29. Last year, at the age of 31, he broke through with the Jays.

As the team advanced into the postseason, his hardscrabble route to the bigs made him a minor celebrity.

"If you shoot for the stars and you miss, you might land on the moon," Colabello told The New York Times.

If Disney had adapted Colabello's story, the run into October was the closing scene. Instead, his journey has become Shakespearean. Last year was only the second act. Now, the tragedy.

On Friday, it was announced that Colabello had tested positive for an anabolic steroid - a very old-school way to enhance performance. He has already appealed unsuccessfully and will be suspended 80 games.

In a statement released through the MLB Players Association, Collabello denied fault: "I have spent every waking moment since [being notified] trying to find an answer as to why or how? The only thing I know is that I would never compromise the integrity of the game of baseball. I love the game of baseball too much!"

You'd like to believe him, but even that exclamation mark looks suspicious.

In another statement, Jays general manager Ross Atkins unlinked arms with his player by saying, "We're confident [Colabello] will return ready to compete and will have taken the steps needed to ensure that this does not happen again."

Translation: "He did it." It's likely that the word used most in coming days to describe this development will be "disappointing." Colabello is a decent player and a far more than decent guy.

Failure beats the ego out of you, and few pros have failed as often or for as long as Colabello. Nobody will take the knives out for him. Instead, they'll shake their heads. But "disappointed" suggests surprise. After all we've seen, that would be a stretch.

If established superstars with tens of millions in the bank do banned drugs to give themselves a mid-career edge, how could a guy in Colabello's position resist?

He'd been so close for so long.

Most of us can understand how someone in his position might find his way to a shady doctor or a mail-order pharmacy.

You don't have to agree with it, but surely you can see how it might happen.

There will be some looking for a head on a plate. Nothing kicks off a carnival of sanctimony like a positive drug test, and especially in baseball.

Since I am not Chris Colabello, I don't feel qualified to judge his choices. Only his colleagues have that right. And none of them worked half-as-hard to get where he's got.

Colabello's teammates have rallied to him because that's what teammates do. Out of earshot, they'll be wondering if the guy they play with was the genuine article or the chemical enhancement of a pedestrian player. The Jays executive will (and must) be more ruthless.

Colabello is only under contract for this year. He's been miserable so far - two hits in 10 games.

Clubs and their fans go to great lengths to forget the missteps of a star (Exhibit A: A conspicuous lack of conversation about Marcus Stroman's 50-game drug ban as a minor-leaguer).

But at best, Colabello is a role player. It's quite possible this is it, and that he'll be out of baseball in short order.

When I first heard about Colabello's suspension, my mind drifted to another former Blue Jay who was also an unlikely bigleaguer - utility infielder Howie Clark.

Clark played 10 years in the minor leagues before he was first called up. Ten years! In the off-season, he worked barges in the Port of Long Beach. Like Colabello (and unlike most bigleaguers), Clark had actually proved he played baseball for the love of the game.

Also like Colabello, he was an unusually bright and thoughtful guy. He had perspective. You'd often find him in the clubhouse to talk, not for a story, but because he was fun to talk to.

Clark was a mediocre majorleaguer, but he shone in his own way.

Clark was 34 years old, still plugging away, when he was named in the Mitchell Report.

His name was buried in the small print, just a few paragraphs in the midst of hundreds of pages. As he had his whole career, Clark hardly registered. But it hit me like a rock.

"Not Howie," I thought.

Followed by, "Of course, Howie."

He wanted to be a big-league ballplayer and would have done anything to get there. Even things he didn't want to do.

Clark admitted he'd used human-growth hormone. He called it "a mistake." A few months later, he was out of baseball for good.

Clark didn't have Colabello's golden moment. The New York Times didn't do a story about his rise to the top, because he'd never quite got there.

However this turns out, I hope people will remember Colabello as I remember Clark - as a guy who wanted something so much, he did not know how to give up on it.

It's still a great sports story.

But now that it is compromised and complicated, it's a great human one as well.

Follow me on Twitter: @cathalkelly

Associated Graphic

Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello, who spent seven years buried in minor-league baseball's nether-regions, has had his major-league career put on hold for 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He said he was mystified by the positive test.


Raptors take Game 5 to come within one win of the second round of the NBA playoffs
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

All of history seems sweeping in retrospect. Except for the sort that involves sports. That turns in a moment.

The Toronto Raptors didn't beat the Indiana Pacers 102-99.

They stole a game from them.

This was all going one way. And then it flipped. This game was a loss. You would've bet it at the end of the third quarter. There was no way the Raptors were going to undo the Paul George curse. For three quarters, George was so far inside the Raptors mind, it'd have taken a brain surgeon and a cranial saw to get him out. But they did. The Raptors didn't just negate George.

They made him irrelevant during what is supposed to be his golden hour.

How much sense did it make to watch? None. And I watched it.

Over nine remarkable minutes spanning the end of the third quarter and the late stages of the fourth, the Raptors went on a 23-2 run. Indiana scored only nine points in the final frame.

They did much of it with a lineup pulled from a Kurosawa film - all-star Kyle Lowry; subs Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross and Bismack Biyombo; and rookie Norman Powell. How much sense did that make? None. And it worked.

"We thought we'd go down with the group that was swinging," coach Dwane Casey said.

Casey is occasionally ripped by obsessives for his conservative substitutions. In that case, this was Casey letting his freak flag fly at the most crucial point in his Toronto career. At this rate, he might be playing two trainers and the mascot in Game 6.

There were storylines all across the Toronto lineup. In an oddly quiet fashion, DeRozan snapped his personal playoff duck with a 34-point night on 45-per-cent shooting. For the first time in the series, he did not look as if he was trying to put a beach ball through the hoop.

"It means nothing," George shrugged of DeRozan's performance afterward.

Ross, the slow learner who keeps skipping class, hit the crucial three that let the crowd back into it. They were his only points of the game. It's proof that it's not always about averages. Once in a while, it's just a question of timing.

For most of the first half, Biyombo was Toronto's best player. He was the only one who didn't seem like he was spending timeouts mentally planning his getaway flight to Cancun. His muscular work inside made up for another off-night by Jonas Valanciunas, and prevented Indiana's big men from taking over, as they had in the previous game.

But the evening was decided by one man and one moment - both on the Pacers side of the ball.

First, there was Paul George.

What we've learned in ten days is that George's magic is not in elevating his own game (though he can do that). It is in sinking his opponents'. Whenever he is on the court, Toronto's performance sags. He is basketball kryptonite.

Though he has dominated much of the series, Game 5 was shaping up as George's to-date masterpiece. At one point, he had five three-pointers while the Raptors' team had three.

Toronto could stage small runs when he was off taking a breather. Once he returned, the Raptors collective spirit sagged.

He'd lope up the floor in that sneaky-fast way he has, turn a corner, get three hands in his face and sink another. He's the sort of player whose statistics should be recorded in reverse - misses first.

Toronto's deficit after one quarter was 15.

No real inroads had been made by the third quarter.

That's when you felt it - the humid stink of collapse settling on the place. Toronto coaches had talked a lot about responding to the first "punch in the face." In fairness, lying down and rolling around is a sort of response.

It reached its nadir in that quarter. The PA announcer - ostensibly a neutral arbiter of game action - tried to lead a chant of "We. The. North."

All the people standing around in their ill-judged giveaway T-shirts - featuring a fighting beaver and a flaming snowball - refused to join in.

This building is always loud at Raptor games. Over the past couple of years, it's gotten quieter in the playoffs. Having been burned too many times over that span, no one wants to get ahead of themselves. Not even if they think it might help.

During that third quarter, the Raptors may have felt as lonely down on that court as they ever have. The roster was walking into another first-round collapse and the existential wood chipper that would follow.

And then the second part - the pivotal moment.

It came in the middle of the run, when everything was happening too fast and it still seemed very unlikely. Rodney Stuckey walked the ball up the court. Once he'd gotten into the offensive half, he fell over.

"He tripped over Drake," Casey said. "I was more worried about Drake than I was Stuckey." It'd be more correct to say he fell "on" Drake (who leapt out of his seat and cheered Stuckey off like a matador who'd just been publicly gored). That's when people began to really believe that the luck - which is trusted far more around these parts than talent - had shifted.

It ended with the predictable gut-churning. Trailing by three with a couple of seconds left, Indiana's Solomon Hill could not get his (successful) shot off in time. Everyone had to wait long minutes for the replay to verify that.

But there was no sense of anti-climax, only relief. Toronto is now one victory on Friday in Indiana from a series win.

They've been in this exact situation before - against Brooklyn two years ago.

Accepting that anything can still happen, it feels different this time around. Being better than Indiana is one thing. Being luckier than them?

It doesn't make any sense, but that feels like it actually matters.

Associated Graphic

Raptors guard Norman Powell slam dunks the ball during Tuesday's game against the Indiana Pacers in Toronto. The Raptors won 102-99.


No one gave Leicester City a shot at winning the title when this season started. But then, this is the town that found a king in a car park, Paul Waldie writes
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

LEICESTER, ENGLAND -- When the English Premier League season started last summer, the chances of Leicester City winning the title were less than Elvis Presley turning up alive.

Start looking for Elvis.

Leicester overcame 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title on Monday, the first in the club's 132-year history.

The victory was cinched when defending-champion Chelsea came from behind to tie Tottenham 2-2 Monday night in London; the tie meant no team can now earn enough points to top Leicester, which has two games remaining.

It's a stunning achievement considering the Foxes were insolvent 14 years ago and were nearly relegated out of the Premier League just last season. And with a player payroll about one-quarter the size of powerhouses such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, Leicester gives hope to smallmarket teams everywhere.

"For me, it's better than the birth of my children," said Robert Coe, a life-long Leicester fan who has a six-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter. "I knew that I would have children as part of growing up. However, I never knew that Leicester City was going to win the championship."

This mid-sized city in the East Midlands has been gripped by soccer fever for months as Leicester kept up its improbable pace, losing just three games all season. City buildings have been lit up in Leicester City blue, and team scarves have been draped across statues and landmarks everywhere. Now, winning the championship will mean much more.

"The impact on the morale of the city and the profile of the city is something that we are only just beginning to realize," said Mayor Peter Soulsby, who has been a Leicester City fan for more than 40 years.

Soulsby said the title could generate an even bigger boost to the local economy than the unearthing of Richard III's bones from underneath a local parking lot in 2012. That discovery by researchers at Leicester University drew international attention and led to the creation of a number of tourist attractions. By some estimates, the Richard III exhibits have contributed nearly $100-million to the economy thanks to an increase in tourism.

Winning the Premier League could prove even more lucrative given the league's global popularity and Leicester's participation next season in the Champions League, a tournament involving the top teams from across Europe that draws huge television audiences.

"I don't think we thought it could possibly get any bigger. We thought discovering the king in a car park was long enough odds," Soulsby said. The Champions League "is going to generate a lot of publicity and generate business, because European teams bring supporters with them."

John Hutchinson, a retired school principal who is the team historian, rhymed off a long list of statistics to demonstrate just how remarkable the team has been this season. Leicester's best-ever finish in the top division of English soccer was second place, and that happened only once, in 1929. The team was playing in the lowly Third Division just eight years ago, and it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002.

"I suppose there's only one word really that can sum this season up: unbelievable," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson credited the turnaround to the club's owner, Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who bought the team in 2010 for £39-millon ($71-million).

Known simply as Vichai, he operates a retail business called King Power and is a soccer fanatic who has the playing field blessed by Buddhist monks before kickoff and is invested heavily in the team and its stadium, which he bought in 2013.

Since his arrival, Leicester has made steady progress thanks to some shrewd management.

Vichai and club officials assembled a team of largely no-name players who have turned into superstars. Two of them, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, were bought for £400,000 and £1-million, respectively. Mahrez was named player of the year and Vardy broke a Premier League record by scoring in 11 consecutive games.

To put that spending in perspective, Manchester City spent more buying one player this season (Kevin De Bruyne, who cost £54million) than Leicester has spent on its 11 starters.

The final piece came last summer when the club took a chance on manager Claudio Ranieri, a 64year-old Italian who had been fired as coach of the Greek national team after its humiliating loss to the Faroe Islands left Greece out of the European championships. Ranieri, who has never won a major-league title in his 30-year managing career, has got the Foxes playing consummate team soccer, and he is so calm he flew to Italy to have lunch with his 96-year-old mother on Monday instead of watching the Tottenham-Chelsea game.

The question now is, can the team hang on to its title next year?

"It's not impossible," Leicester fan Ranjit Chahal said. "After this year, nothing is impossible."

Associated Graphic

Leicester City fans react to Chelsea's second goal in a match against Tottenham in a pub in Leicester, England, on Monday. The 2-2 draw in the game allowed Leicester to clinch the English Premier League title.


Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, right, battles with Tottenham's Danny Rose during their match in London on Monday. The game ended in a draw, meaning no team can now catch Leicester in points.


Future of Melnyk and his hockey team caught up in Ottawa redevelopment project
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1


Eugene Melnyk's immediate response was much the same as everyone else gathered Thursday afternoon in that stuffy downtown conference room.


The National Capital Commission, the office that oversees government properties around Ottawa, had called the gathering to announce the winner of the bid to redevelop a downtown swatch of mud and crabgrass known as LeBreton Flats.

The Ottawa Senators owner had hoped his group might carry the day, but he knew he was up against billionaires who would consider him pocket change, up against promises so wild and extravagant that the competition at times seemed more like an election than a redevelopment plan.

Two years ago, the NCC invited proposals for the 21.6 hectares of barren land just to the west of Parliament Hill. Once bustling with lumber mills, railway spurs and working-class housing,

LeBreton Flats sat vacant for decades, its soil contaminated, its future uncertain.

Four groups appeared serious about chasing the opportunity to redevelop the property along the Ottawa River. Then, last fall, two of the groups dropped away, leaving only Melnyk's group, RendezVous LeBreton, and another entity calling itself Devcore Canderel DLS Group in the running.

The Melnyk proposal was always about moving his NHL team downtown and closer to potential ticket buyers from West Quebec and east of Ottawa, fans who balked at the annoying drive west to attend Senators games in suburban Kanata.

That the anchor for RendezVous LeBreton would be a hockey rink was a given. The unexpected was that the proposal from DCDLS was also centred around an NHL-size arena.

The NCC had sought a legacy proposal that would enhance the lands next door to the Canadian War Museum and within eyesight of the Peace Tower. They got two hockey rinks.

The puzzle was that only the Melnyk group had a hockey team. The other group had money - two key backers being Montreal billionaires André Desmarais and Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté.

Melnyk vowed that he would "never, never" sell his team. Others thought he might have no choice if the other group won the competition, built their rink and drew away the concerts and events that make Melnyk's distant Canadian Tire Centre viable.

It was regarded by some as a sports "hostile takeover" even though the DCDLS group insisted some arrangement beneficial to all might be reached.

Both groups knowing they would have to offer something other than a Tim Hortons to complement the rink proposal began expanding their plans to make them more attractive. Both had considerable residential and retail mix and additional facilities for seniors. One group offered a school. Both offered a new site for the Ottawa Public Library.

The DCDLS group then went a tad loopy. It would include a Ripley's aquarium, a planetarium, a bandshell. It would have simulated indoor skydiving. It would build an automobile museum.

It seemed a hockey game might prove unplayable there were so many bells and whistles in the plan.

Melnyk's group remained rather more sensible and conservative, as a government town likes to see itself. It would put in a multiplex sports centre along with the NHL rink. It would restore a historic aqueduct. It would build a square large enough to hold outdoor events and concerts. And it would bury the coming light-rail transit line that had made the whole idea of redeveloping LeBreton Flats feasible in the first place.

The public response was significant. Many found the car museum a "contradictory message" for an area that was supposed to stress "green" sustainability.

The Desmarais-Laliberté group was also seen as "outsiders" despite having significant involvement of local investment and talent. The Melnyk group, despite the owner's residence in Barbados, became the local choice.

It was, surely, pure coincidence that the announcement by the NCC board was preceded by a report on the ecosystem of Gatineau Park in which much talk had been about "invasive species."

In the end, and to the surprise of many who thought the bells, whistles and deep pockets would prove too attractive, the commission went for the simpler plan. It voted to give the Melnyk group permission to enter negotiations, yet making it clear that should these negotiations falter, the other group could still have its chance at LeBreton Flats.

But it will be a long time before anyone skates on LeBreton Flats.

Difficult negotiations with First Nations will also be required.

And negotiations with the federal government. And the cleansing of the soil is far from complete.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was told it would be "three to five years" before a shovel even hits the ground.

Melnyk, however, says his team will play its first game downtown in October of 2021.

Winning the proposal to develop the lands, he said, has "solidified" the often-struggling franchise "for a long, long time."

"Now, more than ever, I feel we'll bring that Stanley Cup here sooner than you think."

Follow me on Twitter: @RoyMacG

Associated Graphic

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, second from right, speaks to media following the National Capital Commission's decision to give his group first shot at negotiating the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats. Melnyk hopes the Senators will play there by 2021.


The making of an epic fourth-quarter comeback
A small lineup that never even ran together in practice was behind one of the most memorable playoff wins in franchise history
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors were using a combination of players they had never used before when they dug out of a 13-point hole in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's Game 5 versus the Indiana Pacers. They hope to bottle whatever late-game magic helped them walk off with one of the most memorable playoff victories in franchise history.

After a horrid first three quarters, the Raptors started the fourth with a small lineup to expedite scoring. The combo of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, Bismack Biyombo and Cory Joseph had never even run a play together in practice - nor had the lineup that resulted when Terrence Ross subbed in briefly for DeRozan.

The Raptors played with a desperation they had lacked in the series - one they hope to emulate in Game 6 in Indianapolis on Friday, as they attempt to capture their first playoff series since 2001.

Here, we dissect significant moments from that epic fourth quarter, in which Toronto outscored the Paul George-led Pacers 25-9.

9:04 IND 90, TOR 77 In a series riddled with missed shots by Lowry, the allstar guard hits a 19-footer that kick-starts an 8-0 run to start the quarter.

8:52 IND 90, TOR 81 Three rebounds into his sevenboard quarter, Biyombo further asserts his physical presence in the paint by leaping at a lob from Lowry and delivering a huge dunk. Lowry crafts this by driving to the hoop and making Indy pay for double-teaming him by dishing off.

6:51 IND 92, TOR 87 The crowd is wild just seconds after Indy's Rodney Stuckey stumbles out of bounds under pressure, right into Drake, who claps right behind his head. So what Ross does next makes the place erupt. On a night in which he plays just 14 minutes and takes six attempts from three-point land, this timely 24-footer is the only one that falls for Ross. It comes off a crafty pass from Joseph that puts the Raptors within two. "That's big confidence, how he changed up the lineup and his minutes weren't what they usually are," DeRozan said. "That's big for T-Ross just to come in there and still be aggressive. That kind of changed the game for us."

6:34 IND 92, TOR 90 Powell intercepts a bad pass from Monta Ellis and speeds down the floor to score on a dunk to tie the game. "There were so many different dunks I was thinking about doing, that I kind of overthought it and the ball slipped out of my hand a little bit," Powell said. "But I just knew that I had to throw it down as hard as I could to get the crowd into it. I think it gave us a tremendous energy boost. Seeing the guys get into it, seeing the crowd go crazy, after that we went on another run."

4:15 IND 92, TOR 92 Lowry drives to the hoop and kicks a pass out to DeRozan on the wing, who nails a three to give Toronto its first lead of the night - and Toronto's two all-stars show the prowess they'd been missing so far in the series. "He didn't have the defence coming at him, he was open," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "Kyle did a great job of drawing and kicking. I thought that was a huge difference with our small lineup: our draw-and-kick game."

3:26 TOR 95, IND 92 DeRozan drives to the hoop, taking defenders to him but passes out to Joseph, who coolly drains a three. "I tried to get the Indiana guys to draw in, thinking I was going to go to the rim," DeRozan said. "But I had Cory on my mind the whole time."

0:47 TOR 100, IND 96 When Powell's three-point attempt bounces off the rim, several Pacers seem poised to grab the rebound with enough time left to make two buckets and even the score. But Lowry leaps into the pack and tips the rebound backward to DeRozan, who freezes it. "It may not show with the points or the stat sheet," DeRozan said. "But it's a lot of things that Kyle does that help us to victory every single night."

Casey and Raptors ready to 'ride or die' with DeRozan and Lowry
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page S1

TORONTO -- Dwane Casey will tell reporters quite candidly that no NBA coach will say much of substance publicly during a playoff series. In fact, most will "lie to you big time." But one thing he said while preparing for Tuesday's Game 5 against the Indiana Pacers seemed very sincere.

Toronto's all-star duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have combined to make just 40 of their 130 shot attempts in this series - and just 5 of 35 from three-point range. Yet, in a series full of game-by-game adjustments made by both teams, Casey made it clear that deviating from the reliance on Toronto's two stars will not be one of them. You have to be willing to trust that two players that good can't possibly keep shooting that poorly.

"We're going to ride or die with Kyle and DeMar," the Raptors head coach after Monday's practice said. "Kyle and DeMar are our guys; I don't care what their numbers say - they're still two of the best guards in the NBA."

They were one of the topscoring backcourts in the league during the regular season, combining to average 44.7 points a game. Compare that with the 28.8 points they've averaged together through the four games of this series with the Pacers, now knotted 2-2.

Indiana defenders Paul George and George Hill have stuck to DeRozan and Lowry, and the two Toronto stars have often been double-teamed and forced to take contested shots. Yet, DeRozan and Lowry have even struggled to hit the wide-open looks they've had.

"You've just got to hoop and trust in what you've done all year long and believe in the work and the coverages you've put in and just play basketball," Lowry said. "Shots aren't falling, but I can do other things - passing, playing hard, leading. You still have to trust and believe in the habits you've created."

Each game in this series so far has been dramatically different, with both teams countering as if in a chess match.

Indy's Game 1 win featured pure domination by all-star George and a look at a Pacers defence focused first on slowing DeRozan and Lowry. In Game 2, Toronto won by altering its starters, and sending DeMarre Carroll and Norman Powell to slow George, while Jonas Valanciunas made Indy pay for focusing so much on Toronto's backcourt.

DeRozan found his stroke in a Game 3 win, as the Raptors dominated and seemed on course to roll through for two more fast wins. But in Game 4, Indy adjusted again - it turned up the tempo dramatically, so Toronto was racing. It started rookie Myles Turner and offset Toronto's defensive attention on George and Monta Ellis by feeding the ball to the open lanes that created for Turner and little-known big man Ian Mahinmi, who had a career night. The Pacers also got very physical on Valanciunas, so dishing to him was no longer as easy.

The next countering moves are Toronto's, but they won't be dramatic. Officials aren't calling much of the physicality on Valanciunas nor most of DeRozan's drives to the hoop. Those might have been whistled in the regular season, but Toronto can't rely on them now. Passes have to be crisper to avoid turnovers and screens stronger to provide better scoring chances. Valanciunas can't cheat as far when helping to double-team on defence - leaving low-post opportunities open has proven costly. And Lowry and DeRozan simply have to keep shooting and hope some fall.

"You don't forget how to shoot the basketball - you have to keep shooting it," Casey said. "Don't lose confidence. No one on this coaching staff or the team has lost confidence. Continue to shoot the shots you usually make and the ones you take every day."

Associated Graphic

Kyle Lowry, seen dribbling during Game 3 against the Pacers on April 21, will have to keep shooting and hope his shots fall.


Homeland improvement
Former Home Depot head Annette Verschuren's new mission is to make Canada No. 1 in sustainability
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P9

Risk can take all sorts of forms-- like starting a new company when you're pushing 60, say. Or riding a mechanical bull in a room full of your peers.

Annette Verschuren smiles devilishly when reminded of the latter, and then responds the way she is apt to do: "I am someone who gets things done. I talk about things I want to do, but I also do them. I'm a risk-taker." The title of her just-released book distills her message to three words: Bet on Me.

