Folio: Personal essays
Monday, July 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A6

FACTS & ARGUMENTS essays have long been a favourite with The Globe and Mail's readers, but it's always interesting for editors to see what stories really strike a chord. Print readers send us e-mails and call in. But we're getting help from Sophi, an analytics tool created by The Globe to better understand the discerning tastes, needs and habits of our mobile and online readership. Sophi, named (and then shortened) from sophia, a Greek word for wisdom, combs through reams of computer data to help us understand what you are reading online, when you are reading it, how long you spend reading it and if you're reading on your desktop or your phone. She keeps score, too, and ranks everything we post online with a number - the bigger the number, the better we did at getting our story out.

We are letting our readers peek behind the curtain by presenting the Top 5 Facts & Arguments essays, according to their Globe Score, from the past 12 months. To wit, Nina Dragicevic is a reluctant cottage guest, Kevin McGowan dreads waiting to be laid off, Ann Auld realizes her daughter with Down syndrome is a dying breed, Pamela Kent can't understand why she and her husband have lived so long and Lori Bona Hunt is cheered by the transformation of her daughter into a happier son.



Thanks for the invitation to the lake. You shouldn't have - no, really, you shouldn't have, Nina Dragicevic writes

July 2nd sounds great! We'll get there around noon. See you then! My dear friend. Contrary to everything I wrote in my e-mail - no, I don't want to go to your cottage.

But I go. I go because I am Canadian and because I live in a large urban centre, and therefore all summer culture, conversations and commercials burden me with an artificial sense of cottage entitlement, of pressing cottage urgency.

How can I say no? It's the cottage. Indeed - I see this now - man is not truly free until he has access to a secondary residence in a densely wooded area, preferably within stumbling distance of a body of water.

I don't mind driving four hours north to get to your cottage. On the way, I can look at lots of trees. I love nature at 120 kilometres an hour.

Also, there is such an inspiring variety of watercraft attached to people's cars - jet skis, tubes, kayaks, small yachts - that I am truly encouraged about our economy.

It can't be so bad if this many people own this many vehicles for circling on small lakes, six weekends a year.

If I finish my student loan before I retire, I, too, will probably indulge in a light watercraft purchase. I want a lifeboat. I'll circle the lake, blowing my rescue horn, calling out to other cottagers: "Help! I'm trapped in a beer commercial!" or "I miss ethnicities!"

Your friends seem nice and bland - your basic white hetero non-urbans. Most of the guys have started that little thirtysomething pot belly, and perhaps some light male breast development. Inexplicably, their girlfriends have all maintained the figure of the average svelte 12 year old. My cottage weekend is a Judd Apatow movie from 10 years ago.

One of your friends, sitting alone on the dock, calls me over for some friendly cottage chit-chat. At the time of his invitation, I can't tell whether his isolation is selfimposed. I plop down next to him, alcohol in hand.

"Do you work for the government?" he asks immediately, in a jovial way. No, I do not. "I was just asking because a lot of people here work for the government," he says in a lower tone.

I look toward the shore where alleged government employees are innocently playing horseshoes. I didn't notice, I want to joke, I guess I can't quite see their fangs from here. But I don't say this because he is already eager to explain that they get their jobs because of "whom they know." So, basically, like a lot of us.

This conversation ends eventually, replaced by lots of other conversations on lots of topics - professional sports athletes, professional sports franchises, professional sports media coverage and the three breasts in Total Recall.

Your male friends do most of the talking, I've noticed.

Their girlfriends generally smile in the sunshine and delicately pull out the blond hair that's caught in the corner of their mouths.

As the sun sets on this paradise and the skies melt into a tender, peach-coloured dusk; that's when the AC/DC comes out. Didn't we stop listening to this music 20 years ago? And, of course, the mosquitoes. They emit a special frequency in proximity to a pear-shaped, rear-fleshed female, who has a city dweller's immunity to bus exhaust and apartment living but special allergies to northern insects. They circle me like carrion birds, hissing in lusty excitement.

I manage to escape the group with my fiancé. We sit and drink in the wooden shack you've assigned us for sleeping quarters.

My friend, calling this small pine coffin a "bunkie" makes it sound more hospitable than it really is.

You explained that we couldn't sleep in the cottage because of our dogs - your parents have recently laid down new flooring in the living room.

No problem. I dearly love my dogs. Your parents dearly love floors.

So, while you and your friends play cards in the warm glow of the cottage, we sneak out of our bug-infested shoebox and sit on the dock with our two quiet, loyal sentries.

The lake is a serene expanse of dark glass. I look up. My God - it's full of stars. Billions and billions of points of light. My eyes blur and attempt to refocus, and again it strains credulity.

And suddenly, I have my cottage moment. A full yellow moon rises from behind the trees, and for the first time my neurotic inner narration falls into a hush.

We exchange whispered "I love yous" by the lake, in the middle of a dark Canadian landscape, under a sky crowded with stars.

The next morning I am fairly sick. I eat an apple, digest it briefly, then bring it up again behind our shack.

There you are, my friend, standing on the end of your dock, arm stretched above your head, BlackBerry held high like a torch of freedom - a homing beacon receiving the distant transmissions of past lives. "I have reception!" you are shouting.

I give you a hug. We herd the dogs into our borrowed minivan and start the four-hour journey back to my sweet, filthy city.

Thanks for inviting me.

Nina Dragicevic lives in Toronto.

This essay first appeared June 23, 2016.


It was the day of the week when my company always issued its layoff notices: I waited with dread, Kevin McGowan writes

Tuesday is layoff day for most companies. I've read this in several human-resources articles: Tuesday is the best day to let someone go. There have been studies.

So, every Tuesday for over a year, I walked into my office expecting the news. My projects were winding down, and I knew that others were not coming. My organization was reevaluating and rebudgeting, and that meant bad news for me. I had two projects to manage, but they were coming to a close. As the projects completed, there was nothing to move on to. The clouds started rolling in.

Emotionally, I was a wreck. I was pro-active and seeking other opportunities, but the jobs weren't there. I pinged my network regularly to see if anyone was hiring. At 40, with almost 20 years of experience in my field, I was overqualified for most postings. And for other roles that I'd like to grow into, I didn't have enough qualifications. I was stuck. My mood was bad and got worse. I was stressed, I was anxious. I started coming apart.

I have always battled depression and anxiety, and had built up decent coping strategies. The stress of seeing my job slowly disappearing was bad enough, but I held on. Then, in early 2015, my dad got cancer and the stress got worse. Then our youngest child stopped sleeping through the night, and I was exhausted all the time. My mental reserves were depleting quickly.

A therapist helped talk my way through it. I learned that I had no control over the organization and its plans. I could only control my own reactions. He suggested I get more exercise. I began running several times a week, several kilometres at a time. It helped for a while.

Not that I was positive about the inevitable, but I was creating more mental reserves to deal with what was coming.

My mental state improved a little and I felt stronger. However, no amount of preparation can make you ready for your Tuesday.

Then came Tuesday, Sept. 15.

As I walked into the office, I had my usual Tuesday sense of dread. I passed my boss's office, his door was closed. I passed the HR manager's office, her door was open. I glanced in and saw a stack of corporate letterhead on her desk. That's the paper they use for layoff letters.

I sat at my desk, in full view of their office doors, and watched the two of them go back and forth a few times. I picked up my cellphone and texted my wife: "I'm about to be laid off, I'll be home in an hour." Without a doubt, this was my Tuesday.

I opened my Gmail account and started writing an e-mail I would later send to friends and former colleagues. It started with: "Hi everyone, I have some bad news to share. I've been laid off from my job today and am starting my job search ..." As I typed, there was a knock on my door.

"Kevin, have you got a minute?" Of course I did. The hammer fell. My boss looked like he was going to cry. The HR manager was supportive, but sad.

I called my wife and broke down on the phone: "I was right, it's over. I got laid off." The next 24 hours are a blur.

I was sad, angry, bitter, yet relieved. My Tuesday had come, it had passed, I could move on.

But like any loss, it was an emotional blender. Those five stages of grief came fast and furious. I skipped over denial, got pretty stuck in anger. Bargaining wasn't really an option (my lawyer agreed). Depression? Well, I had that already, so nothing to worry about. Acceptance took months.

I had to do a lot, and quickly. I had to update my LinkedIn profile, send a hundred e-mails. I had to ask several now-former colleagues for a reference.

There's nothing quite as humbling as asking a favour of people who just learned you are "no longer working here."

Their positive response was heartening.

And then I thought about money, and things got darker again. I had to pay my mortgage, I had to pay for daycare. My son had a field trip coming up.

Christmas was a few months away. Suddenly, my mind was spinning, and my worldview quickly went from overcast to funnel clouds. I could see nothing but tornadoes, dollar signs zipping violently across the horizon.

That evening, I had to lead 25 young boys at our weekly Beavers meeting. My son played with his friends with no cares. I kept a stiff upper lip and accepted a gift of craft beer from a good friend. "Sorry, man, this might help." It did.

In a case of particularly bad timing, my Project Management Professional exam was scheduled for the next day.

That designation would really help with the job search.

The next morning, I woke up after two or three hours of sleep, went to the exam centre in a haze, and failed.

I figured things could only get better from there. And they did.

The following weeks saw great improvement. Soon, I had a new full-time position I really enjoy, and I passed my PMP exam on the next attempt.

But for a while, negativity reigned. If you've been laid off, you know what this feels like.

It's a mix of panic, stress and paperwork. Life shatters, but continues anew.

If you're going through a job loss such as this, I feel your pain.

I've been there and really am better and stronger for the experience. My advice is to breathe deeply, and know there will be better Tuesdays ahead.

Kevin McGowan lives in Ottawa.

This essay first appeared Aug. 2, 2016.


My child with Down syndrome faces the extinction of her kind and that's breaking my heart, Ann Auld writes

Within moments of her birth, the doctor said, "She's perfect."

Within hours of her birth, a nurse said, "Put that Mongoloid in an institution; she'll be too much for you."

Within days of her birth, the specialist said, "She'll be trainable."

Within months of her birth, the spouse said, "I'm having a vasectomy."

Within years of her birth, the psychologist said, "She's functioning at the level of a 21/2-year-old."

Within 10 years of her birth, the families who had been travelling this journey for many years said, "Once the cute factor wears off, you're on your own."

Within 20 years of her birth, the government said, "With the wait lists and no money, don't expect any services."

And here we are now, my daughter and me, an A-to-Z of need.

She is a fatherless adult who can charm with the best of them, yet cannot cross a street by herself. She's a person who knows all the Top-40 pop tunes from every online source and who wants to compete on The Voice, yet cannot sing a note.

I am a graduate in writing creative non-fiction who keeps up the pretense of operating an academic tutoring service for forever learners; a woman with aging, inflamed joints who carries enough worry to fill up a universe.

Almost 20 years ago, I wrote A Keeper From Day 1 for Facts & Arguments about my daughter, who has Down syndrome.

There was a text box in the upper left-hand corner of the page that proclaimed: "Every weekday, one million Canadians read The Globe and Mail." Yet, the only written response I received, in the following week's paper, came from a fellow who preached about "this chosen child" and offered up an herbal concoction that could "cure" her. The illustration that accompanied my piece, with the baby in utero surrounded by a flowering, thorny rose bush, hinted at what could be ahead.

I opened my piece with a question: "Do you want a boy or a girl?" I had wanted a healthy baby, the sex was unimportant.

When I wrote the piece, my baby was 10 months old and so much had happened already. She'd had life-saving surgery to correct an abdominal condition more prevalent in infants with Down syndrome. She had learned how to nurse and to feed from an adapted sippy cup. She had learned how to sit up and to begin vocalizing her wants and needs.

I had learned how to navigate, not always successfully, all of the major institutions: medical, educational, legal, fiscal.

I wondered about her heart's strength, as babies with Down syndrome often have significant cardiac problems.

Now, I look for heart shapes everywhere and post photos of them online as a way of superstitiously warding off death and medical problems.

My daughter, meanwhile, has not only learned how to walk, but also to talk and to advocate for herself with help.

She has graduated from high school. She has won so many awards I don't know where to display them in the house.

And, here's the thing: She is a keeper. With the paltry amount she receives from the government, she cannot afford to leave the nest, even if she were capable of making those kinds of decisions.

While her peers announced at commencement that they were heading off to university, to travel or to work to earn enough to travel or attend university, my girl simply stated that school had been "amazing and magical."

There are few plans for the future, other than a dim hope of continuing to have a good time, surrounded by friends.

Not so atypical, after all.

What is atypical is that I, her aging solo mama, will carry on indefinitely as her unacknowledged, unpaid caregiver.

Don't get me wrong: I am very skilled at this task, having been involved in it for more than three decades.

Of the numerous lessons I have learned, the one I never figured out is that I would be raising an endangered species.

Yes, that's right: an endangered species. As one of a group of humans who are actively discouraged from reproducing, chances are that my "keeper" will go extinct in a few decades. A few countries are already enacting game plans, including genetic testing and termination that discourage women from ever bearing those deemed "different."

Back in 1997, I wrote: "I dwell at length on the what-ifs. If I had had amniocentesis at 16 weeks, would I have continued the pregnancy knowing what was to come?" So I, too, contributed to the notion that being different is somehow wrong, not okay, not acceptable.

But I also wrote: "What I have learned is that intelligence is as variable and unique as our baby's extra chromosome."

In a few months, my keeper may receive a few crumbs of support that will cost her entire paltry monthly government "pension" to put it into programs.

In a few weeks, she will attend a week-long camp for other young adults who live for the joy they bring to others.

In a few days, she will receive yet another award for service to her community.

Within a few hours, she will celebrate having survived another day.

Within a few moments, she will break my heart and patch it back up again.

Ann Auld lives in Victoria.

This essay first appeared July 29, 2016.


Counting your blessings is easy, but figuring out where the time went is trickier, Pamela Kent writes

My husband, Gord, and I recently celebrated our 65th wedding anniversary. Perhaps celebrated is a bit of an overstatement. I went up to the hospital to visit him and I brought along some Cornish pasties and butter tarts that I had just made. He ate them in his hospital bed, dropping the crumbs into the plastic container I brought them in. No table with a white-linen cloth and fine bone china to mark this occasion.

Gord was recovering from a nasty tumble that damaged his arthritic knees. At 89, with a transplanted heart, implanted almost 21 years ago, he realizes that he is lucky to still be alive and we are lucky to still be together.

Two opposites, who have to make sure we both get out and vote in order to cancel the other's ballot: Our marriage has never been dull.

Even Gord's marriage proposal was unusual. It had a condition in it: "I'd like to marry you if you'd like to live in Canada."

Until that moment, I had never considered leaving England, my native land. We had survived six years of war - the horrors of the Blitz, the V1 and V2 rocket attacks and food rationing.

There is nothing that stirs the patriotic juices of a country like a righteous war. Now, all that was over. And this young man was asking me to leave my family and friends and move to a country I knew little about, except that it was very cold in the winter and grew a lot of wheat. After thinking it over for a day or so, I accepted Gord's proposal. In 1950, the aim of most young women was to find a suitable man, get married and have children - in that order, too.

We were married in March, 1952, and set sail on the Queen Mary for New York in July. I was 21/2 months pregnant and suffering from morning sickness, seasickness and homesickness. Food we hadn't seen in years was set before us and I was too sick to eat it.

Gord chose New York rather than Montreal as our arrival point in the New World, because we would be hitchhiking our way to Edmonton. With one-10th of the population - and one would suspect, one-10th the number of cars - he reasoned that our journey would be speedier going through the States. Gord's assumption proved correct. We reached Edmonton in nine days, never travelling after dark, except for the last day. We got a ride with an American soldier, on a weekend pass, who was visiting his Canadian girlfriend. He drove so fast that I fell off the back seat twice.

No seat belts in cars in those days.

Edmonton in 1952 was a town of 50,000 people. It looked like a frontier town I had seen in too many cowboy movies. Gord, with his spirit of adventure, loved everything about our new home.

Coming from a busy metropolis on the outskirts of London, I was not impressed. But even I had to admit that the people were very friendly.

We had the usual ups and downs of marriage, but in 1959, when I was 28 years old, I had a brush with death. I was stricken with a brain hemorrhage and the first doctor we saw told Gord my condition was inoperable and to take me home and make me comfortable for the time I had left. But another brilliant neurosurgeon took my case, devising a new instrument to reach the affected area of my brain.

This experience led me to conclude that, in medical matters at least, one should always get a second opinion.

And over our long life together, I can't help but wonder why it is that we both should have survived for so long.

Neither of us has contributed greatly to humanity, as would be fitting, since we have both been granted extra years of life. In fact, I like to boast, tongue firmly in cheek, that my greatest contribution to humanity is the fact that I never learned to drive, thereby saving countless lives.

We two immigrants from war-torn Britain have, however, contributed to the population of this marvellous country we have called home for more than 60 years. We now have two great-great-grandchildren to add to our four great-grandchildren, 11 grandchildren and four children.

At least we have obeyed the biblical command to be fruitful and multiply.

But, in spite of searching thoroughly, stretching the truth wherever possible, I have come to the conclusion that there is no reason or rhyme for our longevity. To be sure, we watch our diets and dine out rarely. Our alcohol consumption has decreased substantially over the years.

I have a glass of sherry diluted with milk most nights and Gord drinks a bottle of beer now and then. Until recently, we exercised regularly, but so did many others whose lives have been cut short for one reason or another. And so I just accept our good fortune and give thanks.

Perhaps one or more of our descendants will be a brilliant inventor, or make a scientific or medical discovery that will prove of enormous benefit to humankind. Or perhaps, they will just be good citizens - and that will surely be enough.

Pamela Kent lives in Aldergrove, B.C.

This essay first appeared May 5, 2017.


This I know: My child is very much alive. And happy.

And starting to love himself, Lori Bona Hunt writes I heard him sing for the first time the other night, and there were tears. Tears of joy and pride, and of other things.

It's a beautiful voice - rich, deep and melodic - somewhere between an alto and a tenor.

The voice of my son. The son who was my daughter - my daughter who sang soprano. My daughter who was a lesbian, which I got, but who is not now, which is hard to get.

My daughter was 12 when she first came out. It was not a revelation. I knew she was gay around Grade 4. She started crushing on girls the way I remember crushing on boys at that same age. She was always a girly girl, and she matured into a striking beauty - a "lipstick lesbian," some would say.

Her sexual orientation was a non-issue in our non-traditional family. Her father and I split when she was 6, but we remain close friends. We are free thinkers, with open-minded-to-radical parents of our own. Our tangled family dynamic includes liberal and supportive grandparents, step-parents, step-siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.

But outside our home, there were bumps. Her junior high school wasn't ready for a Grade 7 student who wore Gay Pride T-shirts and rainbow wristbands.

She endured teasing and bullying, sending me into protective Mama Bear mode more than once.

The other complexities and complications of adolescence soon followed. There were girlfriends - too old and too young - and admiring boys who needed explanations. But also body dismay and dysmorphia, cutting and hair-pulling, anxiety and self-loathing. Years of therapists, psychiatrists, specialists, medications and more. No determined cause of her angst, the experts said. Just stay alive, I begged more than once. Be happy. Love yourself.

And then, university - finally a haven. Enveloped by the fellow artistic and eclectic, she thrived. There was talk of the future, even happiness. Then, suddenly, recently, changes.

No dresses or makeup one month; hormone shots the next.

Two injections and the soprano was gone.

Wait! What? Why? And why now? No waiting? No warnings?

It was a curveball I never saw coming. No fair! I was looking - I was! Always asking questions, being there, seeking expert advice. Hey, all you specialists: Why didn't you see?

And my partner! Twenty years my senior with a transgender child of his own, now nearly 40. Back before Caitlyn Jenner, they'd navigated uncharted and choppy waters.

Surely he knew! No?

But. But. But.

But she is a lesbian. A woman.

And such a pretty one. And that voice, that angelic voice.

But. But. But.

But there is no pattern, said the nurse at the clinic that gives the testosterone shots. Sometimes people are 5 when they decide, sometimes 75.

Why does it matter? What is gender anyway? It doesn't matter. It doesn't. Then why this deep ache?

I make mistakes, call out the feminine birth name before I remember. I fumble with the pronouns. Remember to think before you speak! I am ashamed of myself, being a liberal and all.

I am embarrassed to admit that I am grieving, I'm mourning. I am not sure why. My child is the same person, who just looks and sounds different.

It starts so early, the gender thing. Before they are even here: "What are you having - a boy or a girl?" Birth certificates, passports, school records, check M or F, one or the other. Maybe some things - social norms, stereotypes and such - are buried so deep that even the self-professed politically correct don't know they're there. You have to dig to carve them out, lift them to the surface for examination.

Maybe that's why it hurts and leaves scars.

Things are changing, I know.

New definitions, new pronouns, expanded categories on government forms. Maybe it will change how and when these things are ingrained. I hope.

Much reflection and worry. I am back on cub patrol. I stare down border agents who do a double-take. "It's an old passport photo," I say, daring them to ask. I wait outside the men's washroom just in case, tell my partner to keep watch in public change rooms. And after Orlando, the anguish of Orlando: "Where are you going, with whom and when?" This I know: My child, my son, is very much alive. And happy.

And starting to love himself. He feeds his new body, lifts weights and runs. He stands so tall while singing now, so confident, so sure. All I ever wanted.

Some 22 years ago, an ultrasound suggested a girl was on the way. I decorated the nursery in bold colours, mostly red.

"Why?" my mother asked. "Why, when you know, not pink or even yellow?" I scoffed - the very idea. We don't do stereotypes.

And my father-in-law, so disappointed the first grandchild would not be a boy: "Gender doesn't matter," I told him.

"Wait and see." Of course, I was right. That grandchild was - is - his everything.

It doesn't matter. So walk the talk, Mama Bear.

A beautiful voice is a beautiful voice.

Lori Bona Hunt lives in Guelph, Ont.

This essay first appeared June 29, 2016.

Phillip Tallio has been jailed for three decades for a brutal crime he maintains he did not commit. Jana G. Pruden tells the story of a young outsider, a troubling police investigation, and the three women whose efforts won him the right to an unprecedented appeal
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page F1

In the first year after he was charged with the rape and murder of a child, Phillip James Tallio wrote his teenaged girlfriend 116 letters, every one of them repeating the same thing. He said it before his trial and after his conviction, and when he was sentenced to life in prison. For more than 34 years he said it, over and over, and he would not stop. He said it to family members and to correctional staff, in prison programs and to the parole board, even though he knew saying it meant he would not be released. When people told him to stop saying it, so at least he could get out of prison and have some kind of a life, he told them he would never admit to something he didn't do. And then he'd repeat the same thing he'd been saying for 34 years: I didn't do this.

Now, a lifetime later, people are listening.

After years of intensive investigation and research, the Innocence Project at the University of British Columbia has won Mr. Tallio the right to appeal his 1983 conviction for the murder of his 22-month-old cousin, Delavina Mack, well over three decades after the appeal deadline passed. The historic appeal is based on new DNA evidence and questions about a flawed and tunnel-visioned police investigation, serious concerns about his two alleged confessions, evidence of Mr. Tallio's cognitive limitations, reports of systemic racism, and witness accounts that raise the possibility of other suspects never investigated by police.

"It's something that us outside of the prison life will never be able to fully comprehend, especially that many years," says Rachel Barsky, who began working on the case six years ago while a law student involved with UBC's Innocence Project, and is now a lawyer working as co-counsel on the case. "Thirty-four years in prison. Phillip has missed out on a lifetime."

The case has largely come to light because of a former correctional officer who knew Mr. Tallio when he was a teenager and the subsequent efforts of her daughter, Robyn Batryn, who, for the past 15 years, has been working to have the case reviewed.

"It makes me sad. He's lost everything. It's almost like he has to start right from the beginning," says Ms. Batryn, a health-care supervisor. She says her mother, now almost 93, wants to see Mr. Tallio released before she dies.

The questions around his conviction are significant enough that even the judge who presided over Mr. Tallio's preliminary hearing has filed an affidavit saying he has come to wonder whether the man imprisoned for 34 years is actually guilty.

Mr. Tallio, 51, has been eligible for parole since 1993, but has been repeatedly denied any kind of release, because of his steadfast refusal to accept responsibility for the murder. He has been held long past when most offenders are granted parole, even for the most heinous crimes.

If Mr. Tallio is innocent, it is the longest known wrongful conviction imprisonment in Canadian history.

"Sometimes I step back and say, 'Is this reality?' " his lawyer, Ms. Barsky, says. "But these cases do happen."

Early on the morning of April 23, 1983, 17year-old Phillip Tallio walked up to the door of a house in Bella Coola, B.C., and let himself inside. He had recently been released from the Willingdon Youth Detention Centre, and was back living with relatives in the Nuxalk Nation.

There had been a series of parties around the community that night, and a handful of people were still awake to observe Mr. Tallio walking toward the house and then running away a few minutes later, looking upset and panicked. He ran back to his uncle's house, where he woke his cousin and told her that her 22-month-old daughter, Delavina, had been raped and killed.

Within four hours, RCMP officers had detained Mr. Tallio in the toddler's death.

Within 14 hours, he signed a written confession and was charged with first-degree murder.

Marie Spetch met Phillip Tallio at the Willingdon Youth Detention Centre in 1978, when he was 14 years old. She was a correctional officer at the centre, he a skinny teenager bouncing in and out of the facility for mostly petty offences. Somehow, they connected.

Even then, Mr. Tallio's life had not been easy. His earliest memory was of being sexually abused by his uncle at the age of 4, and the memories that followed were filled with trauma. His mother was an alcoholic who neglected and physically abused him and his brothers, once throwing Phillip down the stairs and causing a serious head injury. She died of an overdose in front of Mr. Tallio when he was 9, and his father passed away suddenly five years later. Mr. Tallio spent most of his life between foster homes and youth facilities, and by the time he reached his teens, he was drinking and getting in trouble with the law.

There were lots of kids at Wellingdon, but something about Phillip stood out to Ms. Spetch, and he soon became "her boy." Mr. Tallio had clear cognitive issues, and at the age of 17 was described as operating at the level of a 10- to 12-year-old. He had committed one especially serious offence, firing a gun through a door and hitting a member of his foster family who interrupted his suicide attempt. But Ms. Spetch had never seen him be aggressive or violent, even within the correctional facility. She thought he was sensitive and caring. She hoped that, with some support, he may be able to make something of his life.

Instead, she arrived at work on April, 25, 1983, and learned he had been arrested for murder.

She believed immediately that police had the wrong man.

The rape and murder of Delavina Mack sent shock waves throughout the community of Bella Coola, both for its brutality and the identity of its suspect.

Those who saw Mr. Tallio said he was not drunk that night, and had appeared to be in good spirits and looking forward to his future. He and his girlfriend, Theresa Hood, had just learned she was pregnant. Earlier that evening, they had gone to see the movie E.T. at a local hall, and talked about the future they were going to have together. He was planning to buy her an engagement ring.

Some of those who knew Mr. Tallio at the time remembered him being protective of children, and never exhibiting any behaviour with them that raised concern. People knew him as "a gentle spirit" who defended other kids and defused fights, more likely to hurt himself than someone else.

And though Mr. Tallio had apparently confessed to RCMP, he strongly proclaimed his innocence to everyone else, even telling one aunt that he would "swear on a thousand Bibles" he was innocent.

Some residents of Bella Coola had also seen suspicious things around the time of Delavina's death that had nothing to do with Mr. Tallio. People who lived in the child's house were seen burning things down by the creek that morning, and one woman said she saw the child's grandmother with what appeared to be a discoloured mattress spring. Another woman said she later found bedsheets and a child's toy in the smouldering remains of the fire.

In the Nuxalk tradition, some of a deceased person's possessions are burned, but it is not done until the fourth day after death.

Roseanne Andy, an elder who lived across the street from the house where Delavina was killed, was among those who watched the activity early that morning.

She says she went to tell RCMP but officers didn't take a statement or write down her information, and never spoke to her further about what she saw.

"Being ignored by the RCMP was not uncommon for us as Nuxalk individuals. Nor did we wish to become involved in the white justice system," said Ms. Andy in an affidavit filed as part of Mr. Tallio's appeal.

"At that time many people were worried, and continue to worry today, that their information will be misunderstood in court due to both cultural and language barriers.

People in this community have often said that they would rather not say anything."

One man, Larry Moody, says he was asked to burn a box of bloody clothes for the child's great-grandfather that day, and saw blood in the man's bathroom. But Mr. Moody says he didn't learn about Delavina's murder until a few hours later, and didn't approach authorities because by then he'd heard Phillip Tallio had confessed to the crime.

"It was my understanding in 1983 that Phillip Tallio had confessed to killing Delavina Mack," Mr. Moody said, in a statement filed with the court. "I thought that was the end of it."

After his arrest, Phillip Tallio was interrogated by RCMP for 10 hours without speaking to a lawyer. He maintained his innocence during the recorded interview, but then apparently confessed during a period in which the tape recorder malfunctioned. Mr. Tallio also allegedly gave a second confession during a later session with a forensic psychologist, which was also unrecorded.

With no direct evidence linking him to the murder, his conviction rested on the two confessions.

A judge excluded the RCMP confession from the trial based on doubts about the voluntariness of the statement given Mr. Tallio's intellectual level, that he was unable to speak with anyone who could help him, and the length and nature of the interrogation - including that he had been held in isolation for 10 hours. The decision left the entire case resting on the statements Mr. Tallio had reportedly made to a forensic psychologist, Dr. Robert Pos.

The Crown prosecutor in the case, Deirdre Pothecary, now says she believes

Mr. Tallio would have been convicted of first-degree murder if the alleged confession to Dr. Pos was allowed to go before the jury, but found not guilty if it was excluded.

Instead, a plea deal was struck before that was decided.

Mr. Tallio pleaded guilty to seconddegree murder nine days into his trial that fall, which would see him eligible for parole after 10 years rather than face a firstdegree conviction with no chance of parole for 25.

Unable to get involved in Mr. Tallio's court proceedings or give him advice because of her position as a correctional officer, Ms. Spetch did not find out that the trial and sentencing had occurred until the proceedings were already finished. Though she had concerns about whether Mr. Tallio had the capacity to understand the plea agreement, she felt that all she could do was be there to support him.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tallio steadfastly and continually proclaimed his innocence, assertions that are recorded in institutional reports and reviews throughout his sentence.

"This is something that I know the parole board does not want to hear, but I would be lying to myself and to others if I were to say that I did the crime that I am here for... " Mr. Tallio wrote in a document for one prison program, as his parole eligibility neared in 1992. "I myself know that if I were to be released after my ten year review I would not reoffend, again, because I did not do the crime in the first place. All I want is to get out of this place and start a brand new life."

Mr. Tallio now says he didn't fully understand what an appeal was until 1992, when two older inmates explained it to him and advised him to get the transcripts of his court proceedings. He says that when the inmates read the transcripts, they told him he shouldn't be in prison.

Some time around 2003, Ms. Spetch's daughter, Robyn Batryn, came to the same conclusion.

Ms. Batryn had gotten to know Mr. Tallio at the urging of her mother, Marie Spetch, who worried that if something happened to her, Mr. Tallio would have no one.

Through the years, the three of them had grown close. The women would sometimes go for private family visits at the prison, and Mr. Tallio had come to describe them as his adoptive mother and sister. Believing he could not have been convicted without strong evidence against him, Ms. Batryn grilled Mr. Tallio over and over about what happened, but his story never changed.

One day, he asked her if she wanted to read his transcripts.

"I read them twice," says Ms. Batryn, 69, who had once worked briefly in the correctional system in New Zealand. "And there were a lot of discrepancies. A lot of things that shouldn't have happened, happened."

Ms. Batryn began taking the train into Vancouver whenever she could, going to lawyers' offices with his transcript in hand, begging someone to read it.

Eventually she found a lawyer willing to have some students review the proceedings, and she "hounded him to death" until it happened. Ms. Batryn then took their notes to the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (now called Innocence Canada), which had been involved in overturning high-profile wrongful convictions such as those of David Milgaard and Thomas Sophonow.

Progress stalled when it was discovered that all the RCMP forensic evidence in the case had been lost or destroyed, but Ms. Batryn refused to accept it was a dead end.

In 2009, she heard about the UBC Innocence Project, and after an extensive review, the group took on the case.

Having previously done a journalism degree focusing on investigative reporting, second-year law student Rachel Barsky not only explored the legal aspects of the case - such as whether Mr. Tallio was capable of understanding his guilty plea - but also began investigating it, tracking down new leads in a murder that happened before she was born.

She gathered dozens of affidavits from people who had seen or heard suspicious things that night, as well as from those who had information about other potential suspects, knew Mr. Tallio or his case, or had insight into the dynamics of the community at the time.

In his own affidavit, the judge who presided over Mr. Tallio's preliminary hearing described serious concerns around policing and the administration of justice in the area, including an RCMP practice of imprisoning young Indigenous men for no reason on weekends to keep the community quiet.

Judge Charles Cunliffe Barnett said that people in the community were also extremely reluctant to believe a local could commit a terrible crime, and noted that, having lived away for most of his life, Mr.

Tallio was an outsider.

"I have, over the years, wondered about Phillip Tallio's case," Judge Barnett wrote.

"Initially, I focused my thoughts upon what I perceived to be the failings of the child protection system. As time went on and I learned that Phillip Tallio was still imprisoned and refused to acknowledge guilt, I came to wonder if he, an outsider in Bella Coola, had truly been guilty of violating and killing Delavina Mack."

The affidavits also raised significant questions about both of Mr. Tallio's confessions and his guilty plea.

One psychologist who had examined Mr. Tallio before the trial described him as being easily confused and overwhelmed, unable to think things through and anticipate consequences, and having "blind faith" that people would help him. She said he would sometimes tell people what he thought they wanted to hear so that they would stop questioning him, and she expressed concerns about his ability to understand the court proceedings he was facing.

She said that before the trial Mr. Tallio appeared to think that the sooner he went to prison, the more likely he would be home for Christmas. A court stenographer who worked on the case described Mr. Tallio as being like a child, and said he was upset over missing Halloween.

Mr. Tallio claimed he did not make either confession, and never even met with Dr. Robert Pos, the forensic psychologist he supposedly confessed to. In one affidavit, a retired criminal defence lawyer says he believes Dr. Pos lied about meeting with his client in a different murder case, and the lawyer expressed serious concerns about Dr. Pos (who is now dead), calling him a "deluded professional" who believed he could tell if people were lying by looking at their carotid artery.

And then there was the lack of physical evidence to prove or disprove Mr. Tallio's claims. With all of the RCMP exhibits missing, Rachel Barsky and her colleagues at the UBC Innocence Project located 45 tissue samples that had been taken during the child's autopsy and were still being stored at the BC Children's Hospital.

Shortly after the samples were located, Mr. Tallio was interviewed again by the RCMP. During the interview, he repeatedly said he hadn't killed Delavina Mack, and expressed frustration at being unable to prove his innocence. He offered to give the officers any kind of DNA sample they wanted.

Asked by one of the officers what DNA meant to him, Mr. Tallio said, "Freedom."

"And if we take your DNA sample and have it checked to the potential DNA located on the vagina sample, what's that going to show us?" the officer asked.

Mr. Tallio answered, "That it wasn't me."

In late June of this year, more than 1,000 pages of affidavits, legal argument and other documents were opened to the media after an appeal court judge in British Columbia lifted a publication ban that had been requested by the Crown and other parties, including the child's parents. A publication ban remains in place on the affidavits of the parents, who, the judge said, "revealed highly personal information in order to protect their daughter's identity and dignity." The child's parents could not be reached for comment.

In its court filings, the Crown contends Mr. Tallio was properly tried and convicted, and only became motivated to appeal his conviction after it became apparent he would not get parole. A Crown memorandum says the affidavits filed with the court are "not reliable because of the passage of time and apparent bias," and describes Mr. Tallio's claims of innocence as "a denial stance that he and his family have committed to for decades."

"No miscarriage of justice occurred in this case," the memorandum reads.

Instead, the Crown says that Mr. Tallio had "almost exclusive opportunity to commit the offence," and that police took few steps to investigate other suspects only because Mr. Tallio was identified quickly, and then confessed within 14 hours.

It describes Mr. Tallio as a "highly disturbed young man" who sometimes experienced blackouts, and had been described in an earlier psychiatric report as "a danger to himself and others." The Crown memorandum points to other indications that Mr. Tallio was the killer, including that he knew the child had been raped, and that Mr. Tallio was not wearing socks when he was arrested. (A sock with blood and semen on it had been found at the murder scene.)

"The 'rumours and speculations' regarding this case are just that," the Crown memorandum reads, "there is no credible evidence that anyone else committed the offence."

DNA testing on one of the samples taken from the child's vagina excluded Phillip Tallio as the male donor but the Crown says that is not proof of his innocence as the samples are contaminated and were never intended for DNA analysis, which didn't exist at the time they were gathered.

A second sample was inconclusive.

The Crown is now refusing to release any additional samples for analysis, saying there is "no utility in further testing" because they are too compromised to be of any value.

In his own 35-page affidavit, Mr. Tallio tells a story he has been repeating since April 23, 1983: There was a party at the house where he was staying. In the early morning, he walked to a house two blocks away to check on Delavina as the child's mother had asked him to do earlier in the night, fearing that the child's grandparents who were babysitting would be drinking. He found the toddler dead in a bedroom with her pyjamas pulled down to the knees, a large blood stain on the bed between her legs. He tried to wake the child's grandparents, who were passed out drunk, then he ran back to his uncle's house and told everyone she was dead.

"I did not kill Delavina Mack and I did not agree to plead guilty to her murder," his affidavit reads. "I have told everyone this since I got to jail."

Proclaiming his innocence has come at a high cost for Mr. Tallio, who has served far longer in prison than he would have if he admitted the crime. In the correctional system, maintaining innocence is the same as not accepting responsibility, and the consequences have been profound.

"He's been in for 24 years longer than he had to be, had he said he did it," his lawyer, Ms. Barsky, says. "That's something he's really stuck to his principles about. I think a lot of people would say, 'I'm guilty' just to get out of prison. He somehow has stuck to it. That's his own morals. He refuses to admit to something he says he didn't commit."

Though Mr. Tallio has taken programming for other issues, including attending counselling and Alcoholics Anonymous, he has either refused to take, or was unable to enroll in, other prison programs because he maintained his innocence.

"I am unable to admit guilt because I am not guilty and I am unable to describe how and why I killed my cousin - because I did not do it," Mr. Tallio wrote in his affidavit.

"I cannot complete the sex offender programs because I am not a sex offender."

Because of his lack of programming and refusal to accept responsibility for the crime, Mr. Tallio has been denied parole and other additional freedoms and privileges, including an escorted absence to visit his dying grandmother and a move to minimum security. One institutional report reads, "The only real concern is the fact that he denies committing the offence for which he is serving time."

As those who know Mr. Tallio have observed, his protestations and story have never really changed.

After more than 34 years, the case of Phillip James Tallio is far from over.

Mr. Tallio's lawyer, Ms. Barsky, says she expects it to take at least five or six months to apply to the courts to have additional samples released for DNA testing. If a judge does order them to be released, the new samples have to be tested before the appeal can proceed.

"There are a lot of steps that go into a case as complex as this," Ms. Barsky says.

"We're dealing with a lot of issues that are unprecedented and that haven't been done in Canada before ... so we have to figure things out as we go along."

Theresa Hood, who was pregnant with Mr. Tallio's child when he was arrested in 1983, has been attending the recent court proceedings with their daughter, Honey, who is now 33. Ms. Hood and Mr. Tallio have stayed in touch throughout the years, and she still believes he is innocent.

"To me, he's finally getting the justice he deserves that someone finally believes him," she says. "Back then, nobody believed a Native. But now somebody finally heard his story and ran with it. To me it's a blessing. I always told him, you didn't get to watch your daughter grow up, but you will be out to watch your granddaughters."

Ms. Hood says Mr. Tallio is excited about the appeal and grateful for the work that has been done on his behalf, but she has tried to make sure he knows this is only the first step in what could still be a long fight.

"I said, 'You can't think you're out right away. You got the first door open, and now we have to keep going forward. You have to be patient. The world is going to hear your story,' " she says. "We can't turn back the time, but we can get the truth. And the truth will set him free."

Their daughter, Honey Hood, now has three daughters of her own. She has only met Mr. Tallio in person once, and is still trying to comprehend the possibility that his conviction could be overturned, and that the father she has never known could one day be free.

"I'm happy that he finally got what he deserved, but at the same time I'm a little scared because I don't know how to go about building a bond with him like I have with my stepfather," she says. "And I've explained to my children that they do have another grandfather, but the only grandfather they know is my stepdad. I'm scared of how all of it is going to play out. I'm thinking when he does get out, it's going to be such a shock to him to be back in society."

Some of the same concerns are weighing on Robyn Batryn, who says she's even wondered whether she should have pushed to have his case reviewed, knowing how hard it would be for Mr. Tallio to adjust to life outside an institution.

"My guts have been churned up because I questioned myself whether I was doing the right thing by him, even though I thought he wasn't guilty," she says. "How was he going to cope himself after being in there so long, and was I putting him at risk?

That's still my feeling now."

Mr. Tallio has spent his entire life in prison, and in many ways he is still a teenager, his life frozen at the point he went inside.

Many of the relatives and friends who believed in him are now dead, as are witnesses and professionals who were involved with his case. Lives have come and gone while he has been behind bars. The world has changed drastically.

"He is going to need an awful lot of support," says Ms. Batryn, who has recently been going with her mother to see him every week. "He's going to find it extremely hard, I don't think he has any concept of it.

It's going to be tough."

Mr. Tallio and his lawyer, Ms. Barsky, also speak regularly, and they communicate in writing as well, because he expresses himself more easily and clearly that way. In a letter to her in 2012, Mr. Tallio remembered how his grandmother made him promise never to give up, and told him, "The truth will one day come out."

"Some people have asked me why I don't just say that I did it so that I can get out on parole," he wrote in his affidavit filed with the court. "I said that I wouldn't do that, because I am innocent."

Jana G. Pruden is a feature writer at The Globe and Mail.

Associated Graphic

Phillip Tallio is pictured here in a photograph held by Robyn Batryn, who has worked to help secure Mr. Tassio's right to appeal the 1983 conviction for the murder of his 22-month-old cousin.


Mr. Tallio's youth was marred with tragedy, but those who knew him prior to his conviction described him as 'a gentle spirit'

As a boy, Mr. Tallio, left, pictured with his grandmother, spent time moving between foster homes and youth facilities.

A photo in Robyn Batryn's home shows Mr. Tallio in his prison garden.


Marie Spetch, a former correctional guard, formed a bond with the young Mr. Tallio, eventually becoming something of an adoptive mother to him. When she learned of his arrest, she immediately believed police had apprehended the wrong man.


Theresa Hood and Mr. Tallio were expecting a child together when he was sentenced to jail. She has always maintained his innocence.


Honey Hood, Mr. Tallio's daughter, now has three children of her own. She has only met her father once.


In a letter to his lawyer, top, Mr. Tallio writes about spending quality time with 'mom,' meaning Ms. Spetch, whose daughter holds a photo, a above, of Mr. Tallio and her mother.


Marie Spetch's daughter, Robyn Batryn, was troubled upon reading transcripts of the trial, and sought legal help.


Lawyer Rachel Barsky began working on Mr. Tallio's case six years ago. She is now co-counsel on the case.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

'I was the one who was viewed as in the wrong'
A Globe investigation reveals the missteps police often make when considering sexual assault allegations - and collecting evidence that could support them. Robyn Doolittle reports
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page F1

VANCOUVER -- Half an hour into her interview with a 17-year-old complainant, a constable with the Timmins Police Service in Northern Ontario announced that she felt that "educating" the suspect - not charging him with sexual assault - was the most appropriate action. She reached this conclusion before questioning the suspect or any witnesses, before sending blood and urine samples to a toxicology lab, and before viewing the sexual-assault examination kit results.

In Vancouver, two frontline officers decided to toss out a rape case without transferring the file to the specialized sex-assault unit, without canvassing for witnesses, and without collecting surveillance footage that might have corroborated key details of the complainant's story.

In Ottawa, police waited so long to investigate one woman's complaint about a neighbour sexually harassing her that by the time they knocked on the suspect's door, he had moved.

Each of these cases, which were examined as part of an ongoing investigation into how Canadian police services handle sex-assault files, involve investigative deficiencies In February, the Globe revealed that sex-assault allegations are nearly twice as likely to be deemed unfounded - meaning, the officer does not believe a crime occurred - as are regular assault cases. But the problems with the sexassault investigations we reviewed run deeper than unfounded statistics. Sexual assault is one of the most serious violent crimes in the Criminal Code, but the investigative response is not always proportional to the severity of the crime, say dozens of academics, advocates, and Crown attorneys interviewed by the Globe.

As part of its probe, the Globe reviewed more than 50 sex-assault complaints reported to police across the country. The Globe analyzed these cases by examining police files, audio and video recordings with investigators, e-mail correspondence between complainants and police officials, reports from independent oversight bodies, medical documents and court records.

When documents were not available, The Globe attempted to confirm the complainant's experience through interviews with witnesses, relatives and friends who were present during police interactions, as well as through the police service itself.

An analysis of how these cases were handled reveals that, regardless of whether an allegation ended up unfounded, sexual assault investigations are being neglected in the following ways: - Basic investigative steps, such as identifying and interviewing witnesses, collecting video surveillance, and reviewing e-mail, social media and phone records, are routinely skipped.

- Not all sex-assault investigators understand Canadian consent law.

- The quality of the investigations varies significantly depending on the police department and officers involved.

"I see it over and over and over again, just incomplete and indifferent investigations that do not try to turn up the evidence that might actually be of assistance," said Janine Benedet, a professor at the University of British Columbia who specializes in sexualassault law.

"We're told by judges ... that the most difficult problems they face are what they call these 'He said, she said' cases. Where it's her word against his word," Ms. Benedet continued.

"Well, often it's only her word against his word because the police have failed to collect the necessary corroborating evidence that would tip the balance in her favour."

In reporting this story, The Globe interviewed more than 50 professionals regularly involved in sexual =-assault investigations, including support workers, prosecutors and defence lawyers, sexual-assault nurse examiners, as well as current and former police officers. These experts say that cases that should be resulting in charges are being inappropriately screened out and that, of the minuscule few that do make it to court, files that could result in a conviction are being needlessly derailed, because of earlier investigative missteps.

About a third of the country's police services have publicly committed to auditing sex-assault files and policies in response to The Globe's Unfounded series.

But the scope of these reviews differs wildly. The vast majority seem to be happening internally, despite mounting pressure from academics, advocates and political leaders, who say that without external expertise, real reform is unlikely. Most also appear to be focusing on whether a file was properly classified - for example, if it wound up "unfounded," but should have been coded as "unsolved" - rather than on the officer's actions during the investigation.

In Timmins, Police Chief John Gauthier announced last month that the service had concluded its review. The Globe's data showed that between 2010 and 2014, the Timmins Police Service posted an unfounded rate of 30 per cent for sexual assaults (the national average is 19 per cent). Chief Gauthier told the city's police services board that coding classification errors were entirely to blame for the department's high unfounded rate. The important thing, he underscored, is that the investigations themselves had been done properly.

"Not one sexual-assault case was mishandled," Chief Gauthier told the board, local news outlet Timmins Today reported. "Sexual-assault reports are taken seriously, and are always fully investigated ... The issue is certainly not, and was never, in the way that Timmins police investigate sexual assaults."

This past May, Ontario's Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which investigates allegations of police misconduct, reached a different conclusion.

It was just before 9 p.m. on Oct. 11, 2015.

Constable Leah Blanchette knocked on the interview room door where Maddie and her parents were waiting. The 17-year-old high-school senior was slouched forward on the old beige couch, with her arms wrapped tightly around her stomach. Maddie's mother leaned forward and kissed her daughter quickly on the cheek.

"We won't be far away," she said, before heading outside.

The constable shut the door behind Maddie's parents, then pulled out a notebook.

"My job is to find a solution to the problem ... and being charged and having a criminal record isn't always a solution. A solution might be being educated. It might be a stern talking to," the officer said. "All I want to do is just gather as much information about what you can recall and we'll go from there."

So Maddie began to explain what had happened: The previous night, she and a few friends went to a house party in town.

She became extremely drunk.

Toward the end of the evening, she had to go to the car for something. A male friend offered to go with her - presumably to take care of her, Maddie told the officer.

But when she got to the car, the guy climbed into the back with her, then kissed her. Caught off guard, she kissed him back. The next thing she knew, her pants were off and he was having sex with her. She had no memory of what had happened in between.

Next, a friend of theirs was banging on the window. He told Maddie to get out of the car. She remembers crying and someone from the party asking if she'd been raped. Her friends drove her home shortly after. The next morning, the guy texted her: "Sorry, for all this. I didnt know if you wanted this or not but i made sure, i asked like 5 times and stuff and yeah, my apologies i feel like a huge dick i dont know if it because of, you know youre too drunk or what not. but just text me when you atleast get in."

Maddie didn't know what to do.

She had only lived in Timmins, a town of about 44,000 people, for a few years. The guy was close with many of her friends. She worried that people were going to be mad at her if she didn't let it go. But her parents eventually convinced her to go to the police and let them decide if it was worth pursuing.

Twenty-seven minutes into the interview, Constable Blanchette was done asking questions.

"I have to agree that our earlier conversation about educating him is our best route," she said.

"You have to take a little bit of responsibility as well, right? And, ah, you unfortunately drank too much, you unfortunately found yourself in that position."

In Canada, someone who is so inebriated that she does not understand the consequences of her actions cannot agree to sex. But the constable never took any steps to try to determine if Maddie had the capacity to consent.

She didn't ask the 17-year-old what, or how much, she had to drink, although she did ask Maddie how much the suspect had consumed. The officer then explained that, since Maddie could not recall if she gave consent, and since both she and the suspect were very drunk at the time of the incident, criminal charges were not appropriate.

This is not how consent law works. Under the Criminal Code, a suspect's level of intoxication is irrelevant.

After the interview, Maddie's mother complained to a supervisor, and Constable Blanchette was removed from the investigation.

Constable Jason Brazeau took over, but things did not improve, her parents say.

Two weeks after first contacting the Timmins Police Service, Maddie's parents filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director about the conduct of the officers and the shoddy quality of the investigation. In May, the OIPRD concluded that allegations of misconduct and neglect of duty made against Constable Blanchette and Constable Brazeau were substantiated.

The panel determined that both constables made a "critical error" by failing to understand consent law. Where Constable Blanchette was concerned, the panel found that her comments to the complainant during the initial interview were "not professional, sensitive or tactful."

With respect to Constable Brazeau, the lead officer for the bulk of the case, the OIPRD found that he conducted "a negligent investigation."

The report notes that he didn't obtain the text messages sent by the suspect the morning after - which "ought to have been done as a matter of basic investigative process, especially where credibility is at issue" - failed to recognize and promptly interview an important witness, and never submitted the sex-assault kit evidence for toxicology tests.

"There were a number of investigative errors that resulted in Cst.

Brazeau concluding that there were no reasonable and probable grounds to proceed with criminal charges against the suspect," states a report obtained by The Globe.

Although both constables were found to have breached the Police Act, the misconduct was categorized as "less serious" so punishment was handled internally.

Maddie's parents say they were told the constables forfeited a few days' pay and were offered training.

Maddie's case was not classified as an unfounded allegation. Rather, it was recorded as a valid complaint that did not result in an arrest. It also fell outside the scope of the Timmins Police Service audit, since it occurred in 2015.

Nevertheless, the problems with the investigation identified by the OIPRD underscore the dangers of police reviews that concentrate only on unfounded coding issues - rather than officer conduct.

The problems with Maddie's case were evident both in the interviewing officers' attitudes and in the collection of material evidence. This latter point has special significance in a sexual-assault investigation.

Sexual assault cases are unique from other investigations in that most involve just two people who have differing versions of events.

Consent, rather than the question of whether the sex act occurred, is usually the focus of an investigation.

This means that most cases hinge on whose story is most credible. And since there are almost never eyewitnesses, courts are left to rely on a series of details - rather than one smoking gun - to decide which version is most believable and if it passes the "beyond a reasonable doubt" test needed for a conviction.

This is why little details that may seem peripheral to the actual incident can be crucial and why police must take pains to be thorough in their investigation, experts say.

For example, said Wendy van Tongeren, a former Crown attorney from New Westminster, B.C. who specialized in sex-crimes prosecution for three decades: Let's say a victim is asked what they were doing before an assault and they testify that they came home, took off their pink sweater, put it on the table, and then made some eggs.

"Even if it has nothing to do with the offence, if the police take pictures [of the crime scene] and there's a pink sweater and eggs, that already has a ring of truth," Ms. van Tongeren said.

"There are some investigators who truly get this. They know how to gather the evidence that is helpful to allow others to make an objective decision, but it's my experience and suggestion that there's not a lot."

Ms. van Tongeren said that crime-scene photos, for instance, are rare in sex-assault cases, despite the fact that they're common in other types of investigations.

It used to be that to convict someone of sexual assault, there needed to be additional corroborating evidence, but that has since changed. Today, judges can convict based solely on the strength of a victim's testimony.

But in practice, judges are reluctant to do so without some type of outside substantiation, Ms. van Tongeren said.

The Globe interviewed three recently former and nine current Crown attorneys who frequently prosecute sexual-assault cases.

The Crown attorneys, who came from six provinces and one territory, each said that the quality of police investigations in sexualassault cases varies significantly between officers. Inexperienced officers and ones without specialized sexual-assault training are more likely to skip, or forget, steps that more seasoned colleagues would take, such as interviewing all available witnesses.

"There are missed opportunities to corroborate little details," said one Nova Scotia Crown, who, like all other working Crowns who spoke to The Globe, was not authorized to speak on the record.

For example, he said, if the story is that a complainant had a few coolers at a bar before the assault, the Crown wants a copy of the bar bill.

One Alberta Crown attorney said that proactively asking for electronic communications between the complainant and the accused is not routine for every officer - and it should be.

In four of the files reviewed by the Globe, the victim and suspect directly discussed the assault after the fact by text message, e-mail or Facebook. Each complainant said that they volunteered their communications to police, but that the officers didn't ask for it on their own.

Crown attorneys who spoke to The Globe say that one of the biggest issues they see is that some police seem to be triaging cases based on whether they think there's enough evidence for a conviction.

"And that's not their job," said one Ontario Crown. "Their job is to decide if there's any evidence that a crime was committed."

For an accused to be found guilty of a crime, they need to have cleared three legal tests.

In most provinces it works this way: Police evaluate the evidence and decide whether there are "reasonable and probable grounds" that a crime occurred. If there are , they lay a charge. From there it goes to the Crown, who, before bringing the file to court, must determine that there is a "reasonable likelihood" or "probability" of conviction. Finally, a judge or jury weighs in. For a conviction, guilt must be established "beyond a reasonable doubt."

"[Some police] are jumping the gun. They're acting as the judge," said the Crown attorney.

In one case reviewed by The Globe, the investigating officer used this very rationale in an e-mail to the complainant when explaining why no charges would be laid: "I have gone through the file at length - over time, as you know - and in conclusion there is still unfortunately insufficient evidence to recommend charges to Crown Counsel - remembering that the threshold is proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

Typically, these cases aren't the "slam dunks," the Crown attorney added, noting that some officers may be acting out of a sense of wanting to protect the victim from a gruelling court process, when experience has shown them the case likely won't be successful. Still, the Crown said, "That is not for them to decide."

On the other side, defence attorneys interviewed by The Globe say that they see the opposite problem: Police are too quick to make an arrest before conducting a proper investigation.

"In a number of cases I've defended, the allegations were patently unsustainable. So, more probing interviewing might have prevented some of my clients' lives from being turned insideout," said Joseph Neuberger, a Toronto lawyer who says he has defended more than 700 sexrelated cases.

"In some of the cases, the interviews were very short, and possible avenues of investigation were not taken. Witnesses who could have been available for interviews we were not interviewed. When there is availability of other sources of evidence, I think it's important that a comprehensive investigation is conducted."

No province or territory requires police officers to take specialized sexual-assault courses before handling a case. In general, most decisions around sexualassault cases are left up to individual police services, from training, to oversight to investigative protocol. The only common thread seems to be that individual officers are given huge latitude in how to go about conducting their investigation.

This can make it difficult for complainants to seek recourse afterward, if they believe their case was mishandled. This is the situation a woman named Christine Sandhu found herself in last year.

On July 29, 2015, Ms. Sandhu reported that she had been raped and choked by an acquaintance in his apartment after they had spent a few hours drinking at a bar across the street. The then-27year-old believed he might have drugged her.

Ms. Sandhu contacted the Vancouver Police Department a month after the night in question.

She initially met with two Vancouver patrol officers who brought her to headquarters for a videotaped statement, then told her they would be passing the file off to the specialized sex-assault unit.

More than two months after her interview, and after hearing nothing, Ms. Sandhu phoned one of the constables for an update.

"She said, 'We closed the file because it's a "He said, she said" case - because it's your word against his,'" Ms. Sandhu recalled.

The officers had made this decision before handing the file over to the specialized unit.

A copy of the file, obtained through freedom of information, showed no record that the officers canvassed any of the suspect's apartment neighbours to see if they had heard anything, and the constables never collected video surveillance from the area, which could have corroborated key details of Ms. Sandhu's story, including her timeline of events, her level of intoxication and her claim that, after being raped, she ran back to the bar to make herself sick: "I wanted it out of my body."

"I never thought this would happen to me. You grow up with this idea, 'Oh, if I'm raped, of course the police will do something.' It was pathetic," Ms. Sandhu said.

On April 12, 2016, Ms. Sandhu filed a misconduct complaint with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner in British Columbia, which, like the OIPRD, investigates allegations of police misconduct. After a one-month review of the file, the oversight investigator responded by letter.

Ms. Sandhu's complaint was deemed inadmissible.

"When conducting an investigation, an officer gathers information and evidence and makes a determination on whether or not to arrest a suspect and recommend charges to Crown Counsel for approval ... police are afforded significant deference in their exercise of discretion in their investigation and determining whether to arrest a suspect and forward charge recommendations to Crown Counsel," the decision letter read.

The Vancouver police did not respond to a request for comment on the case.

Tim Laidler, the former head of Vancouver's Sex Crimes Unit, says that resources can always be a problem for police services. Mr.

Laidler, who retired in 2010, says that when he ran the unit, they dealt with about 600 cases a year with between 18 and 24 officers.

Typically, he said, a call would come in, a uniformed patrol officer would take an initial report, and if a suspect was on scene, may make an arrest. If the case was more complex, he or she would pass the file off to the specialized unit, where a sergeant would assign the case to an investigator. Often, there were more files coming in than detectives who were available, so the file would be held until someone was around. In this system, the more serious allegations took priority.

"The real problem is the 'He said, she said' jobs, and there's a lot more of them than people realize. Very few are black and white, and by that, I mean a woman is walking down the street and a guy grabs her and pulls her into the bushes," Mr. Laidler said.

"What's more common is someone goes out to a bar, [blacks out], wakes up in someone's bed, isn't sure what happened, then four or five days later calls police."

These types of allegations can end up at the bottom of the pile, Mr. Laidler said: Sometimes it can take months for investigators to get around to them and by that point, it was likely too late.

"With a 'He said, she said' case, you really need to do it right away, in my opinion. You can't go to the guy four months down the road and say, 'You were involved in a sexual assault,' " Mr. Laidler said. "He'll say, 'Well, I don't remember that. The person agreed to it.' And that's the end of the case."

This process also means that the individual frontline officer's initial handling of an allegation can determine what happens next. Mr. Laidler said that, if a call happens to come in earlier on in the shift, there is a greater chance the front-line officer will have time to do some preliminary investigative work, such as tracking down a suspect.

But the majority of the time, with the thorny bar-related allegations, the calls come late. Technically, cases could get passed off to the next shift, but they will have their own heavy caseload to deal with, so it's not often done in cases that are deemed less serious, he said.

"With the bulk of the cases, with the resources that police have got, you're not going to be able to do that on the front line."

Among the files reviewed by The Globe, at least one investigation seems to have fallen apart because of a delay in assigning the case.

In November, 2012, A.S. was returning to her apartment from the basement of her Ottawa building when a man sharing the elevator with her pulled out his erect penis.

"I felt something hard touch the back of my hand," said the woman, who was 21 at the time.

The man looked at her, smiled, and said, "Oops."

A.S. reported the incident to police within a day or two and was told someone would be in touch to investigate. She learned early on that security footage confirmed he was a resident in the building. Over the next few months, she said, the case changed hands several times. By the time the new round of investigators took over the file, the suspect had moved, A.S. says she was told.

An Ottawa Police spokesperson confirmed the file had been closed because "the suspect is no longer in this area. They don't know where he is."

Said A.S.: "Everyone knew who this person was ... They knew what floor he was on.

They had the video. They could literally go knock on his door."

The Timmins Police Service declined to comment on the issues raised by the OIPRD in regard to Maddie's case, citing privacy concerns. In an e-mail, a spokesperson said, "The OIPRD has conducted its review in the case specifically mentioned, and the Timmins Police Service abides by those findings. The subject officers have been sanctioned."

For Maddie and her parents, the service has not done enough to make amends. Maddie's mother said that,while publicly it may seem that the service is taking sex-assault cases seriously, given what she's witnessed, what's happening on the ground is a different story.

"When [Maddie] came out of the interview, she was hysterical, saying, 'It's all my fault. I shouldn't have got in the car. I was drinking,''"said her mother.

Added her father: "If you go to a party and drink and you get drunk and you get raped - that's your fault. That's what she got out of that police interview."

Her parents say they still struggle with feelings of guilt about taking her to the police station.

They then watched as their daughter was ostracized at school. She didn't go to the graduation dinner. She went to class just enough to pass and graduate.

"Because the police didn't believe me, nobody at school believed me," said Maddie, who is now 18. "Because absolutely nothing was done, I think I was the one who was viewed as in the wrong."

Maddie says she can't imagine a situation where she would ever go to police again.

"Not for anything. They are really the last people I would contact for help," said Maddie.

Robyn Doolittle is a reporter with The Globe and Mail's investigative team;

Associated Graphic

The problems with Maddie's investigation were evident both in the interviewing officers' attitudes and in the collection of material evidence


Christine Sandhu felt the Vancouver police let her down, in part through failing to collect key evidence that would have corroborated her account.



After a hiatus fraught with tragedy and hardship, Broken Social Scene have made a roaring return with the new record Hug of Thunder. Ben Kaplan reports on how founding member Kevin Drew pieced an indie-rock cornerstone back together
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R6

One night in May, on the west side of Toronto, Kevin Drew is reminded of a feeling his band had back in 2002. There he is, sitting in the park with his friends, including musicians Leslie Feist, James Shaw and Emily Haines, drinking wine. "I'm sitting there with all the kids, and no one knows who we are, no one cares, and I'm thinking: 'This is what we do,' " Drew says. "Everyone has their own OCD ways of how they need to be treated, but these are the moments that get us together onstage."

The band, Broken Social Scene, hasn't been together onstage with new music in seven years and there's a double-album worth of reasons why. BSS is like a frozen-in-time Saturday Night Live, its most popular members having departed to make their own solo stabs at fame. But it's even more fraught. Because all of the BSS members make their own music - often together - and while some break out and some falter, the band is less like SNL and more like NBC, the network umbrella they all live under.

In 2014, when Vogue magazine calls Toronto's West Queen West the world's second-coolest neighbourhood, some of that is because it's where Broken Social Scene partied in 1994. It's the group that made Toronto sexy while Drake was still a student at Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Walking around the area with Drew in April, he laments not investing in real estate. "I don't buy neighbourhoods, I build them," says the BSS member, but also the co-founder of Arts & Crafts, the band's label. "It's my curse."

Drew - who sports a beard, has a herniated disc in his back and is 40 - is also temperamental, depressive, funny and at the centre of attention. "When Kevin is at his best, there's nothing like him," says Charles Spearin, Drew's longest-serving bandmate. "He brings out the best in people, he makes you feel loved and there's nothing artificial about it. He has a darker side, of course, but when he's at his best ..." It takes Drew at his best to make Hug of Thunder, BSS's rich, absorbing new album, and it takes a too-familiar occurrence to get him to that point. The band is in the fourth year of its hiatus when a terrorist attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris at the Eagles of Death Metal show kills 89 people. Drew has been in that nightclub. The two bands have played the same bills.

It could have been BSS that night, or its audience.

"I didn't feel like we could sit on the sideline," he says.

Brendan Canning, the band's 47-year-old bassist, is ready.

"There still seemed to be some unfinished business as far as some meaningful tracks," says Canning, who's made three solo albums, written film scores and DJs vinyl when he's not on tour, ideally getting paid that same night. "We all got our wants and our desires and our pride."

From a financial and logistical perspective, running a band with (at least) 10 artists, two married, three with children, is a challenge. "We're a middle-class band with upper-class needs and a lower-class bank account," Drew says. "We have new management getting paid banana peels because we can't afford bananas."

And yet, despite knowing the limitations of a rock band in 2017, the peak time of digital downloads, an era when audiences aren't getting behind even their most beloved performers making intimate, accessible records - Feist sold 37,000 units in Canada in the first six weeks of her previous album, Metals; Pleasure, her latest, sells 5,600 units in that same time - a compulsion drives the band back together. Social media, pornography, Donald Trump, terror: For himself and for his audience, Drew wants to provide something else.

"Friendship, ladies and gentlemen, friendship," he says, when the band performs Halfway Home, Hug of Thunder's first missive on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on March 30. It's an exclamation mark of a performance, with Haines, Shaw, Stars' Amy Millan and Evan Cranley, although Drew later says he's chagrined Feist couldn't be there, stuck rehearsing her Leonard Cohen tribute for the Juno Awards. Still, the opening salvo is sounded: Broken Social Scene is back and reunited, ready to embrace the world with a hug.

BSS starts in west-side Toronto in 2000, when Drew and Spearin's band, KC Accidental, merge with Canning, who had ties to Feist, and they'd get together with Drew's friends from high school, Haines and Millan, to perform on College Street with Shaw and Cranley at Ted's Wrecking Yard. Drew had dated Haines; Haines had dated Shaw; Feist had dated Canning, and the band's first album, 2001's Feel Good Lost, is a mostly instrumental ambient rock disc. It's on its follow-up album, 2002's You Forgot It in People, featuring all of them, plus hooks and singing, that the band jumps to indierock fame, and the nascent music website Pitchfork gives it a 9.2 out of 10. ("Explodes with endlessly replayable perfect pop.") A long article appears in The New York Times magazine in 2006, with a reporter following Drew from the Communist's Daughter to the Horseshoe Tavern, gushing over the cheap drinks, camaraderie and the magic of Feist ("like Dido made over by François Truffaut.") Somehow - even before Feist becomes iconic, thanks to 1234 - the BSS spell fades, the band can't maintain its high.

"What our success was built on is, first of all, we support each other, and second is the idea that we support each other - that idea resonates with people and people respond to that," Spearin says. "It becomes difficult to maintain though when that's your brand."

There are BSS records in 2005 and 2010, but the light moves on to Arcade Fire, a brilliant Montreal-based rock collective led by a married couple - Win Butler and Régine Chassagne - and Butler's brother, William. In 2011, Arcade Fire wins a Grammy for Album of the Year. Over coffee, Drew talks about those years.

"Leslie and I had just broken up and that was a confusing time because of the love and trying to make something work and 1234 was blowing up and I was going, 'What happened here?' " he says.

"I knew I was going to party for a while. It was a four-year sort of disaster."

Canning makes sense of the disaster with a survivor's steely eye. It's the middle of June and he is DJing a party for a cannabis company owned in part by the Tragically Hip. Outside, on the balcony, he gives his version of events.

"Everyone had different aspirations outside of Broken Social Scene. 'I have an idea and I want to do these ideas,' so you go do them, but at a certain point - it might be sooner than later - you're faced with the reality that just because you play in a popular band, everyone's musical career's not going to go in a glorious route," he says.

Feist and Canning were members of By Divine Right and, when the Tragically Hip performs the first concert at the Air Canada Centre in 1999, By Divine Right opens the show. Canning has no illusions about what helps a band succeed.

"I discovered [Jeffrey Remedios, Drew's co-founder of Arts & Crafts, now president of Universal Music Canada] in '96. 'We need a guy in the music business, a young buck, an up-andcomer, who's going to help.' Him and Tyson Parker, and Tyson went on to become second-incommand at Bell Media. Those were my picks."

The conversation is candid and mellow, Canning's second-to-last solo album is the acoustic You Gots 2 Chill, but he hasn't prearranged with event staff to bring a reporter, and suddenly two men approach, wearing suits.

"Who are these jokers?" Canning says.

"You can interview the DJ," we're informed. "But then I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

On the Tragically Hip's tour promoting Now For Plan A in 2013, Canning DJs before the band comes onstage. Afterward, Gord Downie asks Canning to work on his solo disc.

"I was just on the road with you guys, you're entering my dreams," Canning replies, to which he adds now: "It's a family affair, but I'm DJing your weed launch, I have enough Tragically Hip on my plate."

Hug of Thunder is completed, in part, thanks to Canning's equilibrium (at the party, the man in the suit apologized, the reporter didn't leave and Canning was handed a cheque). The tracks had been mastered and remastered, too much money is spent and still a stalemate occurs over the catchy (too catchy?) Vanity Pail Kids, championed by management and Drew - he'd made a video - while vetoed by the rest of the band. Canning swings the team for Drew; Feel Good Lost is conceived by Drew as a Canning solo disc.

"Brendan mesmerized me," Drew says. "Every day I woke up and was happy because I was going to be in the studio with him."

It's easy to be mesmerized at 20 and Drew's self-aware enough to see himself in a lyric from Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden, his hero: "Your life's a sweet sixteen, at thirty-three." But BSS benefits - beyond musicianship - from each member and Andrew Whiteman, who records as Apostle of Hustle and AroarA, with his wife, Ariel Engle, the newest member of BSS. Making this record, the 50-year-old Whiteman lost his father at the same time Engle lost her dad - then their daughter got sick. His approach to life is to become invisible and survive over time.

"I could go to the grave fighting over a bass line, but being a dad, I'm like, 'I'll let that go,' I'm in for the bigger fight," Whiteman says.

"You become a parent to escape the never-ending teen/young adult-ness and do the job or something terrible has to happen to make you stop thinking about yourself and get along in the world."

BSS is the first act to play Manchester after the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert kills 23 people, 10 of the victims younger than 20, one just eight years old. The first song on the first night of its first tour in almost a decade opens with Haines singing Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl: "Now you're all gone/got your makeup on/and you're not coming back," she sings, with Manchester local and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr on the stage. Getting Marr to perform isn't easy. He's slated to play, but after the attack, pulls out. Drew wouldn't let it lie.

"He said he couldn't do it, and I said, 'I understand, just please listen to the song,' " says Drew, who'd changed the song from Cause=Time to Anthems, a young girl's punk lullaby. Throughout the day, Drew texts Marr: "I don't want us to be kept apart by this," attaching a clip he filmed at the vigil. "This is your city."

He doesn't hear back from Marr until an hour before showtime: Marr is ready to perform.

"I knew it," Drew says, "I know him - the real of who he is."

Every notice of the show mentions Marr and the performance is praised on the BBC, Rolling Stone and The Guardian, which calls the set, "an emotional celebration of the power of music."

"I didn't walk around crying. I walked around feeling like life was precious and the more I make music, the more I think it's about trying to create catharsis, on and off the stage," says Engle, who sings lead on the band's third single, the sublime Stay Happy. "I couldn't go on social media or watch the news, it was too big and too scary and too sad - not as a performer, but as a mother of a child who will one day want to go to an Ariana Grande concert."

Spearin's daughters are 13 and 11. He wasn't certain he wanted to get back into BSS, while making music with Do Make Say Think and taking pottery classes.

It's Spearin who tells Drew -

while recording the song Hug of Thunder, when Feist didn't want him in the studio while she recorded - that he needs to get his drinking under control. Three years earlier, Spearin's wife calls Drew when he succumbs to a post-tour malaise after 18 months on the road with Feist.

He says Manchester brought the group back to where it began.

"We realized that we're friends and we love each other and we care for each other," he says. "We realized that what we're really doing is sharing that love."

After Manchester, Win Butler sends Drew a text to invite BSS to open Arcade Fire's November stadium dates in Toronto. After Manchester, the band welcomes 16,000 people to Field Trip, a two-day festival put on by Arts & Crafts.

"You're onstage looking around and you're grateful," Drew says.

"That's all you feel."

Three weeks ago, the day before BSS leaves for Sacramento to play a festival with Tom Petty, Drew spends the day in studio with Downie. Between BSS records, Drew checks himself into the Hoffman Institute, which he says is a place for emotional recovery. He can laugh at himself, but he smashed his phone and drove to his grandmother's grave after a review in Exclaim! called him out at Field Trip. ("Six out of 10 I can take, but don't call me 'cheap.' I put you on the guest list - you cost me $40!") At the Hoffman Institute, counsellors advise him to stop working with the Tragically Hip - a band that lubricates recording with Coors Light, Guinness and wine, referred to as "goof juice."

This is before the CBC cut away from the Olympics to play the band's final show. This was 2013, when Drew was finishing his second solo record, Darlings, at the Bathouse Recording Studio, owned by Downie and the Tragically Hip, in Bath, Ont.

"We had Snowblink and Feist up there, Jimmy Shaw and Gord came by and we were playing basketball and swimming until 5 in the morning and he said, 'Is this how you guys do it?' It was the happiest time of my life and Les [Feist] fully came back and that's when Gord came in and said, 'Whatever you're drinking, I want some of that.' " Drew proposes a solo album.

Downie is cautious, but finds an old poem that becomes Secret Path. They'd practise at Shaw's studio on Ossington, with Spearin on guitar.

Those sessions take a backseat to Downie and Drew working with the Hip on Man Machine Poem, recorded at the Bathouse.

Drew co-produces with his friend Dave Hamelin; however, the experience hurts.

"I could feel this darkness and this booze and felt really uncomfortable, and it was like I'd put on the scuba gear and Dave would lower me in and I'd shotgun a Coors Light and Gord was so intense - it was so different than us working together on Secret Path."

It's after the Hip record is finished in December, 2015, that Drew learns Downie has glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer for which there's no cure.

Drew says, "Get ready for uncomfortable confusion about change."

Of the many dominoes to fall - none more than the reality of Downie's children growing up without a father - one affects Hug of Thunder. The band is set to record at the Bathouse when Downie suddenly needs his studio to rehearse with his band before its last tour. Five days before its producer is set to arrive from Los Angeles, BSS has nowhere to record.

"Two hours later, Andrew called me and said, 'My father died.' 'That's it,' I said, 'We're coming to Montreal.' " Life doesn't always line up like children at daycare, but when BSS decamps from Toronto to Montreal, where Whiteman and Engle were suffering, Hug of Thunder coalesces. "It wasn't about the record, it was, 'This is what we do' - we show up for each other," Drew says. "This is why we're here - not for the record, but to make a record with all of us."

Drew has a play, a comedy about suicide, that will premiere in Toronto in the fall. He also has another record of BSS tunes. But tonight, he wants to talk about Downie. Christmas, 2015, Drew is having dinner at his brother's house when he leaves abruptly.

The news about Downie is fresh.

That night, he e-mails Downie a track he'd recorded on piano.

The next morning, Downie returns the track with words.

On Jan. 4, 2016, Drew and Downie return to the studio to record 17 songs in four days. On the night I arrive at Drew's place, he's spent the day with Downie, whom Drew describes as "present and hilarious."

"We didn't take too much time to do it when we started because we didn't know how much time we had," he says.

The recovery of Downie was never assured - it still isn't, the opposite in fact - but before leaving for Sacramento, Drew and Downie work on those songs, Downie singing letters he wrote to his loved ones. The songs evoke k.d. lang singing Leonard Cohen; it's the record all of us need.

"I'm finishing a record with him that, when we made it, we didn't know he was going to be here. You know how amazing that makes me feel? To turn around and see him on the couch and say, 'Should we eat sushi tonight, babe?' My heart is bigger than the building."

Drew has a bottle of wine open at his loft in west-side Toronto, framed BSS posters on the walls, and he lays out a pack of cigarettes. BSS talks about this record marking its return, that there won't be another layoff before its next album, even though there are no guarantees. The European tour lost money and recouping Hug of Thunder will be hard.

Drew went with Andy Kim to the Socan awards and they watched the Chainsmokers win.

"That kid's up there celebrating and he should be, that song got two billion plays on Spotify, but Andy asks me, 'What's two billion plays on Spotify, $720?' The entertainment industry's getting squeezed."

"Things are gonna get better, because they can't get worse," Engle sings toward the end of Hug of Thunder. The line arrived as a studio improvisation, something she sang to Drew. He knows his parents are getting older, his girlfriend may want children, that he needs to stop learning the same lessons again and again, keep finding ways to bring his friends to the park. He pours a glass of wine, exhales and says, "Life's about the company you keep."

Broken Social Scene's Hug of Thunder was released July 7. For tour dates, see

Associated Graphic

Kevin Drew plays with Broken Social Scene during the Field Trip music festival, a two-day event put on by Drew's label, Arts & Crafts, at Toronto's Fork York on June 3.


Broken Social Scene began in west-side Toronto in 2000, when Drew and Charles Spearin's band, KC Accidental, merged with Brendan Canning, who had ties to Leslie Feist, and after they got together with Drew's friends from high school, Emily Haines and Amy Millan.


For Haida, a wooden chest holds the promise of reunion with Indigenous treasures
First, the Haida brought their ancestors home from museums around the world; now, they've come for their belongings. Marsha Lederman examines what the mountain goat moon chest means to communities eager to reclaim their treasures
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A10

After more than a century away from home, the mountain goat moon chest was allowed to live again. Liberated from museum storage in a foreign land, the iconic chest was wheeled out to the middle of a packed rec centre gym in Skidegate, B.C., on remote Haida Gwaii, as hundreds watched. The crowds were there for a historic potlatch when the surprise guest star stole the show.

No protective glass, no roped-off borders - just a dolly separating the chest from the old-growth wood floor where the Haida play basketball. A treasure itself, the box was packed with more: 25 copper shields, important symbols of wealth in Haida culture, which were handed out that Easter weekend in a powerful ceremony.

"It was absolutely magical and transformative," says Nika Collison, who belongs to the Ts'aahl clan of the Haida Nation. "The chest itself wasn't only transformed from being in a basement for 100 years to being back in use, it was transformed into being everything it always was. And that transformed all of us in the room."

It was Ms. Collison's idea, as cochair of the Haida Repatriation Committee, to bring the chest home to Haida Gwaii, a group of islands off the northern British Columbia coast. And it was her smarts, passion and connections that helped to broker an extraordinary loan from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), which owns the item.

She proposed it as a creative repatriation: The chest would not only be displayed at the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay, where it is now, but first, the pioneering agreement would allow Guujaaw, the Haida artist, activist and leader, to use it in a potlatch marking his transition to Gidansda, hereditary chief of Skedans.

That AMNH agreed to her proposal was "huge," Ms. Collison says. "This has my colleagues' jaws dropping around the world."

Its return, even if temporary, marks the beginning of a new chapter in the long history of Haida loss and, now, reclamation.

After working for decades to bring home the remains of their ancestors - robbed from their graves and scattered to museums around the world - the Haida are preparing to enter the next phase of their massive repatriation efforts: They want their things back.

They know of more than 12,000 attributed Haida pieces in more than 130 museums. New research shows there may be many more; they've identified close to 200 institutions around the world.

Over decades, the relationship between museums and Indigenous people has shifted, and the question of the appropriate fate of ill-gotten First Nations' belongings has led to the forging of new paths and partnerships, such as the one that brought the mountain goat moon chest to Skidegate.

"We've put our dear friends on notice," Ms. Collison says, meaning museum officials with whom she has cultivated long-term relationships. "We will be moving forward with seeking the return of some of our cultural treasures, our belongings, our heirlooms."

The mountain goat moon chest is one of thousands of artifacts that illustrate the richness of Indigenous culture and now illuminate a history of colossal loss.

"That chest is one of those statue of David-type iconic pieces within our nation," says Gwaai Edenshaw, Guujaaw's son.

It was carved before 1880 for Guujaaw's ancestor, a previous chief of Skedans, an ancient Haida village. There is a mountain goat on one side, a moon on the other and grizzly bears at the ends. It was acquired by AMNH in 1901. Before this spring, Guujaaw had only seen it in photos. "When I finally laid eyes on it, it was just more than it seemed. More than I expected, even," he says.

"Originally, the chief intended it to be a grave box," he later adds, "but then he got an offer he couldn't refuse, I guess, and sold it."

In British Columbia, collecting First Nations items reached a fever pitch after 1880, with what's come to be known as the Northwest Coast scramble. The competition was particularly fierce between three U.S. museums - AMNH, the Smithsonian and the Field Museum - and led to an exodus of treasures from B.C. to New York, Washington, Chicago and elsewhere.

There were straightforward sales, but Indigenous people were also manipulated, swindled and outright robbed. Funerary items were stolen from graves. Human remains were taken too, feeding anthropological, scientific - and often casual collectors' - curiosity about Indigenous people, believed to be at risk of extinction.

"It's always hard to look at the artifacts that are in museums because we knew how they got them and how long they'd been there," says artist Andy Wilson, who spent years on the Haida Repatriation Committee.

Many of the items were sold by their owners, but often under terrible circumstances and for a song. Populations were declining at alarming rates - the Haida in particular were devastated by smallpox - and the cultural oppression and economic marginalization resulting from the potlatch ban, enacted in 1885, was excruciating. People who have studied the matter say it is inaccurate, even patronizing, to remove all Indigenous agency from these sales, but experts including Ms. Collison add that the legitimacy of the transactions should be examined through a contextual lens.

"So much of what was sold was done so under duress because of colonial law and social/economic marginalization," Ms. Collison says.

For First Nations, these are not simply artifacts: they are the embodiment of the culture. A totem pole is a history book; a spoon delivers not just soup, but stories.

When a halibut hook was returned to the Haida Gwaii Museum, an elder held it in his hands and out came the stories: about swimming out to the halibut before there were canoes, about the songs of thanks the Haida sing to the halibut, about the materials used before iron.

When the Haida have visited other museums to bring the remains of their ancestors home, they requested time with their treasures.

"We've always told the museum, we need to bring life back into them," Mr. Wilson says. During a trip to New York years ago, he spent time with the mountain goat moon chest. (There's a tiny photo of the two of them displayed at the Haida Gwaii Museum, a couple of galleries away from where the chest now sits.)

The effort to repatriate ancestors and the things they made is a crucial component of reconciliation.

"There are remains of thousands of First Nations people taken from the province which are today languishing in museum basements right across the world," says Jack Lohman, chief executive officer of the Royal BC Museum (RBCM). "So this is a priority and it's actually a huge injustice that needs to be corrected."

Before they began to turn their attention to artifacts, the Haida had already been through the process of bringing home the bones of more than 500 ancestors that had been exhumed and distributed to museums across the globe. The last burials, of about a dozen ancestors, are upcoming on Haida Gwaii. There is only one known ancestor still awaiting return, in British Museum's possession.

"It's a very emotional thing, when you get to the museum and you see your ancestors in the cupboards," Mr. Wilson says.

In a hill overlooking Skidegate Inlet, in a private corner of the community cemetery, the remains of Haida ancestors are finally laid to rest. They are wrapped in little traditional button blankets made by schoolchildren on Haida Gwaii and placed in bentwood boxes made by Haida carvers.

Up in Old Massett, at another community cemetery, rows of white crosses mark the return of remains from Chicago, Oxford and elsewhere - "to forever remain on Haida Gwaii."

(Outside visitors are not allowed at the cemeteries; The Globe and Mail was there with Haida permission.)

The Haida had always planned a second phase of repatriation, both from museums in Canada and abroad. But it was a political speech a year ago on National Aboriginal Day, an infuriating incident for Ms. Collison, that served as the catalyst for the Haida to bolster their efforts once more.

At a media event at the Royal BC Museum, Premier Christy Clark stood in front of totem poles, demanding U.S. museums return ancestral remains and sacred artifacts. (She later pledged $2-million to the RBCM to lead the effort - and this funding was essential in mounting a repatriation symposium this past spring.)

Reading about the news conference, Ms. Collison was stunned.

She had worked so hard to foster relationships with these museums and together they had achieved great successes. Why were the institutions being called out for bad behaviour when in fact they had been great collaborators? And why had the Haida not been informed about this ahead of time, or asked?

"It hit me in my heart and it turned my stomach over and over," says Ms. Collison, who begins to cry as she recounts the story. "It was like an assault on the ancestors that were already dead. ... After all the work we're trying to do for them to bring them home and she's making grandstand announcements?" Ms. Collison quickly set out to do damage control with the U.S. museums, with whom she has established excellent relationships.

And then she made a decision.

While Ms. Clark directed her wagging finger at museums south of the border, the Haida would focus their efforts at home - beginning with the site of the news conference, the RBCM.

"Perfect. The province is ready?

Let's go to work. We'll be contacting you this fall. We are so excited to work on this passionate initiative for us since you paraded us around the media, we thank you for the invitation and we have responded by putting you on notice," Ms. Collison says.

The Haida will also focus initially on the Canadian Museum of History (CMH) in Gatineau.

Both institutions say they are eager to participate. "We welcome it," says Dean Oliver, director of research at the CMH. "It's an opportunity to do the right thing by the objects and the people for whom they resonate the most."

Although historically museums benefited from (and were even built as a result of) the collecting of Indigenous belongings, more recently, institutions have enthusiastically partnered with First Nations to repatriate items - not because it is a legal requirement, but because it is the ethical thing to do.

"Archeologists and museum folks and others are trying really hard to repair the damage of their ancestors," says George Nicholas, chair of the repatriation committee for Simon Fraser University's archeology department. "A lot of things were done that were harmful, that were disrespectful - all in the name of science."

In Canada, museums repatriate items on a voluntary basis, rather than being dictated by law, with the exception of Alberta, which passed the First Nations Sacred Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act in 2000. (The legislation currently only applies to the Blackfoot, but negotiations are now under way to expand it to include the Plains Cree, Assiniboine and Saulteaux in Alberta and Saskatchewan.)

The United States also has legislation in place, but it does not demand repatriation to other countries. So returns to Canada are done on a voluntary basis, with each request weighed individually. The American Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian and Field have all repatriated to Canada. In interviews with The Globe, each was keen to continue this work.

"Native people remind us that these bones were somebody. That these things weren't made by museums; they didn't originally belong to museums. They were made by and for and belong to native people," says Richard Kurin, acting provost for the Smithsonian. "Repatriation reminds us of that."

But there is also recognition on both sides that there is a complexity to museums' role as conservators and ambassadors.

"Part of our job as an institution is to educate and to teach about the diversity and complexity of cultures and that ... First Nations are alive and well, and that they're doing amazing things," the Field Museum's repatriation director, Helen Robbins, says.

The Hall of Northwest Coast Indians at AMNH has influenced artists ranging from Jackson Pollock to J.D. Salinger, as well as countless visitors.

"Given that we're in New York ... the Hall represents a kind of a cultural embassy in a place which has the UN," says Peter Whiteley, curator of North American Ethnology, Division of Anthropology at AMNH. "This is a place where native Northwest Coast nations in a sense are communicating to the world."

Museums have also been a resource for Indigenous artists themselves.

Tsimshian artist William White learned weaving largely by studying historic examples at museums. He now teaches what he has learned to others in a variety of First Nations settings. He sees this as a form of repatriation - repatriation of knowledge.

He says he has learned to deal respectfully with museum officials; he didn't years ago. "I felt these pieces have all been stolen, we want them back, even though we have nowhere to put them. ... As I matured, I realized we need to have a place to house them so we can be the custodians." He says the relationship is mutually beneficial. "When an anthropologist has an actual living person to talk to about something they're interested in, it expands their horizons."

In most cases, museums repatriate items as a result of a request. But occasionally, an institution initiates a return. The Museum of Vancouver has recently offered to send back a mortuary pole to Haida Gwaii.

The pole, immortalized by Emily Carr in a 1912 painting, was cut down in 1958 for safety reasons and acquired by the museum in 1968; by then, there was a huckleberry bush growing out of its top.

It has since been in storage.

"The fact that they're doing this is so big, so big," says Kwiaahwah Jones, a Haida artist who is cocurating next year's show, Haida Now!, at the MOV. "They're putting pressure on other institutions to make things right. It's opening a door."

The MOV has an enormous First Nations collection - thousands of items, including hundreds from Haida Gwaii. While the museum has repatriated a few things, most have been packed away for decades.

"This can't stay in storage, it's too valuable," MOV CEO Mark Richards says. "You could build a national museum with a collection like this. So we're going to have to get this out of the darkness."

The totem offer is still being considered by the Haida, and they have a condition. "We don't want the pole this year," Ms. Collison says. "We have a great relationship with MOV, but we don't want this reparation to be associated in any way with Canada 150."

Repatriations can be expensive.

The Haida estimate their efforts have cost more than $1-million over the years.

Indigenous people from all over Canada face financial challenges as they work to retrieve their belongings, or consider doing so - and then ensure the items are properly housed.

In 1921, 'Namgis Chief Dan Cranmer held an enormous potlatch outside Alert Bay, despite the ban. Police and the Indian Agent arrested 45 participants, about half of whom served time at Oakalla Prison as a result. Officials also confiscated hundreds of items, which wound up in museums and private collections.

"His potlatch was estimated to have [cost] about $30,000 and that was a lot of money in those days. And that in effect was just wiped clean, just like the government closing his bank account," says his son Bill Cranmer, the 'Namgis chief who helped found the U'mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay (u'mista means the return of something important) and the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre in Cape Mudge.

In June, Mr. Cranmer, now 78, was one of 29 people recognized by the Governor-General for Outstanding Indigenous Leadership.

"Chief Bill Cranmer was instrumental in repatriating potlatch artifacts that were confiscated by the Canadian government in the 1920s," the citation read, in part.

But these centres cost money to run, so at the same time as he is being awarded in Ottawa for his work, Mr. Cranmer, along with the U'mista board, is fighting the federal government for support with a claim that goes back decades. The claim was rejected, but the nation saw an opportunity to revitalize the effort with the election of the Trudeau government.

They want financial support to run U'mista, financial compensation for the chiefs who had to give up their things and an apology.

"It's the actions of the federal government in making our ceremonies illegal that resulted in this place being built in the first place," Mr. Cranmer says.

"So they should have some responsibility for the cost of keeping it going."

Repatriations to Indigenous nations in Canada remain active.

In June, the RBCM returned two masks to the Uchucklesaht on Vancouver Island, in addition to about 50 other items over the previous weeks. The Canadian Museum of History has also returned items to the Uchucklesaht, including a herring hook and a drum.

During a recent meeting with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, Smithsonian staff shared with the minister that the 150th anniversary of confederation was a good time to reaffirm its commitment to repatriation and re-energize its efforts.

That mountain goat moon chest will return to New York next year, but not before Guujaaw's sons Gwaai and Jaalen Edenshaw carve a replica that will remain on Haida Gwaii.

"In the excitement and all the work around the potlatch, I didn't get to dig right in and examine it, so I would really relish the opportunity to do that reproduction," Gwaai Edenshaw says.

"Anybody who goes through the motions of one of the old masters can learn a lot by it," Guujaaw says. "The more of those sort of things that remain with us the better. Sometimes you can't have the original, but you can have a copy of it."

Guujaaw has some work to do as well: A piece of the moon's nose, he has noticed, has broken off. He would like to fix it, this chest that connects him to his ancestors. First he'll have to get permission - from the museum.

The chest is on public view at the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay until March, 2018.

Associated Graphic

A Haida dancer performs a raven dance at the Field Museum in Chicago in 2003 to celebrate the return of approximately 150 Haida human remains to the their descendants.

On the beach in front of the Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate, B.C., artist Andy Wilson holds one of the 150 traditional bentwood boxes in which ancestral remains were buried after being repatriated.



Nika Collison, curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum, has cultivated relationships with a number of museums around the world to foster the return of Haida treasures.


The American Museum of Natural History agreed to loan the mountain goat and moon chest, a precious Haida treasure, back to the First Nation as an act of repatriation.


'Namgis Chief Bill Cranmer takes part in a ceremony before being awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers during a ceremony in recognition of outstanding Indigenous leadership in Ottawa in June.


Canada's secret NAFTA weapon
The country's most potent tool in negotiations may be private-sector companies employing thousands south of the border
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B6

ARDEN, N.C. -- The engine blocks creeping along the line at the Linamar Corp. plant in Arden, N.C., provide a cast-iron example of how the North American freetrade agreement has created an integrated economic ecosystem.

Blocks weighing 317 kilograms arrive by truck from Mexico at the factory in southwestern North Carolina, where the thump and hum of 13 machining and drilling processes prepare them for shipment to Hagerstown, Md., for installation in heavy-duty trucks made by Sweden-based AB Volvo.

"We get the blocks from Mexico because of NAFTA," plant manager Thomas Grein says.

Engine block LNC 1300694, which bears the signature of former U.S. president Barack Obama, did not make the final leg of the journey along the continental assembly line.

Instead, it sits on the floor of the Canadian-owned factory - a memento of Mr. Obama's visit to Linamar North Carolina in 2013 and a symbol of an outwardlooking United States that was seeking to expand global trade.

That signed engine block is also a potent reminder that current U.S. President Donald Trump rejects the idea of expanding global trade. Mr. Trump has turned the country inward by pulling the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has promised on several occasions to retrench even further by tearing up NAFTA.

Those threats have energized the federal government and provincial premiers, leading to a flood of Canadian politicians to Washington and state capitals.

But there's a secret weapon - Canada Inc., the country's manufacturing and resources giants and other companies that are significant employers in a multitude of U.S. congressional districts in more than one-third of the 50 states. Many of them are the largest private-sector employers in their districts or dominate a local economy.

Their investments give these members of corporate Canada the influence and opportunity to echo the argument federal and provincial politicians are making in Washington and state capitals - that significant changes to NAFTA could affect U.S. jobs in cities and towns from Georgia to Michigan to Alaska.

If those arguments can convince enough state politicians that their own interests will be harmed, Canada could emerge from the NAFTA renegotiations relatively unscathed.

The politics and the economics of NAFTA converge in this corner of the Carolinas, which is dominated by the Great Smoky Mountains and is the site of a Canadian manufacturing insurgency whose health depends on a smoothly functioning trade system.

In the 11th congressional district of North Carolina, Linamar and two other Canadian multinationals are large employers and, in the case of Linamar, growing. Across the state line, bordering on the North Carolina 11th, the third district of South Carolina is home to a Magna International Inc. plant with 1,200 employees.

The future of NAFTA will be meted out at the negotiating table beginning late this summer now that Mr. Trump has officially notified Canada and Mexico that he wants a new deal. He has publicly excoriated companies for shifting jobs to Mexico and appears to believe that renegotiating the trade deal and imposing a border tax will repatriate those jobs.

But Canadian companies such as Linamar in the suburbs of Asheville; recreational vehicle maker BRP Inc. in the mountain town of Spruce Pine, and textiles giant Gildan Activewear Inc. along the Interstate 40 corridor, are located in the United States largely because of NAFTA. That presence gives the companies the clout to urge Representative Mark Meadows and North Carolina's senators to vote against substantial changes to the agreement.

"The government of Canada has been leaning on industries to do more," says Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

"We really need to see Canadian businesses in particular going into Gary, Ind., into Buffalo, to Seattle, all the border communities, and reminding folks in their home districts that Canadian trade is important - the Canadian economic relationship is vital to your livelihood," Ms. Dawson told a NAFTA discussion panel presented by The Globe and Mail last month.

Some of the companies are lobbying local members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to make sure changes to NAFTA don't disrupt their operations or supply chains, or indeed, the U.S. economy on a scale similar to the turmoil blamed on the original 1993 agreement.

Linda Hasenfratz, chief executive officer of Guelph, Ont.-based Linamar, has started at the top, making the pro-NAFTA case directly to Mr. Trump at a meeting at the White House in February. Ms. Hasenfratz sat across the table from the President as Canada and the United States established a joint council for the advancement of female entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The question of NAFTA's future arose during the discussion, she says, including how Canadian innovation is benefiting consumers in all three countries and why it's vital to preserve seamless collaboration in the continent's auto sector. One of her fears is that a renegotiation of NAFTA will lead to added cost that will make North America uncompetitive against Europe and Asia.

Increased costs on a North American vehicle "will follow the consumer and the consumer stops buying and we make less cars and that's a hell of a lot less jobs across the board," she says.

"That doesn't help anybody."

The North Carolina 11th occupies a picturesque, waterfall-sprinkled corner of the Tar Heel State, with Tennessee on its western and northern borders and Georgia and South Carolina to the south.

It's bisected by the Blue Ridge Parkway, which bills itself as "America's Favorite Drive" and lives up to that reputation with stunning mountain vistas before the Depression-era make-work project terminates near Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the northwest corner of the district.

Linamar's Mr. Grein finds the southern climate and lifestyle much more appealing than in New York, where he spent his student days at New York State University in Oswego, which was pounded with snow every winter while he was earning his industrial science degree.

"If I were to be interviewing someone to move from Detroit to here, I could probably do that a lot easier than flipping it," he says.

The largely rural district delivered an overwhelming plurality to Mr. Trump in the 2016 election. He won every county except Buncombe, which includes many of the suburbs of the traditional Democratic bastion of Asheville, the heart of which was gerrymandered out of the district, making it one of the safest Republican congressional seats in the country.

In rural Graham County, perched in the mountains up against the Tennessee border, Mr. Trump captured 80 per cent of the vote. In the extreme southwest corner of the district, he won 77 per cent of the vote in Cherokee County. The margins of victory in all the counties he won far exceeded his 3.8-percent statewide defeat of Hillary Clinton.

Some of that support came as a result of Mr. Trump's stated position that NAFTA is one of the worst trade deals ever made and that it bears the blame for declines in the textile and furniture industries that dominated the economy of this part of North Carolina - and elsewhere in the state - for generations.

"You have a community that can point and say, 'Here's a big negative cost that we're bearing.

Okay, why?' "says Sean Mulholland, an economics professor at Western Carolina University, located in the 11th district.

"They scan the place and say, 'There's a big shock that happened, NAFTA,' " Prof. Mulholland says over lunch on the university campus in Cullowhee, a winding, leafy, one-hour drive west of Asheville that takes travellers past Old Grouch's Real Military Surplus and billboards extolling the virtues of Hazelwood Gun & Tactical.

But there were also huge productivity gains in manufacturing that coincided with the first few years of NAFTA, adds Edward Lopez, another Western Carolina economics professor.

That makes it hard to determine to what degree the trade deal can be blamed for local job losses.

It's also important to note, Prof. Lopez adds, that trade was vital to the creation of the local manufacturing sector in the first place.

"We wouldn't be the economy we are without international trade - moving from agricultural to manufacturing - and the same is true as we transition from manufacturing to more service and knowledge-based jobs," he says.

Data from Mexico's Economic Secretariat underline that statement. North Carolina's largest and second-largest export markets in 2016 were Canada and Mexico, which soaked up 31.2 per cent of the state's total exports.

Compared with other congressional districts across the country, the North Carolina 11th fared relatively well in terms of job losses caused by the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank that examines the impact of economic trends on working Americans.

The district ranked 256th out of 437 in jobs displaced, the study showed. Ten Michigan congressional districts were in the top 20 in terms of numbers of jobs lost. Four of those Michigan districts voted for Mr. Trump, making a strong contribution to his pivotal win in that traditionally Democratic stronghold.

But plant closings are amplified in the small towns that dominate the North Carolina 11th. Many of those were typically home to a single large manufacturer.

Whether the closings were caused by NAFTA, increased productivity, automation, the rise of China or the other global forces that transformed the U.S. economy in the 1990s and 2000s, the trade agreement gets the blame.

In Andrews, population 1,762 in 2014, the shutdown of the VF Jeanswear plant in 2002 - caused by a shift in jobs to Mexico - vaporized about 500 jobs at the biggest employer in the town and in Cherokee County.

"It was terrible," recalls Joe Gibson, who started work at the maker of Lee and GWG jeans in 1979 and was plant manager when it closed.

"We drew people from three counties. It took a toll on all the small towns," Mr. Gibson said.

He recalls his father-in-law telling a story about how the plant that became VF Jeanswear was lured to Andrews in the first place in the 1950s. Employed people throughout the area donated 25 cents (U.S.) from every paycheque to help the town buy 50 acres of land that were offered to a company that built a hosiery factory.

There is still manufacturing in some of the small towns of the 11th district, including Spruce Pine, where BRP, maker of SkiDoos, Sea-Doos, all-terrain vehicles and motorcyles, operates a foundry that employs 150 people making parts that go in Evinrude boat engines.

Any trade moves that reduce jobs "would be a negative, that's for sure," says Darla Harding, mayor of the town, which has a population of 2,123.

"We're a rural area with a population of about 2,000, so the job aspect of that [plant] is very important to this area," she says.

If any Canadian manufacturer has an interest in making sure that the status quo remains in place it's BRP, the company now manufacturing a product invented by Quebec entrepreneur Joseph-Armand Bombardier and still controlled by his descendants.

BRP, which is based in Valcourt, Que., operates two assembly plants in Chihuahua, Mexico and an engine and transmission facility in Queretaro.

"The big dark cloud above our heads is everything related to NAFTA," chief financial officer Sebastien Martel told the company's third-quarter financial results conference call in December, shortly after Mr. Trump was elected.

On the same call, however, Mr. Martel noted that the financial impact of slapping tariffs on products built in Mexico would be slight - between $20-million (Canadian) and $25-million on $1-billion worth of transactions.

Making plants more efficient, passing on costs to suppliers and increasing prices would be ways of addressing those added costs, he said.

On the company's fiscal yearend results call in March, CEO Jose Boisjoli said the company is optimistic that economic measures Mr. Trump is considering are designed to create economic growth, which would help BRP.

On June 1, BRP underlined its confidence that NAFTA will not be dismembered by saying it will invest $25-million in its Mexican operations to reduce bottlenecks.

The company did not respond to requests for comment on what lobbying efforts it is undertaking in regard to NAFTA.

In Hildebran, on the eastern edge of the 11th district, 205 people owe their jobs at Peds Legwear to Montreal-based Richelieu Group, which bought assets from a struggling textile company and won a contract to sell socks to Wal-Mart. It's now part of the Gildan global manufacturing footprint, after Montreal-based Gildan took over Peds Legwear in 2016.

Senior executives of Gildan say they think the company's presence in several low-cost countries and trade agreements between Canada and those countries will insulate the Montreal-based company from any major changes that might happen to NAFTA.

"One day they're renegotiating, one day they're tweaking," CEO Glenn Charmandy says of the Trump administration's public broadsides about NAFTA. "At the end of the day, it's a little bit out of our control."

Gildan is not hiring lobbyists in Washington because it's not worried about the outcome of the negotiations, Mr. Charmandy adds.

Linamar's Ms. Hasenfratz says her position as chair of the Business Council of Canada gives her access to members of Mr. Trump's cabinet, while auto industry organizations such as the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association lobby members of the House and Senate.

She and other members of the Council met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross earlier this month in Washington.

While Linamar lobbies, it's also doubling down in the 11th district. The engine-block plant and an adjoining factory that makes gears and other engine and transmission parts employ 215 people and are hiring more.

The company is also building a new plant just southwest of Asheville in Mills River. The Canadian company and joint venture partner Georg Fischer AG of Switzerland are spending $200million (U.S.) to build an aluminum casting plant that will eventually employ 350 people.

Aurora, Ont.-based Magna, which is Canada's largest auto parts maker, operates in 11 states and also has 30 plants and 28,000 employees in Mexico. The company is working hard to make sure U.S. governors and state representatives are well aware of its sprawling presence.

Misti Rice, Magna's director of government affairs, says her No. 1 priority is to educate politicians in those states about the company's activities.

Ms. Rice has met with all but two of the 11 governors - all of whom are Republican - and has invited 51 members of the House and Senate to tour Magna facilities located in their districts and states. She has visited South Carolina, where Governor Henry McMaster was one of the first U.S. politicians to endorse Mr. Trump's candidacy for the presidency, five times in four months.

"There's a very tight relationship there and South Carolina is very important to us," Ms. Rice says.

Magna has three factories in South Carolina and is constructing a fourth in the state to supply BMW of North America Inc., whose Spartanburg, S.C., assembly plant is less than an hour's drive from the southern edge of the North Carolina 11th.

A plant operated by Magna's Cosma metal forming division is located in Piedmont, which is in South Carolina's 3rd congressional district, represented in the House of Representatives by Republican Jeff Duncan, whom Ms. Rice met with in May.

When she has finished what she calls the education phase of her meetings with politicians, she will turn to an advocacy campaign.

At some U.S. plants, she says, Magna has added several hundred jobs because of NAFTA.

"Any kind of radical changes [to NAFTA] are inevitably going to change how we do business, which could negatively impact how we operate," she says.

"We're a very nimble company and adjust to any changes, but there could be a cost to that."

North Carolina was not on the list of states being visited by federal cabinet ministers as part of Canada's lobbying blitz, even though annual two-way trade between the state and Canada totals more than $10-billion (Canadian).

But given the investment by Canadian companies in the 11th district and elsewhere in the state - and local politics - it would be a good place to make the case for NAFTA, says Chris Cooper, who heads the faculty of political science and public affairs at Western Carolina University.

Prof. Cooper points to Mr. Meadows, who has represented the 11th since first being elected in November, 2012, and is now the head of the Republican Party's Freedom Caucus in the House.

"From a Canadian lobbying perspective, I think it is a smart move," Prof. Cooper says.

"In a way, he is the perfect person to make this argument to. If he's in a competitive district where people are anti-NAFTA, he doesn't have any room to move, but he's in an overwhelmingly Republican district where if something catastrophic doesn't happen, he'll be re-elected."

Mr. Meadows has already engaged in a public battle with Mr. Trump over health care and Prof. Cooper notes that he has much better access to the President than a third-term congressman from a mainly rural district in North Carolina would normally be expected to have.

The Congressman told The Globe that he has not heard from the Canadian companies with big operations in his district.

"But I've talked to the Canadian ambassador at length, had a great conversation with the Canadian ambassador about our mutual interests and I believe that we'll find some common ground."

Back at the Linamar plant, Jeff Brower takes a moment from working on a gear assembly line to recall Mr. Obama's visit and the opportunity he had to speak with the former president on the importance of education.

Nonetheless, Mr. Brower cast his vote for Mr. Trump last November in Leicester, just northwest of Asheville.

He's well aware of the trade links that are vital to the future of the Linamar facility, but believes that Mr. Trump's most extreme comments on the deal don't represent the path U.S. negotiators will take.

"It's kind of hard to stomp on all that," he says, adding a thought that seems to be driving much of the thinking on the issue in corporate Canada: "I know he's made a lot of promises he's not going to uphold."

With files from Nicolas Van Praet in Montreal, Adrian Morrow in Washington and Josh O'Kane in Toronto.

Associated Graphic

Rusty Stiles works on an assembly line producing engine blocks for Volvo at the Linamar factory in Arden, N.C. Guelph,Ont.-based Linamar has enjoyed significant growth under the auspices of NAFTA.


An engine block on display at the Linamar facility in Arden bearing the signature of former U.S. president Barack Obama serves as a memento of a bygone era in U.S. trade policy, as well as a potent reminder of the drastic shift in policy since Donald Trump's election.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017


A Saturday Report on Business story about NAFTA incorrectly spelled the surname of Gildan CEO Glenn Chamandy.

Accepting a gift of Victorian encyclopedias at first seemed a folly to Ian Brown. Then the 10 volumes began to make their case
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page F1

My encounter with the history of facts began when the professor four doors down - Keith Oatley, a novelist and psychologist at the University of Toronto - sold his house to move into a condo. The downshift meant he had to cull 80 per cent of his sizable library. In private, he admitted that the process was crushing him. You'd see him on the street, taking breaks, scratching his neck.

And so, as he spotted me walking by his house one Saturday morning, he stepped onto his porch and asked - and he didn't waste any time about it - if Iwanted a 10-volume set of Chambers's Encyclopaedia, published in Edinburgh between 1888 and 1892. Red leather, fine condition, stamped with gold. The set weighed 40 pounds and demanded four thick feet of shelf space. The books resembled the foundation of a small shed.

I knew I ought to say no. A set of Victorian encyclopedias, in the age of Wikipedia, in my smallish house, where our own books were already shelved two rows deep?

"Are you insane?" my wife said, as I staggered through the doorwith my prize.

The box went into the sunroom. It moved from there to the basement and then back to the sunroom. It spent some time on an armchair in the living room.

For the past two months it has occupied the trunk of our Toyota Camry.

The local second-hand bookstore will take anything except hardcover novels and encyclopedias. The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto already has a set.

Why can't I throw them out?

They are technologically redundant and epistemologically out of date. They are often shortsighted, frequently racist, and sometimes just plain wrong. Did I mention they take up a lot of space?

But: They are filled with facts, 10 bound volumes dedicated to the idea that the details of human reality and history can be pinned down, stored, referred to, and even updated, thereby guaranteeing that our state of being on this planet is a knowable, reliable, transferable entity.

My encyclopedias also remind me that facts, as a body of knowledge, have a history of their own - and not a long history, at that. Strongmen have always tried to subvert democracy and distort reality by attacking the media and suppressing facts, and seldom more widely than right now, when authoritarianism and its disdain for facts and freedom are enjoying a worldwide moment. Vladimir Putin and Polish president Andrzej Duda, with whom Donald Trump has been buddying around all week, are famous for it, and so are Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Saudi royal family, also Trump friendlies.

But now that even the President of the democratic United States prefers to deal in alternative facts - about climate change, the prevalence of crime, the extent of terrorism, the size of his modest inauguration crowd, and somewhere north of 350 others since the inauguration - I thought it might be wise to hang on to a set of originals.

Self-improvement, page by page In the evenings, after I have caught up on my television viewing, I flip through my new (old) encyclopedias. A handwritten letter from the binder, dated Feb. 17, 1893, apologizing for how long said binding has taken, is tucked into the front flap of Volume I, which opens with a disquisition on the letter A, and closes with an entry on Beaufort (not the sea, but the cardinal and three-time Lord Chancellor of England who for most of his life was the wealthiest man in the country).

The entries are written with confident purpose: The subtitle of the encyclopedia is A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge. This is all you know, it implies, and until a new updated set of facts comes along, all you need to know.

The heyday of encyclopedias lasted something like 130 years, from about 1780 to the outbreak of the First World War. Like most of its competition, the Chambers's Encyclopaedia (named after William and Robert Chambers, Scottish brothers, both of whom had extra digits on their hands, and the latter of whom was a proponent of evolutionary thinking) was published in 520 weekly instalments and sold to (mostly) upwardly mobile middle-class subscribers at three halfpennies an issue. When you finally owned the full set, you had them fancily bound with the same lavish care you might once have bound the family Bible.

My set - roughly 8,300 pages; 85,000 entries; 10.3 million words; 200 contributors - was the second, or "new," edition, updated and augmented (especially with American data) in Edinburgh, the birthplace of both the Scottish enlightenment and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which first appeared in 1768. The Chambers's was less academic and opinionated than the Britannica, but both were proud products of Scottish Presbyterianism. Facts, and the education and hard work of learning they implied, were the route to self-improvement in Calvinist Scotland, and therefore the path to God. The rise of fact-filled encyclopedias was matched by growth in trade unionism and night schools. Everyone was into self-improvement.

Encyclopedias were not new, of course. Pliny the Elder hadn't yet finished writing his Naturalis Historia when Mount Vesuvius engulfed him in lava in AD 79.

But premodern encyclopedias were produced for other encyclopedia makers, rather than for average users - a way to pass along an age's collected known facts, so that, as the French encyclopedist Denis Diderot said, "the mark of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come."

This is still the case. "We'd never want to say, 'We know the whole truth,' " Pearce Carefoote, director of collections at the Fisher, told me the evening I called him to see if he could help explain the appeal of my inherited encyclopedia. "But each successive edition of encyclopedias has yielded another body of knowledge to pass along. We wouldn't be able to do what we do today without them. The Internet is not possible without them."

Encyclopedias were a way to classify facts and knowledge, to organize what we knew, in the most satisfying, alphabetical way.

(Hello, fellow nerds.) But commercial printing presses made the facts in modern encyclopedias more available to more readers - and therefore more dangerous. The word fact doesn't come into common usage in English until 1660, with the establishment of the Royal Society, which was devoted to the newfangled scientific method. David Wootton, a professor of history at York University and the author of the excellent The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution, points out that "in the 17th century, the nature of information changed: As information became more reliable, authority became less so."

Human society has always trafficked in theories and hypotheses and opinions - that a murdered body would start bleeding in the presence of a murderer, for instance; that the sun revolved around the Earth; that the king was divine. But facts, pieces of information presented as objective reality and backed by testable scientific evidence, were much rarer.

As Prof. Wootton points out, a hypothesis is always a hypothesis, however dumb (Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya); a fact that has been proved wrong is no longer a fact (his birth certificate proves he was born in Hawaii).

Rumour, opinion, hearsay, magic, the infallibility of reputation, and all the other shaky foundations for what men and women for centuries believed to be true, were by the late 1700s fading from use. The experimental method and the rational use of provable facts were moving in instead.

Which was why Denis Diderot's Encylopédie caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1728.

The Catholic Church hated it, because it used proven facts to undercut the faith-based authority of priests. Several of its editors went to jail, as did the encyclopedia itself on several occasions.

Louis XV didn't like it much either, but apparently after he referred to it during a dinner party, to resolve an argument about the components of gunpowder, he prosecuted it less. The French Revolution occurred barely two decades after the Encyclopédie appeared, for not entirely unrelated reasons.

Across the English Channel, the first three volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica were published between 1768 and 1771. It was immediately branded the "Gospel of Satan." Even doctors denounced the Britannica: They resented its undermining of their authority (just as many doctors resent patients resorting to the Internet today). Suddenly, evidence-based knowledge was a source of power not just to a profession or a ruling class, but to anyone who could read.

And facts could be passed on, another alarming development.

To believe that the knowledge you have is worth passing on, you have to believe in the future - that is, in something other than power at all costs.

The reams of facts in my box of Chambers's have an often maddening certainty, especially on details subsequently revealed as wrong or prejudiced or simply too much the status quo. (The entry for Negroes, in Volume VII, holds that such people "gradually but surely perish" in Canada, due to the cold, and that - this is one among other egregious statements - "the negro is ambitious for education, but unwilling to make the necessary mental effort to obtain it.") The heading on electricity (electricity was the driverless car of the Victorian age, along with more efficient munitions) is 23 pages and 10,000 words long.

There is an entry on abbreviations (in 1888, BVM stood for Blessed Virgin Mary; SP denoted sine prole, or without offspring), and another on abortion (still to remain illegal in Britain for a very long time). I discovered, thanks to several pages on the subject of swearing, that Pythagoras swore on the number four (as in, "I swear by the number four that I have been on the cover of Time magazine more than any other president"), and that Queen Elizabeth (the first one) had a potty mouth. I had not known that sweet potatoes are of the genus Batata; or that the 4,500 inhabitants of Zyrianovsk, a silver-mining town on the southern frontier of Siberia, and the last entry in the encyclopedia, were "shamanists" who "live by hunting in the forests."

And I am not even mentioning the cast of eccentrics (mostly journalists) who actually wrote the encyclopedias, such as the one-eyed journalist James Tytler, an Arctic whaler and one of Britain's earliest hot-air balloonists, who later drowned, drunk.

Mostly, I like the modesty these thick books imply: The world is a vast and complex place, and understanding it is going to take a while, and several attempts. No one need pretend to have all the answers, or to be absolutely certain of anything. We can look it up.

Prejudice, evidence, truth Where do Donald Trump and other world authoritarians fit into the history of facts? It's fashionable these days to claim that Mr. Trump and his ilk are supersophisticated "posttruth" types, that they have expropriated the terrain of postmodernism and seized the handy high ground where everything is relative, where the truth is simply what you can convince people of. But within the history of facts, the 45th president is actually a throwback, an atavist of a more primitive consciousness. And it is digital-information technology that has allowed him to be that way.

At the outset of the encyclopedia movement, in the latter half of the 18th century, encyclopedia makers "had the sense that they had enclosed language," Prof. Carefoote, of the Fisher, told me.

"And they were very proud of that." They had tamed the world by organizing their knowledge of it into strict alphabetical categories.

That was the appeal of a brandname encyclopedia, and the secret weapon of Edinburgh publishers who produced the English world's most famous ones, according to Stephen Brown. Another scholar of the history of facts, he teaches English at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont.

Journalists wrote many of the entries in the Britannica and the Chambers's, but as reading material, those entries were considered a cut above magazines, more permanent and thoughtful than the rough and tumble of pamphleteering and newspaper writing.

"Eventually, the publishers who made the most money realized that reliability was profitable. The Chambers brothers knew that."

They were subject to the prejudices of their time, but had faith that a belief in evidence would eventually reveal those prejudices, and clarify them, thereby transforming information into knowledge. "Information is what you bring to the conversation," Prof. Brown observes. "Knowledge is what you take away from it."

But digital technology has subverted that certainty. Today, Prof.

Carefoote says, "in a way, we're almost doing the opposite. Now, thanks to computers, we've broken the bonds of confining information. Everything can be linked beyond the bonds of the text." Or, as David Wootten put it recently in Modern History, "in the print world, getting your facts right was about competence and care; now, what the facts are depends on what date you access a website, or which website you visit."

Eventually, I called Keith Oatley, the man who had given me the encyclopedias. I asked how he was, and he said, "Getting on." He claimed to have recovered from his book culling. I told him I was enjoying the encyclopedias, though their earnest fact-listing seemed a little old-fashioned, given that a lot of people believe Donald Trump's lies simply because he's the President, or because a pro-Trump website like Breitbart insists they are true.

Prof. Oatley scoffed loudly into the telephone. "Real information," he reminded me, "real evidence, is something that has only very recently become of interest to people." The first truly important testable evidence in medicine turns up, he insisted, as late as 1849, when John Snow discovered that diseases such as cholera were caused by something other than "miasma," or vapours in the air.

Galileo had introduced evidence to physics for the very first time only 150 years earlier, and for his trouble was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

As for the law, Prof. Oatley said, it is still relatively evidence-free.

"Even in a jury trial, what the jury is really doing is comparing two stories, and deciding which they like better."

Facts can now be fished instantly from a wide range of invisible sources (from sites like Breitbart, which seems to openly invent news, to The New York Times, which tries not to), but that doesn't mean everyone has the skills to use facts properly. "The encyclopedia became a technology," Prof. Oatley reminded me. "It was the reason you and I didn't have to travel to Alexandria" - the site of the world's first library - "to look something up."

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is an incompetent user of facts. "He's a barely educated person," Prof. Oatley continued. "He doesn't read. He doesn't have much of an attention span. He's a throwback to an earlier age of gossip and oral communication."

And Twitter, his main vehicle of expression, is nothing like an encyclopedia. "Twitter is some sort of Internet version of shouting your mouth off. That's what happened 500 years ago. Someone says, 'Shakespeare's an asshole,' and someone else says, 'Yes, I think Shakespeare's an asshole, too.' Twitter is a form of gossip. What gossip is, by a psychologist's measure, is some way to enter an idea into someone else's model. That's been going on for thousands of years.

But it isn't really information."

It isn't fact, either. This is why it's important to understand Donald Trump within the context of the history of facts. He's not a sophisticated postfactual postmodernist. He's a throwback, not just beyond the rationality of Voltaire to the emotionalism of Rousseau, but way, way, waaaaaay back, to pre-Enlightenment mystical shamanism, to the credulous world of shadows inside Plato's cave, to abracadabra and the wowza flash of fire.

Look at his tweets if you don't believe me. Does he make a factual case for American industrial rejuvenation? No, he reverts to preliterate chanting, like a witch doctor, merely repeating the same phrase over and over: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

He even wears a Scowling Mask as he dances round the fiery light of his cellphone on Twitter.

Does he calmly argue the factual or statistical likelihood of his Russian connections - if they exist, of course - actually being able to steal an election? No. He reverts to primordial diversionary tactics, subrational, even infantile tit-for-tat and nyah-nyah about the alleged degradations of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Obama years.

Does he lay out factual evidence that the mainstream media may be compromising their objectivity by assuming the role of official opposition to the White House?

Nope. He just calls them names, grunting out labels like "Fake News!"

Does he analyze terrorism or immigration factually - gradually and carefully compiling an encyclopedia of evidence about why a few people commit unspeakable acts, while most don't? Not unless "evil losers," his label for the Manchester bombers, counts as factual. And when he knowingly tosses out an obviously subrational idea - covfefe! - his handlers claim it's full of meaning, albeit only to a few geniuses.

The wizard farts, but only other wizards understand the true meaning of the noise.

Donald Trump - to say nothing of his fellow authoritarians - may be resorting to alternative facts, in other words, because he doesn't know how to use real ones. He is not a postinformational man; he's a prefactual chimpanzee, and even that may libel chimpanzees.

At least, that's what the history of facts tells us. And that seems to be the truth.

Ian (Encyclopedia) Brown is a feature writer for The Globe.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


A Saturday Focus story about encyclopedias incorrectly said Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie first appeared in 1728. In fact, the first volume was published in 1751, and the encyclopedia was completed in 1772.

Two years after being hit by a devastating earthquake that claimed around 9,000 lives and ruined prized historic and religious sites, the small Himalayan country is eager to showcase its recovery efforts and prove to the world it's once again open for business, Wency Leung reports
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page T1

POKHARA, NEPAL -- Shanker Phuyal felt a sudden blow, as though he were struck in the head by an unseen force. His legs buckled beneath him and he couldn't regain his balance. He feared he was suffering a stroke.

The seasoned tour guide had been leading a hike through the tranquil green hills about an hour's drive east of Kathmandu when he found himself knocked off his feet. In the distance, he could see small explosions of dust, where villages had stood just a moment ago. The clusters of rural dwellings were now falling in on themselves, collapsing into piles of stone, brick and debris. It was then Phuyal realized he wasn't experiencing a medical catastrophe, but an earthquake - a big one, the likes of which Nepal had not seen in more than 80 years.

To Phuyal, it seemed apocalyptic. "This is the end of human beings. I felt like that," he recalls.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that jarred this Himalayan country on the morning of April 25, 2015, and subsequent aftershocks, claimed around 9,000 lives, injured many thousands more, destroyed roads and left millions homeless.

It also badly damaged some of the country's most prized historic and holy structures, including UNESCO heritage sites such as Kathmandu Durbar Square and structures within the Swayambhu Monument Zone, which are still under reconstruction. Tourism slowed to a trickle in the aftermath, which was further hampered later that same year by a lengthy, politically spurred blockade of Nepal's border with India. Still reeling from the earthquake, Nepal was cut off for months from its large and powerful neighbour - also its main source of fuel, food staples and medicine.

Yet, people here picked up the pieces and carried on, whether through equanimity or sheer practice after enduring decades of turbulence and uncertainty.

Now, two years later, Nepal's tour operators, hoteliers and guides, such as Phuyal, are eager to spread the word that the country is open for business as usual. The Nepal Tourism Board beckons travellers to return with the slogan, "Once is not enough."

This small, landlocked country not only welcomes visitors, it needs them. Tourism is its largest source of foreign currency, second only to remittances from Nepalese citizens working abroad in India, the Middle East and beyond. From Kathmandu's humble, single-runway Tribhuvan International Airport, hundreds of Nepalese passport holders, mostly young men, depart daily for better employment opportunities elsewhere.

Nepal nevertheless generously rewards those willing to travel here. Though battered by natural disaster and still struggling to find economic and political stability, the country is rich with natural scenery, biodiversity, cultural diversity and spiritual wisdom.

Many think of Nepal as a destination for trekkers and mountain climbers. But you don't need to be particularly outdoorsy or athletic or an adventure junkie to find a visit worthwhile. There are leisurely safaris to join, villages to explore, historic sites to see and resorts at which to luxuriate.

9 This brick-shaped country, roughly the size of New York State, is composed of three distinct terrains that run cross-wise in layers. At the bottom are the plains, known as the terai, where, among stretches of open farmland, you'll find Chitwan National Park, a World Heritage nature preserve that is home to wild Bengal tigers, crocodiles, monkeys, sloth bears and one-horned rhinoceroses.

In the middle are what people here modestly call "hills," but which most Canadians would consider mountains. Their picturesque green slopes are often carved into tiers for growing rice, bananas and vegetables to sustain local farmers for at least part of the year.

The final layer consists of real mountains. These are the rugged, dusty valleys and glacier-capped Great Himalayas, which, of course, includes Mount Everest.

On the road to the town of Jomsom, in the Lower Mustang region, broad-leaf forests give way to pines and shrubs. As the land becomes increasingly arid the higher up you go, apple groves and buckwheat fields replace banana trees and rice fields.

It seems impossible to capture a bad photo when you're travelling through the countryside.

During a pit stop between the central lakeside city of Pokhara and Jomsom, I pull out my camera and take a picture of yet another scenic canyon.

"It's beautiful," I say, redundantly, to Phuyal, the tour guide.

Although his daughter, Bidhya, a smart and capable 26-year-old gender-studies student, has been hired to be my official tour guide, Phuyal has decided to accompany us, uncomfortable with the idea of two of us women travelling on our own into remote areas of the country. (The irony of this is not lost on Bidhya, who speaks eloquently and with good humour about her university education in feminism and patriarchy.)

Phuyal nods. "Beautiful but deadly," he replies, and I can't be sure whether he means the canyon itself or Nepal in general.

Indeed, several recent deaths of foreign visitors, reported in the media, would support the latter interpretation of his statement.

In April, a Taiwanese man was rescued after being lost for 47 days in the wilderness, though his girlfriend died just three days before he was found. In the same month, Ueli Steck, a renowned Swiss climber, died in what was reported to be a mountaineering accident near Mount Everest.

Of course, the perils of climbing the world's highest peak do not apply to the average traveller.

It takes extensive training and acclimatization to make an attempt, and it costs thousands of dollars for a permit alone. But less ambitious visitors should be mindful of certain risks, too. Although hiking trails are wellmarked and maintained, trekkers are warned never to travel alone and to always stay hydrated.

Even crossing the country by car requires titanium nerves.

Nepal's roads are narrow and wind sharply through the hills and mountains. On these treacherous routes, vehicles carrying tourists jockey for space among whizzing motorbikes and rattling Tata trucks, brilliantly painted like jewel boxes, which drive to the Indian border empty and return laden with imports.

Slogans handpainted on their bumpers offer clues to the individual temperament of their drivers: "Slow drive, long life," "Speed control," "Risky Rider," "Pimp my drive, baby."

Occasionally, you'll encounter a lorry that bears the words, "Buddha was born in Nepal." This doesn't necessarily mean the vehicle owner is Buddhist. Only about 8 per cent of the population is Buddhist, and more than 80 per cent is Hindu. More likely, the statement is both made as a point of historical accuracy (it is said that although he attained enlightenment in India, the prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in the Nepalese terai area of Lumbini, now a UNESCO World Heritage site and pilgrimage centre), as well as a point of pride for an underdog country, sandwiched between two powerhouses: India on one side and Tibet, controlled by China, on the other.

Regardless of your spiritual leanings, it's hard to come here and not be moved in some way; the briefest glimpse of the Himalayas can put one's very existence into perspective. You know they're big, of course, but nothing prepares you for the staggering experience of seeing with your own eyes just how big. (Fortunately, domestic carriers such as Yeti Airlines make this experience more accessible by offering quick, hour-long mountain flyovers. The sight of the famous peaks is made all the more satisfying with sparkling wine, distributed by a cheerful flight attendant.)

If patience and flexibility were not your strong traits before you arrived, Nepal has a way of instilling these values. Getting from point A to point B is never certain and rarely easy. Flights can be cancelled at the last minute because of extreme winds or fog.

Bus and car journeys can be delayed because of traffic accidents, construction and mudslides - or, as I discovered on the road through the Palpa region, due to threat of unrest from dissenting political party supporters.

For those who are accustomed to them, such obstacles are often met without even batting an eyelid. Bidhya, for instance, explains to me how until recently, power outages in the capital of Kathmandu occurred daily, sometimes for as long as 18 hours at a time. The reason? "Corruption," she says simply.

There is nothing you can do but roll with the punches.

It's easy to become enchanted with this country, but a deeper understanding of it is difficult to grasp. In 1992, acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer described Nepal as an "impossible phantasmagoria," which still holds true today.

"More than most places, it leads a double life: the one in reality, which seems relatively tranquil and benign, and the one on paper, where it looks completely desperate," Iyer wrote.

While the paper version has improved in many ways and is no longer completely desperate, it still remains grim. Nearly 10 per cent of the population lives in severe poverty, according to the United Nations Development Programme's 2016 Human Development Report. And close to 44 per cent of those with jobs are considered working poor, earning the equivalent of $3.10 (U.S.) per day. Child labour is common and infant deaths are not uncommon; 30 babies die for every 1,000 live births.

The Nepalese countryside is definitely not developed, but not necessarily destitute either, Kathmandu resident Ranjan Shrestha, a 35-year-old digital designer, tells me.

"Generally, I don't think people are so poor here ... You can see they're content," he says, pointing out that his compatriots are known for their generosity and hospitality. "They'll give you a place to sleep. They'll give you the best food. If they have a chicken, they'll cut it for you ... That is most important; if you have good company, you'll be happy wherever you are."

Nepal is also a country where homes in even hard-to-reach villages have satellite dishes, where drivers in the dusty mountains may be as likely to play Tibetan Buddhist chants as Katy Perry on their stereos. It is a place where the underemployed youth in Kathmandu are plugged into Instagram and Facebook on their smartphones, aspiring for jobs at high-paying "INGOs," or international non-governmental organizations. The most coveted jobs, in other words, are at charities.

In the hilly Palpa district, I meet Rana Kumari, 88, whose approach to personal hardships perhaps sheds a light on how people here have weathered broader political and natural calamities. Kumari, who was married at the age of 12, gave birth to four sons and six daughters, but only four of her children are still alive today. As a resident of Gorkha, which was the epicentre of the 2015 earthquake, she also lost her house in the disaster.

"It's in our fate," she says, as Bidhya translates. "There's no time for sorrow, for grief. It's like that."

In the lakeside city of Pokhara, Santosh Karki is optimistic about the future of his country.

The general manager of the city's Waterfront Resort tells me at least 15 new hotels open in Pokhara every year. The edge of serene Phewa Lake is surrounded by restaurants and shops aimed at tourists, as well as hotels and guest houses.

"Tourism is the best opportunity for the prosperity and development of the country," Karki says.

"We've been so blessed by nature ... we just have to utilize it in a proper way."

After the past few tumultuous decades, the people of Nepal are now more engaged than ever in politics and nation-building efforts, he says. "We have been through the worst of the worst situations, and we cannot afford to have more [setbacks]," he says. "It will be better in the years to come."

Yet, doesn't he worry that the future may be as shaky as the very ground beneath his feet?

Karki smiles.

Imagine you're planning to climb Mount Everest, he tells me.

Everyone you meet along the way will have his opinion about what you should do and how you should do it.

"If you listen to everybody, you'll miss your goal," he says. "If [you] just worry, you can't move ahead."

This trip was arranged and paid for by the Embassy of Nepal in Ottawa and the Nepal Tourism Board. It did not review or approve this article.


Be prepared for a long journey, including at least a couple of stopovers. Jet Airways ( flies from Toronto to New Delhi via Amsterdam, and New Delhi to Kathmandu.


"If you want to see the real Nepal, you have to go to the villages" and into the countryside, says Ranjan Shresthra, a 35-year-old digital designer from Kathmandu.

This is sound advice.

Here are three must-see places beyond the capital.

Chitwan National Park Nepal is one of the smallest countries in the world, but also one of the richest in terms of biodiversity. This national park in the terai lowlands is home to more than 540 species of birds, 120 species of fish and as many as 68 species of mammals.

The luxurious Kasara Resort (, is among several businesses that offer wildlife adventure tours in and around the park area, including elephant and jeep safaris, canoeing trips, nature walks and full-day hikes. Cool off in the pool or unwind with a spa treatment after a day of spying rhinos, deer and crocodiles in their natural habitat. Rooms from $80 (U.S.).

Pokhara This central city overlooking Phewa Lake is a popular destination for international and domestic vacationers alike.

With its panoramic views of the water, hills and glaciercapped mountains, it's easy to see why. Leisure travellers will enjoy strolling along the lakeside, hiring a boat or renting a bike from local businesses, while the more adventurous types can explore nearby caves, go bungee jumping or paragliding.

The lakeside is bustling with guesthouses and hotels, such as the Waterfront Resort (; rooms from $39). But if serenity is what you're looking for, check into a lodge-like room at the secluded, ecofriendly Raniban Retreat (; rooms from $120). You'll have to climb 500 stone steps to get to this hilltop retreat, but like many places in Nepal, the harder it is to reach, the greater the payoff will be.

Marpha Located in the Lower Mustang area, Marpha is a charming village known for its traditional flat-roofed stone buildings, apple orchards and apricot and apple brandies. Marpha is only a short distance from the larger town of Jomsom, but it feels even further removed from the trappings of modern life. Visiting here may be the closest you ever get to travelling back in time.

Make a stop on the road to Jomson, or fly into Jomson and take an 11/2- to two-hour hike here.

While guesthouses are not difficult to find in this area, don't expect luxury accommodations. Om's Home in Jomson is a cozy place to stay (; rooms starting at $40).

Associated Graphic

Top: The area around Swayambhunath stupa, a Buddhist monument in Kathmandu, is still under reconstruction after surrounding buildings were damaged in the 2015 earthquake. Above: A suspension bridge allows villagers and trekkers to cross the river near Kalopani village.


Top: Prayer flags flutter over Marpha, a village known for its traditional flat-roofed homes, apple orchards and apricot brandy. Middle: A greater one-horned rhino grazes in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park, a World Heritage nature preserve. Bottom left: Brilliantly painted Tata trucks drive toward the Indian border empty, and return to Nepal laden with imports. Bottom right: Dal bhat, a traditional meal of rice and lentil soup, is the foundation of Nepalese cuisine.


Domestic carriers such as Yeti Airlines offer a shortcut to seeing the Himalayas, with quick flyovers of Nepal's famous peaks.


The great unwinding
From Ottawa and Washington to London and Frankfurt, central bankers are gingerly dismantling the emergency measures they put in place to deal with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B6

It's not often the world's financial markets pay rapt attention to the deliberations of Canada's central bank.

This week marked one of those rare moments as the Bank of Canada announced a modest quarterpercentage-point rise in its key interest rate - its first rate hike in seven years.

It's not that traders in London and Hong Kong care what the future holds for Canadians on fixed incomes or those stuck with big variable-rate mortgages and crushing debt loads. Nonetheless, they were watching events in Ottawa this week with unusual interest, seized by a sense that the world has reached a tipping point, where the costs of low rates are starting to outweigh the benefits.

In the rear-view mirror lies an unprecedented era of easy money. Ahead looms a future of steadily rising interest rates, not just in Canada, but globally.

And so it was big news that a G-7 central bank would suddenly flip the switch from loose monetary policy to tightening, without a whiff of inflation in the summer air. Tired of waiting for a spike in consumer prices, inflation-fighting central banks everywhere are suddenly looking at how to get out of the rut they've been in for nearly a decade - flooding the global economy with liquidity through ultralow interest rates and relentless bond buying.

"This is a really important turning point, not just for the Canada story, but for the global rate story," explains Frances Donald, senior economist at Manulife Asset Management in Toronto.

"Central banks seem to be saying, collectively, that they don't expect inflation to get back to target. But they realize they can't keep rates at emergency levels forever. It's a tacit admission that low rates can't solve all of the world's problems. In fact, they may be exacerbating them."

From Ottawa and Washington to London and Frankfurt, central bankers are starting the complex process of unwinding a series of emergency measures they put in place to deal with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. They realize these policies have hung around, increasingly uncomfortably, for much longer than anyone had anticipated.

The way forward creates a delicate balancing act for the world's central banks. Higher interest rates will inevitably cause stress, particularly in pockets of the global economy where cheap money has created bubbles. Canada is just one of several countries that have witnessed sharp runups in real estate prices. There are also concerns that too much borrowed cash has flooded into bonds, emerging markets and even some infrastructure projects - investments that could now crumble in a rising rate environment.

One of the legacies of low-forlong interest rates is the potential for a dangerous debt hangover.

Global debt as a share of GDP reached a record high of $217-trillion (U.S.) in early 2017, reaching 327 per cent of the world's GDP, according to the Institute for International Finance. That's higher than it was before the financial crisis, driven by a combination of consumers, businesses and governments feasting on low rates. The shift in policy could take years to fully play out and will have a profound impact on lenders, savers, borrowers and investors.

The past decade has been a remarkable learning experience for central bankers. They exposed us all to the exotic world of negative interest rates, quantitative easing and financial engineering. The consensus of experts is that these extraordinary measures were necessary, saving the global economy from financial ruin. But all that easy money, including lowfor-long interest rates, was not without cost. And the unwinding process will not be without pain.

Canadians who live in Toronto, Vancouver and other hot housing markets know all too well what low interest rates have done to the cost of homes and to urban skylines. Million-dollar fixeruppers, mushrooming condo towers and home buying bidding wars are all part of the legacy of easy money.

On the flip side of the low-interest-rate problem, savers are also feeling the unpleasant side effects of near-zero interest rates. There are people on fixed incomes struggling to get by and pensionfund managers scrambling to generate adequate returns to meet generous promises made to retirees.

Investors have poured cash into stocks, corporate bonds, real estate and emerging markets - all in the pursuit of higher yields in a low-rate world.

Perhaps most troubling for Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and other central bankers is that easy money has not magically produced the robust economic recovery everyone hoped for. Instead, Canada and other countries have experienced a frustrating series of false economic starts since the last recession. Key economic drivers, such as business investment and exports, remain weak and inflation continues to fall in many countries.

"There has been a general belief that central banks can save the day, and the past few years are a great example that there are limitations to monetary policy," explains McGill University economist Christopher Ragan, a former special adviser at the Bank of Canada.

One of the lessons learned in Canada is that interest rates are a blunt instrument to deal with events such as the commodities shock in 2014 and 2015, when the price of crude plunged 50 per cent. The Bank of Canada responded with two quarter-point "insurance" rate cuts in a bid to ease the hit to the broader economy.

The rate cuts accelerated the decline of the already falling Canadian dollar. While that was good for exporters, it has inflated the cost of imported goods for consumers and businesses. Low rates also encouraged consumers to load up on debt - to buy cars, furniture, electronics and the largest personal expenditure of all: homes.

"The aftermath [of low rates] was to take an already hot housing market and throw kerosene on it," Bank of Nova Scotia economist Derek Holt complains. "One of the reasons we've had supercharged growth for several quarters now is because we have applied excess stimulus - both monetary and fiscal."

The Bank of Canada would have been wiser to let the dollar drift lower on its own, easing the pain of lower revenues from oil exports, according to Mr. Holt.

Mr. Poloz would dearly love to get back to a normal world, McGill's Mr. Ragan says. In that world, inflation would be on target at two per cent, growth would be steady and workers would be seeing their wages rising. And most importantly, interest rates would be firmly neutral, neither stoking excessive borrowing nor deflationary pressures.

"He wants to get back to normal," Mr. Ragan says.

There is now a growing consensus among central bankers - Mr. Poloz among them - that the time has come to start scaling what was clearly intended as emergency stimulus. The U.S. Federal Reserve has led the way with a few modest rate hikes and a promise this week from Fed chair Janet Yellen to shrink the central bank's $4-trillion (U.S.) balance sheet in a "slow, gradual, predictable way," likely starting later this year.

In Britain, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has hinted at a possible rate hike. Even European Central Bank head Mario Draghi, the most enthusiastic user of unconventional monetary policy, endorsed the shifting mood when he mused recently that "deflationary forces have been replaced by reflationary ones." Even China is in tightening mode.

"The unwinding of monetary stimulus is significant, especially if central banks are jumping the gun," economist David Andolfatto, vice-president of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St.