Verschuren is best known for her 15-year stint as president of Home Depot Canada. But she's a person of many parts, and one of them is green. The mechanicalbull ride happened at a rodeothemed environmental fundraiser in early 2014. The new company is NRStor, a Toronto energy storage start-up that Verschuren co-founded. And she helps head the Smart Prosperity initiative, a coalition determined to put Canada's economy on a more productive and environmentally sustainable path.

The idea for Smart Prosperity emerged three years ago out of chats between Stewart Elgie, an environmental law professor at the University of Ottawa, and Lorraine Mitchelmore, then head of Shell Canada. The two realized they were on the same page regarding the need to put Canada on a more sustainable track--and they also believed that many business, union, aboriginal and environmental leaders felt the same way.

But herding those cats wouldn't be easy. They needed help. For Mitchelmore, Verschuren came to mind. "Her belief in the capacity of Canada to win in this global marketplace is phenomenal."

Verschuren didn't hesitate to enlist as co-chair of Smart Prosperity along with Elgie and Mitchelmore. Together, the three spent two years building a coalition of NGO leaders and company CEOs that today sits at 26 members. (1)

The coalition says Canada needs to accelerate cleantechnology innovation, boost investment in infrastructure and skills, and do a better job of conserving and valuing nature. And they support putting a price on pollution and waste, in a push for cleaner growth. "We have this dream that Canada over the next 10 years will be the country in the world that has made the most progress on sustainability," says Verschuren. "This is where we need to go. Senior people all across the business community really need to push this."

It's a big challenge, but as Verschuren details in her book, she's tackled a few of those in her day--from working the family dairy farm on Cape Breton Island as a young girl after her father suffered a heart attack to taking Home Depot from 19 Canadian stores to a 179store behemoth with $6 billion in revenues. In between, she dabbled in coal mining, helped privatize Crown corporations, led corporate development at conglomerate Imasco, and established Michaels, the U.S. arts-and-crafts chain, as a force in Canada. (2)

Post-Home Depot, a quest for a new, final challenge led Verschuren to David Patterson, CEO of Northwater Capital. Patterson had been investing in energy storage technologies, such as flywheels and compressed-air systems, and wanted to start a new company that could assemble the disparate pieces. "Dave told me energy storage was going to be a big part of the future, but nobody was developing the market," recalls Verschuren, who took on that challenge in 2012. (3) "It's hard bringing new technologies that aren't commercial to fruition, and man oh man, it's not for the faint of heart. But I love tough stuff," she says.

Elgie says Verschuren could have written her own ticket for any retail CEO job in North America. That she chose to build a clean-tech company speaks to her priorities. "She's walking the talk." NRStor, in other words, is closely aligned with the Smart Prosperity vision. "What I love about it is, yes, I can make money, but I can also help the planet," Verschuren says.

The timing is good. A global deal on climate change struck in Paris last December, record investment in renewable energy, growing public support for climate action, and the election of receptive governments in Alberta and Ottawa helped set the stage for Smart Prosperity's coming-out party in March at the Globe environmental conference in Vancouver. In many ways, the Trudeau government's recent budget reflects the goals expressed in the coalition's road map. "We were waiting for the opening to do this," says Elgie.

Until last November, an opening in Ottawa didn't exist. Verschuren recalls meetings with several federal ministers, including then-finance minister Jim Flaherty and even Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (4) "I could talk to [Harper] about other things and could see movement, but I couldn't move him on this. He did not see. He didn't want to see."

Yet Trudeau, she notes, was part of Smart Prosperity's launch. "If you have government that's really behind it, and a society that says we have to do something, I think you have the momentum to push things forward."

1. the companies whose heads have signed on include telus, loblaw, Desjardins group and shell Canada.

2. she was part of an informal group of east Coast business leaders called the "maritime mafia," which included tD vice-chair Frank mckenna and the late purdy Crawford, who headed imasco.

3. Nrstor scored the exclusive rights to distribute tesla's powerwall energy storage system in Canada.

4. Harper appointed Verschuren to the shortlived North American Competitiveness Council; she was also a member of Flaherty's economic Advisory Council.


This month, two hotly anticipated franchise films hit theatres: Captain America: Civil War (the 13th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) and X-Men: Apocalypse, the final film in the X-Men reboot trilogy. It's a toss-up who's more excited: comic book nerds or theatrechain owners.

Associated Graphic

Annette Verschuren: Where Harper wouldn't listen, Trudeau seems willing


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P1

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26 | The silent partner

Ottawa pulled out all the stops to help a giant U.S. defence contractor sell $15-billion worth of Canadian-made armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. If the deal is such a coup, why won't the feds disclose even the most basic details? /By Paul Christopher Webster

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36 | Uber hero

Canada's third-richest man revolutionized Web surfing and helped launch the hottest and most controversial start-up of the past decade. Do you know who he is? He'd prefer that you didn't. /By Stephen Baldwin

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42 | What a windfall

Europe is fully committed to green energy and Canada is not, so where is Toronto's Northland Power building a massive offshore wind farm? In the North Sea. /By Eric Reguly

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50 | Out where the robots roam

Smart hardware is the next tech frontier, and you need specialized buildings and geeks in hoodies to develop it. Fortunately, Waterloo has plenty of both. /By Mark Mann

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9 | The Interview

Annette Verschuren fulfilled grand plans as president of Home Depot Canada. Now she's cochair of a coalition that wants to build an entire green economy

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12 | Graphic Details

Trudeau vs. Trudeau: How Pierre's and Justin's budget numbers compare

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14 | Made in Canada

The mosquito is our national pest, and the world's best bug spray has the portrait of a Nova Scotian on every can

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16 | Venture

Imaginea Energy CEO Suzanne West is a post-oil oil executive-the kind who already drives a Tesla and uses solar power

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18 | Disruption

Regardless of what online providers actually sell, they are all now in the secrecy business, too

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20 | Corporate Governess

How do you ditch your mentor? And what about the co-worker who shares too many details about his old and new flames?

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21 | Reguly

Big Pharma CEOs who hike prices sky-high say it's to fund R&D. Yeah, sure. Are those massively swollen stock options in your pocket?

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22 | Investing

Gold bugs say the stuff is a great inflation hedge, and now they're pitching the yellow metal as a deflation hedge, too. It somehow makes sense to them

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56 | Exit Interview

What will Steve MacPhail do after building CI Financial into an investment giant? Best to head to the cottage first and do very little

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Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page T2


The Axiom, a boutique hotel near the cable car turnaround at Union Square, brings eco-friendly, high-tech hospitality to an early 20th-century building.

Formerly the Turpin Hotel, the new LEED-certified property has iPad-assisted check-in, complimentary WiFi and Apple TV. The decor is decidedly edgy: A dramatically lit tunnel doubles as the hotel's main entryway, and a network of lighting wires, cables, exposed pipes and glitch art (digital portraits that morph into pixels) accent the lobby, hallways, and guest rooms. Even the rooms are tech-inspired, with names such as Nano & Mono Queen, Meta Queen, Mono King and E-King.


Sleek Scandic design, a unique art collection and socially conscious hyperlocalism make 11 Howard a notable addition to SoHo's hotel scene. Owned by real estate magnate and art collector Aby Rosen (owner of Gramercy Park Hotel and the Seagram Building), the hotel showcases works by Alexander Calder, photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, and an outdoor mural completed by student artists that were mentored by Jeff Koons. Guest rooms boast high ceilings, custom-made lighting and furniture by Danish brands Mads Raaschou and Gubi, and minibars that can be stocked to order with items from social enterprise Thrive Market.


Julia Child devotees can now stay in the Provençal cottage where the legendary chef once lived with her husband, Paul. Just a half-hour drive from Cannes, La Pitchoune (or "La Peetch" for short) is run by a Colorado-based couple who plan to turn it into a retreat with culinary and yoga programs. If you want a more independent experience, rent the four-bedroom, four-bathroom house through Airbnb. One of the highlights is cooking in the original kitchen that Child personally designed and where she entertained the likes of James Beard and Richard Olney.; rooms/10698076


A segment of the historic Thames Tunnel, the first underwater tunnel in the world and the birthplace of the modern metro system, has been reborn as an event venue and exhibition site.

The tunnel has been closed for 150 years, but the Grand Entrance Hall at Brunel Museum is now accessible to the public by a new door and a freestanding, cantilevered staircase. Back then it was a venue for acrobats, tightrope walkers and serenaders; the modern, industrial space is now a gallery and underground theatre.

Peak gold? Testing a rally's strength
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Inside the Market

Gold is, once again, golden. The metal that has a nearmagical ability to arouse strong emotions, from loathing to love, is riding a fresh upswing that has taken markets by surprise. After four years in which it lost more than a third of its value, gold has suddenly reversed direction and surged about 22 per cent this year.

Gold mining stocks have rocketed even higher, with shares of giant Barrick Gold Corp. more than doubling this year.

Skeptics, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, believe the recent boom is fated to end badly.

They predict bullion's glow will fade in coming months as interest rates begin to rise, boosting payoffs from bonds and bank accounts. Higher rates may make gold, which offers no yield, look less attractive in comparison.

However, a growing number of other observers are declaring a new fondness for precious metals.

Anita Soni and her team at Credit Suisse boosted their forecast for gold earlier this month, predicting that bullion will rise from its current level around $1,290 (U.S.) an ounce to $1,350 early next year.

"We believe the gold rally has legs," agree the researchers at Pavilion Global Markets in Montreal.

The folks at Capital Economics in London are just as enthusiastic.

They say the metal will touch $1,400 an ounce in late 2017.

Behind this sudden outpouring of affection for a downtrodden commodity are some reasonablesounding notions. The world's supply of newly mined gold may be on the decline. Meanwhile, demand for the metal could be growing as people look for a haven from negative interest rates. On top of all that, there is the prospect of new demand from India and China.

Do these arguments stand up to inspection? Let's take a closer look at some of the major progold talking points.

Peak gold is here! The simplest rationale for a higher gold price is the belief that the world is running out of new supply.

Ore reserves of the world's 10 major gold producers declined 15 per cent between 2013 and 2015, according to Goldcorp Inc., the Vancouver-based miner. Production from the bullion giants will fade 8 per cent between 2015 and 2018, the company says.

Some outside observers have come to similar conclusions. "We expect only a handful of new projects to enter production over the next five years due to a lack of viable new discoveries and a focus on balance sheet preservation and free cash flow," Ms. Soni of Credit Suisse wrote in a recent note.

The possibility that the world has hit peak gold certainly sounds as if it should send prices of the metal soaring, much as fears of peak oil drove big gains in petroleum prices a few years back.

However, there's a crucial difference between the two concepts.

Unlike oil, gold isn't consumed.

Rather than being burned as fuel, gold's job is simply to sit there and look pretty. It's extremely adept at doing just that. The metal has historically been valued as a store of wealth precisely because it refuses to rot, corrode or tarnish.

As a result, all the gold that has ever been mined throughout history still exists.

Peak gold, if it is occurring, doesn't mean that the world is running out of the yellow stuff. It merely means that the total inventory of the world's gold is growing a bit more slowly than it did during boom times. To be sure, this slowdown is a good sign for gold prices, but it has to be viewed in context.

The Credit Suisse team estimates that annual supply from mines hit a high of 3,186 tonnes in 2015. They predict it will fade below 3,000 tonnes by 2018.

But here's the thing: Gold production, even at that reduced level, would still be running well ahead of levels before the great commodity boom. Prior to 2009, the world's mines were producing less than 2,500 tonnes a year, according to Credit Suisse estimates.

By historical standards, today's output looks quite reasonable.

Fading mine supply may well help support the price of gold, but there are no looming shortages, either.

Central bankers are losing their grip One belief that unites many gold enthusiasts is a conviction that the global economy is on the verge of chaos. "Central banks are printing money to buy time for governments to get their fiscal houses in order, which most have not done," Barrick executive chairman John Thornton told the company's annual general meeting this week. "The result: Today, we have negative interest rates, while tomorrow we could well have inflation. Either way, if you hold cash, you lose money. In such a world, gold's function as a store and unit of value is obvious."

It's a fine-sounding argument, but one that lacks coherence. If central banks are recklessly printing money, as Mr. Thornton suggests, inflation should be running rampant through the global economy as the flood of new cash bids prices higher. Instead, much of the world is locked in a deflationary vise, which is why negative interest rates have become a feature in Europe and Japan. The notion that gold is a reliable store of value also deserves to be challenged.

Over the past five years, it has traded anywhere from $1,900 an ounce to $1,050 an ounce - not exactly a stable repository of buying power. The doomsayers' argument for gold will always be there, but the metal's reputation as a rock-solid anchor of stability in an uncertain world is more a matter of faith than hard fact.

It's all about China - and India If greater demand is needed to spur gold higher, much of the buying pressure will have to come from Asia. The World Gold Council, the marketing arm of the gold industry, says China became the No. 1 market for the precious metal in 2013. Together, China and India account for about 45 per cent of global demand.

Some observers believe Chinese buyers could swarm to gold if the economy slows, especially if policy makers in Beijing indicate they are willing to depreciate the country's currency to stimulate growth.

"There is a legitimate question as to whether Chinese savers will remain comfortable leaving their nest eggs in renminbi," the researchers at Pavilion Global Markets wrote in a note this week.

"While it is not a yielding asset, gold can represent protection from a gradually depreciating currency," it added.

However, there is no sign yet of any sustained surge in consumer buying. The most recent report from the World Gold Council shows that China's consumer demand in the fourth quarter of last year was right in line with its five-year average, while India's was slightly below.

The lack of any apparent direction in recent consumer demand suggests that Asian buying has not been the driving force behind gold's recent gains. However, Pavilion's point is well taken. If China's economic jitters grow, it's easy to envisage a scenario in which millions of savers suddenly look to gold as a store of value.

A less muscular greenback bodes well Gold's ascent began in midDecember, as weaker economic data cast doubt on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve Board would raise rates vigorously throughout 2016.

The prospect of lower-for-longer U.S. interest rates put a damper on the U.S. dollar, because lower rates mean foreign investors have less reason to rush into the greenback.

In years past, a weaker outlook for the U.S. dollar has typically spelled good news for gold, because a cheaper currency makes the precious metal - which is priced in U.S. dollars - more affordable for non-U.S. investors.

A weaker greenback also helps gold because it means that international investors who want to preserve their wealth can no longer scurry to the safe harbour of the U.S. currency.

The haven factor may loom especially large in today's market because so many countries are attempting to drive down the value of their currencies in attempts to make their exports more attractive.

"There's a competitive devaluation going on to preserve export markets," David Garofalo, chief executive officer of Goldcorp, noted in an interview this week.

"In that context, gold is the one currency that can't be printed. It's quite finite in quantity and, as a result, there's more confidence in it as a store of value."

Negative interest rates drive demand Negative interest rates in Europe and Japan are also putting a spring in the step of gold enthusiasts.

Historically, there is a strong relationship between gold prices and "real" interest rates (that is, rates after inflation has been subtracted from the nominal rate quoted in the newspaper).

Over the past several decades, when real rates have sunk - either because of rising inflation or falling nominal rates - gold has tended to climb. This makes sense: Investors who may be tempted to take a flyer on gold have to look at the returns they can generate on competing investments. If alternatives such as bonds and bank accounts are producing no real return, then the fact that gold produces no dividend or yield becomes less of a deterrent.

"What's mostly driving the market right now are interest rates that are in negative territory, both on a nominal and real basis," Mr. Garofalo of Goldcorp says.

"There's no longer an opportunity cost to holding gold."

Real rates may continue to be negative for a considerable time.

Forecasters such as Capital Economics believe that U.S. inflation will continue to climb this year but the Fed will be slow to clamp down for fears of derailing an already sluggish recovery. The result will be a period of very low real rates even if nominal rates tick slightly higher.

"Lower real interest rates are positive for gold," Ms. Soni of Credit Suisse concurs. "The Fed's 2004-06 rate-hike cycle under [former Fed chief Alan] Greenspan showed that gold prices can rise during a rate-hike cycle."

But beware emotion ... No metal excites passion to the same degree as gold. At the moment, it's riding a powerful wave of positive emotions.

"Sentiment has clearly turned in gold's favour," Sean Boyd, CEO of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., said this week. "I think the stage is set for gold to set new all-time highs over the next three to five years.", However, investors should keep in mind the fickle nature of commodity markets. The strongest reasons for gold's recent gains appear to lie in a weakening U.S. dollar and lower-for-longer real interest rates. Both may change quickly.

For now, skeptics point out that much of the recent surge appears to have been driven by speculators in exchange-traded funds, with only relatively weak physical demand for the metal.

"Despite the investor-led rally in gold prices ... the lack of physical follow-through is a fundamental reason for why we think sustained gold bulls will be disappointed by year-end," Helima Croft and her team at RBC Dominion Securities wrote in a note this week.

Associated Graphic


In e-commerce battle, grocery stores perfect 'click and collect'
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

TORONTO -- At an east-end Toronto Loblaws store, Safi Hafiz-Zadeh carefully picks through bunches of green onions, rejecting a couple with limp leaves and, approving the looks of two others, places them in a black bin.

As he searches for flawless Royal Gala apples and takes time to chat, his scanner starts to beep. It's telling him he's shopping too slowly, at 14 minutes and 44 seconds. The scanner asks him if he's okay.

"Please let your manager know."

Mr. Hafiz-Zadeh isn't just any regular shopper. As a senior area manager at Loblaw Cos. Ltd., he oversees staff who pick and pack groceries for the retailer's budding e-commerce business, which entails customers ordering online and driving to its stores to fetch their purchases.

He's also at ground zero of the emerging online grocery battle.

Loblaw is raising the stakes in a fledgling segment in which it plans to add close to 100 more of its e-commerce order pickup stores this year to its current 48.

At the same time, other major retailers are stepping up their online selling. Amid the heightened activity, big players increasingly are trying to lure customers to the online pickup model rather than delivery services.

Such services can be logistically complex and costly for companies, pinching already thin profit margins.

"Delivery has all the costs of pickup plus you have the delivery [costs,]" Jeremy Pee, senior vicepresident of digital and e-commerce at Loblaw, said after watching Mr. Hafiz-Zadeh select the green onions and nine apples for an order. "Food is heavy and you have to keep temperature control and a lot of other factors ... Economics aside, the customers just prefer pickup."

Two of the country's biggest retailers - Loblaw, the top player, and discounter Wal-Mart Canada Corp. - are betting that shoppers will vote with their wallets for online pickup orders as a more convenient way to grocery shop.

Even so, once cyber-powerhouse Inc. brings its fresh food offerings to Canada with delivery service, as industry observers expect it eventually will do, incumbents could feel the heat to follow suit with their own deliveries.

"If we don't push the changes now, Amazon will definitely force the retailers to do that," predicted Mudit Rawat, chief executive officer of startup Urbery. It offers Uber-style online grocery deliveries from customers' stores of choice in Toronto and plans to expand across Canada.

A nascent segment, online grocery shopping represents less than 1 per cent of the overall $120-billion of annual sales in the Canadian sector, analysts estimate. But those sales are expected to rise at three to four times the rate of those made in-store, making up 3 per cent of total sales by 2018, according to e-commerce researcher Profitero.

In the emerging debate over pickup-versus-delivery, consultancy McKinsey & Co. has found pickups generate higher margins: after variable costs such as marketing, margins are 13.8 per cent for pickups and just 10.7 per cent for home deliveries. That's in a "best-case scenario" of densely populated areas in Europe, it says in the 2013 report. "The economics of pickup can be substantially more attractive."

Loblaw, which launched its pickup "Click & Collect" in the fall of 2014 in just three stores, has already swayed shoppers such as Cynthia Chapman to it.

Ms. Chapman, 59 and the mother of two university-aged children, has been using the service every week for the past year at the east-end Loblaws supermarket. She finds it eliminates her impulse buying and the drudgery of grocery shopping. "Now, I rarely go into a grocery store," she said after driving into the Loblaws parking lot and having her $153.23 online order, including a $3 click-and-collect fee, loaded in her car by a Loblaws employee.

She said home delivery "might be a nice option" but she's pleased with pickups. Her one beef: Loblaw's website "needs to be more responsive. The search functions aren't the greatest." Mr. Pee countered Loblaw is upgrading its site weekly.

Executives at Loblaw and WalMart say their research found that shoppers prefer picking up their online orders at their convenience rather than sitting at home waiting for a delivery.

"It doesn't mean that we won't do delivery in the future, but it's not in our plans today," Simon Rodrigue, senior vice-president of e-commerce at Wal-Mart Canada, said.

Wal-Mart and Loblaw aim to get customers in and out of their parking lots with their online orders in five minutes. Wal-Mart meets that goal more than 99 per cent of the time, Mr. Rodrigue said. Its research found 86 per cent of its customers would recommend the service to others.

Wal-Mart introduced its pickups in Ottawa last summer and expanded them to Toronto in February, with 33 stores slated for the program by the end of May, he said.

Still, even the pickup model has its costs. Loblaw hired 10 to 12 employees for picking-and-packing in each of its 48 click-and-collect stores, Mr. Pee said. It expects that higher sales will eventually help offset steeper labour costs, he said.

Wal-Mart, which has 110 employees dedicated to its pickup service, finds savings by adopting a "hub and spoke" strategy in which four stores serve as pick-and-packing hubs for all its pickup outlets, Mr. Rodrigue said.

More hubs will be added as the pickup program expands, he said.

Currently, a typical Loblaw online customer spends more than $100 in a shopping trip, whereas an in-store customer spends just $30 to $35, Richard Dufresne, chief financial officer of Loblaw, told a CIBC World Markets retail conference last month.

For the Click & Collect program to break even, Loblaw needs online shoppers to spend even more, he said. (A company spokeswoman added later other factors, such as more efficiencies, are needed.)

Mr. Dufresne said because of the scattered population in Canada and the high cost of delivery "it would probably not be economical to do. That's why we've been pushing to motivate the industry to move to click-and-collect, because it's a cheaper alternative for online grocery," he said. "Based on what we're hearing so far, it seems that a few of our competitors are trying to imitate us, which is the right answer for Canada."

Metro Inc. is the only major grocer without some e-commerce, although it plans to launch a service this year. Industry watchers believe it will offer order pickups while delivery service firms are in talks with the retailer about teaming up with it, sources said. A Metro spokeswoman declined to comment.

Startup delivery services, such as Urbery, deliver food from other companies, thus cutting the services' risk and expense of holding inventory, with potentially higher profits than grocers that do their own shipping, Urbery's Mr. Rawat said.

To help bolster its bottom line, Urbery charges about 10 per cent to 15 per cent higher food prices online than in stores where its "grocery gurus" shop, Mr. Rawat said. Urbery expects to make a profit in 24 to 30 months after its year-ago launch, he said. "Our business model is quite lean."

Rival Instabuggy does shopping and deliveries for Sobeys's discount FreshCo division as well as independent grocers and will soon do shipments for some Sobeys Urban Fresh stores, said Julian Gleizer, CEO of Instabuggy.

Sobeys spokesman Andrew Walker said it doesn't have a formal partnership with Instabuggy. "In essence they are using us as a warehouse."

Sobeys Inc., the country's second-largest grocer after Loblaw, runs its own delivery and pickup services at its IGA stores in Quebec and Thrifty Foods in British Columbia. Sobeys is preparing for a wider launch of e-commerce this year, sources have said. Mr. Walker would not comment.

Even Grocery Gateway, an online shop-and-delivery service which was founded in 1997 and has turned a profit "for many years," is considering offering pickups, said Anthony Longo, CEO of parent Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc.

But with razor-thin margins, online grocers need to find savings, said Tim McGuire, a senior partner at McKinsey. For instance, grocers that ensure their pickers use easy-tomanoeuvre carts and closely monitor pickers can boost picking speeds to three times those of the worst performers - and cut those costs by as much as half, Mr. McGuire said. It could make the difference between profit and loss, he said.