Louis, said in an interview this week. "If central banks guide their decisions through the lens of conventional theory, then raising interest rates is contractionary and disinflationary. Given the present [weak] measures of real economic activity and inflation, it's not entirely clear why central banks are suddenly so keen to embark on a tightening cycle."

Former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge sees it differently. He says the world put too much faith in monetary policy to carry the global economy in recent years, without the help of government spending. Rates have stayed too low for too long, creating dangerous distortions in asset prices.

"It's not a question of should we be going up [with rates], but how late are we in doing that," Mr. Dodge argues.

The unwinding won't be easy.

Interest rates remain ultralow - negative even - after you factor in the rate of inflation.

Global central banks have swollen their balance sheets, scooping up mortgage bonds and other assets in an effort to create liquidity in financial markets artificially. Those assets have swelled to $19-trillion - roughly the size of the U.S. economy - from $3-trillion in 2000. And every month, the ECB and the Bank of Japan add tens of billions of dollars more in assets to their balance sheets.

A sudden move to sell those assets by Ms. Yellen or Mr. Draghi would send long-term interest higher and shock waves through financial markets. No one wants a repeat of the 2013 "Taper Tantrum," when the Fed first mused about scaling back its bond purchases.

"You have to watch the pace in which you unwind [central bank balance sheets]," says Steven Ambler, professor of economics at the Université du Québec à Montréal. "If you dump all this stuff on the market at once, it will be hard for the private sector to absorb."

As this unwinding progresses, central bankers in Canada and elsewhere will have to figure what to do about inflation - or rather, its mysterious absence. Inflation has become the most persistent and frustrating riddle of the lowfor-long rate era. Over the past quarter-century, the use of a clearly identified inflation objective as a critical guide for setting interest rates has become a widely accepted practice among the world's leading central banks. (A 2-per-cent target, which the Bank of Canada has relied on for more than 20 years, is pretty much the accepted standard today.)

But in many economies now talking about unwinding their substantial monetary stimulus, the inflation target remains stubbornly elusive - despite years of low rates that were pretty much designed to reinflate the economy. Indeed, that's the whole point of inflation targeting - to apply interest rates to steer the inflation rate toward the target. By extension, a near-target inflation rate is supposed to imply an economy generating relatively healthy and stable growth. (This relationship between inflation and the broader economy is known in economics circles as "the divine coincidence"; it is the very backbone of inflation-targeting monetary policy.)

Economists generally agree that extreme low rates successfully staved off a deflationary spiral during the depths of the 2008-09 financial crisis - and in doing so, averted a full-blown depression.

But after the better part of a decade on the job, they have failed to revive inflation. Indeed, when central banks cut their rates to the bone, and even introduced quantitative easing in the wake of the crisis, many critics feared that, in their zeal, they would unleash an inflation storm; we've seen nothing of the sort.

Even as economies accelerate, inflation has continued its persistent lag. And most disturbingly, there are virtually no wage pressures, even in areas where there are skills shortages. Canada's inflation rate is a tepid 1.3 per cent, as is the euro zone's. In the United States, where the Fed has raised its key interest rate three times in the past eight months, the core inflation rate was a modest 1.6 per cent in June. Japan's inflation rate is a puny 0.4 per cent.

The reasons for why inflation is so weak are myriad and complex.

The most obvious recent factor is the collapse in the price of oil and other commodities, whose effects filter throughout the global economy. Global trade, the emergence of new markets and technological change have also made it easier and cheaper to make things.

Finally, populations in the developing world are greying, slowing the growth of the labour market.

All this creates what economists call "slack," or an excess of labour and factory capacity.

"I don't think [ultralow rates] did what they were supposed to do. If they were supposed to get inflation back up to more or less target rates around the world, it has not been successful," UQAM's Prof. Ambler says.

"Part of the job of monetary policy was to prevent booms and recessions in the real economy, and inflation targeting was supposed to be a means in part to achieving that end. It didn't work," adds Nicholas Rowe, economics professor at Carleton University in Ottawa.

In the short run, central bankers face the kind of decision the Bank of Canada did this week: whether to forge ahead with monetary tightening, despite the lack of an imminent inflation signal.

Mr. Dodge thinks central banks should set aside inflation targeting temporarily and commit to gradually lifting interest rates from their current extreme lows to something approaching "normal" levels.

"There's an argument to say, 'We're going to move those rates up to, say, 2 per cent, and we're going to move them up in a slow and deliberate fashion, and we're going to tell you ahead of time.' So that there need be no panic and no uncertainty as to what is going to happen. Without having some understanding of how fast and how far you're going to move, there's a danger that markets become unsettled," Mr. Dodge says.

In the longer term, central bankers will have to confront a much bigger question: Whether they've put too much faith in inflation as an anchor for monetary policy.

"I think the inflation target itself has taken a hit," Prof. Rowe says. "The 2-per-cent inflation target needs to be looked at. It didn't turn out to be as good a thing to target as some of us thought it would be."

There is no shortage of ideas out there to replace the 2-per-cent target. Some economists believe central banks need a higher target, say 3 per cent, to reset inflation expectations and create more breathing room from the bottom for both inflation and, by extension, interest rates. Others think central banks would be better off targeting a price level rather than an inflation rate, so slowdowns in inflation would be offset by policy aimed at temporarily higher inflation to return prices to their original growth path. Still others think that targeting growth in nominal gross domestic product - an indicator that essentially combines real economic growth and inflation in one package - is the solution.

"There are more questions being raised as to whether targeting domestic inflation is as appropriate as it was 20 years ago," Mr. Dodge says. "I don't think any central bank really has a definitive answer to that. We're all a little bit puzzled, quite frankly."

And Mr. Dodge feels for Mr. Poloz, Ms. Yellen, Mr. Draghi and the others. "This is a challenging time for central banks everywhere," he says.

Associated Graphic

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, seen arriving for the opening session of meetings of G7 finance ministers in Bari, Italy, on May 12, attracted significant attention this past week as governments across the world consider the future of their own monetary policies.


New memoir chronicles the devastating legacy of family sexual abuse
The book belongs to a haunting genre of memoirs that detail the crime. Experts share what can be done in the aftermath
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L1

A child sits at the side of the road with a suitcase full of pennies and Cheerios. She's run away, but goes back home when she gets thirsty.

"When an animal is scared, it goes home, no matter how terrifying home is," writes the woman, now an adult, in a relentlessly sad new memoir called The Incest Diary.

The book, published this week by McClelland & Stewart, chronicles the anonymous woman's sexual abuse by her father from the age of three to 21. Her writing is exceptionally clear-eyed and beautiful, though the content is appalling, revealing a monstrous family.

Incest is the worst betrayal of trust, a crime we continue to look away from. While we are slowly coming to understand that most child sexual abuse doesn't come in the form of "stranger danger," with men lurking in unmarked vans, there is reticence to acknowledge that much abuse happens within families.

Nearly 13 per cent of women and nearly 8 per cent of men have reported childhood sexual abuse by a parent or caregiver, according to an exhaustive meta-analysis of global studies published in 2011. "Incest offending is a big, important puzzle," said Michael Seto, a clinical and research psychologist who has assessed and treated incest perpetrators and who is forensic research director at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.

"It accounts for a large proportion of child sexual abuse. It's something that, as a society, we've not fully grappled with."

The Incest Diary is one in a haunting genre of memoirs that detail incest and child sexual abuse.

They include Canadian author Elly Danica's Don't: A Woman's Word (1988) and Kathryn Harrison's The Kiss (1997), which describes the author's relationship with her father beginning at the age of 20, after she is reunited with the man who was absent throughout her childhood. Another is the disturbing memoir Tiger Tiger (2011) by the late author Margaux Fragoso, who recounts the 15 years she spent with a pedophile, starting when she was 7 and he was 51.

Critics blasted the book for being tantamount to child pornography and rightly wondered who would be reading. It's very likely some readers will have the same visceral reaction to The Incest Diary: The book is highly graphic, which is problematic. It's a legitimate concern that has been considered by the publisher.

"This is a discussion we had, about whether it is exploitative," said Jared Bland, publisher at McClelland & Stewart. "Ultimately, I don't think it is. This is a person who in the very authorship of the book and in the execution of the writing, demonstrates a profound level of self-awareness."

The author told her editor that she would have felt less alone had she read such a book in her youth. Bland added that he hopes it will help people trapped in situations involving sexual violence. "It's important for us as publishers, where we can, to publish work that advances the discourse and challenges the way we, as a society, think," he said. The memoir shows the complex ripple effects of incest. The Globe and Mail spoke with Canadian researchers, educators and therapists about survivors, perpetrators and what can be done to heal in the aftermath.

How the trauma of sexual abuse imprints on children Incest is a profound misuse of power and of one's role in the family. Many offenders intimidate children with violence; others threaten to leave the family or commit suicide if the child discloses, as The Incest Diary author's own father did.

"For children experiencing chronic childhood abuse, they're in survivor mode all the time," said Jacqueline Compton, a psychotherapist at Toronto's Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic who helps women who were abused as children.

Unable to fight back or flee, many children freeze during the attacks, dissociating from their bodies to cope. The Incest Diary author often imagines floating above the scene in the sky during her assaults, though trauma remains afterward. "My body remembers everything," she writes.

Offenders will often alternate violence with care, creating immense confusion for a child who may love the relative but not their behaviour, which the child is forced to tolerate. Sometimes, the abuse is the only reprieve from other forms of violence: The Incest Diary author surmises that participating saved her from being killed by her physically abusive father.

That resonates with the complicated dynamic experts see time and again with this type of abuse.

"We don't get to choose who our caregivers are or who provides us safety, so children have to navigate the world and find a way to survive their environment and get their important needs met: security, trust, attention, connection, care," Compton said.

"Often, when a child experiences trauma, [there is a] linking of having your boundaries violated - or having a belief formed that you don't have boundaries or needs - with some kind of connection and care. It's complex and it builds a map at a young age for how we're going to navigate."

Damaging new norms can emerge as some children come to view such abuse as the only form of recognition and attention they get within deeply dysfunctional families. "On the nights when my father didn't do anything to me, I felt abandoned," the author writes. "Was I not good enough anymore?" As Seto explained it: "There is a normal desire to want to be loved and to want your parents to pay attention to you and to appreciate you. For [the victim], instead of appreciating her because she's smart or athletic or kind - things we value as a society - it has become muddled with, 'He sexually desires me.' " Cycles of abuse Experts agree that not every victim who endures abuse will be permanently scathed. "Some people are extraordinarily resilient and can go on to lead healthy and happy lives," Seto said. "Others are extremely damaged."

Sexual consequences can involve inhibition, a delaying of sexual activity, low sexual desire and dysfunction. Other victims develop precocious sexuality, having sex earlier and with more partners. "They're more likely to get pregnant and to get STIs and - this is one of the tragedies - more likely to be sexually victimized again," Seto said.

Throughout their consensual relationships in adulthood, some victims may develop deep trust issues, severe shame around their own sexual needs or they may start to correlate violence with intimacy.

"Trauma impacts how we are in relation with others. ... If you are taught not to have boundaries and you step into a relationship not having boundaries, it can be hard to navigate what's safe and what's respectful," Compton said.

Some victims form unhealthy relationships, such as the author, who takes up with a married 49-year-old man when she is 18 and studying in Chile. Once again, she becomes a family secret, this time, in someone else's family. She is revictimized at various points in her adult life by a teacher who kisses her, a friend's father who solicits sex and a work colleague who rapes her.

"It's a direct line from one abuse to another," said Lyba Spring, a sexual-health educator who created lesson plans on sexual abuse during her three decades of work with Toronto Public Health.

"Kids who are sexually abused, if they don't disclose and they don't get counselling, they become revictimized because they live with the mentality of, 'I am worthless,' 'I am garbage.' "

The family members who condone Tragically, family and friends will often turn a blind eye when children disclose incest. Often, they simply can't believe it is true. "If the perpetrator is an upstanding member of society and is, as far as everybody else is concerned, a good husband and father, people have a hard time reconciling it with the idea that he would do this," Seto said.

The author's family's well-todo façade doesn't help matters either: Mom rides horses, dad plays tennis and their beach house has an American flag planted outside. Although abuse crosses all class lines, the veneer helps to conceal the reality.

Her credibility takes another hit because she is, on occasion, "a problem child" who runs away and grows aggressive at school. They are common behaviours among victimized children, but are used to undermine them when they disclose, Seto said.

The psychologist sees parallels with the way people doubt victims of domestic violence, questioning why they stayed or returned to their abusers. "People have a hard time reconciling the anger and the fear associated with being abused with simultaneously still wanting to have a relationship with this person," Seto said. "What I hear often is, 'Why did she not leave as soon as she could and never talk to them again?' But it's family. It's complicated."

The memoir author discloses to a number of friends and family members, but has her story rejected each time, leaving her completely isolated: "These secrets are the most protected things," she writes. When the abuse comes to light, her grandfather tries to have her committed to a mental-health institution. And when the author confides in a beloved family friend, the woman confesses that she too had been molested and her parents did nothing.

She advises the author to "forget it, and get over it."

But it is her mother's inaction that devastates the author most of all: "More than everything my father did to me, it hurts me that she denies it."

Mothers who stand by and do nothing often suffer from depression and substance-abuse issues and may be victims of violence themselves, Seto explained: "Sometimes she has her own abuse history and it shuts her down. This is what she grew up with and her way of coping as a child was to shut down."

In a horrifying legacy of intergenerational abuse, the author divulges that her abusive father's maternal grandfather molests him, his sister and his mother. Says Seto, "It's rare for incest to occur in isolation."

Why incest offenders do it The clinical explanations for why people sexually abuse their family members are broad.

Some offenders have a sexual preference for minors and some are highly opportunistic or have high arousal, novelty or thrillseeking tendencies. Others exhibit psychopathic traits: "Their lack of empathy for others and strong desire to meet their own needs for pleasure, thrill or stimulation would be a motivator," said Julie Zikman Toporoski, a Toronto social worker whose clients include sexual offenders who are mandated by the court system to see her.

Often, sexual offenders will try to rationalize their behaviour with a series of "thinking errors," as the clinical community calls them. Many offenders are in denial and dishonest with themselves about the harms they've caused. Some will minimize frequency ("It was just once or twice"), intention ("I was educating her") or seriousness ("She was sleeping, it couldn't have harmed her"). Entitlement is a recurring theme: Some offenders will blame a victim's mother ("She shouldn't have trusted me") or erroneously believe that a child initiated or willingly participated, as does the author's father before denying it and gaslighting her in front of other members of the family.

"What's different about working with intrafamilial sexual abusers is that there is often quite an almost delusional bubble around the nature of the relationship and their role in the relationship," Zikman Toporoski said. The social worker will share a list of these "thinking errors" with her clients so that they can identify such thoughts when they bubble up.

Treating perpetrators Individual therapy can serve to educate offenders on consent.

For others, the wake-up call comes during group therapy: "Hearing other people's distortions is so very effective. It's identification: 'Oh wow. That's me,' " Zikman Toporoski said.

The court process can also shatter offenders' mythologies, as can reading victim-impact statements.

The social worker said that while every offender's "lightbulb moment" is different, the rehabilitation process is long. "On some level, they know what they're doing is harmful, hurtful, illegal, immoral and taboo, which is why they do it in secrecy," she said. "There's a lot of internal conflict around continuing to harm their child."

Also in dire need of help are the men who have not yet acted out, men who have the fewest resources. "They don't wish to act," Zikman Toporoski said.

"They don't know where to get help. That's a tough group to reach. It's a large, significant group."

Healing victims Spring believes schools need to strengthen their education about inappropriate touching and reporting abuse. She also stresses teaching proper dictionary names for all body parts so there is zero misunderstanding when a child discloses. While she does not believe childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, Spring argues that schools can help bring about disclosures, meaning a child can see a counsellor faster and a perpetrator can be removed from the home sooner. "While a kid may not be able to stop someone from doing what they intend to do - because predators are magnificent manipulators - at least they would know that they can come and tell," she said.

Spring would speak to Grade 5 and 6 classes about sexual abuse: "We'd say, 'You tell and you keep telling until somebody believes and helps you. Is there somebody in the school you could tell, or a teacher?' " A number of children disclosed to her after class. (The Incest Diary author recalls a Grade 11 health class where child abuse is discussed. She faints at the word "incest" and later lies to school staff about the assaults. No one pushes the issue further.)

For Catherine Gildiner, a retired Toronto psychologist whose forthcoming book Still Standing is about abuse survivors, the word to watch for is "secrets." Gildiner advised educators and other caregivers to say this: "If someone comes in at night or when nobody's around and says 'This is our secret,' it's not a good secret."

In adulthood, it takes time for survivors of incest to reassert boundaries, explore their own desires without guilt and build a healthy sexual relationship with themselves, something Compton works with her clients on, using art therapy and sensorimotor therapy, body-centred work that asks clients to notice the sensations that the body in trauma holds, and physically work through them.

Gildiner helps people develop friendships, closeness and consensual intimacy. "It takes a long time to figure out what you want. You have shut that down and have no idea what you want," she said.

It's crucial, Gildiner said, to work to break the bonds victims have with those who hurt them and then reframe their sexuality on their own terms: "It's about understanding that you have rights."

Associated Graphic

Above: Kathryn Harrison, author of the 1997 memoir, The Kiss. In it, Harrison describes her relationship with her father, after being reunited with him when she was 20. Left: The late Margaux Fragoso. Her 2011 memoir, Tiger Tiger, where she recounts the 15 years she spent with a pedophile, was blasted for being tantamount to child pornography and had critics wondering who would read it.


Tiger Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison

The Incest Diary

So much ink has been spilled singing the praises of the Tuscan capital that it can be tricky for travellers to know what to focus on. For this visit, John Sopinski opted for a personal, intimate experience - from a stop at Europe's largest privately owned garden within city walls to a beautiful public park that offers a private panoramic portrait of the city
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page T1

FLORENCE, ITALY -- Stepping from the bright morning sunlight through an iron gate that frames a long treeshaded lane, my friends and I are warmly greeted by our host, Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina. Gravel crunches underfoot as he ushers us toward a series of greenhouses positioned at the southern end of his property dominated by two large villas and a neoGothic tower. The hustle and bustle of modern Florence has been left behind as we enter into a world of calm and serenity.

This is the Giardino Torrigiani, at seven hectares, Europe's largest privately owned garden located within city walls. Positioned on the south bank of the Arno near Porta Romana, it has been owned and cared for by the Torrigiani Malaspina - a prominent Tuscan family - since the early 19th century. We are about to be led on a private tour by a real nobleman.

I have always loved Florence. It repeatedly draws me back. I live in Bologna but visit the capital of Tuscany whenever I can. So much ink has been spilled singing the praises of its beauty that it can be challenging for firsttime and experienced travellers alike to know what to focus on.

For this visit, I wanted a more personal, intimate experience. I wanted to peek behind the city's cloak of cultural history and see it through a Florentine's eyes.

Guidebooks help, but cannot provide this truly local perspective. Consequently, I needed to enlist the help of a native who shared similar sensibilities. To this end, I recruited my friends, Florence-born children's book illustrator Giovanni Manna and his wife, Laura Manaresi, to take me on a walking tour of places that express the spirit of his hometown.

"You can't visit Florence without spending time in one of its many gardens," Giovanni says.

"It is a city where nature and culture intersect without interruption."

This is why I find myself standing before a Tuscan nobleman on a March morning. The marchese (marquis) is dressed casually in a green jacket and red scarf, and is one of those people you like immediately. Very down to earth.

While his son, Vanni, works on some plants, his father gestures at two adjacent greenhouses, explaining that they were among the first in Florence. Since the 1970s, he has maintained a nursery here to help finance the upkeep of the property. I can see why. The grounds are large. The estate is essentially divided between three families: The marchese Torrigiani Malaspina's family occupies a villa on the south side of the gardens. His sister, Serena, a former limonaia (lemonary) in the middle, while his cousin, Raffaele, lives in a porticoed palazzo on the north side. It is worth noting that many families in Italy - noble or otherwise - that have inherited large estates often struggle with the cost of maintaining their historic patrimony. The New York Times reported on this trend in January, 2015, noting that, "In recent years, Italy's well-rooted inherited wealth has withered from a potent combination of factors. They include the increasing costs of living and services, the shaky finances of owners in a time of lingering economic trouble, cuts in government subsidies to maintain historical properties and, not least, mushrooming property taxes."

The marchese's enthusiasm for his terra is infectious. A 400-yearold Ginkgo biloba tree is a favourite, showing spectacular colours in the fall. He tells the long history of his family property, highlighting the founding of the first European botanical club there - Societa Botanica Fiorentina, a precursor to the Italian Botanical Society - in 1716.

He then recounts one remarkable story about the charmed effect these gardens can have on people: During the Second World War, the German command used the property as one of its residences. As the Allies advanced on Florence, soldiers mined the gardens before retreating. However, the German sergeant who was tasked with blowing up the Ponte Vecchio didn't, and returned later to tell the liberators where the enemy had buried the mines. This soldier visited a few times years after the war, still proud of his good deed.

We cross in front of the main residence toward a neo-Gothic tower built in 1824, poking above the landscape. Unlike the famous Boboli Gardens, located just blocks away, there is a certain familiarity here not found in more heavily trafficked public attractions. The grounds inside this garden are manicured, but not overly so. And there are no other visitors present. I feel like we are intruding upon someone's garden party. The stillness lends an air of mystery that pulls me deeper into the experience.

There is a subtle and pleasing balance between nature and architecture not wholly expected near the buzzing historic city centre.

Giovanni explains how these gardens have always captivated him: "Growing up, I could always see the unique shape of the tower from my uncle's yard near Porta Romana. I would daydream about the gardens hidden behind these walls. Being able to finally visit them is a real privilege."

We walk around the base of the tower emblazoned with the Torrigiani family coat of arms. It sits next to defensive ramparts (Bastioni Nuovi) built in 1544 by Cosimo de' Medici.

While Giovanni continues to marvel at his good fortune at being inside these garden's walls, I stare at a marble plaque inscribed with the words: "COSMUS MED: FLORENTIE ET SENAR: DUX II" (Cosimo Medici II: Duke of Florence and Siena).

History's imprint is particularly evident in this contemplative setting. It is transformative. I feel its palpable weight. "More than just being beautiful, these places give you the feeling of entering into another world where time has stood still," Giovanni says.

Later, back at the main villa, the marchese leads us down the darkened main entry hall in the Torrigiani family's private living quarters. Dozens of framed photos, yellowed maps and family heirlooms adorn the walls. Faces peer down at us from old paintings, accentuating the feeling of intimacy. In a large drawing room spliced by sunlight streaming through large French doors, the marchese returns with a bottle of wine that bears the family name, Serre Torrigiani. We drink in the last moments of this memorable visit sipping chilled vino bianco as if we were part of his extended family.

Not to be lost in the shuffle of monuments and museums are Florence's unique constellation of shops selling art, antiques and handmade goods. We drop in on Antonella Pratesi, who operates a small antique shop that opened in 1991. It is located at the back of a small, hidden courtyard near Ponte alla Carraia in Via dei Fossi.

There are three words to describe this particular store: unique, varied and tiny. Inside, the space is cramped. It is hard to pass by fellow browsers. Glass display cases, filled with an array of art objects, dominate the space.

At one end of the store, a green desk lamp shines on a cluttered desk while a mustachioed burattino (puppet) sits on a shelf above, legs crossed, adding to the pervading feeling of eclecticism.

At the other, shelves overflow with antique jewellery, chinaware, framed artwork, old books and other collectibles. The selection of goods provides a sense of the personality of the owner, almost like a glimpse into her mind. Each object is chosen for a reason. Antonella explains that she gets customers from all over the world, including celebrities.

However, she has no website, so I don't know how people find this place. In addition to antiques, she sells custom artwork by local artists such as Stefano Materassi, who creates original pieces from recycled materials and found objects.

Antonella's space is a feast for the eyes. Little shops like this are one of the undervalued treasures of Florence.

After lunch in a traditional Tuscan eatery, Trattoria La Casalinga, full of yelling waiters and few tourists, we set out for the Giardino delle Rose in the Oltrarno district. Giovanni navigates more by sense memory than having a precise route in mind. We bob and weave through throngs of tourists in Palazzo Pitti and push on, still on the south bank of the Arno, pausing in front of Santa Felicita, one of the oldest churches in Florence.

The Corridoio Vasariano (Vasari Corridor), that the Medici had built in 1564 to move unseen from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, passes inconspicuously above the main entrance of the building. Santa Felicita sits in a tiny eponymous square pushed back from the street a block from the Ponte Vecchio.

I never knew it was there. At one time, Giovanni didn't either.

He recounts how he stumbled across this church as a child riding on his bicycle: "One day, during one of these rides, I entered this church, having no idea that inside was one of the most important Florentine works of the 16th century, The Deposition by Pontormo. From that day on, I began returning [often] to admire it."

He says that although the church is located in the heart of the tourist district, it is visited comparatively little. Unfortunately, the Capponi Chapel, where the painting is located, is closed for restoration work. Churches such as Santa Felicita, Badia Fiorentina - that Dante allegedly frequented - or Santa Trinita, for example, dot the Florentine landscape and offer quiet respite from the madding crowds. Furthermore, many are decorated with artistic treasures. Giovanni says that tourists - and even locals, for that matter - often follow the same paths without realizing that they are passing in front of incredible places.

The Giardino delle Rose is a beautiful hillside public garden/park frequented mostly by locals and students. It is suspended between two of the busiest areas of Florence on a verdant crescent of land: At the bottom of the hill lies the San Niccolo district, a busy neighbourhood full of eateries and art galleries; above sits the Piazzale Michelangelo, a large parking lot where armies of vacationers take pictures of the iconic Florentine skyline.

No matter how many times I visit Florence, it never ceases to amaze me how just a small change in perspective can make all the difference.

For sightseers looking down from the crowded piazzale above, the city is laid out in all its panoramic glory. The view is breathtaking, yet the city seems distant. Moreover, whenever I go up there, sharp elbows are required to fight the throngs of people to get good photos.

However, observing essentially the same scene from the path that winds through the terraced garden 100 metres below, a similar yet more intimate portrait is on offer. From this vantage point, I can take in the experience in relative peace. Peering between the red-tiled rooftops of apartment buildings, I spot a young woman reading a book in an open window. Laundry flaps in the spring breeze. The dome of the Duomo is framed perfectly by two cypress trees. I can almost reach out and touch it.

People are nearby but hidden from view.

As its name denotes, this giardino is, above all, a rose garden, with about 1,000 varieties featured in its one-hectare area. As part of an urban-renewal program in the mid-19th century, the city enlisted Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi to design the area. The gardens opened to the general public in 1895. Over time, attractions were added. In 1998, a Japanese garden with a water feature made its debut, while in 2011, 12 sculptures by the late Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon were installed.

We climb toward the top, passing by a patchwork of meadows linking the various parts of the garden together. Students study while reclining on blankets.

Beautiful villas dot nearby hills to the southwest. Near the summit, we finish the tour in a small square featuring Folon's Partir (To Leave), a bronze sculpture of a ship framed by the outline of a suitcase.

Through the work, Florence's skyline rides the waves. A couple snaps pictures as tour buses grind up the hill above us in Viale Galileo, their passengers likely unaware of this treasure.

Giovanni admires the sculpture and looks out over his hometown. A bench placed directly behind it invites contemplation. Folon's piece seems to sum up the essence of what gives Florence its unique character. It is something new providing a window onto something old. He tells me later that Folon was an artist who loved the city of Florence and whose rich poetic imagination was evident in all of his works; he always placed a human figure or manmade object in a context tightly linked to the natural world that evoked the interlinking of nature and culture typical of the city. In the same way, the parks and gardens of Florence effortlessly connect the urban fabric of man-made art and architecture with the natural beauty of the surroundings.

The meaning of the sculpture's title is not lost on me - To Leave. I have left my home; Giovanni has left his to live and work in Bologna. But we always carry a part of Florence with us.

And we always return.

Associated Graphic

Top: Florentine illustrator Giovanni Manna, who accompanied the writer on his journey through Florence, depicts the city's skyline as seen from the Giardino delle Rose. Above: Santa Felicita, one of the oldest churches in Florence, sits in a tiny eponymous square pushed back from the street a block from the Ponte Vecchio.


Above left: The marchese Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina's family occupies a villa on the south side of the centuries-old Giardino Torrigiani estate. Above right: A marble plaque on the grounds is inscribed with the words 'COSMUS MED: FLORENTIE ET SENAR: DUX II' (Cosimo Medici II: Duke of Florence and Siena, a member of the famous Medici dynasty). History's imprint is particularly evident in this contemplative setting.


Churches such as Santa Felicita, above, Badia Fiorentina or Santa Trinita dot the Florentine landscape and offer quiet respite from the madding crowds.

Giovanni Manna crosses a small footbridge along the path in the Giardino delle Rose, a beautiful hillside public garden/park frequented mostly by locals and students.


As its name denotes, the Giardino delle Rose is, above all, a rose garden, with about 1,000 varieties featured in its one-hectare area. A patchwork of meadows links the various parts of the garden together.

The Giardino delle Rose provides an intimate view of Florence's skyline.


Jean-Michel Folon's Partir (To Leave) is a sculpture of a ship framed by the outline of a suitcase, which sits near the summit of the Giardino delle Rose.

The secret legacy of the man who 'captured' Louis Riel
Many may be familiar with the story of Robert Armstrong, the 19th-century hero who accepted the surrender of the Métis leader, which ended one of this country's most historic rebellions, but fewer know the tangled destiny that launched him from his Indigenous origins into one of Canadian history's most iconic chapters
Friday, July 21, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A8

About a dozen women were waiting for Robert Armstrong when he came down the hotel stairs for breakfast.

"Is this a delegation?" he asked, a little slyly.

When the answer came, no amount of cheek could keep him from being startled: "We want to kiss the man who captured Riel," the women said.

Such was life as a hero in 19thcentury Winnipeg. According to the account, published in a magazine nearly 40 years later, Armstrong was there because he had recently accepted Louis Riel's surrender near Batoche, in what is now Saskatchewan - the beginning of the end of the 1885 Indigenous uprising known as the North-West Rebellion.

The cooing of fans notwithstanding, Armstrong did not "capture" anyone. When Riel encountered the three scouts sent to find him, the Métis leader handed over his revolver and a note of surrender. But Riel was as feared in Western Canada as he was hated back east. A young country was now in Armstrong's debt.

For the dark, playful man from Prince Albert,Sask., the moment was a kind of apotheosis. In nearly two decades on the edge of the American Wild West, as a wagon train escort, buffalo hunter, ranch hand and party to a government land survey, Armstrong had dedicated himself to the conquest of the frontier.

If that path in life reached its greatest glory near Batoche, holding Riel's pistol, or in the Winnipeg hotel with the women lined up, it was also an odd destiny for Armstrong to fulfill. A destiny that made the secret he carried with him all the more peculiar, and all the more tangled in irony.

As the amateur historian John Pihach has discovered, and written up in a recent book from the University of Regina Press, Robert Armstrong was a member of the Wyandotte tribe of Oklahoma. His real name was Irvin Mudeater, and he was the son of a prominent chief. The person who formally ended the most dramatic assertion of Métis nationalism in Canadian history was himself an Indigenous man with mixed ancestry and a culturally hybrid background.

The story of how Mudeater became Armstrong sheds light on a key chapter in Canadian history during the country's sesquicentennial, as the country grapples with so many of the colonial legacies and questions of identity that Armstrong, or Mudeater, represented.

A neighbour's story If Armstrong's strange triumph in Batoche was a long time coming, the truth about who he really was arrived like a bolt from the Prairie sky.

Mr. Pihach, a retired weather observer who lives in the small Saskatchewan city of Yorkton, is about as unlikely a conduit for the story as it is possible to imagine. His area of interest is not Indigenous history, but Eastern European genealogy (he is the author of Ukrainian Genealogy: A Beginner's Guide) and seems a little stunned that he has brought the true identity of Riel's captor to light.

"I still feel it's very uncanny that I ended up writing this book," he said by phone earlier this year.

The result, Mudeater: An American Buffalo Hunter and the Surrender of Louis Riel, is the product of enormous research and careful reconstruction of shadowy events, but it began with a conversation between neighbours.

The man who lives next door to Mr. Pihach told him one day that his great-grandfather was Robert Armstrong, the man who brought Riel into custody - and that Armstrong had written a memoir.

The neighbour, Trevor Wheeler, had been telling people this for years, to general skepticism.

But Mr. Pihach was intrigued.

Armed with a copy of Armstrong's manuscript and the Mudeater name - which does not appear in the memoir but was known in the family - he began his research. What he found would connect the story of Irvin Mudeater to the wider story of North American colonization at every turn.

The present-day Wyandotte Nation's history stretches back to early colonial contact in Southern Ontario, when the tribe was assembled from remnants of the Wendat Confederacy and neighbouring peoples that had been decimated by European disease and war with the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, in the 17th century.

Called the Wyandot, they spent much of the next two centuries moving south and west from their Great Lakes homeland, all the while facing harassment, lopsided land exchanges and attempts at assimilation from American settlers and the U.S. government. They settled first in Ohio, then in Kansas and finally in Oklahoma, where a faction within the tribe changed the spelling of its name, and where the Wyandotte Nation is based today.

A history of displacement By the time Irvin Mudeater was born, in 1849, the Wyandot "were really integrated into the white world," Mr. Pihach said.

"They were farmers, they were businessmen, they were Christians."

Irvin's father, Matthew Mudeater, was typical in this respect.

During the tribe's Kansas period, he became a respected but controversial chief who argued in favour of forgoing tribal affiliation to secure U.S. citizenship and developed a reputation among the white residents of Kansas City as a sort of gentleman farmer. He even seems to have had a variety of peach named after him - the "Wyandotte Chief."

Mudeater's ancestry, like his cultural patrimony, was marked by the tribe's history of displacement: The family traced its roots to a white man who had been adopted by the tribe as a child after being left behind by settlers during a Wyandot raid.

The boy was found keeping himself alive by eating soapstone from a creek bed - hence the name Mud Eater, according to one genealogical account that Mr. Pihach uncovered. Mudeater later married a Wyandot woman - Matthew and Irvin were his descendants.

If his family background gave him a head start, Irvin's path into mainstream American society was eased by the Civil War, when he began accompanying wagon trains to Colorado and Santa Fe that were left exposed to Indigenous raiders by the army's deployment in the south and east. When a Cheyenne war party attacked one of Mudeater's convoys, it served as a kind of baptism into the violent and bitterly prejudiced world of white frontiersmen; he took his first scalp after that skirmish, and in his memoir began referring to Indigenous people as "Redskins" thereafter.

After dropping out of a college preparatory class in Ohio, he returned to the Plains and joined Bill Cody in hunting buffalo. This way of life could be a romantic lark - while working as a guide for rich Europeans on pseudo-safaris in the Wild West, Mudeater wrote that he gained 20 pounds on a six-week excursion with the voluptuary "Lord Sanford" - but it was also laced with menace.

The depletion of buffalo herds by overhunting in these years was among the leading instruments of American domination over the Indigenous Plains tribes, whose diet, religious rites and nomadic lifestyle were all intimately tied to the animals.

Serving the increasingly efficient and mechanized hide-tanning industry, Mudeater followed herds from state to state as they were driven into extinction.

The real Robert Armstrong When Mudeater came to Canada in 1882 - probably to escape the law after shooting a man in Montana, Mr. Pihach tells us - he took a new name: Robert Armstrong. There are two theories for why he picked that one.

Mr. Pihach thinks it may have been the name of a colleague on an old surveying crew.

But Lloyd Divine, tribal historian of the Wyandotte Nation, has another theory: Robert Armstrong, he says, was the wellknown name of a five- or sixyear-old boy who was captured by a Wyandot war party in Pennsylvania and adopted into the tribe near the end of the 18th century, like Mudeater's namesake. Later in life, the young man turned down the chance to return to his birth family and lived the rest of his days as a Wyandot, becoming an important figure in the tribe, Mr. Divine said, "because of his ability to communicate back and forth across cultures."

The two families were close, so Irvin Mudeater would have known about the original Robert Armstrong, Mr. Divine believes.

This leaves the possibility that, just as he was slipping decisively into white North American society, Mudeater chose as his alias the name of a man who took the opposite route, out of the white world and into tribal life.

"Even though he was in Canada denying his heritage, I would think that by using the name Robert, he was honouring his heritage," Mr. Divine said. "That could have been the constant reminder to keep him grounded, to always remind him of who he was and where he came from."

Why Mudeater began passing as a white man, and when, is bound to remain a mystery: His memoir does not mention his Indigenous ancestry at all.

Government officials, in any case, were not interested in the elaborate quilt of his identity - they wanted to know where he was from. In Canada, he started telling census-takers he was an English Presbyterian, and then Irish.

He preserved his tribal membership for years after his rechristening, though, and eventually went to live among his people in Oklahoma for a decade, leaving his Canadian wife behind. Mr. Pihach concludes, of Armstrong's shifting self-identification, that he "represented himself variously and according to the community in which he was living at the time."

This was more than the usual frontier myth-making, the kind that saw men with checkered pasts reinvent themselves with tall tales in the wide open West.

For Indigenous people of Armstrong's time, keeping secrets or maintaining evasions about the nature of their identity was a familiar experience.

"At the time, there would have been a lot of Indians, not necessarily just Wyandots, but all the tribes had a lot of difficulty surviving and retaining their identities," Mr. Divine said. "There was a lot of persecution, there was a lot of trouble you could get into simply for being Indian. It was very, very, very common up until the 1960s, and even 1970s, for people to deny their heritage and simply live as whites. So if Irvin did that, he would have been one of many."

"It's such a painful history," the Cherokee scholar Eva Marie Garroutte, author of the 2003 study, Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America, said in an interview earlier this year. "And it's not like it's history, either."

A strange question Of all the people who were deceived about Armstrong's real identity, his family members do not appear to have been among them. He married a fellow Prince Albert resident named Adeline Burke in 1888, a woman reputed by family lore to have Inuit blood. Although he was going by Armstrong at the time, and his background "wouldn't have been widely known" in Canada, his wife "probably knew" about his past, Mr. Pihach believes.

An understanding of their Indigenous ancestry certainly trickled down to his descendants. Mr. Pihach spoke to four of Armstrong's grandchildren or great-grandchildren and while "their daily consciousness is not Indigenous," he said, "there is no concealment of their Indigenous roots."

Mr. Wheeler, who described himself as "part Indian," evidently sensed the tension between this heritage and his great-grandfather's role in arresting Riel, who many Indigenous Canadians consider a hero.

"He probably didn't think that they were going to hang him," Mr. Wheeler said, almost apologetically.

But Riel did hang, for treason, in November, 1885 - and Armstrong showed little remorse.

When the execution made the benign circumstances of his arrest reflect badly on prime minister John A. Macdonald, who had called for the charge of treason, Armstrong signed a letter published in The Prince Albert Times falsely claiming that Riel was preparing to flee when he was taken into custody.

Armstrong cherished the spoils of his role in ending the rebellion. After the arrest, he looted a horse that had belonged to Riel.

Later in life, a silver medal bearing Queen Victoria's image that he received for his service in the rebellion was one of his prized possessions, Mr. Pihach reports.

In 1925, the Calgary Stampede made Armstrong a guest of honour.

But even the rollicking, amoral frontiersman seemed, in old age, to experience some sense of disquiet at having helped lead Riel to his controversial fate. During Armstrong's retirement in Calgary, when he lived with one of his daughters, a Riel biographer asked him whether he would have arrested the Métis leader had he known what was going to happen.

Armstrong replied that he was following orders. Mr. Pihach has also reproduced the rest of his reply: "'That is a funny question to ask me. ... I was sorry for Riel. If I had had my way, there would have been no hanging of such a man. But that is a strange question to be asked."

Associated Graphic

Robert Armstrong, who accepted Louis Riel's surrender in the late 19th century, was the son of the chief of Oklahoma's Wyandotte tribe.


Above: Louis Riel and his councillors pose for a photograph in 1869. Left: Prince Albert, Sask., seen in 1891, is near Batoche, the site where Robert Armstrong accepted Riel's surrender.


In the King-Spadina district, a forest of skyscrapers is growing at breakneck speed. Marcus Gee explains how condos conquered a rundown district of the city
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page M1

Cities have an endless ability to evolve, to rebound, to reinvent and regenerate themselves, sometimes in ways that would astonish generations past.

In their wildest dreams, no one imagined that a rundown Toronto warehouse district could turn into a bristling Shanghai of glass skyscrapers. And yet come to the King-Spadina district, epicentre of the building boom that is transforming the core of Canada's largest city, and behold.

King-Spadina lies just to the west of Toronto's downtown core, flanking Spadina Avenue around its junction with King Street West. The Rogers Centre where the Blue Jays play baseball is to the south, the Art Gallery of Ontario to the north. It is undergoing a high-rise construction boom like Toronto has never seen.

If you stacked all the tall buildings that have already been constructed there one on top of the other they would reach nearly as high as four CN Towers. Another four CN Towers' worth are under construction, 10 in various stages of approval and three on the drawing board.

Add that all up, and you get close to 21 CN Towers. Lay all those buildings on their side end to end and they would stretch from City Hall to Highway 401.

No fewer than 99 projects have been built, approved or pitched since 2004. That's one quarter of the total for the entire city and more than the count for two vast suburban districts - Scarborough and Etobicoke - combined. King-Spadina is overtaking even high-rise hubs such as Yonge and Eglinton in midtown Toronto and the Bay and Yonge corridors downtown.

How Toronto deals with the density explosion is at the heart of a big question: Can modern cities become bigger, busier, denser and still be decent places to live? Can you build this much, this high and keep it human? The challenge in KingSpadina is to make sure the district isn't overwhelmed by its own success.

The seemingly overnight explosion of residential development in King-Spadina is part of a broader success story.

Toronto has escaped the hollowing-out effect that afflicts many North American cities. About 10,000 people are moving into the downtown area every year, many to live in tall buildings.

Toronto has 153 under construction, second only to New York among North American cities, according to one building database. Seven of those buildings are more than 60 storeys, says another source,, and plans for 15 building towering more than 70 storeys have been proposed. Unlike the skyscrapers built for the big banks in the nearby financial district, King-Spadina's are mostly towers for living. A development summary for the Entertainment District, which includes KingSpadina, shows more than 1.5 million square metres of residential space being added to the area. That's more than 20,000 new housing units - and 2,443 additional storeys. The number of people who call King-Spadina home is expected to double to 40,000-plus by 2020. One proposal alone, the Mirvish-Gehry complex, a collaboration of David Mirvish, the theatre impresario, and Frank Gehry, the acclaimed architect, will feature spectacular residential towers of 82 and 92 storeys. On a tour one recent afternoon, local city councillor Joe Cressy passed sign after sign announcing that "a change has been proposed for this site" and showing a drawing of another tower-to-be. On one little block that takes just a couple of minutes to circle on foot, four separate tower projects of more than 50 storeys could soon rise.

"Not only did it happen overnight," he says, "it's literally happening in front of your eyes, because every time you come down here there's another project under construction."

The pattern of high-rise development is driving up land prices, which run from $40-million to $70-million an acre, so developers want to find ways to build to the maximum height possible - and incorporate the highest possible number of units - on tiny lots. In the land rush of the past few years, they have snapped up just about every available site in the district, no matter how small or awkward. Parking lots that once held 20 or 30 cars are seeing towers of 40 and 50 storeys rise on their tiny footprint. On one site on Charlotte Street, a 46storey tower is proposed on a space smaller than two tennis courts.

With so many old and protected buildings in the area, developers are forced to build behind, around or even over them. One developer wants to create what is in effect a bridge in the sky, using wire, cable and steel to suspend a new building over an existing one.

If the scale of King-Spadina's growth isn't impressive enough, consider what was there before.

In the two centuries or so of Toronto's modern history, KingSpadina has been, in turns: a military precinct associated with nearby Fort York; an institutional district that was home to the provincial parliament and Upper Canada College, the famous boys' school; an industrial hub where factories turned out clothing, furniture and machinery; a haven for bohemian artists and other creative types; and an urban club land where the streets came alive after midnight. By the early 1990s, it was a gritty, half-deserted precinct of barren parking lots and slummy warehouses.

What makes the change since then doubly remarkable is that it happened more or less by accident. One tall building, the Festival Tower that rises above the Toronto International Film Festival's Bell Lightbox, became a precedent for another, then another and another. Developers started going to the Ontario Municipal Board, a powerful planning tribunal, to argue that if other towers were rising, theirs should be approved, too. The floodgates opened.

Today, city planners find themselves struggling to keep up with a building boom of a scale and character that no one expected.

Mr. Cressy, 33, worked on issues such as AIDS in Africa before he was elected in 2014. Now he spends much of his time negotiating with big developers over such things as the space they must leave between their towers so that residents don't end up staring into each other's bedrooms. "I was doing anti-retroviral treatment for grandmothers until three years ago, so I'm, like, 'Oh, towers? Separation distances? Seriously?' " Yet he calls King-Spadina the most interesting part of his job.

"You're literally deciding what the future of a neighbourhood is going to be. Is it going to be healthy or not? Is it going to be livable or not? Where do I walk my dog? Where is the grass?" King-Spadina, he argues, needs more parks, community centres, libraries, bike lanes, transit service. The amenities simply haven't kept up with the torrid pace of development. He is so eager to find more open space that he led a move to buy the site of the Hooters restaurant on Adelaide Street for a park. Nicknamed Operation Owl, it failed - the site was too expensive.

Some city leaders share his worries. Jennifer Keesmaat, the city's influential chief planner, has warned about the threat of "hyperdensity" - too much building in one place. But others say the good that has come from King-Spadina's boom far outweighs the bad. Once-sleepy streets throb with life. Scores of restaurants, bars, theatres, shops and other attractions keep the area humming at all hours.

Architects, designers and film and television companies were the first businesses to take over King-Spadina's old factory spaces. Tech firms such as Shopify, the rising Canadian e-commerce firm, have followed, drawn by its urban magic. One developer calls demand for commercial space there "insatiable."

The district already has 45,000 office workers. Looked at this way, King-Spadina is an urbanist's dream come true, a place where people live, work and play all in the same district. Urban "intensification" has been a planners' mantra in recent years as they sought to counter years of urban sprawl and create densely populated, walkable communities. The emerging King-Spadina is intensification on Red Bull (a company that naturally has its Canadian offices at the northern edge of King-Spadina, on Queen Street).

David Mirvish says that when his father, "Honest Ed" Mirvish, bought and refurbished the rundown Royal Alexandra Theatre on King in the early 1960s, it looked out on a rail yard across the street. The area around it was "desolate." The change is remarkable. "My father would have loved it. He thought a healthy downtown with many restaurants and stores could be a great place to live."

Many residents, too, relish the area's new vitality, even if they complain about the pace of change. When Valerie Eggertson moved into a Richmond Street condo west of Spadina in 2000, a friend said she would be looking out her window at the drug addicts in the park below. The area was sketchy, but it was all she could afford. Today, she revels in the busy life of the neighbourhood. "To go to TIFF or go to the theatre and walk home, I just love it."

She argues the city simply needs to work harder on making the neighbourhood work. With space so short, where does the pizza delivery vehicle stop without blocking the bike lane? How does an area with so many little apartments accommodate families? She wishes developers would branch out a bit and build more than cookie-cutter glass towers such as the big black one that is proposed near her place.

While many buildings fall into the glass-box-on-a-brick-podium category, a cliché of recent Toronto condo architecture, the district is getting some fresh and creative stuff as well. At Front and Spadina streets, the site of the old Globe and Mail building, developers are starting work on the Well, a mixed-use work-liveshop complex with laneways running through to open it up to people on foot.

Public spaces are improving, too. On John Street, the city is narrowing the roadway to one lane of traffic each way and using the space to put in wider sidewalks, new trees and public art.

The intersections are designed to be closed off for street performances during festivals such as TIFF.

On the west side of Spadina, the Waterworks project on Richmond Street will combine condos with a youth centre, a new YMCA, housing for artists, an expanded playground and a big food hall.

To save cultural spaces such as artists' and dancers' studios that are being priced out of the district, the city is using the fees collected from developers to build new spaces - or striking deals with them to include theatres and art galleries. One project, the two-tower King Blue, will include a new home for Theatre Museum Canada, one of several big new cultural venues coming to the area.

As for transit, the city is about to experiment with a special transit corridor on King Street, limiting automobile traffic to clear the way for the crowded, often painfully slow, King streetcar.

Resident Nicole Mantini, a 33year-old lawyer, says King-Spadina has changed a lot since she moved there in 2009, when singles and young couples were predominant. Now, "you see people out for Sunday brunch with babies and strollers."

That heralds yet another unlikely transformation for this dynamic quarter of an everchanging city. Mr. Cressy likes to say that in many ways the city of Toronto began in King-Spadina, it grew up in King-Spadina, and, now, much of its future will take shape in King-Spadina.

Associated Graphic

A small building is flanked on the right by a completed condominium and on the left by one being built in the King and John streets area. There are many condominium projects being built, or in the planning stages, that will fill in most of the empty spaces of the King and Spadina neighbourhood.


Left: The site at 19 Duncan St., centre, will have a condominium built over it, reaching 57 storeys. Right: A 17-storey condominium is proposed to be built over top a heritage building at 24 Mercer St.


Above: Over the past two centuries King and Spadina has transformed several times, from a military precinct, to the home of the provincial parliament and more recently, an industrial hub.


Left: Owners David Mirvish, left, and his father, Ed Mirvish, prepare to cut the cake at the press opening of the new Princess of Wales Theatre on King Street West in 1993. David Mirvish says that when his father opened the Royal Alexander Theatre on King in the early 1960s, it looked out across a rail yard.


Left: Construction cranes on the site of the Greenland King Blue Condominiums project being built at the corner of King St. W. and Blue Jays Way. Right: A peek at work being done at a construction site on Widmer Street that will eventually become a 41-storey condominium.

A taste of what's to come
Seventy-five years after the country's official nutrition guide made its debut, Ottawa is hard at work on a new version, Ann Hui writes. Health Canada faces a tremendous task in their first update since 2007: Addressing concerns from experts who feel the document is dated, while calming the industries that will be affected most
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A8

In the 1958 short film Mystery in the Kitchen, Mr. Jones has scurvy, and is limping slowly from his tractor.

Daughter Marilyn is anemic, and has trouble concentrating in class. Son Walt suffers from rickets.

But the bowler-hat-wearing detective has solved the Jones family mystery. Poor diet and malnutrition are the cause, and Mrs. Jones is to blame, guilty of not serving enough milk, eggs and liver, which contain the nutrition her family needs.

"Canada's Food Rules?" the inspector says, looking straight at the camera. "Ignore them, and enjoy the worst of bad health!"

In the nearly 60 years since Mystery in the Kitchen was first broadcast - produced by what was then known as Canada's Department of National Health and Welfare Nutrition Division - the country's eating habits have changed dramatically.

So, too, have the government's "food rules," known today as Canada's Food Guide.

Now, 75 years after its first publication, the government is preparing to release a new version of Canada's Food Guide - the first update since 2007 - expected to be made public early next year. For Health Canada, it has been a years-long process, and a monumental task.

The influence of the food guide is felt across the country, used by teachers, doctors and dieticians as the authority on healthy eating. The guide is available in a dozen languages and is the federal government's second-most-requested document.

It has also emerged one of the government's most controversial publications and the subject of fierce lobbying.

In updating the guide, Health Canada will have to address concerns from doctors and nutritionists who say it has not changed enough over its 75 years.

Specifically, they argue it has done a poor job of adapting to changing health concerns, away from the malnutrition and wartime rationing the guide was originally intended to address, and toward more pressing, current concerns of obesity and diet-related chronic illness. At the same time, the department will have to balance those with concerns from the agriculture and food industry, which fear the effect a reduced presence on the guide might have on sales.

Recent signals from Health Canada have the former group encouraged. Last month, the department released its "guiding principles" - a mission statement that outlines the priorities. This document emphasizes a regular diet of "vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein-rich foods - especially plant-based sources of protein," and explicitly warns against processed foods high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

It also appears to de-emphasize the necessity of animal meats and dairy - prompting at least one media report earlier this month to claim the new food guide "eliminates dairy as a food group." (Health Canada officials told The Globe and Mail no such decisions have been made.)

The Health Canada document also mentions a host of new food concerns - everything from environmental sustainability and animal welfare to the importance of eating local - illustrating just how much food culture has changed since Mystery in the Kitchen introduced Canadians to Mrs. Jones and her sickly family.

Even the iconic four food groups are up in the air. "There might still be food groups ... there might not be food groups," said Hasan Hutchinson, director general of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion at Health Canada. "We're still trying to establish what the policy will be."

Once thing is clear: The new guide is intended to represent major change.

"This is not tweaking, whatsoever," Dr. Hutchinson said.

The guide through the years When Canada's Official Food Rules debuted in 1942, it was designed for a country at war. The goal was to keep the more than one million men and women in the armed services healthy and strong, with rules designed to maximize energy levels. A daily diet, for example, included a half pint of milk and "4 to 6 slices of Canada Approved Bread" each day. And these were just the daily minimums.

"Use more if you can," the rules stressed.

"The guide itself was premised on military strength, industrial strength, building up soldiers," said Ian Mosby, a food historian. The guiding ideology, he said, was that "to be healthy, you have to eat more."

The rules were also meant for everyone else living with wartime rations and poverty. Leaflets encouraging Canadians to "check your war efficiency" emphasized tips for maximizing nutrition despite rationing.

The focus on increased consumption was strengthened two years later in the 1944 guide. "The basis of the rules shifted from 70% of the Dietary Standard as was the case in 1942 to a fully adequate figure,'" according to Health Canada. Milk requirements were boosted to one half to one pint a day, and vegetables from "one potato a day to at least one." Bread was to be served with butter.

By the mid-century, the thinking began to shift. Worldwide food shortages and an increasing understanding about the health effects of overeating led the 1949 guide to include a stern warning: "More," the guide stated, "is not necessarily better."

Throughout the latter half of the century, the rules continued to loosen. By 1961, the document was renamed from "rules" to "guide."

With each subsequent version, the guide moved further and further away from recommendations on specific ingredients and more toward general "food groups," recognizing that a variety of foods could make up a healthy diet.

"Right now, it's a mess" By the time the new guide is released, the current guide will have been in place for more than a decade.

In that time, the guide has become the target of substantial criticism for what many perceive as outdated advice based on old research.

One of the most common criticisms is that it simply prescribes too much food - too many calories for a healthy daily diet. The current model is focused on ensuring specific nutrient requirements are met - that people are getting enough zinc, vitamin A and so on, as opposed to encouraging a broad-based diet, said Yoni Freedhoff, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa.

"You can't tell a country to eat a whole hell of a lot more, and then when they do eat a whole hell of a lot more, wonder if you're not a part of the blame," he said.

He also pointed to other specific recommendations in the guide as outdated. Dr. Freedhoff is just one of many who have questioned the continued inclusion of dairy as a required food group. Others too doubt the wisdom of allowing fruit juice to count as a serving of fruits and vegetables.

Another frequent criticism of the food guide is that it does not adequately take into account the increasing diversity of Canadian palates.

Shortly after the food guide's first publication in 1942, the B.C. government conducted a study at a Vancouver-area elementary school that an classified alarming number of the Chinese children as malnourished. They soon realized those children were not malnourished, but that the survey was based on the official food rules, which required milk and bread and other items not common to a Chinese diet.

Since then, Dr. Mosby said, the guide has done a better job - the 2007 version includes items such as pita, couscous and tofu - but it still has a long way to go to reflect the way many Canadians eat.

"It's very culturally specific," he said. "They try to define food in these groups in a way that sort of defines what Canadian food is and isn't - if you're missing one of these groups, not only are you malnourished, but you're also clearly not Canadian."

Others still say the guide's design is simply flawed.

"From a consumer perspective, the food guide is six pages long - it's long, it's cumbersome, it's not the best tool to put in your back pocket," said Sue Mah, a Toronto-based registered dietician.

Critics say the idea of measuring food based on "serving size," is impractical and confusing. In the current food guide, one serving size of meat and alternatives is described as "1/2 cup cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat; 3/4 cup cooked legumes; 3/4 cup tofu; 2 eggs; 2 tbsp peanut butter; or 1/4 cup shelled nuts and seeds."

Even his university-level students have trouble following the food guide, Dr. Mosby said. "I hope they do a good job of this [update], because, right now, it's a mess," he said.

Dr. Hutchinson acknowledges the design needs improvement. The serving sizes, he said, were "way too complex." And, because the current guide was meant for everyone from school-aged children to doctors and dieticians, "It tried to be everything to everyone."

The new guide, he said, will likely have different versions for different audiences.

Guiding principles While the food guides of the past have been preoccupied with telling Canadians what to eat, it appears the new one will be equally focused on telling people what not to eat and also how to eat.

As part of its first guiding principle, Health Canada lists foods that Canadians should regularly eat: "vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and protein-rich food - especially plantbased sources of protein." Meat and dairy are not mentioned until the appendix, as examples of "proteinrich foods."

Dr. Hutchinson said these recommendations should not be taken as a signal that any one group will be eliminated from the final guide.

"Some of what's out there is taking it as saying: 'No animal products whatsoever,' " he said. "What we're talking about is going more plantbased, without necessarily eliminating animal products."

The second principle, which focuses on what not to eat, suggests limiting consumption of "processed or prepared foods" - a category that has not been mentioned in earlier guides.

"Saturated fat, sugar or too much salt - there is stronger evidence than ever that these are problematic," Dr. Hutchinson said.

The third principle, which focuses on how to eat, is perhaps attracting the most attention. This looks at overall food skills and knowledge, and encourages people to cook their own meals, and to eat together with family and friends whenever possible.

These arguments, including "preparing meals from scratch," and "eating slowly with enjoyment," echo the Brazilian dietary guidelines launched in 2014, a policy that has received acclaim worldwide for its simple-to-follow, common-sense messages.

Dr. Hutchinson said these are meant to address what he sees as the disconnect between general interest in food and practical knowledge about food. There is a massive interest in food in popular culture, on television and on social media, he said. Yet, "when you look at what's happening with food skills, we're not actually cooking as much, we seem to have lost that ability to pick up basic food and put healthy meals on the plates of our families."

The public consultation period closes next week. In the coming months, Dr. Hutchinson and his team will continue to finalize their plans for the guide. This means that the end result could still look very different from what has been released so far.

It will likely also receive intense scrutiny from the food industry.

Unlike in previous food guides, Health Canada has committed this time not to meet privately with food-industry representatives as part of the process. Still, the public consultations are open to everyone, and already, groups such as the Dairy Farmers of Canada are making their feelings known. In a statement on their website addressing Health Canada, the group wrote, "milk and milk products are an important food category to keep."

Whatever the guide winds up looking like, it will not please everyone - inevitable, given the range of perspectives and evolving research surrounding nutrition and food.

"I don't know if we can ever have a perfect food guide," Dr. Freedhoff said. "It's a tough balancing job. I don't envy them."

Associated Graphic


The rousing lessons of the Avro Arrow
Ottawa hasn't been a reliable supporter of science and technology. Quantum computing gives the country a chance to reverse course
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page F8

As Canada marks its 150th anniversary, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been working hard to signal a new determination in Ottawa to put Canada on the world's technological map.

Mr. Trudeau dubbed his most recent federal budget an "innovation budget" and has been promoting his government's agenda through visits to promising startups and tech companies. He even gave media reporters a brief lesson in quantum computing at a highly publicized press conference last year.

In choosing quantum computing as his theme, Mr. Trudeau was selecting a hot topic, one very much in the news these days.

Moreover, he had in mind a technology that was actually pioneered in Canada, by the company D-Wave Systems, currently based in Burnaby, B.C. So, does this herald a new golden age for Canadian R&D?

There is precedent here for some skepticism. When it comes to science and technology, Ottawa has a long history of talking the talk but not walking the walk. The controversial story of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates provides a case in point. The iconic spacetechnology firm, based in Richmond, B.C., managed to corner much of the world market in sophisticated satellite surveillance during the period from 1990 to 2005, as well as design and build the famous Canadarm for the American space shuttle. And yet the company has now shifted its focus to the U.S., a move that became almost inevitable once the government of Stephen Harper decided to pull back from investing in aerospace. Canada's future in space has been uncertain for years, even according to reviews prepared by the Canadian government.

Such hesitance from Ottawa is not new. Those with long memories, or an interest in Canadian history, will recall the infamous Avro Arrow story, one of the most remarkable betrayals of a Canadian industry by a Canadian government. Immortalized in the media, books, and the 1996 CBC film, The Arrow, starring Dan Aykroyd, the Avro story has acquired mythical proportions in the Canadian consciousness, and is still worth relating.

In October, 1957, Avro was the third-largest company in Canada, employing 50,000 people, and it had just rolled out the world's most advanced fighter aircraft, the CF-105 Avro Arrow. The Arrow was entirely designed and built in Canada by an extraordinary team spearheaded by Crawford Gordon Jr. How Canada came to take the lead from the world's superpowers, and how it could have gone on to become a big high-tech player, has provided material for historians and journalists for many years. But the reality turned out to be very different.

In February, 1959, the government of John Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow project and ordered all the Arrow aircraft - as well as the blueprints, models, and designs - to be destroyed.

The government tried to argue that cash was short and that the future of defence was in missiles.

They accordingly bought from the U.S. a collection of Boeing Bomarc missiles, which turned out to be useless. Later on, when the political dust had settled, the government bought 64 secondhand Voodoo fighters (capable of less than half the speed of the Arrow), also from the U.S. The total value of these purchases amounted to more than the cost of the entire Arrow program.

Mr. Diefenbaker's actions destroyed far more than just the Arrow project. Before long, almost all the talent responsible for the company's success had left Canada, with many former employees going on to play key roles in the design of the supersonic Concorde civil airliner and the hardware for the American Apollo and Gemini space programs. The damage to Canadian aerospace, to national selfesteem, and to other innovative technological efforts was colossal and far-reaching.

This history echoes into the current day. In 2017, Canadian aerospace policy is dominated in the news by the attempt to buy, at fantastic cost, a set of 65 unproven F-35 fighter planes from Lockheed Martin. Apparently, Canada remains dependent on foreign suppliers for military aircraft; what will happen in the civil-aviation sphere now seems to rest largely on the fate of the Quebecbased company Bombardier.

Given this 50-year history, we can certainly ask: What hope is there for Canadian high tech on the world stage? And what of quantum computing?

The advent of quantum computation (and, more generally, of quantum information processing or QIP, for short) will likely have as great an impact on the 21st century as aerospace did on the 20th century. As one might expect of anything with the word "quantum" in it, QIP is a little harder to understand than is flight, but we think the effort is worthwhile. QIP depends on quantum mechanics, the gamechanging theory discovered in 1925 by Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and others.

Until 1925, it was universally assumed that all objects in the universe, from the smallest elementary particles to the largest cosmic structures, could exist in only one physical state at a given time - what we now call a "classical state." The idea that a molecule could be in several different places at once, or that an electronic circuit could carry two different electric currents at the same time, would have been ridiculed before 1925.

However, the nonsensical has now become fundamental. In spite of enormous efforts to show that quantum mechanics must fail, it has withstood all tests and has, along with Einstein's theory of space-time and gravity, extended our understanding of the physical world from sub-nuclear scales up to the entire universe. The idea that physical systems can be in "superpositions of states" - in several states at once - is here to stay.

Around 1980, the renowned American physicist Richard Feynman noted that such superpositions must also apply to any kind of information, and hence to any information-processing system.

Thus, a computer could be in a superposition of different computations, a database in a superposition of different searches, a data transmission in a superposition of different coded messages, and so on. The ability to run many computations simultaneously meant that quantum computers would be almost unimaginably powerful. Early ideas included quantum decryption (allowing the decryption of any classical message - past, present, or future - with ease) and quantum encryption (encoding messages beyond the reach of any conceivable classical computer).

Other ideas included ultrafast data searches, computations, and optimization (the search among many different scenarios or outcomes for the one best satisfying certain predefined criteria). All these relied on the possibility of having exponentially many operations going on at once -s uperposed - in a single physical system.

However, what really counts in a game like this is to actually make a quantum computer - and this is what D-Wave did. Its "quantum optimizer" has now attracted enormous attention, with a cover article in Time magazine and the purchase of D-Wave computers in the U.S. by Lockheed, NASA, and Google, as well as by several universities, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a data-security company.

In response to this success, there have been major investments by a number of large corporations and governments.

Within the space of 2016 alone, the European community announced a $1.5-billion research initiative in quantum computing; the Chinese government, in collaboration with Austria, launched a $500-million satellite intended to accomplish global quantum communication; and in an announcement of enormous hubris, Google published a plan for world domination of the new field. It is nevertheless amusing to observers that all the Google and European Union publicity so far has featured photos of D-Wave processors.

Obviously, when the stakes are this high, these are merely gambits - there are still many moves left to play. The D-Wave quantum optimizer is not a full-blooded "gated" quantum computer, which will require solving the difficult problem of eliminating what is called "decoherence," the process by which even tiny interactions of the computer with its surroundings disrupt the very delicate correlations between the different parts of a superposition.

Suppressing decoherence requires extraordinary control over these minute interactions, and thus remains a significant challenge. More radical designs - such as the "topological quantum computer" advocated by Microsoft - are even further in the future. But this simply means that fortune will favour not only the brave but also the persistent, those in for the long haul.

So, will Canada stay in the game? A complaint often directed at Ottawa over the years has been about its inability to engage in ambitious long-term planning, both domestically and in foreign affairs. So far, the federal interest in quantum computing has concentrated on style over substance - the majority of D-Wave's funding has come from the U.S., and there has been little effort to bring together researchers from the Canadian university community and the R&D effort in Canadian industry (a mistake not being made in other countries).

But there is still time for both Ottawa and the provincial governments to focus, to maintain the momentum already gained, and to make sure that an Avro-style hemorrhage of talent does not occur again. For Canada's 150th anniversary, it would be refreshing to see a daring and ambitious effort in this direction, with a clear desire in Ottawa to stay the course.

But herein lies the root of the problem. For great enterprises of this kind to succeed - whether it is an Avro Arrow, an Apollo moon shot, or even an agenda for social change such as that advocated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of - the participants must feel inspired by what appears to be a lofty goal, and they must believe they can succeed in attaining it. Canadians, however, are not used to the idea of taking on the world and winning (except perhaps in winter sports). To get past this, we clearly need a commitment by the federal and/or provincial governments to give real backing to such enterprises.

But, perhaps even more than this, what is required is a change of mindset in the country as a whole. And this is where strong and visionary political leadership can make a big difference: first, by inspiring the country to believe that we really can succeed; and then, by making sure that small groups of dedicated people get the support they need. It will not be enough to say "Yes, we can," or to have photo ops about quantum computation.

Nearly a dozen other countries are now seriously investing in quantum computation, with a mixture of private and government capital. If we really believe that Canada is capable of playing in such a high-stakes game, then we should also get serious and get on with it - now, before the Canadian advantage is lost and the enthusiasm (and the people) drain away.

Perhaps by the time of Canada's 200th anniversary, in 2067, Canadians will be able to proudly say that their country has finally succeeded in playing (and winning) at the big table. This would befit a country that already has four times the population of both Switzerland and Sweden (two big international high-tech players) and that is projected to have a larger population by 2067 than any European country except Germany.

The Trudeau government has promised change - now, as we look to the future, is the time for Canada to deliver.

Philip Stamp is the director of UBC's Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics. This piece appears in Reflections of Canada: Illuminating our Biggest Possibilities and Challenges at 150+ Years, Philippe Tortell, Margot Young, Peter Nemetz, eds. (Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, 2017).

Associated Graphic

The Avro Arrow with test pilot Jan Zurakowskim in 1958.


A presidential investigation primer
Could Trump really be kicked out of office over accusations of collusion with Russia? Yes, but it depends on what the probes find
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A17

WASHINGTON -- It was one of the most jawdropping revelations to hit American democracy: The Russian government meddled in last year's U.S. presidential election campaign in a bid to tip the election to Donald Trump.

Now, it is the most pervasive threat to Mr. Trump's presidency: Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, and whether anyone in the President's circle colluded with the Russians. Mr. Trump himself is also under investigation for his alleged attempts to thwart the investigation, including by firing former FBI director James Comey.

But could Mr. Trump really be kicked out of office over Russia?

Technically, yes, but it's very unlikely in the short term. Mostly, it depends on what the investigations conclude, whether Republicans keep control of Congress and whether the GOP stands by the President.

"It's the intersection of all three branches of government," said Professor Barbara Perry, director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center. "It's a complex process."

What actually happened with Russia? What is being investigated?

There are broadly two things under investigation. One is possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to hack the election. The other is possible obstruction of the investigation by Mr. Trump.

On collusion: Russian government hackers broke into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, downloaded embarrassing e-mails and released them through WikiLeaks in July, 2016. The e-mails showed that the DNC favoured Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the battle for the party's presidential nomination, a contest in which the DNC was supposed to be neutral. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia's purpose was to tip the election toward Mr. Trump. Shortly after the hack, Mr. Trump publicly called on Russia to find e-mails from Ms. Clinton's private server and release those, too.

Now, Congress and Mr. Mueller are investigating ties between Mr. Trump's circle and the Kremlin, to see if the Trump campaign worked together with the Russian government as it interfered in the election.

On obstruction: On May 9, Mr. Trump abruptly fired Mr. Comey.

At first, the White House claimed Mr. Comey was booted because he was doing a bad job running the FBI. But Mr. Trump subsequently told NBC anchor Lester Holt that he axed Mr. Comey because of the FBI's investigation into Russia. "When I decided to just do it, I said to myself I said 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,' " Mr. Trump said. At a Senate hearing the following month, Mr. Comey also said he understood his firing to be the result of the Russia probe. Mr. Comey detailed a series of incidents in which Mr. Trump tried to meddle in the investigation: On one occasion, Mr. Comey said, Mr. Trump asked him to "lift the cloud" of the Russia probe hanging over the White House.

Who is under investigation - and what did they do?

Several people who worked on Mr. Trump's campaign are under scrutiny for their contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin's government.

Paul Manafort: A political consultant who chaired Mr. Trump's presidential campaign before getting elbowed out two months before the election, Mr. Manafort has worked for pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.

Roger Stone: A Trump confidant and Mr. Manafort's former business partner, Mr. Stone claimed publicly last year to have communicated with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and to have advance knowledge of coming information on the DNC.

Mike Flynn: Briefly Mr. Trump's national-security adviser, Mr. Flynn spoke with Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, last December about sanctions imposed by the outgoing Obama administration.

Mr. Trump fired Mr. Flynn after the latter lied to Vice-President Mike Pence about the conversations.

Jeff Sessions: The current Attorney-General met with Mr. Kislyak twice during the campaign, including a sit-down at Mr. Sessions's office in September, but initially denied having any communications with Russia. When his meetings with Mr. Kislyak were revealed, Mr. Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation into Russia but nonetheless wrote a memo advising Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Comey two months later.

Jared Kushner: Mr. Trump's sonin-law and senior adviser is currently the most powerful member of the administration under investigation. The FBI is looking into his meetings late last year with Mr. Kislyak and Sergey Gorkov, the head of Putin-connected bank Vnesheconombank. The Washington Post reported that Mr. Kushner sat down with Mr. Gorkov because he was looking for a back-channel to Mr. Putin.

Donald Trump: As of May, Mr. Trump himself was not under investigation for collusion, Mr. Comey said. However, Mr. Trump is now under investigation for obstruction of justice over his decision to fire Mr. Comey, The Washington Post reported, and his alleged attempts to meddle in the investigation. Mr. Trump appeared to confirm this, tweeting "I am being investigated."

Who is doing the investigating?

Where are the investigations at?

The FBI began investigating Russian interference in the election campaign in July, 2016, when the DNC's e-mails turned up on WikiLeaks. The probe was originally run by Mr. Comey, until Mr. Trump turfed him on May 9. The resulting outcry ultimately led deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel, Mr. Mueller, to take over the investigation. Mr. Mueller, a respected former FBI director, will have more independence than Mr. Comey had to conduct the probe, as he does not regularly consult with the FBI's overlords at the Justice Department during an investigation.

Besides Mr. Mueller's investigation, no fewer than four congressional committees are also probing the Russia and obstruction matters: the Senate intelligence committee, Senate judiciary committee, House intelligence committee and House oversight committee.

Unlike Mr. Mueller's investigation, the congressional probes have fewer investigative resources. But they do have a public component: They can hold open hearings. These events have provided some of the most dramatic moments in the imbroglio so far, including the session at which Mr. Comey accused Mr. Trump of telling "lies," challenged him to release tapes of their conversations and confirmed he had leaked information about his conversations with the President to the media.

Currently, it is unclear how long all of these investigations will take. But depending on what they find, there could be consequences for the people under investigation. Mr. Mueller's probe could end with charges for Mr. Trump's associates, if he finds any crimes were committed. The committee investigations will likely end with reports on what they found. Information uncovered by both processes could determine whether Congress moves forward on impeachment.

Prof. Perry points to the investigations of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton in forming a rough time frame: In Mr. Nixon's case, it took a little more than two years from the Watergate breakin to his resignation; in the case of Mr. Clinton, the investigations began shortly after he took office in 1993 and culminated with his Senate trial in early 1999. So somewhere between two and six years is the timeline.

"Two years is about as fast as the American system would allow. And the founders wanted it that way: They didn't want quick action by an authoritarian government," she said.

Can Trump be impeached? How would that work?

The U.S. Constitution gives broad powers to Congress to remove a president from office: It specifies that the president (and other government officials) can be impeached for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Basically, anything that Congress decides constitutes a "high crime" can get a president the boot.

First, the House of Representative has to craft one or more "articles of impeachment." These are effectively the official accusations of wrongdoing against the president. If the House votes, by a simple majority, to pass an article of impeachment, the president is then "impeached," which roughly means he is formally accused.

The process moves on to a trial in the Senate. A group of congressmen act as the prosecution, the president and his lawyers can mount a defence and the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides. At the end of it, the Senate must vote on each article of impeachment. It takes a two-thirds majority to convict a president and remove him from office.

Three U.S. presidents have faced impeachment proceedings.

Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both impeached by the House, but survived votes in the Senate and stayed in office. Richard Nixon resigned while three articles of impeachment were still under consideration by the House.

Mr. Johnson was impeached for firing a cabinet secretary over the Senate's objection; Mr. Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice for lying under oath about his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky. Mr. Nixon was accused of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress for trying to thwart investigations into the Watergate scandal and withholding evidence requested by a congressional committee.

The key here is that impeachment is entirely up to Congress.

As Gerald Ford once put it: "An impeachable offence is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."

Barring a Democratic takeover of Congress, Prof. Perry says, Mr. Trump will likely only fall if he becomes vastly unpopular with Republican voters. So far, the GOP has largely closed ranks around him and it seems unlikely they would turn on him unless he began to drag their electability down.

"What would it take to turn these members of the House against him, to say 'Gee, Donald Trump is a big anchor around my neck, and I might lose my seat,' " she said.

"What would it take for them to see their political lives flash before their eyes?"

Could Trump face criminal charges?

The Constitution specifies that a president can be charged criminally, but it isn't clear whether he could be charged while still in the White House or if this would have to wait until after he has left office. Most legal scholars contend a sitting president cannot be charged; a few disagree.

The Justice Department concluded during the Watergate scandal that it could not charge a sitting president because this would "impermissibly undermine" his ability to do his job.

The department reaffirmed this thinking in a 2000 memo.

So, Mr. Trump would most likely not be charged criminally while in office, but could face charges after leaving - if Mr. Mueller finds evidence he did something criminal, that is.

Can Trump be impeached?

How would that work? The U.S. Constitution gives broad powers to Congress to remove the president from office for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." First, the House of Representatives has to craft one or more "articles of impeachment." These are effectively the official accusations of wrongdoing against the president.

If the House votes, by a simple majority, to pass an article of impeachment, the president is then "impeached," which roughly means he is formally accused.

The process moves on to a trial in the Senate. A group of congressmen act as the prosecution, the president and his lawyers can mount a defence and the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides. At the end of it, the Senate must vote on each article of impeachment. It takes a two-thirds majority to convict the president and remove him from office.

Associated Graphic


What would Tom Thomson think?
Art or abomination: A tribute to a legendary Canadian artist in small-town Ontario sets chins wagging, Roy MacGregor writes
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A8

HUNTSVILLE, ONT. -- Ottawa has Voice of Fire.

Little Huntsville - a picturesque tourist town in the heart of Ontario's cottage country - has Pipe Man.

Both works of art are 5.5 metres tall, both have but two colours - red and blue for Voice of Fire, black and white for Pipe Man - and both opened to initial public outrage.

One, the Barnett Newman painting that the Canadian government purchased to wide outcry in 1990 for $1.76-million, hangs in the National Gallery, overlooking the Ottawa River. The other just hangs around the town docks, bobbing in the Muskoka River.

Pipe Man, as it is known locally, is an homage to Tom Thomson, the legendary Canadian artist who vanished 100 years ago last Saturday and eight days later was found floating in Algonquin Park's Canoe Lake, a deep bruise on his left temple and fishing line wrapped more than a dozen times around one ankle. The mystery, blessed with precious few facts, several "alternative facts" and endless speculation, will never be solved. Nor does anyone today wish it to be, as the mystery has become equal to the art in the enduring legacy of Thomson.

There is no such mystery behind Pipe Man. It was a gift to the town from Pipefusion, a local success story that builds and sells floating docks and this year celebrates its 35th anniversary as one of the small town's most important employers. The offer of a gift was made by Pipefusion owner Jan Nyquist and town officials suggested some public art that would require little to no cost maintenance. As the town had honoured Thomson with a statue in front of the town hall and several murals on buildings, it was suggested something special for the 100th anniversary of his passing might be appropriate.

An accomplished local artist, Beverley Hawksley, was commissioned and the town ensured that every possible consideration was given - including gaining permission from Transport Canada to anchor the floating industrial art work along a navigable waterway. The floating statue would even be lighted for night safety.

Through many months of planning, including open council sessions and media stories on the project, there was some debate, but mostly about its prominent location . It would be anchored just off the swing bridge in a widening of the river that is surrounded by retail outlets and restaurants.

The local Rotary Club was onside. Nearby businesses approved. One citizen wrote council saying the sculpture "is a stunning piece of dare to be different art work and we are fortunate to have the artist and the sponsor both living in our town." "Public art is not meant to be liked or disliked," wrote another. "It is meant to be discussed and cause thought. Tom Thomson would have known this since his art, too, was deemed controversial in some circles."

The new work was "installed" late last year ... and the proverbial immediately hit the fan.

"It's strange how passionate many people are in their dislike of Pipe Man," says Elizabeth Rice, former publisher of the Huntsville Forester and currently publisher of Huntsville Doppler, a popular online publication. "We can spend hours working on really important stories about local health care, tax increases, sewer capacity, and people are like, 'Yeah whatever - but that Pipe Man has to go.' " Doppler ran an online survey that found only 9 per cent like Pipe Man and wished him left alone, while 31 per cent felt the art was fine but the location wrong - and 60 per cent checked off "Not my cup of tea."

Comments ran to 55 pages in the survey, with many calling it "an eyesore," some saying it was "dangerous" and many condemning it as "advertising" for Pipefusion. "SELF SERVING ABOMINATION" wrote one anonymous critic. Many have pointed out its resemblance to an erect penis.

A small portion of those who commented were favourable, especially kind to Ms. Hawksley's evocative etching of Thomson. "If we only had art that the 'masses' love," wrote one, "then we would be like every other town."

Huntsville, it should be noted, is most decidedly not "like every other town." They do things differently here and take great pride in it. Back in the late 1800s, when the town's "founding father," Captain George Hunt, staked out lots on the prime land around Fairy and Vernon lakes, he insisted on a clause in each deed that would ban alcohol from the premises for 20 years and 10 months after the death of Queen Victoria's last grandchild. The people responded by building on the surrounding hills and drinking whatever they wished.

It is a town that sometimes feels as if it poured from the pen of Stephen Leacock.

Seven years ago, during the G8 Summit, the town revelled in the national media's outrage over the $50-million fund that local MP Tony Clement snagged in order to pave roads, plant flowers and build state-of-the-art public toilets. When the actual summit was held, the army was on hand to deal with protesters, the most memorable of whom was a young boy holding up a sign requesting more cookies.

Not even Leacock could make up some of this stuff.

"It's kind of funny," says Mayor Scott Aitchison of Pipe Man. "This is what art is supposed to be. It's supposed to provoke a response."

Jonathan Shaughnessy agrees. The associate curator of contemporary art at Canada's National Gallery, Mr. Shaughnessy has seen Voice of Fire shift from being a national outrage to "one of the masterpieces that people will come to Ottawa to see."

Public art, he says, can be "a prickly realm." On any arts jury selecting an item for public display, there will invariably be the "safe" way to go, as well as the "risky." Safe isn't always the smartest

"Sometimes the most obvious, you get it right away and that's great," Mr. Shaughnessy says. "But then it languishes in a park for 20 or 30 years and nobody pays any attention to it. What's there to pique your interest?

"This is what Voice of Fire does. If there's something there that gives you a sort of confusion, it's like you have to go back to it. It's the question of what matters over time. Is it the work that at first might be a head-scratcher in some ways? Not to give offence, but just sort of ' Oh, what's up with that?' Art is not the same as every other item out there in consumer culture. Sometimes it's meant to lob a bit of a ... whatever into the conversation.

"You can avoid . going to a museum if you don't want to see what*s in there," Mr. Shaughnessy says, "but when yous tart putting things outside, then you're saying 'You have to deal with this object in some way. We hope you'll enjoy it, but not everyone does.'"

"I like Pipe Man because it's doing what art should do," says Grant Nickalls, a local broadcaster and actor who will present a one-act play, When Winnie Knew, tomorrow at the Algonquin Theatre in town. "Winnie" is Winnifred Trainor, the Huntsville girlfriend left behind when Thomson died. Local legend has the painter booking a honeymoon cabin at Billie Bear Lodge just before he disappeared.

"Sometimes, I feel a little bit like I'm living in Negativeville, not Huntsville," Mr. Nickalls says in a video posted on YouTube. For the anonymous critics of the art, he has nothing but condemnation. Ms. Hawksley, he says, is "an incredible artist" who is duly celebrated for her talent. Nyquist, he says, has a long history of giving generously to town causes.

As for those who criticize it as nothing but advertising for Pipefusion, Mr. Nickalls suggests they look again at the town's popular Christmastime Parade: "Other than Santa Claus himself, is that not just a bunch of business cards rolling down Main Street?" "We don't even have our name on it" says Mr. Nyquist, the Pipefusion owner and donor. Indeed, a prerequisite of council was that there be no advertising attached. The only mention of the donor is found in a discreet sign put up on shore by the town.

All the same, one anonymous critic called it "shameless advertising," proving that Leacock had it pretty much right when he wrote in The Garden of Folly that, "A half truth, like half a brick, is always more forcible as an argument than a whole one. It carries further."

Mr. Nyquist understands that there is a certain element of surprise to encountering a work of art in the middle of a river. "I have no issue with someone not liking it," he says. "The issue is about not insulting someone like Beverley. If you call it a 'turd,' fine - but if you attack Beverley, that's bullying."

As for his own feelings, he says: "Once in a while you feel a little beat up, but I'm way past that."

"The donation was handled with the best of intentions," says Teri Souter, the town's manager of arts, culture and heritage. "The artist was assigned and paid to design it. The council approved it and Transport Canada okayed it. It's unfortunate that the public was not engaged throughout, but it was discussed at council and reported in the media." The artist, Ms. Hawksley, says that Mr. Nyquist should be thanked for his generosity. "How many companies want to celebrate their anniversary by giving art to the public?" she asks. "What a wonderful gesture."

The four-sided black pipe column has Ms. Hawksley's image of Tom Thomson on one side and 35 ripples on another, the sole tip to the company's anniversary. In retrospect, Mr. Nyquist says, they might better have put art on all four sides, as many are confused when they first see it and it has yet to spin around to show the image.

"If I get asked one more time what it is," says a worker in a nearby outfitting store, "I'm going to cry."

The town has opened up an online survey to gauge public response on what, if anything, to do about the controversy. The survey runs until Aug. 5, Thomson's birthday. One possible result will be to move it, at considerable cost, to a less prominent location.

Some, however, are coming around to liking it right where it is. "The more I look at Pipe Man in person and in photos," says Ms. Rice, the publisher, "The more I grow to like him."

Mr. Aitchison would agree. "I like it," the mayor says, "especially at night when there's a little haze over the water and you can see it glowing."

"In the evening it looks like a great big glowing penis ready to take on the world," adds Mr. Nickalls.

"Now how does that not make you proud to be living in this town? How does that not make you smile?

"Long live the Pipe Man!"

Associated Graphic

The 5.5-metre-tall Pipe Man sits in the Muskoka River in Huntsville, Ont. A survey found just 9 per cent of respondents like the artwork, while 60 per cent give it thumbs down, many condemning it as an eyesore and free advertising for the local company that donated it.


A small group of friends in the Vancouver area are at the forefront of slacklining, a burgeoning subculture that's pushing a fringe sport to ever-greater heights and distances. David Ebner reports
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L1

Two summers ago, Spencer Seabrooke stepped off the edge of a cliff and out into the air.

Seabrooke was held aloft by a narrow band of fabric, three centimetres wide. The slackline stretched over a deep gully atop Stawamus Chief Mountain in Squamish, B.C.

The plan was to walk across - without a safety harness. The ground was 290 metres below Seabrooke's feet. A fall meant death. The walking distance of 64 metres would mark a world record in the obscure extreme sport of free solo slacklining. "You're standing on nothing," Seabrooke said at the time. "Everything inside your body is telling you this is wrong."

Several steps into the crossing, Seabrooke looked down. It was a searing moment of reckoning. He crouched to steady himself and reached with his hands to grab the slackline. He suddenly flipped over - but hung on. He righted himself, let out a few screams, and stood again. He had walked the same slackline - tethered by safety gear - many times before. He exhaled his nerves, settled into the adrenaline. He crossed in four minutes. The video of the stunt became an online sensation and the story was broadcast by ABC News. The feat is dizzying to watch.

Seabrooke and a small group of friends in the Vancouver area are at the forefront of slacklining, a burgeoning subculture that's pushing a fringe sport to ever-greater heights and distances. The ethos is similar to rock climbing. The endeavour exists without precisely set boundaries, without exact rules, with no big paydays. Slackliners dream up new challenges and then broadcast their exploits on YouTube and Instagram, aiming to attract attention and potential sponsors.

The sport is percolating into the mainstream.

There was a slackline performance during Madonna's 2012 Super Bowl halftime show.

And this month, to start the new season of Amazing Race Canada, one contestant on each team walked a slackline over a 40metre gap high up on the Hotel Vancouver, which Seabrooke and his friends had helped rig.

The racers - harnessed and holding a rope as an aid - were a dozen storeys above the street.

"Fear is a natural reaction," one participant counselled himself after he fell and bounced on a bungee. "Courage is a choice."

Another racer, who didn't have to walk the line, exclaimed, "I'm so happy I'm not doing this."

On a highline - any slackline of a considerable height - fear is universal, even for the likes of Seabrooke and his band.

Almost all slackliners use a safety tether. (Free solo highlines are a tiny niche of an already niche sport, for the obvious reason of extreme consequence.)

Stepping from the edge, even with the seeming security of the safety tether, adrenaline spikes, the heart pumps, limbs quiver.

Marshalling this is the challenge, one that can take months of practice, overcoming fear and mastering balance. Eventually, there is zen. Slacklining, at its best, is a kind of physical poetry, a slow-motion flying, walking through the air.

"While I'm out there, it's home, for me," said Seabrooke, 28. "You find yourself in a really calm place."

Tightrope walking has a long history. A fresco unearthed from Pompeii depicts fairy-like creatures dancing across tightropes.

A Spanish tightrope walker performed at the coronation of England's nine-year-old Edward VI in 1547. Niagara Falls was first crossed in 1859 by Charles Blondin, a Frenchman. Nik Wallenda, part of the famous circus family, did it for a large audience in 2012. Philippe Petit, another Frenchmen, garnered fame in 1974 when he walked on a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center.

Slacklining is a cousin to, and an evolution of, tightrope walking. As the names indicate, a tightrope is much more taut than a slackline. Tightropes are generally steel, whereas slacklines are a fabric webbing, polyester, nylon, or a similar material. On a slackline, a person can bounce and swing, and on long lines, the sag is also significant, so one is walking up or down an incline.

The sport emerged in the early 1980s, around the rock climbing scene at Yosemite National Park in California. Scott Balcom, in 1985, was the first to walk tethered on a 17-metre highline on Lost Arrow Spire, the valley bottom some 880 metres below.

Charles (Chongo) Tucker, a longtime denizen of Yosemite, was there in slacklining's earliest days. Later, in 1994, he was one of the next people to walk the Lost Arrow Spire highline.

"As scared as I was, it was as cool as anything I've ever done in my life," Tucker said.

Slacklining remained a littleknown pastime. It is only in the past few years that the sport has started to grow.

"It's unbelievable what people are doing now," Tucker said.

Seabrooke grew up in Peterborough, Ont., in love with snowboarding and the outdoors. On a chairlift when he was a boy, he asked his mom what religion they were. She answered, "This is our church." As an adult, Seabrooke moved west and worked pouring concrete. He saw a documentary in 2012 that featured Andy Lewis, a slackliner and free solo pioneer who performed at the Super Bowl with Madonna.

Seabrooke was entranced and devoted himself to the sport.

Three years later, he walked his record free solo highline on the Stawamus Chief.

The attention Seabrooke won led to work, everything from commercials (including one for Stoli vodka) to paid appearances at slackline festivals from Poland to China. SlacklifeBC, the group he co-founded, also got into the business of selling gear.

They started to imagine bigger projects. Seabrooke and his friends couldn't take their eyes off the Lions, two iconic peaks visible from much of Vancouver.

A year ago, a group of seven hiked six hours with more than 200 kilograms of gear to get to the Lions. It was July and they camped on snow between the peaks. But their planning was poor - they pushed ahead even with a forecast for a lot of rain - and problems ensued. Seabrooke's thumb was badly cut up by a loose rock when he worked to anchor one side of the line. Another person, while rock climbing East Lion to help anchor the other side, was nearly hit by a soccer-ball-sized boulder that fell from above. Then came full-on failure. The gap between the two Lions is 375 or so metres. The group realized their slackline wasn't quite long enough.

Atop East Lion, Seabrooke cursed and shed a few tears.

"This is really sad," he said over radio to the camp.

Lessons were learned. In August last year, the group headed to Hunlen Falls, 400 metres high, in B.C.'s Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park. They drove 10 hours from Vancouver and then flew in by float plane.

A string of successes were achieved.

Friedi Kuhne, a German slackliner, walked a free solo highline 72 metres long, besting Seabrooke's record. For Kuhne, it was a physical journey into mind and soul. "I remember thinking that nothing is impossible," he said. "I truly got to know myself."

Mia Noblet, tethered, crossed a 222-metre highline, then the farthest by a woman. Noblet had taken up the sport only 11/2 years earlier. As a teenager, she was a competitive speed skater. But she had long been inspired by a poster in a shop in Nelson, B.C., where she grew up, that pictured Dean Potter on a highline at Yosemite. (Potter, a rock climber and wingsuit BASE jumper, was also a free solo slackline pioneer.

He died in 2015 in a wingsuit crash.)

Noblet, 22, has since bettered her record, walking a 450-metre line this spring at Skaha Bluffs near Penticton, B.C. Then, in June, after SlacklifeBC scoured Google Earth for new sites, they rigged a 680-metre line, the longest in North America. It was on Mount Seymour, on Vancouver's North Shore Mountains. Noblet wasn't able to cross the entire distance but made it almost 500 metres.

For months, when she first started slacklining, the height froze her with fear.

"I would stand up, so terrified," Noblet said. "I couldn't even move my foot to take a step - battling my own mind."

The breakthrough came last year. At Hunlen Falls, she said, "my mind was in the moment.

Just walking. And it was so enjoyable."

There are variations of slacklining, everything from highlines to tricklining, which is devoted to bouncing and doing flips and spins. There are competitions but there's no governing body, and no go-to website. The slacklining Wikipedia page is a rough compilation of information.

Progression in the past two years has been rapid. In late 2015, the longest highline was about 500 metres. The figure was bumped up to 1,020 metres last year, in France north of Nice.

This year in June, northwest of Marseille, a 1,662-metre line was rigged and crossed. With such long slacklines, the rigging can be the most difficult part, involving arduous days of work to anchor the line on two distant points.

With the escalation of distance walking, Seabrooke and Noblet turn their focus to projects of esthetic beauty and unique challenges - such as Hunlen Falls last summer. The Lions remain a goal of SlacklifeBC. And while it's not a sport to make much money, Noblet is now paid to travel to festivals, as Seabrooke has been. And SlacklifeBC has sold upwards of 10,000-metres worth of slacklines - and 6,000 more are being manufactured.

Still, it's niche. Most of the best-known slackliners such as Seabrooke, have only a few thousand followers on Instagram.

Seabrooke continues to work the occasional day job, pouring concrete. But his slackline ambitions grow. He cheered on Kühne at Hunlen Falls when his free solo record was broken.

Seabrooke tore the meniscus in his right knee in late 2015 and struggled thereafter. Now, he feels poised to outdo his 2015 stunt, again drawn to walk on the edge of death.

"It's always on my mind," he said. "It's really about the battle with myself. It's the feeling of control."

He's thinking about a 101metre free solo highline on the Stawamus Chief, farther than Kuhne's mark and his previous walk.

"When you step out into the air, there's something so clean about it," said Seabrooke.

"Height makes it real."

Associated Graphic

Spencer Seabrooke crosses over a deep gully atop Stawamus Chief Mountain in Squamish, B.C., two summers ago held aloft by a narrow band of fabric.


Mia Noblet walks the slackline 400 metres above the base of Hunlen Falls in British Columbia's Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park.


Spencer Seabrooke once walked a slackline 290 metres off the ground in Squamish, B.C. He accomplished the feat without a safety harness but was unfazed. 'While I'm out there, it's home, for me,' the 28-year-old said. 'You find yourself in a really calm place.'


Residents push back against city park plan
Homeowners vow not to sell; board willing to play the long waiting game for remaining seven houses to expand Trout Lake
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S4

VANCOUVER -- Residents of the 3000-block of Victoria Drive are not about to let their houses get mowed down for parkland.

The homeowners, whose houses abut John Hendry Park - also known as Trout Lake - are forming an association to thwart a City of Vancouver park board plan to convert their houses to park. They are including homeowners along East 13th Avenue and Garden Drive who also might be at risk, since their homes also back onto Trout Lake.

The residents of the 3000 block only learned that their houses are slated for a park extension after The Globe and Mail reported the city's closed-door decision to purchase 3030 Victoria Dr. and demolish it for parkland, even though the lot sits in the middle of the block.

The city bought the lovingly restored 1919 character house for almost $1.6-million as part of a quiet long-term plan to eventually bulldoze all eight houses, close down the laneway to the rear and extend John Hendry Park. The house was purchased early in 2016 and it's been sitting empty ever since. That a city-owned house has been empty and neglected for 17 months has raised eyebrows, especially considering the city has just brought in an empty-homes tax. As well, there is a near-zero vacancy rate.

The house is zoned for duplexing, and could easily house eight people like other duplexes on the street.

Also, residents are furious that they were not informed of the city's interest in their houses.

They have placed big signs around the house, urging others to write the city, and they are starting a petition, calling for the city and park board to back away from the plan.

The community was already tight, so the group mobilized easily. On Thursday afternoon, the residents of the block gathered in the park for a meeting.

NDP MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway, Adrian Dix, who lives in the area, dropped by to listen.

"We're going to fight it," longtime resident Katherine York had told me beforehand. "And if we do sell, it will not be to the City of Vancouver. Yes, we have an informal pact, and not just my block.

We are creating a Trout Lake Lakefront Association, running down Victoria, along 13th and Garden Drive - right around the park. The support is growing rapidly. It's been tremendous."

Catie Norris, one of 11 siblings who grew up in 3030 Victoria Dr., says her family would purchase the house back from the city if it came back onto the market. Her brother Dave sold the house to the city believing that it would be used for housing.

"I don't understand this. I don't get it," Ms. Norris says. "Excuse me, there's a housing shortage.

Why is the city buying a home and leaving it empty to get ruined when somebody could be living there? It's absolutely ridiculous ... They are literally ruining a neighbourhood."

It's also a good example of existing gentle density that is praised by urban planners. Ms.

York lives at 3036 Victoria Dr., the house next door to the cityowned house. Her grandfather bought the house in 1938, her mother was married at the house and she herself was married in the park. She plans to leave the house to her kids.

"We are a community. We have a lot of kids on our block. We all know each other. We don't want an empty lot beside us," she says.

Today, six family members live in the York house. The block of eight homes, including two duplexes and a triplex, has at least two dozen residents, including long-time renters. One woman runs a daycare.

Like the other residents, Rich York is angry that he wasn't notified of the park board plan.

"It's like we're held hostage," he says. "You're stuck in neutral."

The park board assembly of their houses into park land means they no longer have the option to sell to a developer if they wanted to, which isn't fair, he argues.

"At some point down the road, say we all want to sell, we're trapped.

"And I can understand the desire to accumulate property for 20 years down the road, but why not rent it out and generate revenue for taxpayers?" "What's going to happen is I have a crater beside me and I have to look at it every day, knowing the next one is going to come down, and the next one. It's mind games they are playing."

Several houses adjacent to park land have been purchased and demolished on the east side of the city. Malcolm Bromley, general manager of parks and recreation, said until this one at Trout Lake, the acquisitions had been a smooth process. Once residents see a house come down without a new house going up, they usually want to sell as well. Mr. Bromley said that chain reaction is part of the reason they demolish right away, instead of leaving the houses for rental.

"[Demolition] does a couple of things. If people see we are looking to expand the park, maybe the house beside says, 'We are interested in going, too.' We also want to avoid having that struggle at times when you do have a tenant who is very reluctant to leave, because you can't predict the market."

The reason they do not inform residents that they have plans to buy and demolish their homes is it will drive up prices. The park board is developing a master plan of Trout Lake, but it does not include any indication that any houses adjacent to the park would be removed. Decisions to purchase and demolish houses for park are voted upon by council and are not made public.

"We do want to pay market value," Mr. Bromley says. "But there have been times when you couldn't get a property because the person asks too much."

As for why the property was not rented immediately, Mr. Bromley says the acquisition didn't go as planned.

"We were optimistic we would get a few of the properties, because typically when people see what their neighbour gets, it can create some momentum.

Others say, 'That makes sense to me, too. I'll move to Parksville, off I go.' That's what has happened in our other experiences. It didn't happen here."

It didn't happen because the residents are happy with their community. Vancouver's unaffordable housing market means those that are fortunate enough to own a house now want to pass it along to their children.

But not all residents are against the idea. A homeowner who lives near the park and is not at risk of having her home bought for parkland, says she supports the park board decision.

"I am all in favour of heritage protection and retaining our housing stock, but in this instance, the city acquiring these houses makes sense," says the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous to avoid conflict with her neighbours.

"I've lived in several major cities and planners never say, 'I wish the city hadn't bought this piece of parkland,' and residents never say, 'There's too much green space, we should build more houses on it.' Eventually, the houses on Victoria would be torn down and sold to developers who would put up expensive duplexes anyhow.

"So it's solid long-term thinking, even if it means a small handful of houses are removed.

As long as the owners aren't being forced to sell and they're getting fair market value, I think it's a good thing, and will be appreciated for generations to come."

The city is looking at renting the house at 3030 Victoria Dr.

now that it's facing backlash about it being left empty for a year and a half. However, because the gas line was removed, in the midst of a severe winter, the pipes burst and the house flooded. Mr. York witnessed the flooding and called the city, which sent someone right away. Mr. Bromley says there are other issues that might make it difficult to rent, such as bringing the house up to code.

But the possibility of short-term rental is being considered.

"When you try to grow parks, it's a good news story. It concerns me that this has been turned into a bad news story," Mr. Bromley says. "I understand it from a housing perspective, but our motives are pure. We are community building."

Samantha Reynolds and husband Pete McCormack find the phrase "community building" ironic, since they consider themselves a community that is slowly getting the heave-ho.

"We're not properties to be acquired," Ms. Reynolds says.

"We're families. We're not a dispensable block that the park board and city can dismember, house by house.

"I want the city to do the right thing and abandon their misguided plan to annex our block. Many of us on our block don't ever plan to sell our homes as we intend to pass our homes on to our children 50 years from now, but if we do sell, it will not be to the city.

They should put this beautiful 100-year-old heritage home back on the market and let a family look after it, as the city proved it was unable to do."

But the park board is sticking to its plan to demolish the house one day, and it will continue to try to purchase the other houses.

The park board isn't going anywhere.

"I'm not belittling people's feelings. If the other seven homeowners don't want to sell, they don't have to sell, but the park board has been here 130 years and it took 15 years to acquire Emery Barnes Park, so things change," Mr. Bromley says. "Forever is a long time. People who say they won't sell, they sell over time.

We've never abandoned a strategy where we think, 'It's impossible - we are going to back away.' But I don't want it to be antagonistic.

This has touched a nerve for some people. I respect that.

"Have there been lessons learned?" he asks. "I would not leave a property vacant for this long."

Associated Graphic

Residents of Vancouver's Trout Lake community gather in John Hendry Park on Thursday to discuss the city's plan to purchase and tear down nearby homes. The city has already bought one house on the targeted block, leaving it empty since it was purchased in early 2016.


With bet on Trump, Cohn makes riskiest trade of career
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

NEW YORK -- In more than three decades on Wall Street, Gary Cohn honed an instinct for taking risks. As he rose through the ranks to the No.

2 spot at Goldman Sachs, he weighed profit against danger, first for his own trades and eventually for the entire firm.

Now, in joining U.S. President Donald Trump's inner circle, he has made the bet of a lifetime.

In the span of several months, Mr. Cohn has moved with disorienting speed from someone with no connection to Mr. Trump's campaign and no experience in government to one of the most powerful people in the White House.

As Mr. Trump's chief economic adviser, Mr. Cohn is leading the push on some of the President's key campaign pledges, including tax changes and an infrastructure overhaul. But his influence also extends to trade policy and even foreign affairs: Together with the national-security adviser, he has written two editorials articulating the administration's view of the world.

With the administration lurching from crisis to crisis, Mr. Cohn's role is even more crucial.

Stock markets have continued to rise despite the continuing controversy over contacts between Mr. Trump's campaign and Russia. That is partly because investors believe Mr. Cohn will help Mr. Trump deliver on his promises to spur economic growth.

Mr. Cohn's current job is chair of the National Economic Council, but his name is already being floated for other possible positions, including White House chief of staff and even chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve (the current chair, Janet Yellen, is due to step down next year, and Mr. Cohn is heading the search for her replacement).

At a rally last month in Iowa, Mr. Trump crowed about recruiting Mr. Cohn to his team. "He went from massive paydays to peanuts," the President told the crowd.

Whatever the salary, Mr. Cohn is an unlikely adviser for Mr. Trump. Not only is Mr. Cohn a registered Democrat, but his career on Wall Street makes him an incongruous pick for a President who once railed about the excesses of the financial industry on the campaign trail.

Mr. Cohn was deeply involved in piloting Goldman through the financial crisis and the controversies that followed. Back in 2010, Mr. Cohn, then Goldman's president, testified before a congressional panel investigating the causes of the meltdown. He also worked to manage the fallout when U.S. regulators charged the firm with civil fraud based on investments it sold prior to the housing collapse.

Mr. Cohn was a key figure "taking the heat from an enraged government, from a rabid press and from irate investors in the wake of the crisis," said Charles Hintz, a former Wall Street executive and industry analyst who teaches at New York University.

Mr. Cohn's past also puts him at odds with the populist faction of Mr. Trump's aides (allies of Stephen Bannon, another senior adviser to Mr. Trump, call him "Globalist Gary," according to CNN). But investors and the business community see in Mr. Cohn a highly capable and politically moderate adviser who eases their concerns about an unpredictable White House.

"The market's willingness to look past the Trump scandals and tweets is because of Gary Cohn," wrote Jaret Seiberg, a policy analyst at Cowen & Co. in Washington in a note to clients in May. Investors trust Mr. Cohn, he continued, and believe he "will prevent the White House from doing anything rash" on the economic front.

Mr. Cohn, now 56, grew up just outside Cleveland and struggled with dyslexia throughout his childhood. It was a defining experience, he has said, which heightened his ability to handle failure. It also allowed him to "look at most situations and see much more of the upside than the downside," he told the author Malcolm Gladwell. "I wouldn't be where I am today without my dyslexia. I never would have taken that first chance."

After graduating from American University in Washington, Mr. Cohn took a job selling aluminum siding but longed to become a trader. He got his break on a visit to New York when he spent the day at the commodities exchange. He managed to share a taxi to the airport with an options trader who asked him to interview for a position the following week. Knowing nothing about options, Mr. Cohn spent the weekend cramming a reference book - and got the job.

Mr. Trump "would do well to have Gary as a chief of staff," said Richard Schaeffer, the former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, who has known Mr. Cohn for years. "He's one of the few in that group who is an absolute builder of bridges, not someone who tears them down."

Mr. Cohn is leading the search for the next chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve but is reportedly himself one of the leading contenders (there is a famous precedent for such an outcome: Dick Cheney was in charge of the search for George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidate).

Unlike most previous Fed chairs, Mr. Cohn is not an economist. The next leader of the central bank will also face the difficult task of unwinding years of unprecedented monetary stimulus. But if the administration's troubles deepen, a move out of the White House could hold some allure.

A White House spokesperson said that Mr. Cohn is "focused on his responsibilities as Director of the National Economic Council."

Back in New York, there is a degree of disbelief at Mr. Cohn's new incarnation. People who know him say they didn't realize a move to politics was on his radar screen, and certainly not Republican politics. One Democratic fundraiser remembered meeting Mr. Cohn - and being impressed by him - at an event for major Wall Street supporters of Barack Obama held shortly after he was first elected President.

Mr. Cohn continued to support Democratic candidates but soured on the party's approach to Wall Street. In 2010, Mr. Cohn attended a fundraiser in New York for Democratic Senator Harry Reid, then the majority leader in the chamber. Mr. Cohn and other Goldman executives expressed frustration with the criticism of their industry, according to a person with knowledge of the event who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Goldman has a tradition of executives leaving to work in the public sector, earning it the moniker "Government Sachs."

But until Mr. Cohn's fateful meeting with Mr. Trump last November, there was little sign he would follow that trajectory.

Another acquaintance recalled having dinner with Mr. Cohn two years ago where he discussed potential options for life post-Goldman. Politics didn't come up. "Look, this is a historic moment and you don't know how it's going to turn out," the person said. "I could understand how it would have appeal for him." (Six people who know or worked with Mr. Cohn spoke with The Globe on the condition they not be identified.)

For Mr. Cohn's former colleagues at Goldman, his choice to leave the firm has its own logic. Mr. Cohn joined the investment bank in 1990 as a metals trader and ascended the hierarchy in tandem with Lloyd Blankfein, now Goldman's chief executive. When Mr. Blankfein assumed the top job in 2006, he made Mr. Cohn - both a close friend and a trusted lieutenant - his No. 2.

However, in recent years, Mr. Blankfein has shown no inclination to relinquish his post, even after a bout with cancer. Mr. Cohn's seemingly perpetual wait to lead Goldman prompted one newspaper dub him the "Prince Charles of Wall Street."

"If you're not going to run the firm, why not sell all your stock tax-free and work for a guy in Washington for a couple of years?" one of Mr. Cohn's former colleagues said. "It's a great exit strategy."

Upon leaving Goldman, Mr. Cohn received a compensation package worth $285-million (U.S.), most of it in stock.

Because such shares must be sold to comply with conflict-ofinterest rules, the government allows new executive branch officials to defer capital-gains taxes indefinitely if the proceeds are reinvested in bonds or mutual funds. Mr. Cohn's timing was perfect: In January, the bank's shares were trading near their highest point in a decade.

For years, Mr. Cohn crisscrossed the country and the world advancing Goldman's interests. Several former colleagues described him as an aggressive, hard-charging executive. Mr. Cohn is a "very smart, very savvy guy, but he is a blunt instrument," said one person who worked with him, who added that he has little patience for those who disagree with his views. A White House spokesperson declined to comment on that characterization.

Mr. Cohn can also display a softer side at work. One Goldman alumnus recalled an episode where Mr. Cohn intervened to protect a junior employee from bearing the brunt of an unintentional mistake that nearly cost the firm money.

Watchdog groups say that Mr. Cohn brings too much Wall Street baggage to his new role, which includes co-ordinating a possible rollback to the financial regulations instituted in the wake of the financial crisis.

"There is really nothing he has said [so far] on financial matters that he would not have said in his capacity as president of Goldman," said Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a non-profit organization that supports strict regulation of the financial industry.

Mr. Kelleher, a former senior aide to a senator, also questioned how well Mr. Cohn's skills will transfer to the capital.

"If Wall Street is a land of numerical clarity, Washington is a land of ambiguity and fog," he said.

But for Mr. Cohn - in keeping with the philosophy that has guided his whole career - it is a gamble worth taking. Even during the depths of the financial crisis, in a commencement address at his alma mater, he urged young people to stand out from the crowd by taking risks.

"Failure is not a problem," Mr. Cohn told the assembled graduates and their families. "In fact," he continued, "95 per cent of my great decisions started out as bad decisions."

Associated Graphic

Gary Cohn, second from left, and senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner, second from right, depart the White House on June 7. Mr. Cohn has been named U.S. President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser.


The self-starter's guide to invoking a witch hunt
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page F2

'My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history.

Sad!" U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, should the "Sad!" not give the source away.

"Sad!" is becoming Mr. Trump's signature signoff. It is the mirror of Edward R. Murrow's "Good night and good luck," in that it reflects the opposite. Mr. Trump's "Sad!" generally punctuates an ill-considered, insincere, unscripted broadcast hellbent on putting a lid on the truth. His now-iconic "Sad!" often follows some encouragement to Americans to look away from what their government is up to just now.

For the record, here in Opposite Land, it is no longer ludicrous to assume that many of those in the United States, some with considerable influence, are secretly in bed with the Russians.

Mr. Trump's Twitter statement came in the aftermath of New York Times reports that his eldest son had met with Natalia Veselnitskaya - a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer - in hopes of obtaining damaging information on his father's then political opponent, Hillary Clinton. It was further reported that Donald Trump Jr. attended this meeting having already been informed, in an e-mail, that the get-together was part of a Russian government effort to aid the Trump campaign.

More importantly, Mr. Trump's statement about his son was made in the aftermath of that aftermath. It is seldom a good sign when your aftermath has an aftermath, but following the reports of these long-denied meetings, Mr. Trump Jr., in what appears to have been an attempt to defend himself, tweeted images of the e-mails in question.

As defences go, this is like "I see a bear, I better roll in honey." In releasing those e-mails, Mr. Trump Jr. took the story from "sources familiar with the e-mails say" to "more than 17,000 people have retweeted your highly damaging e-mails" scenario in the press of a button.

A case could be made that, since The New York Times had the e-mails and they were about to be released anyway, the younger-but-still-pushing-40so-don't-give-me-that Mr. Trump Jr. was "getting in front of the story," but the part he seems to have missed is that "getting in front of a story" generally involves presenting a narrative more favourable to oneself than the one contained in the damaging news about to break.

"Getting in front of a story" is not a "breaking the story a bit earlier while confirming its veracity," which was done in this case to the point where news outlets could pretty much go with "When approached for comment regarding the allegations, Mr. Trump Jr. said 'Boy, did I!' " That is what I would call "Getting under the story," and, God bless Junior, he just dove right down there, much the same way one might "get under" a moving semi.

What those e-mails Mr. Trump Jr. shared with the world prove is that, having been specifically told that information he was being promised by a publicist named Rob Goldstone "is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump," he responded with an unequivocal, unpunctuated "if that's what you say I love it."

So sure, Mr. Trump, it's a "Witch Hunt," a witch hunt in which the accused stood up midway through the trial, lifted his shirt and said "Hey, everyone, check out my third nipple, the one from which I daily nurse my toad familiar!" while pointing at said supernumerary nip, before adding "Don't hurt yourselves lugging those crushing stones around, I am totally a witch and holy moly did I blight your crops!" as he mounted a broomstick and flew away with a cry of "Tell Mr. Henderson that that stillborn calf was me too!" and "By the by, if you're looking for someone to burn, my brother-in-law never misses a Black Mass!"

One for the books, really, as witch trials go.

The original e-mail inviting him to the meet and greet and cheat was addressed only to himself, but the documents Mr. Trump Jr. chose to share with the world were from a bit further down the chain he forged. The e-mails were also addressed to Paul Manafort, whom he asked along. Mr. Manafort - a professional Republican political operative since the seventies, not a naif who might wander into a meeting like a lost shepherd - became Mr.

Trump's campaign manager shortly after the meeting took place on June 9, 2016.

The e-mails Junior sent flying around the world on their little Twitter wings were also addressed to Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law, who is currently a senior adviser to the President because what is shame anyway?

Both of these men attended the meeting, although a source close to Mr. Manafort told Politico that he had no idea who was going to be at the meeting because he did not read the entire, short e-mail chain which bore the subject line "FW: Russia - Clinton - private and confidential."

Thank you, Mr. Paul "Too Long; Did Not Collude!" Manafort.

The week's spectacle was dismissed by Mr. Trump Jr.'s lawyer as "much ado about nothing."

As far as this being a tale of deception, driven by conversations (that may well have been) orchestrated to be overheard, he may be right. Both stories also have significance - the e-mails provide the most conclusive evidence to date that Trump family members and campaign staff were keen to get a boost from the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign - even as they have the audience laughing.

A broader parallel between the Trump family saga and the works of Shakespeare can be found in the Trump family's liberal use of what can best be described as "asides" to communicate their motivation. An important difference, one apparently entirely lost on the family, from Mr. Trump on down (excepting Melania and Barron, who at this point can be considered as more scenery than cast), is that Shakespearean characters don't speak their innermost secrets to the other characters in the play.

Studies show the most common reaction to hearing a Trump family member speak is the yelling of "Hey, dude, we can hear you!"

Trumps just keep telling us things they shouldn't tell us. Whatever else the Trump administration is doing to his country's science programs, he is bringing us that much closer to isolating the "complete lack of an interior monologue" gene.

"My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency," was Mr. Trump's initial statement on this week's events, leaving some doubt as to whether he knows he sired his children or thinks he picked them up at the Sharper Image.

I await his statement on Eric Trump's "Innovative design that slices, shreds and dices at the touch of a button" shortly before the President appoints his beloved fog-free shower mirror and Bluetooth speaker ambassador to Latvia.

At the end of the day, Trump Jr.'s Russian tale is a strange, meandering thing. It started out in the peaceful town of Never Been To a "Set Up" Meeting With Any Russians At All land. Then it took a charming detour through It Was a Short Introductory Meeting About Helping Russian Orphans country. Now we're in She Wasn't Technically Employed by the Russian Government and While I Went in the Hopes of Acquiring Free Opposition Research from a Foreign National, She Didn't Have Anything Useful in the End So We're Good, Right? territory.

It's like Rashomon - except the same event is being repeatedly described in contradictory ways from the perspective of one really stupid person.

The Trumps give little indication that they understand the enormity of what they face, legally or otherwise, and glimpses of their crisis-management strategy don't inspire confidence. "The view in Kushner's orbit is that the brutal new revelations are more P.R. problems than legal problems.

And if he makes progress with his Middle East peace efforts, perceptions would be very different," Mike Allen of Axios wrote in his early-morning news report this week.

There are so many layers of miscomprehension and hubris contained in that mass, it's like a Death Star-sized onion of delusion just hove into view.

There have been attempts to spin Mr. Trump Jr. as a hick from out of town who is just not familiar with your high-falutin' ethics. He just, according to one anonymous White House official speaking to the Washington Post, "wants to hunt, fish and run his family's real estate business."

The poor innocent lad, he just yearns to run the old family international real-estate empire and, apart from all those times he literally asked the American people (and, it has been suggested, the Russians) to make his father president, he never asked to get caught up in any of this.

It's as if the Trumps are the Beverly Hillbillies and, gosh, darn it, we should leave Jethro alone.

What is increasingly apparent is that what we're witnessing is a transposition problem: All the bluffing, posturing, firing, threatening to storm out, exaggerating, flat-out lying, dabbling with shady characters, name-dropping, spinning, suing to exhaustion, settling just before they're slaughtered that Mr. Trump dealt in worked in the Trumps' former New York milieu, where the foibles of a famous real estate family were not exhaustively scrutinized. And the children learned his ways.

Mr. Trump Sr. and his family come from a place where a puff piece in a city magazine can alter public perception at least long enough to affect the outcome at (tiny) hand, where there was nothing a smear and a softball interview (Mr. Trump Jr. did Hannity that same night) couldn't fix.

Watching them lurch about now, I can't help thinking that it's as if the Trumps have landed on a planet with a different gravitational field. They can't fly any more and they're angry, confused, and angry about being confused, and there may at least be some justice in that.

By now, everyone should know that online is real life and bad behaviour has consequences. Shane Dingman explores why we just can't control ourselves
Friday, July 21, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L1

The year is 2017, and there are still people who act as though the Internet isn't the real world.

I'm sorry if it seems obvious to you that actions taken and words written online are published utterances and can have the same impact as if you shouted them at a judge in a trial.

But recent digital high jinks suggest some folks aren't hearing the message that things that happen online are not "virtual" or "cyber" or any other term that suggests ephemerality or a lessgrounded reality. They aren't getting it, even though that message has been delivered repeatedly by courts, employers, social groups and colleges, as well as racial and religious minorities and majorities.

The Internet is real and it has real-world consequences. Why is that so hard to understand? The answer lies wedged somewhere in the mess of psychology, political culture and the Internet attention economy that has invaded modern life.

Example one: Dr. June Chu, who resigned as a dean at Yale in June because of controversy over Yelp reviews, including one in which she labelled a Japanese restaurant as perfect for "white trash."

Chu has a degree in psychology from Bryn Mawr College, as well as graduate degrees from the University of California, Davis, and Harvard. In a response to the publication of her reviews, Chu wrote that she had "learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another."

My question is, just this semester?

Example two, from Canadian Twitter: The May debacle of several senior media leaders chortling about kicking in money to fund a "cultural appropriation prize." In the aftermath, some of these powerful figures found their careers derailed, while others scrambled to distribute apologies, both inside and outside their organizations.

Let's not argue whether the media moguls were meaner and more immature than the "online mob" that told them their conduct was gross, but rather focus on what other, savvier users of the service wondered: "Do they not know we can see them?" It was rather bewildering that longtime journalists devoted to the written word didn't realize they were creating a shameful, very permanent record.

A final example: U.S. President Donald Trump, whose tweets routinely undermine his administration. Multiple court rulings regarding his Muslim immigration ban reference his Twitter account in an attempt to determine his true intentions, while he could be in personal legal jeopardy if his tweets regarding the Russia bonfire are found to show obstruction of justice or even just evidence of a guilty mind.

This habit is now rubbing off on his children, as seen in Donald Trump Jr.'s unorthodox decision to tweet screen grabs of e-mails discussing his meeting with Putin-linked lawyers. For their own safety, the Trumps really should heed Hillary Clinton's advice and delete their accounts.

One reflex is to accept that people are just prone to saying dumb stuff, including presidents, media executives and professors at Ivy League colleges. That flies in the face of the idea of humans as rational actors, but also blames individuals for a problem we all have: a failure to properly calibrate our interactions that happen through screens.

"We are witnessing online a digitized version of Lord of the Flies.

When you take away authority structures and accountability, many people regress," said John Suler, a clinical psychologist and professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Suler has been writing and thinking about the way the human mind adapts (or fails to adapt) to the Internet since 2001, and is one of the earliest chroniclers of the "online disinhibition effect:" the idea that when using the Internet, most people "selfdisclose or act out more frequently or intensely than they would in persson."

His 2016 book, Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans Become Electric, identifies eight different factors that create disinhibition, including online anonymity, a frequently referenced and debated cause for alarm.

But to understand our present moment, where public figures and other people using trackable identities act in totally disinhibited ways online, it's also worth looking at what he calls the most pernicious of the eight. That is "solipsistic introjection," the easy definition of which is: President Trump.

"People who are truly inappropriate online are lashing out not really against other people, but against all the toxic people from their past who are lurking in their imagination and in their unconscious mind," Suler said.

This helps explain why someone who disagrees with you online can go from zero to 100 - or "I've never met you" to "I'll burn your house down and kill your family" - in the space of a few tweets.

Social media let that rage go both broad and narrow: narrowly to fellow travellers, who will promote messages they agree with, and broadly to everyone else, many of whom may well be horrified at the way people express their desires to stick it to "them," whoever "they" are.

Another handy factor in this disinhibition is the Western preoccupation with freedom of speech, the cause célèbre of those Canadian media celebs. Lindy West, an American writer who is a frequent target of online abuse, penned an essay for The New York Times that dissected how cries of "free speech" are now being hurled at anyone who disagrees with any hate-filled utterance.

What she refers to is the torrent of on- and offline hate unleashed on women and people of colour by MAGA hats, Bernie Bros, gamergaters, "no platformers" and men's-rights activists who say they are compelled to promote free speech.

These people are "pretending to care about freedom of speech so they can feel self-righteous while harassing marginalized people for having opinions," West said. "Conflating criticism with censorship fosters a system in which all positions deserve equal consideration, no bad ideas can ever be put to rest, and lies are just as valid as the truth."

Many others don't like the idea of embracing racists on the Internet in the name of free speech and often point out that Canada has boundaries on protected speech.

Here, at least, speech is not free to be hate speech and various human-rights statutes and hatespeech laws go beyond libel and slander in legally penalizing people. In February of this year, a Saskatchewan oil worker was convicted of uttering threats after a paint-peeling Facebook screed that both advocated and fantasized about killing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Now, it is not hyperbole to point out that when states monitor and enforce speech laws more heavily, the consequences of social-media commentary can be drastic. In Pakistan, a man was recently sentenced to death for allegedly blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed in Facebook comments. When Nobel Prizewinning writer Liu Xiaobo died in Chinese custody, that country's digital censors went so far as to block even the display of his name inside the largest social platforms (such as WeChat and Sina Weibo).

The United States does have very strong guardrails for free speech, but they are aimed almost entirely at keeping government from overreaching.

In the last term of the Supreme Court of the United States, an Asian-American band called the Slants won a victory over a 1946 law that said trademarks cannot "disparage ... or bring ... into contempt or disrepute" any "persons, living or dead." In the ruling, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that "the proudest boast of our free-speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express 'the thought that we hate.' " But an "online mob" that yells at you is not the government.

Even in the United States, it's well within the rights of nongovernmental bosses, communities and social networks to react to crap spewed online. Negative consequences to personal liberty can still come as a result of speech, even if the speech itself is free.

What's amazing is that it's not just old folks unfamiliar with digital-culture rules who trip up.

Ten students recently found their early admissions to Harvard rescinded after being foolish enough to join a "private" Facebook group called "Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens." These young digital natives proceeded to post a slew of racist and offensive bon mots ("When the Mexican kid hangs himself in the school bathroom: Pinata Time"). When the administration found out, no more Harvard for them.

Those who grew up with social media should know better, but Suler blames the "amnesiac" nature of our "next new thing" technological culture.

Even though 16 years have passed since he first started researching online disinhibition, his first-year students are still shocked to discover there is academic language to explain "keyboard warriors" and other lords of the anti-social Web.

"Each new generation of users seems to have to discover, and even reinvent, the principles we already know to be true," Suler said. "People still like cyberspace as a 'wild, wild west' where they can do and say whatever they want ... and in the process, be forced to deal with others who have the same desires."

Which means it's unlikely that online nastiness will end any time soon: If everyone from young "digital natives" to the President of the United States is compelled to behave badly, what hope do the rest of us mortals have?

"It's not easy changing human nature," Suler said. "The temptation to be disinhibited, whether benign or toxic, is too great."

Associated Graphic


Top: Writer Lindy West, seen in 2013, says people are using the idea of free speech to harass marginalized people online for having opinions. Above: Donald Trump Jr., left, is seen with brother Eric Trump during the Republican National Convention in 2016. Trump Jr. is a recent example of how Internet posts have real-life consequences.


Anatomy of a music fest's death
How 'the best weekend of your life' became a nightmare for Pemberton investors, creditors and fans
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- The festival was supposed to take place this weekend, at the foot of Mount Currie in British Columbia's picturesque Seato-Sky Corridor. Tens of thousands of people would have filled the sprawling festival grounds each day. Chance the Rapper, Muse and A Tribe Called Quest were scheduled to perform.

Instead, the Pemberton Music Festival was suddenly cancelled in May, news of its bankruptcy trickling out in dribs and drabs.

The event organizers had billed as "the best weekend of your life" was suddenly no more - possibly along with more than $8-million of ticket holders' money.

The cancellation made those in the industry question the viability of large-scale commercial music festivals in B.C. The Squamish Valley Music Festival, Pemberton's chief competitor, was cancelled just one year prior.

"No one's going to do this again for a long, long, long time," said Lewis Neilson, owner of Production Power Corp., which provides electrical, heating and lighting services to the film, entertainment and special-events industry.

Mr. Neilson's company, which has serviced the Pemberton Music Festival since 2014, is owed more than $55,000 and is one of 120 unsecured creditors owed a total of more than $13-million.

"I've been doing this for 35 years, so I've seen a lot of stuff.

This will take a long time to recover [from] - if we ever do," he said.

The Pemberton Music Festival began as the Pemberton Festival, a three-day event in 2008 produced by Live Nation and headlined that year by Jay-Z, Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Tragically Hip. While Live Nation was optimistic the festival would become an annual event, financial hurdles and delays in obtaining land-use permits resulted in cancellations in 2009 and 2010.

Canadian investors partnered with Louisiana-based Huka Entertainment, a seasoned festival producer, to resurrect the event for 2014. But the two sides have starkly different accounts of what has transpired since.

According to a preliminary bankruptcy report prepared by Ernst & Young in June, Huka projected a profit of $2.4-million (U.S.) - approximately $2.64-million (Canadian) at the time - for that first year, but instead the festival lost almost $17-million. In 2015, the festival was projected to lose about $4-million (U.S.) - approximately $4.9-million (Canadian) at the time - but instead lost $16.8-million, according to the document. For the 2016 festival, Huka assured the Canadian investors that the Pemberton Music Festival brand was growing and that that year's festival would, at a minimum, break even. Instead, it lost $14-million.

Over three years, Huka collected monthly producer fees totalling $3.45-million (U.S.), according to the Ernst & Young report. The investors said they were not aware of this and received no funds in return on their investment.

In March, 2017, the investors said they would not proceed with this year's festival with Huka as producer. The parties went into mediation, which resulted in a numbered company, 1115666 B.C.

Ltd., replacing Huka subsidiary Twisted Tree Circus GP Ltd. as a general partner.

"After [1115666 B.C. Ltd.] took possession of the books and records of the [Pemberton Music Festival LP], it became clear that the PMF was in worse financial shape than Huka had initially represented to the Canadian investors," the bankruptcy report states.

Meanwhile, weak ticket sales added to the worry. In 2015, the festival averaged 25,151 tickets sold for each day, generating $10.3-million in revenue; in 2016, the average was 38,423 for each day for $15.2-million in revenue.

By mid-May of this year, the festival had sold about 18,230 tickets for each day, generating $8.2million in revenue. Budgeted expenses hovered around $22million.

It also became clear that Huka would not be able to attract new investors, as it had promised, and it would therefore "be impossible to hold a safe and successful festival," according to the report.

On May 16, directors of the numbered company voted to file for bankruptcy, officially doing so two days later through Ernst & Young. On the evening of May 17, as vendors and suppliers began receiving phone calls about the festival's cancellation, word began to spread online and to ticket holders, who tried in vain to get answers from the festival's website and Twitter account.

The cancellation was officially announced late in the afternoon of May 18. There would be no automatic refunds.

The bankruptcy report cites decreased revenue, increased operating costs due to the weakening Canadian dollar, the inability to secure additional funding and increased difficulty in sourcing talent as the causes of insolvency.

Huka characterized various aspects of the report as misleading, incorrect and exaggerated.

In its response, the festival producer said the Canadian investors were "operational partners from the outset" and had full access to the music festival's finances. It also vehemently denied taking any funds to which it was not entitled or without explicit authorization.

"In fact, Huka worked for months at a time without pay, in an effort to make events viable," Huka's submission states.

"By way of contrast, the Canadian investors did redirect funds intended for other purposes, including taxes owing, and instead used those funds to pay for themselves and a select group of vendors."

At a meeting of creditors held in early June, a representative from trustee Ernst & Young outlined Pemberton's dire situation.

The festival owes unsecured debt of just over $13-million; the trustee took possession of just over $3-million and is working on recovery of the festival's remaining assets.

The two secured creditors, the investor groups who were together owed $3.5-million, withdrew their claims. As of this week, Ernst & Young has received 267 claims from unsecured creditors.

However, ticket vendor Ticketfly is claiming a deemed trust; if successful, all money in the estate would go back to Ticketfly and there would be no recovery to the unsecured creditors, Ernst & Young's Kevin Brennan said. If not, the money would be distributed among unsecured creditors. The application is before the courts.

Mr. Neilson of Production Power Corp. said he kept working with the festival over the years because, while it often paid vendors late, it did ultimately pay. He was disappointed to learn of Pemberton's demise and saddened by what it might mean for major music festivals in B.C.

"Pemberton tried to compete with Squamish and that killed them both," he said. "Who wins? We all lose."

While smaller festivals such as Shambhala and the Rockin' River Country Music Fest continue to draw sizable niche crowds in B.C., industry insiders say the thin profit margins and huge financial risk of bigger events make them unviable.

"Major festivals of 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people, with camping and all the stuff that goes along with it - I'm not sure if that's a sustainable model any more," said BrandLive's Paul Runnals, executive producer of the Squamish Valley Music Festival.

"In the festival business, you start at the beginning of a booking cycle hoping for a lineup that will sell enough tickets to get you to where you want to be, but that process can take four, five, six months. You're committed before you really know what it is you're selling to your ticket buyers.

"The model of trying to camp and house and feed and water and keep safe tens of thousands of people - it's a challenging model. And there are signs in numerous places that it may not be sustainable."

As well, many artists sought for these large commercial festivals hail from the United States and must be paid in U.S. currency, which has become increasingly costly with the relatively weak Canadian dollar.

The trend, Mr. Runnals said, appears to be toward city festivals, such as Osheaga in Quebec, Austin City Limits in Texas and the Governors Ball in New York.

These events are close to a city's downtown core rather than in small towns and are easily accessible by public transit.

On a smaller scale, Surrey's FVDED in the Park is one such festival. In the three years at Holland Park, the two-day festival's attendance has grown from 28,000 to about 40,000, according to organizers.

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, which draws about 500,000 people over 10 days, utilizes various indoor and outdoor locations around the city, including concert venues, public plazas and parks.

Mr. Runnals said it's doubtful the Squamish Valley Music Festival would return in its previous form.

"Never say never - I would be a fool to do that - but the underlying issues haven't really changed," he said. "The size and scale ... that we had grown it to, I don't see it being viable until something changes in that equation."

Associated Graphic

Hopes were high for the Pemberton festival as fans celebrated during the Flaming Lips' set at the inaugural event in 2008.


Lead singer Wayne Coyne began the Flaming Lips' set by rolling over the audience in a plastic bubble at the first Pemberton festival in 2008. Festival organizers filed for bankruptcy last May.


A concert goer is thrown into the air while waiting for N.E.R.D. to perform at the 2008 edition of the Pemberton festival.


An on-ice crash-course for Chinese athletes
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

BEIJING -- The first time Zhao Ran stepped on the ice, it took two people to hold her up.

She says this with pride, laughing at her teammate, Zhang Miao, who admits "the first time I got on the ice, even three people couldn't keep me from falling."

But they had no choice. It was late March of this year, and they had suddenly become hockey players.

Both women were kayakers before coming to the arena, and their inability to skate put them in good company. Few of the people on their team, a new women's squad assembled by China's Hebei province, had so much as set foot on an ice rink.

They were sprinters, long-distance runners, high jumpers, paddlers and triathletes. But after a two-day selection camp, some two dozen of them were invited to join the team, learn to skate and, if they can figure out their slap shots and team play, get a chance to be chosen by their country for the national team.

The 2022 Beijing Olympics will be the first Winter Games on Chinese soil. Like any host country, China wants medals. Unlike most, it has few qualified competitors, counting a total of just 5,000 registered athletes across all Winter Olympic sports (a single major Summer Games sport, by comparison, might count 10,000 participants), according to official numbers from Chinese state media.

And five years is nowhere near enough time to train a generation of medalists.

So China has set out on a sweeping effort to fast-track the process by refashioning summer athletes into winter Olympians.

It's making roller skaters into speed skaters, cyclists into crosscountry skiers, boxers into downhill skiers and gymnasts into snowboarders and figure skaters.

They're calling it "cross-border selection," with 16 cities - among them Beijing, Urumqi and Guangzhou - holding tryouts for weightlifters, kayakers, baseball players and trampolinists. To find the right stuff, officials have tested athletes for sprinting ability, upper-body strength, and measured oxygen intake and cardiopulmonary function.

After a flurry of activity this spring, they selected 338 athletes.

Trainers looking for women to play hockey sought "flexibility and explosive power through simple tests such as 30-metre sprints, long jump, high jump and the like," said Zhao Ling, the Hebei team's coach, who in the early 1980s was among the first players on a female hockey team in the northern city of Harbin.

In late March, those selected joined a group of 13- to 17year-old women brought to the Hokay Ice Centre in northeastern Beijing. Many had previously been among the most skilled in their disciplines in home cities and provinces - and though many couldn't yet skate, their arrival in Beijing at a stroke significantly expanded the roster of women's hockey players in China, which until that point counted barely 200, according to Ms. Zhao.

The pressure is on to achieve hockey greatness - or at least competence. China's president Xi Jinping is understood to be a hockey fan, adding to the drive for puck success.

That's part of the reason attention is being paid to women's hockey, which is seen as a less difficult playing field. The International Ice Hockey Federation already ranks Chinese women 16th in the world, compared to 37th for men.

Team China is casting a wide net to find hockey talent. It is scouring North America for ethnic Chinese players, even those whose families date back many generations in Canada.

The NHL has got in on the action, too. In mid-June former Los Angeles Kings enforcer Kevin Westgarth, now the league's vice-president of business development and international affairs, went to the Hokay Ice Centre to work with the new girls' team - and try out the Mandarin he has been practising in New York (surprisingly competent renditions of "I love China," "I love hockey," and, "Go to the hotel and bring a bottle of baijiu," the fierce Chinese white liquor).

"The girls are certainly, you could tell, driven. They have some athleticism," he said. He offered advice on how to warm up, and skated with the women in on-ice drills.

"It's a very interesting idea - having built up a whole set of skills in another sport, another realm of athletics, and put it on the ice," he said.

China is, of course, not the first to cast a net into summer to achieve winter sports success.

Dozens of sprinters have been made into bobsledders. Speedskaters and cyclists use sufficiently similar muscle groups that some athletes - Canada's Clara Hughes prominent among them - have won medals in both disciplines. But the list of people who have competed in both Games is short, just 139.

No similar statistics exist on the number of one-time summer athletes who became winter Olympians, but the idea is entirely logical, said John Furlong, who led the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Games.

"If you are a great athlete to start with and have a winning record, then it simplifies things somewhat. Especially in power sports. In technical sports it's a tougher road, but starting with an accomplished athlete is a plus," he said.

Such a strategy "is common and practised everywhere. I've seen an Olympian make it in a new sport very quickly," he said.

The United States has conscripted roller skaters to be longtrack speed skaters, including Chad Hedrick, who won Olympic gold in the 5,000 metres at the 2006 Turin Games.

"This sort of thing is especially done by cities and countries that are about to host an Olympic Games, because they're allowed to enter somebody into every sport. And a lot of times they don't really have anyone in those sports that are any good," said Bill Mallon, a renowned Olympic historian and statistician.

It's more a matter of avoiding embarrassment than chasing medal glory, he said.

China has set its sights low.

"The state has said that if our athletes can make the top 16, they will have done very well.

Because we are just starting," said Li Jianhong, a wealthy property developer whose Silk Road Resort in China's far western Xinjiang region is training 50 men and women for ski jumping and nordic combined.

Mr. Li cited Michael Edwards, better known as Eddie the Eagle, who represented Britain at the Calgary Games as the first British Olympic ski jumper since 1929.

A recent film about Mr. Edwards has been an inspiration for China's newly drafted ski jumpers, he said.

"Many of our 15-year-old kids shed tears after watching," he said. "They tugged on my hand and swore that they must do this without fear of death."

Still, even if other countries have done similar "cross-border selection," there is little precedent for the scale of what China is doing, save perhaps the massive state-run selection programs pioneered by East Germany and then mimicked by Soviet states and eventually China itself.

"It's like a scientific study - 'This is the body type we need, let's see where can we find them,' " said David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympic Historians.

But "hockey is a steep hill to climb," Mr. Wallechinsky said.

"Because there are so many different factors. It's a team sport - there's strategy and co-ordination amongst the players."

The Hebei team started from little, spending much of its first three months on the mechanics of skating. When The Globe and Mail watched a practice in midJune, the women carved the ice with some skill, skating figureeights around faceoff circles, although one slipped and crashed into a reporter. "Sorry, sorry!" the woman said, in English.

By that point, the team had already begun moving pucks and thinking about game play. It wasn't simple.

"I may be good at skating, but once I skate with the puck, my movement gets a bit contorted," said Gao Ziye, a former runner now on the team. "And when the coaches talk to us about strategies for working together as a team, I sometimes feel lost.

I can get it on the ground - but once I'm on the ice, I get confused about where I should skate."

The team trains in the Chinese style, living together in a dormitory on the second floor of their arena. They practise on ice two hours in the morning and another three at night, ending at 11:30 p.m. In the afternoons, they drill off-ice puckhandling.

Sometimes, the coaches arrange viewing sessions for NHL games.

Only Saturday afternoons and Sundays are cleared of practices, a schedule they expect to maintain for years.

Though most of the team are high-school age, they have stopped school for now. Dreams of high university-placement exam marks have been replaced by hopes that their new sport can catapult them onto the international stage.

"We are so eager to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics" said Ms.

Zhang, the former kayaker. "The whole team here all want it so badly."

With reporting by Yu Mei

Associated Graphic

Emily Yue makes a save at a camp for Kunlun, a Chinese team joining the Canadian Women's Hockey League next year. China hopes to build a national women's team from scratch in time for the 2022 Winter Games.


Standing out from the crowd
Once a land of spacious abodes, Vancouver is becoming compact - and residents are feeling the squeeze
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- The Globe and Mail's B.C. bureau is spending the summer examining how Vancouver's increasing density is shaping the city and its residents.

This is the first in a series.

A century ago,Vancouver was seen as a utopia of singlefamily homes with lots of space to spread out.

Now, it's becoming a city where many of its residents are shuffling in together and squeezing in at a steady pace.

The region has the lowest proportion of single-detached houses of anywhere in Canada, with only 29 per cent of the nearly million homes in the Lower Mainland in that category. A study from Toronto's Neptis Foundation has shown that, for every 1,000 new people who arrive in the city, Vancouver uses half the space Toronto does and a quarter of Calgary.

And it's not just in the City of Vancouver. Contrary to the image of the suburbs as the domain of the quarter-acre lot with the big house, there are more multifamily homes built in the suburban communities surrounding Vancouver every year than single-family.

According to the latest census, a quarter of people in B.C.'s Lower Mainland live in low-rise apartments. Almost one in five live in apartments with more than five stories. And about one in six live in what are called duplexes, which, in the Vancouver region, are often homes that look like singlefamily detached but also include a basement suite.

That translates into less space, inside and out, for everyone.

And not just the people living in downtown Vancouver, but people throughout the region who are moving into condo towers in Burnaby or Surrey, new mid-rise buildings in Richmond, townhouse complexes in Port Moody and low-rise apartments in Langley.