At the east-end Loblaws, Mr. Hafiz-Zadeh feels the urgency to shop faster when he hears his scanner beeping. "We are very time-sensitive," he said. "We're focused on efficiency."

Associated Graphic


Loblaw Cos. hired 10 to 12 employees in each of its 48 stores that offer the Click & Collect program, seen above as manager Lyndsey Leask collects a customer's groceries in Toronto in April.


BCE snaps up MTS in $3.1-billion deal
Telecom giant gains Manitoba customers as the sector's big players battle for growth in an increasingly mature wireless market
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

BCE Inc. is continuing its yearslong acquisition spree with a $3.1billion deal to acquire Manitoba Telecom Services Inc., a move that will buy some extra growth for the dividend-focused company.

The latest transaction comes at a time when the market for wireless subscribers is increasingly mature, with Canada's main players - BCE, Rogers Communications Inc. and Telus Corp. - fighting hard to maintain existing customers.

BCE itself has led the industry in recent quarters in growing the average revenue it collects from users, following a strategy of a higher-cost offering tied to marketing of its network quality. Now, the company hopes to extend those advantages to the Manitoba market by buying into MTS's stable base of subscribers.

"It's about management of the base. And so we think gaining access to a base as excellent as the Manitoba base ... we think that's an opportunity for us as well," BCE chief executive officer George Cope said on a call with investors Monday.

"We see it as providing additional growth opportunities for Bell," BCE chief financial officer Glen LeBlanc said later in an interview.

BCE is confident in its own organic growth, he said, "but when you are able to acquire a company like MTS ... it just enhances that dividend growth model."

BCE says it expects the transaction will give its free cash flow an immediate boost owing to tax losses worth around $300-million that it hopes to take advantage of next year, as well as about $50million a year in ongoing cost savings stemming from synergies between the two companies.

"It's all about dividend growth for that stock," said Greg MacDonald, head of research at Macquarie Capital Markets, noting that BCE wants to continue to increase its dividend by 5 per cent for another year and maintain its premium valuation in the telecom sector.

"But the criticism has been that less and less of the growth is coming from organic growth and more and more from what people would traditionally call financial engineering," he added.

Since Mr. Cope became CEO in 2008, BCE has acquired retail distributors the Source and Glentel, broadcaster CTV, an interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and Astral Media. It was also part of an investor group that acquired Q9 data centres and, in 2014, it took Bell Aliant private in a transaction worth almost $4-billion.

The latest transaction will also deliver a healthy premium to MTS shareholders, who have seen a considerable improvement in their investment over the past year as the company finally disposed of its troublesome Allstream division and began an ambitious transformation program aimed at reforming customer service and polishing up its brand.

The two companies announced an agreement Monday that will see BCE pay MTS shareholders $40 a share in a deal worth $3.1billion. BCE will also assume $800-million in net debt.

Since Winnipeg-based MTS announced a $465-million deal to sell Allstream, its countrywide fibre-optic enterprise services division, to a U.S. buyer in November, there has been speculation that its Manitoba telecom business could be a takeover target, with many Bay Street analysts pegging BCE as the most likely buyer.

Jay Forbes, who took over as MTS CEO in early 2015, dismissed a possible sale to BCE during an interview in late March. "Analysts have been talking about 'Bell and Telus are going to come after you' for 20 years," he said, noting that MTS would not have committed to a $100-million, three-year transformation plan "if you want to be or you plan to be sold any time soon."

However, within weeks of that conversation, MTS received an unsolicited bid from BCE. Mr. Cope offered to come to Winnipeg to present the offer, but Mr. Forbes was concerned that "he's a very imposing and noticeable figure." (Mr. Cope is 6 foot 7.) They agreed to meet in "neutral territory" where no one was likely to recognize them and settled on Los Angeles, where Mr. Forbes was visiting family and Mr. Cope had other business.

Within two weeks of the offer, the deal was signed, Mr. Forbes said in an interview Monday. "We thought it prudent to address this unexpected inbound [offer] immediately and expediently so as not to take an inordinate amount of focus away from the transformation that's under way [at MTS]." He said the MTS board considered not selling or seeking other acquirers but concluded the deal was a "fair offer" and voted to recommend it to shareholders.

"I think there was general understanding in the investment community that the Allstream asset that was owned by MTS probably was a regulatory hurdle too high for a company like Bell," Mr. Cope told analysts on a conference call Monday morning, referencing the fact that since BCE is also one of the dominant suppliers of business telecom services in Canada, competition authorities would not likely have approved it acquiring a company that included Allstream. But that deal closed in January, making MTS itself more attractive.

"And I think Jay [Forbes] executed a strategy for allowing this conversation to take place," Mr. Cope added. He said the acquisition aligns with his company's "strategic imperatives" and will help it accelerate the growth of its wireless business.

The MTS deal will require numerous government approvals - from the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - and the companies expect it to close by the end of the year or in early 2017.

The federal government is likely to have concerns about competition, particularly in the wireless market as MTS has about 50 per cent of the province's wireless market share while BCE and Telus Corp. have about 10 per cent each and Rogers Communications Inc. has about 30 per cent.

Philip Proulx, a spokesman for Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, said he could not comment specifically on the situation, but said in an e-mail that the government wants to "ensure competition for Manitobans and continued investment in rural service," adding: "We will be looking carefully to make sure the concerns of Manitobans are addressed."

In a separate deal aimed in part at helping win regulatory approval, BCE said it plans to assign 140,000, or about one-third, of its new MTS postpaid cellular subscribers to Telus and will also assign one-third of MTS's dealer locations in the province to Telus.

With a file from reporter Barrie McKenna in Ottawa.

BCE (BCE) Close: $58.64, down 20¢

Associated Graphic


Delta deal a boost to Bombardier
Multibillion-dollar C Series order is largest in company's history
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

MONTREAL, TORONTO -- With its multibillion-dollar order from Delta Air Lines Inc., Canadian plane maker Bombardier Inc. has finally broken into the mainline aircraft duopoly held by Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE.

But what it took to get there hasn't come cheap. And for a company still battling to regain investor trust and win market legitimacy under a $9-billion debt, the future may hold as many pitfalls as the past.

It was a high-spirited Alain Bellemare who met employees and the news media at Bombardier's Mirabel, Que., production site on Thursday to confirm officially that the plane maker struck a deal with Atlanta-based Delta for 75 C Series planes and options on 50 more. It is the biggest plane order in Bombardier's history and the biggest C Series order to date - one that will carry the previously struggling plane program well into 2021.

"This is a really big deal for us," a beaming Mr. Bellemare, the company's CEO, said. "It's a turning point for the program."

Mr. Bellemare shook the hand of Delta chief executive Ed Bastian too many times to count on Thursday, thanking a person who has now in effect become the C Series' biggest pitchman who is not on the Bombardier payroll.

When the two men parted ways, Mr. Bastian told him: "You've earned this."

This is a deal at least five years in the making, and the two sides have held on-again, offagain talks on several occasions over that time trying to hammer out an agreement. On the Delta side, there was skepticism a pact could get done, Mr. Bastian said.

When Bombardier was facing questions about its liquidity position last year, and the very survival of the company was being evoked by rivals to scare away potential customers, it turned to the Quebec government for help.

Quebec obliged with a $1-billion (U.S.) investment in the C Series program, reassuring the market that it would not let Bombardier fail.

"It's because we were there that this transaction happened," Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Thursday. Fred Cromer, Bombardier's commercial aerospace chief, put it another way: "It took an issue off the table. To sell an airplane, the last thing you want to do is have to start the conversation with the financial health of the company."

With Delta reassured that Bombardier was going to be around to support the C Series program in the long term, negotiations then turned to the nitty-gritty of cost and other considerations. In the end, Bombardier made a significant concession on pricing - one Mr. Bellemare acknowledged it had to do to win an early marquee customer such as Delta.

"We were expecting to be a little bit more aggressive to relaunch the program," Mr. Bellemare said.

"We've done just that."

Going forward, Bombardier believes it will be able to charge more for the plane in the months and years ahead.

One industry source familiar with fleet purchases said Delta is believed to be paying about $25million for the CS100 planes, representing a discount of about 65 per cent from the $72-million list price. "I'm sure they got a good deal," another industry source said.

For Delta, it's about more than just price, however, said one senior executive at a competing airline. "They view this as good for the industry," the executive said.

"If there's a third competitive player, it will keep the industry more healthy."

With firm orders for 370 C Series planes, enough for the first five years of production, Bombardier faces the challenge of making sure the airliners arrive on time for all customers and turning the Delta endorsement into additional orders from other airlines.

More importantly, with a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 8.1 times, Bombardier has limited financial resources to deal with any significant manufacturing or production problem that may yet arise.

Airbus is currently having issues with another version of the Pratt & Whitney-made engine on the C Series.

"They have a very limited capacity if anything were to come up financially to absorb any sort of issue," AltaCorp Capital analyst Chris Murray said. If something serious were to materialize, the company's current short-term capital resources of $5.4-billion might be problematic, he said.

Bombardier reported a firstquarter adjusted loss of 3 cents a share compared with a profit of 9 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts had been expecting a loss of 1 cent. Excluding special items, the EPS loss was 7 cents. Revenue came in slightly below expectations at $3.9-billion.

The company posted only two net orders for commercial aircraft for the three months ended March 31. That was offset by a jump in net business jet orders to 40 units, double the tally for last year's quarter. The company also said it will book a special noncash item it called an "onerous contract provision" of about $500-million in the second quarter related to plane purchase agreements.

Bombardier's earlier C Series units will carry a higher cost as the company works through a learning curve. The plane maker is still in talks for a $1-billion aid request from the Canadian government, which could help finance that transition.

"We've not yet found the right solution" with Ottawa, Mr. Bellemare said. He said federal aid would give the company "more financial flexibility" without offering any more details.

If all goes right with the Delta deliveries beginning in 2018, there is an opportunity for Bombardier to land more Delta orders. By 2020, Delta's fleet of Boeing 717 and Airbus A319 single-aisle planes will be 18 years on average, while its 69 Airbus A320 aircraft will be almost 25 years old. There is a clause in the contract that allows Delta to swap out the smaller CS100 for the larger CS300.

One industry analyst said he would bet on an even larger CS500 version of the plane within five years. That would allow Delta to replace all of its older singleaisle planes with one family from one airplane supplier, reducing the costs of training, maintenance and spare parts.

With a report from Bertrand Marotte

Associated Graphic

Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare, left, with Delta counterpart Ed Bastian: 'It's a turning point for the program.'


East meets Northwest: China plots Arctic course
Thursday, April 21, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

BEIJING -- The Chinese government has published a lengthy Northwest Passage shipping guidebook that lays the foundation for cargo vessels to sail across the top of Canada.

Spanning 365 pages of charts and detailed information on sea ice and weather, the Chinese-language Arctic Navigation Guide (Northwest Passage) was compiled by ocean and shipping experts as a way to help the country's mariners plan voyages through a waterway seen as a valuable shortcut between China and North America.

"There will be ships with Chinese flags sailing through this route in the future," Liu Pengfei, a spokesman for China's Maritime Safety Administration, which published the book, told reporters Tuesday. "Once this route is commonly used, it will directly change global maritime transportation and have a profound influence on international trade, the world economy, capital flow and resource exploitation."

The publication of the book makes tangible China's ambitions in the Arctic, where warming temperatures are melting new openings for the movement of goods through waters where Canada has few resources to respond to potential disasters.

"It should send a signal to Ottawa that more and more ships are coming, that serious countries and serious companies see the Northwest Passage as a viable route - or a route that will become viable in the next decade or two," said Michael Byers, a University of British Columbia professor who has written extensively about the Canadian Arctic and holds a Canada Research Chair in global politics and international law.

The guidebook is intended to be an "Arctic passage operating manual," according to China's Ministry of Transport, which replied to questions by fax and called the Canadian route "the world's most efficient and fast passage." The ministry pointed to the sailing of the Nunavik, an icestrengthened ore carrier that in 2014 made the first unsupported trip from near Deception Bay, in Quebec's Nunavik region, to Northeast China. The route was 40 per cent shorter than crossing through the Panama Canal.

The main Northwest Passage ship traffic is likely to be containers hauled from China to the eastern seaboard of North America, said Yin Jingbo, a maritime economics researcher at Shanghai Jiao Tong University An initial shipment could be made "pretty soon," he said, and eventually build up to large volumes.

Research suggests the Russian Northeast Passage, for example, could carry five million 20-foot equivalent containers a year, 40 per cent more than the annual movements through Port Metro Vancouver and "dozens of ships" a day, Prof. Yin said.

But in Canadian waters, he said, "real commercial operations will have to wait a long time."

The Ministry of Transport pointed to a lengthy set of obstacles, including reliable infrastructure, hydrology data, telecommunications, rescue facilities and low efficiency. "Due to the many uncertainties of Arctic sailing, shipping times can't be guaranteed, which is not good for container ships," the ministry wrote.

In recent years, however, southerly routes through the Northwest Passage have regularly been open and growing numbers of ships have sailed through - more than a dozen last year, most of them pleasure boats. Larger vessels are experimenting, too. This summer, Crystal Cruises plans to send its 250-metre Crystal Serenity through the Northwest Passage, accompanied by a British icebreaker.

The prospect of Chinese commercial traffic, meanwhile, stands to renew questions about Canada's claims over the Arctic waterway.

China's encouragement of Northwest Passage shipping could pose "the biggest direct challenge to Canadian sovereignty in the Northwest Passage" if Chinese ships are dispatched without Canadian consent, warned Rob Huebert, a University of Calgary professor. Canada claims the interlocking routes of the Northwest Passage as "internal waters" that it alone governs.

The United States disputes the Canadian position, calling the passage an international strait that should offer rights of "transit passage." The legal distinction is important: The U.S. believes Ottawa should not hold the right to block any ship from entering the Northwest Passage, although under international law it can pass regulations meant to protect the environment.

China has so far declined to take sides.

China's Arctic plans fit with a broader effort to disrupt longstanding global trading by pressing its industrial might into creating new shortcuts. It is, for example, attempting to remake Silk Road-era corridors for the modern age, sending the first container train from Eastern China to Iran in February - a land journey 30 days shorter than by water.

Polar routes offer similar advantages. Cosco, China's largest ocean shipper, sailed freighters across the top of Russia to Europe in 2013 and 2015. Chinese state media have called the Northeast Passage - which Russia calls the Northern Sea Route - a "golden waterway" for future trade, and a Cosco spokeswoman told AFP last fall that "there is an intention to open a regular line in the future."

But most talk of Arctic shipping has so far proven ephemeral: After 71 transits of the Northern Sea Route in 2013, the numbers have fallen drastically, to just 18 last year.

The Northwest Passage offers its own particular challenges.

Canada does not boast Russia's fleet of nuclear icebreakers, which can be used to open the way for commercial service. Canada's Arctic islands, too, present a much more complicated map for navigation, with their series of channels that move and trap ice.

Canada has a limited ability to respond to an emergency in the Northwest Passage, raising the dark spectre of environmental disaster in one of the country's most pristine places.

Still, some in Canada's North welcome the possibility of greater Chinese interest in the area, in part as a means to leverage more federal investment in roads and ports.

It "would be lovely to have additional shipping through the Northwest Passage," said Doug Matthews, who has advocated the construction of a deepwater port at Tuktoyaktuk. "There are infrastructure challenges, but the more the shipping industry expresses an interest in traffic, the more the pressure will build on Canada to deal with that deficit."

Associated Graphic

Carriers such as Nordic Orion will sail more frequently in the Arctic.


iPhone sales show first-ever decline
Apple profit drops in 'challenging' quarter, as company posts first sales decline since 2003
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Sales of Apple Inc.'s iPhone fell 16 per cent in the past year, the first such sales drop in the popular smartphone's nine-year history, as consumers replaced their devices less often.

In a fiscal second quarter that chief executive officer Tim Cook described as "challenging," Apple's iPhone sales slipped below 51.2 million units - down from 61.2 million the year before - but still above gloomier analyst expectations of 50 million devices sold. Revenue of $50.56-billion (U.S.) in the quarter was below analyst expectations, which had predicted it would fall as low as $52-billion, from $58-billion this time last year.

Profit hit $10.5-billion, down from $13.6-billion a year earlier, but earnings per share of $1.90 missed analyst estimates of $2.

While Apple saw its first quarterly decline in sales since 2003, downbeat expectations had been swirling for weeks. The stock has slid almost 20 per cent in the past 12 months and continued to fall in after-hours trading Tuesday.

"The lengthening of the product cycle - that is, how long people hold onto their phones - is going to continue to extend and that, in turn, impacts the overall smartphone market," said Bob O'Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.

Some analysts have speculated that, after years of product innovation and sales growth, Apple is finally about to "hit a wall," but sluggish sales in the middle section of so-called "S" years have become increasingly common for the company.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is essentially on a twoyear product innovation cycle with its device portfolio leader, iPhone. Starting with the iPhone 4, Apple has delivered a fairly major device overhaul one year, which it then tweaks the next year and slaps an "S" on it (see iPhone 4s, 5s, 6s and so on). In the year after, the cycle begins anew.

"IPhone sales come from three sources: customers who upgrade, customers who switch, and firsttime buyers," Mr. Cook said on a call with analysts. He confirmed that in the first half of year, the upgrade rate for customers buying the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus was slightly higher than the rate Apple saw during 2014's 5s cycle, but lower than the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus rate in 2015. Mr. Cook claimed very high Android switcher numbers, and suggested first-time iPhone buyers drove India's 56-per-cent sales growth.

The March introduction of the cheaper iPhone SE does nothing to disrupt that cycle - even though Mr. Cook said he was "thrilled" with the demand for the low-cost phone . Chief financial officer Luca Maestri said the SE drove down the average selling price for iPhones and contributed to the revenue miss.

All of which means analysts will continue to ask the question: What will Apple do if iPhone sales can't recover with the expected new device in the fall?

There is a school of thought that suggests tying Apple's value to the fortunes of the iPhone misses a key point about its ability to attract new customers to its product ecosystem. As analyst Horace Dediu recently wrote on his blog Asymco, Appletypically has been judged by the success or failure of its leading products: First the rise and fall of Mac computers, then the iPod moment drove its recovery and the iPhone pushed the company into the stratosphere. The rest of the tech industry has also suffered its booms and busts along the way.

"The industries Apple has been a part of are filled with one-hit wonders. Companies that had parabolic trajectories and built no loyalties. Statistically speaking, success in Apple's markets is always followed by failure," Mr. Dediu wrote in March on the occasion of Apple's 40th anniversary as he pondered its next 40 years.

"My simple proposal is to think of Apple (and actually any company) as a customer creator. It creates and maintains customers.

The more it creates, the more it prospers. ... This measure of performance for a company is not easy to obtain. It's not a line item in any financial report."

Those customers drove Apple's active device number past a billion machines earlier this year - an install base that is up 80 per cent from two years ago - and that has created a newly robust set of software and subscription services that Apple has built on top of its ecosystem.

Mr. Cook said he was pleased with the services group's performance, which hit its highest revenue in the company's history with $6-billion, up 20 per cent year over year. He went on to say App Store sales were up 30 per cent, Apple music has 13 million paying subscribers and Apple Pay is now adding a million new users a week. CFO Mr. Maestri also said the average amount spent per customer reached an all-time high in the quarter.

But that transition is still providing numbers well below what an Apple investor may find compelling. Denny Fish, a portfolio manager with Janus Capital, earlier on Tuesday gave CNBC a fairly concise summary of the bearish view: "We've moved from a penetration story worldwide in smartphones to a different narrative, and that narrative around Apple is what the business model looks like when it shifts to software and services we're just not entirely comfortable there yet."

Apple is also boosting the capital return program by $50-billion through a $35-billion increase in its share buyback authorization, under which the company plans to spend $250billion by March, 2018.

Associated Graphic

People lined up at an Apple store in China last month waiting for the sale of the iPhone SE.



Idle Fed could complicate Canadian recovery
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1

Economic Insight

In a matter of months, the U.S.

Federal Reserve has gone from revving up its rate-hiking machine to what now looks like an extended idle.

The shift presents some untimely complications for Canada's own economic recovery - unless the U.S. job market can ride to the rescue.

The Fed's latest rate decision, issued on Wednesday afternoon, was, frankly, about as dull as such things get.

To no one's surprise, the central bank left its key federal funds rate unchanged, at a range of 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent. To no one's surprise, it acknowledged what anyone who has watched the disappointing economic data of the past couple of months could have told you: "Growth in economic activity appears to have slowed."

Fed watchers scoured for clues as to whether the U.S. central bank was any closer to another rate increase.

A few said "yes," pointing out that the Fed dropped from the statement its concern from the previous rate decision, in March, that "global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks." A few said "no," noting that unlike in the run-up to the December rate increase, the Fed did not indicate a rate increase would be on the table for its next meeting - nor, indeed, did it indicate it is leaning toward a rate hike in the foreseeable future at all. Markets mostly just shrugged and moved on, concluding that there was nothing to see here.

Last December, when the Fed confidently raised its rate for the first time in nearly a decade, it seemed clear to pretty much everyone that the Fed would follow that up with more rate increases in 2016 - indeed, probably several of them. There were questions about how many and how much, but few doubted they were imminent. Now, it looks like at the very least, the first half of the year will see no increases at all.

The rise of the current more cautious tone recognizes that the U.S. economy has been sluggish for several months now and is showing few signs of shaking its funk. The ongoing stream of tepid U.S. economic data - on manufacturing, retail sales, housing, trade - reinforces concerns about the fragility of U.S. demand. The pace of the U.S. recovery, which seemed so certain last fall, has come into question.

That, by extension, raises questions about Canada's recovery.

Despite a strong start to 2016, there's little question the sustainability of Canadian growth is highly dependent on continued expansion of its non-energy exports. A healthy U.S. economy, which consumes three-quarters of Canada's total exports, is absolutely essential.

The most troubling indicator of the U.S. economic malaise, from a Canadian perspective, came just hours before the Fed decision, in the preliminary March trade data.

U.S. imports slumped 4.3 per cent month over month, with the declines coming pretty much across the board. For the first three months of the year, imports into the United States were down nearly 5 per cent compared with the same period in 2015 - and remember, that year-earlier quarter was one in which the U.S. economy barely grew at all. Those numbers don't say much for U.S. demand for imported goods and that's troubling for Canadian exporters.

What's more, with the sputtering economy pushing expectations of another Fed interest-rate increase further into the distance, that should put some downward pressure on the U.S. dollar and (correspondingly) upward pressure on the Canadian dollar, especially given that the Bank of Canada's own outlook has been on the upswing. The Canadian dollar has already risen sharply this year, a move the Bank of Canada has linked largely to the recovery in oil prices, but the faltering U.S. rate prospects have certainly become an element in that story. Further gains would threaten to put an additional dent in export growth.

The key hope to put everything back on a healthier track - for U.S. growth and the rate outlook and, by extension, Canada's export-led recovery - may lie in the U.S. labour market. Indeed, the Fed may have sent that signal in its rate announcement.

Conspicuously, the Fed noted in the first sentence of the statement that "labour market conditions have improved" in spite of the growth slowdown. Only a few lines lower, it essentially repeated that assertion. Even as economic growth has hit the pause button, employment has risen by a brisk 460,000 net new jobs in the past two months; the unemployment rate is near an eight-year low.

It's a timely reminder that the Fed's rate policy is tied to a dual mandate of both maximum employment and stable inflation.

Its emphasis on the jobs side of that equation may signal that if the U.S. economy can keep cranking out jobs, that might outweigh some nagging concerns about slack growth and a lack of inflation pressures.

The Fed noted that the strong labour market is pushing up household incomes "at a solid rate." In short, a strong labour market may cure whatever else ails the U.S. economy at the moment - and could be the key to seeing Fed rate increases return to the radar screen in the second half of the year.

Alberta gains Ottawa's ear with plea for pipelines
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Print Edition, Page B1


Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr assured Albertans on Monday that he recognizes the importance of building oil pipelines to new export markets, although analysts question how much additional capacity is needed as depressed prices result in lower forecasts for oil-sands production.

Meeting at a retreat in Kananaskis, Alta., Liberal cabinet ministers were told by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley that it is urgent that the federal government approve proposed pipelines in order to provide confidence for the industry and access to international pricing for her province's principal export.

Mr. Carr said the Premier was "very effective" at making her case. "She has an argument and a story to tell and ministers were very keen to hear it," he told reporters. Asked what the cabinet ministers learned, he said: "That Alberta is going through a tough time, [that] access to market is important."

He said the Liberals have long agreed, but critics say the government needs to be more direct in its support and ensure the approvals process does not drag on.

The National Energy Board gave the nod on Monday to Enbridge Inc.'s $7.8-billion overhaul of its aging mainline into the United States, although the company faces stiff opposition in states through which it crosses.

The project would add export capacity into the American market, including the heavy-oil refining hub on the Gulf Coast.

The federal cabinet will provide a final decision on it this fall.

Enbridge is also the proponent, with some oil company partners, of the Northern Gateway project, which would carry 500,000 barrels a day of oil-sands crude from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C., for export to Pacific markets.

The former Conservative government approved Gateway, but with more than 200 conditions, which the company is still trying to meet. It also faces implacable opposition from coastal First Nations and a proposed federal ban on tanker traffic, to which Transport Minister Marc Garneau recommitted on Monday.

Mr. Carr said he expects the government to decide on Kinder Morgan Canada's proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, which would add roughly 600,000 barrels a day of capacity to a line that ends at Vancouver Harbour. The mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby, B.C. - along with local First Nations - oppose the proposal.

As well, TransCanada Corp. is planning the $15-billion Energy East project - although it has yet to finalize its application to the National Energy Board. It would deliver crude to eastern Canadian refineries and a Saint John export terminal, and has broad support from Canadian politicians. Most recently, former prime minister Brian Mulroney added his backing.

All told, the proposals would add more than two million barrels a day of pipeline capacity. But that would require substantial new investment in the oil sands to fill those pipelines - investment that is not certain to flow if prices stay too low for long.

The Alberta government argues that the lack of access to international markets has forced the province to accept a steep discount on its crude, although economists say the industry has benefited from recent pipeline expansion in Canada and the United States, as well as the U.S. decision to allow the export of oil.

"In general, for the past couple years and today, the differentials [between Alberta and world prices] are reflecting the cost of transportation," Jackie Forrest, an analyst at ARC Financial Corp., said in an interview. "So there is no extraordinary discount at this moment. But there is still more supply coming, so if we don't get new pipeline, that changes."

After 20 months of depressed crude prices, the big question is how much new pipeline capacity is needed. During the previous era of oil prices in the range of $100 (U.S.) a barrel, analysts and industry officials assumed that any and all new capacity would be required, along with increasing oil-by-rail capacity, to move projected volumes.

Since then, companies have slashed capital spending - by 62 per cent over the past 24 months, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. It estimated output to hit 5.3 million barrels a day by 2030 - 17 per cent lower than the forecast issued in 2015. Another cut in expectations is widely anticipated this year.

Ms. Forrest said the pipelines through B.C. are the most critical.

"The growth is in Asia and we can't economically access Asia," she said.

Michael Tran, oil analyst at RBC Dominion Securities Inc. in New York, said new pipeline capacity remains crucial to the industry's ability to get sufficient returns, but he agreed that those planned to run to the Pacific Coast offer the best economic returns.

"Any pipeline is just so paramount to the future of Canadian energy, but not all pipelines are created equal," Mr. Tran said.

"The ones that run west to potentially serve such places as China or India, I think, are much more important, just given the proximity to key demand-growth regions."

After an army captain took his life, his family turned to a scholarship program for children of fallen soldiers. They didn't get the help they expected, Renata D'Aliesio reports
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A12

KINGSTON -- Sherri Elms was walking to her office when she received a much-anticipated e-mail from Canada Company, a charity that has the ear of the military and federal government and the backing of some of the country's most prominent business leaders and wealthiest people.

A pharmacist and military wife, she had inquired about the organization's scholarship program for children of fallen soldiers. Her husband, a respected infantry officer who did tours in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti and Afghanistan, had died nearly five months earlier, on a chilly overcast morning in Kingston in November, 2014.

The sudden death of Captain Brad Elms of the Royal Canadian Regiment shook many in the Canadian Forces. The country's top commander, General Jonathan Vance, then a lieutenant-general, flew in for his funeral.

"Your husband, and his enormous contribution to our nation, is an account of both great pride and tremendous tragedy for all of Canada, an account that very few Canadians will ever understand," read the first part of the e-mail to Ms. Elms from Canada Company president Angela Mondou.

Ms. Elms was told her inquiry was carefully considered. But the charity's three-member scholarship committee - which includes philanthropist Garfield Mitchell, Bay Street legal titan William Braithwaite and Canada Company founder Blake Goldring - concluded that her two children were not eligible for the education fund because the circumstances of her husband's death did not meet the organization's scholarship criteria.

The rub is this: Capt. Elms did not die a war hero in Afghanistan. The 51-year-old soldier, one of about 40,000 who served in Canada's longest military operation, took his life five years after returning from the Kandahar front. He had been treated on and off for major depressive disorder for about a decade. His family believes he also had posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but he never sought a diagnosis because he worried it would destroy his army career.

"It just crushed me that Brad's service was so discounted," Ms. Elms says, her children, Jake and Stephanie, by her side in their old brick house near Queen's University. "How is 33 years of service, four tours, any less honourable?" Capt. Elms is part of a growing list of casualties that had long been hidden. Officially, 158 Canadian soldiers died on the Afghanistan mission, which ended in 2014. What had not been public until recently was that at least 62 military members and veterans have killed themselves after returning from the gruelling operation, swelling the war's toll to 220, a continuing Globe and Mail investigation has found.

The Afghanistan mission was a contributing factor in some of the suicides, although it is unclear how many. A military board of inquiry determined that Capt. Elms's death was attributable to his military service. Veterans Affairs concluded his service-connected mental illness was "the underlying cause of his death."

Even so, the fact that Capt.

Elms killed himself means his legacy and his family are treated differently in a number of ways.

His name - and those of the 61 others - is not on Afghanistan war memorials. There is no grand public thank-you for their service or collective embrace for their loved ones' grief.

For Ms. Elms, the scholarship rejection from Canada Company landed like a sucker punch. She stood on the sidewalk and cried after reading the charity's e-mail on her phone on March 31, 2015.

What stung was the message - and what it symbolized about military suicide. It made the family feel as if others thought the army captain's death was shameful, and that he was less of a soldier because he took his own life.

The rejection seemed out of step with the Canadian Forces' evolving thinking on suicide and with the public's increasing awareness of PTSD. It was a harsh reminder of the discord between the ideal of military strength and the reality of mental illness.

"It was like rubbing salt into the wound," Stephanie, 21, says of Canada Company's decision.

"They don't want to see this nitty-gritty suicide thing. It doesn't fit with the narrative of the glorified soldier."

No members of Canada Company's scholarship committee were available to comment to The Globe, after repeated requests over six weeks. Ms. Mondou, who was a captain in the air force and worked as a logistics officer in the former Yugoslavia and the Persian Gulf War, says the issue of suicide was not contemplated when the scholarship program was created in 2007, at the height of Canada's combat mission in Afghanistan. The query from Ms. Elms was the charity's first scholarship request from the family of a soldier who died this way.

Ms. Mondou notes that Canada Company's education fund is finite and was established specifically for children of Forces members killed while on a military operation. She adds that donors provided funding on the basis of this mandate, and that the scholarship program has not received government money.

"We have a commitment to our donors to support the children of Canadian soldiers who ... have been killed while serving in an active role in a military mission, and we take that very seriously," Ms. Mondou says. The scholarship committee's decision was fully supported by the charity's board of directors, Ms. Mondou adds. Donors, she says, were not consulted about Ms. Elms's request.

Canada Company has made exceptions to its eligibility criteria in the past for children of parents killed in training accidents in Canada and while on leave from overseas operations. The charity's education fund, valued at nearly $2.6-million at the end of 2014, is one of the largest private scholarship programs for children of military members.

The Globe surveyed 21 other private and government education-assistance programs available to children of fallen veterans and found that only one other - the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's Fallen Heroes Scholarship - does not include students who lost a parent to suicide. In one other case - the Project Hero scholarship that is offered at about 60 colleges and universities and affiliated with Canada Company - the participating institutions have no common policy on inclusion of deaths by suicide.

Retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire, a former senator and one of about 600 members of Canada Company listed on the charity's website, is urging the organization to rethink its scholarship position on service-related suicides.

"It is crass and has to be completely changed," he said while in Toronto for a screening of the Afghanistan war film Hyena Road.

"The children of those who are suffering from PTSD are living in hell, and there is next to no support for them," he added. "You have an organization that could, in fact, pull them out of that and give them a breath of hope."

After Canada Company's rejection, the Elms family did not apply for other military-related scholarships. Ms. Elms says they just could not endure another battle after what they went through in Capt. Elms's final years, in which the proud and caring soldier, father and husband unravelled after his return from Afghanistan. He was, by the end, scarcely recognizable.

Broken bootstraps Capt. Elms was once a poster boy for the superhuman. At the age of 29, he won the military's version of the Ironman at the Petawawa base, northwest of Ottawa.

The punishing race starts with a 32-kilometre run in combat boots and a 40-pound rucksack on the shoulders. Next, contestants must carry a canoe over their head for four kilometres and make their way to the Ottawa River for an eight-kilometre paddle before a six-kilometre push on foot to the finish - still in combat boots, still hauling the rucksack.

Capt. Elms was "a pull-yourselfup-by-your-bootstraps-and-geton-with-it" kind of man, Ms. Elms recalls. "'That's how you win an Ironman,' he would say.

'Put one foot in front of the other and keep going - no matter what.' "The couple were teenagers when they met on the dance floor of a bar near the Gagetown base in New Brunswick. Sherri McHarg, a bright, sweet-looking pharmacy student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, was visiting her father for the summer. Capt.

Elms was a private then, fresh into his military career. The Ontario-raised soldier was tall, smart, eloquent and pragmatic.

He was an emotional rock with a soft side, courting his future wife with song.

He enlisted in the army right after high school. He did not come from a rich military family background, but he had found a sense of belonging in the cadets program during a difficult stretch in his teen years. His first overseas deployment was to Somalia in December, 1992, with the Canadian Airborne Regiment. The country's residents were starving; a United Nations peacekeeping mission was organized to thwart the theft of international aid.

Canadian troops won praise for distributing humanitarian supplies and helping establish civilian police in their area of responsibility. But the horrific torture and killing of a 16-yearold Somali boy who had sneaked into a Canadian military compound cast a shadow over the country's efforts. Two soldiers were charged in the slaying and one was convicted of manslaughter. The federal government later disbanded the Airborne regiment.

The Somalia tour left a deep mark on Capt. Elms. He lost a close friend on the mission. Corporal Michael Abel was shot and killed on May 3, 1993, when a fellow member accidentally discharged his rifle while cleaning it.

Capt. Elms was nearby, and Cpl.

Abel had been like a little brother to him.

Cpl. Abel's death was one of several "emotionally traumatic events" that Capt. Elms was exposed to during his deployments, according to a partly censored military board of inquiry report on his suicide. Details of the traumatic events were blacked out in the 18-page report provided to his widow in August, 2015. What exactly he witnessed and experienced in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti and Afghanistan is a mystery to his family. Like many soldiers, he did not talk about the harsh realities of war or peacekeeping with his spouse and kids.

Based with the Royal Canadian Regiment in Gagetown from 1994 to 2005, Capt. Elms was diagnosed with clinical depression after his Bosnia deployment. But it was not until he returned from a seven-month tour in Afghanistan in the spring of 2009 that his family noticed a big change in him. He started drinking heavily.

His son and daughter, who were teenagers at the time, began tiptoeing around the house for fear of setting him off.

He would get angry at everything and nothing. He would yell if a cup was left on the kitchen counter or if the house did not look clean enough. Jake often intervened in screaming matches between his father and mother.

"I had to keep yelling him down," Jake, 23, remembers. "His reaction to things was totally disproportional to what was actually happening."

The honours student struggled to cope with his new home life. It became harder to remember the father that was. Capt. Elms used to take his children camping and hiking. He got them into running and helped them with their essays. He had encouraged them to excel, in and out of the classroom.

Capt. Elms never hit his wife or children, but he did not have to lay a hand on his family to hurt them. He was an imposing figure - husky with a deep voice. His words cut deep.

"The person that I grew up with and went camping with in New Brunswick was not the same person," his daughter explains at the family's dining table. "It wasn't because my dad suddenly realized he was going to be an asshole for the rest of his life. It was because he was so, so sick."

Dire choices Eleven months before his death, Capt. Elms wrote a list of options for his future: divorce; no divorce, just leave and send money; get out of the military; stay; and suicide. Suicide was listed first.

He then wrote that he would never do any of the above because he was "a crazy, angry, abusive, fuck-up."

Ms. Elms found the note after his death on a clipboard in his woodworking section of the garage. "It was full of self-loathing," she says. She shredded the paper.

"He never felt it was his illness," his daughter notes. "He felt like he had done all this awful wrong in his life."

In his last year, Capt. Elms confessed to his wife that he had been thinking about taking his life. But he tried to dissuade her from mentioning it to his commanders. He told her, "You can't use the S word, Sherri, because if you use that, I will not be deployable. And then I might as well be dead."

Worried about his safety, Ms. Elms told his boss, padre, family doctor and friends that he was not well and was thinking about suicide. He denied it when they asked him. The weekend before he died, Ms. Elms wanted to take him to the emergency department for treatment. He told her to go ahead and try - he would just lie again.

Capt. Elms was smart, but did not have a diploma or a degree.

He feared seeking help would end his military career and he did not know what else he could do for a living. About 15,000 members have been dismissed from the military for medical reasons since 2001, when the Sept. 11 attacks triggered the Afghanistan war. Some are too ill to work or have not found steady employment.

The battered captain began spending a lot of time at home in the final days of his life. He had left the family earlier that year for a woman about 15 years his junior with a young child. The relationship did not work out.

The former Ironman winner and marathon runner looked drained. He sat in the basement and cried in front of his daughter.

He had dropped about 30 pounds and was down to 167 pounds on his 5-foot-11 frame. "He was a shell of a man," his daughter says.

Capt. Elms's suicide stunned the military. He was a methodical and meticulous infantryman who polished his boots with ritualistic care. The inquiry into his death found that "he was respected by those he worked with and had a reputation as an intense and highly dedicated soldier."

But he also hid the true extent of his condition. The inquiry report notes that he minimized his mental-health concerns when dealing with his commanders and medical professionals to avoid a negative impact on his ability to deploy. He was worried about his future after the military and frustrated with his reversion to captain after filling in at the rank of major, the inquiry found.

"He was operationally focused and a significant part of his selfworth was tied to his life as a soldier and his ability to conduct operations," the report states.

Capt. Elms never received the urgent care he needed.

His family is working to come to terms with his suicide and years of living with his undiagnosed PTSD. All three are in therapy. They hope lessons from Capt. Elms's death will bring changes. They want the Forces to overhaul its post-deployment screening process for combat and peacekeeping missions. Instead of asking soldiers whether they are experiencing mental-health problems after an operation, the Elms believe the military should assume they are and treat them pro-actively.

They also want military doctors to involve soldiers' families in their care, so they can offer the truth if members lie about their mental health. Other families and veterans' groups have recommended this before, but privacy concerns have stymied change. Soldiers are treated by the military's medical system, while their families fall under provincial health care.

"He was, in his soul, a soldier's soldier. He kept going when nobody else could," says Ms. Elms, who works in the department of family medicine at Queen's.

"They have to recognize that you train these people to be soldiers, so it's going to be harder to treat them. It's going to be harder to get to them. It's going to be harder for them to stop moving forward and admit that they have a problem, because you've trained them to walk until they die."

A lingering stigma At the Toronto Stock Exchange on a recent sunny morning, a group of bankers, traders and veterans' advocates gathered to set off the market's opening siren and announce a new scholarship program for children of military members.

The Wounded Warriors Canada education fund is the first in the country specifically designed for children of members with PTSD or other service-connected mental illnesses. Phil Ralph, the charity's national program director, hopes it will help children heal.

The fund has netted $40,000 in donations so far and is supported by the Bay Street Children's Foundation, CIBC, RBC and the Investment Technology Group (ITG). In the program's first year, eight children will receive up to $5,000 each for the first year of their postsecondary studies. Students whose parents died by suicide will be eligible.

"The stresses and things that these guys are going through when they come back sometimes will lead to suicide. I don't think there's any doubt about that, and that ... shouldn't exclude any of their children," says James Duncan, who is director of sales and trading at ITG and founder of the Bay Street Children's Foundation, which helped launch the new scholarship program. Suicide, he adds, is "not a dishonourable thing, in my mind. This is another one of the problems that come out of battle."

Before Ms. Elms sent her query to Canada Company in February, 2015, she did her homework. She looked up the charity's previous scholarship winners. The organization appeared to apply a broad brush to the condition that a member must have been "killed while serving in an active role in a military mission" since Jan. 1, 2002. The organization granted scholarships to the children of a father who died in a moped accident in Greece while on a three-day leave from his Kosovo tour in 1999. In three other cases, exceptions were made for training accidents on home soil.

In all, the charity has awarded 87 scholarships to 33 children since its fund was established in 2007. Students receive up to $4,000 a year during their studies, for up to four years. Many of the recipients lost a father in the Afghanistan conflict - to suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and firefights. The scholarship program has made a big difference in their lives and fostered a community among the children of the fallen.

"We have a lot of companies and organizations that say they support the troops, but some don't do anything," says scholarship recipient Jocelyn Ranger, whose father, Chief Warrant Officer Robert Girouard, was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in November, 2006. "Canada Company has been incredibly good to me and my family."

The Toronto-based charity has amassed an impressive list of influential members and financial backers in its decade of operation. Created at a time when Canadian soldiers were dying in theatre at a rate not seen since the Korean War, the organization has pledged to "stand shoulder to shoulder" with military members and to raise awareness in the corporate world about their work and sacrifices.

The scholarship program was Canada Company's first major initiative. Financial supporters include CIBC, TD Bank Financial Group, Scotiabank, BMO Financial Group, RBH Inc., W. Garfield Weston Foundation, AGF Management, Barrick Gold founder Peter Munk, Paul Desmarais Jr. of Power Corp., and Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of Research In Motion and current chairman of the Council of Canadian Innovators. Senior military officials have attended Canada Company's scholarship ceremonies. So did Peter MacKay in 2012, when he was defence minister in the Conservative government.

The charity's focus has since expanded to include assisting released military members find civilian jobs. That program operates in partnership with Veterans Affairs and the Canadian Forces and has helped connect nearly 1,300 vets with jobs. The charity is also spearheading a federally sponsored program to convert decommissioned light-armoured vehicles into 250 monuments to be installed in communities across Canada. The armoured vehicles were used in the Afghanistan war.

Canada Company is one of many veterans' groups included in stakeholder meetings with Veterans Affairs. The Globe requested several times over six weeks, through charity president Ms.

Mondou, to speak with Canada Company founder Mr. Goldring, but did not hear from him. An e-mailed request was also sent to AGF Management, where Mr. Goldring is CEO.

Mr. Goldring, who is also chairman of Canada Company's board of directors and a member of its scholarship committee, has received numerous honours for his charity work, including a meritorious service medal from the Governor-General and a Vimy Award from the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. In 2011, he was appointed the first Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Army.

Ms. Elms's scholarship query was reviewed by both the scholarship committee and the board of directors, Ms. Mondou says. All three scholarship-committee members are on the 12-member board. On March 12, 2015, Ms. Mondou told Ms. Elms in an e-mail that her request was a high priority for the charity and that a final decision would be provided in about two weeks.

On March 31, that decision was relayed: Stephanie and Jake were not eligible for the scholarship program because their father did not die on a mission. Suicide, Ms. Mondou explained to The Globe, was not part of the original mandate of the scholarship fund and never has been.

"The reality is we still have many children remaining who are eligible," Ms. Mondou says.

"To expand beyond our current mandate could deplete the fund or impact those current children who are on the eligibility list as of now."

When the scholarship program was created, the charity estimated about 100 students would apply, based on the mission deaths in Afghanistan and the number of children left behind.

With $346,000 in financial support already awarded to onethird of that group, about $2.6million remains to support the others. The fund has grown over the years, from $1.7-million in 2011 to $2.6-million in 2014, according to Canada Company's annual reports.

Devastated by the charity's decision, Ms. Elms wrote to the ministers of defence and veterans affairs. In e-mails to Ms. Mondou, she pressed the charity for an explanation and told Canada Company its position ran counter to the message she had received from National Defence: that dying as a result of an operational stress injury, such as clinical depression or PTSD, was no different than being killed in an explosion on a mission.

"Your company motto is 'Many Ways to Serve,' " Ms. Elms wrote to Ms. Mondou. "Well, there are many ways that service kills. My husband died in a way that no one speaks of - he took his life in Canada, close to home, and left more devastation in his wake than an IED on a roadside in Afghanistan ever could."

After her e-mails, and after e-mails and voice mails to Canada Company from the widow's friends, Ms. Mondou told Ms. Elms that Mr. Goldring had agreed to hold an urgent meeting of the scholarship committee to review its decision. Ms. Elms said the family did not want the case re-examined. Jake and Stephanie, who both just finished their third year of studies at Queen's, receive aid for their education from Veterans Affairs. Ms. Elms said she only applied for the Canada Company scholarship because a peer support worker suggested it. She told Ms. Mondou her children would not "beg for something that is not freely given."

Instead, she asked the charity to further explain its mandate and why it viewed suicide differently from deaths in combat and training. She urged the charity to include deaths like her husband's in its eligibility criteria. The Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs had both determined his death was service-related, she told Ms. Mondou.

Canada Company's board of directors weighed Ms. Elms's questions and request, but the charity's position remained unchanged. Ms. Elms urged the organization to spell out its stand in its terms of reference so no other family would endure a similar rejection. And so the charity rewrote the terms of reference for its scholarship program last year, adding authorized training missions to its eligibility criteria.

It also included this line: "Eligible candidates do not include children of Canadian soldiers whose deaths result from suicide."

The Elms family feels the charity's position further stigmatizes suicide and mental illness. More military members have taken their lives since 2002 - at least 213 - than were killed in the Afghanistan war or in training accidents.

The Globe e-mailed questions to nine scholarship-fund donors listed in Canada Company's media releases, but most did not respond. Of the three who did, none answered the question of whether it supports extending the program to suicides linked to military service.

A spokesman for CIBC, which kick-started the education-assistance fund with $1-million in 2007, said Canada Company has done "incredible work" delivering on its mandate.

"We recognize that the understanding of the needs and issues facing our military families continues to evolve," the spokesman, Kevin Dove, said in an e-mail.

"We are proud of our affiliation with Canada Company and we will continue to engage with them as it continues to develop programs that support our military families."

Among the 22 education-assistance programs for children of deceased military members examined by The Globe, there is variation in how the words "active role," "active service" and "on duty" are viewed. Both Canada Company and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton apply a narrow definition, saying a death must occur while the person is physically on a mission or at work.

Some, such as the Canadian Hero Fund and Brandon University's Afghanistan Mission Memorial Award, follow the approach taken by the Canadian Forces. If a suicide is determined to be "attributable to military service," it is also deemed as a result of "active service." Other scholarship programs do not ask how applicants' father or mother died.

The Project Hero scholarship program, which was started by businessman Kevin Reed and retired general Rick Hillier, a former chief of the defence staff, has been affiliated with Canada Company since 2010. Project Hero does not rely on a pool of donations, like Canada Company's program. Instead, about 60 colleges and universities have agreed to waive tuition for children of soldiers killed while serving on a military mission.