This slow transformation means having to get along with a lot more people in close quarters. It means planners and builders having to think ever more carefully about how to service these newly dense areas with parks, libraries, schools and transit. Builders are now experimenting with how to provide some of the benefits of singlefamily living - storage space, workshops, back yards, hang-out spaces - to people now living at densities as high as 350 people for every square kilometre in some clusters in the region.

It's a profound change, say planners, that means more than just doing more of the same as cities such as Vancouver have become magnets, attracting ever more people who want the urban experience.

"There are enormous issues and it means thinking very differently. It's not just about how tall buildings are," says Ken Greenberg, an award-winning urban designer and architect in Toronto who has worked on city transformations around the world.

That means planning for whole neighbourhoods - not just their infrastructure, although that's important, but about their social make-up.

"We're facing the issue of income polarization by geography.

Unless we are prepared to deal with this, we run an incredible risk in undermining this idea of us being an inclusive society," he said.

For many individual residents, it also means making a profound mental shift in the kind of housing they aspire to.

"Going forward, multifamily is going to be a reality, especially in Vancouver. The townhouse or rowhome, it's going to be the single-family home of our generation," Darin Wong says.

Mr. Wong is a typical Vancouverite. He grew up in a singlefamily neighbourhood in east Vancouver. In his 20s, he bought a place in a condo tower in Burnaby near the Gilmore SkyTrain station - a soulless place with nothing around it that would make a resident feel like going for a walk. But he saw it as a good investment. It was also convenient when he was young and childless. A quick SkyTrain ride took him to his job downtown in environmental assessment or to restaurants and bars in the evening.

Last year, he and his wife, Rosine Hage-Moussa, both 35, moved to a townhouse complex at Heritage Woods in Port Moody with their two young children.

They have 1,260 square feet, a garage, and small yards, front and back.

"It feels like a house," he said, and that's the main thing they wanted, along with still being close to transit. Sometimes, he admits, "it's a little bit close for comfort - I can hear the neighbours going up and down the stairs."

In the end, he and his wife like the feel of the complex. There are a lot of other families with children. Because everyone has a ground-level entrance and some space outside, people see each other and socialize more easily.

There's a private Facebook group for the complex where everyone trades news about recent bear sightings, holiday party plans or break-ins.

Increasingly, families are feeling more comfortable even in big high-rise towers or large multi-unit buildings in neighbourhoods that would never have been considered family-friendly a few decades ago.

Gerry and Pamela Findling live on the 27th floor of their building, which sits above the New Westminster SkyTrain station and adjoining mall, with their 12year-old son. As with Mr. Wong, Mr. Findling, 48, grew up in a standard-issue single-family neighbourhood, his in Edmonton.

"I feel like the stereotype of the close-knit family neighbourhood hasn't happened in 40 years," he said. Kids are scheduled into activities or not allowed to roam the streets the way they used to, so those neighbourhoods, even when they have children in them, seem empty. He doesn't miss that at all. "I love living in a condo. I don't have the yard work. I can spend more time taking my son to soccer."

The Findlings feel as if they have a real sense of community in their building, even though it has 239 units and a mix of owners and renters. There are garden plots on the roof, something that attracts the building's older residents. And people organized a camp-out on the building's large, grassy ninth-floor terrace one night last summer, complete with camp songs and a propanefueled fire.

Denser housing is often less expensive, closer to transit and activities and friendlier to the environment. But there's the issue of getting along in close quarters. Not everyone feels positive about multifamily living.

Some likely won't get there ever.

Single-family homes remain hugely popular in the region, but that has also pushed prices out of reach for many. Strata ownership - and more specifically, strata councils - is a perpetual thorn in the side of many who live in denser communities. Mr. Wong in Port Moody said that is the one thing he wishes he could change about his strata complex.

There's also a stigma associated with density.

For decades, there's been a persistent image that people who live in areas of apartment buildings and towers are lonely, unhappy and deprived. At Vancouver's city council a couple of years ago, residents opposing new towers at the Oakridge shopping mall in the southern area of the city made the argument that building that type of housing would produce a neighbourhood of depressed and alienated people.

Vancouver's best-known density planner, Larry Beasley, said new dense cities will only work if builders and planners ensure they create a high-quality environment.

Most people around the world think they hate density, said Mr.

Beasley, who oversaw much of the development in Vancouver's new downtown residential neighbourhoods, such as north False Creek and Coal Harbour, in the 1990s and early 2000s before going on to consulting work in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Dallas, Abu Dhabi, Moscow and more. "It's usually because they find a dense environment very brutal. They associate density with losing in life."

Apartment builders in earlier years created projects they thought were for just a couple of demographics: seniors and young people who were often transient. So there was little effort made to build in the kinds of things families wanted or that would create connected-feeling neighbourhoods.

During his time as the city's planning director, Mr. Beasley pushed for design elements such as townhouses at the base of large buildings, so there would be a sense of people living along the street, or more storage space in multi-family buildings for the many things that families need to find a place for. He and other planners in Vancouver also insisted on building attractive neighbourhoods around the towers and townhouses complexes so that there were all kinds of activities for people right outside their doors.

"We tried in Vancouver," Mr. Beasley says, "to make density delicious."

But not every city has made that a priority, leaving future residents more conflicted than ever.

Is compact housing shared with many others something they will only tolerate as a second choice?

Or something that can be a first choice?

Associated Graphic

Rosine Hage-Moussa, left, and Darin Wong hold their daughters, Celine and Madeline, in their Port Moody backyard on July 13.


Darin Wong, right, moved his family to a 1,260-square-foot townhouse last year, which he says is sometimes 'a little bit close for comfort - I can hear the neighbours going up and down the stairs.'


Trump Jr. faces legal risk for welcoming Russian help
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A1

The e-mail promised "very highlevel" and "ultra-sensitive" information that would "incriminate" Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to support Donald Trump's bid for president.

Donald Trump Jr. quickly wrote back: "If it's what you say I love it."

The newly revealed correspondence from June, 2016, marks a striking development in the controversy over the Trump campaign's contacts - and possible collusion - with Russia to influence the U.S. presidential election.

The messages depict the junior Mr. Trump as an eager consumer of Russian information damaging to Ms. Clinton. The e-mail exchange and the meeting that followed could place him in legal jeopardy, some experts say. It is a federal crime to solicit or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with U.S. election campaigns.

Mr. Trump Jr. himself released the e-mails on Tuesday just as The New York Times was preparing to publish a story on their contents. His father issued a brief statement of support Tuesday via a spokesperson.

"My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency," the President said.

The e-mail correspondence between Mr. Trump and Rob Goldstone, a British publicist with Russian business ties, culminated in a meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer. Also present at the meeting were Paul Manafort, then the campaign's top manager, and Jared Kushner, an adviser to the campaign and the President's son-in-law.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Trump Jr., the President's eldest son, said he believed the information on offer was "opposition research" on Ms. Clinton. However, Ms. Veselnitskaya provided no such information at the meeting, he said, and instead wanted to discuss the Magnitsky Act, a bipartisan U.S. legislation enacted in 2012 that bars Russian officials suspected of human-rights violations from entering the country and freezes their assets.

Rick Hasen, an expert on election law who teaches at the University of California, Irvine, wrote Tuesday that after reading the younger Mr. Trump's e-mails, it is "hard to see how there is not a serious case" for a violation of campaign-finance law, in particular its prohibition on soliciting anything of value from foreign nationals. "There's a lot for prosecutors to sink their teeth into."

Joseph Sandler, a specialist in election law who formerly served as general counsel of the Democratic National Committee, concurred. Tuesday's e-mails "greatly strengthened" the case that the younger Mr. Trump may have broken the law, he said, because they demonstrate he considered the information valuable and knew it came from a foreign national.

"It's surprising that there was this level of explicit encouragement of something clearly presented as a foreign government-sponsored effort to benefit the candidate," Mr. Sandler said.

It is also astonishing, he added, that Mr. Manafort, the top official in the Trump campaign, would attend such a meeting. "What in the world would possess [Mr. Manafort] to meet with a Russian lawyer?" asked Mr. Sandler. One possible explanation: "They thought this was the Holy Grail here."

The e-mails are "extremely significant from a legal standpoint," said another expert in election law in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Subpoenas will be raining down on Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort and Goldstone."

The fact that Mr. Goldstone described the information on offer as one part of an apparent broader effort by Russia to help the Trump campaign will also attract prosecutorial attention, the expert predicted. "That phrase 'part of' is going to be the subject of a lot of depositions," he said. A lawyer representing the younger Mr. Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Discovering whether any laws have been broken will fall to Robert Mueller, the special counsel charged with investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. In recent weeks, Mr. Mueller has continued to add investigative firepower to his team, recruiting federal prosecutors with expertise in public corruption and international terrorism cases.

Members of Congress are conducting their own parallel probes into the Russia controversy. Both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate intelligence committee called this week for the younger Mr. Trump to testify.

"Happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know," Mr. Trump Jr., 39, wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Mr. Trump Jr.'s version of what occurred has evolved. As recently as March, he told The New York Times he had never participated in any meetings involving Russian nationals where he was "representing the campaign in any way, shape or form."

In his initial statement regarding the June 9, 2016, meeting released on Saturday, he said the encounter primarily involved a discussion of an adoption program for Russian children (the program was ended in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act). On Sunday, he admitted the meeting was set up as an opportunity to receive information that would be "potentially helpful" for the Trump campaign in its battle against Ms. Clinton.

Mr. Goldstone, the publicist who brokered the meeting, originally reached out on behalf of Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star and the son of Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire. The senior Mr. Agalarov partnered with the senior Mr. Trump to bring the 2013 Miss Universe pageant to Moscow. In his initial e-mail, Mr. Goldstone said Mr. Agalarov had met that morning with the "crown prosecutor" of Russia - an apparent reference to the country's top prosecutor - who offered to provide incriminating documents on Ms. Clinton.

Political consultants from both parties stressed how unusual the resulting meeting was. Matthew Dowd, a veteran of more than 100 campaigns who was chief strategist for George W. Bush's reelection bid, wrote on Twitter that it was the first time he had heard of someone meeting with a foreign adversary in order to get "oppo," or opposition research, on a competitor.

For Democratic lawmakers, the e-mails provided the first concrete evidence that the Trump campaign attempted to co-ordinate with elements in Russia to influence the election.

"There is no longer a question of whether this campaign sought to collude with a hostile foreign power to subvert American democracy," said Senator Ron Wyden, who sits on the Senate intelligence committee, in a statement. "The question is how far the co-ordination goes."


Who are these e-mails from? In June, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., was a key player in his father's campaign. He got a tip from publicist Rob Goldstone that the Russian government had damning information about his father's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Goldstone represented the Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, whose father, Aras Agalarov, is one of Russia's wealthiest men - and was the elder Mr. Trump's business partner when the Miss Universe pageant came to Moscow in 2013. The nature of their e-mail conversations between Mr. Goldstone and Donald Trump Jr. first became public this week in reports from The New York Times, which cited sources familiar with the e-mails' contents.

What do they say? The e-mails show the future President's son discussing plans to hear damagjing information on Ms. Clinton that were described as "part of Russia and its government's support fosr Mr. Trump." Mr. Goldstone writes that the Agalarows "helped along" this support. Donald Trump Jr. replied by saying he would "love it especially later in the summer," apparently referring to the information they were promised.

What is this meeting they're talking about? Donald Trump Jr. has acknowledged that, shortly after the e-mail exchange with Mr. Goldstone, he met with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, with the understanding that she would provide damaging information about Ms. Clinton. The Republican candidate's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also attended the meeting. But in his statement Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. says that, instead of the damning information promised, the Russian lawyer offered nothing of substance and the meeting ended after she began talking about a U.S. law that blacklists suspected Russian human-rights abusers.

Why do these e-mails matter? Revelations about Russia's meddling in the 2016 election have raised difficult questions in Washington about whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to win the election by dishonest means. There are currently four congressional investigations and one FBIJustice Department probe examining these questions. Donald Trump Jr.'s e-mails are the first documentary evidence that a top Trump associate took a meeting to hear damaging information about Ms. Clinton with the understanding that it was connected to a Russian government effort to help Mr. Trump.

Why is Trump Jr. releasing them now? In a statement Tuesday, Donald Trump's eldest son said he was posting the e-mails "in order to be totally transparent." Donald Trump Jr. has also offered to co-operate with the Senate intelligence committee investigating the Russian interference in the election.

With reports from Associated Press, The New York Times and Globe staff

Associated Graphic

Donald Trump Jr. said in a statement on Tuesday that he believed the information on offer from a Russian lawyer in a June, 2016, meeting was 'opposition research' on his father's election rival, Hillary Clinton.


Scarborough food company's sweet success offends neighbours' noses
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page M1

Two summers ago, Chris Correia stepped into her backyard and took a whiff of her new neighbour. She was overcome by the smell of frying oil and spices enveloping her Scarborough property.

"It just took your breath away," she said.

She called Surati Sweet Mart, makers of traditional Indian fried snacks and baked goods, and introduced herself, explaining that her backyard overlooks its Middlefield Road plant.

"I said, 'I don't mean to be rude, but is that smell coming from your company?' They told me it was exhaust. I said, 'Thank you' and I hung up, and started crying."

A dispute between the familyowned Surati and residents of the Middlefield neighbourhood, in the McCowan Road and Finch Avenue area, is just the latest urban odour clash, and highlights the tension that can arise when industry and homes sit close together. There have been similar battles involving a Lush soap factory in Etobicoke, a Balzac's Coffee location in Stoney Creek, and the Nitta Gelatin plant, where pigskins are turned into gelatin in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood of Toronto.

Surati says it has done all it can to appease residents, including installing an odour-abatement system and cutting back shifts.

The company bought the 65,000-square-foot plant to boost production to three shifts because it says it can't keep up with demand for its chips, crackers and cookies. But soon after Surati moved in, during the summer of 2015, the complaints started piling up.

Residents banded together, pushing politicians for action, organizing a public meeting and demanding that the company do something about the smell they say has them hunkering down in their homes.

The two sides are at a stalemate.

The company has complied with requirements from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, hiring a consultant and installing a system in November to inject ozone to neutralize exhaust from fryer units. In all, the company says it has spent $506,000 and its consultant has found a 74-per-cent reduction in peak odours.

"As a measure of good faith, we have shut down the midnight shift on the frying lines and we reduced the weekend shift," said Shalini Sheth, director of operations. "That means no overtime for our employees."

When they do need to run extra shifts, the company sends e-mails to neighbours. The extra shifts are happening more often, say the residents, and some days the smell is worse than ever.

"Odour is subjective and can't be eliminated completely. We have done our part and we're continuing to work with the ministry," said Ms. Sheth, adding the company had no complaints in 35 years at its previous Toronto location - also in a residential area - near Victoria Park Avenue and Lawrence Avenue East. "To make sure you are fixing the right thing takes time. I understand that causes some frustration."

But neighbours say they've lost two summers and still can't enjoy their properties. On humid and still days, they describe being able to practically taste the heavy smell of cooking oil. They drive their dogs to other neighbourhoods for walks and backyard pools sit empty on the hottest days because their children don't want to go outside. Even avid gardeners have retreated indoors.

It takes just minutes for hair and clothes to carry the smell when residents venture outside.

"It's kind of like putting your head into a fryer," said CY AuYeung, who grew up in the neighbourhood.

Liz Gosse-Davidson, who has lived in her home more than 30 years, blames the odour for increased asthma symptoms, saying she's used almost a whole inhaler in a year when they normally last five.

The residents mostly place the blame on city regulations that allow a company such as Surati so close to homes. The plant is zoned for light industrial use, which includes food manufacturing. The neighbours contend industrial-scale grease frying is not light industrial.

"The city needs to do something about the zoning," Mr. AuYeung said. "It doesn't make sense to put a plant like that so close to a residential area, directly bordering our backyards. Anyone who thinks straight wouldn't do that."

The City of Toronto is required by the province to ensure it has sufficient employment lands, spokeswoman Tammy Robinson said. "Employment lands within the city are a finite land resource, and are the only places across the city that can accommodate certain manufacturers, including those that emit odours. In order to maintain a diverse economy, these type of businesses need to be able to thrive in the city."

The neighbours say City Councillor Chin Lee has not responded to them in more than a year.

In the past, he's told them the company has a right to operate and residents say his staff has even warned them their public comments could get them sued by Surati.

Mr. Lee did not respond to several requests for comment.

The neighbours stress they have nothing against the company or its products, but they don't believe its operations should be allowed to affect their lives.

"I know they have a right to be here, but I have a right to have my children play outside or to have our windows open," Ms. Correia said. "What about our rights? We pay property taxes. We didn't sign up for this."

The family behind Surati is not unsympathetic.

"We feel for them, too," Haren Sheth, the company's chief executive officer, says of the neighbours. "They weren't having issues before, but we are trying to keep pace with our competitors, too. Odour and noise are tricky. We need to co-exist."

The company is in the hands of the second and third generations of the family and may soon have its fourth generation hands on deck, too.

All of its products are chickpea- or flour-based and vegetarian. The plant also has a retail operation selling its packaged products and fresh-made food.

Surati has four distribution centres in the United States and a plant in India that sources raw ingredients. Sixty per cent of its global sales of $20-million are exports to the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Surati products are sold in Canada in Loblaws, Sobeys, Food Basics, Costco, and independent Indian groceries.

Shalini Sheth points to consultant reports and Ministry of the Environment weather modelling information that show socalled peak odours are being reached in 50 measuring locations in the neighbourhood just 0.2 per cent of the time.

"The neighbours will say the smell is unbearable, but we aren't experiencing the same.

There is an odour, but it's not the extreme being described."

The Ministry of the Environment is reviewing source testing conducted in February, spokesman Gary Wheeler said. "The company must demonstrate to the ministry that it has taken all reasonable measures to address the odour. The ministry's role is to ensure that companies take measures to ensure their operations do not impact residences in the area."

Ms. Sheth says her company has done everything it can to be responsive to neighbours, including spending $300,000 on an indoor freezer in response to complaints about noise from compressors.

But when there is conflict between industrial and residential users, "the onus can't always be put on the business. We have to co-exist." Surati supports city infrastructure and employs 125 people, she says, often providing a first job to newcomers.

Odour expert Ray Porter, who has not done any work with Surati but has worked with waste-water treatment, landfill, food and industrial clients for 35 years, says "odour acceptance" in a community is based on four factors: frequency, intensity, duration and offensiveness.

"Even pleasant odours all the time are too much. Cooking or baking odours can be offensive if it's every day," said Mr. Porter, who is a knowledge leader with Montreal's Odotech, and is based in Boston.

Mr. Porter says an odour is a nuisance if it regularly prevents people from enjoying their home. Odours that come frequently and last a long time can cause stress, anxiety and physical reactions.

"Food odours are recognizable and distinctive. Once it's recognizable, there is anticipation of it and residents can recognize it at very low levels," he said.

"There is a plant that roasts peanuts for peanut butter near my house. I drive by and I think, 'Oh, peanut butter. I want a sandwich.' But if I lived closer and the smell was there all the time, that's the last thing I'd think."

Associated Graphic

Shalini Sheth of Surati Sweet Mart is photographed at the company's retail store on June 19. The pungent smells emenating from the Indian-food producer's plant have drawn the ire of neighbours.


A Surati employee handles food fresh out of the plant's commercial fryers on Middlefield Road in Scarborough, last month.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

DavidsTea founder takes a bet on salad
With two Mad Radish locations opening in Ottawa, Segal will be facing a crowded fast-casual market
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B2

OTTAWA -- From the state of affairs at 859 Bank St. in Ottawa's upscale Glebe neighbourhood, you'd never guess a restaurant launch is just three weeks away.

It's late June, and the 1,700square-foot space is cluttered with ladders and tool bins, buckets and discarded cups. Wires hang from unfinished sockets.

You have to step carefully to avoid dust piles, bags of grout and giant spools. A half-dozen construction workers pore over blueprints or ascend to the rafters to hang fixtures. The oven and ice cream machine are still shrink-wrapped, countertops have yet to be installed and most of the fridges haven't arrived - they've cleared customs, but are somewhere in Brampton, Ont.

The health inspection is in five days.

"I've seen worse," says David Segal, surveying the scene. "It's always like this in the end."

Every day for the past two weeks, he says, he's woken up to an unanticipated cost "or a launch-threatening delay."

Mr. Segal has a lot riding on the success of this fast-casual salad restaurant, called Mad Radish.

The 36-year-old Ottawa native is best known as the David behind DavidsTea, the chain he co-founded in 2008 with cousin and Le Château founder Herschel Segal.

Together, they've turned tea from a stodgy drink into a sensory retail experience. The bright, airy, teal stores feature walls of eclectic, unconventional blends with names such as Chocolate Cake and Cotton Candy. Service was high touch. Tea purists scoffed, but customers couldn't get enough.

But DavidsTea has been in a steep descent since going public in 2015. It's on its fifth chief executive officer in six years (Mr. Segal gave up the role in 2011 and later became its "brand ambassador"), sales growth has stalled and the stock has lost 70 per cent of its value. New CEO Joel Silver recently admitted that the company - with 232 stores in Canada and the United States and facing stiff competition from Starbucks' Teavana chain - suffered from "self-inflicted wounds." At the June annual meeting, former chairman Pierre Michaud criticized the firm's leadership and stock performance.

Amid the turmoil, Mr. Segal left the company in March, 2016, and subsequently sold his remaining shares. Herschel remains on the board and holds 51 per cent of DavidsTea shares.

Mr. Segal won't comment on his departure or the woes facing the chain that bears his name, but they clearly rankle. He tried to mount a takeover bid backed by Bain Capital, but his cousin, the controlling shareholder, wasn't interested. "Absolutely I do" feel DavidsTea's hard times personally, he said during one of several interviews over the past six months. "Leaving DavidsTea was hard. But I'm more excited for Mad Radish at this stage than I was at DavidsTea. I'm excited to take some of the lessons I learned ... and apply them here."

Now, Mr. Segal is out to show that his initial success with DavidsTea was no fluke. Starting with two Ottawa locations - the first opens Friday downtown, followed by the Glebe location on July 24 (four days later than planned). He plans to expand nationally, adding five Mad Radishes next year and 10 in 2019.

He has personally bankrolled the millions of dollars for the launch and recruited a top chef (Nigel Finley, from Toronto's the Chase), a seasoned operator (Adam Tomczyk, an executive with U.S. chain Chopt Creative Salad Company) and co-founder Stephanie Howarth, DavidsTea's former marketing vice-president.

Can the man who made tea exciting succeed in salads? It won't be easy. Fast-food customers aren't suffering for healthier options: Freshii and Mexican food giant Chipotle are expanding in Canada, and major cities boast multiple healthy-orderand-dash options. Even quickservice giants such as Tim Hortons and McDonald's have broadened their menus. The big question: How to stand out?

Mr. Segal and Ms. Howarth - Mr. Segal's first hire at DavidsTea - began developing Mad Radish a year ago, weeks after leaving their former employer. Before they had one salad conceived - or even hired a chef - they set out to build the concept's look, marketing and food philosophy.

They wanted a warm and happy experience, so they chose blue, not green, as their brand colour and a name that suggested playful creativity while nodding to the fresh ingredients.

Other salad chains, Ms. Howarth said, "had what we called the green-and-white spaceship aesthetic," with aloof urban concepts where it felt like "you're being prescribed a salad because you're a bad boy.

"We're going to focus on food quality and 'chef-driven,' " she said. "Health is the third message. A lot of salad concepts start with health. You're wasting marketing dollars by going back to something that's inherent to the concept."

Other names they considered but discarded included Black Radish ("too serious," Ms. Howarth said), Brassica ("intimidating") and Fat Carrot.

They decided utensils and dishes would be recyclable or biodegradable, despite the higher cost, and that all sales would be transacted digitally - allowing customers to order and pay from their phones while saving on cash-handling costs. "We're trashless and cashless," Mr. Segal said.

These branding decisions go beyond colours and names, he said. At DavidsTea "we were in the water-infusion business."

That empowered his team to reimagine tea as more than a dull, narrowly defined beverage.

Inventive, aromatic blends were packaged into an inviting concept where customers could sniff tins for 20 minutes before shelling out for pricey products.

Doing the same thing for salad? That's where Mr. Finley comes in.

Mr. Segal found the 33-year-old chef late last year through a recruiter. The bearded, low-key Halifax native with a mackerel tattoo on his right forearm grew up eating meals made from scratch and has spent half his life working in kitchens, developing a passion for knowing the source of his ingredients. "I was immediately enthralled by the opportunity to be a pioneer," Mr. Finley said, adding he was impressed by the clean-cut Mr. Segal, an enthusiastic, fasttalking individual with lively eyes. "He's passionate from the first sentence."

With Mad Radish, the founders hope to please foodies while targeting the masses. Mr. Segal believes Mad Radish could work at roadside stops.

The concept aims to position salads as a "crave-worthy" meal for the fast-food crowd, with average dishes priced at about $13 - an amount the founders say is justified by the use of fresh ingredients and the presentation.

"You've got to taste this and be like, 'Oh God, I want more,' " Mr. Segal said. "It shouldn't feel like eating bird food [or honouring] a New Year's resolution."

That means no frozen corn, "sad" cubes of factory chicken, hard croutons, canned chickpeas or globs of quinoa. Iceberg lettuce is out and even romaine is scarce (chicory and kale are preferred). Every ingredient in Mad Radish's 12 salads and three "warm bowl" meals - as well as drinks, bread, homemade vegan ice cream and soups - has been thought out by Mr. Finley and much of it sourced from small Canadian farms. Mr. Finley started by creating 150 salads, then cut that number in half before focus groups tasted them earlier this year, leading to the final cut.

Everything will be prepared on site - even the croutons.

Amid the chaos in late June, Mr. Segal sounds optimistic but nervous. "Shame on us if we can't deliver," he says. "It has to work."

Despite increasing competition in a crowded space, "fast casual" remains the top-growing restaurant segment and is "quite open" for a concept such as Mad Radish, said Doug Fischer of foodservice consultancy FHG International. "It's still a good opportunity."

Asked about sales expectations, Mr. Segal admits he's not sure. "People need to fall in love with what we're doing. That's the first objective. The biggest mistake you can make out of the gate is to overemphasize cost structure. You believe there's a market, you do everything you can to execute at a world-class level, then you open the doors and see how the public responds."

"We spent a lot of time trying to answer the question: 'Why does the world need this?' " Ms. Howarth said. "We've done our homework. I need a sale ... to validate what I believe are great choices."

Associated Graphic

From left, Mad Radish co-founder Stephanie Howarth, co-founder David Segal and chef Nigel Finley stand in front of a soon-to-be-opened location in Ottawa in June. Mr. Segal says the chain will be 'trashless and cashless' - all utensils and containers will be biodegradable and only digital payments will be accepted.


How this little brown book can keep China's lovers worlds apart
In China, a householdregistration system called hukou decides migrants' social status, where they can afford to live - and who they marry. Nathan VanderKlippe explains how
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A8

SHANGHAI -- The way Lai Jie sees it, there are two kinds of relationships.

There is romance. And there is marriage.

They are not always the same, and in a city such as Shanghai, the deciding factor on who to wed can have little to do with personality, interest or chemistry.

It comes down, instead, to a little brown book, the hukou (pronounced hoo-koh) document, part of a household-registration system that creates distinctions between urban haves and have-nots that influence salaries, education and, it turns out, love lives for huge numbers of migrants.

In China, families are registered by hometown. Each person's hukou document anchors them to their family's place of origin and the services available there no matter where they move.

It means that those who move to big cities chasing jobs and opportunities typically do not enjoy full local rights of home ownership or benefits such as public schools. Without local hukou documents they are, effectively, second-class citizens - and despite Chinese efforts to reform the system, it remains largely in place today.

Many of the effects of hukou are wellknown: It bars migrant workers in big cities from public services and education, and creates a difficult bureaucratic obstacle to personal advancement.

But it also plays a surprisingly important role in love, forming a major relationship barrier, creating a cleavage that calcifies social mobility and solidifies an underclass of citizens with curtailed rights.

Having hukou is "very important for the ones who don't have it," Ms. Lai said. "We must consider married life and then having children, unless it's a romance not aimed at marriage."

It's a problem reflected in new research from the University of British Columbia and Brown University. It found that although migrants make up just under half the population of Shanghai, only 20 per cent of marriages there cross hukou lines.

Most unions are either between two people who possess Shanghai hukou, or two people who do not.

It is what researchers call "assortative mating," a dry term that describes an important social issue for China.

"Marriage and China's hukou system can work together to contribute to the growing socio-economic disparities between migrants and locals," said Yue Qian, a UBC professor who is the study's lead author.

"Hukou just offers little chance for migrants, especially for less-educated migrants, to integrate or prosper in urban cities."

Conversely, it enhances the ability for those with Shanghai hukou to leap beyond their station.

"Local Shanghainese, with their hukou status, may still be able to marry relatively highly educated migrants. They can use their hukou to gain socio-economically through marriage," Prof. Qian said.

What it means is "migrants fare even worse in China compared with immigrants in Canada or the U.S.," she said.

"Children born to immigrants can get citizenship status automatically, as long as they are born in the U.S. or Canada," she said. "But in the Chinese context, even children born to migrant parents - those children are still migrants. They cannot gain Shanghai or Beijing hukou by birth."

China's hukou system is almost as old as Communist rule.

In 1958, Beijing required people to be classified as "agricultural" or "non-agricultural" (since amended to "urban" and "rural") along with their place of registration. The system is complex, but in general ties people to the homes of their ancestors, a practice that meant little in the agrarian China of a half-century ago.

But its persistence in modern days, with a quarter-billion Chinese who have left home to find better futures, has created numerous stresses.

It is on display at Shanghai's weekly marriage market, where parents seeking spouses for their children regularly advertise their hukou status. Shanghai hukou is considered the hardest in the country to obtain.

Chinese families are famously open about partnership requirements, bluntly asking potential mates about incomes, jobs and house holdings. Marriage offers one route to local registration, and the benefits it confers - spouses can, after waiting several years, apply to join each other's hukou.

But the persistence of hukou divisions underlie worries about class stratification and social mobility that have simmered in China. In 2011, Cai Zhiqiang, a professor at the powerful Central Party School, wrote an article lamenting that "the momentum for upward social mobility is being gradually lost," creating a situation where "hereditary poverty has become a reality."

Recent scholarship has borne that out. A Stanford study last year showed that a modern Chinese son's earnings were more likely to resemble his father's than those of someone in Brazil, the United States, Pakistan, South Korea or Canada, an effect researchers called a "very high level of intergenerational rigidity."

A 2014 study by Chinese and British researchers pointed out that on the scale of decades - dating back to before Communist rule in 1949 - China's upward mobility has exceeded that of Britain. But great class divisions remain, and "the prime driver for social inequality in China was the hukou system."

It can be surprising, then, to discover that hukou remains popular in China, even among those who recognize its role in maintaining social separation.

Take Ms. Lai, who cites former leader Deng Xiaoping's exhortation to "let some people get rich first." That has happened, and those living in places such as Shanghai "who got rich first also now enjoy the fruits of being rich first," Ms. Lai said.

Hukou keeps those still poor from descending upon wealthy areas and taking away all that fruit.

That is not a bad thing, she said. "If Shanghai opened up its hukou policy, the city would be unable to bear such a large population," she said. "China has too many people. That is a fundamental fact."

Ms. Lai, a manager at a financial company, moved to Shanghai and married a man with local hukou - although his registration, she says, was not the primary attraction.

For many young Chinese today, though, hukou continues to weigh heavily as they venture into the marriage market.

Often, the primary consideration in choosing a spouse is home ownership.

That, too, is tightly tied to hukou - which, scholars say, is the single-largest obstacle to buying a home for those not locally registered.

"Some with local hukou feel superior to others," said Anny Yuan, who recently graduated from a Master's program in economic management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, one of the top education institutions in the country.

"For example, if one person has hukou, even if he doesn't have much in savings, he may expect the other half to be wealthier. The way I see it, it's a kind of marriagemarket ploy."

Ms. Yuan is not from Shanghai, but her boyfriend is. She, however, has her own path to local hukou, which is granted more generously to top graduate students.

Even for those with Shanghai credentials, meanwhile, there is value in seeking out a spouse with a similar background. Life in Shanghai is not easy: Rents are high, jobs are fiercely sought after and square footage is small.

Most couples need both of them to work, meaning they rely heavily on grandparents to take care of children - which is much simpler when the older generation lives in the same city.

Cultural issues matter, too. Some of the city-born women who attend workshops run by Shanghai relationship consultant Wu Di are not interested in partners whose rural backgrounds may be geographically and culturally distant from their own.

In fact, Ms. Wu encourages this.

"It's not a question of hukou," she said.

"Locals are better suited to marry other locals, in my opinion."

But, she said, marriage is complicated - and hukou is just one of a list of reasons that might make one person more attractive than another. Looks matter, as do wallet and house sizes.

"The more advantages one has, the easier it is for him or her to find their other half in marriage," she said.

With a report from Yu Mei

Associated Graphic

Opposite: A woman shows reporters a hukou household-registration document. In China, families are registered by hometown. Each person's document anchors them to their family's place of origin and the services available there no matter where they move.


Top: New research from the University of British Columbia and Brown University found that only 20 per cent of marriages in Shanghai cross hukou lines.


Above: A young boy sits in his aunt's house after his school in Shanghai was shut down in 2014. Without a hukou document, many migrant children do not qualify for public schools, making illegal migrant schools their only option.


Why a 94-year-old war veteran started a podcast to save democracy
Harry Leslie Smith is deeply disturbed at how democracy has become endangered. He's convinced young people can be the planet's salvation - and he's reaching out to them, one podcast at a time, Elizabeth Renzetti writes
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A6

If you were to write a play, there would be few more compelling characters than a 94-year-old Second World War veteran who is so despairing of the world that he turns to young peoples' technology to reach young peoples' ears.

Harry Leslie Smith, a nonagenarian podcaster, is that person and this is the story of his late-life awakening, told in three acts. It almost has an happy ending.

Act 1 I first heard Mr. Smith speak in June, 2015, at a sold-out lecture in Vancouver. He was 92, a small, wizened figure who walked haltingly onstage and commanded it for the next hour. He spoke about the shattering poverty he'd experienced as a child, growing up in Yorkshire, England: His 10-yearold sister died of tuberculosis, her body tossed in an unmarked pauper's grave. His father followed, years later, in another unmarked grave. Mr. Smith spoke about his worries that the world was once again separating into the haves and have-nots, both in his native Britain and his adopted home, Canada.

"Austerity will spell the end of democracy," he said, "unless we the people take back our right to a dignified life through the pragmatic protection of the socialwelfare state."

At the beginning of his 10th decade, Mr. Smith had become a bit of a rock star, although one who favoured tweed and bifocals.

He had just published his first book, Harry's Last Stand, a zesty takedown of the betrayals he felt as an RAF veteran who'd fought for a better world. Annie Lennox was a fan. His speech defending Britain's National Health Service from budget cuts had pinballed around the digital world. He had 40,000 Twitter followers and fought neoliberals online with the ferocity of a man one-quarter his age.

When I interviewed Mr. Smith, he was worried about the toll that austerity policies were taking on the world, including in Canada, the country where he had settled 50 years earlier with his Germanborn wife, Frieda, and where they'd raised their three boys. Educating young people about the horrors of the past was his main mission. "The last years of my life should be devoted to at least trying to make a change in the world, and reminding people of the way it was," Mr. Smith said.

"The way it shouldn't be again."

At the time, he seemed quite cheery. He felt he was spending his last years and his last stores of energy usefully, touring campuses and talking to young people.

But not enough people were listening, and the world got worse.

Act 2 When I caught up with Mr. Smith in March of this year, I could hear the worry, raw in his voice. In the two years since we'd spoken, he'd been busy: He'd published a book about meeting his wife in warravaged Germany, Love Among the Ruins, and he was up to nearly 100,000 Twitter followers (both good developments.) But the Brexit vote had happened, and Donald Trump had been elected (both bad, very bad.) He was near despair.

"We are at a dangerous crossroads for society and democracy," Mr. Smith said, over the phone from Belleville, Ont. (He splits his time between Britain and Ontario, where one of his sons lives, as well as the widow of another son.) "I believe the world is in just as dangerous a state as it was when I was a teen, watching democracy dissolve all across Europe."

He was having a bit of trouble catching his breath, and paused before his next sentence: "That's why I'm starting a podcast."

A podcast? He probably heard the disbelief in my voice. It wasn't as much of a leap as it seemed, he said. He'd been a radio operator in the RAF, and had always been interested in new technology. He was in constant demand as a speaker, but didn't have the time or energy to fulfill every request. He wrote newspaper articles railing against the demise of the welfare state, but he knew that the young people he wanted to reach weren't likely to pick up a paper. But they might listen to a podcast.

A month later, with the technological help of his son, John, Mr. Smith had launched his podcast, Harry's Last Stand. It begins, evocatively, in a most British way: "Think of this as a conversation in the snug of a railway station pub on a wet winter's day. We are just two strangers who have missed our trains, but don't feel like waiting alone. ... Our mobile phones are dead, no newspapers are about and the television is off. As we are strangers, we can speak the truth."

In the seven episodes he's recorded so far, Mr. Smith recalls in pungent detail the deprivation and hunger of his Yorkshire childhood during the Great Depression: "My sister and I would huddle on the floor on a piss-stained mattress and stare at the shadows cast on the dirty garret walls by a lone candle stump.

..." Just try telling that to kids these days. Mr. Smith did, spurred on by a British election that he called "the last whistle stop for democracy." The wolf in this fairy tale was the Conservative government and its seven years of austerity cuts, which had created living conditions that seemed alarmingly familiar to him. Mr.

Smith cast his first vote in 1945: It went to Clement Attlee, the Labour prime minister who was the architect of the National Health Service. In the 2017 election, he again campaigned for the Labour Party, although he was initially dubious about its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Mainly, though, it was easier to record episodes than knock on doors. A few thousand people listened to each podcast episode, which pleased Mr. Smith, especially as he grew increasingly frustrated that his message was perhaps not being heeded: "My generation certainly didn't go to the chop willingly. We fought and we protested all through the Great Depression," he said in Episode 5. "... Now the working class has been defanged by Netflix and weeklong all-inclusive holidays to Spain on the never-never. Whingeing while you wait in the queue of life will get you nowhere."

Mr. Smith's podcast was increasingly filled with the distress and frustration of a 94-year-old man who felt he was shouting into the wind. But then, by the time he recorded the sixth episode, there was an astonishing change in the political mood.

The Tories' shoo-in collapsed as the result of a calamitous campaign. Mr. Smith recorded one final exhortation to the young people of Britain: "You can stop this, like my generation did when we were young and our future lay before us like the outline of a New World seen from a sailor's spyglass."

Act 3 A few days after the election, I catch up with Mr. Smith for a final time. His voice sounds much stronger. He is filled with hope. Labour didn't win the election, but it performed much better than expected, thanks to a surge of support from young voters. Theresa May's Conservatives lost their majority and had to negotiate an agreement for support from the socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.

"I'm elated," Mr. Smith says. "It was young people who put us in this position where we finally have the chance to change Britain. I've spoken to young people in schools and universities across England for the past many years, but I never got that sense of awakening that I did this time."

He has returned to Ontario for the summer, but he'll hardly be idle. He has to prepare for the fall publication of his next book, Don't Let My Past Be Your Future.

He believes another election in Britain is imminent. And you know what that means: back to the studio, because there are more episodes to write.

Associated Graphic

Left: Harry Leslie Smith is a 94-year-old veteran of the Second World War who is so despairing of the world that he has turned to technology to reach young people. Centre: Mr. Smith maintains a strong social-media presence; he currently has about 100,000 Twitter followers. Top: Mr. Smith stands beside a bomber on May 8, 1945. Above: Mr. Smith gets a standing ovation after delivering a speech about his life and the National Health Service at the 2014 Labour Party Conference in Manchester, England.


Is it time to revise disclosure regulations?
Businesses aren't required to hire an auditor to determine whether they must disclose internal weaknesses - but maybe they should
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B8

Late last year, Artis Real Estate Investment Trust told its investors it had made an accounting mistake and announced it would correct its financials - a "restatement" - saying it had understated its profits by a factor of three.

Earlier in 2016, Northview Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust said it would restate its financials for the third time in less than five years. Two of the errors related to the accounting for its financing costs.

However, when it came time to tell investors whether there were any weaknesses in their "internal controls" - the systems that are supposed to help produce robust, accurate financial statements and prevent such accounting errors - the companies said no, there were no weaknesses to report.

These two companies are more the norm than the exception, according to a new study by Robert Pozen, a senior lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, and Olga Usvyatsky, vice-president of research at Audit Analytics. They found 78 restatements between 2009 and 2016 among Canadian-listed companies with a market capitalization above $75-million. Of those 78 companies, only 18 disclosed a material weakness in its internal controls.

To narrow the field to the most significant restatements, and whether companies disclosed a controls weakness in those cases, Dr. Pozen and Audit Analytics judged whether they were material, which very simply defined means they were significant enough that an investor or user of the financial statements would consider them important in evaluating the company's performance. Out of the 78 restatements, they found 43 material. Of those 43, 14 led to a disclosure of internal controls weakness - but 29 did not. (The 29 companies and restatement details can be found at

Serious questions

"That suggests management isn't focused enough on these internal controls issues and the obligation to disclose to the public they had a problem they've fixed, or they have a problem they're going to fix," says Dr. Pozen, who has also worked at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, served as an executive at mutual-fund companies including Fidelity Investments, and served on the board of BCE Inc. prior to its failed 2008 buyout by a group including Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

"There are serious questions about whether there are enough disclosures for investors, and in the end, that's the critical issue: Investors should be concerned if there's an internal controls problem that hasn't been fixed, or if they say it's been fixed, and you get a second or third restatement," Dr. Pozen says.

The disclosure bar is lower in Canada than in the United States because of a conscious choice made by regulators and capital-markets players more than a decade ago. In the United States, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in the wake of the Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. collapses, requires a company's outside auditors to "attest" to the strength of the company's internal controls and place that attestation in a distinct place in financial reports. All companies above $75-million (U.S.) in market capitalization are subject to the rules.

Canada, which did not see the scope of accounting scandals the United States did, opted not to make companies bring in their auditors to that discussion, allowing management to make its own decision about whether controls were weak. The disclosure occurs in the management discussion and analysis, in a location at the company's discretion.

"The consensus view was that management should attest, and requiring the auditor to attest on internal controls was an unjustified imposition of cost," says Ed Waitzer, a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP and former chair of the Ontario Securities Commission.

Management's judgment

Canadian securities laws do say any public company with a material weakness in its internal controls is required to publicly disclose the nature of the weakness, its impact on the company and its plan for remediation, Dr. Pozen says. And yet, a 2010 Staff Notice from the Canadian Securities Administrators noted that after discussions with companies that had done restatements in 2009, "we concluded that issuers did not always consider if the misstatement in the financial statements related to a material weakness in the issuer's [internal controls]."

"I don't think we've seen the improvement they called for," Dr. Pozen says. "I think if you don't have an external check, it takes away some of the discipline of the process. Management can make its own judgment, and there's really no external review to say whether that judgment is reasonable."

Shivaram Rajgopal, a professor of accounting and auditing at Columbia University in New York, says having an auditor involved in the attestation process could potentially identify companies at risk of a restatement before the restatement occurred. "And [it] would have helped the shareholders who bought stock between such identification and the actual restatement," he says.

Dr. Pozen says a restatement, "next to fraud, is the biggest indicator of a material weakness in internal controls." Yet it is not definitive proof. Indeed, Dushyant Vyas, an assistant professor in accounting at the University of Toronto Mississauga, says that a company can respond to changes in the interpretations of an accounting rule, or simply disagree with its outside auditor.

"While restatements in general and material/multiple restatements in particular raise a red flag that an internal controls weakness may exist, they do not necessarily imply [the existence of] internal controls weakness."

In a number of cases in the study by Dr. Pozen and Audit Analytics, the companies may not be disclosing an internal controls weakness because they believe that the restatements or errors themselves, even though seemingly large, are not material.

After discovering an error in translating foreign currency, Artis REIT reduced a loss of $25.97million in the second quarter of 2016 to $4.01-million, a difference of nearly $22-million, or 85 per cent of the previous net loss. But Artis chief financial officer Jim Green says "we ... discussed [this] with our external auditors and they agreed with our assessment that it would not represent a control weakness and would not be material to a reader of the financial statements."

Mr. Green says the restatement had no impact on the balance sheet, cash flow statement or on any of the non-GAAP measures commonly looked at for REITs such as funds from operations or various debt metrics. He also claims the absolute dollar amount of the change was immaterial when compared with the company's revenue, which was just under $135-million in the quarter.

That might be the most insight we get into what the companies are thinking. Starting in mid-June, The Globe and Mail contacted three other companies of interest in the study that did not disclose internal controls weaknesses, and was unable to get responses as to how they arrived at their conclusions.

New Flyer Industries, a Winnipeg bus maker, announced restatements or financial errors in May, 2011, March, 2013, and March, 2014, related to valuing a derivative, recognizing revenue from warranty contracts, and recording the value of tax benefits. In its securities filings, the company said none of the errors were material, although the correction of the tax issue reduced 2011 earnings per share from 98 cents to 81 cents.

Miner Orca Exploration announced a restatement in April, 2015, owing to an incorrect computation of Tanzania income tax that spanned roughly 10 years' worth of financial statements, as well as errors in finance costs and income in 2013 and 2014. Just for fiscal 2013, the company said a net loss of $5.47-million increased by $2.39-million, or by more than 40 per cent.

For more on Dr. Pozen's prescriptions, see the opinion piece below. However, it remains to be seen whether the internal controls issue will move up on the list of regulatory to-dos in the Canadian capital markets. (An Ontario Securities Commission spokeswoman says regulators keep an eye on the issue because companies' disclosures on internal controls weaknesses are part of the OSC's annual continuous disclosure review program.)

"Bob's basic thesis is right, which is you want to have more transparency around weaknesses in internal controls," Mr. Waitzer says. "But I'd be very surprised if this was viewed as a priority issue on the Canadian agenda right now, not because it's not important, but because it was debated extensively a decade ago and there are other issues that are perceived to be more important."

Associated Graphic


Troubled loner killed Ottawa sportscaster
The outcry after he was deemed not criminally responsible for his actions contributed to new legislation for high-risk offenders
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S12

For Alana Kainz, the ghosts haven't gone away. They hover in the background, part of a haunting tableau in which her husband, Brian Smith, a former National Hockey League player turned sportscaster, walks out of the CJOH TV studio in Ottawa after the evening news broadcast on Aug. 1, 1995, and is shot in the face by a bearded, unkempt man with a .22-calibre rifle.

The next day, the man, Jeffrey Arenburg, turns himself into the police, stating he had no choice.

He was hearing voices in his head and needed the world to know.

Ms. Kainz's husband was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time - the first person his killer recognized - as he rushed to his car so he could be on time for a fundraiser at the Children's Wish Foundation.

"It has been 22 years of 'would haves' and 'what ifs.' " Ms. Kainz, a playwright, said in an interview.

"I think of Brian every day."

Mr. Arenburg, who died in Ottawa on June 13 at the age of 61 from an apparent heart attack, was never imprisoned for Mr. Smith's murder. Instead, he was found to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and therefore not considered criminally responsible (NCR) for the crime; his state of mind when he pulled the trigger was deemed to be so disordered that he couldn't appreciate the fact he was taking someone else's life. The court ordered him to be remanded to the Oak Ridge Division of the Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre in Ontario, where he proved a model patient, taking his medication and attending counselling.

At the time, Ms. Kainz, mourning her partner of nine years, managed to find some solace in the fact that her husband's killer was getting help and being closely monitored. But when the Ontario Review Board released him into the community in November, 2006, after nine years, she couldn't understand why the only condition imposed on him was that he not possess any firearms.

In effect, Mr. Arenburg, who continued to the end of his days to see himself as a victim and never expressed remorse for the killing, was free to do what he wanted, live how he wanted and act how he wanted and not answer to anyone unless he broke the law again.

"There were no requirements that he be monitored on a regular basis by a social worker or anyone else or that he continue to take medication to silence the voices and prevent the full-blown psychosis that resulted in Brian losing his life," she said. "I'm haunted by what he was capable of doing and by his lack of remorse. There was always a possibility that he posed a danger to random people, to media people, to anybody."

On at least two subsequent occasions, he got into clashes that landed him behind bars. Once, about a year after he was released, he assaulted a U.S. border guard at the Peace Bridge crossing into Buffalo, for which he spent a year in prison. In another incident, this time in Quebec, he fled the scene after being stopped for speeding; at his subsequent trial there, he called the judge an idiot and was sentenced to six months in jail for contempt of court.

"He saw being pulled over as a product of the same forces that made him kill Brian Smith," said Bob McKeown, a host of CBC's Fifth Estate who extensively interviewed Mr. Arenburg as part of the investigative program's 2014 documentary about NCR called The Man Who Heard Voices. "He perfectly embodied the NCR issue. Through him, people can really understand what it means."

The documentary aired after the federal government under then-prime minister Stephen Harper tabled legislation that amended the NCR clause in the Criminal Code to include a designation of a high-risk offender, which would entail longer periods in custody. There had been a furor when Mr. Arenburg was released and it grew more intense following a series of high-profile cases that horrified the public: Vincent Li stabbed carnival worker Tim McLean to death on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba in July, 2008, and cannibalized parts of his victim's body and Richard Kachkar stole a snowplow in January, 2011, and killed Toronto police sergeant Ryan Russell during a subsequent two-hour rampage.

Mr. Arenburg was one of the earliest examples, a lumbering, lonely and combative man living out in the community.

"What's right and wrong?" he asked Mr. McKeown. "What's wrong if I don't have a right to a life? How do you prove a point?" In other words, what else was he supposed to do when no one would listen to him?

Said Mr. McKeown: "It was clear he still had demons. There is no question in my mind that he still heard voices."

Jeffrey Arenburg was born on Dec. 30, 1956, just outside Bridgewater, N.S., into a family that raised cattle and grew crops. It was a hardscrabble existence that in his teens would get even harder, for he dropped out of school in Grade 9 and found a job as a scallop fisherman in nearby Digby.

It was back-breaking work, literally. At one point, Mr. Arenburg ended up in traction for months in a local hospital, walking forever after with the help of a cane. It is thought that he began to hear the voices during his hospital sojourn; insistent, soft and shrill.

Voices that directed him, mocked and criticized him. He also thought that radio stations were broadcasting his innermost thoughts to the outside world, an invasion of privacy that he felt helpless to fight.

He was well-known to authorities, including an incident in January, 1992, that was a chilling precursor of what would occur in Ottawa 31/2 years later. Back then, he assaulted a radio station manager in Bridgewater, citing the thoughts being broadcast from his head. Mr. Arenburg, who didn't show up for his trial because he'd moved to Ottawa, was found guilty of assault in absentia and fined $300. But the local authorities never bothered to track him down.

And so he continued his downward spiral, with no friends or family to support him, culminating that deadly evening in the Ottawa TV station's parking lot.

After Mr. Arenburg was released from jail in Quebec, he drifted back to Bridgewater, where things were familiar. The Fifth Estate found him living in a tiny motel room, his most prized possession a laptop computer he'd managed to buy with money from Canada Pension Plan cheques that had accumulated during his brief incarceration. He spent hours on it every day despite having no Internet connection.

During the interview, Mr. McKeown noted that Ms. Kainz saw things differently than he did; that a big hole had been ripped in her life and in those of Mr. Smith's friends and family members.

"I have nothing against her or her family," Mr. Arenburg replied.

"[The shooting] was to draw attention to all this ... bullshit that was messing up my life."

Eventually, he made his way back to Ottawa, where he lived for a time downtown at the Ottawa Mission before moving into a subsidized apartment where he died alone.

Along with the NCR amendment, part of his legacy is a provincial statute known as "Brian's Law," in memory of Mr. Smith.

Introduced in 2000, it is an amendment of the provincial Mental Health Act and the Health Care Consent Act that allows for community treatment to be ordered for patients with past psychiatric hospital admissions if they stop taking their medication or are deemed to need help.

For Ms. Kainz, that gives a small sense of relief.

"He may have killed Brian, but his greatest disservice to Brian's memory was that he wasn't able to turn his life around. He didn't continue treatment and he had no family to support him. Quite frankly, he didn't have a chance."

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

An artist's rendition portrays Jeffrey Arenburg as he sits in court in Ottawa in 1995, after shooting sportscaster Brian Smith in the face as he left a TV studio.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017


A Saturday obituary incorrectly said Jeffrey Arenburg died at the age of 61. He was 60.

Modernist islands in the traffic stream
The 12 islands along University Avenue - once a marvel of landscape architecture - have become largely neglected and overlooked
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page G3

The forest green paint isn't fooling anybody. No amount of camouflage can hide this, City of Toronto, so grab a stencil and paint "We Don't Care" on it.

Almost daily for the past two years, I've walked by the "Big Green Box of Shame" at the corner of Richmond Street West and University Avenue, and almost every time I cringe at the sight of the plywoodentombed fountain.

The 12 landscaped islands that begin at Adelaide Street West and stretch to the foot of the provincial legislature buildings were conceived and executed by Dunington-Grubb and Stensson, arguably the most important landscape-architecture firm in Ontario from the end of the Edwardian era to the Age of Aquarius. Architect Michael McClelland and landscape architect Brendan Stewart, writing in an issue of Ground magazine, state that the design is "perhaps one of the most significant modernist works of civic landscape architecture in Toronto," yet, somehow, it "remains largely overlooked."

It also remains untended, littered, neglected, cracking, sinking and, in the case of one island, obliterated.

As a native Torontonian, I know the islands well, but even I was surprised at the lack of care in preserving their crispness and once-striking geometry, and how quick cover-ups and infrastructure additions have diluted the DG&S vision. I phoned Karl Stensson, 66, president of Sheridan Nurseries, to see if I was alone in my disappointment; Mr. Stensson is nephew of Jesse Vilhelm Stensson (known as J.V. or Bill), who designed the islands under the watchful eye of Howard Dunington-Grubb, an octogenarian by the early 1960s. Mr. Dunington-Grubb and his wife/partner, Lorrie, came to Toronto from England in 1911; in 1913, they created Sheridan Nurseries and hired Herman Stensson (Karl's grandfather) to run it.

While Karl Stensson agrees the boxed fountain is "disappointing," he suggests that, in general, "the public is much more aware than they were" about landscape architecture. He then switches gears: "I think the public underestimates the value of proper [landscape] design, what it provides for the eyes, for health, serenity, property value [and] for tourism ... I don't think they appreciate how much it costs."

Just after the lunch rush on a lovely afternoon, I spent almost two hours inspecting the islands.

I'm no landscape architect, but aside from repairs to two fountains, much of what I saw didn't seem to require heaps of new spending - only person-hours.

Here's what I found: Island A begins rather unceremoniously at Adelaide as a one-footwide piece of pointed concrete with a traffic sign. By the time Rising by Zhang Huan at the Shangri-La Hotel comes into view, the island has gained enough girth for a few trees.

There's also a first glimpse of the smooth brick in caramels and chocolate browns that provide trim for all islands. Unfortunately, here they are being dramatically pushed up by tree roots.

Island B contains the Box of Shame. It also has the city's solution to sinking brick trim: slap shiny black asphalt on it. On this island is the first of the thick, precast slabs of exposed aggregate (pea-gravel, here in a caramel colour) that form much of the walking surface. Pedestrians can also admire the trunk of the first chopped tree.

Island C at Queen Street West is the one most Torontonians know best for its curving marble bench and three burbling fountains (the city wouldn't dare box this one).

Here, the caramel brick, in rows of three, alternates with the aggregate slabs as it approaches the stepped platform of the towering South African War Memorial, but, as much of it the brick is sinking, the geometry is obscured.

Island D is fun. It confronts pedestrians with a concrete culet - the tip of a diamond - and invites them up stairs to examine six octagons of grass. Panels of black aggregate create stripes. Raised slate-clad planter boxes create a feeling of shelter, plus protect plants from winter salt-spray.

Island E, the longest, begins at Armoury Street. It sports a complex network of rounded, raised planter boxes with groovy, inset concrete benches; underfoot are square aggregate slabs with inset red circles. Unfortunately, part of the composition has sunk so severely it is underwater. About two-thirds of the way up, another boxed fountain.

Island F has been destroyed in order to install wheelchair elevators to St. Patrick subway station; a few original bricks remain at the north end. It's unclear from TTC bulletins and online postings if the island will be recreated.

Island G, which sits to the west of the mid-century modern (former) Shell Oil headquarters at 505 University, is the "checkerboard" island. A few of the squares have eroded so much, however, rebar is visible. Just before the Sons of England War Memorial, there is another dead tree trunk.

Island H begins with a regular sidewalk, but soon jazzes things up with jaunty red and black aggregate slabs and asymmetrical grass strips.

While these slabs are in better condition than most, soil upheaval is causing wide gaps in many areas.

Island I begins at Gerrard Street, and three steps up passersby can enjoy the shade. Here are loose chevron patterns traced in the caramel brick.

Island J lacks shade, but it is well used by hospital workers on smoke breaks. It features ruler-like patterns done in black and caramel on either side; wear is causing rebar to show itself on a few.

Island K, which sports an elegant row of trees in the middle, seems to be well cared for by city staff. Perhaps that's because former Toronto mayor Robert Hood Saunders keeps watch at the top.

Island L is small. There is only one raised planter in the middle that creates two narrow pedestrian paths on either side. But one is forced to walk so closely to the rushing traffic of University, so it's not inviting ... or safe.

My overall impression? Ninety per cent of the original pieces remain.

A few islands need only straightening, levelling and minor cleanup work. Some need major restoration.

Various interventions by independent contractors have cluttered up the cleanliness of the geometry.

According to period documents, the islands were intended to be "architectural, instead of horticultural," yet the city seems to have reversed this focus. And while plant materials are rich and colourful, Mr. Stensson, who worked for his uncle in the late 1960s while studying landscape architecture, suggests J.V.

probably wanted "pleached lindens"- closely spaced trees that form a crisp architectural "hedge in the air" - along some of the borders, so it would be nice to implement those if money were to become available.

He acknowledges, however, that the scheme DG&S implemented in the early 1960s was a compromise from the get-go, as the city balked at the more ambitious one presented (that's to say nothing of the really, really ambitious plan the firm first presented in the late 1940s).

Mr. Stensson mentions Oakes Garden Theatre at Clifton Hill and River Road in Niagara Falls or Gage Park in Hamilton, which was recently restored to its former glory: "If you look at those you'll see what a full DG&S design would be, and in comparison I don't think University Avenue came out as they envisioned it in the first place because of the money."

And there's the rub: money.

But if buildings are the set pieces of our urban stage, what is landscape architecture? It's the lighting, the dry ice, the smoke bombs and the depth of that stage. Take those away, and what's left?

A plywood box, painted forest green.

Associated Graphic

From top: The 'Big Green Box of Shame' on Island B makes the writer cringe when he passes the plywood entombed fountain. This was not how Dunington-Grubb and Stensson had conceived the islands' design, as seen in a layout sketch proposal from 1949. The curving marble bench and three fountains by Queen Street West may make Island C the best known, but they're not enough to distract from the wear on the others. Bricks that trim Island A, for example, are pushed up by tree roots, while a dead tree trunk stands right by the Sons of England War Memorial on Island G.


Is it a blip, or is the GTA on the verge of severe correction?
The spectre of rising interest rates is only one of the stressors in a topsy-turvy market
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page G2

Is the recent downturn in the Greater Toronto Area's real estate market a blip or the start of a severe correction?

John Andrew, a professor at Queen's University and executive director of the Queen's Real Estate Roundtable, is calling it a blip. He expects strength to return to the market after prospective buyers get their heads around the Ontario government's recent policy changes. But the business professor cautions there are risks to his prediction.

One is the spectre of rising interest rates.

This week, the Bank of Canada hiked interest rates for the first time in seven years when it lifted its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 per cent. The move was widely expected by financial markets.

Prof. Andrew warns that a series of rate hikes in Canada would put pressure on a lot of households - especially in Toronto and Vancouver, where many people hold massive mortgages.

Another factor is the level of trepidation buyers already appear to be feeling after Ontario's introduction on April 20 of a tax aimed at foreign buyers.

"What a quick transition we've seen from a very strong sellers' market to a very strong buyers' market," Prof. Andrew says of the abrupt decline in sales.

Data from the Toronto Real Estate Board show sales plunged 37.3 per cent in the GTA in June compared with the same month last year. New listings last month jumped 15.9 per cent from June, 2016. That tally follows a topsy-turvy May, when sales dropped 20.3 per cent compared with a year earlier and new listings skyrocketed 48.9 per cent for the same period.

The swell of new listings subsided in June after May's surge, but that's partly because June traditionally marks the end of the spring season, when the number of people putting their properties on the market tends to dwindle.

But the GTA market has been in a skid since the provincial government introduced a slate of new measures aimed at taming runaway price growth. After a blistering first quarter, the province launched a 15-per-cent tax on non-resident speculators who purchase property in a part of Ontario known as the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

The measures appear to have spooked buyers, but even in the weeks leading up to the announcement, some buyers were becoming hesitant about venturing into such a zany market.

Prof. Andrew believes the foreign-buyers tax is the most significant factor in pushing buyers to the sidelines.

Last week, the Ontario government reported that 4.7 per cent of homes purchased in the Greater Golden Horseshoe between April 24 and May 26 were by foreign buyers.

"It's not a very significant number that are being bought by foreign investors," Prof. Andrew says.

"But it has changed buyer psychology and that's all it takes." He says there is not a lot of objectivity or rationale for the market responding as it has, which bolsters his belief that people were just looking for an excuse for the market to cool off.

He believes the percentage reported by the province is a flimsy reason for the market to tank because the tally is not all that reliable. The data were collected over only a few weeks. There's also a relatively high degree of error in such reports, he adds, and they tend to skew on the low side.

A more thorough breakdown of the numbers obtained by The Globe and Mail this week confirms that certain pockets in the Toronto area have much higher rates of foreign investment.

Prof. Andrew adds that it's difficult for the government and industry to know who the actual buyer of a property is. There are various loopholes and exemptions that allow overseas investors to get around the tax, he adds.

People exempt from paying the tax include immigrants who either have or are seeking permanent-resident status, and foreign students studying in Canada.

"That's a no-brainer. That's quite an exemption," Prof. Andrew says of the international-student status.

"These are sophisticated investors, and who doesn't want to get a Canadian university or college education anyway?" John Pasalis, president of Realosophy Realty Inc., thinks the province's numbers need some context.

He notes the data were based on deals that closed - that is, ownership was transferred - between those dates. Mr. Pasalis points out that closing the deal typically happens 60 days after a home is sold.

He reckons the majority of these sales took place before the province introduced the non-resident speculation tax.

Also, while the data cover the Greater Golden Horseshoe, most foreign buyers are zeroing in on the GTA.

The numbers obtained by The Globe this week back up Mr. Pasalis's view that the 416 area code and parts of York Region, such as Richmond Hill and Newmarket, have pockets that attract large numbers of deep-pocketed overseas investors.

Mr. Pasalis adds that even 4.7 per cent is meaningful in a market where prices were rising by as much as 33 per cent on an annual basis in the first quarter. Homes purchased in the first quarter required 72 per cent of the average local household's income to cover the carrying costs.

Looking ahead to the fall, Prof. Andrew will be interested to see what the central bank does at its next policy meeting.

"Certainly, the Bank of Canada is very disciplined in not responding to the real estate market," he says, noting that the bank remains focused on keeping inflation in check.

He adds there are real estate markets in Canada that don't need cooling off.

But he figures if the central bank were to raise rates two or three times, housing markets across the country would slump.

"By about the second increase, the response will be 'the gravy train has stopped.' I think we would see a decline in house prices right across the board."

In that scenario, Prof. Andrew's biggest concern is what happens when homeowners' mortgages come up for renewal.

Those with a five-year fixed-rate mortgage, for example, may be facing significantly higher rates when the five years are up. If consumers were stretched with rates below 3 per cent, they will be reeling if they have to renew a mortgage at 5.3 per cent, for example.

The problem is that employees' income levels, on average, are not climbing. Those who took out a mortgage in 2016 or 2017 could feel a lot of pressure in 2020 or beyond.

"In a market like this, they borrow every dollar they can possibly borrow."

Homeowners will find all kinds of ways to cut costs so they can stay in their principal residence, he says.

"They will go to Herculean efforts to not lose their home."

His fear centres on the investors who own downtown Toronto condo units. In the current low-rate environment, those owners may be able to rent out the unit for $3,000 a month, which covers their mortgage payments and costs. But in a rising rate environment, carrying costs may shoot up to $4,000 a month. Even if the rent has risen to about the $3,300 level during the same period, the owner is no longer recovering expenses.

"Those are realistic numbers," Prof. Andrew stresses.

He worries about investors in that situation because their commitment quickly vanishes.

Rather than be out of pocket every month while hoping the unit rises in value, the investor is more likely to sell and take any gains from the appreciation above the purchase price.

"A lot of investors will do the math at the same time and they'll dump them."

The panic would be compounded by the fact that so many buildings are reaching completion within a relatively short time of one another. That means those unit owners would also be renewing their mortgages at about the same time.

Prof. Andrew says those owners will drop the asking price quickly and repeatedly until the unit sells.

"They want out," he says. "Investors like that tend not to be patient."

Associated Graphic

A Queen's University academic says the reported 4.7 per cent of homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe purchased by foreigners between April 24 and May 26 is not entirely accurate owing to the methodology used to collect data for this period.


Fisherman risked his life to save whales
He co-founded a team of rescuers who were trained to free the huge creatures when they became entangled in fishing gear
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S6

Joe Howlett flashed a big, happy grin after cutting the last entangled fishing line, knowing he was successful in freeing another giant North Atlantic right whale.

Over the past 15 years, a combination of bravery and passion for the sea led Mr. Howlett, the cofounder of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team, to help save dozens of whales entangled in fishing gear mostly in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Being a commercial fisherman, he had a good understanding of the fishing gear and how to remove it from the whales.

"He was so enthusiastic about being able to do this," said Jerry Conway, a retired marine mammal adviser with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and an adviser with the Canadian Whale Institute.

"To see the whale swim away, free of its gear - the crew would be excited," Mr. Conway said. "Joe took particular pleasure in that."

But on July 10, Mr. Howlett's exuberance over freeing the endangered North Atlantic right whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was short-lived. Once it was free, the massive whale, measuring up to 20 metres long and weighing as much as 70 tonnes, suddenly dove into the water. As it did, its tail came down on Mr. Howlett.

Still aboard the ship, he died almost immediately from the impact. He was 59.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada had called Mr. Howlett after spotting the North Atlantic right whale entangled in a heavy snarl of rope. With his expertise, they knew he could help. At the time of the call, Mr. Howlett was aboard the Shelagh, a privately owned vessel. Having been hired to captain the boat, he was with researchers from New England who were monitoring and tracking whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

When the call came, Mr. Howlett dropped everything and was soon aboard a Fisheries and Oceans fast-response vessel. They soon found the entangled whale, one of only about 500 remaining, about 20 kilometres off Shippagan, N.B. There were six people aboard the vessel, but he was the only one involved in the disentanglement, according to Mr. Conway, who was not part of the rescue.

During a rescue, Mr. Howlett typically worked with a team of about five people from the Campobello Whale Rescue Team. A group of volunteers consisting mostly of fishermen, the team received training from the New England Aquarium and the Center for Coastal Studies, in Provincetown, Mass. Each team member had a specific job during a rescue. Mr. Howlett was primarily responsible for cutting ropes around the whale. When the boat went alongside the marine mammal, Mr. Howlett's job was to decide which ropes to cut first and then use a piece of equipment such as a curved knife on a long pole or a grapple with a cutting edge to make the cut.

"I think Joe felt he was taking from the ocean," said his wife, Darlene Howlett. Rescuing whales "was his way of feeling like he was giving back."

The waters around Campobello, a small New Brunswick island off the Maine coast in the Bay of Fundy, where Mr. Howlett called home, attract many North Atlantic right, fin, humpback, minke and other whales. An important mating and feeding ground for whales, it is also a rich fishing area for lobster, crab, shrimp, herring, haddock, pollock and cod.

Fishing gear is difficult for the whales to avoid. If they swim into the gear, they can become entangled, often causing serious wounds, or sometimes anchoring them to the sea floor - resulting in drowning.

At a moment's notice, Mr. Howlett and his team of rescuers would risk their lives when they drove their inflatable Zodiac boat filled with equipment next to a giant, scared and entangled whale. But Mr. Howlett, known for his upbeat sense of humour, was not afraid of his work. He found it exciting.

"I'm a fisherman and I've been fishing for half of my life and I know what it's all about with ropes and things like that," he told CBC Radio in 2013.

"Somehow, fishermen try to make a living and they do what they do, and they have to, and whales seem to get caught every once in a while," he said. "And when it does, we are there to help out."

Five days before his death, Mr. Howlett had taken part in freeing another entangled whale. Last year, he was involved in rescuing two whales in the Bay of Fundy in less than four days.

Joseph Michael Howlett was born on June 23, 1958, in Lunenburg, a quaint coastal town on Nova Scotia's south shore.

Though fishing was once the mainstay of life in the town, Mr. Howlett didn't hail from a long line of fishermen. His father, Jim, worked for the railway and his mother, Jean, was a school teacher. Mr. Howlett spent much of his childhood outdoors fly fishing and setting snares in the woods.

At the age of 16, he left home and went to sea. He got on with the Canadian Coast Guard and travelled up through the Arctic Ocean.

In 1986, the Coast Guard took him to Campobello Island, a place fewer than 900 people call home. At a dance at the local Legion, a woman named Darlene Brown caught his eye. Within a year, they were married. His bride was raised in a family of fishermen and Mr. Howlett was welcomed onto their fishing boats.

Before long, he was making his living fishing everything from lobster to snow crab.

"He loved being at sea," Mr. Conway said. "I know Joe enjoyed the challenge of being at sea."

Mr. Howlett was well liked in the tight-knit fishing community.