The Globe contacted all the schools listed as offering Project Hero on Canada Company's website. The survey showed that 15 would consider suicide deaths, while most said they were not sure whether suicides qualified.

Several directed The Globe's questions to Canada Company.

Mr. Reed and Mr. Hillier said they would like children who have lost a parent to suicide included in Project Hero, although it is unclear who is responsible for modifying the program's criteria. Both are no longer involved in the administration of Project Hero.

"In my view," Mr. Hillier told The Globe in an e-mail, "those who commit suicide and it is deemed caused or contributed to by service to Canada, their children must be treated like those of casualties that are caused by direct physical action. Mental injuries are every bit as devastating as physical ones and we [should] look after their survivors in an appropriate manner."

Canada Company did not respond to questions on who would consider clarifications to Project Hero's criteria. Leah Jurkovic, spokeswoman for Colleges and Institutes Canada, said the advocacy group does not have a continuing role in the scholarship program or in establishing the eligibility criteria.

"Certainly, no one would be opposed to revisiting the criteria, but it wouldn't be our role to ask for this," she says.

Without the help of Canada Company and Project Hero, Ms. Ranger does not think she could have afforded to study business at Algonquin College. She was newly married with a young child and reeling from her father's death in the Afghanistan war. Canada Company also aided her two brothers with their education.

Ms. Ranger, a mother of three whose husband is in the military and served in Afghanistan, believes the scholarship programs that helped her should be extended to children whose parents have died by suicide.

"I just think with the prevalence of mental illness now in the military, it's something that needs to happen," she says. "As families of fallen soldiers, we know the jobs that they do and the pain that they suffer, and I really don't think a distinction should be made."

Associated Graphic

Family photos of Captain Brad Elms, his wife, Sherri, his daughter, Stephanie, and his son, Jake.


Sherri Elms and her children, Jake and Stephanie, look through old family photos at their house in Kingston.


Captain Brad Elms is seen with Governor-General David Johnston. The sudden death of the 33-year veteran shook many in the Canadian Forces.


No need to be afraid of green energy--after all, capitalists aren't. So why is offshore wind dead in Canada while a Toronto company finds itself conquering the North Sea?
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P42

The Danish port town of Esbjerg is dominated by a towering smokestack surrounded by enormous piles of black coal. Even on a windy, wintry day, the air around the DONG Energy site has a slightly oily smell. But it's not just the plant's sheer size and the 250-metre chimney spewing smoke that makes it stand out; it's what lies just beyond.

Here on the west coast of Jutland, the peninsula that separates the North Sea from the Baltic Sea, the DONG plant sits right smack next to an offshore wind-turbine marshalling yard occupied by Siemens, the German engineering giant that has emerged as one of the world's biggest makers of wind turbines. The yard holds most of the equipment necessary to build the vast Gemini offshore wind park in the North Sea's Dutch sector. Look one way and you see a grubby monument to the fossil fuel era; look the other way, and you see the future of clean, renewable energy.

The yard's other distinguishing feature is that almost every piece of equipment stored in it, from the neat rows of blades to the turbine towers, is owned by Northland Power of Toronto. The small company is the lead player in two North Sea wind projects--Gemini and the smaller Nordsee One, off Germany. Gemini is a € 2.8-billion project; Nordsee will cost €1.2 billion. Their combined spend is about $6 billion at recent exchange rates. That's about two-thirds more than Northland's $3.5-billion market value. (That said, as 60% owner of Gemini and 85% owner of Nordsee, Northland doesn't cover the entire bill.)

In August, 2013, when Northland announced it had acquired the rights to the Gemini stake, no one in Europe's renewable-energy industry had heard of the Canadian company. Today, Northland is one of that industry's top names. Gemini, along with the London Array project in the outer Thames Estuary, are the biggest wind farms in the North Sea and among the biggest in the entire world.

"At the onset, the industry was surprised that there were no European companies prepared to take on the Gemini risk," says Pieter van Oord, CEO of Van Oord, the family-owned Dutch marine contractor that is building the Gemini project. "Suddenly, everyone is now talking about them. They've handled Gemini very well."

Van Oord's flotilla of ships installed Gemini's first wind turbine 85 kilometres off the coast of Groningen, Netherlands, on Feb. 16. Thirteen days later, it produced its first power. Another 149 Gemini turbines are to be installed this year. When commercial operations begin in 2017, the project will generate 600 megawatts--enough electricity to supply the needs of 1.5 million people--without, of course, emitting planet-warming greenhouse gases.

John Brace, Northland's CEO, seems somewhat astonished that Gemini is nearing completion. When he started at the company way back in 1988, it was busy banging together biomass plants in the wilds of Northern Ontario. Now it's working with the top names in the renewable energy industry and building world-scale power projects. "When we go out and see what we've actually created, we go, 'Wow! We actually built this,' " he says.

Everything about the Gemini and Nordsee One projects is big, and the engineering works are astonishing. The latest generation of offshore monsters make land-bound turbines look like children's toys.

Brace, 58, and his European front man and company vice-president, Boris Balan, 57, want me to learn as much about Gemini as possible in a single-day tour, which means visiting three sites in Denmark: the first two near Aalborg, a city in the far north of Jutland, the last in Esbjerg. We pile into a cramped six-seat Piper Seneca puddle-jumper at Hamburg's airport and, covered in wool blankets, bounce our way through the frigid January skies. No business jet, the piston-engine Piper is a reminder that Northland is still a relatively small company.

Brace is afraid of heights and I am afraid of flying, so our conversation is punctuated by long pauses as each of us tries to compose ourselves. Still, along the way, Brace manages to give me a rough outline of the European offshore wind industry. The North Sea is to wind power as Saudi Arabia is to oil, he says; theoretically, it has enough wind energy to power Europe four times over. That's because the North Sea winds are consistently strong. In the Gemini area, the average wind speed is 36 kilometres per hour. Turbines in the North Sea can produce electricity about 8,000 hours a year, and will run at the equivalent of full output for about 4,500 hours a year. Turbines on land, where the winds are weaker and less reliable, may produce power for well less than half as many hours.

The North Sea has other advantages. It is immune to NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) syndrome--the Gemini and Nordsee turbines cannot be seen or heard from the Danish, Dutch or German shores. And the water is fairly shallow--28 metres to 36 metres in the Gemini area--which means construction costs, while high compared to onshore installations, are not outrageous.

Our first stop is Bladt Industries, the Danish metal bashers that are making the substation--the massive platform, topped with a helicopter landing pad--that will collect the electricity from Nordsee One's 54 turbines, convert it to 155 kilovolts and deliver it by subsea cable to a land station in northern Germany, where it will be fed into the grid. Gemini requires two substations; Nordsee one. The base for Nordsee's substation, called a jacket, is 51 metres high and weighs more than 1,000 tonnes. The three-storey topside of the substation sits on top of the jacket like a house on a cliff.

More impressive yet is the Siemens blade factory nearby. It's the size of a big-city airport because it has to be. The willowy, tapered blades, whose bases are so wide that they seem like the cross-sections of submarines, are fantastically long and getting longer. The blades used in the Gemini turbines are 63 metres long (Siemens also produces 75-metre blades). Including the rotor, the diameter of the turbine is 130 metres--almost twice the length of an Airbus A380.

But all that engineering and manufacturing is only part of the challenge of offshore wind power; there's also the job of installing turbines offshore, often in conditions that would leave landlubbers frozen and seasick. This is where Van Oord, which recently completed dredging to expand the Suez Canal, comes in.

In the early part of the last decade, Van Oord leveraged its long history in the offshore drilling and dredging businesses to ease its way into the offshore wind business. It lost money at first; the company realized that to turn a profit, it would have to take total control of the engineering, procurement and construction aspects of projects. Pieter van Oord calls this "de-risking the client"--shunting the construction risk onto the contractor.

Gemini is the embodiment of contracting simplicity. Sundries aside, Northland signed only two contracts: the first with Siemens for the turbines, the second with Van Oord for everything else, from sinking the subsea towers (known as monopiles) into the North Sea floor to spooling out the electrical cable that connects the wind turbines to the shore. "We are entirely responsible for the supply chain," van Oord says. "If, say, the monopiles are delivered too late, that's my risk, not Northland's."

Van Oord, the company, has the process down to a fine art. During the height of the Gemini installation, some 40 vessels--from a robot machine that digs the seabed trench for the electrical cables to a hotel ship that houses the 500 engineers, technicians and sailors--will be at sea. The niftiest ship is the 139-metre Aeolus, a floating crane that sinks the monopiles into the seabed. To ensure stability and precision--satellite positioning is used to place the monopiles within 10 centimetres of their target--the ship uses four giant jacks (called "spuds") to hoist itself fully clear of the water.

Brace, the Northland CEO, calls the installation manoeuvres by the Van Oord flotilla "beautifully choreographed, like a ballet."

Northland's project development is a ballet, too, though one largely confined to the company's headquarters in Toronto. In its European life, Northland is essentially a financing operation that leaves the grunt work to the likes of Van Oord, Siemens, Danish steel specialist Bladt and a small number of other contractors.

Northland was founded as a limited partnership in 1987 by Jim Temerty and Alex Juchymenko, two power pioneers aiming to exploit the partial deregulation of the Ontario electricity market that was then under way. Temerty, who was born in Ukraine and who built ComputerLand's Canadian retail franchises, is Northland's chairman and biggest shareholder; Juchymenko, also born in Ukraine, worked for Ontario Hydro for much of his career. He was Northland's chief engineer and resident expert in co-generation--the simultaneous production of electricity and usable heat. He retired in 1996.

One of their first hires was the unflappable John Brace, a Toronto boy and Queen's University graduate in engineering physics who, slowly and patiently, worked his way through the risk management, development, construction and operations departments before landing the CEO's job in 2005, eight years after Northland, a former income trust, listed its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Northland has a long and largely uneventful history of building solar, thermal (natural gas, biomass, landfill gas) and wind plants--never coal--mostly in Ontario, but also in Quebec and Saskatchewan. In the late 1980s, Ontario was reeling from the cost overruns piled up by Ontario Hydro's decades-long building spree, which included the outrageously expensive Darlington nuclear plant. The high costs translated into high electricity prices. Private power producers like Northland were invited into the market to build cheaper sources. The scheme would also transfer any cost overruns away from the taxpayer to the plants' private investors (Ontario Hydro was later split into segments including Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One, the transmission and distribution company).

Providing competition for big, bad Ontario Hydro wasn't the only reason behind the government's decision to encourage independent power producers. As "global warming" and "climate change" began to enter the everyday lexicon, it also wanted to seed renewable energy. To do so, the government was prepared to pay what Brace calls a "political-societal" price. In Ontario, as elsewhere, including Europe, that meant paying above-market rates.

Thus was born the feed-in tariff. Broadly speaking, a feed-in tariff system offers long-term contracts that reflect the cost of the new technology. Offshore wind farms, for instance, are offered a higher price than relatively inexpensive onshore wind farms. Some tariffs ratchet down over time, all the better to encourage the development of cheaper technologies (the prices of photovoltaic cells have plummeted).

Critics of renewable energy cite the often enormous gap between the feed-in price and the spot, or "pool," price. In Ontario, the spot price has recently ranged from 0.5 to 3.2 cents per kilowatt hour. That amounts, at most, to a quarter of the 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour now offered to small wind projects under the province's feed-in tariff program.

To label the entire gap a subsidy isn't accurate because the spot price does not reflect the cost of building new capacity, nor the value of greenhouse gas emission reductions. Still, countries with lavish feed-in tariffs have earned the ire of old-school power producers and consumers. In Germany, feed-in tariffs are estimated to have boosted consumer electricity prices by about €200 a year, leading to accusations that some low-income families face "fuel poverty."

The various feed-in tariffs across Canada have resulted in steady, if unspectacular, growth in renewable energy. Wind, the fastest-growing renewable, supplies about 5% of Canada's electricity demand, putting the country seventh in the world for installed capacity. But that's small compared to Germany, where wind power supplies 9%. In the Netherlands, the figure in 2014 was 5.2%, but the Dutch government has set an overall renewables goal of 14% by 2020. Gemini will play a big role in achieving that goal.

Northland's first plant was powered by biomass--forestry waste--in Cochrane, Ontario. It acquired its first wind operation in 2004. Today, the company operates 23 solar, thermal and wind plants in Canada, a few of which are partly owned by First Nations communities, as well as two onshore wind farms in Germany (Gemini and Nordsee One are not counted in the tally because they will not enter commercial service until next year). Virtually all the projects went smoothly. The standout duds were four solar projects in Northern Ontario that collectively went about $100 million over budget--no pittance for a company of Northland's size. Brace blames the contractor for the overrun.

Northland's greatest skill is its ability to raise long-term debt to finance its projects. The company was a pioneer in "project" financing, meaning the lenders--banks, life insurers, bondholders--have no recourse with the company itself if the project they back defaults and goes bankrupt. Northland is carrying about $5 billion in debt but the vast majority of that amount has been pushed down to the projects themselves, whose capital structures typically carry as much as 80% debt. None of Northland's projects has ever defaulted.

Northland has recruited some of the biggest names in Canadian and global finance to get its projects built. The lenders take comfort in the fixed-tariff regimes on the projects--typically set for 15 or 25 years--and the generally high credit ratings of the utilities buying the electricity. The non-recourse financing for the Nordsee One project, arranged a year ago, was oversubscribed and included 10 lenders. Among the participants: Bank of Montreal, Export Development Canada, National Bank of Canada, Commerzbank of Germany, Rabobank of the Netherlands and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

Balan, Northland's European man, says the mismatch in size between Northland and Gemini scared some potential European investors. "I had one of the funnier exchanges with a banker we had initially approached for Gemini financing," he says. "He said 'no.' I saw him after we closed the financing and he said: 'I couldn't believe you did it. That was great. I feel so bad we didn't take up the opportunity to join the syndicate.'"

All that said, Northland's perennial challenge is finding enough money to keep its fat dividend intact--the company pitches itself to investors as a yield play--when spending on projects is relatively high and cash flow is relatively low because those projects have yet to produce revenue.

Northland's annual dividend is $1.08 a share, for a yield of 5%, based on the recent share price. In the three years ending Dec. 31, 2015, Northland paid out about 100% of its free cash flow on cash dividends. When the payout ratio is above 100%, credit lines can be used to finance the deficit. (Northland says it has had to dip into its credit lines twice in the last five years, but not to cover the dividend, and for only one fiscal quarter each time.) The payout ratio for 2016 works out to between 100% and 116% because Northland is investing so heavily in Gemini and Nordsee One.

Some analyst shave said that Northland understates its payout ratio by using a distorted and aggressive definition of free cash flow, and that the real payout ratio might be 200% or higher under a conservative definition of the metric. The company, for instance, excludes from its tab any capital spending designated for growth purposes. "Northland is currently in the midst of a major transition and has stretched its balance sheet and cash flow payouts in an attempt to have the best of both worlds," Accountability Research analysts Michael Ruggirello and Mark Rosen said in an October, 2014, report.

But investors don't seem overly concerned whether the payout ratio is north or south of 100%. The shares are up about 20% in the last 12 months, handily outpacing both the S&P/TSX composite and utilities indices. And Northland is one of the few independent North American power producers to retain its investment-grade rating from Standard & Poor's.

For Northland, the bigger issue is finding projects that can sustain its growth. The company had a good run in Canada but found itself running out of options, partly because of deindustrialization, which reduced the need for new power sources, partly because fossil fuel energy is cheap by global standards, and partly because government has been unwilling to open the subsidy taps as wide as the Europeans have. (The European Union, along with Japan, challenged Ontario's Green Energy Act in 2010. They won a repeal of Ontario's domestic-content requirements for the feed-in tariffs, but the tariffs stayed in place.)

Growth of offshore wind power in Canada is exceedingly slow; in the Great Lakes, it is dead (see "Four Strong Winds," previous page). "There is not much need for new power in Canada," Brace declares. "As Canada declines, we've been looking elsewhere."

Yet Northland's leap into the top rank of the European scene was almost accidental. Northland had no strategy to lunge into the European market; it did so opportunistically after it learned about development turmoil at Gemini.

The EU in general and northern Europe in particular have been at the epicentre of the renewable energy industry. An EU directive set the goal of obtaining 20% of all energy from renewables by 2020, and Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, Spain and Italy have thrown fortunes of taxpayers' money into energy subsidies.

With farmers' fields and barn roofs across Europe getting cluttered with turbines and solar panels, offshore wind--out of sight and out of mind--is becoming the hot growth area.

The initial subsidies for all types of renewable power were lavish; some are only slightly less so now, much to the anger of traditional power giants, like Germany's RWE and E.ON, whose margins on coal- and gas-fired generating plants are getting squeezed by the renewable energy onslaught. (Like Denmark's DONG, however, those companies also have moved into renewables themselves. The Thames Array has four owners: E.ON, DONG, a third sooty hedger from Abu Dhabi, and Quebec's top pension fund, the Caisse.)

The contract for Nordsee One, which will have a capacity of 332 megawatts, is a sweetie (one megawatt is one million watts, or enough to power about 300 homes).

Northland will sell its power into Germany's grid at the spot price, currently about €25 per megawatt hour. The spot price reflects the wholesale price from the blended sources of electricity--coal, gas, renewables and nuclear--available on the grid at any point in time. (By one calculation, Germany's power is about 50% fossil fuel, a bit more than 30% renewable and 14% nuclear, with the remainder coming from other sources.)

The German government will catapult that figure to the contract price of €194 per megawatt hour for the first eight years. For the next 1.6 years, the top-up price falls to €154 per megawatt hour. So, assuming rates don't change substantially, Northland will be receiving more than 500% of the spot market price for the electricity it produces. Generally speaking, electricity produced by German offshore wind farms is the second most expensive source of power, after biogas, and about three times more expensive than coal-fired generation.

Gemini has a convoluted history. In 2010, the project was awarded to a company controlled by Russian-German energy tycoon Arngolt Bekker. He then flipped the project to a Dutch company called Typhoon Offshore, which, according to Brace, lacked the offshore wind experience to persuade the banks to back the monster project.

Three years ago, Northland heard about Gemini, did its homework, and realized that it ticked all the boxes--from the secure power contract to the big-name equipment suppliers--and pounced. Northland took Typhoon's 60% of Gemini. Siemens came in for 20%. Van Oord and HVC, the supplier of power to Dutch municipalities, each took 10%.

Northland's edge was speed and the knowledge that the big German utilities would be incapable of mounting credible bids in a hurry as they struggled to meet new environmental standards while competing with the renewable surge. The Canadian company also had the ability to raise a lot of debt from its banking squad. "It doesn't surprise me that a company like Northland got [the Gemini and Nordsee One] projects," says Jens Eckhoff, president of the German offshore wind foundation and a former state of Bremen senator. "Northland was very fast stepping into the market, much faster than the big utilities. We like companies like Northland. They will get more important here."

Pieter van Oord is not convinced the offshore wind game is a breeze, so to speak. He notes that plummeting prices for fossil fuels used in electricity generation will ensure that the old, belching coal and gas plants in northern Europe won't die any time soon. Coal-fired electricity generation in Germany, he notes, is unlikely to go gently into the night, since the country has to get juice from someplace as it phases out its nuclear plants. "Coal and gas are cheap," he says. "Wind relies on subsidies and that makes the wind industry vulnerable. The challenge is to get the generation price [of wind power] down. In Holland, we want to bring down the costs for new projects by 40% in the next six to seven years."

Brace doesn't seem perturbed by the idea that subsidies will one day disappear. He says that the financial plans for Gemini and Nordsee One made that assumption. "For Northland's projects, the project debt is fully repaid during the term of the legislated tariff."

The elimination of the projects' debt will reduce costs substantially, he says. When the subsidies get crunched--they may not be entirely eliminated--the projects will sell electricity into the grid at market rates and perhaps profit from selling carbon credits on the carbon market.

Northland is so confident that it's already plotting Nordsee Two and Nordsee Three, which would add as much as 800 megawatts to Nordsee One's 332.

That would make Northland one of the biggest players in the North Sea wind industry. "Coming to the North Sea? A few years ago, that wasn't even on our radar," Brace says. "If you look at history, we have grown at a compounded 10% total shareholder return over 10 years. So our ambition is to deliver that or better over the next 10 years. Thanks to the North Sea, we'll be more than two times larger than we are now."

That's what you call punching above your weight.

Associated Graphic

Marine contractor Van Oord installs Northland Power's Gemini wind farm off the European coast near the GermanDutch border

Northland Power CEO John Brace: "Wow! We actually built this"

Everything about offshore wind is physically big, and getting bigger: Blades can stretch to lengths of 75 metres

To see a video of the Gemini installation in progress, go to

In the social-mediafuelled world of ethical eating, feelings often trump facts, and buzzy terms like 'free-range' may not mean what you think. Ann Hui reports
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

CHILLIWACK, B.C. -- Last September, the world's biggest burger chain announced that it wants the 120 million eggs used each year in Egg McMuffins and other breakfast items in Canada to come exclusively from hens not confined to a cage.

The news came as a surprise not only to competitors of McDonald's but to some who work for the company, too.

It also had a cascading effect. In the months since, almost every major fastfood chain in North America has made a similar pledge to go cage-free.

In October, it was Starbucks. In December, Subway. In January, Wendy's. Even Tim Hortons followed suit: Back in 2012, it had vowed to source more eggs from hens in "furnished cages," which are bigger and nicer than the infamous "battery" type used for 90 per cent of the 40 million eggs laid in Canada every year. But then Tims changed owners - and its mind. In February, its parent company, which also owns Burger King, announced that both would go entirely cage-free.

What was behind the fight for feathered freedom? The short answer: public opinion and pressure. With the power of social media and the Internet, activists and animal-rights groups have gained unprecedented influence in shaping peoples' perceptions and decisions of what to eat. And the food industry has taken notice.

A&W Canada, too, has abandoned its pledge to use eggs from furnished cages - but only after being subjected to an extensive campaign. Like those other fast-food companies, it will move away from cages of any kind, no matter their size or amenities.

And yet, the theory behind the public pressure is that chickens, and all the animals we eat, deserve a better life - and that the best of all possible worlds for them would be one without cages.

Which may not be true.

The day before McDonald's made its announcement, the company called Temple Grandin.

The petite 60-something with curly grey hair has been a household name ever since the airing of the award-winning eponymous 2010 biopic starring Claire Danes. As well as being an icon in the world of autism - a condition she lives with - Dr. Grandin is the world's most influential expert on animal welfare.

Since teaming up with McDonald's back in 1997, she has helped to put in place policies to reduce anxiety and stress in the lives of creatures destined to become the hamburgers and Chicken McNuggets served to tens of millions of customers around the world each day. The company has even featured her in promotional materials to tout its advancements in animal welfare.

Her modus operandi is practicality - presenting McDonald's and other companies with specific, implementable recommendations, such as a checklist of welfare indicators: Are animals slipping and falling? Are they being poked in sensitive areas?

And her signature innovations - such as designing curved corrals for cattle to walk in as they're led to slaughter, to reduce their ability to see what's coming - can be found in processing plants across North America.

So, it wasn't surprising for her to receive the call from McDonald's last September - but this time she wasn't being asked for an opinion. "Our science-based welfare committee did not make that decision" to go cage-free, she explained earlier this year while at the University of Guelph, to speak at a conference. "It was a marketing decision."

Rather than science alone, says Jill Manata, the company's vicepresident of global public affairs, McDonald's had based its move on "our values as a company, what our customers are expecting" and "the marketplace." Still, she says the company did consult its animal-welfare council, but just the experts specifically focused on poultry; Dr. Grandin focuses mostly on cattle.

Facts and feelings Now more than ever, what customers are expecting is for giant food companies like McDonald's to take steps to ensure the humane treatment of animals.