Wearing his trademark ballcap and sunglasses everywhere he went, he was known on the island for his jokes and for flashing the peace sign rather than giving a standard wave when driving by.

"People adored him because Joe saw the good in everyone," Ms. Howlett said.

At a party, Mr. Howlett liked to play his harmonica or the spoons.

A trip to the grocery store was never quick. He would always run into people he knew and spend time talking and telling jokes.

When he wasn't fishing, he loved to spend time with his two sons and grandchildren. He also played baseball and coached a girls' team.

"Joe loved excitement. He loved life," Ms. Howlett said.

A religious man, he appreciated the wonders of nature, whether it was the large whales he rescued, a tiny bird, or the pattern of the waves on any given day. He was also fascinated with the night sky.

He often stargazed and tried to get other people to share his enthusiasm for astronomy.

Every year, he helped make the Christmas season special in his house knowing it was important to his wife. Despite grumbling about having to hear carols for more than a month before Christmas, he would faithfully decorate his house with bright lights, often after working a long day fishing.

When he was finished, he would go to his sons' houses to help them, too.

"He would have done something for anyone," Ms. Howlett said. "He's not your average Joe."

Mr. Howlett's death was the first in the world of a trained whale rescuer, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Following his death, whale rescues in Canada are suspended until Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada complete their investigations into the tragedy, Mr. Conway said.

"The last thing he would want is for us to stop," Mr. Conway said.

"He gave his life to save a whale."

Mr. Howlett leaves his wife, Darlene; sons, Chad and Tyler; grandchildren, Mason, Haylee and Rylan; brothers Vernon, Doug and Tony; sister, Mary Ellen; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother David.

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

Joe Howlett, seen off the coast of Campobello Island in 2015, was welcomed into the world of fishing after marrying into a family of fishermen. Within the community, Mr. Howlett was known for his upbeat sense of humour and his fearless approach to his dangerous job.


Greens, NDP get set to walk a tightrope
'Good faith and no surprises' to be governing principle as parties with a testy past try to maintain B.C. Legislature's confidence
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

VANCOUVER -- The New Democrats' historic alliance with B.C.'s third-place Green Party is founded on the principle of "good faith and no surprises."

For that to survive, both parties must put aside the personal and political differences on display during a sometimes testy election campaign as they attempt to keep the NDP minority government alive, while navigating a number of contentious policy areas that could emerge as areas of conflict. The debate over a massive hydroelectric dam in the province's north, changes to labour laws and even campaign finance reform - on which the two parties largely agree - all have the potential to cause rifts between John Horgan's New Democrats and Andrew Weaver's Greens.

And pundits - not to mention the BC Liberals, who will soon find themselves in opposition after 16 years in power - will be waiting to jump on the smallest cracks in the nascent partnership.

Mr. Horgan and Mr. Weaver have done their best to put such speculation to bed. They are now in constant contact and an amiable rapport has developed between their parties since they signed an agreement at the end of May to create an NDP government. A photo of them enjoying a rugby match together in Victoria just days before the announcement was finalized was held up as evidence they had buried the hatchet.

The 10-page written deal between the two parties - formally known as a confidence and supply agreement - sets out core priorities both have agreed to tackle in the next legislative session.

Chief among the policies are campaign-finance laws, switching the electoral system to a form of proportional representation, as well as reassessing the province's major resource projects while combatting climate change. In exchange for those commitments, the Greens have agreed to vote with the NDP on confidence motions to ensure the government does not fall prematurely, but the Greens say they will vote on other issues on a case-by-case basis - and the party's three MLAs might not necessarily always vote together.

Carole James, the former NDP leader heading her party's transition to government, said the Greens will not be privy to cabinet discussions, but they will be informed beforehand of any major policy moves. She says the new government will take action on softwood lumber, the opioid crisis and securing publicschool funding before the House returns in September. Green MLAs will also receive briefing notes and be given ample opportunity to propose their own bills in the legislature, where the NDP's agenda will be debated thoroughly by all parties, she said.

Since the Lieutenant-Governor asked Mr. Horgan to form government, his special adviser Bob Dewar has been meeting most mornings with Liz Lilly, architect of the Green Party's election platform and now chief of staff for its three-member caucus.

Ms. Lilly, who ended her 25-year career with the B.C. government in 2015 as head of the province's climate-change strategy, agrees there will be substantive policy disagreements with the New Democrats. But those will not endanger the life of the government, she says.

"If we feel that they have acted in bad faith or they haven't adequately consulted with us or that they deliberately undermined the accord, for whatever reason, then, yeah, that's a deal-breaker," she said in an interview. "It's not, 'Do we agree on whether it's $10 a day [for subsidized child care] or $15 an hour [for minimum wage]?' - it's about the spirit of the accord.

"We're all trying to get things done and there are different ways of doing it."

Tensions between the two partners will likely flare in the months ahead, she acknowledges, especially with an outspoken leader such as Mr. Weaver. He must continue to critique the New Democrats in public and private not only to push his legislative agenda, but also to assert a unique identity for the party that isn't simply an extension of the governing NDP.

A preview of what's to come occurred last month, when Mr. Horgan told a crowd of B.C.

Government and Services Employees' Union workers in Vancouver that the NDP would change the labour code to eliminate a secret ballot for employees wanting to unionize.

Mr. Weaver, who once led two separate rounds of collective bargaining at the University of Victoria as head of its professors' union, immediately blasted his new ally and declared that the Greens would never support such a move.

Within minutes of Mr. Weaver's comments hitting social media, unhappy New Democrats had called up the Green Party's codeputy leader Matt Toner.

"They felt at the time - because the Lieutenant-Governor hadn't made a decision yet - 'let's not rock the boat publicly,' " said Mr.

Toner, who ran as an NDP candidate in 2013. "At the same time, people in the private sector [contacted me and said they] were interested to see us standing up for things we believe in.

"There will be that tightrope we walk of 'how do we stick to our principles?' Because there is so much overlap with the NDP, there is that risk that we might be seen as falling into their shadow."

The Greens have said they hope to work with the Liberals to craft bills and amend NDP legislation.

The Greens say their relationship with the Liberals remains frayed after that party waged a relentless campaign to detonate the NDP-Green accord that alternated between friendly pleas and threats.

Shortly before their defeat, Liberals unexpectedly tabled campaign finance legislation and a bill to give the Greens official party status in the legislature in what appeared to be an unsuccessful attempt to bate the Greens into voting against the NDP.

Andrew Wilkinson, a Vancouver MLA who will soon relinquish his portfolio as minister of justice to sit in opposition, said the Liberals are very concerned that the NDP will push controversial changes through the Premier's Office rather than the legislature, where the Speaker could be asked to break a 43-43 deadlock on every vote.

"They have the regulatory powers of cabinet and they have the spending powers of the executive to change many things, including substantial spending plans, which have a grave effect on the public," Mr. Wilkinson said. "Anything from bridge tolls, through child care, through the compensation system for health-care professionals - so the concern is that they will do all of that with minimal visibility and accountability.

"These are large budget items that need to be subject to the scrutiny of the legislature."

The Liberals will provide fierce opposition in the House, Mr. Wilkinson said, but do not want to force a snap election by bringing down the New Democrats on such bills.

"In the current circumstances, there's no appetite for an election in the near future," he said. He noted that a review of Christy Clark's leadership is not imminent, but "may happen a few years down the line."

By convention, the Throne Speech, its amendments and two budget-related bills are always treated as explicit tests of whether a party deserves to govern the province.

However, a government can declare any bill a confidence matter and a proposed law that makes substantial changes to the provincial budget has historically served the same function.

That means the NDP, with the support of the Greens, could wield confidence votes early on in their mandate as a cudgel to draw co-operation from the 43 Liberal MLAs, knowing they are reluctant to be seen as foisting another election on B.C.'s weary voters.

Still, Mr. Wilkinson, like many constitutional experts and political scientists, does not expect the government to last the traditional four-year term.

"It would be deeply surprising to most British Columbians if this brittle NDP-Green arrangement lasts for more than a couple of years, whether it runs for as much as two years remains to be seen."

Associated Graphic

NDP Leader John Horgan looks on as his Green Party counterpart, Andrew Weaver, checks his watch at the May 30 signing of their pact.


John Horgan and Andrew Weaver speak to media about their pact outside Government House on May 31.


Among Indigenous communities, lacrosse has traditionally been something only men participated in, but in the sport's mecca, five teams of women are blazing a new trail at the North American Indigenous Games
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER, ONT. -- This week, in the heart of a region many call the birthplace of lacrosse, Kiana Point is part of something special.

The sport has deep roots in Indigenous culture and has always been a keystone event at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), a popular multisport gathering for Indigenous youth held every few years since 1990. Point's two older brothers both played lacrosse at NAIG, and her father was twice a coach. This week, she is finally getting her turn, as female box lacrosse makes its long-awaited NAIG debut. Five teams are competing in the female under-19 division - Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Eastern Door and the North (EDN), a team representing Indigenous territory straddling the borders of Quebec, Ontario and New York state.

Two of the event's three arenas are in the Six Nations of the Grand River, Canada's largest Indigenous reserve - and a mecca of lacrosse in Southwestern Ontario.

Trophies, photos and championship banners inside both Iroquois Lacrosse Arena and Gaylord Powless Arena tell the story of Six Nations' deep devotion to the sport. It's the setting this week for hard hits and dazzling goals, for relatives cheering wildly and beating drums, for cultural celebrations and the community's most famous lacrosse champs returning home to rub elbows with stick-twizzling kids. It's a celebration of the game their people invented, and for the first time at NAIG, females are part of the action.

"It's an absolute honour," said Point, a 19-year-old member of Team BC who hails from Vernon, B.C. "It feels like I am following in the footsteps of my brothers. I have been waiting for there to be a female division at NAIG before I got too old to play in it."

Lacrosse was created by the Haudenosaunee people - commonly called Iroquois - before Europeans arrived in North America. It is considered sacred: The Haudenosaunee call it "the Creator's game" or "the medicine game" and believe it has healing powers. Traditionally, lacrosse was played only by men, as a form of medicine for the sick, as a method of resolving conflicts instead of going to war or as an act of gratitude for the Creator.

Point, like many other women playing at NAIG, has played most of her lacrosse on boys' teams. She's been playing since the age of five, running around the rinks watching her older brothers and learning from her dad. Today, she plays for the Okanagan Junior B Shamrocks - alongside men six-feet tall and weighing 200 pounds. She knows just one other woman in the league and doesn't know many girls her age playing in the B.C. Interior.

Point's team, Ontario and EDN are the three powerhouses of the NAIG tournament. The games between the three have been close and very physical, and emotions have run high. Still, the women shake hands with each other and the referees after every match and even ride the buses back to the athletes' village together.

The event has drawn lacrosse players from various backgrounds. For some, this is the first time they've been surrounded by all-Indigenous teammates.

Others are star field lacrosse players coming over to box for the first time, lured by the appeal of playing in the NAIG - an event drawing 5,000 Indigenous athletes over 14 different sports - and the chance to play in a lacrosse hotbed such as Six Nations.

"Some of us were throwing up before the game, we were so nervous. We feel so proud, and it's something we can tell our kids about some day - women making history at NAIG," said Team Ontario's Kamryn White, a 16year-old from Delaware Nation.

"I know Haudenosaunee women didn't play the sport back in the day. However, girls today are picking up sports that boys are, and it's so wonderful to be recognized for it. It's great to know NAIG is supporting the Creator's game."

Traditionally, women were said to attend games as spectators or to provide nutrition, water or care for the injured. But they did not play, and wooden lacrosse sticks were considered sacred objects that should only be touched by males.

Some First Nations communities still don't allow women and girls to play lacrosse. Some coaches and players participating in NAIG this year fully support females playing the sport, but only if they are using one of the more commonly produced hollow sticks made of synthetic material or metal. Other coaches don't mind if their players want to use wooden sticks, calling today's synthetics "Tupperware sticks."

"In my opinion, I don't want my female players to touch wooden sticks," said Team EDN coach James Burns, who has three granddaughters on the team. "Even if the guys bring their wooden sticks around, I tell my female players not to touch them. I have coached non-native female goalies before and I have no problem with them using a wooden stick if they want to."

Many coaching the women in this event have long histories in men's lacrosse and are now helping grow the women's game.

"We play the game for the elders and the sick. And while it used to just be a game for men, it's acceptable today for women to play, and that's why I'm so honoured to be coaching Ontario's women at NAIG," coach Pat Pembleton said. "I know growing up, when I was playing, we had a couple of girls playing with us, but it wasn't something you saw much. I think the popularity of women's field lacrosse paved the way for this to happen with box lacrosse. On some residences, though, you will still find that women playing is still not accepted."

There are 15 male teams competing over two divisions at NAIG - U16 and U19 - in the same rinks where the females play. Both girls and boys fill the lobbies lugging equipment bags, and they all packed Iroquois Arena Tuesday night to watch the popular local Major Series Lacrosse team, the Six Nations Chiefs.

There was also a lacrosse cultural fair in the fields surrounding Gaylord Powless Arena Tuesday, with booths selling traditional crafts and hand-popped Iroquois kettle corn. It was attended by several pro lacrosse players who grew up in Six Nations and now hold celebrity status there. Johnny Powless of the Georgia Swarm and Rochester Nighthawks teammates Sid Smith and Cody Jamieson were among the homegrown National Lacrosse League stars mingling with NAIG players and playing with star-struck young kids. Even National Hockey League rookie Brandon Montour was there, a defenceman for the Anaheim Ducks who had been a dualsports star in the area and won a lacrosse Minto Cup in 2014 with the Six Nations Arrows.

"It is my sincere hope that by having all the visitors come to Six Nations to play lacrosse as part of NAIG, they will experience the infectiousness of the game in our community," said Russ Doxtator, Indigenous director for the Canadian Lacrosse Association.

This week, there was a simple ceremony to mark the first female game at NAIG, including a traditional dance by local children and an address from Six Nations Chief Ava Hill.

"You will inspire all the young girls watching," Chief Hill told the female players.

The first gold, silver and bronze medals in box lacrosse will be awarded to women on Friday.

Associated Graphic

Team BC's Kiana Point looks on before playing Team Ontario in their under-19 women's lacrosse match during the 2017 North American Indigenous Games on Monday. Point's two older brothers played lacrosse at the games, while her dad coached twice. For the first time ever, the NAIG has a women's lacrosse event.


Team Ontario's Shkuhnodin Shognosh-Myers celebrates her goal with teammates against Team BC on Monday.


Kiana Point's parents, Jim Point and Cynthia Murphy, cheer their daughter on against Team Ontario.

Kiana Point, wearing the "A," leads Team BC in a cheer before playing Team Ontario on Monday.

Boot camp: A lesson in Stampede attire
Politicians with social capital to lose can't afford to show up to Calgary's big ticket in any old shoes, so The Globe offers to help
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A5

CROSSFIELD, ALTA. -- Doug Schweitzer is shopping for cowboy boots. Brown.

Traditional. A lower heel. Pointy yet square toes.

"A little bit of style would be good," he says. "But not too much."

Mr. Schweitzer wants to win the provincial election in 2019, which first means securing the leadership of the proposed United Conservative Party in October, which means avoiding fashion mishaps over the next 10 days. The Calgary Stampede is under way and politicians are playing dress-up, trying to outgrassroots each other. They want their cowboy boots and belt buckles to show they are just like the "Real Albertans" they court for votes.

Albertans are unfamiliar with Mr. Schweitzer and this is his first Stampede as a politician. It is a chance to raise his profile and prove the Calgary lawyer is not just some city boy. Indeed, Stampede costumes come with political consequences. Premier Rachel Notley was busted wearing her hat backward in 2015, an unforgivable Stampede sin. Photos of former prime minister Stephen Harper in a leather vest, poorly shaped hat and bolo tie can never be unseen. He wore the outfit 12 Stampedes ago.

And so Mr. Schweitzer asked The Globe and Mail to accompany him while acquiring boots so he doesn't step in it during Stampede. He suggests Alberta Boot Co. It is a Calgary operation with Alberta right in the name, making it a politically savvy choice. It is legit, but not the pinnacle of cowboy culture. If you're competing for cred, you have to go to Irvine's. Mr. Schweitzer had never heard of it, but if it means upping his Stampede game, he's in.

Irvine Tack & Western Wear - Canada's largest western store, covering 65,000 square feet of retail space - is just off a gravel road in another universe 58 kilometres north of the Calgary Tower. Here, near Crossfield, people know tack belongs in barns.

Mr. Schweitzer spots a pair of Boulet boots. The heels are the right height, the toes are pointy until they square off at the tips, and pink dominates the traditional embroidery on the parts that jeans cover. There's just one thing that looks off to corporate cowboys: They extend well up the calf, to better protect people's legs when they're riding horses. Mr. Schweitzer asks a salesperson whether they are popular.

"Mostly cowboys wear that," she says, politely brushing off his interest. She means real cowboys - the kind of men who starch snap-button shirts before riding bulls, not iron the checked buttonhole numbers executives wear at company picnics. She means these boots are out of Mr. Schweitzer's league.

He asks whether they come in a size 12. "Let's try the real deal," he says. He needs a half-size smaller. He pulls up his Brax jeans and yanks on the pink finger loops to get the boots on.

"I'm going to get these ones," Mr. Schweitzer says. The Boulets are, indeed, a safe choice. "Done and done."

Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean, not wanting to lose Alberta's high-profile competition to appear relatable, accepted The Globe's offer to supervise his boot shopping this year. Jason Kenney, Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party Leader, declined to subject himself to shopping with The Globe unless the newspaper paid the bill. Given the terms, The Globe is not responsible for his questionable footwear. The three men are challenging each other for leadership of the proposed United Conservative Party and for that they must demonstrate a high degree of grassrooty-ness.

Hollywood popularized cowboy boots in the 1920s, with actors wearing boots for the same reason politicians wear them during Stampede: playing pretend. Movie stars made cowboy boots fashionable, but the footwear's history stretches back roughly 1,000 years, according to Elizabeth Semmelhack, the curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. These days, folks tend to buy cowboy boots to fit in, not because they are practical for steer wrestling.

"There's no benefit to wearing a 'cowboy boot' that doesn't look like one," Ms. Semmelhack says. "People are exploiting its value as a cowboy boot."

And that's why Mr. Schweitzer spends $414.59 on boots, a belt and a buckle he'll wear only a couple of days a year.

Wildrose's Mr. Jean shows up at Alberta Boot Co. in boots from Alberta Boot Co.

Four Wildrosers and his official photographer accompany the experienced politician. The folks at the western shop are expecting Mr. Jean; one gives him a custom-made Wildrose belt buckle.

Alberta Boot's staff know what they want him in: ostrich.

Ostrich on the bottom with a kangaroo shaft. The boots are a shade or two lighter than Mr. Jean's fading ginger hair. Ostrich leather sports tiny spikes; kangaroo is silky. These are going-out boots - the kind you'd wear to a wedding dance where the hosts serve midnight lunch.

Mr. Jean knows ostrich is expensive and asks the staff whether he'll have to take out a small business loan to cover the bill.

"I've never had a pair of ostrich boots," Mr. Jean says. "If you're going to get something, get it to last. Good value."

He asks his entourage for opinions. Just the right amount of flair, one says. The heels are high, the toes pointy, embroidery traditional, but the honey colour and spikes bring swagger.

Mr. Jean, wearing a beaver felt cowboy hat he picked up at Irvine's the other day, declares the boots perfect.

"I'll take them," he says.

And a blue shirt. And a white cowboy hat. And a belt, which Alberta Boot will soon make to match his boots. Total: $764.30, after the friends-and-family discount on the boots but before the forthcoming belt. The price is a political trade-off. On one hand, real cowboys know the ostrich-kangaroo combo is legit.

On the other, real cowboys know the ostrich-kangaroo combo is pricey.

Meanwhile, Jason Kenney plans to wear a scuffed up pair of tan ropers.

"Right now I'm an unemployed schmuck who can't afford new boots," he said on Twitter in June. Ropers have laces, shorter but wider heels, round toes and lack decorative flair. They extend beyond the ankle, but not much further.

They are perfectly acceptable Stampede gear.

"They don't kill your feet after the 10th event of the day," the former federal cabinet minister said on Twitter. This justification echoes a statement he tweeted in 2016, when he wore a black pair. Stampede does, indeed, involve a lot of standing around.

But if Real Albertans consider heeled cowboy boots comfy enough to work in 365 days a year, politicians can survive handshake lines for a few hours.

And ropers are risky: People who do not know the difference between a header and a heeler may not recognize them as credible Stampede footwear. Mr. Kenney's fiscal conservatism could cost political capital.

While politicians are required to wear boots during Stampede, real cowboys and cowgirls are not. Outriders - the fellas on horseback chasing chuckwagons during races - often wear sneakers, for example. But those athletes literally sprint before jumping on their horses, and make money doing it. It is, for about 75 seconds a day, their job.

So if you feed and ride horses free from political motivation or without paying for the privilege to do so at Stampede, you can wear whatever you want. But if you're working the crowds rather than crowding the corrals, cowboy boots with proper heels and embroidery are the best choice. Be careful, though - new kicks can hurt your feet.

"I may or may not have a really large blister after day one in my new boots," Mr. Schweitzer, the rookie, said on Twitter on Thursday. "Any tips out there for breaking in boots during Stampede?"

Associated Graphic

United Conservative Party leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer tries on new cowboy boots at Irvine Tack & Western Wear near Crossfield, Alta., on Tuesday.


Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean, seen at Alberta Boot Co., says 'If you're going to get something, get it to last. Good value.'


Boot camp: A lesson in Stampede attire
Politicians with social capital to lose can't afford to show up to Calgary's big ticket in any old shoes, so The Globe offered to help
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

CROSSFIELD, ALTA. -- Doug Schweitzer is shopping for cowboy boots. Brown.

Traditional. A lower heel. Pointy yet square toes.

"A little bit of style would be good," he says. "But not too much."

Mr. Schweitzer wants to win the provincial election in 2019, which first means securing the leadership of the proposed United Conservative Party in October, which means avoiding fashion mishaps over the next 10 days. The Calgary Stampede is under way and politicians are playing dress-up, trying to outgrassroots each other. They want their cowboy boots and belt buckles to show they are just like the "Real Albertans" they court for votes.

Albertans are unfamiliar with Mr. Schweitzer and this is his first Stampede as a politician. It is a chance to raise his profile and prove the Calgary lawyer is not just some city boy. Indeed, Stampede costumes come with political consequences. Premier Rachel Notley was busted wearing her hat backward in 2015, an unforgivable Stampede sin. Photos of former prime minister Stephen Harper in a leather vest, poorly shaped hat and bolo tie can never be unseen. He wore the outfit 12 Stampedes ago.

And so Mr. Schweitzer asked The Globe and Mail to accompany him while acquiring boots so he doesn't step in it during Stampede. He suggests Alberta Boot Co. It is a Calgary operation with Alberta right in the name, making it a politically savvy choice. It is legit, but not the pinnacle of cowboy culture.

If you're competing for cred, you have to go to Irvine's. Mr. Schweitzer had never heard of it, but if it means upping his Stampede game, he's in.

Irvine Tack and Western Wear - Canada's largest western store, covering 65,000 square feet of retail space - is just off a gravel road in another universe 58 kilometres north of the Calgary Tower. Here, near Crossfield, people know tack belongs in barns.

Mr. Schweitzer spots a pair of Boulet boots. The heels are the right height, the toes are pointy until they square off at the tips, and pink dominates the traditional embroidery on the parts that jeans cover. There's just one thing that looks off to corporate cowboys: They extend well up the calf, to better protect people's legs when they're riding horses. Mr. Schweitzer asks a salesperson whether they are popular.

"Mostly cowboys wear that," she says, politely brushing off his interest. She means real cowboys - the kind of men who starch snap-button shirts before riding bulls, not iron the checked buttonhole numbers executives wear at company picnics. She means these boots are out of Mr. Schweitzer's league.

He asks whether they come in a size 12. "Let's try the real deal," he says. He needs a halfsize smaller. He pulls up his Brax jeans and yanks on the pink finger loops to get the boots on.

"I'm going to get these ones," Mr. Schweitzer says. The Boulets are, indeed, a safe choice. "Done and done."

Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean, not wanting to lose Alberta's high-profile competition to appear relatable, accepted The Globe's offer to supervise his boot shopping this year. Jason Kenney, Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party Leader, declined to subject himself to shopping with The Globe unless the newspaper paid the bill. Given the terms, The Globe is not responsible for his questionable footwear. The three men are challenging each other for leadership of the proposed United Conservative Party and for that they must demonstrate a high degree of grassrooty-ness.

Hollywood popularized cowboy boots in the 1920s, with actors wearing boots for the same reason politicians wear them during Stampede: playing pretend. Movie stars made cowboy boots fashionable, but the footwear's history stretches back roughly 1,000 years, according to Elizabeth Semmelhack, the curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. These days, folks tend to buy cowboy boots to fit in, not because they are practical for steer wrestling.

"There's no benefit to wearing a 'cowboy boot' that doesn't look like one," Ms. Semmelhack says. "People are exploiting its value as a cowboy boot."

And that's why Mr. Schweitzer spends $414.59 on boots, a belt and a buckle he'll wear only a couple of days a year.

Wildrose's Mr. Jean shows up at Alberta Boot Co. in boots from Alberta Boot Co.

Four Wildrosers and his official photographer accompany the experienced politician. The folks at the western shop are expecting Mr. Jean; one gives him a custom-made Wildrose belt buckle.

Alberta Boot's staff know what they want him in: ostrich.

Ostrich on the bottom with a kangaroo shaft. The boots are a shade or two lighter than Mr. Jean's fading ginger hair. Ostrich leather sports tiny spikes; kangaroo is silky. These are goingout boots - the kind you'd wear to a wedding dance where the hosts serve midnight lunch.

Mr. Jean knows ostrich is expensive and asks the staff whether he'll have to take out a small business loan to cover the bill.

"I've never had a pair of ostrich boots," Mr. Jean says. "If you're going to get something, get it to last. Good value."

He asks his entourage for opinions. Just the right amount of flair, one says. The heels are high, the toes pointy, embroidery traditional, but the honey colour and spikes bring swagger.

Mr. Jean, wearing a beaver felt cowboy hat he picked up at Irvine's the other day, declares the boots perfect.

"I'll take them," he says.

And a blue shirt. And a white cowboy hat. And a belt, which Alberta Boot will soon make to match his boots. Total: $764.30, after the friends-and-family discount on the boots but before the forthcoming belt. The price is a political trade-off. On one hand, real cowboys know the ostrich-kangaroo combo is legit.

On the other, real cowboys know the ostrich-kangaroo combo is pricey.

Meanwhile, Jason Kenney plans to wear a scuffed up pair of tan ropers.

"Right now I'm an unemployed schmuck who can't afford new boots," he said on Twitter in June. Ropers have laces, shorter but wider heels, round toes and lack decorative flair. They extend beyond the ankle, but not much further.

They are perfectly acceptable Stampede gear.

"They don't kill your feet after the 10th event of the day," the former federal cabinet minister said on Twitter. This justification echoes a statement he tweeted in 2016, when he wore a black pair. Stampede does, indeed, involve a lot of standing around. But if real Albertans consider heeled cowboy boots comfy enough to work in 365 days a year, politicians can survive handshake lines for a few hours. And ropers are risky: People who do not know the difference between a header and a heeler may not recognize them as credible Stampede footwear. Mr. Kenney's fiscal conservatism could cost political capital.

While politicians are required to wear boots during Stampede, real cowboys and cowgirls are not. Outriders - the fellas on horseback chasing chuckwagons during races - often wear sneakers, for example. But those athletes literally sprint before jumping on their horses, and make money doing it. It is, for about 75 seconds a day, their job.

So if you feed and ride horses free from political motivation or without paying for the privilege to do so at Stampede, you can wear whatever you want. But if you're working the crowds rather than crowding the corrals, cowboy boots with proper heels and embroidery are the best choice. Be careful, though - new kicks can hurt your feet.

"I may or may not have a really large blister after day one in my new boots," Mr. Schweitzer, the rookie, said on Twitter on Thursday. "Any tips out there for breaking in boots during Stampede?"

Associated Graphic

United Conservative Party leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer tries on new cowboy boots at Irvine Tack and Western Wear near Crossfield, Alta., on Tuesday.


Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean, seen at Alberta Boot Co., says 'If you're going to get something, get it to last. Good value.'


Why outdoor discomfort is good for growth
Six lessons gleaned from spending time out of your element with implications for productivity and inspiration at the office
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B8

Now, being uncomfortable may scare you, but so does the road to discovering all of the power and goodness inside of you. We need to unleash that power inside of us because we don't have many opportunities to do this throughout the daily grind of our regular lives.

Don't fret, there are plenty of outdoor programs that are accessible and ready for you - just don't put this off as you have those other projects in your inbox.

How do we do this? To name a few ideas: You could sign up today and learn to canoe, book an introduction to hiking course, discover how to stand-up paddle board or get in some rock-climbing action. You'll be high-fiving yourself and sharing newly gained confidence with others in no time.

We can learn so much from challenging ourselves in the outdoors, which makes us stronger and more confident. It also helps us shape a more inspired life from the situations Mother Nature throws our way.

Here are six tips to consider for a more productive and inspired life. For perspective's sake, let me take you to the edge during a rock-climbing course to explain why pushing yourself outside of your limits can assist you in your regular life.

When your grip on the rock begins to fail, you're already freaked out. Your leg is shaking more violently than your favourite cocktail mixer, and a torrent of sweat soaks your athletic wear and blinds you as you search for a better grip. Throwing your arm, your fingers skid into place, safely stuck in a clinging state of mind.

Calmness rushes over you, if even for just a second. Your first time rock climbing outside pushed you to the limits. Having to push yourself as never before fills you with new-found confidence , giving you a better vantage point to reflect on your personal and professional challenges.

As with so many people, your work environment may have recently become a stressful atmosphere, leaving you feeling the brunt of its negative effects. That experience rock climbing gave you the strength to stand up and challenge mediocre minds, and to start inspiring others with a positive, can-do attitude. This propelled you to become the positive change, the little spark your company needed.

This feeling wasn't only making an impression at work. An inner personal growth flourished from putting yourself in uncomfortable situations outside, helping you develop a variety of tools that release the goodness inside of you. This helps you deal with all of life's challenges. We're not just talking about the niggling details and tedious responsibilities of our daily lives, but those big mountains we may face in life on the broader spectrum of our relationships, family and personal development.

Real growth comes from the outside, pushing yourself in nature and challenging yourself in ways nothing else in your repetitive, regular life can. Don't wait. Get outside now, not only for the health benefits, but to develop your own toolbox that will act as a springboard for living your life with confidence and inspiration.

Go all in

Just as with rock climbing, don't be afraid to take on new challenges. Being perched on a rocky cliff does not give you many options but to focus and put 100 per cent of your effort behind each move, so that you make it to the top.

Learning to dig deep and apply all of your effort to a project will consistently move the needle in your everyday life. You can't move forward if you can't get things done or - in today's digital world - ship your art.

Look around

We need to learn that changing direction is all right and that moving outside of our comfort zone is healthy for us. While rock climbing, this can occur through a variety of scenarios - adapting to changing weather conditions, taking on more degrees of difficulty in your route selection or overcoming deteriorating rock conditions. Unlike responding to text messages, you may not have time to pause and think or procrastinate; you act quickly as survival instincts kick in and take over. We may not realize it, but we face these decisions on a smaller scale on a regular basis.

When you're outside, you make instant choices when potential risks arise, such as changing ski touring routes based on avalanche conditions or taking another canoe route based on a prediction of stormy weather ahead. This greatly enhances your skill set, giving you the ability to make decisions on the fly and determine major directional changes when needed.

Be cold

Sure, you have some uncomfortable situations at work, such as the ego-driven team member who is taking credit for all your work, or communication challenges with one of your colleagues in another city. You will take on different perspective after you reflect on that canoe journey when your boat flipped over in a raging storm. You'll recall having to quickly erect a makeshift camp while shivering for hours, leading to a sleepless night you will never forget. With that experience top of mind at the office, all other situations will seem much easier to deal with. Plus, you'll always be grateful for heat and a dry office space.

Always be learning

World-class climbers are constantly practising new moves and honing their skills in preparation for their next challenge. Settling is the beginning of death. You have one opportunity to live, so why not learn as much as you can? Stir your mind and soul regularly. Besides, having something to look forward to keeps your head in a progressive state of mind. When you don't have challenges, worries and stress can fill your head. Your career will benefit from a clear mind. Even if those around you do not recognize it, do it to better yourself.

Your future self will thank you for it.

Never give up

Put yourself in situations where you have to rely on yourself to slog it out, such as mid-way through a 70-kilometre backpacking trip on the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, in a seemingly never-ending rainstorm. Nothing is dry. Winds whips your eyelids up and down. Yet you still have 35 kilometres to go. You complete the backpacking trip due to your persistence, inner strength and resolve to make each step count.

In nature, you have no choice but to continue. We can get too complacent in our daily life; we need to challenge ourselves. Have the tenacity to keep going, constantly creating and honing your skills.

Face your fear

How do we do that? First we need to embrace the power it entails.

The main ingredient is adrenalin, which gives you that rapid heart rate originally meant to kick in and save us from being eaten in caveman times. The key is to embrace the fear and channel the powerful energy into good.

Positive fear helps you, giving you that lifesaving leap as you are crossing the street and there is a car coming directly at you. Negative fear is when it holds you back from doing something good for yourself, such as trying a new sport or challenging your boss with a different view. Tell fear that you are going to do this, you are going forward. Familiarize yourself with your fear. Trying a new sport outdoors, such as rock climbing, can assist you in a big way by letting you meet your fear head on. This will not only provide you the incredible life confidence you deserve, but also show you how to face your fear.

Accomplishing something you are told you cannot do - by yourself or by others - is good for you in so many ways. We grow most when we face fear.

Executives, educators and humanresources experts contribute to the ongoing Leadership Labs series. Find more articles at

Associated Graphic

People stand to learn so much from challenging themselves in the outdoors. These experiences make us stronger and increase confidence, with myriad benefits to be gained in other facets of life.


Greens, NDP get set to walk a tightrope
'Good faith and no surprises' to be governing principle as parties with a testy past try to maintain B.C. Legislature's confidence
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A13

VANCOUVER -- The New Democrats' historic alliance with B.C.'s thirdplace Green Party is founded on the principle of "good faith and no surprises."

For that to survive, both parties must put aside the personal and political differences on display during a sometimes testy election campaign as they attempt to keep the NDP minority government alive, while navigating a number of contentious policy areas that could emerge as areas of conflict. The debate over a massive hydroelectric dam in the province's north, changes to labour laws and even campaign finance reform - on which the two parties largely agree - all have the potential to cause rifts between John Horgan's New Democrats and Andrew Weaver's Greens.

And pundits - not to mention the BC Liberals, who will soon find themselves in opposition after 16 years in power - will be waiting to jump on the smallest cracks in the nascent partnership.

Mr. Horgan and Mr. Weaver have done their best to put such speculation to bed. They are now in constant contact and an amiable rapport has developed between their parties since they signed an agreement at the end of May to create an NDP government. A photo of them enjoying a rugby match together in Victoria just days before the announcement was finalized was held up as evidence they had buried the hatchet.

The 10-page written deal between the two parties - formally known as a confidence and supply agreement - sets out core priorities both have agreed to tackle in the next legislative session.

Chief among the policies are campaign-finance laws, switching the electoral system to a form of proportional representation, as well as reassessing the province's major resource projects while combatting climate change. In exchange for those commitments, the Greens have agreed to vote with the NDP on confidence motions to ensure the government does not fall prematurely, but the Greens say they will vote on other issues on a case-by-case basis - and the party's three MLAs might not necessarily always vote together.

Carole James, the former NDP leader heading her party's transition to government, said the Greens will not be privy to cabinet discussions, but they will be informed beforehand of any major policy moves. She says the new government will take action on softwood lumber, the opioid crisis and securing public-school funding before the House returns in September. Green MLAs will also receive briefing notes and be given ample opportunity to propose their own bills in the legislature, where the NDP's agenda will be debated thoroughly by all parties, she said.

Since the Lieutenant-Governor asked Mr. Horgan to form government, his special adviser Bob Dewar has been meeting most mornings with Liz Lilly, architect of the Green Party's election platform and now chief of staff for its three-member caucus.

Ms. Lilly, who ended her 25-year career with the B.C. government in 2015 as head of the province's climate-change strategy, agrees there will be substantive policy disagreements with the New Democrats. But those will not endanger the life of the government, she says.

"If we feel that they have acted in bad faith or they haven't adequately consulted with us or that they deliberately undermined the accord, for whatever reason, then, yeah, that's a deal-breaker," she said in an interview. "It's not, 'Do we agree on whether it's $10 a day [for subsidized child care] or $15 an hour [for minimum wage]?' - it's about the spirit of the accord.

"We're all trying to get things done and there are different ways of doing it."

Tensions between the two partners will likely flare in the months ahead, she acknowledges, especially with an outspoken leader such as Mr. Weaver. He must continue to critique the New Democrats in public and private not only to push his legislative agenda, but also to assert a unique identity for the party that isn't simply an extension of the governing NDP.

A preview of what's to come occurred last month, when Mr. Horgan told a crowd of B.C. Government and Services Employees' Union workers in Vancouver that the NDP would change the labour code to eliminate a secret ballot for employees wanting to unionize.

Mr. Weaver, who once led two separate rounds of collective bargaining at the University of Victoria as head of its professors' union, immediately blasted his new ally and declared that the Greens would never support such a move.

Within minutes of Mr. Weaver's comments hitting social media, unhappy New Democrats had called up the Green Party's codeputy leader Matt Toner.

"They felt at the time - because the Lieutenant-Governor hadn't made a decision yet - 'let's not rock the boat publicly,' " said Mr. Toner, who ran as an NDP candidate in 2013. "At the same time, people in the private sector [contacted me and said they] were interested to see us standing up for things we believe in.

"There will be that tightrope we walk of 'how do we stick to our principles?' Because there is so much overlap with the NDP, there is that risk that we might be seen as falling into their shadow."

The Greens have said they hope to work with the Liberals to craft bills and amend NDP legislation.

The Greens say their relationship with the Liberals remains frayed after that party waged a relentless campaign to detonate the NDP-Green accord that alternated between friendly pleas and threats.

Shortly before their defeat, Liberals unexpectedly tabled campaign finance legislation and a bill to give the Greens official party status in the legislature in what appeared to be an unsuccessful attempt to bate the Greens into voting against the NDP.

Andrew Wilkinson, a Vancouver MLA who will soon relinquish his portfolio as minister of justice to sit in opposition, said the Liberals are very concerned that the NDP will push controversial changes through the Premier's Office rather than the legislature, where the Speaker could be asked to break a 43-43 deadlock on every vote.

"They have the regulatory powers of cabinet and they have the spending powers of the executive to change many things, including substantial spending plans, which have a grave effect on the public," Mr. Wilkinson said. "Anything from bridge tolls, through child care, through the compensation system for health-care professionals - so the concern is that they will do all of that with minimal visibility and accountability.

"These are large budget items that need to be subject to the scrutiny of the legislature."

The Liberals will provide fierce opposition in the House, Mr. Wilkinson said, but do not want to force a snap election by bringing down the New Democrats on such bills.

"In the current circumstances, there's no appetite for an election in the near future," he said.

He noted that a review of Christy Clark's leadership is not imminent, but "may happen a few years down the line."

By convention, the Throne Speech, its amendments and two budget-related bills are always treated as explicit tests of whether a party deserves to govern the province.

However, a government can declare any bill a confidence matter and a proposed law that makes substantial changes to the provincial budget has historically served the same function.

That means the NDP, with the support of the Greens, could wield confidence votes early on in their mandate as a cudgel to draw co-operation from the 43 Liberal MLAs, knowing they are reluctant to be seen as foisting another election on B.C.'s weary voters.

Still, Mr. Wilkinson, like many constitutional experts and political scientists, does not expect the government to last the traditional four-year term.

"It would be deeply surprising to most British Columbians if this brittle NDP-Green arrangement lasts for more than a couple of years, whether it runs for as much as two years remains to be seen."

Associated Graphic

The NDP's John Horgan, right, looks on while Green Leader Andrew Weaver checks the time at the May 30 pact signing.


Strike a pose
As acidic whites from temperate climates become popular, some producers of big, oaky chards are trying to be cool
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L6

As a devotee of Chablis, which I would nominate as my desertisland wine if desert islands had fridges, I am impulsively drawn to any chardonnay that bills itself as "cool." Chablis, the northernmost district of Burgundy, is the quintessence of cool-climate chardonnay, known for producing the most compellingly crisp, lean, electrically charged interpretations of the world's most popular white grape.

That's what coolness does.

It preserves acidity and minerallike verve while permitting grapes to mature slowly, with not just sugar but also full physiological ripeness, delivering subtly complex flavours along the way. On the chardonnay flavour spectrum, Chablis - which generally sees little or no new-barrel contact - is the opposite of the plump oak-bomb style more typical of warm climates and uninteresting restaurant wine lists. Think of a crunchy green apple versus a grilled slice of pineapple topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

But there is a rising tide of chardonnay out there laughably posing as cool. I've noticed a spike in the rhetoric even since last year, when I last wrote about the stylistic dichotomy on the occasion of the annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration, a three-day festival that's become the Niagara peninsula's biggest and best party.

Cool is in, as you might have guessed if you're a regular reader of back labels or if you follow wine trends. Three months ago, the Emmy-winning American wine personality Leslie Sbrocco hosted a master class in Toronto titled "Cool Climate Chardonnay - California Style" hosted by a California-wine trade group.

"Cool climate is the hot phrase when it comes to California Chardonnay," she stated in a press release.

In other words, cool has become sophisticated. It's the way of the future, especially in the face of global warming, which many winemakers say has been ratcheting up sugar and alcohol levels to unfavourable extremes in some regions. Sweet oak bombs, by contrast, are increasingly considered déclassé, the Double Down burgers of white wine.

Yet generally when I see the words "cool climate" on the back label of a 14.5-per-centalcohol, oak-matured California chardonnay, I smell something fishy even before I pop the cork.

Almost invariably, one syrupy sip verifies my suspicion: It could not be further from Chablis than if it had been grown on Venus. To borrow a term from today's cultural-theory discourse, many winemakers, not least in California, are guilty of coolness appropriation.

Yes, high altitudes and ocean breezes can bring chilly discipline to otherwise balmy, sundrenched vineyards. But such effects are often obliterated with winery tricks (special yeasts and the like) by producers wisely convinced that many consumers like to talk dry while drinking sweet. Conversely, as I've noted in the past, winemakers in bona fide frigid climates can choose to harvest late and slap sweet chardonnays with heavy oak to yield liquids that could easily be mistaken for something out of the hottest pockets of Napa Valley in the 1990s.

It's all relative in the end.

Too often, "cool-climate" wines bear scant resemblance to the sort of profile most of us actually intend by the term (paging Chablis!), at least those of us regularly exposed to wines from such regions as Northern France, Niagara, Prince Edward County, New York state and New Zealand. They might be very good wines, don't get me wrong, but they simply don't pass the acid (or mineral) test.

And that's not cool.

Most selections below will be poured at various events at this year's International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration, which takes place July 21 to 23 and features a keynote address by California-based Karen MacNeil, one of the world's most distinguished wine educators and author of the excellent book The Wine Bible. Check for tickets and event information. Some wines are available in stores as noted.

Domaine Laroche Les Vaudevey Chablis 1er Cru 2014 (France)

SCORE: 93 PRICE: $38.95

Medium-full-bodied and wonderfully complex in that whispering way of Chablis. Great tension and leesy depth of flavour, with notes of apple, nuts and citrus. It's like a fine Champagne, only without the froth, and in this case the bubbles would have just gotten in the way. Available in Ontario at the above price, various prices in Alberta.

Stratus Chardonnay 2014 (Niagara)

SCORE: 91 PRICE: $48

Full, silky and generous. Tastes a lot more like a fine Californian chardonnay or oaky Meursault than Chablis, with notes of butter, pineapple and toasted nuts. Expertly balanced, with ample acidity standing up to all that lusciousness. Available at the winery and direct through

Sperling Vineyards Chardonnay 2015 (British Columbia)

SCORE: 91 PRICE: $26

From cool East Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, this is grown on the home ranch of Ann Sperling, the director of wine-making and viticulture at Niagara's Southbrook Vineyards. It's mediumbodied, tight and tense with acidity, just enough to accentuate the apple-, pearand peach-like fruit. There's but a whisper of oak in the mix, evidence of the expert's hand in the cellar. Genuinely cool chardonnay. Available direct through

Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay 2016 (Australia)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $24.95

All over southern Australia these days winemakers are clamouring to find elevated sites to capture more vibrant flavours than has been the norm in that country. They should all move to Margaret River in the remote west, where coolness is easy to come by.

Here's an impressive example from a terrific producer, registering just 12.5per-cent alcohol (how un-Australian!).

It's got lemon-lime zestiness, apple and, remarkably for a ripe chardonnay, a suggestion of herbs. Available at the above price in Ontario, various prices in Alberta.

Trail Estate Chardonnay Unfiltered 2015 (Niagara)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $32

The winery is located in Prince Edward County, a couple of hours east of Toronto, but the fruit in this cuvée comes from Niagara. Medium-bodied and instantly crunchy with solid acidity.

Deftly oaked. The subtle wood never gets in the way of the fresh apple-pear fruitiness, which is supported by nuances of pastry dough and toast.

The residual sugar is a scant 2 grams per litre and alcohol level just 12.2 per cent. Classically cool-climate chardonnay. Available direct through

Invivo Chardonnay 2016 (New Zealand)

SCORE: 90 PRICE: $17.15

Medium-bodied and juicy, with a bright profile of green apple, melon, tropical fruit and grassy herbs as well as whispers of vanilla and smoke.

Available in Ontario at the above price.

Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay 2015 (California)

SCORE: 89 PRICE: $34.95

This comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands, an elevated region above the Salinas River valley that enjoys cool breezes from Monterey Bay. Despite the climate, which is cool by California standards, the wine managed to achieve a formidable 14.9-per-cent alcohol. More than a year in oak delivered added volume and texture as well as a caramel note to the sweet-tasting, syrupy-peach fruit. A crowd-pleaser, to be sure, but to me it tastes more like old-school California than new-age "cool." Available at the above price in Ontario (on sale for $29.95 until July 16), $33.99 in British Columbia ($29.99 until July 29), various prices in Alberta, $39.03 in Saskatchewan, $33.35 in Quebec, $39.30 in Nova Scotia.

Rodney Strong Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014 (California)

SCORE: 88 PRICE: $29.95

This hails from the Sonoma Coast, a cool enclave, at least by Californiavineyard standards. But if this is coolclimate chardonnay, I wonder what they call run-of-the-mill chardonnay in California. Pancake syrup? Described as "zesty" and "lively" by panelists of a major U.S. tasting competition, the wine weighs in at 14.5-per-cent alcohol and, yikes, 11 grams per litre of residual sugar. Expect a thick texture and rich flavours of sweet tropical fruit, butter and caramel. Chablis it's not. Available in Ontario at the above price.

Beach body bingo
To really flip the script on body image norms, we must learn to look away from altered photos
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L1

Every summer, I pull out a photograph of Tove Jansson swimming.

The Finnish author's head is crowned with wildflowers as she frogs in the sea near her summer home, her delighted grin bobbing above the surface. It's safe to assume she is not worrying about her beach body.

The rhetoric of the summer beach body - slim, toned and everything that's idealized in lifestyle catalogue frolick - starts in earnest well ahead of vacation season, with exercise, diet and cleanse-themed magazine articles and influencer posts. They all suggest (and that's putting it lightly), with increasing degrees of alarm as July nears, that the winter (read: average) body is shamefully not beach ready.

"Fashion makes people dream, and sometimes have nightmares," says former model Victoire Dauxerre. The recent decentralization and supposed democratization of power from fashion magazines to social media has not improved visions of reality, it's merely added more pervasive channels to spread the fantasy.

I encountered the extreme version of summer beach body bull - and was reminded of how complicit the custodians of mainstream body image culture are - speaking with Dauxerre earlier this spring as her bestselling memoir Size Zero: My Life as a Disappearing Model was published in English.

Dauxerre was scouted in her hometown, Paris, at the age of 17 (she was once featured on Canadian designer Jeremy Laing's runway). At the time, on the cusp of graduating from high school, she weighed 127 pounds and was 5-foot-10 but was nevertheless instructed by her French agent to lose a kilo per week over the summer in order to get down to 110 pounds in time for the September fashion week castings in New York. Dauxerre found herself replacing three square meals with an apple a day and "nothing except Pepsi Max for energy," the former model, now 23, explains from London, where she is now an actress.

She hid her starvation diet from her family during summer vacation. Her book recounts how the backstage pastry buffets and craft services at photo shoots seen in Instagram posts are a sham, with models "fake-biting into a croissant" then spitting it out after posting, all the while starving themselves in real life.

Dauxerre joins the ranks of models like Crystal Renn and Ashley Graham, both of whom have written their own memoirs about the unhealthy size expectations of both the industry and the world at large.

Dauxerre and I commiserated that even as models break the code of silence, again and again, the news they reveal is not shocking any more. New laws and proclamations around model size always get ink when they're announced, as did the recent French decree requiring designers and agencies to employ only models over the age of 16 and who have health certificates that reflect the controversial idea of a healthy body mass index. But enforcement is often another issue. Shortly before this law was proclaimed in May, there was the case of the Danish model who came forward about how she was dropped from the Louis Vuitton fashion show for being too large (she was a size 2) after being told to consume nothing but water for a day or two.

I've been covering the business of fashion for more than a decade and have watched the industry's whistleblowing and body image backlash, followed by the promise to reform, happen time and again - it's as cyclical and fickle as any fad. Why does the disconnect persist?

Dauxerre holds designers responsible. Their sample size garments are at the start of the supply chain. "The trouble is they really don't want to change," she says. She then tells me of the meeting she recently had with a highranking French government official who said that Paris designers had told her, in no uncertain terms, that if they actually applied the law, the designers would go away and take their lucrative fashion shows with them. Money is power.

"It is from the top - but then, everybody's responsible," Dauxerre adds. When women, surrounded by images and messages at every turn, don't have anything else on offer, "it's so hard, when you have that in your brain, the damage is done. Even if you say to yourself you know better. That is the power of image - that's why marketing works. They know how to manipulate. The damage is done." Fashion, which claims to celebrate women, is actually a denial of their reality, insists Dauxerre, who regularly receives messages from girls aged 14 to 20 who equate skinniness with happiness. She also often hears from women who are over 50. Anorexia rises during these two age periods, she says, "because it's the two times when your body changes. You still want to be beautiful [in menopause] and go into stupid diets."

I fall in between and should know better. I do know better.

Yet I read Beauty Sick by Renee Engeln, a psychology professor and researcher on body image and gender at Northwestern University, as much for work as for self-help.

Engeln's new book grew out of her TEDx talk on what she calls "beauty sickness," the constant worry about outside appearances and a compulsion to perfect the body, and how to reframe the conversation and attitudes around narrow ideological norms and false ideals. It's with resignation that Engeln cites the recent WHO report "Growing Up Unequal" and its fi ndings that, after surveying more than 200,000 young people in 42 different countries, girls at age 15 are more likely than boys to report they feel "too fat."

And as girls turn into women, they don't grow out of body dissatisfaction. Fashion and advertising images don't help since most don't represent familiar adult bodies and faces. "At a certain point, our body ideal became so removed from what most women look like," she explains, "that it was easier to fi nd the ideal in young girls than grown women."

I zeroed in on Chapter 9, titled "Media Literacy is Not Enough". Engeln describes one teen who is a body-image activist at her high school and debunks pictures and advertisements that feature flawless models, yet even the teen admits that the smart, critical girls in her class who know full well the girls in the ads are "genetically impossible" still want to look like those airbrushed images. And if I'm being honest, so do I. "This is a fundamental weakness with what's commonly called media literacy," Engeln says of now-mainstream awareness.

Mere knowledge is not enough to resist let alone recondition and reform.

Instead, Engeln takes the namesake classic song Walk Away Renée literally: "When I encounter these Photoshop images, I walk away. I close the magazine. I look away from a billboard. I switch to a different website. I 'flag' an ad.

I unsubscribe, unfollow, mute.

In whatever manner possible, I walk away. I turn my eyes elsewhere, and I turn my thoughts elsewhere." Control.

That extends to much of what's on movie screens, what with Vulture recently raising the alarm over Zac Efron's Baywatch bod going an ab too far ("Zac Efron is too swole"), creating ridiculous body standards expected of mere civilian males. Welcome to the clubhouse, guys. She suggests curtailing the negative body talk that's often a habit among both men and women and, instead, refocusing on the body's usefulness with mantras like "I use my arms to ..." to focus on function rather than creating value from how they look.

I come back to that photo of Jansson, creator of the endearingly lumpy Moomin comic strip characters. Her submerged body, and its precise shape and size, is left to the imagination. What draws me to the shot is the carefree attitude she exudes.

My arms are powerful. I use my arms to swim hundreds of pool laps, to body surf at the lake with my friends. To suit up, and jump in.

Drop-top, cross-country
Touring Canada's capitals in a fleet of Mercedes convertibles offers a vivid view of breathtaking scenery - and something more
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page D4

The post office is closed in Fleming, Sask., but no matter - the postmistress, Jean Green, is outside on the gravel road, looking at the open-top MercedesBenz with her two granddaughters.

"We think your car is just beautiful," she says. It does look sleek and impressive, if out-of-place among the dusty pick-up trucks parked on Main Street. "We don't often see cars like this here. Can we look in it?" Of course they can, and her eldest granddaughter, 14-year-old Karris, ends up sitting behind the wheel, getting a back massage from the seat of the $170,000 S 550 Cabriolet. Jean takes photos to send their dad while eddies of dust scuffle in the air.

"Is it always this windy?" I ask, and she shakes her head.

"Oh no, not at all," she says.

"Sometimes it's windier."

There's not much to shield the wind in Fleming, the first town west of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary on the Trans-Canada Highway. I had been driving through the wind, off and on, since Halifax, on a frenetic road trip to visit all 10 of Canada's provincial capitals in conjunction with the country's 150th birthday.

The first stop was St. John's, but I only drove around the block before hurrying off to get screeched-in. There aren't many convertibles in blustery Newfoundland, but if you want the roof off while driving on the Rock, a Mercedes is a good choice. Every Canadian Benz cabriolet includes heated seats, and from there, you can add all kinds of extra warmth including AirScarfs that blow hot air onto your neck from below the head rest and AirCaps.

Why bother? Because opening the cabin to the sky opens your heart to the country, that's why.

There's a lot of heart in Canada, and a road trip in a convertible is still one of the best ways to experience it.

I flew west to Halifax and drove up in the sunshine to the Pictou ferry, crossing to Prince Edward Island and Charlottetown. People didn't look at me so strangely now with the top down, but the $57,000 SLC 300 still attracted come-from-away attention. They looked at me especially strangely when I drove down a boat ramp to dip the tires in the ocean. More symbolism, especially since I was nose-first; a similar stunt a few years ago taught me the hard way to not dunk the driving wheels into the slimy, slippery water.

All good road trips should include a ferry, and the PEI ship to Wood Islands is officially a part of the Trans-Canada Highway. It drops tourists onto the south shore of the postcard-pretty island, giving them an hour's drive up to Charlottetown or, turning right, 90 minutes to Anne of Green Gables and the best beaches. The province might be neat as a pin, but its potholes are memorable. I paused only for lunch in the capital, just long enough to see the birthplace of Confederation, 150 years ago.

The 12.9-kilometre bridge over to New Brunswick is a stunning piece of engineering that drops westbound drivers in a marshy area scenic only for birdwatchers.

The road on to Moncton seems just a passage between endless unremarkable trees, but a detour south to the Bay of Fundy makes up for everything. I swapped over to a more powerful AMG C 43 for this drive, and the Benz ate the bends of the secondary highway, skimming past farms and patches of forest on its way to the coast.

Farms, forest and the sea - could that be Canada?

A flight to Ottawa followed, and then a drive in the larger and more expensive SL 550 east to Quebec. I ignored the navigation system and stayed in Ontario beside the Ottawa River all the way to the bridge at Hawkesbury, which considers itself Canada's most bilingual town. The SL was pleasant enough to drive in the sun but was wasted on the highway, stuck in traffic near Montreal; I switched to a tiny Smart Fortwo Cabriolet, just a third of the price of the larger Mercedes, for the rest of the drive to Quebec City.

Suddenly, the roads grew bumpier; was it the Smart's urban suspension or just Quebec? I found a museum along the way dedicated to Gilles Villeneuve, Canada's Formula One hero, and parked the funky little Smart next to a mural of Villeneuve's Ferrari. Hey, they're both open to the wind.

Then a pair of flights through Toronto to Winnipeg, to make this drive feasible in five days and skip the monotony of Northwestern Ontario. It meant I missed the wonderful drive beside Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay, but time was pressing. If you drive across Canada yourself, do not avoid this section. The road was built to attract tourists and it's one of the finest drives in the world.

And now, here I am, in dusty Fleming, in the most expensive car yet, where the sky dominates everything and the people are as friendly and unassuming as anyone you'll meet. "I sold some property and I could buy this car," Green says to her granddaughters, teasing. "I'd have to live in it, but do you think I should?" Their eyes widen and she smiles even more broadly.

The make-time flight from Regina to Calgary drops me just an hour from the Rockies, and I drive west in an AMG SLC 43. The sky is very dark ahead, and I raise the top at last. It's a hard roof with a large piece of laminated glass to let the remaining light in, and the cabin is very quiet when it's in place. The clouds hurl rain to the ground, followed by sheets of hail and ice, and then blow away as if they'd never existed.

I drop the top again in Canmore, under the tall shadow of the Three Sisters, and turn back from the mountains, hurrying past ranch lands and oil pumps to Edmonton.

A final flight, sadly taking me right over the glory of the Rocky Mountains and down to the oasis of Vancouver, and then a drive in the most powerful Benz of the trip over to Vancouver Island.

The AMG C 63 S makes 505 hp and, like with the SL in Quebec, there's far too much traffic at this time of day to properly experience such a car. It's stop-and-go over the Malahat Summit, but the car devours the twisting highway west to Sooke.

And before I really know it, I've dipped the tires in the Pacific, doubled back and now I'm in Victoria, parking beside Mile Zero of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Did Canada prove itself to be farms, forest and sea, with some mountains thrown in for good measure? The geography is breathtaking for sure, especially seen without the filter of a roof or even a side window.

But no - Canada is not geography. It's an experience and a sense of worth and pride, and a value that's no different at the ports of St. John's and Victoria than at the inland terminals of Winnipeg and Regina, and - dare I say it after a trip that stayed in the country's southern reaches - in the woods and on the tundra of the North.

The writer was a guest of the auto maker. Content was not subject to approval.

Associated Graphic

Clockwise from top left: The writer began his journey by dipping an SLC 300 into the Atlantic in Nova Scotia, then flew to Ottawa and drove an SL 550 to Quebec. An S 550 was his ride for part of the Prairies and he finished by kissing the Pacific with an AMG C 63 S.


Take the Plunge
It's time to splash out on a library of summer style reads. Maryam Siddiqi flips through her favourite finds including guides to the season's hottest fashion exhibit, an unsung hero of designer patterns and the art of gourmet grazing
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L4


Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between By Andrew Bolton ($50 (U.S.), The Metropolitan Museum of Art) The catalogue created to accompany the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute's show of the same name uses 120 stunning photographs to illustrate Kawakubo's skill for finding inspiration in what's unseen. Authored by the show's curator, this book provides insight into the designer's creative process and her outsider's take on the fashion industry.

Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore By Terry Newman ($36.99, HarperCollins)

James Joyce's glasses. Hunter S. Thompson's hat. Zadie Smith's turban. While these writers are known for the style of their words, their fashion sensibility has also garnered fame. This book explores the style of dress of 50 noted literary figures, how the way they dressed influenced their work and how both their wardrobes and words influenced popular culture. Consider bookish chic as inspiration when you build your fall wardrobe in a few months.

The Illustrated Art of Manliness: The essential how-to guide By Brett McKay and The Art of Manliness ($32.50, Little, Brown and Company)

Born from the website of (almost) the same name, this is a life how-to. Retro inspired illustrations by Ted Slampyak accompany instructions on everything from grilling a perfect steak to being an awesome uncle, even jumping from a speeding car (being a gentleman is always in style, no matter the occasion). The importance of confidence, respect and common sense form the basis for every how-to, and though targeted at men, these are valuable lessons for all decent humans.

Bobbi Brown Beauty from the Inside Out: Makeup, wellness, confidence By Bobbi Brown ($34.95, Chronicle Books)

How you look on the outside is an indication of what's going on in the inside, and so Brown, in her latest guide tackles health, wellness, fitness and mindfulness.

The cosmetic guru not only offers advice and tutorials on skincare regimes and makeup tutorials, but nutritional recommendations and yoga routines. Grab a coldpressed juice and start reading.

Walter Beauchamp: A tailored history of Toronto By Pedro Mendes and Terry Beauchamp (Available Aug. 11; $40, Figure 1)

As one of the country's oldest custom tailors, Walter Beauchamp Tailors is a fashion institution that has been outfitting military, government officials, artists and everyone in between since 1908.

The book reveals the struggles and successes of building an independent business as well as the history of 20th-century suit fashion and Toronto style.


Graze: Inspiration for small plates and meandering meals By Suzanne Lenzer (Available July 11; $31.99, Rodale Books)

This is both a celebration of snacking and of languid summer meals.

In a comprehensive directory of small bites and shared plates, Lenzer offers smorgasbord suggestions that range from a plate of artfully arranged vegetables to polenta cakes with shiitake mushrooms, roasted garlic and thyme. Themed platter menus ("A French Affair for Many") and crucial information about what to sip while grazing are included.

The Cooking Gene: A journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South By Michael W. Twitty (Available Aug. 1; $35.99, Amistad/ HarperCollins)

In this memoir, food writer Michael Twitty explores the history and healing power of food and shared meals in this rich history of the United States' deep south.

From plantation farmland and kitchens to soul food and barbecue, the author tells a story about race relations, cultural identity and culinary traditions through recipes, historical documents and travel notes.

Eat Delicious: 125 recipes for your daily dose of awesome By Dennis Prescott ($31.99, William Morrow/HarperCollins)

A former musician turned food photographer, Prescott's book is all about making cooking fun - and easy. The book kicks off with the fundamentals for a perfect sunny side egg and also includes tips for achieving the perfect burger patty to bun ratio and tackling an 8 to 10 person holiday dinner. Some dishes are as rich as the colours in his Instagram-friendly images - cheesy marinara gnocchi bake, for instance - but none are intimidating, even for the most novice of home cooks.

Wanderlust Find Your True Fork: Journeys into healthy, delicious and ethical eating By Jeff Krasno (Available July 18; $29.99, Rodale Books)

The founder of the music, arts and wellness festival Wanderlust has gathered together a group of foodie experts - cookbook author Deborah Madison, sustainable food expert Anya Fernald and vegan chef Jason Wrobel among them - to explore the kitchen practicalities of being vegetarian or vegan, eating freerange or attempting an ayurvedic diet. With summer's bounty at our fingertips, those thinking of trying a new wholesome diet will find this an essential kitchen companion.

The Art of Flavor: Practices and principles for creating delicious food By Daniel Patterson and Mandy Aftel (Available Aug. 1; $37, HarperCollins)

Michelin-starred chef Daniel Patterson and perfumer Mandy Aftel have paired up to offer a guide for home cooks who may know their way around a stove but have never been shown the rules for preserving and pairing flavours. A "flavour compass" goes a long way to explain why some food combinations work (and why some really don't), and the effect of certain cooking methods on flavour are revealed. The science is tied together and practically applied to 80 recipes created by Patterson.


Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas By Virginia Bayer, Linda Florio, Donna Ghelerter ($50, West Madison Press)

An in-depth look at a designer who, through her printed fabrics, brought colour, levity and joy into American homes during the 1930s. Beyond tablecloths, curtains and bedspread, Mergentime's original patterns and prints were displayed at the 1939 New York World's Fair and Radio City Music Hall (they can still be seen at the later today). Images and essays detail how her creativity inspired households across a nation.

Happy Houseplants: 30 lovely varieties to brighten up your home By Angela Staehling (Available Aug. 22; $20.95, Chronicle Books).

Plot to prolong summer's greenery by bringing it indoors. Whether you've learned the hard way that an air plant needs more than just air to survive or you're looking to expand on your already fulsome living wall, Staehling's illustrated guide to the necessary tools and tricks for healthy houseplants (including how to make your own potting soil) will brighten up your bookshelf and your home.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Unpacking the Archive By Barry Bergdoll and Jennifer Gray ($65 (U.S.), The Museum of Modern Art)

A tale of Wright's many talents and creations: Created to accompany the retrospective at the MoMa in New York this year, each chapter takes one piece of the man's work - be it a skyscraper, museum or temple - and dissects what each said about the architect, his motivations and aspirations.

For Frank Lloyd Wright fans, this compendium won't disappoint.

Open House: Reinventing space for simple living By Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen (Available Aug. 8; $39.99, Gibbs Smith)

If you've chosen renovation over fighting it out in the inevitable bidding wars of Canadian real estate, this read will inspire. The author couple, both actors who've fostered a love of interior design, take older homes and remodel them, creating modern, open spaces. Practical information like how to manage a reno budget, what to consider when building an open-floor plan and where to make splurges are paired with beautiful interior photography.

Wooden Houses: From log cabins to beach houses By Judith Miller (Available Aug. 8; $52, Ryland Peters & Small)

This collection of beautiful spaces - cottages, cabins, even front porches - created from wood reveals not only what's possible when using the material to build a structural framework, but from a decorative standpoint, what can be achieved when wood is carved, stained, painted or simply stripped. Miller also explores the historical and social contexts of using the natural material in architecture.

Associated Graphic


Without Peele, Key turns to the future
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L2

The Smothers brother. Abbott, singular. Laurel, sans Hardy.

And, for the more modern-minded, Tim, forever searching for Eric.

In the comedy world, it can be difficult for audiences to separate the artist from the artistic duo, and even more challenging for the performers themselves. But Keegan-Michael Key seems to have solved the secret to his postpairing success. Although the performer is best known for his collaboration with Jordan Peele on Comedy Central's incendiary sketch series Key & Peele, he is hard at work creating his own singular career in film, television and the stage since the show ended its run in 2015. Part of this new path includes the Netflix series Friends from College, which premieres July 14 and offers a slightly darker side to Key. On the eve of the series' premiere, Key, 46, spoke with The Globe and Mail about fulfilment, comedy and how not to write a sketch about Donald Trump.

Friends from College is an interesting choice for you, in that it's an ensemble piece - are you seeking to immerse yourself in a cast, rather than stand out in your own project?

Not necessarily. It just happened to be that this ensemble was the one I wanted to work with. I do what I can to surround myself with people who are better than me or better than me at certain skill sets, so I'm always in a learning environment. Here, we have Cobie Smulders, who was on one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. Here's Fred Savage, a child actor who's now directing and acting. Here's Nat Faxon, who started out in sketch comedy and now has an Oscar! To be in the midst of these people is lovely.

It's interesting that you mention the learning aspect, because looking at your projects so far post-Key & Peele, they're of such a varied range that you must have picked up quite a bit of knowledge on every type and size of project.

I do look for a challenge in everything. I want every project to scare me a little bit. I'm in what I would consider right now this lovely, exciting transition period in my career. When I was in grad school, I was 90:10 drama to comedy. And then, all of a sudden, my professional life had an amazing detour into sketch comedy, and the ratio was flipped, 90:10 comedy to drama. So the past few years of my life, I started nudging back a bit, to 88:12. With the film Don't Think Twice, it was like 85:15. I'd love to get to this 50:50 place. I look at people such as Bill Murray as a model, or early De Niro, actors who were really trying to inhabit a character whose heart beats at a different speed than yours, who never think about things that you think about.

That's what I crave as a performer.

Playing Horatio in Hamlet [offBroadway] can only further balance that ratio.

Absolutely, but the funny thing about Hamlet is it also brings me back to my roots. I mean, some of the greatest days of my life were, I'm in Detroit, driving up to Ontario to go the Stratford Festival to see Shakespeare. It was always what I thought my life would be; it was something I'd craved for so long. So with Hamlet at the Public Theater, I'm coming home and evening out that ratio. I'm getting a two-for-one on this.

You mentioned Nat starting off in sketch and ending up with an Oscar [for his Descendants screenplay] - is that something you're trying to actively emulate?

I'm not as interested in the writing of it, to be quite honest with you. I'm very interested in, and have always been, an interpretive artist. I do have a mild interest in being a generative artist, but it's much more in taking others' work and bringing it to fruition, or enriching it in some way. Every now and then, an idea comes into my mind and I want to bring it to life, but those moments are few and far between.

Would I like to win an Oscar? If an Oscar was a byproduct of me being on the healthiest artistic journey that I can, then I would certainly welcome an Oscar. I'd also love, say, to be in a movie that Nat wrote. With Nat co-starring. And I'll produce it! That's more the framework that excites me.

In terms of working with great writers, what was your experience with Shane Black on his upcoming reboot of The Predator?

The great thing about that was Shane would turn to me sometimes and say, "I want this to be this, but how are we going to do it? Throw a line at me." I think of him as a singular voice, but there was always a collaborative sense of wanting us, the cast, to bring ourselves to these roles in the framework he set up. He's exactly the kind of person who I just want to spend time with - people who are better than me.

It seems there are increasing opportunities to do that these days, with the explosion of productions thanks to companies such as, well, Netflix here.

The opportunities abound. But what's most attractive, artistically, is that we don't get these homogenized stories. Netflix has been so niche-y, showing us what's going on in our world.

There is this strange cultural polarization taking place in our country, and I think that [with] Netflix, you can explore it and one of its shows will make you go, 'What the heck is this?' But then you watch a person's story that has nothing to do with anything in your life, and suddenly the human connection is built. It's a wonderful, varied landscape.

Speaking of a culturally polarized country, though: Do you wish that Key & Peele was still around to scrutinize what's going on in the culture right now?