The rise of social media and the cellphone camera has allowed activists for such groups as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Mercy for Animals to record undercover images depicting horrendous abuse - animals being punched, kicked and worse - and then broadcast those images to millions.

The costs of such campaigns has been real. Companies depicted allegedly abusing animals - such as Chilliwack Cattle Sales, one of Canada's largest dairy farms, charged last month after being featured in a 2014 Mercy For Animals video - have found themselves boycotted, and dropped by major buyers. Just about every large chain has been vilified in campaigns bearing such names as "Kentucky Fried Cruelty" and "McCruelty," despite the advice those companies have gotten from the likes of Dr. Grandin. (In McCruelty, mascot Ronald McDonald is rebranded Evil Ronald, a maniac who slaughters chickens with a blood-drenched meat cleaver.)

The egg industry in particular has felt the heat, especially its practice of housing chickens in wire battery cages. Activists have broadcast images of crowded, emaciated birds, each with space the size of a sheet of paper and barely able to flap its wings.

Among the industry's customers, McDonald's has been singled out for particular censure, including with an anti-battery-cage campaign that received over 120,000 signatures in Canada, and that has won support from such celebrities as Ryan Gosling and Bryan Adams.

In some cases, the food industry's attempts to address concerns have led to awkward, or mixed, results. Just this week, Earls, the Vancouver-based restaurant chain, announced that its move to using "certified humane" beef means it will no longer source meat from Alberta farmers. Social media lit up with calls for a boycott.

In the wake of such criticisms, many companies have turned to experts like Dr. Grandin to help them understand animal welfare better: what motivates animals; what behaviours come naturally to them; and what causes them fear, stress or pain.

Above all, the scientists have tried to help the companies distinguish between feelings - the visceral, emotional response that the public has to animals - and the facts. But in the move toward cage-free eggs, feelings appear to trump the facts.

Dr. Grandin, looking very much the livestock expert in her black Western shirt embroidered with red roses (and her name) likens the situation to Internet-based computing. "Where does a movie come from if you get it off of Netflix?" she asks. "The cloud is not a cloud. Somebody has to make that all work."

The same is true with food: Most urbanites know little about food production, she says. They pick up their meat neatly sliced and packaged at the grocery store, or use an app to have fully prepared meals land on their doorstep within minutes.

This lack of knowledge, she says, is exploited by all those who have a stake in telling people how to eat - producers, companies and activists alike. And instead of getting their information from credible sources, people increasingly make snap judgments based on information from the Internet, images from social media - and their emotions.

In some cases, public pressure has led to positive steps. McDonald's now requires its suppliers to undergo regular third-party audits of how they treat animals.

And from 2010 to 2013, the fastfood chain helped to finance, through the Coalition of Sustainable Egg Supply, a groundbreaking study on hen housing.

Conducted by 18 leading researchers at Michigan State University, the University of California, Iowa State and the U.S.

Department of Agriculture, it compared the impact of the three most-used housing systems:

standard battery cages, in which four to eight birds each have about 67 square inches (the size of a magazine cover) of living space

"furnished" or "enriched" cages, which have about twice as much space, plus separate areas for nesting and perching

cage-free, often known as freerun, in which birds are loose in an open barn, but not allowed outside (free range means the birds get to go outside when the weather co-operates).

All three systems were rated based on a variety of factors, including food safety, animal health and well-being, environment, worker health and safety, and food affordability.

The results present a much more complicated picture than the simple idea that cage-free is always better.

"There's a downside to taking birds out of their cages," says Tina Widowski, the Egg Farmers of Canada research chair in poultry welfare at the University of Guelph, "in that they're free, but they're also free to get hurt and free to get in trouble."

Cage-free cannibals There are pros and cons to all three systems.

When it came to freedom and the ability for birds to express natural behaviours, a cage-free environment, not surprisingly, provides the most benefits. And yet, contrary to popular opinion, it also has the greatest negative impact in every category. On animal health and well-being, the environment, worker health and safety, and food affordability, cage-free had the most severe consequences.

For example, 12 per cent of cage-free hens die prematurely - about double the rate of those in cage systems - often from issues that cages were originally introduced to prevent: bone injuries, excessive pecking - and cannibalism.

The last of those is caused by a variety of factors, but "once cannibalization starts, it spreads throughout the flock, because birds copy each other's behaviour," says Joy Mench, a professor of animal science at UC Davis, and a lead researcher on the study. "If a bird is in a conventional [battery cage] system and there's only six birds, it doesn't go very far. But if it's in an aviary where you have lots of birds, you can get this very rapid spread of cannibalization."

The study also raised concerns about hygiene, air quality and health, of both hens and workers.

With cages, manure drops through the wire floor, collected safely away from both the bird and eggs. But when birds are free to roam, it can be difficult to control where the eggs and manure end up. Meanwhile, material for dust-bathing - bits of straw or sawdust that the birds roll around in to "clean" themselves of parasites - is also kicked up into the air, resulting in dust levels between eight and 10 times that of caged systems.

In most categories, problems with furnished cages were less severe than they were with either battery or cage-free systems.

Asked what she would have advised McDonald's on eggs, Dr. Grandin says: "When I wrote my book, Animals Make Us Human ... I thought, for large-scale, commercial [operations], a well-done enriched system - it's still cages, but a lot more room - would be reasonable. And then the niche markets would go cage-free."

Meanwhile, researchers at Laval University in Quebec City and at the University of Guelph last year provided some insight into why many restaurants have skipped over furnished cages - and gone straight to cage-free. Their study found that consumers have an aversion to the word "cage" itself - they neither understand the difference between battery and furnished nor are they willing to pay a premium for the latter.

To many, furnished cages "are just a stop-gap," in the words of Barbara Cartwright, of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. Critics like her say the perches are often too low, and the birds are too tightly packed - although the industry is currently discussing proposals to give each bird 116 square inches, almost double the space they have in battery cages.

Even so, Ms. Cartwright says, "You haven't solved the big problem, which is that the lack of space makes it impossible for them to engage in their natural behaviours."

A chicken's nature University of Guelph researcher Ian Duncan has spent his entire career discovering what those natural behaviours are.

In the 1980s, he built an elaborate obstacle course for hens in his lab - setting up different rewards for the birds, and seeing how hard they would work to get to each one. He hoped that the obstacle course could help the hens "tell" him what they wanted.

Dr. Duncan and others were able to prove what hens like to have: a separate nest box in which to lay their eggs; a perch off the floor away from predators at night; and access to something in which to dust-bathe. Because battery cages don't allow such behaviour, he reasoned, they were bad for animal welfare.

The science of animal welfare, as practised by Dr. Duncan and Dr. Grandin, grew out of a backlash and skepticism over industrialized food production in the 1960s. The academic community set out to determine, scientifically, the health and welfare repercussions for the animals.

But from the outset, researchers ran into problems. Some factors, such as strength of motivation, could be measured quite accurately; others, such as stress, proved more challenging.

Complicating matters is the philosophy underpinning the science, says David Fraser, a professor of animal welfare at the University of British Columbia.

Some researchers consider animals' health and production the main indicators.

Others focus on the stress, pain or fear they may experience. Still others take Dr. Duncan's approach, arguing that, above all else, animals must be free to express natural behaviours.

Animal welfare is "sort of an umbrella concept," Dr. Fraser says. "There are components you can measure, but there is no scientifically or purely objective way of balancing different goods."

In other words, science can measure factors such as animal health or natural behaviours, but choosing which is more important is an ethical decision - not a scientific one.

This hasn't stopped the market from doing exactly that.

In its second-floor cooler section, a grocery store in downtown Vancouver has seven varieties of eggs on offer. Cartons labelled "furnished" go for about $5. Those boasting that they are "natural," "organic" or "free run" - in other words, cage-free -command no less than $7 a dozen.

And those with nothing special on the label? Less than half that - about $3.

Customers who are confused have good reason to be. Some of the terms, such as "all-natural" and "farm fresh" have little or no meaning; others, such "free range," do (in this case, the birds have at least some access to the outdoors). But critics say that, unless the egg is certified organic, there is little official oversight.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for food labelling, and says it does verify labels when inspecting establishments, at stores or in the event of a complaint. But the process is mostly complaint-driven, says Geoff Urton of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The CFIA, he says, does not have clear definitions of what "free run" and "free range" should mean, and so enforcement is problematic. According to Mr. Urton, the agency may say that it evaluates labelling claims on a "case-by-case basis," but ultimately, "you're relying on the integrity of whoever packaged the product."

The high price of happy And then there are those farmers whose methods don't fit neatly on a label. As a small-scale "pasture-raised" egg producer, Murray Thunberg provides one of the few remaining options for those who don't want to buy their eggs from a large commercial farm.

But, because of supply management in the egg industry, he can afford to keep no more than 100 hens on his farm, near Cambridge, Ont. - meaning that his eggs are few, and hard for consumers to find.

For city dwellers whose only idea of farming comes from storybook images of Old MacDonald, Mr. Thunberg's 150acre property, littered with red wooden "pig huts" (he also produces heritage pork), fits that picture almost perfectly - and it's no surprise that the bulk of his business is to high-end restaurants and gourmet butchers in Toronto. The hens live in a converted garage, and are free to wander outside most afternoons - given the Canadian climate, that's about as good as it gets.

Because he has so few birds, overcrowding isn't an issue.

(Large-scale cage-free farms can have fatal "pileups" - when a noise or even the presence of a visitor causes hens to stampede, trampling some to death in the process.)

Unlike big producers who normally select one breed based on productivity, Mr. Thunberg delights in diversity - he has a collection of rare and heritage breeds. He eases open his barn door to reveal a sea of colour: striking all-black Jersey Giants; golden Buff Orpingtons; Silver Pencilled Rocks, speckled black as well as silver.

He holds a bird with a grey-blue body and a caramel head: "Blue Copper Maran - these are the kind Martha Stewart has."

Mr. Thunberg walks toward a wall with rows of wooden cubbies, reaches under a hen nesting in one, and pulls out an egg. One by one, he works his way down the row, placing the eggs carefully in a wicker basket. A brown one, green, then blue.

For Mr. Thunberg, the recent science, like that of Dr. Mench's study, is not to be trusted.

"Where's that science coming from?" he asks. He has been to caged farms, and says that "it just makes your heart sink when you see it."

So how does he know if his birds are happy?

Based on a feeling, he says.

"I've been around animals enough in my life that I can tell if an animal is in distress," he says.

"It's who you are. Not everyone can do it, and do it right."

But there's a price for doing it right: Mr. Thunberg's eggs cost $8 to $9 a dozen.

A free-range future?

Temple Grandin, meanwhile, has turned her attention to the future. "Okay, now we've got to make a cage-free system that works," she says with a shrug.

She may support furnished cages, but the industry has made its decision. She's a realist. "I try to bridge a lot of gaps ... because we've got to figure out how to actually fix things."

Others are skeptical that the challenges with cage-free can be solved in time to meet the 10year deadline set by companies like McDonald's, but Dr. Grandin is optimistic. "I've been in the design field for a long time, and I think the problems are solvable," she says. "It's amazing - necessity is the mother of invention."

Some issues, such as bone fractures, can be partly addressed through genetics and cage design, she explains. Others may require producers to compromise by reducing crowding - although that may lower production.

She draws the line, however, at the entire industry going freerange. "I don't think we can put every chicken outside," she says.

"I don't think that's feasible."

Ann Hui is The Globe and Mail's national food reporter.

Associated Graphic

Photography by Rafal Gerszak and Christopher Katsarov

A freshly packed pallet awaits transport at Twin Willows, a farm in Chilliwack, B.C., that mass-produces eggs for Costco's Kirkland organic line. To qualify as certified organic, eggs must come from chickens not kept in a cage.


The view inside The Farmer Automatic, a German-built mechanized system that not only houses thousands of chickens in 'furnished' cages at the Pelissero family farm in Niagara Region, it uses a network of conveyor belts to carry off their output for sorting. If sad hens will lay no eggs, Roger Pelissero says, 95 per cent of his must be happy.


Tradition: Murray Thunberg, a farmer near Cambridge, Ont., uses heritage breeds and time-honoured methods to produce eggs that are colourful but costly.


Murray Thunberg relies on wicker, not tech, to collect his due. He also doubts science that says cages keep chickens safe. 'Where's that science coming from?' he asks.


Free range: A barn with 10,000 six-week-old chicks at Twin Willows in Chilliwack. Visitors knock before they enter, and then hope for the best when they leave.


Wednesday, May 04, 2016


A Saturday Focus story on eggs incorrectly said there are 40 million eggs laid in Canada every year. In fact, there are 40 million boxes of eggs laid - equivalent to about 600 million dozen.

It's not quite cool yet, but hardware is taking over from pure software plays in Waterloo's tech hothouse
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page P50

When Pablo Molina and Faizan Sheikh graduated from the University of Waterloo and moved to Ottawa in 2011, they wanted to apply their new robotics know-how to solve a genuine market need. Canada being Canada, their eureka moment conjured up the world's first selfdriving snowplow.

But the young inventors soon encountered a problem that people in Ottawa might have trouble giving credence to: There wasn't enough snow.

The revelation came in a restaurant next to a Walmart parking lot, where, as part of their research, Molina and Sheikh were interviewing the owner of a snowplow company. He explained just how small and sporadic the demand for snow removal really is. It didn't make financial sense to build a robotic vehicle, they realized, if it would only be used a handful of times per season.

But just as their entrepreneurial dreams were turning to slush, the driver pointed to the megastore and said, "Why don't you go indoors? Floors need cleaning every day." Roboticists are always on the lookout for dull, repetitive tasks, and in that moment, Sheikh and Molina found their own little slice of workplace drudgery.

Five years later, the two co-founders of Avidbots are showing me the prototype of their self-driving floor scrubber in what must be the cleanest warehouse in Waterloo Region. The prototype looks like any other floor scrubber--minus the handle--but it does the job slightly faster and a lot more cheaply than a human can, and it never gets bored. The first batch of 10 of the as-yet-unnamed product ships to customers in June, and Sheikh says they've got enough orders to keep shipping 10 a month in the short term, and eventually ramp up production by early 2017.

It wasn't long after they realized they had a viable business that Sheikh and Molina left Ottawa and, after attending a hardware accelerator program in China, moved back to Waterloo to start Avidbots. They wanted access to the engineering talent coming out of the University of Waterloo, and more importantly, to be part of one of the most concentrated and supportive tech clusters on the planet. Where once Waterloo's engineering grads fled the area for flashier jobs abroad, the brain drain has lately been arrested, as more companies are, like Avidbots, capturing venture capital abroad and launching their start-ups back home.

The buzz about Waterloo Region's tech ecosystem has been gaining volume for the last five years. But firms like Avidbots underline a littlenoticed shift: the ascent of hardware. The scene's biggest driver has been purring quietly in the background, out at the edge of town where the robots roam.

For a time, Research In Motion, as BlackBerry was known back then, was the sun around which everything else orbited in Waterloo. Today, its former office buildings are being colonized by other companies: Waterloo has reinvented itself as a 24/7 start-up factory. There are more than 1,100 new companies in a place of only half a million people, which makes Waterloo the world's second-densest start-up cluster after Silicon Valley. (Greater Toronto is a dozen times Waterloo's size but has only two or four times the number of start-ups.)

You can visit most of those companies in the course of a short walk. A lot of the action can be found at an old tannery building on Charles Street West, which is home to Velocity Garage, the largest free start-up incubator in North America. The Avidbots principals spent seven months there after their return to Waterloo, at the encouragement of Velocity's director, Mike Kirkup.

When start-ups graduate from Velocity Garage, many of them simply move to another wing of the building, where Communitech offers a co-working space for hundreds of tech entrepreneurs. Here the start-up ecosystem is on full display, with big corporations maintaining outposts to stay abreast of new innovations, angel investors stopping in to check on prospects, and the wider community massing to network.

Continuing out the door of the tannery building, the next stage of evolution for a growing Waterloo start-up is a few minutes away on foot, at 305 King St. West, which houses many of the region's rising stars, like Chalk, MappedIn and Square. Between those two locations and a handful of others--including the Breithaupt Block, home to the new Google Canada headquarters--Waterloo's tech cluster hasn't just taken up BlackBerry's space; it has repurposed the ruins of Waterloo's disappearing manufacturing sector, and reinvigorated a downtown core that five years ago was a place to avoid.

Almost all of these companies originated in the University of Waterloo's engineering faculty, which is the largest in Canada by number of students, and so well regarded that it ranks in the top four feeder schools for tech titans like Google, Facebook and Apple, along with 864 other Silicon Valley companies that recruited here in 2015.

The attraction is mutual. Silicon Valley holds a lot of appeal for young engineers, and for a long time the region struggled to hold on to its talent. With the engineering faculty's mandatory co-op program, along with the university's business-friendly policy on intellectual property, its funding for Velocity and its affiliation with a similar jump-start program at the Accelerator Centre, U of W has played a huge role in seeding the cluster.

To reach critical mass, Waterloo needed more than all those measures--it also needed some intrepid founders to build businesses locally. One of those was Clearpath Robotics, which is a leader in Waterloo's emerging hardware sector, and a sort of older brother to Avidbots.

Like Avidbots, Clearpath makes a self-driving workhorse for industry, albeit a much sturdier one, the aptly named Otto. A low-lying black disc not much larger than a pallet, Otto looks as sleek as any smartphone. Yet it is one powerful robot, carrying up to 1,500 kilograms. Otto started shipping out to some of Clearpath's Fortune 500 customers this spring. It's currently transporting medical equipment at a repair facility in Wisconsin for GE; elsewhere in the same state, John Deere is using Otto to transport materials on an assembly line. Clearpath also makes a smaller model for lighter loads.

But Clearpath's CEO, Matt Rendall, says that Otto is not just carrying boxes; it's making supply chains more flexible. "Our hypothesis is that if a factory is like a city, and traditional automation is like a metro system, a really busy city also needs taxis to deliver ad hoc, point to point, and more efficiently," he says. "This is automation and infrastructure that you don't bolt to the ground, and that means when you change daily, so does your automation."

Waterloo has seen its share of automation that you do bolt to the ground, and much of it is on display at New Age Robotics, a repair shop and reseller about a 20-minute drive from Clearpath. Here, the history of robotic arms for automotive manufacturing is arranged in colourful rows, like so many mechanical birds with their heads bowed. New models mingle with old, all of them the same basic shape: one or two large, multijointed arms on a heavy base, created to do one thing--paint a door, weld a rivet--over and over again. Autonomous technology in drones and wheeled vehicles lets robots move around better, but when it comes to manipulating or manufacturing things, the physics isn't much different than it was in the 1960s.

Andrew Goldenberg of the University of Toronto, who helped design the Canadarm, says that robotics is at an awkward stage: The software side has vastly improved, but the underlying electromechanical systems haven't. "We can do wonders, but in reality, the mechanical part is lagging," he says. Thus, a program equipped with machine learning can beat a Go champion, but a humanoid robot can barely stay upright.

While robots that drive and fly are currently finding eager reception in such industries as manufacturing, agriculture and mining, walking robots have farther to travel to reach their markets. "We still don't have a motor that is of the same weight and size and that can generate the same power as the human body," says Waterloo professor Dana Kulic, who develops algorithms for robots to incrementally learn and imitate human action.

Although the electromechanical challenge is daunting, roboticists are eager to overcome it, because humanoid robots open doors to applications that wheeled and winged devices can't reach, like assisting the elderly and disabled or performing search-and-rescue operations. "In those situations, the environment has been designed for the human form. If you have a robot that's human-shaped, it'll be easier for it to access the same tools and use the same space," says Kulic. It's easier to make robots that fit the world than a world that's fit for robots.

But the real world is a complicated place--just ask the developers of the Google car, who have to write code that can handle every possible situation, including the time one of their vehicles encountered someone in a motorized wheelchair chasing a family of ducks with a broom. This is why self-driving machines fare better in the controlled setting of a warehouse or factory. Otto will never have to identify a pile of leaves or avoid a stray cyclist. "Clearpath and Avidbots have found two environments where there's a limited number of confusing cases, and so they're able to automate to a level that's reliable," says Steven Waslander, who directs the Waterloo Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory at the University of Waterloo.

This is what makes Otto special: not the physical robot, but its mapping and localization capabilities, according to Karamdeep Nijjar at iNovia Capital, which participated in a $14-million investment round for Clearpath last year. Clearpath isn't the first company to offer a self-driving vehicle for industry. Amazon and Staples have been using Amazon's Kiva bot in their warehouses, but that system relies on grids of stickers on the floor, each printed with a bar code, to navigate. You can drop Otto into any industrial setting and it will figure out the lay of the land on its own. So while the robot is no slouch, the real value proposition is in the software.

A software-differentiated hardware company faces all the same challenges as a standard software company, plus quite a few more. Venture capitalists are more attracted by the low overhead and recurring revenue streams that software companies enjoy. Hardware companies need more people: the usual array of software developers, but also electrical and mechanical engineers. They also need more cash than a software company, which--thanks to the availability of cloud services--has few upfront costs. A hardware company has to build prototypes, inventory, a supply chain, and a lot of other things that cost money. Software companies go to market faster and see returns sooner, while hardware companies have lumpy revenue streams and find it difficult to keep sales high on the second or third versions of their product.

But hardware start-ups have their advantages too. They can succeed with a small number of customers willing to pay a high price for a premium product, whereas software companies rely on massive user adoption and heavy traffic. There's a higher barrier to entry in hardware than software, but that cuts both ways: In hardware, there's less competition.

And a decade into the smartphone era, app fatigue is making it much harder for new software start-ups to find their market. The recent spike in major hardware acquisitions, such as Apple buying Beats Electronics for $3 billion (U.S.) and Facebook absorbing Oculus for $2 billion (U.S.), suggests more people are betting on software-differentiated hardware to answer the "what's next?" malaise lately hanging over Silicon Valley.

In the same way that the Cold War and the space race spurred advances in computer technology that made Silicon Valley what it is today, competition in the smartphone market has accelerated the trend of software-differentiated devices by driving down the cost of sensors and computing. Smartphones also illustrate why simple hardware coupled with great software makes a powerful business model. "All the cost and complexity goes into the software, which has a huge upfront cost, but then you can amortize that over millions of units," says Rendall.

Nijjar doubts whether Clearpath would have been able to find its footing before the "smartphone dividend" made sensors and computing so inexpensive. And the trend is only accelerating, as companies like Clearpath and Avidbots search for ways to use cameras to perform the mapping and localization functions that currently require costly laser-based sensors.

There is, however, still the small problem of talent. Even though technology makes physical distance irrelevant and promotes remote interaction, the people building the stuff want to be as close to each other as possible. Disadvantage hardware: It doesn't fit into cool office spaces, and instead is confined to beige buildings at the edge of town. When you deal in tangible products, you need warehouses and shipping bays more than couches and climbing walls.

Kurtis McBride of Miovision, which makes a traffic optimization platform for city planners, aims to solve this problem by creating a rallying point for the hardware cluster that's closer to the start-up action downtown. Catalyst137 will be a 475,000-square-foot facility only a few minutes away from Communitech. There will be space for circuitboard production, rapid prototyping and varied product testing (environmental, thermal, etc.). The site will also have a "hackable streetscape" with sensors throughout, so hardware start-ups can test their devices in a real-world simulator.

There's one more hump for the sector to get over: scale. Waterloo's tech cluster may be the second densest in the world, but it doesn't even rank in the top 25 for the total value of its companies. The combined GDP of the Ontario tech corridor is about $350 billion, which, if it were a single cluster, would put it in the top 10 municipalities in North America. Waterloo would be in a much better position if it mimicked Silicon Valley's relationship to San Francisco.

Hello, Toronto.

Here's where it might actually be an advantage to be big, but not too big. Toronto's real-estate prices may seem stratospheric compared to Waterloo, but both cities offer cheaper digs for both companies and people than Silicon Valley.

But the bond won't be realized until transit is improved enough to allow an easy daily commute between the two regions. The trip by car currently takes anywhere between 40 minutes and three hours. A drive to Toronto often begins with a traffic jam before you even leave Waterloo.