I do, I do. I think if Jordan and I did that, though, it would manifest itself in a way that you're not expecting, necessarily. I know that we would sit down with our writers and say, "How do we talk about the state of our country and never ever make a sketch about Donald Trump specifically?" I'll share this sketch idea with you. We never made it, but I might put it in something else.

What if you had a guy who was spying on his neighbours across the street? He's got binoculars, and he's looking at these people who are brown and clearly Muslim. They're living their lives, playing with their kids. His nextdoor neighbour, meanwhile, is Chechen. He's also a Muslim, but with blonde hair and blue eyes. So while this guy is watching his neighbours across the street, his other neighbour is building a bomb. But he doesn't look at him because he's white and and has blue eyes, so he can't be bad. The way to get the story across most effectively is to get granular. Get the minutiae of how we're really being affected.

Trump is a whole other discussion, but he's not the problem.

There's something going on systemically in our country, and that's how we elected him. We're not connecting, and that's what I would want to reflect on. I do wish we had that opportunity.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Associated Graphic

Actor Keegan-Michael Key, seen at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles in 2016, is hard at work creating his own singular career, apart from comedian Jordan Peele.


Reckoning in the Valley: Has tech's toxic culture (finally) reached a turning point?
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B1

On a Sunday in February, Berkeley, Calif.-based software engineer Susan Fowler sent out a tweet alerting her 6,200 followers that she had added a new post to her personal website. "I wrote something up this weekend about my year at Uber, and why I left," she said.

To say that Ms. Fowler's post has shaken the tech world would be an understatement.

Silicon Valley has long been rife with allegations of harassment and discrimination, tales of workplaces that seemed to operate more like frat houses than corporate offices and deals hashed out over late-night, alcohol-soaked networking sessions. Yet the focus on fixing a toxic culture always seemed to fall low on the list of priorities in the race to build the next billion-dollar company. But the swift undoing of high-profile tech executives and investors over the past two weeks is proving to be a watershed moment for the technology industry.

"What we are seeing and experiencing is absolutely a cultural change," said Alaina Percival, chief executive officer of Women Who Code, a San Francisco nonprofit that encourages women to work in technology. "We're redefining what is acceptable behaviour that you can get away with and defining the consequences when inappropriate behaviour occurs."

Ms. Fowler's account of Uber's chaotic workplace - which included being propositioned by her manager and then undermined by the company's humanresources department - was the tipping point that ultimately ousted Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, along with more than a dozen of the scandal-plagued company's executives.

The downfall of Mr. Kalanick from the helm of Silicon Valley's most valuable private company has prompted female entrepreneurs to come forward publicly with tales of sexual harassment at the hands of venture capitalists whose money greases the wheels in California's startup ecosystem.

San Francisco-based Binary Capital, which was set to close on a new $75-million (U.S.) fund, collapsed after several women accused co-founder Justin Caldbeck of predatory behaviour.

Prominent investors Chris Sacca and Dave McClure both issued apologies for what they admitted were inappropriate actions against women in the industry.

Mr. McClure ultimately resigned as CEO of incubator 500 Startups after an entrepreneur said that he had sexually harassed her multiple times.

That has unleashed a fresh torrent of stories of harassment spilling forth daily across Facebook, Twitter and online publishing platform Medium. Several industry watchers have marvelled at the speed with which these allegations have toppled Silicon Valley's seemingly untouchable power brokers, particularly given that this is not the first time women have complained about sexual harassment at work, unwanted advances by male investors, or even Uber's maledominated workplace culture.

Many in the industry had predicted that former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao's gender-discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, the powerful venturecapital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, would be the catalyst that led to widespread improvements in the industry, hopes that were dashed after Ms. Pao lost her case at trial in 2015.

Part of the recent shift appears to be driven by the change in tone around sexual assault and harassment in general, including outrage over a recording of U.S. President Donald Trump making crude, sexually charged comments unearthed during last year's election, the sexual-assault mistrial of Bill Cosby, the ouster of Fox News executive Roger Ailes and host Bill O'Reilly and lingering anger among many women in Silicon Valley over the light sentence handed down last year for sexual assault to Stanford University student Brock Turner.

"We don't know for sure, but anecdotally, some women have talked about how these larger public events and conversations have made it easier for them to talk with each other about a whole host of overt actions, like sexual harassment, as well as more subtle biases they experience every day at work," said Catherine Ashcraft, senior research scientist at the National Center for Women & Information Technology. "Before, they sort of shrugged them off as just the way things are and certainly didn't talk about them with each other."

Several of the women who later came forward to share stories about Binary Capital's Mr. Caldbeck and 500 Startups' Mr.

McClure pointed to the power of Ms. Fowler's blog post to prompt change at Uber for encouraging them to go public.

"I think there reached the tipping point where Susan Fowler's blog post about Uber's issues was so widespread and well-received that it was encouraging for other women to come forth with their own personal stories," said Angie Chang, an entrepreneur and founder of Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, a networking event for women in tech in the San Francisco Bay Area. "What we've seen happen with the other women was they didn't have such a welcome reception for their stories.

They went into hiding, or they were trolled or doxed [had their personal information shared on the Internet] for what they did."

It was particularly important that many of the women kept detailed evidence to back up their stories, including e-mails and text messages from their harassers, Ms. Ashcraft said.

After a string of apologies and calls for tech firms to end sexual harassment, the industry has already begun to fiercely debate potential solutions.

The New England Venture Capital Association asked its members to sign an anti-discrimination and sexual-harassment statement. Drew Koven, managing director of Los Angeles-based investment firm LDR Ventures, urged the venture-capital industry to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on unethical behaviour.

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman urged venture capitalists to sign onto a "decency pledge," a move that was equally praised and criticized by several highprofile tech investors for being a largely symbolic gesture.

"This is a culture that has been allowed to fester and to rot by enablers who refused to intervene when they witnessed inexcusable behaviour or went to great length to avoid seeing it," wrote Mitch and Freada Kapor, whose investments include both Uber and 500 Startups. They called on the industry to adopt confidential complaint mechanisms to report harassment, "otherwise, we'll continue to see blogs, tweets and leaks to journalists serve as the de facto channels."

Former Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck is among those urging venture-capital firms' limited partners - typically institutions and other deep-pocketed investors - to start demanding more accountability from the firms and startups that they fund.

"Perhaps venture firms' LPs will sit up and take notice," she wrote on LinkedIn. "After all, it's their money that has funded the industry - and thus has funded the industry's behaviour."

Aileen Lee, founder Palo Alto, Calif.-based Cowboy Ventures, which invests in early-stage companies, said she planned to steer more entrepreneurs toward investors who ran diverse and inclusive firms. "It's like, why should we make money for assholes?" she told a conference of female entrepreneurs hosted by influential startup accelerator Y Combinator.

In follow-up post, Ms. Fowler said the most important thing tech companies could do is end the widespread use in tech-industry employment contracts of non-disparagement agreements and mandatory mediation clauses, which prohibit employees from suing a company.

Others are more cautious about declaring the recent round of apologies and resignations the start of a sea change for Silicon Valley culture. To Ms. Ashcraft, the current discussion, while positive, sounds discouragingly familiar. "Many women who actively worked to address sexual harassment 20 years ago and initially made some progress are saddened and disheartened to see that in so many ways things remain unchanged," she said.

"So, it's too early to tell if this is a turning point that will have lasting effects."

Associated Graphic

The ouster of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, seen with then-Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett in 2016, is just one example of a company's response to toxic behaviour.


Low-intervention wines are fresh, food-friendly and rarely carried at liquor stores. Thankfully, they're increasingly easy to find at restaurants across the country
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L1

Once dismissed as a fad, natural wine is growing in popularity, flowing into glasses from New York to Paris to Tokyo, as well as closer to home. "Natural" as a term can be hard to define, but in wine it mostly means a low-intervention alternative to mass-bottled stuff, produced with a combination of sustainable agriculture and no additives, except perhaps a small amount of sulphur.

Taste matters too, of course, and many sommeliers now favour natural wines for a lightness and freshness that make them great partners to food.

"These wines were incredibly difficult to sell 10 years ago, [but] the market has changed a lot," says Mark Cuff, Ontario's largest importer of natural wine through his agency The Living Vine. Still, Cuff explains, it remains difficult for Canadians to find natural wine at retail, largely because the wineries tend to be small, while stores such as Ontario's LCBO are designed for high volume.

Fortunately, restaurants from coast to coast are picking up the slack, providing Canadians with opportunity to taste and explore.

Here are a few that stand out.

Obladee, Halifax

"The wine industry has long done a really good job of romanticizing dark cellars and magic, but just like in processed food, in processed wine there's tons of sugar, there's chemicals, there's preservatives. I don't want all of that," Heather Rankin says. Her wine bar, Obladee, is the premier wine bar and champion of lowintervention wines on the East Coast.

Her drink menu notes which wines are the product of organic, sustainable or biodynamic farming, as well as those made with native yeasts, as opposed to the commercial yeast typically added in conventional winemaking. She asks that guests keep an open mind, stressing that "the philosophy is always about experimenting, finding and exploring new wines, discovering new varieties and learning in a fun and easy setting.

"Natural wine as a thing is extremely new to this region," Rankin explains, though she says she's starting to see college students seeking trendy wines they read about online.

Obladee makes the most of relaxed Maritime culture: It's a local, come-as-you-are coffee shop that just happens to serve great wine. Chef Bryan Steiss transforms local ingredients from nearly 60 small producers into familiar, yet elevated small plates, such as mussels steamed in local Tidal Bay wine and summer asparagus with pickled rhubarb and sheep's milk gouda from PEI.

1600 Barrington St., Halifax; 902-405-4505,

Candide, Montreal

This temple for local produce can be found in the rectory and Sunday school of a former church.

Chef John Winter Russell's inventive and affordable four-course menus feature seasonal treasures such as halibut served with fresh peas and oyster leaf, and local pork with navy beans and turnips.

Sommelier Emily Campeau, who previously worked as a cook, explains that she and Winter Russell work together to create an uncommon link between food and wine. "A lot of the wines I pick are a good starting point as inspiration for dishes," she says. As such, Campeau steers most guests toward wine pairings, which she says allows her "to take guests on a world tour of different flavours and unusual wines."

Campeau likes to challenge expectations, showing that regions as diverse as Quebec, Niagara, California, Eastern Europe and Germany can produce great wine "made with love by people who care about their vines and the environment and invest time and sweat into building sustainability."

For those who prefer to order by the bottle, the wine list offers many surprises, including nearly 20 rieslings - a relative rarity in Montreal and a particular passion for Campeau. 551 Rue Saint-Martin, Montreal; 514-447-2717, .

Grey Gardens, Toronto Newish to Kensington Market, this is a restaurant and wine bar with pedigree. Jen Agg, the restaurateur behind Toronto's The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar and Rhum Corner and Montreal's Agrikol, partnered with chef Mitchell Bates, the original chef of Momofuku Shoto, for one of Toronto's most ambitious openings of the year.

The wine program led by general manager and sommelier Jake Skakun matches that ambition.

Skakun focuses on off-the-beaten-track natural wine, believing that "producers who take a detailed, holistic approach in the vineyard and winery tend to make better quality and more interesting wines."

These "light, fresh, vibrant and balanced" wines partner with Bates's bright, refined plates, which run the gamut from light crudos such as albacore tuna with cucumber, seabeans and horseradish to richer, more substantial plates such as a New York strip with onions prepared three ways.

While he laments the limited options available to Ontario's retail consumers, Skakun says that restaurants "have fantastic access to wine at the moment."

His favourites include offerings from up-and-coming Australian producer Ochota Barrels, and volcanic-island wines, including an upcoming exclusive bottling from Mount Etna's natural-wine-making trailblazer Frank Cornelissen.

199 Augusta Ave., Toronto; 647-3511552,

Pigeonhole, Calgary This two-year-old wine bar and small-plates hotspot is notable both for chef-owner Justin Leboe's creative cooking and its impeccable selection of natural wines.

Served on mismatched antique plates, Leboe's creations are fittingly eclectic: Vegetarian standouts such as charred cabbage topped with shaved Mimolette cheese live side-by-side with lamb ribs from the smoker, paired with rhubarb and black garlic. As such, wine options need to be equipped to match a wide array of flavours.

Wine director Andrew Stewart collaborates closely with the kitchen, matching the surprising dishes with what he describes as "obscure grapes from areas that care about what's on the table."

To that end, the vast majority of wines are offered by the glass, with many from lesser known varietals such as garganega, savagnin and trousseau. Remarkably, spendier options on the list such as Philippe Pacalet's highly praised natural Burgundy are available as glass pours as well.

306 17th Ave. SW, Calgary; 403-452-4694, .

Burdock and Co., Vancouver Here, chef-owner Andrea Carlson's hyper-regional cooking highlights foraged plants and produce from small farmers in comforting, complex dishes such as baked B.C. oysters with green garlic and sea asparagus butter and crispy fried chicken tossed in a rhubarb kimchi glaze served with braised burdock.

Sommelier Jesse Walters and wine director Matt Sherlock (himself a producer of natural wine at the Naramata, B.C.-based Lock & Worth) look for wines that share this same commitment to origin and integrity of ingredients, with what Walters describes as "raw complexity" and "a lightness and clarity of flavour."

The goal isn't to be "hip or cool or fashionable," Walters explains, but to share a genuine love of unique natural wines. In other hands, Burdock's list of unconventional offerings could be intimidating, but the passionate staff and intriguing tasting notes printed on the menu, such as "singed herbs, earthy brooding red fruit - intense but chuggable" open guests to adventure.

This spirit of adventure and experimentation was evidenced by their shift this spring to a list comprised of only rosé and orange wines, with food to match.

"We're so excited about all the spring produce that is rolling in," Walters says, "and this is everything we want to drink with all the fresh greens, spring asparagus, edible flowers, fried and pickled things." 2702 Main St., Vancouver, 604-879-0077,

Associated Graphic


Halifax's Obladee capitalizes on a relaxed Maritime culture with its reputation as an easygoing local coffee shop that just so happens to serve great wine alongside an elevated food menu.


Vancouver's Burdock & Co., top, and Montreal's Candide both give people a chance to taste natural wines.


A new hitch for group condo sales
Changed rules, confusion over how proceeds can be divvied up - and an opening for speculators
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S5

It is already hard enough to get 22, or 50, or 179 people to agree to sell their condos en masse to a developer - the real estate trend that is currently dominating conversation in many strata buildings in the Lower Mainland.

But, it turns out, there is a new wrinkle people are discovering that makes negotiations even more fraught.

The current wave of group condo sales has been prompted by a change in legislation this year that allows the sale of an entire condo building to go ahead even if only 80 per cent of the owners agree.

The new wrinkle is causing anguish among the residents in many buildings and prompting lawyers to intervene to help them get past what seems like a deal-breaking problem.

The previously unknown glitch is this: All strata buildings that came into being before 2000 have provisions in their purchase agreements that set out how the money from a sale is to be divided if the building is ever sold or demolished - but they aren't based on the value determined by the provincial agency, BC Assessment.

Instead, each of those older apartments has its value determined in quite a different way.

For buildings constructed from 1974 and earlier, the value is set by a "schedule of unit entitlement" that looks only at relative area and not, for example, the difference between a 20th-floor suite and a first-floor one.

For buildings from 1974 to June, 2000, the values are set by a "schedule of interest upon destruction," which is the value the developer estimated for each unit when the plan was filed.

Those values sometimes vary wildly from the official assessed value, says Tony Gioventu, the executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC. The result is that some owners may get as much as $100,000 less for their apartments when sold in a mass deal than if the division of the spoils were based on the BC Assessment numbers. Most strata residents considering a mass sale are living in such older buildings.

This new twist has some developers trying to negotiate private deals with individual owners, Mr. Gioventu said. Some owners may be entitled to much more than the assessed value, he said.

Mr. Gioventu says speculators are hunting down the unsuspecting occupants of those types of units so they can buy them for the future payback. The speculators find their targets by searching public land-titles records, looking for buildings near transit stations that are the most likely to be redeveloped and studying the schedules of values assigned.

"It's unearthed another slimy side to the industry," Mr. Gioventu said.

Most residents of collectively owned buildings don't know about the value difference until they start negotiating a group sale with a developer.

It can get ugly when people realize what the variation in their payouts will be.

One Vancouver resident who knows all about that is Lisa Dawson, an administration-operations consultant who found out the hard way what happens to human civility in those situations.

She had lived for 17 years in an apartment building in Kerrisdale owned as a co-operative - the system of ownership that apartment dwellers used to have before condo-style ownership was created through legislation.

Although the form of ownership is slightly different from a strata, the human dynamics weren't.

The 22 shareholders were mostly in favour of selling the lowrise, aging building. But it turned out some of the apartments - the ones on the main floor - had been valued in the original agreement at far less than the assessed value.

"When it came up as a potential sale, no one knew what the shares meant," Ms. Dawson said.

"It came as a surprise. When you buy into a place, you don't think about this."

Frantic bargaining ensued among owners to get an agreement on the distribution by the deadline for responding to the purchase offer.

"You can't have a sale before you agree to the distribution proceeds," she said. "In the end, it got bitter and difficult. It got done but was, at times, an all-out war. There were enough votes to sell and a bizarre agreement on distribution."

Ms. Dawson gave up $40,000 of her potential profits, while others contributed to an "equalization fund" as well as a signing bonus for the five owners of the lowervalued apartments.

But one lawyer who specialized in the new wave of condo sellouts says that he advises owners right away not to bother trying that approach.

"If you try to change from one method [of distribution] to another, it's a zero-sum game.

You're asking people to be made better off by making others worse off," says Darren Donnelly of the firm Clark Wilson.

A change to the distribution agreement in a strata constitution requires 100-per-cent agreement. Inevitably, people split almost equally between those whose share would go up and those whose share would go down.

He saw one group of condo owners whose vote turned out exactly like that, divided 50/50 on whether to change the distribution method, with the result that the sale of the building died.

"It hasn't gone ahead because everybody hated each other by the end," Mr. Donnelly said.

When he is called in to advise a group of condo owners, he tells them not to waste their energy on trying to change the share agreement.

And, he says, when a developer does make an offer, he tries to minimize the psychological warfare by handing each owner a slip of paper that says how much their unit will get, rather than listing all the units and amounts publicly.

"If you do that, then they're against the whole thing. If you can get people to just focus on what they're getting personally, it's better," he said.

The disputes over who is getting what share tend to be more intense in one type of strata deal.

That's when the property has been rezoned, or could be, and people are looking at getting double or more the current value of their apartment.

It's less intense for buildings where owners, whose land hasn't been rezoned, are just trying to get out to avoid years of poor maintenance and the possibility that they will be hit with huge assessments to catch up. In those cases, developers are not willing to pay huge amounts of money and there is less to fight over.

Mr. Donnelly said his firm has dealt with two stratas recently, one in North Vancouver and one in Coquitlam, in that state where owners agreed to the older distribution scheme.

However, Mr. Gioventu says, some developers are getting around the strata vote by making individual deals with each owner.

That's only possible in smaller buildings.

And, he said, some owners try to increase their share in the eventual sale by going to BC Assessment, the provincial agency that determines property values for tax purposes and reporting expensive new improvements they have done.

Five strata buildings have been sold to developers since the change in B.C. law on voting, he said, and another 71 are in the pipeline.

More than a million people in the Vancouver metropolitan area live in condo buildings.

And there are 1,000 buildings in the region within eight blocks of a rapid-transit station - preferred development sites - ensuring that many strata councils will be wrestling with these complications for years to come.

Associated Graphic

When 22 shareholders were mostly in favour of selling this low-rise, aging building in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood of Vancouver, it turned out some of the apartments - the ones on the main floor - had been valued in the original agreement at far less than the assessed value.


Which three-row mid-sizer should you buy?
Can the revamped Highlander compete with the top-selling Explorer?
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Print Edition, Page D4

Compact CUVs are making all the news of late, having displaced compact cars as the biggest-selling vehicle species in Canada. But their mid-size brethren are also taking sales away from traditional sedans. Among three-row mid-sizers, the Ford Explorer is the top-selling nameplate, but the recently refreshed Toyota Highlander is snapping at its heels. Let's find out why.


Base price: $48,899; as tested: $56,814

Engine: 2.3-litre, turbo four-cylinder

Transmission/drive: Six-speed automatic/all-wheel drive

Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 13.1 city, 9.2 highway

Alternatives: Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe XL, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas


To our eyes, the Explorer is neither eye-catchingly appealing nor offensive - it's one of those shapes that "just is." It's also bigger than it looks - 15 cm longer than the Toyota and eight centimetres wider, according to the specs. New for 2017 (although not on the Limited test sample) is a sport-appearance package for the XLT that includes 20-inch wheels.


The Explorer's standard 3.5-litre V-6 is a little down on power (290 horsepower) and torque (255 lb-ft) versus the Highlander, while the $1,000 optional 2.3-litre, turbo four-cylinder on the test truck rates 280 hp and 310 lb-ft (for a lot more money, the Sport and Platinum tout 365 hp and 350 lb-ft from their EcoBoost V-6).

The four-cylinder is impressively refined, but, perhaps disadvantaged by its two-gear transmission deficit, didn't feel as quick (zero to 60 miles an hour in 8.2 seconds, according to Motor Trend) as the Highlander, and its tow rating is only 3,000 pounds, compared with 5,000 for its V-6 siblings and the Highlander. We liked the Explorer's light and lively steering feel, less so its rather brittle ride quality.


Perversely, even with poweradjustable pedals and power steering-column adjustment on the test truck, our body type was challenged to find the right combo of seat height and thigh support; you feel buried down low and front-left sightlines are compromised by thick A-posts. The menu-based mostly digital gauge cluster enables lots of display possibilities, but you'll have to work to find them. According to official numbers, the Explorer has more passenger volume than the Highlander, although combined second- and third-row legroom seemed the same in both: an adult might fit, but wouldn't be comfortable for long.


Significant automated safety features that are standard on the Highlander are extra-cost options on Explorer and available only on the higher-priced trims. On the other hand, only the Ford has standard front and rear parking sensors. Blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert is a $500 option on XLT and Limited, standard on higher trims. Also on the top trims, automated parking is an option not available on any Highlander. On the communitainment side, SYNC3 on an eightinch screen is standard on XLT and up, with a WiFi hotspot; voice-activated navigation is optional on XLT, standard on Limited and up.


What the Explorer loses in seat count, it makes up in cargo room.

Its 50/50-split third-row seats fold away as that of a minivan, so when they're up, there is a deep well behind them. The resulting 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row is well above average for the segment and a whopping 52 per cent more than the Highlander. But that space disappears when the third row is stowed.


With three engine choices, five trim grades (including a 365-hp Sport model worthy of the name) and a laundry list of options (many not available at all on the Highlander), the Explorer offers loads of choice, and its generous all-seats-up cargo room is no small asset. But over all, this design is in its seventh model year and starting to feel its age.


Base price: $43,995; as tested: $45,590

Engine: 3.5-litre, direct-injection V-6

Transmission/drive: Eight-speed automatic/all-wheel drive

Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 12.0 city, 8.9 highway

Alternatives: Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe XL, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Volkswagen Atlas


Refreshed for 2017, the Highlander is a handsome beast - all the more so with the test vehicle's SE package that includes black 19inch wheels (18s are standard) and matching black accents. It has a presence on the road even though it's one of the smallest CUVs among mid-size peers.


All grades of Highlander share the same new-for-2017 powertrain, a 3.5 L, direct-injection V-6 rated at 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft, hitched to an eight-speed automatic. Although we experienced an odd hesitation when flooring it off the line, Motor Trend's numbers make the Highlander a full second faster to 60 miles an hour (7.2 seconds) than the Explorer. It would be even quicker if the eight-speed wasn't geared so tall: The payoffs are a superrelaxed highway stride (1,760 rpm at 120 km/h) and excellent fuel economy (9.9 L/100 km over our full test, 11.2 for our back-to-back drive with the Explorer). Credit also the exceptionally subtle engine stop/start system. The SE package on the XLE test vehicle firms up the steering and suspension enough to save expressive drivers from terminal boredom, but not enough to inspire them.


Despite claiming less passenger cubic footage, the Highlander has two key advantages over the Explorer: Its wider third-row bench is a three-seater to the Explorer's two, and all versions of the second-row bench adjust foreaft, providing much more maximum legroom. Up front, the Highlander makes it easier to achieve a tall-in-the-saddle posture at the wheel. Its conventional analog gauges are straightforward, and the high-and-centre touch screen and HVAC controls are easy to access (although the command structure of the touch screen itself is somewhat quirky).


Like most 2017 Toyotas, the Highlander comes standard in all trims with the Toyota Safety Sense-P bundle of automatic alert-and-assist safety tech, including adaptive cruise, lane-departure alert and assist, and automatic braking with pedestrian detection; on the XLE and up, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are included, too.


The conventional flip-down backrest of the Highlander's third-row seat means there's no well behind it (although there is a briefcasesize compartment below the floor). Power folding is not an option. On the other hand, the seat's 60/40 split does permit an extra measure of flexibility. Cargo volume is marginally less than in the Ford with the third-row seat stowed and a little more when all seats are down. At its narrowest point, the Highlander's cargo deck is almost 12 cm wider.


What the Highlander may lack in ultimate performance or technology in its top trims, it more than makes up in sheer efficiency: Faster, yet also much more frugal than the mainstream Explorer models and containing more useable passenger space within a more compact exterior - not to mention an impressive array of standard safety features.

Associated Graphic

The Ford Explorer, left, is the top-selling model among three-row mid-sizers, but the Toyota Highlander isn't far behind.


New market reality: 'non-buyer's remorse'
After 'fear of missing out' drove the spring frenzy, purchasers often wield the power now. So why don't more seize it?
Friday, July 21, 2017 – Print Edition, Page G2

House hunters in the Toronto area lamented for years that sellers had a tight grip on the market. Now, that tension has eased and buyers often wield the power.

It's hard to fathom why so few are seizing it, according to real estate agent Geoffrey Grace of Re/Max Hallmark Realty Ltd.

He points to one house that was listed with an asking price of $4.2-million and recently sold for $3.6-million. All the time it was on the market, buyers were circling.

"Were there buyers out there who would have wanted it for $3.6-million?" He expects there were. But they didn't come to the table. "Even if they like a house, they're not confident in what to pay for it."

In recent weeks, Mr. Grace has had a few listings that sold for less than the asking price. He's heard later from buyers or their agents that they would have been interested if they had known they could get the house at a discount.

"It seems like buyers are nervous to buy," he says. "When they miss out on a house they've been watching for a while, they have a bit of nonbuyer's remorse."

Mr. Grace coined the term on the fly because it's been so long since anyone in the Greater Toronto Area has experienced anything approaching "nonbuyer's remorse." It's a big shift from the "fear of missing out" that drove the spring frenzy.

He says it's hard to predict what will happen in the coming months, but he hopes the market is levelling off.

Buyers and sellers need to learn how to navigate this strangely balanced market.

But he doesn't rule out the much more grim scenario that could play out: Buyers remain paralyzed and sellers take their houses off the market, aiming to try again in the fall. Some agents are already pulling listings for the summer and he expects more will follow.

Now, sellers have to contemplate whether they should sell in a stagnant summer market or risk facing their own regrets later in the year. Mr. Grace warns that a potential swell of new listings in the fall could give buyers even more clout in negotiations.

If that happens, sellers may hold out for their asking prices for months, but the most stubborn will see their houses languish on the market. As the fall market winds down, they may decide they have to sell, and that's when prices compared with those of a year earlier turn red.

He points out that buyers who entered the fray during the rapacious price growth of early 2017 would often offer more than they thought a house was worth because by the time they got the keys, the market had caught up.

He advises sellers to be realistic about the price their house can fetch now rather than clinging to hope for the windfall they might have received in the "imaginary market" of the spring.

"It's the reverse of the buyers in the hot market," Mr. Grace says. "Selling for a tad too little is better than selling for a lot too little."

The most recent data from the Canadian Real Estate Association show that June sales were down, "led overwhelmingly by the Greater Toronto Area." The downturn follows the Ontario government's introduction of new policies, including a 15-percent tax on real estate purchases by non-resident buyers.

CREA says actual sales - not seasonally adjusted - fell 11.4 per cent nationally compared with June, 2016.

The surge in new listings that swamped the GTA in May has eased, but that number is still higher than at this time last year.

The drop in June sales was much sharper than the decline in new listings, CREA says, which moved the national salesto-new listings ratio further into balance at 52.8 per cent. In a balanced market, the ratio generally sits between 40 and 60 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices in the GTA slipped 5.8 per cent in June from May.

Mr. Grace says the market dynamics have changed in the east-end neighbourhood of Leslieville, where he specializes.

It's a walkable urban area with lots of semi-detached and relatively affordable detached houses that make it wildly popular with young families.

But even in that coveted neighbourhood, he is no longer setting an offer date. Instead, he sets an asking price close to what he believes is market value and states that offers are welcome any time. And still, he looks for ways to give listings a boost.

Mr. Grace recently listed a house with an asking price of $1.029-million and tried to draw attention to it by calling around to other agents. "Which seems archaic because the house is on MLS," he says referring to the Multiple Listing Service of the Toronto Real Estate Board. He noticed one local agent hadn't been through at all. "The house is on the street your office is on, how come you haven't showed it yet?" he asked.

That agent said her clients weren't willing to pay more than $1-million. Mr. Grace was surprised that the buyers had ruled out the property without walking through or calling to see if there was any room to negotiate.

"That's not a huge spread from where we are," he told the agent.

Still, he lowered the asking price to $989,000 to get past the psychological barrier. The agent brought her clients, who ended up buying the house for $975,000.

He says the deal illustrates his point that buyers can also adjust to the new reality and not wait for sellers to drop their asking price. "If you've got a number in mind, make the offer and try to negotiate it."

As for homeowners who are deciding whether to sell, the serious ones are accepting the reality of a decline in prices while those who who are just testing the waters may hold out in the hopes of a rebound.

"Those are the people who are not adjusting and they're taking their houses off the market."

Mr. Grace reminds them that, as of June, prices are still higher than they were at this time last year. That trend may not continue, he says - especially if great numbers of sellers list in the fall.

But he knows many people are anxious about buying at what could be the start of a longer correction. During bidding frenzies, offers didn't land without a hefty deposit cheque attached.

But now that deals are taking some time to negotiate, he will drive over and pick up the deposit cheque himself because some buyers have second thoughts.

In one case, a builder has told him he plans to walk away without closing the deal he agreed to a few weeks ago. The developer purchased a bungalow with plans to add a second storey and sell the renovated house for a higher price.

"They're looking at the math and it's just not going to work right now."

The seller had a deal on paper at a number she was willing to accept, he says, but now she faces the prospect of selling again in the fall for less, which is going to hurt, Mr. Grace says.

Jilted sellers can take legal action, but in this case the property was purchased through a corporation. Typically, sellers who successfully sue builders have trouble collecting, he explains.

"That corporation probably has very few assets," he says.

"You can't get blood from a rock."

Corrupt soccer official turned informant
After years of taking bribes and living extravagantly, he wore a wire to gather evidence against his associates
Associated Press
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S12

The charade only ended in the final years of Chuck Blazer's life.

Stripped of his extravagances, soccer's gregarious and greedy deal maker was forced to admit to his years of corruption and confined to a New Jersey hospital.

The eccentric bon vivant who once strode across the global stage being flattered by sport and political leaders eager to capture his World Cup hosting vote died in disgrace on Wednesday at 72.

However much Mr. Blazer elevated the status and wealth of soccer in North America over several decades, any achievements were polluted by the ravenous appetite of "Mr. 10 per cent" to seek bribes and siphon cash from deals into his personal account.

Mr. Blazer did go on to play a central role exposing soccer's fraudulent culture, which led to FIFA President Sepp Blatter being toppled. But he turned only when presented with little option but to become a co-operating witness.

The impact of Mr. Blazer's death on the FIFA prosecution in the United States - where three South American soccer officials are set to go on trial in November - is unclear. Many of the more prominent figures who might have faced him as a star government witness have already pleaded guilty.

Any recordings Mr. Blazer made after agreeing to become an FBI informant and wear a wire could still come into evidence without his testimony, said Timothy Heaphy, a former U.S. lawyer now in private practice.

Even if Mr. Blazer didn't record the defendants, prosecutors could have tried to "call him to testify generally about the ways and means of the corrupt practices, as pseudo-corruption expert," Mr. Heaphy said. But Mr. Blazer's absence, he said, "is like one brick removed from the wall.

It won't make the edifice come crumbling down."

Mr. Blazer was driving his mobility scooter on a Manhattan street in 2011 when he was stopped by U.S. government agents and threatened with arrest.

It was the failure to fill in tax returns for years that put Mr. Blazer on the radar of the Internal Revenue Service. He became a government informant in 2011, using his role on FIFA's alreadytainted executive committee to secretly record conversations with associates in soccer's governing body.

Mr. Blazer swept up evidence that formed the foundations of a Department of Justice case against world soccer executives who embezzled cash from commercial contracts and sought payments in return for backing countries as World Cup hosts.

At a November, 2013, court hearing where his treatments for rectal cancer, diabetes and coronary artery disease were disclosed, Mr. Blazer entered 10 guilty pleas. He admitted to sharing in a $10-million (U.S.) bribe scheme with others to support South Africa's bid for the 2010 World Cup and facilitating a kickback linked to Morocco's failed bid for the 1998 World Cup.

Mr. Blazer's guilty pleas were only unsealed by a New York court in July, 2015, after the U.S.

investigation into FIFA exploded into public view with a raid on a Zurich hotel ahead of the annual gathering of soccer countries.

Since then, U.S. prosecutors have brought charges against more than 40 soccer officials, marketing executives, associates and entities, while the Swiss attorney-general has been conducting parallel investigations.

"Chuck hoped to help bring transparency, accountability and fair play to [The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)] , FIFA and soccer as a whole," Mr. Blazer's lawyers said in a statement late Wednesday. "Chuck also accepted responsibility for his own conduct by pleading guilty and owning up to his mistakes. Chuck felt profound sorrow and regret for his actions."

While some sports executives try to shirk the limelight, Mr. Blazer relished the status gained through his 16 years on FIFA's executive committee until 2013.

For a suburban soccer dad, Mr. Blazer gained unimaginable influence and access. Journeys into the heart of power across the world were catalogued on a personal website inspired by Vladimir Putin during a 2011 meeting with the Russian President.

When he wasn't travelling the world, Mr. Blazer was cutting deals from an office and apartment in Trump Tower, where he lived a chaotic life surrounded by cats and a pet parrot.

Mr. Blazer started in soccer by coaching his son's club in New Rochelle, N.Y., and joined boards of local and regional soccer organizations. He was the U.S. Soccer Federation's executive vice-president from 1984-86. He helped to form the American Soccer League, a precursor to Major League Soccer, in 1998 before entering regional soccer politics.

Mr. Blazer urged Jack Warner to run for president of CONCACAF in 1990. When the Trinidadian won, he made Mr. Blazer the general secretary - a position he held until 2011.

In 1991, Mr. Blazer created the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the organization's national team championship that is played every two years, and he rose within FIFA to become chairman of its marketing and television advisory board.

Mr. Blazer turned on his boss, Mr. Warner, who also served with him on FIFA's executive committee.

Corruption had been rumoured for years within world soccer before Mr. Blazer provided evidence, accusing Mr. Warner and Mohamed bin Hammam of offering $40,000 bribes to voters in the 2011 FIFA presidential election. Mr. bin Hammam, a Qatari who headed the Asian Football Confederation, had been the lone challenger to Mr. Blatter, who was elected unopposed to a fourth term after Mr. Warner and Mr. bin Hammam were suspended. Mr. Blatter was elected to a fifth term in 2015 before resigning after the raids in Zurich.

Mr. Blazer's conduct was as corrupt as the actions of the people he accused.

Mr. Blazer pleaded guilty in November, 2013, to one count each of racketeering conspiracy, wire-fraud conspiracy, moneylaundering conspiracy and willful failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, and to six counts of tax evasion.

A separate CONCACAF investigation report released in 2013 said that Mr. Blazer "misappropriated CONCACAF funds to finance his personal lifestyle," causing the organization to "subsidize rent on his residence in the Trump Tower in New York; purchase apartments at the Mondrian, a luxury hotel and residence in Miami; sign purchase agreements and pay down payments on apartments at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas."

"His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck's positive impact on international soccer," his lawyers said. "With Chuck's guidance and leadership, CONCACAF transformed itself from impoverished to profitable."

While Mr. Blazer was banned for life from soccer by FIFA in 2015, he was awaiting sentencing when he died.

There were almost no public tributes from FIFA or CONCACAF after his passing; CONCACAF merely said it extended "sympathies and condolences" to Mr. Blazer's family and loved ones.

The only acknowledgment of Mr. Blazer's death by U.S. Soccer was a comment in a news conference by national team coach Bruce Arena.

"I've known Chuck for a lot of years. He did a lot for the sport.

Sorry about all the issues regarding FIFA," Mr. Arena said. "But he was a good man."

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

Chuck Blazer, then the general secretary of CONCACAF, is seen at a Frankfurt, Germany, news conference in 2005. Mr. Blazer's controversial conduct in the soccer world eventually led to his lifetime ban from the sport by FIFA in 2015.


Turmoil grows as inquiry commissioner resigns
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A1

OTTAWA, TORONTO -- The success of the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is at risk with the sudden resignation of one of the five commissioners and the decision of a leading First Nations women's group to withdraw its support for the process.

The turmoil, and complaints that the commission has neglected the families of those who have lost loved ones, is fuelling a lack of confidence in the inquiry the federal Liberal government created to find out why so many Indigenous women become victims of violence.

Marilyn Poitras, a Métis professor of law at the University of Saskatchewan, sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday saying her resignation would take place effective on Saturday.

"It is clear to me that I am unable to perform my duties as a commissioner with the process in its current structure," she wrote.

A few hours later, the Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA), which had intervenor status at the inquiry, sent an open letter to commissioners saying it could not support the format and approach. "We no longer have faith that this inquiry will meet its mandate and work responsibly with families and communities," Dawn Harvard, the president of the OWNA, said in the letter.

"The inquiry, as it is currently formed, is leaving us with significant doubts on the ability to achieve their mandate," Dr. Harvard said.

It is a double blow to the process that was the result of years of lobbying by Indigenous activists, who have grown increasingly anxious since hearings with members of victims' families were delayed until the fall. Several staff members have resigned in recent months, including executive director Michele Moreau, and chief commissioner Marion Buller has faced calls to step down.

"The resignation of the commissioner this morning has really shaken the confidence of the women on the ground who were maintaining our faith for a long time that the groundwork was going to be done this summer," Dr. Harvard said in a telephone interview. "Even with the commissioners, there are clearly more troubles there than we thought."

Ms. Poitras said she wanted to talk about the resilience of Indigenous women, but a "colonial" mindset led others to focus on the deficits.

"After serving on this Commission for the past 10 months, I realized the vision I hold is shared by very few within the National Inquiry - the status quo colonial model of hearings is the path for most," she said in a statement.

"Because of this, I strongly feel the Terms of Reference that we were set out to achieve have not been met. This is why it is with great regret and a heavy heart that I resign my position as commissioner."

Sheila North Wilson, the Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which represents First Nations in northern Manitoba, called on Tuesday for an overhaul of the inquiry and for the federal government to replace Ms. Buller.

And Bev Jacobs, a former head of the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) who was a lead researcher on a groundbreaking 2004 report about missing and murdered women, said the biggest problem has been the lack of outreach to families of victims.

Everyone wants the inquiry to succeed, Ms. Jacobs said.

"But I don't think it can be saved, I really don't. Because there's no trust," she said. "If the rest of the commissioners aren't going to resign, because they know there's a problem ... there's going to be problems in the future in getting actual families' support."

News of Ms. Poitras's resignation came as the commissioners met for the first time with families of victims who had co-signed a letter faulting the inquiry for keeping them in the dark.

"I lost a sister. I look around the room and I see other Indigenous people who've lost someone close to them," said Alex Cywink, whose sister Sonya, from Whitefish River First Nation on Manitoulin Island, was murdered in 1994.

He said the families told the commissioners about their frustrations but he doubted they found a receptive ear.

"I don't think that they were listening because if you listen, you understand it and you act on it," Mr. Cywink said.

"They didn't talk about Marilyn's resignation. Never addressed. Never brought up," one relative, Danielle Ewenin, said after the day-long meeting at a Toronto hotel.

Ms. Ewenin and Mr. Cywink praised Ms. Poitras's decision. "I respect her integrity and I honour her for doing the right thing," Ms. Ewenin said.

She wore a traditional ribbon skirt with a Cree design honouring her sister Eleanor, whose body was found outside Calgary in 1982.

Despite feeling excluded and uninformed, she felt she had no choice but to co-operate in the inquiry.

"If we don't participate, what avenue is there for my sister who was murdered? How is Canada going to bear witness to the crime that was done to her?" Just this past week, Ms. Buller assured Canadians the inquiry was on track and had, in her mind, moved with "lightning speed."

She and the remaining commissioners issued a statement on Tuesday thanking Ms. Poitras for her work, and acknowledging that the inquiry's job is difficult and its deadlines are imposing.

"Together, the commissioners and staff of the national inquiry will get through this," the statement said, "and we thank you for your ongoing support. We are listening."

A primary concern of the OWNA and other critics is that that many families of the missing and murdered women have had no communication with the commission since it was formed last Sept. 1.

The OWNA says it has not been contacted despite repeatedly offering the inquiry its support. In her letter, Dr. Harvard also pointed out that many Indigenous people in Thunder Bay, the first stop on the inquiry's fall schedule, are already shaken by the deaths of a number of young Indigenous people and by racially motivated violence.

"There are approximately 12 Indigenous service organizations in Thunder Bay. To our knowledge, none have been contacted," Dr.

Harvard wrote. "Who will be supporting community members after the week of September 10 when the inquiry leaves?" Ms. Jacobs said her community, the Six Nations of the Grand River in Southwestern Ontario, which is the largest First Nations reserve in Canada, has received no response to its request for a hearing on its territory.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett told reporters on Tuesday that she met with inquiry commissioners on Monday to discuss the resignation and the growing concerns.

"They really do have the vision, the values, the tools and the plan to get this work done," Dr. Bennett said, but "there is no question that we all agree ... that they have got to do a better job communicating their plan and their vision, values and the way that they're going to get this work done."

Francyne Joe, the interim president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, said she wants Ms. Buller to explain how she will "make sure that families feel like this isn't falling apart."

Ms. Joe said her organization has not yet lost all faith in the inquiry. "If we do a reset ... it's going to take longer, you are going to have families who become disengaged, and that's not what we have been advocating for these past few decades."

Associated Graphic

From left: Commissioners Marion Buller, Qajaq Robinson, Marilyn Poitras, Michèle Audette and Brian Eyolfson listen to an announcement at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau on July 5.


A 5 a.m. blast out of the Pyrenees in Audi's new RS 5 blurs the line between transportation and entertainment
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Print Edition, Page D1

ANDORRA -- It's 5 a.m. in Andorra, a tax haven masquerading as a country high in the Pyrenees. It's summer, so the ski hills and duty-free malls are empty. Right now, Andorra is the world's nicest ghost town.

We have a flight out of Toulouse, France, in a few hours. There's no airport in Andorra, so we'll drive north, winding out of the Pyrenees to slog a few kilometres across French highways, hopefully avoiding the gendarmerie (French law enforcement). There's no traffic.

The sun is an hour away. We have Audi's latest supercoupe, the RS 5 with 450 horsepower. This should be good.

On mornings such as this, coffee seems unnecessary. The high-beams light up a ghostly black-and-white scene ahead. Off the side road, beyond too-thin metal barriers, it's black. Probably best not to see the sheer drop.

I can't recall which car-company CEO said it, but the gist was that he thought of his company not as a provider of transportation, but of entertainment. This is true if you've ever driven a McLaren or Lamborghini. Some cars get you from A to B, others entertain you. Like an Avengers movie, this latter type offers a whiz-bang spectacle of speed, light and sound.

Before setting off, the all-newfor-2018 RS 5 requires a preflight checklist. Engine, gearbox, steering set to Dynamic: check. Suspension set to comfort: check. Exhaust note: dynamic. Red seat-belt: click. It feels very Top Gun.

With no traffic to worry about, we enter each roundabout faster than the previous. Yanking the steering wheel right, then left to clip the centre, then right again, the car grips and goes. No fuss, little body roll, neat and tidy. It's impossible to tell how much grip the tires have - the variable-ratio steering doesn't transmit much information back to the driver - but it is unfailingly precise. Any speed you want to go on public roads seems to be well within the RS 5's comfort zone. If anything, it's a little aloof.

On faster, flowing bends, the RS 5 carves corners like a skier, making elegant arcs. For the RS model, Audi Sport reinforced the regular A5 body around the front wheels. Combined with stiffer bushings, it makes for a crisp turn-in.

On these unfamiliar roads, it's reassuring to have a car that's as forgiving as the RS 5. It responds effortlessly to midcorner corrections. When a bend tightens unexpectedly and the guardrail is fast approaching, you can ask the front tires for more grip and they oblige. Need to dab the brakes mid-corner? No problem. The Audi is rock-steady.

Powering out of yet another hairpin bend, there's a hint of lag before the turbo hits its stride.

Above 1,900 rpm, the twin-turbo V-6 is putting out its maximum 443 lb-ft of torque. The horsepower dial on the dash winds up steadily until the engine peaks at 450 horsepower. Those are dramatic numbers but the effect is anything but. The Quattro all-wheeldrive system puts the power down without wheelspin through an eight-speed automatic. A regular automatic replaces the double-clutch gearbox from the previous RS 5. The old 'box couldn't handle the new motor's torque.

To provoke any hint of oversteer you have to turn in hard, lift, flatten the throttle and, even then, you'll only get a whiff. The Quattro system is always working to keep the car straight. It's not tail-happy like Audi Sport's smaller RS 3.

Speeding down the mountains, the exhaust note should be echoing from the hills like we're in The Sound of Music, but it's not.

There's a little noise maker under the front window that produces a distant rumble below 3,000 rpm but it's too quiet, even with the exhaust in Dynamic mode.

And here's the strange thing about Audi's supercoupe. It's not pure entertainment. It looks like a summer superhero blockbuster but doesn't act like one. Look at those flared wheel arches, huge ceramic brakes, bazooka-sized exhaust tips. The sheetmetal looks like it's stretched to the limit over rippling muscles. All it's missing is the cape and unitard.

The RS 5's rivals all clearly put entertainment ahead of practicality. BMW's M4 is a twitchy beast.

Driving it fast can feel like your head is inside a lion's mouth.

AMG's C 63 has such a glorious soundtrack, you could almost forgive it for not handling so well.

Except it does handle brilliantly.

In both cases, if all you want is to get from A to B, there are cheaper coupes that do a better job.

They'll get you to your destination without turning you into a puddle of adrenalin.

Despite its rivals' singular focus, the RS 5 was never meant to be pure entertainment - it was always meant to be more of a compromise.

"The idea was to make a very sporty car that feels very safe," said Matthias Nothling, technical project manager on the RS 5. "You have everyday usability, like a normal A5."

The A5 coupe starts at $46,000.

The RS 5 will cost an estimated $85,000. (Audi hasn't announced pricing.) It begs the question: If it's not all about entertainment, are the power, features and handling of the RS 5 really worth double the price of an A5?

The reason for pushing the RS 5 in this softer direction was customer feedback.

"We know our customers pretty well," said Benjamin Holle, product marketing manager for the RS 5. "Yes, I admit we probably changed it - not in a more sharp direction like these AMG or M things - but with this everydayusability/high-performance mixture in mind."

Not only is it what customers of the old RS 5 were asking for, but Holle said positioning the new RS 5 this way will attract new customers, people who wouldn't otherwise buy a high-performance RS model.

Like Andorra, caught between France and Spain, the RS 5 finds itself caught between entertainment and transportation. The features that make a car entertaining - loud exhaust, snappy gearshifts, stiff suspension, telepathic handling and an engine with a thirst for premium gas - also make it lousy as daily transportation.

Audi Sport has done an admirable job of trying to split the difference, to merge these two types of cars into a single do-it-all machine. It has come closer than any other auto maker, but still hasn't quite pulled it off. Even with its myriad adjustments and settings, the RS 5 sacrifices pure entertainment for usability. While gearheads may lament this softer direction, Holle is probably right: This compromise will broaden its appeal.

The RS 5 is comfortable, quiet and civilized. I forgot I was in Audi's flagship supercoupe until I looked down at the speedo and was shocked to find we were cruising at an un-gendarmeriefriendly 170 kilometres an hour.

We arrived in Toulouse relaxed and well ahead of schedule.

Associated Graphic

The Audi Rs 5 looks like a summer superhero blockbuster but doesn't act like one. 'The idea was to make a very sporty car that feels very safe,' says Matthias Nothling, technical project manager on the new supercoupe.


The Audi Rs 5 provides a tight, rock-steady ride, even while speeding through the mountains of Andorra.


Can comedies survive the superhero era?
In an increasingly conservative Hollywood, provocative humour is quickly losing ground to big-budget action
Associated Press
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R10

NEW YORK -- Days before the opening of the Will Ferrell-Amy Poehler comedy The House, producer Adam McKay could see the writing on the wall. The box-office forecast for the film wasn't looking good.

In the end, The House opened with just $8.7-million (U.S.), the latest in an increasingly long line of comedy flops. The House may have had its problems (Warner Bros. opted to not even screen it for critics), but what stood out about the result was how dispiritingly typical it was.

"This has just been happening a lot. If it's not our comedies, it's other comedies from friends of ours that just are underperforming very consistently," said McKay, whose production company with Ferrell makes a handful of comedies a year.

Unless the upcoming Girls Trip - promoted as the black, female version of The Hangover - breaks out, this summer will likely pass without a big comedy hit. Rough Night, Baywatch and Snatched have all disappointed despite the star power of Scarlett Johansson, Dwayne Johnson and Amy Schumer, respectively. The lone sensation has been the Kumail Nanjiani-led, Judd Apatow produced The Big Sick. But that Lionsgate-Amazon release is a specialty one; it's made $6.8-million in three weeks of limited release.

Laughs are drying up at the multiplex and it's a trend that goes beyond this summer. Last year, the shockingly poor performance of Andy Samberg's Popstar ($9.6-million in its entire run) foreshadowed the trouble to come. There have been some successes (Bad Moms, Sausage Party, Trainwreck, Central Intelligence, Spy) but it's been a long while since a cultural sensation like The 40 Year-Old Virgin, The Hangover or Bridesmaids.

The downturn begs the question: Can the big-screen comedy survive the superhero era? As studios have increasingly focused on intellectual propertybacked franchises that play around the globe, comedies are getting squeezed. Though usually relatively inexpensive propositions, comedies often don't fit the blockbuster agenda of riskadverse Hollywood.

"They really want these movies to work in China and Russia, and comedies don't always work like that," Apatow says.

In interviews with many top names in comedy, as well as numerous studio executives, many in Hollywood expressed optimism that a turnaround could and will be sparked by something fresh and exciting - a Get Out for comedy. But they also described an unmistakable sense that the era of Superbad, Pineapple Express and Step Brothers may be closing - and that an increasingly restrictive Hollywood landscape is partly to blame.

"It does worry me because it feels like the studios aren't developing as many comedy scripts," Apatow adds. "In the old days, they used to buy a lot of scripts and develop them.

And now it feels like times have changed. Unless you bring them a script with an actor or actress and a director and it's all packaged, there's not a lot of chances to get comedies made. We have a nice reputation so we're able to get our movies made most of the time. But I feel like there's not as many young comedy writers writing movies. I think a lot of them are headed toward television and I think that's bad for the movies."

The comedies that have managed to get made have often recycled many of the familiar, previously profitable formulas.

McKay has watched marketing departments increasingly dictate which comedies get greenlit.

"That's their whole thing: 'What's the formula so we can go to the boardroom?' " McKay says. "All of a sudden, I start noticing that people keep asking for comedies to look like other comedies. And we keep saying, 'Yeah, but comedies have to be original.' " But "original" can be a scary word in today's Hollywood.

Thus, the Ghostbusters reboot, thus Baywatch. At the same time, other formats - Old School-like party movies, for example - have grown a little stale from overuse.

"What I think you're seeing in the last three years is just fatigue with those structures," McKay says. "They did the worst thing that a comedy can ever do, which is start to feel familiar. I really think this isn't permanent.

It's going to break out but what it's going to require is three or four accidents to happen again, like Austin Powers and Anchorman."

Both of those films also depended on a long afterlife on home video; comedies historically have been especially strong sellers after theatrical release.

"You can't really do that now," says producer Michael De Luca, who championed Austin Powers at New Line and produced comedies like Rush Hour and The Love Guru. "You have to be a theatrical event when you open." De Luca recalled the thunderbolt experience of reading the spec script for American Pie, which heralded the explosion of R-rated comedy.

"I do feel like these things are cyclical," De Luca says. "Each generation discovers their punkrock comedy. It may not have happened yet for the generation that's coming up behind Seth Rogen, who was behind Judd Apatow."

But the next generation might gravitate to HBO or FX or Netflix instead. That's where you'll find many of today's most exciting comic voices, like Donald Glover (Atlanta), Lena Dunham (Girls) and Issa Rae (Insecure).

The path to a nationwide movie release is more difficult and may offer less creative freedom, unless you have in your corner a big-name producer like James L.

Brooks, who shepherded Kelly Fremon Craig's terrific debut The Edge of Seventeen to the screen last year. A large percentage of recent comedies have starred either Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy or Ferrell - who are, granted, some of the funniest people alive.

"You see a lot of the big Hollywood comedies have the same people playing the same type of people in the same sort of highstakes but not-too-high-stakes situations," says Nanjiani, who also stars on HBO's Silicon Valley.

"The fact that there's only a handful of people that are deemed worthy of being big comedy leads, it means that you can't really have that much variance in the types of movies that get made."

But even the top stars are having a more difficult time. Ahead of the release of Sony's Sausage Party, Rogen acknowledged he's seen first-hand that comedies are getting harder and harder to make.

"The truth is, you're now probably better off selling it to Netflix or something. Which is a bummer," Rogen says. "You look at a lot of comedies and it's just like: Five years ago that would have made $120-million and now, unless there's big action, huge helicopters and tanks and car chases, just people talking and being funny is a lot harder to do."

Sausage Party was a gleefully raunchy animated comedy about grocery store food that most studios would have immediately turned down. It went on to make $98-million domestically on a $20-million budget, packing theatres with cackling audiences.

It was a good reminder that even at a time when many doubt the future of the theatrical experience, nothing beats a good comedy.

Associated Graphic

Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler's The House, which opened to just $8.7-million (U.S.), is the latest in an increasingly long line of comedies to flop at the box office. A large percentage of comedies star the likes of Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Seth Rogen, leading to less variance in the types of movies that get made.

As times change, so does the role of computer-software programs in the world of design. Today, Matthew Hague writes, computers are coming up with building layouts, package designs and furniture pieces that are as creative or better than what humans can envision on their own
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L1

Computer-aided design, or CAD, programs are as new to the world as bell-bottom pants and disco. Architects and designers started trading in their mechanical pencils and drafting tables in the 1970s - around the same time computerized dating started to vie for the place traditionally held by boozy nightclubs and wellmeaning matchmakers (hi, grandma).

These days, though, the technology has been updated so drastically that it would be hard to compare the current incarnations to its predecessors - it would be a bit like putting a Tesla next to a Pinto. More than merely assisting creative professionals draw out their ideas, software programs are now helping generate the very ideas and products themselves. Computers are coming up with building layouts, package designs and furniture that are as creative or better than what humans can envision on their own.

"It's a radical departure from what we've been using for the last 40 years," says Francesco Iorio, director of computational science research at Autodesk, which develops CAD software. Later this year, a program that Iorio has been working on called Generative Design will hit the market, and, according to him, will act more like "an actual partner" in the design process rather than a passive tool. In effect, designers will be able to ask the software questions and get optimal answers back.

The program has already produced a muscular, Gaudi-esque chair called the Elbo. Rather than coming up with the shape of the seat themselves, a design team used the software to determine the best structure given certain parameters - height, material, loads. The legs and arms mimic forms found in nature, such as bones, which have been optimized through evolution to withstand the forces of the world. In essence, the program came up with a design "that was most fit to survive," says Iorio, by learning from the world around it.

"The results can be surprising," Iorio says, "because the program isn't constrained by biases."

Such algorithm-based software is also a way of developing mass-customized goods - broadly available items that are uniquely different for each shopper. For example, Nutella, in partnership with HP, recently used an algorithm to generate more than seven million unique package designs to be sold across Italy. Each one is singular, though they share a similarly jubilant aesthetic - a bit like someone has taken close-up photos of confetti as it has fallen through the sky.

It would have taken a massive team of designers an impossible amount of time and mental energy to achieve the feat. But "the program has no limit," according to Lavinia Francia, client creative director at Nutella's ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather, Italy, which oversaw the project. "It starts choosing one out of four different textures and it zooms in on it or out and/or rotates. Then it crops the selection and creates a unique sleeve.

So the number of unique labels is technically infinite."

That said, there's still a place for people in the process. To ensure that no meme-worthy, phallic shapes unintentionally made it onto a child's sandwich spread, "a Nutella employee checked on every jar," Francia says. And a "check was made on every pattern that was mixed by the algorithm to make sure the final result would be appropriate." (The program was so popular that all seven million jars sold out within a month).

Architect Alexis Rivas also believes there is an important, enduring role for people to play in algorithm-generated designs.

He's the co-founder of Cover, a Los Angeles-based company that builds custom backyard studios, cottages and pool houses using algorithms and robots. "Many people's first instinct is the fear of computers taking over all of our jobs," he says. "But the software we use helps our team put all our time and effort into wellconsidered details, and the touch and feel of our spaces."

Rivas, along with his lead designer, Thomas Heyer, have devised a way, using a proprietary software, to take the desires of their clients (captured in a questionnaire) and generate a fully articulated plan in as little as three days. "We have worked closely with the guys optimizing the software," Heyer says, "to design a set of building blocks - fixed details, how corners come together and integrated storage.

Those details are taken by the software as Lego blocks and assembled into a custom design."

One of the benefits of this kind of technology-enabled standardization is that it brings the price of the design down. Cover's initial consultations cost less than the price of an iPhone and the structures start in the low six figures, despite the sharp, California aesthetic more commonly associated with million-dollar homes in the Hollywood Hills.

"That's the beauty of the tech available to us today," Heyer says.

"It makes high-quality design accessible to a lot more people." Dutch designer Merel Bekking isn't just interested in using technology to make high-quality design, but design that is "technically perfect." And instead of algorithms, she uses machines that help her get directly into the minds of those she is designing for - literally. She uses MRI scanners to access the desires that are trapped deep within our brains.

"The reason I use MRIs is because I wanted to know what people really think," Bekking says. "I know that if you ask people questions they are always prone to give socially desirable answers or maybe they don't really know what they like, and so on. But if you put people in MRI scanners, you look at how their brain reacts," without a filter.

For a recent project, she used MRIs of one of the world's top design editors - Marcus Fairs, who founded the popular website Dezeen - to create a chair that was perfect for him. "Marcus was shown pictures of different materials, shapes, objects and colours," Bekking says, "while his brain activation was measured using a 3 Tesla MRI-scanner."

From the experiment, Bekking learned that Fairs's brain "had a preference for orange, for closed, round shapes, for plastic and for chairs," Bekking says. "But these ingredients were all loose ingredients. They still had to be put together." So Bekking put together what looks like a giant, orange pill pierced on a stick, cracked open so Fairs could perch in the middle.

Curiously, though, Fairs did not like the chair, asking Bekking to take it away from his house shortly after she delivered it to his London home. "The research results were completely solid," she said, but "as soon as he realized he had to defend to others that this is what his subconscious likes, he really started to hate it. I think this is really fascinating."

For Bekking, using technology to create a scientifically perfect design process has also left her with a curious reaction: "Forget all the target groups, forget numbers, scientific research and big data," she says. "I think you should trust your designer's instinct and make beautiful things because you really feel your ideas, not because you think it will please most people."

Associated Graphic

Nutella recently used an algorithm to generate more than seven million unique package designs to be sold across Italy.

Alexis Rivas, co-founder of Cover, says computer software helps his team put together well-considered projects, such as this backyard lounge and office.

The Elbo chair was designed using a program Francesco Iorio is working on called Generative Design. Iorio says the program will act more like an actual partner in design rather than a tool.

The indestructible cowboy
Bareback riding is a passion and a love for Oregon wrangler Steven Peebles, broken bones and a brush with death be damned
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

CALGARY -- There is no injured list for cowboys. That is because they all play hurt. The one-tonne bulls, bucking broncos and beefy steers they scrimmage against invariably leave scars.

Steven Peebles has more than most. He is one of the world's best bareback riders, and a walking miracle. Even in a sport full of rugged athletes, the Oregon wrangler's recuperative powers are supernatural.

In the past two-plus years, he has twice suffered a broken back.

One of those times, after his spine was fractured when his horse reared up in the chute, Peebles still completed an eight-second ride.

"I got a 68.5," he says with disdain. From where he sits for an interview at the Calgary Stampede, you could flip a cow patty into the Bow River. On Tuesday, a few hours earlier, he won the day's bareback competition with a score of 90.5 points.

In bareback riding, where the wrangler has to stay on top of a horse without a saddle and hold on one-handed without being bucked off for eight seconds, points are awarded based on the rider's control and technique, and for the horse's power, speed and agility.

On a scale of 1 to 100, 68.5 is usually not enough to cash a prize cheque. But it is remarkable for a guy who has been thrashed around while he has a broken back. Think about it the next time your hamstrings are yipping a tiny bit from climbing stairs.

In between those two calamities, Peebles barely escaped death. On July 2, 2015, he landed badly after being launched off a horse at the Livingston Roundup in Montana.

He won with an 86-point ride, but lost his grip at the last second.

"I landed so hard I broke ribs in four spots and it shoved one of them right through a main artery," he says. "I was bleeding out and didn't know it.

"I tried to tough it out, but it felt like I had a knife in my gut. It was way worse than anything I had ever experienced."

Peebles was dizzy and nauseous, but told his travelling companion, fellow bareback rider Brian Bain, that he was well enough to accompany him 100 kilometres to an airport in Billings.

Bain saw Peebles sweating and looking pasty white and insisted on taking him to a clinic in Livingston. There, it was discovered that Peebles's lungs were collapsing and blood was pouring into his chest cavity.

"I thought I was toast," Peebles says.

He was rushed by ambulance to a hospital in Bozeman, 45 minutes away, where doctors saved his life.

"They broke open my left rib cage and shoved a hose inside and started sucking the blood out," he says. "I passed out."

The next morning, he learned he had come within 15 minutes of dying. His blood pressure plummeted. His lungs were 80-per...

cent full of blood. He lost six litres before the artery was repaired.

"When I woke up, my first thought was 'Thank God, I made it,' " Peebles says. "Then two doctors came in and told me they had made a bet the night before.

"One expected me to drown in my own blood, the other thought I would bleed out. They told me, 'Somebody is looking out for you.' " He is 28, clean-cut and unfailingly polite in that cowboy sort of way. Unlike the rest of us, he looks like he was born wearing a Stetson. His girlfriend, Marie, whom he met at an event four years ago, radiates the same country charm.

"He gets cranky when he can't rodeo," she says.

Peebles grew up in California and learned the basics of bareback riding and roping from his uncle, former rodeo cowboy Bob Sailors. When he was 14, his family moved to Redmond, Ore.

There, Peebles worked as a ranch hand for Bobby Mote, a worldchampion bareback rider who helped sharpen his skills.

Despite his many injuries, Peebles has become one of his sport's elite athletes since turning professional in 2009. Along with spinal fractures and cracked ribs and a severed artery, he has broken his right leg in seven places, torn ligaments in his right ankle, torn cartilage in his right hip, dislocated one foot and suffered a torn rotator cuff.

At one point last year, he was wearing a back brace and had a splint on one arm at the same time.

"I have ridden with pain my entire career," he says. "I have learned to block it out."

In 2015, he won a world championship. In 2014 and again in 2016, he collected the $100,000 winner's cheque at the Calgary Stampede as the top bareback rider. He has finished first, fifth and seventh in pool competition this week and remains in the running to take the top prize for bareback riders on Sunday at one of the world's most famous rodeo.

He might have won in 2015, too, but was recovering in the hospital after his near brush with death.

"I have the same goals I have always had and still strive to have the same result," Peebles says. "It is just a little harder now for me to get there.

"I have to stretch and warm up and cool down differently. I can't sleep on too soft of a bed."

More than 727,000 people turned out during the Stampede's first five days, and the grandstand at the rodeo arena has been packed. Attendance is up by nearly 20,000 a day over last year, despite heat and storm warnings. A twister touched down just outside Calgary on Wednesday night.

Fans especially appreciate the toughness and danger of the broncos and bulls and the fury that ensues when a bareback rider and horse burst out of the chute. It is like riding a tornado with one hand. Peebles and fellow competitors are left horizontal as they try to hang on.

"It is a passion and a love," Peebles says. "It is what I do and what I love."

He was in the running for a world championship in 2014 when he broke his back for the time. His mount bucked and nearly flipped over in the gate. A compression fracture occurred as his face was pushed down into his stomach.

"I was mad," he says. "I didn't want to go to the hospital."

The next morning, his girlfriend says, Peebles chatted up medical staff at the event hoping they would allow him to ride again.

"I wanted to see how high-risk it was," he says.

Peebles incurred a spinal fracture for the second time in February of last year. He and his brother were taking a spin in a Polaris Ranger when the $20,000 all-terrain vehicle flipped over on a friend's ranch in Oregon. He had received the Ranger as part of the prize package when he won the world championship in 2015.

"The Ranger was totalled and I snapped my back in half," Peebles says. "It was a bad day."

Associated Graphic

Steven Peebles rides Ultimately Wolf in the bareback event during the Calgary Stampede on Thursday.


Steven Peebles tapes his arm before the bareback event at the Calgary Stampede, Wednesday. Along with spinal fractures and cracked ribs and a severed artery, Peebles has broken his right leg in seven places, torn ligaments in his right ankle and torn cartilage in his right hip.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

As the penultimate season of HBO's Game of Thrones begins, coverage has drawn more comparisons than ever between Westeros and Washington, John Doyle writes. But the series reveals less about what's going on in the White House and more about the universal allure of brutal power
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R1

Daily, for weeks now, the stars of Game of Thrones have been appearing on late-night chat shows and giving interviews to select newspapers and magazines. There have been pop-up Game of Thrones theme bars and there's a range of GoT wines being launched.

With a new season starting (Sunday, HBO Canada, 9 p.m.) and an end in sight, just two short seasons to come, every dollar is being squeezed from the fantasy series. And every kind of meaning, too. Because the actors can give nothing away about plot developments, they tend to talk in generalizations and anecdotes.

This leads to ever-more speculation, not just about the plotting of the coming episodes but about the meaning of it all. Often, fan and media coverage concentrates, in high-blown terms, about what can be extrapolated and learned from the series, especially the political resonances.

There have been many attempts to connect Game of Thrones to Washington politics: DC Always Was King's Landing says a Guardian headline. And British politics - "Westerexit" was a term used in The Washington Post, for blimey's sake - and, for all we know, Brazilian politics.

This is a versatile and durable approach to the shenanigans on the series. But it amounts to almost nothing. It is, however, illuminating and disturbing.

The first point to be made on Game of Thrones is that it isn't about politics in the context of parliamentary and other forms of democracy. The series is about power, not conventional politics as it is practised in most countries. It's about power in the sense that power is about subordination, exploitation and humiliation. That form of power applies in personal life, the workplace, personal relationships and family dynamics.

What's disturbing is how easily, these days, some fans and analysts see U.S. politics playing out on the series. Little wonder, in realistic terms, since the drama is about family dynasties, which can be loosely applied to the Trumps and the Clintons. Hillary Clinton can be, and has been, connected to both Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Cersei (Lena Headey). Somebody has probably been busy finding meaning in how Ivanka Trump fits into the fictional drama's high-octane daddy-daughter twists. Given this past week's events on the Trump front, there is probably an idiotson theme being nurtured by some in GoT analysis.

Thing is, Game of Thrones is not an allegorical text. It's set in a fantasy feudal world, not a modern country. If there is any connection to today's electoral politics, it is only in the sense that it's about autocrats.

Now, it's true that U.S. President Donald Trump has a soft spot for autocrats and autocratic style is his first-impulse response in politics. But he's an anomaly.

The fact that so many viewers see political allegory in Game of Thrones is actually disturbing because it reveals the visceral appeal of brutal autocratic cruelty. You know who would have probably been taking notes on ways to learn from Game of Thrones? Donald Trump, that's who.

Most TV series do not challenge orthodoxy; they support it.

They reaffirm people's biases and prejudices. Often they confirm what people secretly, and in the privacy of their own headspace and homes, think about the world. There's a reason why the formulaic CBS drama NCIS, not Game of Thrones, is the most popular show in the world. NCIS validates what most people like to believe - the world is scary but the authorities will come and sort it all out and save the vulnerable.

Game of Thrones is, in that arena of meaning, a confirmation of perversity. It is sexualized violence and power porn. The very title of the books and TV series suggests both that thrones of power play a dangerous game against each other and that players in a game compete for acquisition of one of several thrones.

For there to be a game, there has to be rules and the rules, in the books and the series, are rooted in an assumption of the rightness of a small hereditary noble class having power over a much larger group of common peasants. There is a lot of elaborate blather about the intricacy of the laws in GoT's sprawling landscape, but it all amounts to inherited social standing and the fact that women, no matter their class, do not have the same rights and privileges as men.

In that, Game of Thrones gives succour to sexists everywhere and its most defining scene, traumatic for some and consumed gleefully by others, was Cersei being forced to walk naked through the streets of King's Landing while being verbally and physically abused. Swords, sorcery, some magic and men having risible conversations about honour and betrayal is the gist of much of it. All very male.

This all amounts to a very traditional escapism from the humdrum daily world, in which most of us are obliged to acknowledge that we don't live in feudal times and it is incumbent upon us to be sensitive to the rights of others. One cannot begrudge anyone their enjoyment of it or their admiration for the craft in the acting and storytelling.