San Francisco has the Caltrain connecting it to Silicon Valley. "If you look at the distance between Toronto and Kitchener/Waterloo, it's basically the same," says Rendall. There aren't any plans to build highspeed rail, but the mayors of Toronto and Kitchener have been pushing for improved transit connections. For now, that might just mean moving the lone rail offering--which is not part of Ontario's Go commuter system but an 11 a.m. Via train--to a better time for commuters.

Of course, self-driving cars will solve the problem eventually. But if Waterloo and Toronto wait for that, today's upstart robotics scene will become one more Canadian tech wave that we let slip away.

Associated Graphic

Clearpath Robotics CEO Matt Rendall atop Otto, the company's hard-working (and self-driving) warehouse robot


Scenes from a burgeoning cluster: (below left) Avidbots founders Pablo Molina and Faizan Sheikh with their floor-cleaning robot; (below) University of Waterloo professor Steven Waslander flies a drone; (bottom right) start-up incubator Velocity Garage

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly is praised for recognizing the system is broken and her committing to fixing it, but some industry insiders fear the government is setting itself up for failure by taking on too much
Monday, May 2, 2016 – Print Edition, Page A6

OTTAWA, TORONTO -- Lawyers, lobbyists, artists and various stakeholders are all gearing up for the Trudeau government's ambitious plan to redraft the laws and policies that govern the country's $48-billion cultural industries.

Most people found out about the sheer breadth of Ottawa's strategy when Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said in The Globe and Mail on April 23 that the system is "broken" and "everything is on the table" in the bid to fix it.

As soon as she announced plans for broad consultations, to be carried out in two phases this year, all major companies and groups involved in the business started to ready their pitches to the government.

"I'd say every regulatory, telecommunications and broadcast lawyer in the country has a small smirk on their face right now," said Raja Khanna, CEO of television and digital for Blue Ant Media. "It's going to be a generational impact."

Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, said she hopes the industry - famous for infighting and entrenched positions - will look at the big picture as it moves to reshape itself.

"I think we've got to put aside a lot of the friction and difficulties that we're starting to see crack this industry with that downward market pressure," she said. "We have to put the collective interest ahead of self-interest. And that means every one of us."

Over all, Ms. Joly has won praise for her assessment of the current situation and her willingness to reshape a complex industry that is known as much for its inertia as its technological advances. Still, there are some pessimists who fear that the government is setting itself up for failure by taking on too much.

"It's very hard to boil the ocean," said Ken Engelhart, a communications lawyer and the former senior vice-president of regulatory affairs at Rogers Communications Inc. "It's easier to tackle one tiny problem and try and solve it."

The Globe and Mail spoke to more than a dozen experts, both independent and affiliated with various sectors of the industry, to gauge what's at stake for some of the biggest players in the industry, and the major issues the government now has to tackle.

* * *


Canadian content, or Cancon, has long been a divisive concept. At its best, it should be vital to reflecting a country and culture by telling its stories. At its worst, it can be seen as parochial, protected and in low demand.

By putting Cancon in the title of its review, Canadian Heritage has made it clear it sees this as a sector worthy of support. Ms. Joly even said that increasing the international audience for Canadian creations is one of her top priorities. Still, the government is signalling the complex array of carrots and sticks currently used to promote Cancon aren't working as they should.

Many creators have been fed and supported by existing regulations, and if they are to receive more effective support, one major question looms: Who pays? English-language dramas, which have been the flagship content for rival services like Netflix, remain a difficult and expensive proposition for private broadcasters in a market Canada's size. In considering this question, government will look to be friendly to consumers.

"You have people who think from a consumer perspective and they just want cheaper cable; you've got people that think about it from a culture perspective, and there's nothing that we shouldn't do in this space; and then you've got a lot of Canadians somewhere in the middle," said broadcasting consultant Peter Miller.

Canada is keen to keep its best talent and to develop a system of stars, but in doing so, stakeholders will have to confront the difficult question of what is Canadian enough to qualify as Cancon.

"The industry is a mile wide and an inch deep. You've got a Canadian gaffer, great, but is that really Canadian content?" asked regulatory lawyer Lawson Hunter.

* * *


If there is one body that should feel as if it has a target on its back, it's the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Created in 1968, the once all-powerful regulatory body has looked out of its depth recently as it tried to tame Canadian and international media giants into submission. The CRTC had previously decided to keep a hands-off approach to the distribution of content on the Internet and mobile devices, and the courts ruled it had no authority over Internet services providers (ISPs), which some argue should be subject to levies to increase support for Cancon.

A source said officials at the CRTC were taken by surprise when Ms. Joly made her announcement, saying the Internet had created a "vacuum" in Canada's regulatory system.

Mr. Hunter, a former high-ranking federal bureaucrat and executive at Bell Canada, said years of technological development have made the CRTC "less relevant."

"They really can't bring about the changes needed, because that's not their job," he said.

Ottawa's "federal cultural policy toolkit" was mostly designed during the analog age of the past century and hasn't adapted to new realities.

"The Broadcasting Act gives the CRTC a huge amount of scope, but in a way, it doesn't give them a lot of direction," said Mr. Engelhart, the communications lawyer. "What do you do about the Internet? The Act gives you no guidance."

Still, both Mr. Hunter and law professor Michael Geist said that as rules and laws are modernized, there will always be a need for a communications regulator - maybe in the form of a revamped CRTC. Prof. Geist says that body's priority should be to ensure that media giants fiercely compete for the consumers' dollars "on as level a playing field as possible.

"You want to let the Internet do its thing and you want the regulator to ensure that people don't mess with it," said Prof. Geist.

* * *


Stakeholders in TV, radio and news won't agree on many issues raised in the consultation, but one common concern may be access to the Canadian market by online players and what obligations that should entail.

The elephant in the hearing room may once again be the effect that Netflix is having in Canada - so much so that some industry insiders fear the question of a so-called "Netflix tax" could hijack the conversation. Netflix is estimated to draw hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year from nearly five million Canadian subscribers, and some will continue insisting it should have to put some funds back into Canadian content, as domestic broadcasters do.

With the government apparently focused on creators and consumers, broadcasters and distributors may fear their concerns could be pushed to the margins.

Underpinning any such changes are less publicly combustible issues that are no less important. For example, with no fewer than eight legislative acts up for discussion, "there will be some pressure to see if we can't bring the [Telecommunications] Act and the Broadcasting Act together into a single piece of legislation," said Peter Grant, a communications law expert at McCarthy Tétrault.

Amid a conversation about making Canadian content more globally relevant, creators will be preoccupied with "our ability to develop and retain talent and keep them in the country," Mr. Khanna of Blue Ant said.

"The technology is putting those jobs at risk, and that is what we have to grapple with," Mr. Hunter said.

And a news industry that has watched its business model upended by the shift to digital platforms will come to the table with an interest in such issues as tax credits and foreign ownership. Some players might push to have the tax deductibility of online advertising with U.S. giants such as Google and Facebook curbed to encourage ad dollars to remain in Canada.

* * *


Even before Ms. Joly announced the government's sweeping review, a big shift was under way at the CBC. The latest federal budget pumps $150-million in extra annual funding into the public broadcaster, in support of its shift to a digital-first mentality.

In return for the cash infusion, the CBC must forge a five-year "accountability plan" with government, but it's not yet clear - even to those in the CBC's senior ranks - how that process will dovetail with the wider policy overhaul. Ms. Joly has also been tasked with reviewing the process for CBC board appointments.

At the same time, CBC president Hubert Lacroix hasn't committed to reversing any of the 1,500 or so job cuts the CBC planned, and its expansion to new communities will be through leaner digital-only bureaus.

"Of course jobs aren't an end in themselves. ... But it's people who make programs," said Ian Morrison, spokesman for the advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. "There is a tendency among some people - I would include Minister Joly - to use the word digital in a reverential tone."

A spokesperson for the CBC said it welcomes the new review, and that "the need for a broad consultation with Canadians and the industry on the digital shift is something we have been discussing for years." One source said the public broadcaster's leaders are sanguine about the coming review.

But some say they think the government may see the public broadcaster as an instrument to achieve some of its Canadian content goals in a way that may not jibe with private broadcasters' pursuit of profit.

* * *


The Conservatives found out the hard way in the 2008 election that cultural policy swings votes in Quebec. At the time, the party of Stephen Harper was on the wrong side of relatively minor cuts to cultural programs, which were widely seen as an affront in the province and hurt the Conservatives at the ballot box.

"There is a unique dynamic in Quebec," said James Moore, a former Conservative MP from B.C. and a former Heritage Minister. "Arts and culture there are so close to the sense of fabric, the sense of identity, the sense of protecting cultural identity in a continent of other languages."

Quebec has its own star system and a unique brand of television programs, but also a cultural industry that is heavily dependent on subsidies from all three levels of government. A recent tightening of federal tax credits for some television productions was met with widespread condemnation, and the Liberals will have to be careful about moving on any front that hurts Quebec's cultural industries.

"In a sense, we benefit from some level of protection, because we are francophones, but that is a paradox, given that we are simultaneously a minority in this English-language universe," said journalism professor Alain Saulnier, a former top news executive at the CBC's French-language network, Radio-Canada.

He argued that in the expanding digital universe, a key issue for the government will be using the CBC's services to provide easy access to Canadian - and Quebec - content.

"We have to find a way to be discovered in this universe that we don't control," he said of Quebec content creators. "Public broadcasters must defend us against the creation of the homogenized culture that is offered by the Netflix and Googles of this world."

Ms. Joly is from Montreal, and the Liberals hold 40 of 78 seats in Quebec. Unless the Liberals want to suffer the same fate as the Conservatives in 2008, they will face pressure to satisfy Quebec's thirst for some kind of accommodation for its cultural specificities.

* * *


Launched in 2010 as an amalgamation of existing funds, the Canada Media Fund (CMF) may have been a harbinger of things to come for the cultural industries, requiring applicants to submit projects designed for multiple platforms, not just television.

"There was a hue and cry across the country in those days about how stupid this all was," said Ms. Creighton of the CMF, who admits even she once argued that was "a bit like saying every book in the country should be made into a feature film."

The rule proved prescient, however. The CMF disbursed more than $370-million to support 1,400 Canadian TV and digital projects in 2015-2016, triggering $1.4-billion in production activity. Yet there are more ideas than there is money to develop them, and part of the CMF's funding is tied to the financial health of cable and satellite TV distributors, which are under pressure as some viewers switch to online alternatives.

Some of the CMF's eligibility rules are still seen as too restrictive to respond to industry changes, such as those for funding web series.

"It could be easier, with the CMF, to make programming for an international audience," Mr. Engelhart said, referring to co-productions and shoots outside Canada.

Ms. Creighton also wants more flexibility but stresses the challenge of striking a balance. The current regime judges proposals' eligibility on a points system based on factors such as whether key creative personnel are Canadian.

"There's always a fear that if you open up the point-system requirements, we'll be flooded by requests for talent to be part of the structure that's not Canadian, and it will start to dilute and really threaten the entire system," she said.

* * *


One of the big problems with the Internet has always been piracy, as movies, songs and most cultural products can be easily copied and shared freely and illegally, leaving content creators high and dry.

A number of players in the industry are encouraged by the fact the government has explicitly put the Copyright Act among the legislation up for review. A common refrain is that better protection will make it easier for creators to get paid for their work.

"This is especially significant in light of the potential for global distribution in today's digital age when small, large and mobile screens have all become the norm for consuming media," said Elliott Anderson, a spokesman for the performers' union ACTRA.

However, Prof. Geist said a 2012 review of the Copyright Act has already provided a number of additional protections for content creators. He added the Act is already up for a mandatory parliamentary review in 2017, and that it is more likely that any changes would flow from that process.

In any event, Prof. Geist said the fact artists are underpaid by iTunes or Spotify, for example, will not be fixed by a review of Canada's cultural policy.

"That's a market issue, it's not a legal issue," the copyright expert said.

Associated Graphic

The Canada Media Fund disbursed more than $370-million to TV and digital projects such as Murdoch Mysteries in 2015-16.


Clone drama Orphan Black, starring Tatiana Maslany, was one of the 26 CMF-funded productions to win multiple Canadian Screen Awards this year.

With CMF support, Rookie Blue, starring Ben Bass and Missy Peregrym, aired on Global in Canada and ABC in the United States for six seasons.

With the participation of the Canada Media Fund, CTV's Saving Hope, with Erica Durance and Michael Shanks, has been renewed for a fifth season.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Spring's arrival brings with it a collection of new cookbooks celebrating Asian culinary heritage and classic cocktails. Chris Johns digs into the season's hot and splashy titles
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Print Edition, Page L8


Anjali Pathak With her second book, Anjali Pathak, a scion of the famous Patak's curry-paste producers, aims to make Indian food simpler, lighter and more modern. Classic dishes like black dhal, spinach bhajias and smoked eggplant masala appear alongside Westernized recipes: chili-dressed burgers, naan pizza and spiced latte meringues. Pathak includes a list of useful kitchen tools, and suggests pantry items and shortcuts to speed meals along.

Vegetarian and vegetablefocused recipes dominate: There are some great options for chutneys and relishes (adding roasted peanuts to raita is a brilliant move) and an especially appealing section on sweets. Most recipes include a note on ways to reuse or enhance the dish in question making the book as valuable to people well-versed in Indian cooking as those coming to the cuisine for the first time.


"A Sunday lunch favourite in my home when I was growing up, this recipe is one I cook regularly when I have friends coming around," writes Pathak. "Making a simple spice paste to rub over the lamb infuses the meat while it roasts, and in case there isn't enough flavour going on, I stud the lamb with herbs and garlicLow and slow is what makes the meat meltingly tender. It will taste even better if you can roast it at a lower temperature.

For every 25°F lower, add on an extra hour of cooking time. By the time it's ready, you won't even need a knife."

1 leg of lamb, about 4½ pounds (4 kilograms) 5 garlic cloves, peeled, 2 for spice paste 4 rosemary sprigs, cut into small pieces 2 tablespoon mint leaves 1 fresh red chili, seeded if you wish, sliced 2 onions, finely sliced Sea salt 2¼ cups hot lamb or vegetable stock or water Salt and pepper


1 teaspoon coriander seeds 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 2 teaspoons fennel seeds ½ teaspoon black peppercorns 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 2 teaspoons Creole mustard 4 tablespoons vegetable oil Make the spice paste by bashing up the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds with the peppercorns and 2 of the garlic cloves in a mortar with a pestle. Stir in the turmeric, mustard and oil, and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 275°F. Make some deep cuts into the meat at evenly spaced intervals and poke a finger in the cuts to check that they are wide enough for the herbs and spices.

Slice the remaining garlic cloves for stuffing into the holes in the lamb.

Rub the spice paste all over the lamb, making sure you get some into the holes.

Fill the holes with the rosemary, mint, chili and sliced garlic.

Toss the onions into a deep roasting tray, one that will fit the lamb snugly.

Season the lamb well with salt and place on top. Pour in the hot stock or water, cover with foil and slow roast in the oven for 5 hours. Baste every hour with the spiced stock.

Remove from the oven and carefully place the lamb on a plate, cover with foil and leave to rest. The meat should be falling off the bone. Transfer the spiced stock to a saucepan (this is your gravy) and skim off any fat. Boil until reduced and thickened to your liking. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper before serving with your spiced lamb.


Excerpted from The Indian Family Kitchen by Anjali Pathak. Appetite by Random House edition published 2016. Published in Canada by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd., a Penguin Random House Company.

All rights reserved.


Maori Murota For a cuisine so ubiquitous and beloved in North America, on this side of the Pacific Japanese food is still mostly relegated to restaurants. Maori Murota, a Tokyo-born, Paris-based chef and former fashion stylist, aims to change that by introducing Japanese cooking into Western homes.

Her book is a primer on the kinds of foods she grew up eating both at home and at favourite restaurants. The recipes are organized by time of day moving from breakfast through to late-night Izakayastyle snacks. She provides a useful primer on the proper cooking of rice, preparation of dashi and the different styles of miso, all fundamental to the Japanese kitchen.

There's also an ex guide book to some best neighbourhood rants and markets t extremely valuable planning to visit the capital.

There's also an excellent guide book to some of Tokyo's best neighbourhood restaurants and markets that will be extremely valuable to anyone planning to visit the Japanese capital.

There...s also an excellent guide book to some of Tokyo...s best neighbourhoo d restaurants and markets that will be extremely valuable to anyone planning to visit the Japanese capital.

The lack of explanatory notes before each recipe means the ingredients and instructions are beautiful laid out, but it leaves the reader guessing as to the cultural reasoning for including dishes like spaghetti Napolitan, macaroni salad and a teriyaki chicken burger.


4 small (or 2 medium) white fish, such as ocean perch or small sea bream, gutted and scaled - ask your fishmonger to do this 4 tablespoons soy sauce 4 tablespoons mirin 1 tablespoon raw (demerara) sugar 200 mL (7 ounces) sake 160 mL (5 ounces) water 1 leek (white part), cut into 3-centimetre (1-inch) lengths 4 thin slices ginger

Clean the fish thoroughly (especially inside the cavity). Dry with paper towel. Score each side of the fish once or twice on the diagonal.

Choose a saucepan large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. (If you have a bamboo leaf, place it in the base of the saucepan, so the fish don...t stick.) Add the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sake and water to the pan.

Bring to a boil and add the fish, leek and ginger. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Lower the heat and cook for 5-6 minutes on a low-medium heat. Remove the lid and cook on a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes to reduce the sauce. Baste the fish with the sauce from time to time. Once the fish is cooked and the sauce has thickened, take off the heat. Serve the fish on individual plates with the slices of ginger and the sauce.

SERVES 4. Recipe and images excerpted from Tokyo Cult Recipes, by Maori Murota (Harper Design, $43.50). Photograph by Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle. Styling by Maori Murota & Sabrina Fauda-Role.

CUBAN COCKTAILS: OVER 50 MOJITOS, DAIQUIRIS AND OTHER REFRESHERS FROM HAVANA Katherine Bebo While it's generally agreed that cocktails were invented in England and popularized in the U.S., there's a strong case to be made that they were perfected in Cuba.

After all, the county gave us the daiquiri, Cuba libre and mojito.

With the island nation opening up to U.S. visitors, now is a good time to take another look at Cuban cocktails. Considering that the country was once the world's leading supplier of rum, it's no surprise that the majority of drinks in this book are rum based.

Readers should invest in some orgeat (almond) syrup and keep plenty of limes on hand as those ingredients make regular appearances.

In addition to the 50-plus cocktail recipes, there are a few bar snacks - spicy mixed nuts, sweet-potato fries, chili-salt squid - that expand the book's scope beyond the purely potable, and a recipe for an interesting cola cordial. Because of the U.S. trade embargo most Cubans have never tried coke, so when drinking a Cuba libre it's probably mixed with a syrup like the one detailed here.

AIR MAIL "In 1930, the Cuban government started its regular airmail service on the island, which was a big deal, especially as they'd been working on it for around 15 years," Bebo writes.

"It wasn't long before the Air Mail cocktail appeared in a Bacardi promotional leaflet and, charmingly, bartenders used to attach air-mail stamps to the glass as a garnish."

25 mL (1 ounce) Gold Puerto Rican-style rum 12.5 mL (2½ barspoons) fresh lime juice 5 mL (1 barspoon) honey Champagne, to top up Add the rum, lime juice, and honey to a cocktail shaker and stir until the honey is dissolved. Add ice and shake to mix. Strain into a Champagne flute, top up with Champagne, and serve.


Cuban Cocktails by Katherine Bebo, photography by Ryland Peters & Small, published by Ryland Peters & Small, $21.95, Air Mail recipe by Ben Reed, photograph by William Lingwood.

Bring to a boil and add the fish, leek and ginger. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Lower the heat and cook for 5-6 minutes on a low-medium heat.

Remove the lid and cook on a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes to reduce the sauce.

Baste the fish with the sauce from time to time. Once the fish is cooked and the sauce has thickened, take off the heat.

Serve the fish on individual plates with the slices of ginger and the sauce.


Recipe and images excerpted from Tokyo Cult Recipes, by Maori Murota (Harper Design, $43.50). Photograph by Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle. Styling by Maori Murota & Sabrina Fauda-Role.


Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard Chef Deuki Hong and writer Matt Rodbard spent two years travelling to Korean neighbourhoods across America looking for the soul of Korean-American cooking. What they found suggests that the most exciting Korean food in the world is happening not in Seoul or Daegu but in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta where vibrant Koreatowns support a thriving and dynamic culinary scene.

The authors provide handy ingredient lists so readers know their makgeolli from their ddukbaegi, introduce readers to the wonders of the yogurt-based cocktail and generally demystify Korean food for a Western audience. Scattered throughout are profi les of Korean chefs, farmers and famous Korean food obsessives, including everyone from Joe Hahn, Linkin Park's DJ, to chef David Chang.

There's plenty for purists: naengmyeon, doenjang jjigae, kimchi jjigae, but also a decidedly Americanized chapter in which guest chefs throw down some unorthodox mash ups including stuffed kimchi lasagna, cornmeal and shrimp apjeon, and a Korean sloppy joe.

ANDONG JJIMDAK: SWEET SOY-BRAISED CHICKEN "Restaurant critic Bill Addison has been visiting the tiny family-run business for years but [has] skipped over this prized dish," writes chef Deuki Hong. "But once the fragrant, communal plate of chicken arrived at our table, we knew we were in for something special. The sauce is the key, based around the union of soy sauce, sugar, rice syrup, sake and oyster sauce."

2 pounds (900 grams) chicken thighs or legs Kosher salt and black pepper ⅓ cup soy sauce, plus more to taste 2 tablespoons mirin ¼ cup sugar, plus more to taste 1 tablespoon Korean rice or corn syrup 1 tablespoon oyster sauce 1 tablespoon sake 1½ tablespoons sesame oil 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice 1 medium carrot, cut into large dice 1 medium onion, cut into large dice 4 scallions, trimmed 8 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup roughly chopped cabbage 8 dried Korean or Anaheim chili peppers 1½ cups (375 mL) chicken stock 1 cup dried sweet-potato noodles, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained Sesame seeds, for garnish Lightly season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, mirin, sugar, rice syrup, oyster sauce, sake, sesame oil and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

Set a large, high-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven on high heat and add vegetable oil.

Once the oil is lightly smoking, add chicken, skin side down, and sear for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Flip and sear the other side for another 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Add the potatoes, carrot, onion, scallion, garlic, cabbage and dried chilis, along with the soy sauce mixture and 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and lower heat to gently simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Stir in noodles. Add more stock if needed to keep the dish saucy.

Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, soy sauce and sugar; you're looking for a balance of sweet, salty and spicy. Serve with sesame seeds.


Reprinted from Koreatown: A Cookbook.

Copyright © 2016 by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Sam Horine. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.


Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau A spritz is to cocktails what rosé is to wine: refreshing, best enjoyed beneath the shade of a patio umbrella and, once again, fashionable. At its most basic, a spritz is a simple combination of bitter Italian liqueur and sparkling wine - a drink that's relatively low in alcohol and meant to stimulate the appetite. The authors of this fun look at the history and cultural significance of the drink - both editors at the respected online drinks journal Punch - aim to restore the noble drink to its rightful place in the culinary canon.

Art-deco illustrations and action-packed photographs illustrate the 50 classic and modern spritz recipes, including some contributions from renowned bartenders. A handful of recipes for ideal snacking dishes are also included along with a brief guide to Italy's best spritzfriendly bars.


"The sunshine-soaked cult of rosé has finally reached fever pitch and is now making regular appearances in cocktails all over America," write Baiocchi and Pariseau. "Here, the rosé creates a background for bittersweet Cocchi Americano and sweet-and-sour papaya shrub, all bound together with a dose of prosecco."

2 ounces rosé 1 ounce Cocchi Americano 1 ounce papaya shrub (see recipe) ½ ounce fresh lemon juice 1 ounce prosecco Add the rosé, Cocchi, papaya shrub and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Stir well and strain into a wine glass filled with ice. Top with the prosecco and add the garnish.


1 papaya 1 cup rice wine vinegar ¼ cup sugar Add 5 to 8 chunks papaya, rice wine vinegar and sugar to a saucepan. Simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes.

Cool for at least 30 minutes.

Strain, bottle, and refrigerate for up to one month.


Reprinted with permission from Spritz: Italy's Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with recipes by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Friday, April 29, 2016 – Print Edition, Page R4

Selected reviews of films screening in Toronto at Hot Docs 2016 (to May 8), rated on a four-star system. For more information:

The Apology Tiffany Hsiung Canada, 105 minutes 4

It is estimated that during the Second World War more than 200,000 women and girls from Korea, China, the Philippines and Indonesia were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army as so-called comfort women. This deeply moving film tells some of their shocking stories, but mainly it is about the present, as a dwindling number of survivors continue to petition the Japanese government for an apology and recompense. Led by the 86-yearold Korean "Grandma Gil," who was taken from her hometown at the age of 13 and held captive for several years, the women display a resilience and a persistence that is inspiring.

April 30, 6:30 p.m., Bloor Hot Docs; May 1, 10:30 a.m., Lightbox; May 8, 12:45 p.m., Isabel Bader; May 8, 6:30 p.m., Hart House

Brothers Aslaug Holm Norway, 102 min 3

The Norwegian filmmaker Aslaug Holm followed her two sons with a camera for eight years, covering the period of their school days and recording such moments as a leap off a dock, a difficult soccer practice or a first piercing. Don't mistake Brothers, however, for some mini version of the famed Seven Up series. Holm's film is an often beautiful rumination on family, memory and especially the passage of time rather than an attempt to probe psychology or society. She is motivated by every parent's pained realization - I'm losing them; they are growing up and way before my eyes - and as her boys age they do indeed become less patient with her camera and less accessible to the viewer. Brothers is a poignant project that seems to foreshadow its own limitations.

April 29, 6:45 p.m., Lightbox; April 30, 1 p.m., Scotiabank; May 6, 4 p.m., Scotiabank

Chasing Asylum Eva Orner Australia, 96 minutes 4

In a classic piece of crusading journalism, filmmaker Eva Orner investigates Australia's response to the boat people arriving in its waters and exposes both shamefully cynical government policy and appalling conditions at overseas detention centres. The centres, filmed with hidden cameras, are located in impoverished island states well away from Australia and are intended to discourage more arrivals. They succeed - only insofar as they force migrants to other shores - by violating the refugee rights of the detainees. Former staffers, some of them speaking anonymously since Australia passed anti-whistleblower legislation on the file, report how utterly unprepared they were to deal with the deteriorating mental and physical health of people indefinitely detained. Clearly, the current global refugee crisis needs a solution that is both international and humane, and this is not it.

April 28, 6:30 p.m., Lightbox; April 29, 3:45 p.m., Lightbox; May 8, 9:45 p.m., Scotiabank .

De Palma Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow USA, 107 minutes 4

"My movies tend to upset people a lot." As far as understatements go, that's a whopper from Brian De Palma, one of the most divisive filmmakers of his generation.

As the director behind both instant hits (Carrie, Mission: Impossible) and flops that took decades to crawl out from under bad reputations (Scarface, Phantom of the Paradise), De Palma is a true visionary, even if you might not quite appreciate what that vision is. Either way, a trip through his wild and hugely influential filmography is mandatory for any film fan, and that's just what directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow offer in their new doc. The setup is deceptively simple: De Palma is the lone interview subject, and ends up walking the audience through nearly his entire life's work, with clips and behind-the-scenes stills acting as a powerful reminder of the man's oft-underrated brilliance. In between, he slips in acidic Hollywood gossip, bits of family history and inadvertently reveals his delightfully G-rated catchphrase: "Holy mackerel!"

Holy mackerel, indeed.

May 2, 6:15 p.m., Lightbox; May 3, 10 a.m., Isabel Bader; May 6, 9:30 p.m., Lightbox .

Future Baby Maria Arlamovsky Austria, 91 minutes 3

In-vitro fertilization, genetic testing, surrogacy, designer babies ... the potential of reproductive medicine, and the ethical dilemmas it raises, come thick and fast.

Director Maria Arlamovsky covers many of them and manages to strike a balance in this informative international flyover between hopeful parents and their confident doctors on the one hand and skeptical ethicists on the other.

Wisely, she is very judicious in her use of cute babies, but the doc does include a lot of filler footage around the talking heads - and not quite enough information about the success rates of IVF procedures.

April 30, 6:45 p.m., Scotiabank; May 2, 1 p.m., Lightbox; May 8, 10:15 a.m., Isabel Bader

The Last Laugh Ferne Pearlstein USA, 85 minutes 3

Is there comedy to be found in unimaginable tragedy? That's the question director Ferne Pearlstein asks in The Last Laugh, a spry, thoughtful film on humour and, yes, the Holocaust. With interview subjects that include the provocative Jewish riots that are Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman and Gilbert Gottfried, the sensitive subject of Holocaust-based humour is not danced around (except for a Springtime for Hitler clip from Brooks's film The Producers). The consensus seems to be that Nazis are lampoonable but that Auschwitz is not, and that when comically dealing with anything that might be considered taboo territory, the comedian had better make damn sure it's funny, first and foremost.

May 1, 1:15 p.m., Bloor Hot Docs; May 2, 9 p.m., Isabel Bader; May 7, 10:30 a.m., Isabel Bader .

League of Exotique Dancers Rama Rau Canada, 90 minutes 4

In an amusing and informative investigation of their lives, former strippers insist on the artistry of burlesque, an entertainment eclipsed in the 1980s by lap dancing and porn, but they also discuss it honestly as a branch of the sex trade. The women, now in their 60s and 70s, speak of their work as a kind of sexual liberation, a way to use their bodies to hold power in a man's world, but that empowerment clearly came at a price, since most had serious problems with drugs and alcohol.

If they were sexual objects in their heyday, their exuberant reappearance at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas is a gleeful retort to the cult of the young, female body as they reveal the sexiness of broad hips and sagging flesh.

April 28, 9:45 p.m., Bloor Hot Docs; April 29, 1:30 p.m., Lightbox

Living with Giants Sébastien Rist, Aude Leroux-Lévesque Canada, 78 minutes 3

Sébastien Rist and Aude LerouxLévesque's film about an Inuk teenager named Paulusie living in a remote community in northern Quebec is filled with landscape shots that initially strike you as beautiful, then make you bored, then fill you with dread. The filmmakers hold these shots long enough for the complexity to sink in. Paulusie is a similar mix of conflict. He dreams of becoming a good father, he says early in the film, but his jealousy destroys the sweet relationship he has with his girlfriend. He's a gifted hunter who wants to provide for his community, but the village eventually becomes a weight he needs to escape. There are no easy answers, here or anywhere else. But there are moments of poetry and sweetness and anger and burdens of all kinds in this too-rare portrait of life in the Arctic.

May 1, 7 p.m. Lightbox; May 2, 4:30 p.m., Lightbox; May 7, 3:15 p.m., Lightbox

Off the Rails Adam Irving Canada/USA, 87 minutes 3

Next stop, Rikers Island Express.

The New York tabloids exclaimed him as a "train in the neck" and a "transit kook," but a sympathetic documentary from Torontonian Adam Irving portrays Darius McCollum as a troubled, affable subway savant who has spent a good part of his life behind bars as a result of his compulsion to steal public buses and impersonate transit employees. His story here is well-woven, with the kindhearted voices of psychiatrists, playwrights, family members, lawyers and the gregarious McCollum himself failing to come up with a solution on how to handle an autistic, obsessive and irresponsible rail rider.

May 4, 9:15 p.m., Scotiabank; May 6, 1 p.m., Lightbox; May 7, 9 p.m., Scotiabank; May 8, 7:15 p.m., Innis

O. J.: Made in America Ezra Edelman USA, 464 minutes 3½

Director Ezra Edelman's five-part documentary O. J.: Made in America uses sweeping aerial shots of Los Angeles and the USC stadium where O. J. Simpson became a football legend in the sixties to emphasize the contentious divide between California's white elite and the city's predominantly black housing projects. Then there's Simpson poised for fame right in the middle. Before, that is, he was charged with double homicide in 1994. Surprising in its historical scope and intensely personal in its use of archival photographs and home video, Edelman's epic and sweeping film elicits empathy in the unlikeliest of places.

April 29, 6:30 p.m. , Bloor Hot Docs (Part 1 only); April 30, 12:30 p.m., Lightbox (all five parts)

Operation Avalanche Matt Johnson USA/Canada, 94 minutes 3½

Back in January, The Globe ran an interview with Canadian filmmaker Matt Johnson in which he lamented the state of the homegrown industry. The solution for a culture seemingly obsessed with dull films about sad loners? "A lot of people just need to die of old age for the system to change."

That's a bit radical, as Johnson's new film, Operation Avalanche, proves that no one needs to perish from this Earth - they simply need to up their game to reach the director's delirious new heights. Johnson's second film is, on the surface, a mockumentary about two brash CIA agents (Johnson and Owen Williams) who infiltrate NASA to flush out a Soviet mole. But then things take a delightful turn, twisting the film into a mockumentary about a mockumentary, with a liberal dose of historical revisionism and the best single-take car chase since Children of Men. Oh, and Stanley Kubrick, or at least a version of Kubrick, makes a cameo.

It's wild, exciting filmmaking that heralds a bold new talent. The best part of all: No one had to die.

I think.

April 29, 9:45 p.m., Bloor Hot Docs

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four Deborah S. Esquenazi USA, 89 minutes 4

In the early 1990s, in a deeply conservative Texas city, four women, all of them lesbians, are accused of gang raping two little girls. Despite very questionable, scant evidence that will be challenged years later following advancements in forensics, and what looks like the clear manipulations of the girls' father, the four women are sentenced to between 15 and nearly 40 years in prison. This powerful, devastating film catches up with the women nearly 20 years later, all of them still incarcerated and still proclaiming their innocence. Exploring the homophobia of the justice system and the influence of the satanic-ritual abuse panic that was still pervasive throughout the courts, often unfairly punishing LGBTQ individuals, this case emerges as "the modern version of the witchcraft trials," as one television news show calls it.

May 4, 6:30 p.m., Bloor Hot Docs; May 5, 10 a.m., Lightbox; May 8, 12:45 p.m., Lightbox .

Spirit Unforgettable Pete McCormack Canada, 86 minutes 3½

In June, 2015, the Canadian Celticfolk-pop band Spirit of the West played Massey Hall for the first time in its 30-plus-year history. It was thrilling - but also terrifying: Lead singer John Mann has earlyonset Alzheimer's disease and gigs have become increasingly challenging for the gifted performer. Spirit Unforgettable uses the group's first - and last - Massey Hall gig as a framing device to tell the story of its rise, the immense challenge presented by Mann's Alzheimer's, and how his bandmates - and especially his wife - have created a support system allowing Mann, 53, to continue performing as long as possible.

You don't need to be a Spirit fan to be moved by what happens at Massey Hall - and in Mann's life.

Like the band's music, the film is smart and sensitive - without being sappy.

April 30, 9 p.m., Isabel Bader; May 2, 3 p.m., Hart House; May 8, 12:30 p.m., Royal .

Tickled David Farrier, Dylan Reeve New Zealand, 92 minutes 2½

What starts off as a light-hearted portrait of "competitive tickling" turns into a deadly serious investigation about the destructive powers of the Internet. But while the doc is often disturbing and occasionally startling, its nospoilers-allowed marketing would have you believe filmmakers David Farrier and Dylan Reeve have cracked open a worldwide conspiracy on the level of the Panama Papers. Most audiences, though, will be able to easily guess what happens when you cross desperate young men, easy money and beyond-vanilla fetishes.

April 30, 9:45 p.m., Bloor Hot Docs; May 2, 10:30 a.m., Lightbox

Weiner Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg USA, 100 minutes 3½

"Headline writers and editorial writers," Anthony Weiner observes ruefully, "don't do nuance."

Lucky for us, then, that Elyse Steinberg and Josh Kriegman were rolling their cameras as Weiner, the bulldog Brooklyn politician who had resigned from Congress in 2011 amid a sexting scandal, took a shot at redemption in the spring of 2013 with a bid to be the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York. Begun as a chronicle of a quixotic comeback - halfway through the campaign, Weiner is in fact topping the polls - the fly-on-the-wall doc takes an excruciating second-act turn when a gossip website publishes explicit photos and texts that Weiner (alias "Carlos Danger") had exchanged with a female fame magnet named Sydney Leathers. If you think you know the rest - the media horde does its bullying best, prompting voters and aides to run from Danger - the doc's unfettered access to Weiner and his pitiable wife, Huma, may make you feel something unfamiliar: sympathy for a man who turned his very name into an unfunny joke.

April 29, 3:30 p.m., Isabel Bader; April 30, 1 p.m., Bloor Hot Docs; May 6, 6:30 p.m., Bloor Hot Docs

Saturday, April 30, 2016


A Friday Film story on Hot Docs incorrectly referred to Ana Serrano as director of the Canadian Film Centre's Media Lab. In fact, she is chief digital officer, Canadian Film Centre.

A circle, edging ever outward
Canada's approach to immigration is the product of a long relationship with Indigenous peoples - and their concepts of inclusion, belonging and balance, writes John Ralston Saul
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Print Edition, Page F1

Degrees: Experiments in Pluralism is an essay series devoted to exploring Canada's emerging identity as an experimental society. The inaugural 6 Degrees "citizen space," presented by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, will take place in Toronto from Sept. 19 to 21.

Canada is now the only Western democracy in which there is no serious argument among the citizenry or politicians over the importance of immigration. Canadians understand that immigration is not migration. It must be seen as the first step toward citizenship. And the sooner an immigrant becomes a citizen, the better.

The main complaint after the arrival of the first 25,000 Syrian refugees seems to be that more of them should have been citizen sponsored because it is harder to settle those who are government assisted. So we now need more refugees, but in that first category.

Incidentally, I believe the term should be citizen sponsored, not privately sponsored. Private implies self-interest or commerce. This is all about citizen engagement.

Seen from outside the country, our attitude toward immigration and citizenship often seems to make Canada an outlier - problematic, a contradiction, sleepwalking to disaster, even unacceptable as a real nation-state.

Over the last month in Europe, I found that many people, of all backgrounds, educations and beliefs, were quicker than ever to say Of course, you can believe in these things. You have a big country. You're a new country.

Neither is true. We aren't big. For the last hundred years most immigrants have gone to a handful of big cities.

And we aren't new. As a settler society we are the product of 400 years, most of it spent going through the same economic, political and social dramas as other Western countries. We are the oldest continuous democratic federation in the world - beating Switzerland by a few months. We are the second- or third-oldest continuous democracy of any sort in the world - 168 years without breaking up, without a civil war, a coup, an absolute monarch, a dictator.

Our cities are built where Indigenous peoples prospered for thousands of years.

As I pointed out in A Fair Country, back in 2008, First Nations and Métis peoples far outnumbered settlers into the second half of the 19th century. So Canada at its best is very much the product of the long relationship with Indigenous peoples, their approaches and philosophies; and above all, their concepts of inclusion and belonging, which today we would call immigration and citizenship. If the central characteristic of Canada is its complexity, this also is an outcome of our long relationship with Indigenous peoples. In particular we owe a great deal to the example of the Métis Nation, the very model of living complexity.

None of this lessens the reality that, for more than a century as immigrant power grew, the Indigenous-settler relationship was betrayed and great evil was done. But that in turn cannot erase the Indigenous influence on our society. That Indigenous reality is now reasserting itself. The Supreme Court of Canada's decision April 14 that re-establishes Métis and non-status Indian rights is yet another example of this.

Today, repairing the relationship with Indigenous peoples is the single most important test for Canadians. We now seem ready to play our part as their allies, but must remind ourselves every day that central to reconciliation is concrete restitution. Many of us keep coming back to the words of Chief John Kelly - "as the years go by, the circle of the Ojibway gets bigger and bigger. Canadians of all colours and religions are entering that circle. You might feel that you have roots somewhere else, but in reality, you are right here with us."

When I find myself explaining to Europeans why our system of inclusion and diversity more or less works, I inevitably go back to those non-racial Indigenous ideas which leave space for multiple identities and multiple loyalties, for an idea of belonging which is comfortable with contradictions, which shifts humans from their autocratic role as masters of the universe to one more integrated into the place itself. This is an approach to values which is the opposite of the European-U.S. understanding of the monolithic citizen melted into a pot of national uniqueness.

All of which matters today because Canada is out on the cutting edge, doing things other countries are not. We know that the leaders of the three most powerful European countries have declared multiculturalism a failure. Which I suppose is supposed to mean that Canada is or will be a failure. But we should also know that what they mean by multiculturalism has more or less involved the abandonment of what they inaccurately call migrants into ghettos; that they imagine it involves the breaking up of society into unrelated pods, producing in the worst cases police no-go zones and failed schooling. The author of a recent biography of Tony Blair presents the former British prime minster as preferring "multiculturalism" over the "integration of immigrant communities." We know this is not at all what multiculturalism is supposed to mean. And our opinion should be worth something since we are seen as the inventors and the experimental centre of the concept.

Our great weakness as Canadians is that we have been lazy when it comes to explaining what our experiment consists in. Our excuse could be that it is, after all, an experiment. That is not good enough.

The atmosphere out there in most Western countries is one of tired elites, many of them caught up in bourgeoning campaigns of fear. Canadians know all too well how contagious these are. Our last prime minister started down that road, which is one of the reasons he is out of a job. And we know well the confused, divisive atmosphere in the United States - the discourse of walls and security. The current British Prime Minister believes he must get the immigration levels down. The French Prime Minister has just called for the banning of headscarves on students in universities. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel, having made a great ethical gesture in 2015 to welcome one million Syrian refugees, now finds that, because Germany does not have an overarching immigration-citizenship policy and structure, it is a nightmare to organize their settlement. The result has been a political backlash. And yet we must admire the risk that Germans have taken and their determination to make it work.

What's more, we must not confuse the massive political and ethical failure of most European governments with the attitudes of large parts of the citizenry.

Europe is filled with citizens throwing themselves into the crisis as volunteers.

Just as the Macedonians were closing their borders, I was in the transit camp on the Athenian docks in Piraeus. At that point, they were managing a few thousand refugees. The sheds were all well organized and run by amazing volunteers - not NGOs or government. In fact, the Greeks, almost broken by their own crisis, have responded with generosity and care to the refugees' plight, just as many citizens of Calais have stepped in to support refugees in the awful camp outside their city. In southern Italy, in Germany, there are thousands of such stories. And there are thousands of study groups, professors, NGOs, activists doing whatever they can.

But the problem is so profound that the continent is failing and governments are justifying this failure by blaming others.

You could call it a massive mismanagement of the end of empires; less the uncontrollable outcome of geographic proximity and more the result of 50 years of hypocrisy when it comes to Mediterranean relationships. The Brexit movement in Britain can only be seen as a deeply romantic desire to return to another era, which itself never existed. I hear serious individuals talking about a need to recreate an alliance of the English-speaking peoples, as if we have all been sitting around for 40 years, waiting for Britain to come back to us. The most likely outcome of Britain voting to withdraw from the EU would be Scotland separating in order to stay in Europe. This is one of those do-Ilaugh-or-do-I-cry moments.

There is a whispered conviction among many around the continent that the real problem is Islam; that it is not absorbable into Judeo-Christian civilization. This is the language which Christians used to use against Jews and Protestants against Catholics and vice versa. This was once the excuse in Canada for excluding Sikhs, Chinese, Japanese. And it was the excuse for trying to destroy Indigenous peoples.

Reactive panic - and crisis

The heart of the crisis lies elsewhere. Every year for seven decades Europe has been taking in large numbers of immigrants from many places. They were called many things - migrants, refugees, guest workers. The delusional assumption was that they would serve their economic purpose or be protected for a while, then go home. They didn't. And European leaders, off the record, knew they wouldn't.

And so, 70 years of lying to themselves has resulted in an immigration civilization profoundly unprepared for immigration. No attempt has been made by the EU or by individual European countries to develop an overarching, proactive immigration policy, with the necessary infrastructure both at home and in their embassies. In many cases they are doing better than they think, but their idea of themselves hides this success. The result now is a reactive panic; a crisis of drownings, disgraceful camps, human disorder and suffering. And there is still no hint of any desire to create a dignified, balanced immigration policy with citizenship as an essential celebratory part of the whole. It is precisely now, in the midst of the crisis, that they should be developing a positive, holistic approach. If anything, the latest EU-Turkish agreement crosses basic ethical lines and so in the long run will make matters worse.

The countdown to citizenship

Let me go back for a moment to the failure of Canadians to explain ourselves to ourselves, let alone to others. There are real risks involved in this ham-handed mutism and naive triumphalism. What's more, it is unnecessary. The patterns of our immigration and citizenship history, at their best and their worst, are clear.

The idea of a broad government-supported immigration/citizenship policy goes back to the Indigenous welcome.

That's how the settlers survived. It was equally central to both the New France settlement strategy and system created for the Loyalist refugees fleeing in the 1780s from the American war against Britain. In February, 1848, the first law passed by our first responsible-government parliament laid out the beginnings of a modern immigration-citizenship policy. With Confederation in 1867, the government immediately created a department for immigration and citizenship, and sent agents out around the world. Rules guiding the newcomers from immigrant status to citizenship were put in place and, ever since, that process has ranged between three and five years.

By the late 19th century, citizenship ceremonies were growing in popularity.

Citizenship was a choice to be celebrated publicly. Since 1900, the annual immigration numbers have ranged between 200,000 and 400,000. In 1995 we set the yearly target at 1 per cent of the population. It usually ends up at around 0.7 per cent - between 250,000 and 300,000. As a point of reference: The one million refugees taken in by Germany last year, had they been shared around the EU, would have represented 0.2 per cent of the population. In many of our embassies, over half the staff looks after immigration. We were able to handle the 25,000 Syrian refugees in a few weeks because we have a large group of public servants expert in immigration, settlement and citizenship. The first thing those refugees received on disembarking in Canada was their permanent-residency status, starting them on the countdown to citizenship.

We all know that these 400 years of policy development were tarnished and regularly knocked off track by multiple insurgencies of racism and exclusion. But each of these was gradually eliminated and the main line re-established.

The philosophical trick in all of this is that immigration and citizenship have always been treated as inseparable steps.

Engagement and marriage. This means that each immigrant arrives knowing that she must think of herself as a citizen, because she soon will be a citizen. This is a philosophy which changes radically everyone's attitude toward inclusion and integration. It means that language training is simply part of the package from the beginning, as is the expectation that new Canadians will get involved in volunteerism and politics - the two keys to an engaged citizenry.

A perpetual experiment

What of the multicultural misunderstanding?

Canadians seem to be moving toward other words - diversity, pluralism, inclusion, interculturalism - as we have sensed a growing confusion elsewhere. But the idea is really not so difficult.

I think of it as rooted in balance - a central Indigenous concept of how societies function. At its best a balance between the place, the group and the individual. You could also describe it as a balanced or positive tension between organized integration and celebrated diversity; a conviction that diversity and fairness are reflections of each other; that this requires a rigorous use of political restraint; an allergy to universal mythologies and ideologies. All of which means that we must be self-confident enough and tough enough to live with the reality of complexity.

This is the opposite of the tired European-U.S. insistence on monolithic identities. The Canadian concept of living in a perpetually incomplete experiment may seem radical to many in the Western world. And yet you could simply see it as a profoundly non-racial approach to civilization - one based on the idea of an inclusive circle that expands and gradually adapts as new people join us.

John Ralston Saul is the author of The Comeback and of A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada, president emeritus of PEN International and co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

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