The series has some serious admirers, including Margaret Atwood, who announced in an aside in a recent interview, "And I for one will be quite annoyed if Mother of Dragons does not marry Jon Snow. But since both the series and the author of the series have a habit of killing people off in great numbers, who can tell what will happen?"

The crux of the appeal, beyond the layers of possible meaning and the gusto of the mainly British and Irish actors, is that element of, "Who can tell what will happen?" The fevered analysis of trailers and short interviews with the main actors is a thing to behold.

One trailer/preview had Cersei warning of "enemies to the east, enemies to the west, enemies in the south, enemies in the north."

And anyone familiar with the plot could only nod and agree that, yes, trouble is coming, big time.

We know that winter has arrived. We know that dangling storylines are being woven together - Daenerys Targaryen, with her forces, is heading for King's Landing. And there she will encounter Cersei, who is currently in residence on the Iron Throne. In another neck of the woods, Jon Snow has been crowned king.

Certainly the synopsis of the first new episode, titled Dragonstone, doesn't give much more away - "Jon (Kit Harington) organizes the defence of the North.

Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home." Right. People knew that already. Possibly, it will all conclude with justice restored and an emotionally positive twist that will satisfy its many ardent followers.

In the meantime, Game of Thrones means many different things to many people. And it is a strange tool to use in drawing parallels with contemporary politics. Used as such, it only tells us that the principles of feudal power and the magnetism of family dynasties have an abiding, unsettling appeal and barbarity appeals to some people in a way that moral complexity and sensitivity does not. What you draw from it says a lot about you.

Follow me on Twitter: @MisterJohnDoyle

Associated Graphic

Emilia Clarke is seen in an episode Game of Thrones. Often, fan and media coverage concentrates, in high-blown terms, about what can be extrapolated and learned from the HBO series, especially the political resonances.

How Shakespeare ensures summer stages still skew male
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R1

Crunch the numbers and it's clear: Shakespeare is still sexist.

The dominance of the Bard of Avon in Canadian theatre each summer continues to mean more work for male actors than female ones - despite some prominent recent examples of genderreversed or gender-blind casting in his work.

Dozens more men than women are acting on stage because of the continuing fascination by arts institutions and audiences with William Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies and histories - written during a time and in a place

where women were legally prohibited from acting.

At the Stratford Festival, the foremost centre of Shakespeare in Canada, male actors outnumber female actors 73 to 47 this season - making the acting company only 39-per-cent female, whereas women make up just more than half of the Canadian population.

While that Ontario repertory theatre produces everything from the ancient Greeks to new plays, it's clear who's to blame for the gender imbalance in the ensemble.

Take a look at the casts for the three plays penned by Shakespeare at Stratford this summer: Timon of Athens features only five women in a cast of 22 (23-percent female); Romeo and Juliet involves 20 male actors and 10 female actors (33-per-cent female); and even the ensemble of Twelfth Night is just 36-percent female.

"I do feel that there needs to be growing gender parity and I think that's something we need to work harder and harder towards," says Antoni Cimolino, the artistic director of the Stratford Festival - who points to how roles have shifted behind the scenes at the Ontario repertory theatre in recent years.

This season, for instance, more Stratford productions are directed by women than men, and when it comes to living playwrights, women outnumber men.

It's a different story on Stratford's stages: While star Seana McKenna has played Richard III and Jaques at Stratford in recent seasons, and last summer's Breath of Kings history play cycle featured a slew of male characters played by women, those gender-bending practices are still the exception rather than the rule.

Most productions of Shakespeare still hew closely to how his plays have been produced since women were allowed to perform on the English stage - with the four to six roles in each play that were originally performed by boy actors now played by women.

A look at other repertory theatre companies that focus on Shakespeare shows that Stratford is hardly alone in having a company tilted in favour of male performers.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's company is slightly more female than Stratford at 42 per cent - featuring 50 men and 36 women in its 2017 season. England's Royal Shakespeare Company, centred in the playwright's birthplace of Stratford-uponAvon, meanwhile, employed 163 actors at home and on tour in 2016 - and only 57 (or 35 per cent) were female. (Those numbers supplied by the RSC's exclude the various productions of its West End and Broadway hit, Matilda: The Musical.)

Other Canadian repertory theatres that focus on different repertoire seem to have a greater representation of women on stage. Soulpepper in Toronto reported that 45 per cent of the performers on its stages (including concerts, presentations and tours) were women in 2016, while the Niagara-on-the-Lake Shaw Festival's acting ensemble currently sits at around 46 per cent female.

While neither of those companies have achieved gender parity, they come closer than most of the summer Shakespearean institutions I surveyed across the country. Bard on the Beach in Vancouver has hired 18 male actors and 11 female actors (38 per cent female) this season, while at Shakespeare by the Sea in Halifax, male actors outnumber female ones by nine to five (36 per cent).

Even Shakespeare in High Park in Toronto has two more men than women in its 12-person ensemble - despite its production of King Lear, starring Diane D'Aquila in the title role.

"It's the 21st century now and it's time - it's time that parity goes not just in the parts, but in the salaries," says D'Aquila, a Canadian stage legend who played at Stratford for at least 15 seasons.

"Why not shake it up? Why not make it a different viewpoint for an audience to wrap their head around? I say this as an audience member - as I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to just retire."

These skewed numbers don't necessarily attest to limitations of Shakespeare's plays, but instead to the limitation of institutional imaginations when it comes to staging his work.

From the very first performances of Romeo and Juliet and Henry V, an actor's gender and the part involved didn't have to match up - with young men or boys playing the female roles in Shakespeare's time.

Today, you can still find all-male troupes performing Shakespeare.

Before he ran the Shaw Festival, Tim Carroll took a pair of such "original practices" productions from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London to Broadway, while Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd recently flipped the script with a trilogy of all-female Shakespeare plays in London that received rave reviews last fall.

In Toronto, audiences have been exposed to the gamut of female-friendly approaches to Shakespeare in the past year: Thought for Food produced an all-female Measure for Measure at the Red Sandcastle in the fall, while the Groundling Theatre Company produced the same play with just one lead role switched: Duke changed into a Duchess for actress Lucy Peacock.

Why Not Theatre, meanwhile, hit all the right notes with a Hamlet at The Theatre Centre that featured not only Christine Horne in the lead role, but more women than men in the cast as a whole - with some actors playing characters than matched their gender, and others not.

At Shakespeare's Globe in London, artistic director Emma Rice stated her intention to move toward gender parity on stage - and hit around 45-per-cent female in her first season, before the theatre company shockingly announced she'd be leaving after just two years in charge of her experimental vision. "Just do it!"

Rice said about going 50/50 in an interview with American Theatre before she was pushed out. "You don't need to agonize about how or why."

In Canada, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan has been just doing it. Last season, the Saskatoon theatre company hired more female actors than males - and this year, it's doing Richard III and Twelfth Night in repertory with a cast that has achieved gender parity - six men, six women.

"We plan to keep it that way as much as possible moving forward," says Alan Long, director of marketing. "In our opinion, there are only opportunities in this, and it is a lot of fun."

Follow me on Twitter: @nestruck


Company; total number of actors; female actors in company; percentage female; season

Royal Shakespeare Company (Britain); 163; 57; 35 per cent; 2016

The Stratford Festival (Stratford, Ont.); 120; 47; 39 per cent; 2017

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (U.S.); 86; 36; 42 per cent; 2017

Bard on the Beach (Vancouver): 29; 11; 38 per cent; 2017

Shakespeare in High Park (Toronto): 12; 5; 42 per cent; 2017

Shakespeare by the Sea (Halifax): 14; 5; 36 per cent; 2017

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan (Saskatoon): 12; 6; 50 per cent; 2017

Associated Graphic

Tim Campbell, centre, plays Alcibiades in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens at the Stratford Festival in Ontario.


'Perhaps it was the face. Or maybe it was something deeper, a voiceprint in the memory.' Our summer reading series, which will offer exclusive previews of some of the most anticipated books of the fall, begins with an excerpt from Giller Prize-winner Linden MacIntyre's new novel, The Only Café
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R11

He'd driven his new toy, a vintage Mustang, north to Bloor. He might have then turned west, toward home. But he'd turned east instead, crossed the Don Valley and entered what he'd always thought of as the city's European microcosm, Danforth Avenue. He drove past the teeming patios, the Greek restaurants, Greek street signs, Greek statuary, Mediterranean enthusiasm.

He drove slowly, absorbing all the images of pleasure. Too much pleasure. Too many thoughtless people. He could feel a headache starting.

He drove until he entered another world. No more patios and pleasure-seeking throngs, no more shish kebab and booze. The signs were now in Urdu, the shops proclaiming halal meat. He drove until he saw the mosque, the unmistakable minaret, the silver crescent, the emerald domes.

He parked the Mustang, locked it, stepped back, admired his car, felt his spirits lift but only for a moment. The car was a reminder of why he endured days like that day, a day of bad news, double-talk and spin. The car was a reward, like the boat he kept in Nova Scotia. Car and boat, vehicles for fantasy, for flight. But now he needed distance from his car, distance from his day. He needed to escape even his escapes.

He started walking. And then he spotted the little bar with the peculiar name in this unlikely neighbourhood. He went in, ordered a beer. He sat trying to imagine what awaited him in the days to come. The patio was just outside and beyond it he could see the domes that made him feel at home.

He'd spent maybe 20 minutes on the first beer, then he'd gone to the bar and fetched a second. Perhaps because he appeared to be out of place in his expensive suit and tie, a stranger came and gestured toward the empty seat across from him.

Pierre nodded toward the chair.

The stranger sat.

"Have I seen you here before?" The agitation of the day was undiminished and he didn't answer right away. But there was something about the stranger's accent. Agitation was replaced by curiosity. "I doubt it."

The intruder said, "I'm Ari," and held out a beefy hand. Pierre stared at it.

Perhaps it was the face. Or maybe it was something deeper, a voiceprint in the memory. Or maybe it was just the similarity to another name that loomed large in memories Pierre had buried.

Ari started to rise. "Sorry. I don't mean to interrupt." Pierre quickly grasped the hand. "It's okay . sit . Harry?" "Ari. Short for Ariel."

"Pierre Cormier. I've never been here before. A bit different."

"Cormier? Yes. I find the atmosphere relaxing. Casual."

"Ari. Interesting name. Ari what?" "Roloff. An old Quebec name."

"But you aren't French."

"True." Ari shrugged, looked away briefly. "Nor are you," he said. There was a trace of aggression in the look, the tone of voice.

Pierre could feel the agitation creeping back as he studied the face before him. It was broad and smooth, fleshy, friendly, open, the eyes interested but weary. What a bizarre coincidence. He felt a flutter in his stomach. Ariel. The same name.

There was even a bodily resemblance. The man in front of him was short and overweight, borderline obese. The hair, the colour of ash, was thinning at the front but effectively combed over.

"You come here often?" he asked.

Ari smiled, shrugged. "Maybe more often than I should."

"So how long have you been in this country?" Ari laughed. "Where do you think I'm from?" The subtle thickness of his consonants.

"I know exactly where you're from."

The smile was cautious now.

Ari nodded.

"You could say we were neighbours once," Pierre said.

"Ah. Neighbours north? South?

East?" "North," said Pierre.

"Yes. Pierre? Yimkin kenna ashab. Perhaps we were even friends."

"Perhaps. You speak like an Arab."

"Maybe not so much. I've been here five years," Ari said. "You?" "Quite a bit longer."

"You're from Beirut," Ari said.

"No. A bit south of there."

Ari hesitated. "Damour?" "You know Damour?" Ari nodded. "I've been there."

"I had family in Damour. But I was born in Saida."

"Ah. Sidon. But you had family in Damour?" "Yes."

"I'm going to order a drink.

Would you like another beer? Or something better."

"I'll have what you're having."

Ari returned with two glasses.


"And you? I'm going to guess Haifa."

"Why Haifa?" "Just a feeling. You've lived with Arabs."

"Yes. But not Haifa. A kibbutz near Hebron. You never heard of it."

"Probably not. I suppose you hear this a lot, but you bear a remarkable resemblance to someone famous."

Ari laughed. "I don't hear it any more so much. Someone no longer visible. Someone slowly being forgotten, yes?" "Forgotten here, maybe. But not so much in other places."

"When did you say you came?" asked Ari.

"I didn't say."

"And you've been back?" "No."

"Not once?" "I have nobody left there."

"You said you have family in Damour?" Pierre shook his head. "Past tense. You know the history."

"The important parts." Ari reached across the table, clasped Pierre's hand again, held it gently for a moment. "Such a tragedy, Damour. And all that followed."

Pierre stood abruptly, lightheaded. "I think I have to leave now." He took a quick mouthful of the Scotch. It was strong.

"Thanks for the drink," he said, setting the empty glass back down.

Ari nodded and looked away.

And that was how it started.

From The Only Café by Linden MacIntyre. To be published by Random House Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada, on Aug. 19. Copyright © Linden MacIntyre, 2017. Reprinted by arrangement of the Publisher.

All rights reserved.


What inspired the new novel?

There is a continuity in crisis. The political crisis in the U.S. has roots in recent history. The larger crisis in the Muslim world has deeper origins in a history of colonialism, humiliation and poverty. A terrorism plot in Toronto or New York is not unrelated to historical events and a contemporary culture of retribution.

This excerpt introduces us to Pierre and Ari. Can you tell us a little more about the two men and their role in the novel?

Pierre's secret history is darkened by events in the Lebanese civil war, in which he fought as a Phalangist militiaman under the leadership of one of the most ruthless commanders in that long conflict. Ari served in Lebanon contemporaneously in the intelligence branch of the Israeli Defense Forces. They meet years later in Toronto. Pierre thinks he remembers Ari from one of the bloodiest weeks of the war.

Ari is determined to convince him that he's wrong.

This novel is partly set in Lebanon. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the first time you've set a novel outside Canada. What's your relationship to that country?

I worked there from time to time as a journalist, including September, 1982, when I reported on the aftermath of the massacre of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut. Lebanon revealed to me, unforgettably, the timelessness and universality of the consequences of violence, and the permanence of rage - whether based on violence in the Middle East, or Central America, or a small community in rural Canada.

Associated Graphic


Urban design in the time of climate change: making a friend of the floods
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R1

How do you design a floodproof city? You don't. How do you prepare for extreme weather in the era of climate change? You let the water come.

That's the approach that landscape architects and other designers are taking to address the threat of flooding in urban areas: designing cityscapes that are designed to absorb water; and riverfronts and lakefronts that are meant to get wet.

Last week's funding announcement in Toronto of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project, to which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Ontario and Toronto counterparts committed nearly $1.2-billion, reflects a big bet on this model.

That project, based on a design led by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and urban designer Ken Greenberg, is not based on heroic engineering. It reshapes the mouth of the Don River in downtown Toronto; where the river once meandered into a marshland at Lake Ontario, it has been shaped into a concrete channel for more than a century. The new project will reverse some of those changes. "Rather than building high dikes," Greenberg says, "it creates a broad expanse of parkland that would be flooded in times of severe events - but would also set up a new neighbourhood."

The Don River runs south to Lake Ontario, but makes a lastminute right turn in the concrete-lined Keating Channel. The new design will keep that in place but add a second outlet, this one broad and lined by a bowl-shaped park. This green space will be the heart of new neighbourhoods, housing tens of thousands of people, that can only be built because the risk of flooding has been reduced.

The adjacent Villiers Island, a 54-acre chunk of city, is already being master-planned. This scheme is urban design and landscape architecture, linked with flood protection and adaptation to climate change - the effects of which are already showing themselves in more frequent floods such as those on the Ottawa River this year. "This is a problem that requires lateral thinking, stepping out of the individual silos," Greenberg says.

It also demands a new conceptual approach to the problem: "Allowing the river to shape the city, rather than the city to subvert the river," says Nina-Marie Lister, a planner and ecologist at Ryerson University. The planning of Corktown Common, a nearby Toronto park that also provides flood protection, is a good example of such flexible thinking, says Lister, who is also a member of the Ryerson Urban Water Centre. This is "a smarter way to design," she says. "But we're just not very good at it, institutionally."

Why? Lister talks about rivers as "living systems," and governments, civil engineers and urban planners don't deal well with living systems.

"We tend to use machine metaphors, and river systems don't work that way," Lister says.

The challenge is to create city spaces that "prepare for routinebut-inconsistent flooding," she says. "We know it's going to happen, but it's unpredictable. Planners don't like that idea. It freaks us out."

In the Netherlands, a series of 39 projects dubbed "Room for the River" is allowing for such uncertainty, creating floodways and channels that direct floods away from vulnerable areas. And while Lister points out that those rivers - indeed much of the Dutch landscape - is heavily engineered and managed, she says, "there are huge lessons for Canadian cities. ... How do you design for something you don't want?" Smaller landscape interventions, in large numbers, can help, by diverting stormwater out of storm sewers and river systems. The main tools include bioswales - small gardens that capture and absorb storm-water - and green roofs. "For stormwater, green roofs are an incredible solution, because you have all this unused roof space," says Liat Margolis, a professor of Landscape Architecture and director of the Green Roof Innovation Testing (GRIT) Laboratory at the University of Toronto.

Indeed there is evidence that green roofs absorb substantial amount of rainwater. And a cistern, or holding tank, can keep it out of storm sewers and the ground; Margolis and GRIT Lab are studying the combination of both systems. The rainwater will be used to irrigate green roofs, and the green roofs absorb some of the pollutants in the water.

"We know that green roofs are very effective in flood reduction," Margolis says. "Can we maximize that and also clean the water along the way?" The City of Toronto's chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, cites the city's pioneering 2010 green roof policy as an important ingredient in reducing the quantity and quality of rainwater. She also cites Raindrop Plaza Park, a new small park designed to address flooding in one specific area of the city by absorbing rainwater.

But the Don River move, she says, reflects a larger lesson. "It is about mitigating the mistakes of the past," Keesmaat says. "It was the unnatural rerouting of the Don that caused this threat.

We have to spend $1-billion now to get it right because there was a planning philosophy that we can control water, and it turns out that we can't."

So if we can't control flooding, should we get out of its way?

This is a perennial debate every time an urban area is hit by flooding: whether building in a flood plain is smart to begin with. More than 1.8 million Canadian households are in flood plains. This spring's Quebec floods led to calls for disaster relief and few changes in planning, just as the major Calgary flood of 2013 has resulted in the rebuilding of many damaged buildings located in the floodplains and no major shift in the city's land use policy. Frank Frigo, senior planning engineer with Calgary's Water Services department, says the city is carefully controlling flood risk for new suburban development.

"The challenge for us is the existing city," he says, particularly the core. "Because of historical accident, our most intense development and infrastructure is at risk." Calgary has carefully studied a full "room for the river" approach, but the costs of abandoning land in flood plains would simply be too high.

Alec Hay, a civil engineer and expert on resilience - the capacity of a community to survive and spring back after a disaster - says that response, of relying on controlling water levels, won't always be adequate.

"The biggest thing people can do is pay attention to where they live," he says. "If you live in an area prone to flooding, don't be surprised if you flood."

Working with residents in Calgary after the 2013 disaster, Hay found "there were people who would say, genuinely, 'It's not going to happen again.' ... And, of course, it will."

Designing a new swath of city to be flood-proof is one thing; fortifying or even abandoning existing waterfront neighbourhoods is, politically, another thing entirely. But if rivers are living things, and we are living alongside them, we should be prepared for them to go wild.

Follow me on Twitter: @alexbozikovic

Associated Graphic

Corktown Common serves as a park and playground for downtown Toronto residents but also becomes a flood plain for when the nearby Don River overflows its banks. It's 'a smarter way to design,' says Nina-Marie Lister, a planner and ecologist at Ryerson University. Meantime, up in the sky, buildings are being outfitted with green roofs to absorb stormwater before it gets into the watershed.


Defamation lawsuit takes new twist
Donald Trump's lawyer gets dragged into particulars of legal war between Toronto businessman and Marvel movie mogul
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A5

A defamation lawsuit involving a wealthy Toronto businessman and the billionaire chairman of Marvel Entertainment has taken a bizarre new twist with allegations of a big-money shakedown that involves Donald Trump's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz.

For years, Harold Peerenboom, founder of the multinational executive search firm Mandrake Management, has been locked in a bitter legal battle with his Palm Beach neighbour, Isaac Perlmutter, the notoriously reclusive head of the superhero media empire.

What started as a fight over management of a tennis court in their exclusive housing complex has devolved into a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over an alleged international smear campaign.

Recent court filings have added more wrinkles to an already complicated case. They call into question Mr. Peerenboom's long-held assertion that Mr. Perlmutter and his wife, Laura, were behind hundreds of pieces of hate mail about him sent to his neighbours, associates and even strangers starting in 2011.

Now, Mr. Perlmutter has accused Mr. Peerenboom of trying to frame him, suggesting in legal submissions that the Toronto businessman cooked up the defamation campaign with one of his former employees, and that his lawyer, Mr. Kasowitz, was in on the "extortion scheme."

Mr. Peerenboom, in his own new filings, maintains that he is a victim and points the finger back at the comic-book billionaire.

Both men are members of Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, and Mr. Perlmutter considers the President a close friend. Mr. Kasowitz is also Mr. Trump's lawyer for the Russia investigation.

The new allegations stem from the discovery of a package sent from Toronto and intercepted at the border. It included letters discrediting Mr. Peerenboom.

Toronto police have charged one of his former employees in relation to the parcel. In legal filings, Mr. Perlmutter says it proves he was never behind the smear job - and that the Toronto businessman and his legal team knew it all along.

Miami lawyer Roy Black, who represents Mr. Perlmutter, outlined the latest development in court documents filed on May 30, saying U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents had intercepted a "hate-mail kit" that was being sent via UPS from Toronto to Florida in January, 2016.

The package consisted of sealed envelopes with preprinted addresses, latex gloves and four hate letters including one that falsely accused Mr. Pereenboom of being a child molester.

Officials sent a decoy box to a Flordia UPS facility, but no one picked it up.

But according to the Black filing, U.S. Homeland Security and Canadian authorities discovered it was mailed by former Mandrake employee David Smith, using an alias.

"David Smith is a former employee of Peerenboom's company, Mandrake, where he worked for 14 years, eventually rising to the rank of partner, and served as a director of a Mandrake affiliate," the court filing states. "David Smith's efforts were so clumsy they could only possibly fool someone - like Peerenboom - who either wanted to be fooled or was in on the act."

Mr. Smith was arrested and charged in Toronto on June 22 with forgery and criminal harassment and released on bail. As part of the bail conditions, he is not allowed to contact Mr. Peerenboom or Mr. Perlmutter.

Mr. Smith's lawyer, Frank Addario, had no comment when contacted by The Globe and Mail on Thursday.

Mr. Black claims in the court documents that Mr. Kasowitz may have known that "David Smith was responsible for the hate-mail campaign from the start" and kept the information secret.

"After throwing their lot in with Peerenboom and his criminal plot, Kasowitz has been forced to spin a web of lies, distortions, and misrepresentations to advance the extortion scheme and to conceal its fraudulent and illegal components," Mr. Black said in his filing.

Mr. Kasowitz and New York City colleague Michael Bowen filed a response calling the allegations "wholly irresponsible, and baseless." They described Mr. Smith as a disgruntled former employee who was fired in 2011 after being caught "misappropriating Mandrake proprietary information and other misconduct at the firm."

Their filing suggested Mr. Smith might be linked to Mr. Perlmutter.

"What is still unknown is what connection the Perlmutters themselves had with David Smith ... or even the source of the tip that led to that border inspection," they said.

The Kasowitz legal team says Mr. Smith's alleged role in the hate-mail campaign was leaked to the Hollywood Reporter "to distract attention" from the court-ordered release of e-mails that show Mr. Perlmutter and an assistant had sent negative newspaper articles about their client to residents of the gated condominium complex in June, 2011.

Mr. Perlmutter has always denied he was involved in attempts to smear Mr. Peerenboom.

"For years, they lied about their involvement in the anonymous hate mail, tried to hide documents and inculpating emails and tried to cover it up through false legal filings, coercing and intimidating witnesses and suborning perjury," the Kasowitz-Bowen filing said.

Mr. Peerenboom's lawyers dismissed as "lunacy" and "moronic" the suggestion that the Canadian tycoon would subject himself to the "most vile slander - including claims of child molestation and murder" and incur massive legal bills "simply to try to shake down the Perlmutters."

They assert in the court document that Mr. Black made the allegations of a criminal extortion scheme in an attempt to prevent Laura Perlmutter from having to testify in the hatemail case. She is scheduled to give evidence in early August.

DNA evidence collected from one of the earlier hate letters allegedly matches DNA on a water bottle that Ms. Perlmutter left in court in a separate case on Feb. 27, 2013.

The Kasowitz filing also calls for sanctions against Mr. Black's firm for impugning the integrity of Mr. Kasowitz, who "is at the pinnacle of his career ... which now includes having been selected to serve as personal counsel to the U.S. President in a matter of international import."

In a response on June 21, Mr. Black said the newspaper clippings that his client disseminated were not defamatory, and insisted the Marvel executive had nothing do with the hate letters that accuse Mr. Pereenboom of being a Nazi, child predator and murderer.

He did not retract the allegations of a criminal conspiracy.

At the centre of the legal soap opera is Karen Donnelly, the tennis instructor at the ritzy Palm Beach complex where the two men reside.

It is alleged that the 74-year old Mr. Perlmutter, an avid tennis player, was infuriated when Mr. Peerenboom wanted to hold a competitive bid for the position in 2011.

Soon after, the hate letter campaign began. The first letters were Canadian newspaper articles about Mr. Peerenboom's past legal entanglements in Canada and escalated in December, 2012, to accusations that he was a murderer and pedophile.

Both sides in the continuing legal saga have hired private detectives and public-relations experts.

Mr. Perenboom's lawyers have even launched a separate court case in New York City. Mr. Kasowitz subpoenaed further e-mail records from Marvel Entertainment in an attempt to prove that Mr. Perlmutter - one of the largest shareholders in Disney - started the hate campaign to force his client out of the swanky Palm Beach complex.

A New York judge is now examining 600 Marvel e-mails to determine whether they should be released to Mr. Kasowitz.

Associated Graphic

U.S. President Donald Trump hands his pen to Isaac Perlmutter after signing an executive order on whistle-blower protection in April.


A multicultural makeup drives Canada's tennis power
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S4

LONDON -- Canada's drive to become a tennis powerhouse is getting plenty of help from places such as Russia, Poland, Romania and even Togo.

From Milos Raonic to Daniel Nestor and Eugenie Bouchard, Canada has produced some topnotch players in recent years. And with teenagers including Denis Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu and Félix Auger-Aliassime coming up the ranks, the future of Canadian tennis looks bright.

Just about all of those players, and many more, share something in common beyond athletic ability: They were either born outside Canada or have a parent who recently immigrated. It's a remarkable phenomenon that speaks to Canada's multicultural makeup and the expanding global reach of tennis. And it's not showing any signs of changing.

Just consider this year's Wimbledon tournament. Of the 13 Canadians competing, all but one - Bouchard - have a direct parental connection to another country.

Those countries are as varied as Montenegro, Israel, Serbia, Russia, Kenya, Cameroon, Poland, Czech Republic, the United States and Spain. And that doesn't include 16-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who wasn't at Wimbledon and learned the game from his father, who's from Togo.

"Tennis is, for sure, very international and many of the European, Asian and South American countries have a great culture of tennis," said Hatem McDadi, senior vice-president of tennis development at Tennis Canada. "There's an affinity, a love for tennis, from many new Canadians."

Indeed, studies show that when it comes to sports, new Canadians tend to gravitate to activities they knew best in their homelands. A 2014 study by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship found that, among new immigrants surveyed, tennis was the third most popular sport behind soccer and badminton, and far ahead of North American sports such as hockey, football and baseball. Tennis is the kind of sport "that many new citizens are already familiar with and played before coming to Canada," the report said.

"There aren't that many solo Canadian tennis players with British descent," said Gabriela Dabrowski, a 25-year old doubles specialist from Ottawa who made it to the fourth round in mixed doubles at Wimbledon and won the event at the French Open this year. Her first coach was her father, Yurek, a sports enthusiast who left Poland in the 1980s after the government declared martial law.

"I think for Eastern Europeans, there's that hunger that we have in our blood because our parents want the best life possible for their kids, the life they were not able to have. At times, the parents live a little bit vicariously through their kids, which can be good or bad if it's not properly managed," she added.

Others with Eastern European roots include Raonic, who was born in Montenegro; and Shapovalov, who was born in Israel to Russian parents and received early coaching from his mother, Tessa, a former top player in the Soviet Union. There's also Vasek Pospisil, whose parents fled Czechoslovakia in 1988; Frank Dancevic, whose father is from Serbia; Nestor, who was born in Serbia; and Peter Polansky, who has Czech connections.

"I actually started playing tennis in Romania," said 17-year old Andreescu, a rising star from Toronto, who lost in the first round at Wimbledon this year, but has the second-highest world ranking of any female player her age. "And then we decided to move back to Canada for me to have a better opportunity at what I wanted to do."

The wave of immigration also coincided with the development of Tennis Canada's high-performance training centre in Montreal, which opened 10 years ago, along with the recruitment of French coach Louis Borfiga, who has groomed some of Canada's best young prospects. The elite program provides full-time coaching, covers the cost of travel and offers educational tutoring for about a dozen athletes. There are also regional centres in Toronto, Vancouver and one coming soon to Calgary.

For players such as Françoise Abanda, whose parents immigrated to Montreal from Cameroon, the national program has been a lifesaver. Her mother, who is now a single parent, would never have been able to afford the demands of an international tennis player such as Abanda and her sister, Élisabeth, who also plays.

"It really gave me that opportunity to expand myself and evolve and kind of travel the world," said Françoise Abanda, 20, who made it to the second round of Wimbledon. "It also takes away that pressure from you. You don't feel like, 'Oh my God, my family is wasting so much money I have to win.' " Abanda's African roots are also no longer as unusual in tennis as they would have been only a few years ago. The game has expanded far beyond its traditional base in North America and Europe, and there are now players coming from countries as diverse as Fiji, Belarus and China. The International Tennis Federation, the sport's governing body, runs 448 tournaments for junior players in 125 countries. That compares with nine events in six countries in 1977. The fastest growth is coming from Asia. Players from places such as China, Japan and India account for around a quarter of all junior boys and girls competing in ITF events.

At Wimbledon, Dabrowski's mixed-doubles partner was from India and she played women's doubles with a player from China.

Carson Branstine, who moved to Canada from California last year, played junior doubles with a girl from Ukraine and Canadian Adil Shamasdin, the child of Kenyan immigrants, paired up in men's doubles with a player from India.

"If you look at the past [ITF junior] rankings, even just from two, three or four years ago, there weren't as many international kids, it was just all the major countries were kind of at the top," said Branstine, 16, who is among the top six junior girls in the world. "Now, you're seeing these players from kind of random places coming up through the rankings and it's cool. I really like it. I have friends from all these different places," she added, citing Burundi and Malta.

Dabrowski credits her father for helping her get to the top echelon of Canadian tennis, and it wasn't easy. She hasn't gone through the Tennis Canada program and her father has been the driving force in her career, serving as her first coach and quitting his job to accompany her on trips to tournaments. Dabrowski estimates that it costs more than $50,000 a year for her to compete at events around the world. She has no corporate sponsors, meaning she relies on prize money for most of her income. Her parents took out a mortgage on their home to get her started and she's decided to focus on doubles partly because it pays the bills.

"My parents and I, we've had to make a lot of sacrifices over the years," she said. As for her father's commitment and enthusiasm, she said: "Sport is just so huge in Europe that it kind of carries over a little bit."

Associated Graphic

Denis Shapovalov returns a ball at the Aviva Centre in July, 2016. Shapovalov, born in Israel to Russian parents, is one of many young Canadian tennis players who embody the multicultural nature of both Canada and the sport of tennis itself.


Wacky British bevvies
Toffee-flavoured gin, English champagne and beer brewed by a couple named Elvis
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L6

Even in the wacky world of craft-beer naming, "Elvis Juice" seems bound to stand out.

What's wackier still is how the Scottish ale's two creators responded after receiving a trademark-infringement notice last year from lawyers working for Elvis Presley's estate. James Watt and Martin Dickie, cofounders of celebrated BrewDog brewery in Ellon, near Aberdeen, legally changed their first names to match that of the King of Rock and Roll.

"We shall be marking this particular message 'Return to Sender,' and put it in the mail along with our official deed-poll forms," the pair posted on their company website along with photos of their deed polls (or legal change-of-name applications).

Even as the newly minted Elvis Watt and Elvis Dickie await response from Elvis Presley Enterprises, they continue to push ahead with export efforts for the brew. Already a hit in the United States, the citrus-infused American-style India Pale Ale just landed in Ontario LCBO stores as a limited-time release.

At $3.25 per 330-millilitre bottle, Elvis Juice is bound to leave any building quickly. "We did a couple of small batches of it last year to some specialty bars in Toronto and it flew," said Jared Wells, Ontario Draft Manager with Premier Brands. I suspect it's not entirely because of the name. It's a fine beer, with a silky texture and uncanny blast of fresh grapefruit flavour owing not only to hops but also to the addition of fresh peel.

Measuring 6.5-per-cent alcohol and a moderate IPA bitterness level of 40 IBUs, it certainly goes down easier than a few of BrewDog's other offerings.

Founded in 2007, the cult brewery has soared in popularity thanks to a self-described punk ethos, provocative product names and its sensational embrace of outrageously high alcohol. Besides the flagship Punk IPA, its portfolio has included Tactical Nuclear Penguin, an imperial stout measuring 32-per-cent alcohol by volume, and The End of History, a 55-per-cent blond Belgian ale described as the world's strongest beer.

Elvis Juice was one of several dozen intriguing British beverages featured recently at a Toronto trade tasting organized by the UK Department for International Trade, which has been nudging Canadian liquor monopolies to expand selections from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Herewith a few other highlights.


The Scottish company best-known for oak-mellowed beer has been giving the wood a wee rest. It started with an oak-less lager sold in - egad! - cans. This is the second barrel-free foray, an Americanstyle India Pale ale. As one would expect, it's got considerable bitterness (measuring 60 IBUs) as well as plenty of citrusy hop flavour, but the brew displays a malty backbone that betrays its British genetics. Smartly balanced, unfiltered and bottled at a moderate 5.6-per-cent, it will be followed later in the summer by a 4.6-per-cent counterpart, Innis & Gunn's entry into the increasingly popular light-IPA category.

Available at $14.50/6-pack in Ontario and at varying prices in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.


One of the top-selling bottled-beer brands in the United Kingdom, Badger is produced by Hall and Woodhouse, a family-owned company in Dorset founded in 1777. This coppery-gold, 4.4-percent brew is named after the "fursty," or thirsty, ferrets that reputedly would sneak sips from barrels at the back door of a local inn. In keeping with the British pale-ale style, it's malty, to be sure, yet decidedly dry, with a creamy texture and nutty overtone.

Available in 500-millilitre bottles at $3.95 at The Beer Store in Ontario, various prices in Alberta and at $4.95 in New Brunswick.


I have not exactly been one to applaud or encourage the rise of sweet vodka, but for readers whose eyes may have just lit up at the sight of the word toffee, let me say this: Thunder is a well-executed beverage. The original formulation was concocted by a ski-resort bartender in Val d'Isère who had been serving up martinis flavoured with a house-made toffee. A few deep-pocketed patrons were impressed enough to put money where their mouths were. Wisely, they stuck to a pretty clean formulation for the commercial version, basing it on triple-distilled British wheat and natural Caribbean cane sugar and butter, with no extraneous chemicals. It's bottled at 29.9-per-cent alcohol.

As the product's Canadian importing agent, Laura Dijana Higgins of Amethyst Wine Agency, accurately described to me, it tastes like Mackintosh's Toffee in adult-beverage form. The sweetness is relatively restrained, too, at just 56 grams/litre of residual sugar, or about one-third that of Martini & Rossi red vermouth.

Why "Thunder"? "They were sitting around the resort in the summer while discussing a possible name and there was a 16-foot-long window beside them when a storm rolled through," Higgins said. "Lightening hit the window, cracked it from top to bottom, and one of the investors was Norwegian. He stood up and said "Thor!" And they finally came up with 'Thunder'."

Released in Ontario three weeks ago, it comes only in a mickeyshaped, 375-millilitre bottle, pasted with a bare-bones label. "The LCBO refused to buy the large format for a new brand," Higgins said. "This is the only bottling in the world in a 375-millilitre bottle. ... that's why it pretty much looks like it was printed off their home computer."

Serve it ice-cold if you plan to drink it on its own. Priced at $23.95.


Created a few years ago, Bloom is a premium offshoot of Greenall's, the self-proclaimed "original" London dry gin, born in 1761. They're both made by G&J Distillers in Warrington, between Manchester and Liverpool in the northwest, under Joanne Moore, who is just the seventh master distiller in company history.

Where Greenall's displays the classic forward-juniper profile of the London dry style, with support from citrus and coriander (and which is a smart buy at less than $30), luxury-priced Bloom tones down the shaving-cream essence of juniper with the addition of floral-fruity honeysuckle, chamomile and pomelo.

It's elegant, aromatic and warm, and while it's fitting for a gin and tonic, I'd prefer to let it bloom in a dry martini. Available for $43.85 in Ontario, various prices in Alberta.


It seems as though every wine critic in the English-speaking world has proclaimed British bubbly as The Next Big Thing.

Quick lowdown: Parts of southern England share the same prehistoric soil composition as Champagne in northern France, and global warming has been (with apologies to Al Gore) a good thing for grape growers in marginal northern climates.

This white blend based on the Champagne grapes pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier impresses with its bone-dry profile and notes of white table grape, grapefruit and yeasty bread. It received a gold medal from England-based Decanter magazine. Though not available in Canada yet, it's expected to sell for about $45 in Ontario when it becomes available in October through the limited-inventory Classics catalogue.

How have foreign buyers affected the housing market?
Expert opinion varies, but the provincial levy on international investment appears to be having an effect on sales patterns
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page M2

After months of intense speculation about the role of foreign buyers in the Toronto area's overheated real estate market, this week marked an important milestone: the first detailed release of actual data.

But economists and industry watchers who analyzed the Ontario government's numbers came to very different conclusions.

For some, the revelation that international investors accounted for 9.1 per cent of home sales in a recent month in York Region and 7.2 per cent in the city of Toronto was evidence those buyers were not the driving force behind the area's recent unsustainable price gains.

For others, it was just the opposite: Such levels of foreign investment were clear signs of enough extra demand in an already robust market to send prices skyrocketing while pushing out many local buyers.

There is no widely accepted threshold at which experts agree that foreign home buyers start to drive up prices. While it is clear that overseas investors have had some impact on Toronto's housing market, just how much remains the subject of great debate.

John Pasalis, a Toronto realtor who analyzes industry statistics and has been waiting for the first concrete data, argues that even though they comprised less than 10 per cent of buyers, according to the government's official figures, an influx of several thousand foreign investors sparked the frenzied conditions that led to pitched demand, massive price gains and tight inventory.

"When you're in a market that is already competitive like Toronto ... then it is a tipping point," he said.

Mr. Pasalis believes a deeper analysis of property sales by community - the province has only released statistics at the regional level - would find even higher rates of foreign investment in areas popular with overseas buyers, such as Markham and Richmond Hill.

Contrast that with John Andrew, a professor of real estate at Queen's University in Kingston.

He characterizes the rate of international investment in York Region - the highest in the broader area, with one in 11 homes purchased by foreign buyers - as a "very low number.

"It's hard to imagine that's going to have a tremendous impact," he said.

U.S. researchers have examined a similar issue: the influence of out-of-town second-home buyers on housing markets in several U.S. cities in the 2000s. In a paper published in The Review of Financial Studies in 2015, they found that every percentage-point increase in the fraction of sales to non-locals in a given month was linked to a 1.9-percentage-point increase in price appreciation over the following year.

Part of the challenge in determining the role of foreign investment in the Toronto region has been a lack of data collection and dissemination. The Ontario government only began tracking sales to international buyers in late April, after unveiling a package of measures - including a 15per-cent foreign buyers' tax - intended to cool the market and calm a public outcry. By contrast, the B.C. government brought in a foreign buyers' tax last summer after first gathering data on home buyers' nationalities (initial results found foreigners bought one in every 10 homes in Metro Vancouver and almost one in five in the suburbs). The province continues to release detailed statistics every two months.

After repeatedly insisting it would not follow in B.C.'s footsteps, the Ontario government abruptly changed course on April 20 with the imposition of a levy on buyers of residential property in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Before the tax was announced, the average price of a detached house in the Greater Toronto Area was up 33 per cent, to $1.21-million, in March compared with a year earlier. However, after the government's move, average home prices tumbled 13.8 per cent in June from April's high and the number of homes sold fell 37.3 per cent from a year earlier, according to data from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

York Region has been the hardest hit. The volume of sales in the affluent area plunged almost 60 per cent and the average price was almost $200,000 lower in June compared with the March peak. At the same time, active listings were also up by 2,600 last month compared with March.

Some industry experts argue the government's foreign home buyers' data understate the true picture. While the figures are from sales that closed between April 24 and May 26, buyers were not required to disclose their citizenship until May 6. (Most contracts were signed before the announcement of the tax, given the conventional 60-day closing period.) Given this delay, overseas buyers may have been responsible for about 14 per cent of sales in York Region and 11 per cent in Toronto, assuming sales were constant throughout the period and that purchasers did not voluntarily report their citizenship before May 6, some analysts say.

Mr. Pasalis estimates that foreign citizens bought some 10,000 homes in the GTA in the span of one year before the tax was announced, assuming a rate of about 9 per cent in the region.

Josh Gordon, a professor at British Columbia's Simon Fraser University who researches Toronto's housing market, notes that tracking home buyers by citizenship doesn't capture all the foreign capital that flows into the region's real estate sector, decoupling prices from the local labour market, because some purchasers with offshore money are citizens or permanent residents.

"If there is a sudden surge of money and supply takes time to build, then that can have a major impact on the market. That will lead to the tight inventory conditions that set off such craziness in Toronto," he said.

However, industry observers agree that international buyers were not the only source of soaring demand and prices in the Toronto region. Domestic investors and speculators played a key role - perhaps even a larger one than foreign buyers, some analysts say - especially given recent price gains and low interest rates.

The number of people owning more than one residential property in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area almost doubled between 2010 and last year, according to provincial data.

In addition, as a region that attracts significant numbers of newcomers, high immigration and migration levels contribute to higher demand for real estate.

As well, many realtors say the Toronto area's recent soaring prices, bidding wars and low inventory prompted panic buying among local residents who were fearful they would miss out as prices continued to rise.

Prof. Gordon noted that many foreign investors favour higherend houses, which creates a spillover effect. When non-citizens buy expensive houses in desirable neighbourhoods, thereby pushing up prices in bidding wars, locals who would otherwise purchase those homes are driven to secondary areas, which affects everyone else down the line, he argues. In addition, sellers who reap the benefits of higher prices often downsize to smaller homes and sometimes lend money for down payments to family members, which helps spur additional demand that is not captured in foreign buyers' data.

"You have this money that arrives in the high-end areas that ripples out," he said.

Associated Graphic

A Toronto open house attracts potential buyers Friday. Average GTA home prices dropped 13.8 per cent in June from April.


Cochrane's growth exceeding expectations
Its population has risen by nearly 50 per cent in the past six years, and that activity shows no signs of waning
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S4

While Calgary's population suffered negative net migration in 2016, 18 kilometres west, the town of Cochrane's population grew by 4.5 per cent to reach 26,000 residents.

It's a familiar trend: Four of the five fastest growing municipalities in Canada are located in Alberta - and Cochrane is at the top of that list, outgrowing its neighbouring cities of Airdrie and Chestermere. Since 2011, Cochrane's population has risen by nearly 50 per cent and its growth spurt is showing no signs of waning.

"We've had a growth strategy in place since 2013 which is aiming for a population of 66,000 by the year 2062," says Drew Hyndman, senior manager of development services for Cochrane.

"Current trends are exceeding our initial forecast," he says. "We anticipated a 2- to 3-per-cent population rise for 2016 and we exceeded that. We're expecting 2017 will be higher again and we're preparing for that growth to continue."

Since 2010, more than 4,600 new dwelling units have been added to Cochrane's inventory, yet the town's resale numbers have remained strong. Calgary Real Estate Board's most recent monthly regional sales report for Cochrane states: "So far this year sales growth outpaced the growth in new listings. Year-to-date residential sales totalled 262 units at the end of May. This is 11.5 per cent above the same period for 2016."

Preparing to meet the housing demands of the town's growing population, a number of large developments are aiming to break ground in the next 18 months.

"Developments currently in planning stages include Precedence, which is the final stage of the Riversong community, Greystone and Southbow Landing," Mr. Hyndman says.

Collectively, these developments alone could accommodate another 50-per-cent population growth; Southbow Landing could house up to 9,000 residents upon completion.

"Existing communities of Fireside, the Willows, Sunset Ridge and Heartland will also accommodate further growth when they reach full build out," Mr. Hyndman adds.

Mayor Ivan Brooker says Cochrane's growth plan is more than just a framework with which to manage the town's housing needs - it's a strategy to shift the dynamics of Cochrane from a commuter town to a place where people choose to live and work.

"We used to be a very bedroomoriented community," Mr. Brooker says. "About 70 per cent of the population worked in Calgary, but that's reduced to about 50 per cent now and Cochrane is better for it. The town has become far more self-sustaining and we've been working hard on that for years. We recognized that we needed economic independence and diversity."

Achieving diversity, Mr. Brooker says, means Cochrane is "somewhat immune to the boom and bust cycles" of neighbouring Calgary, which he says accounts for the town's continued growth.

"We've been trying to create a culture where Cochrane can thrive as a high-tech business community. Garmin is currently building a brand new facility here that will double their work force," he says. "4iiii Innovations is another great example. They have European cycling teams purchasing their technologies, power meters and such, and are a great local success story."

Mr. Brooker says Cochrane is keen to attract more tech businesses to take up residence in the town and they're ensuring future developments are planned with this in mind.

It's a task that Mr. Hyndman says is "a bigger challenge right now because the office vacancy rate downtown in Calgary is so high. To get those businesses who can get prime office space in downtown Calgary for a steal to relocate is tough."

Mr. Brooker believes Cochrane has what it takes.

"Those kind of technology businesses want a certain quality of life for their employees. They look for great locations close to nature and the outdoors and places with exceptional athletic facilities and a variety of quality housing options," he explains.

"Cochrane already has many of those things and we're doing a lot to bolster them with additional facilities. We're about to open a new recreation centre for example, which will have a curling rink and a huge aquatics centre. We're integrating commercial centres into developments to ensure businesses have space to grow and infrastructure to establish themselves here."

The largest of Cochrane's future planned developments, Southbow Landing, aims to break ground next year with a build-out period of 15 years. The 545-acre site will feature a large employment centre as well as schools, retail and a village core.

"Philco Farms has owned this site for more than 40 years," says James Scott, vice-president of planning for PBA Land and Development, which is managing the project. "The town annexed the land for planned growth back in 2004. In 2007, Cochrane started to undergo a phenomenal rate of growth and the market was showing signs of really taking off.

That's when we started the early planning process and began detailed planning in 2013; the neighbourhood plan was approved in 2015."

"The idea is that it will be a complete community," he continues. "There's a push right now towards growing businesses in Cochrane and attracting them from out of town and we're trying to do both with our project."

Greystone is also a mixed-use development. It too includes a business park, while shops, offices, restaurants and a hotel are envisioned for the core. It also aims to break ground in 2018.

Aside from consistent demand and immunity to the boom and bust cycles of Calgary, the task of building communities is cheaper and easier in Cochrane, Greystone's developer says.

"It costs less to get more in Cochrane," explains David Allen, president of Situated, Greystone's project adviser. "It can be up to $100,000 less for an equivalent home versus Calgary. It's also a smaller town, so there is not as much bureaucracy as a larger city," he continues. "Generally, the development rules and process are similar to that of Calgary, but there is a common-sense approach and closer engagement with decision makers and the community, which is rewarding and, we think, results in better outcomes."

Mr. Scott agrees that "developing within a smaller framework is certainly easier," but says he thinks the economies enjoyed by developers in Cochrane could be waning.

"Cochrane's growth has in the past been more economical and I would argue it still is, but I believe there will be some tempering of that ahead," he says. "With increased growth, especially at this rate, comes a need to deal with the complexities that come with it - a key one being infrastructure. ... "There is a catch-up which has to happen, but Cochrane has been very pro-active in dealing with that," he continues. "There are big moves ahead in infrastructure, like the new bridge crossing over the Bow River, and with those come more cost to developers through off-site levies.

It's still relatively less expensive, certainly, but I would foresee that gap beginning to close as more infrastructure is needed in Cochrane.

"That's not necessarily a bad thing," he adds, "it's good that Cochrane recognizes the need to manage growth appropriately."

Associated Graphic

Even as new dwelling units have been added to its inventory, Cochrane's resale numbers have remained strong.


The need for speed
An annual event in Britain is a great tribute to the country's motorsports heritage
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page D1

SUSSEX, ENGLAND -- High clouds in the sky and thunder on the ground - for the 25th year in a row, the Goodwood Festival of Speed pits some of the fastest wheeled machines created by human hands against a narrow, 1.86kilometre ribbon of tarmac. Four hundred and fifty vehicles, 4,500 hay bales, 100,000 spectators a day. It is perhaps the greatest tribute to Britain's heritage of motorsport.

Founded in 1993 by aristocrat Lord March - Charles GordonLennox, Earl of March and Kinrara - the Festival of Speed initially celebrated the history of the Goodwood Circuit. A place that launched a dozen legends and famously claimed the life of Bruce McLaren in a tragic testing accident, the circuit is steeped in racing lore.

Unable to obtain a permit to stage a race on the circuit itself, Lord March simply constructed a hill climb on the grounds of his nearby estate and started inviting the world to show up. An immediate success, the festival now spans from a Thursday to a Sunday, and attracts both immense crowds and some of the finest marques in the world to race against the clock, one at a time, up the twisting track.

To pick just one example at random, as I sit among onlookers in the stands, a howling V-12 echoes among the oak trees, hammering down toward the first corner. It's a Ferrari, perhaps the Ferrari: a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, considered the most valuable car in the world. Part of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason's collection, the GTO is in this case helmed by three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who is driving it not like a museum piece, but like the thoroughbred racing machine it is.

As if that could be topped, not long afterward another Scottish great arrives driving one of Maranello's finest. In this case, it's Jackie Stewart, his plaidringed helmet visible behind the wheel of a Ferrari 330 P3/4, such as the one that he campaigned at Brands Hatch in Kent, England. Billionaire Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, father of rookie Formula One driver ..

Lance Stroll, owns both the stunning P3/4 and the brutally fast Ferrari 512M that follows it.

However, if you were worried that the festival was some stuffy aristocratic affair for the toffs, be not afraid. A few rounds after the Ferraris blitz the hill, the Americana class lets loose a couple of bulls in a china shop, with the 1,500-horsepower Porsche 917/30 Can-Am car screaming past the stands, followed soon by New Zealander (Mad) Mike Whiddett's rotarypowered Mazda stadium truck.

Mad Mike whips his truck over on its soft suspension, sliding into the verge and firing a shower of shredded soil and grass all over the nattily-attired audience. Everyone roars their approval.

As a squadron of supercars makes ready for their timed runs, I wander up into the paddock to get a closer look. On the way up is a Concours d'Elégance crammed with 1960s Ferraris and prewar Rolls-Royce Ghosts. A young couple peers into the window of a McLaren F1, while a crowd gathers around the spidery carbon fibre of a Pagani Zonda.

Aside from the multiple layers of hay bales, there's not much here to separate the spectator from the spectacle. Stern, whitesuited marshals force the milling crowd to part as a stricken 1930s racer is towed in for mechanical work. As soon as they pass, the people flow back in. A few stalls have ropes up, but for the most part, onlookers are free to rove between the classic Ferraris, modern endurance racers, and F1 and Indy racers.

More stewards hold the line at crossing points up and down the line. Waiting over by the infamous flint wall with a small knot of attendees, we all crane our necks in anticipation as the crescendo builds - something wicked this way comes. With the shriek of tortured rubber and a hammering V-8, one of the modern drift cars locks it up, then flicks its tail to the right as it slides past the unforgiving, rocky surface.

I climb higher, hiking up through the billowing clouds of dust stirred up by the knobby tires of purpose-build all-terrain machines tearing up the off-road course. The ice cream stands are doing a brisk business, as are the mobile bars, most carry some of Goodwood's own craft-brewed organic ales.

Entering the forest, a stillness descends. Apart from tramping feet, there's little sound and turning a corner reveals the reason. A red Ford Escort is sitting between the trees on its roof, with a pair of Land Rover Defenders working at dragging it off the course.

At the top, the rally cars are massed, waiting for their turn.

Though their event is held on a separate course, the machines here are no less impressive than the hill climbers. Chief among them are the insane Group B cars: a Lancia Delta S4, an Audi Quattro S1 E2, a couple of Ford RS200 Evos and a trio of MG Metro 6R4s.

With the wreckage cleared and the Killer Bs back spitting gravel, I head back down toward the midpoint of the forest-stage rally, which lines up with the finishing line of the hill climb, on the opposite side of the path. If you stand between them, you can hear the turbocharged stutter-step of the rally cars and the scream of unseen beasts approaching the finish at terrible speeds.

Back at the bottom of the hill, I'm just in time to see the gargantuan Beast of Turin hunch into view. Built in 1911, the huge, red Fiat S76 speed record car has a four-cylinder engine that makes nearly 290 hp and displaces an incredible 28.5 litres. It blats angrily, its driver and ride-along mechanic perched heroically - or nervously - at the back.

Following up is a tribute to John Surtees, the only racing driver to win the world championship on both two wheels and four. Il grande John, as he was known, was a regular at Goodwood behind the steering wheel of a racing car of the grips of a motorcycle. He exemplified the heroism of the truly great British drivers.

In the skies above these fields, brave pilots once fought the Battle of Britain. Their machines were as fierce as they were beautiful, engineered by other men with deep mechanical genius. When war was done, those same men went racing.

The Festival of Speed still echoes with that long-ago glory - even when the machines hurtling up to the top are relatively noiseless, utterly ruthless electric vehicles. Two wheels and four. The glorious past and the startlingly fast future. Classic grace, or gnarly sideways mudslinging. It doesn't signify: The only thing that matters here is the speed.

Associated Graphic

The Goodwood Festival of Speed pits some of the fastest wheeled machines and a classic jalopy or two against a narrow, 1.86-kilometre ribbon of tarmac.


Red Bull's Dakar desert endurance-racing truck, top, slewed up this year's 1.86-kilometre course like an elephant on meth. While most cars are timed on their runs up the hill, particular bragging rights are awarded when the supercars show up.


Six SUVs to watch
If you want the latest and greatest, take note of new models coming from Volvo, Ford, Hyundai and more
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Print Edition, Page D2

If only buying a car was as simple as buying an iPhone. If you want the latest and greatest, Apple releases a new one every September, so you know that's the time to buy.

Car companies, on the other hand, release new models seemingly at random throughout the year. This makes it difficult to jump in at just the right time to ensure your new car stays feeling fresh for as long as possible. A new car is a big purchase, and most people don't swap them out every year like cellphones, so buying at the right time is important. That new-car feeling can be quickly dashed if, soon after you bring your ride home, it's been superseded by an updated model with new bells and whistles. Alternatively, if you're looking for a deal, it's helpful to know when the new models are coming because dealers may want to shed existing stock.

In Canada, compact SUV sales are up 15 per cent as of March compared with the same time last year, according to data from Good Car Bad Car. With the market booming, auto makers are launching new 'utes at an unprecedented pace. It can be a bit of blur, with all these new models blending into an alphanumeric jumble. Let's cut through that fog: If you're in the market for a new SUV, and you want the latest and greatest, take note of these six upcoming SUVs.


What is it?

An all-new compact SUV from Volvo, the born-again Swedish brand that is - in the words of Zoolander's Mugatu - so hot right now.

Why is it worth waiting for?

Volvo is the brand to watch for the foreseeable future, as it rebuilds its lineup from scratch with money from Chinese auto giant Geely. Volvo's flagship models - the 90 Series - have been raking in accolades worldwide. But those vehicles are expensive. We're curious to see if Volvo can successfully bring the same level of design and quality downmarket. The XC60, the first new compact vehicle from reborn Volvo, has the same ingenious four-cylinder engine as its bigger siblings. The motor comes in three increasingly complex and powerful versions: turbocharged; supercharged and turbocharged; and supercharged and turbocharged, with plug-in hybrid. Prices for the XC60 will start at $45,900.

Arrives: Late August


What is it?

Alfa Romeo's first SUV. Sacrilege, maybe, but Alfa's small lineup needs an SUV if it is to survive in North America.

Why is it worth waiting for?

If you're in the market for an SUV with some Italian bravura, there aren't many options. Lamborghini made the LM002 a while back. Maserati has the Levante, but it's a black sheep.

The Stelvio will be significantly more affordable than both, starting around $53,000. It's handsome in a lumpy sort of way, and will be available in Quadrifoglio high-performance trim, meaning it'll have a 500-horsepower, Ferrari-derived V-6 under the hood.

The Quadrifoglio grabs the headlines, but will the basic four-cylinder model - the version most people will buy - provide enough Italian flair to justify its price over the proven, reliable German competition? We'll find out soon.

Arrives: Summer


What is it?

An affordable SUV from Ford, coming to Canada to take a slice of the booming mini-SUV market.

Why is it worth waiting for?

The EcoSport is based on the Fiesta, so if you can do without the junior-SUV styling, just get that hatchback. It's cheaper and you won't have to wait until fall.

If you need a cute 'ute, there are many to choose from, including the Mazda CX-3, Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and the upcoming Hyundai Kona.

Ford is late to the party, so expect it to offer more than just a blue oval on the hood to tempt buyers. The EcoSport puts tech first in the form of the SYNC infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software.

Blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and navigation will be available, too. Pricing should start at around $20,000 for a basic model with front-wheel drive and a 1.0-litre turbocharged engine. All-wheel drive and a 2.0litre motor will be available as an upgrade.

Arrives: Late fall


What is it?

All-new for 2018, the formerly petite Tiguan can now be found in the big-and-tall aisle.

Why is it worth waiting for?

The Tiguan has put on a few pounds, but wears them well.

The added bulk means it has seating for "5+2," which in car math means it has room for five adults plus two gymnasts or children. Its increased space and cargo room make the Tiguan a more tempting proposition than the outgoing model. The Tiguan slots into Volkswagen's lineup below the new Atlas SUV. The latter has seven seats, too, but it's one size larger and more expensive, starting at around $36,000. Canadian pricing for the 2018 Tiguan has yet to be announced. We expect it will cost slightly more than the outgoing model at $26,000, but you'll be getting more SUV for your money.

Arrives: Late August


What is it?

A more affordable SUV from Jaguar, which hopes to capitalize on the unprecedented success of the F-Pace.

Why is it worth waiting for?

If it's as good as Jaguar's first SUV, the F-Pace, this second one will be a force to be reckoned with. And yes, it seems Jaguar will be sticking with this goofy Pace naming scheme for all its SUVs. The E-Pace will start at $42,700, which is $7,500 less than the bigger F-Pace. We only have one photo of the E-Pace to go on, but it looks like a squished version of its bigger sibling. The steeply raked rear end is meant to give it some sporty chutzpah.

Whether the performance lives up to it yet, we don't know.

Jaguar hasn't said anything about engines, other than that the E-Pace will be gasoline-only, no diesel or hybrid engines. The allelectric I-Pace is slated to launch in the second half of 2018.

Arrives: Early 2018


What is it?

Hyundai's newest, cheapest 'ute and the latest entrant into the crowded sub-compact SUV arena.

Why is it worth waiting for?

As with the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai is late to the party here. The Kona's rivals are many. It's Hyundai's first foray into this particular niche. The Kona brings an interesting design to the table - it's something between the Toyota C-HR and Audi's Q2. The styling is the work of Luc Donckerwolke, who left Bentley to lead the design departments at Hyundai and Genesis. Beyond the style, the Kona's chief selling point is all the technology Hyundai has crammed into it: wireless phone-charging, heads-up display and lane-keep assist, among others. An optional forwardlooking camera and radar system can detect an imminent collision

Associated Graphic







'Late to the game'
Mark and Marianne came to Canada late in their careers and worry they aren't yet set up for retirement
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B9

Mark and Marianne moved to Canada in 2003 "at an advanced stage of their careers."

He was in his late 30s, she in her early 40s. This posed a challenge faced by many immigrants, Mark writes in an e-mail.

"By the time you get professionally established, you are already late to the game of financial and retirement planning."

Today, both have good jobs in higher education, earning a combined income of $250,000. Mark has a work pension plan but Marianne, who works on contract, has none.

"Now that we are in our early 50s, we feel we are not well prepared for retirement," Mark writes. They have been focusing on paying off their mortgage.

They have questions about how pension entitlements earned in their home countries can be combined with Canadian pension benefits and Old Age Security. As well, their teenage daughter will be off to university next year and they have not yet saved enough to cover the cost of her education.

We asked Matthew Ardrey, a vice-president and financial planner at TriDelta Financial in Toronto, to look at Mark and Marianne's situation.

What the expert says Mark and Marianne are concerned that they are behind the "Joneses" when it comes to their retirement planning, Mr. Ardrey says. They want a better understanding of where they are today and how best to meet their goals for tomorrow.

They show a substantial surplus, but that has only come about in the past year as Marianne's salary has increased.

Their next project is to renovate their two bathrooms, estimated to cost $20,000. By allocating some surplus funds to their savings account, in addition to the $17,400 already saved, they will have enough to complete the renovation next year, the planner says.

They have been saving $5,000 a year toward their daughter's education to take advantage of the Canada Education Savings Grant.

Because their daughter plans to live at home and attend a local university, Mr. Ardrey assumes education costs of $10,000 a year for four years. That would leave a shortfall in their registered education savings plan of $21,400.

The shortfall in the third and fourth year can be made up by the couple's cash-flow surplus and savings.

"It is important to note that the key assumption under which the short-term goals are met is that the monthly surplus of $3,600 is correct," Mr. Ardrey says. If their budgeting is out by much, "it will have a significant impact on their plan."

Mark and Marianne will be mortgage-free by the end of 2020, so they will have an additional $3,770 a month in their pocket starting in 2021. The plan assumes they will save half of this amount, with the other half going to increased lifestyle spending. The planner assumes they both take full advantage of their tax-free savings accounts, catching up on unused contribution room.

Marianne has about $33,800 in unused RRSP contribution room.

With her salary of $46,800, she will generate an additional $8,435 in contribution room annually.

Mr. Ardrey assumes she averages out the prior year's contribution room over her remaining working years, as well as making her annual RRSP contribution, for a total annual RRSP contribution of $11,820. Mark has no contribution room because of his pension adjustment.

Starting in 2021, Marianne and Mark will be able to start saving money in a non-registered investment account. With their current surplus, minus RRSP and TFSA savings, they will add almost $20,375 a year to the non-registered account. In addition, they will have $22,260 (50 per cent of the mortgage payments), for total savings of $42,995 a year.

Mark has a defined-benefit pension plan that will pay him about $7,725 a month when he retires at 65. The pension is not indexed to inflation, but has a 60-per-cent survivor benefit. He also has registered savings overseas toward which his parents have been contributing. The overseas plan will pay out an estimated lump sum of $230,000 when he turns 65.

The planner assumes this will be fully taxable. Mark will also get a foreign government pension of $530 a month starting at 67, indexed to inflation. Both Mark and Marianne will be entitled to reduced Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits when they retire.

In looking at the couple's investments, Mr. Ardrey used the couple's actual rate of return and asset mix. The underlying asset classes of the mutual funds in which they are invested show a historical return of 4.54 per cent with a 2.38-per-cent management expense ratio.

"By the time we account for the 2 per cent assumed inflation rate, the real rate of return on their portfolio is almost zero!" Mr. Ardrey said. Even so, Marianne and Mark can achieve their retirement spending goal of $90,000 a year, in current year dollars, inflation adjusted, and have an additional $10,000 a year in travel spending until Mark turns 80, the planner says.

When Mark turns 90, they will have an investment portfolio worth $1,065,000, plus their real estate and personal effects, he notes. "Alternatively, if they spent all of their investment assets, they could increase their lifestyle spending by $22,800 per year."

Mark and Marianne could greatly improve their situation by reviewing their investment strategy and cutting costs. With some portfolio rejigging, they should be able to increase their rate of return to 6.5 per cent and reduce their fees to 1.5 per cent, for a net return of 5 per cent a year.

Want a free financial facelift?


Some details may be changed to protect the privacy of the persons profiled.


The people Mark, 52, Marianne, 55, and their daughter, 16

The problem Are they on track to meet their retirement goals?

The plan Continue paying off the mortgage, then shift the extra money to retirement savings. Use up unused TFSA contribution room. Look to lower investment-management fees and improve returns.

The payoff Financial security with all their goals met.

Monthly net income $15,555

Assets Bank accounts $17,410; current value of overseas registered-savings plan $71,305; his TFSA $49,900; her TFSA $31,465; his RRSP $3,865; her RRSP $17,620; estimated present value of Mark's DB plan $338,195; RESP $21,390; residence $800,000. Total: $1.35million

Monthly disbursements Mortgage $3,770; property tax $235; water, sewer $60; home insurance $90; heat, electricity $190; maintenance, garden $350; car lease $265; parking, transit $295; other auto $360; grocery store $1,300; clothing $340; vehicle loan $265; gifts, charitable $155; vacation, travel $500; house cleaning $240; dining, drinks, entertainment $410; grooming $150; clubs $95; sports, hobbies $60; subscriptions $15; child's activities $165; doctors, dentists $30; vitamins, supplements $250; life insurance $145; telecom, TV, Internet $295; RESP $415; TFSAs $400; pension-plan contribution $1,085. Total: $11,930. Surplus $3,625

Liabilities Mortgage $154,330; Home Buyers Plan loan $8,570; car loan $47,420 at zero per cent.

Total: $210,320

Associated Graphic


Your new retirement-income tool: TFSAs
A breakthrough strategy using these versatile accounts to pay yourself in retirement offers simplicity - and new levels of tax freedom
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B10

TFSAs are still new enough that using them for generating tax-free retirement income is a fresh concept.

Just fill your tax-free savings account with dividend stocks, real estate investment trusts, preferred shares and such, and then pay yourself tax-free income using the combined income and share price appreciation. For simplicity and efficiency, it's a breakthrough strategy.

"I think the idea is great, in general," said Neville Joanes, who oversees portfolio management at the robo-advisory firm WealthBar and holds the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation. His proviso: Because they have only been around since 2009 and yearly contribution room is limited, TFSAs won't typically have enough money in them to meet an individual's entire retirement-income needs. Registered retirement plans and non-registered investments will also play a role.

TFSAs were designed to be versatile, and so they are. People use them to hold savings, or investing to generate both growth and dividends.

But with registered retirement savings plans and registered retirement income funds so well entrenched, TFSAs may not be considered as much as they should be for use by seniors as a retirement vehicle.

"When people ask me what to do first, I say that I think the TFSA is more important than the RRSP," said Nancy Woods, an investment adviser with RBC Dominion Securities.

"The best two tax-sheltered vehicles - your home and your TFSA."

The retirement-income TFSA offers two levels of tax freedom.

Income paid into your account in the form of dividends, bond interest and more is sheltered from tax, and so is all money withdrawn from the account.

None of RRSPs, RRIFs or non-registered accounts can deliver both of these benefits together.

Tax-free withdrawals address a commonly heard complaint from seniors about how money taken out of a RRIF and RRSP is treated as regular income and taxed accordingly.

RRIF and RRSP income can also push you into the zone where some or all of your Old Age Security benefits are clawed back. TFSA income has no impact on your benefits from OAS or the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Both Mr. Joanes and Ms. Woods believe in using a totalreturn approach with a TFSA being used for retirement income. That means drawing on conventional investment income such as interest and dividends while also selling a bit of your holdings here and there.

Your initial capital is left untouched - what you're tapping into is the growth in the value of your holdings over time.

Ms. Woods believes total returns of 5 per cent to 7 per cent are possible on average in a TFSA designed for retirement income. Dividends might hypothetically account for two to three percentage points of that amount, while growth delivers the rest.

Tempted to build a TFSA that produces enough of a yield in dividends and bond interest to meet your income needs? Mr. Joanes warns that you could end up with a portfolio that is highly vulnerable to rising interest rates. "Yes, you might be able to pull off a certain yield," he said. "But the value of the investments is going to decrease significantly."

Mr. Joanes's firm uses exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, to build portfolios. It's natural to think about using dividend stocks or ETFs for a retirement-income TFSA, but he prefers conventional equity funds.

Dividend ETFs are less volatile, but equity funds produce similar returns and have markedly lower costs in some cases.

He does see one argument for dividend ETFs: The monthly distributions they pay (equity ETFs typically pay quarterly or semiannually) may satisfy much of your need for cash income and reduce the need to sell investments. Each buy and sell transaction will typically cost close to $10 at an online broker, although some offer commissionfree ETF trading.

To keep a retirement-income TFSA easy to manage, Mr. Joanes suggests using four or five ETFs covering bonds, global stocks and maybe real estate investment trusts, or REITs, as well. High-yield bonds and preferred shares are other possible choices.

For bonds, he suggests using a short-term bond ETF containing both government and corporate bonds. For U.S. and international exposure, he suggests using funds without currency hedging where there is a choice available between hedged and nonhedged. He finds that nonhedged versions of the indexes that many ETFs track are less volatile than those with hedging.

The tax advantage of using TFSAs for retirement income over RRIFs is not quite as dramatic when you compare TFSAs with taxable accounts. You pay zero tax on a TFSA withdrawal, while money paid from a RRIF is taxed as regular income. With a non-registered account, dividends get the benefit of the dividend tax credit and capital gains are taxed at a 50-per-cent inclusion rate. In both cases, the tax hit is lighter than it would be for regular income.

Where TFSAs look amazing in comparison with taxable accounts is in relieving you of the responsibility to track how much tax you owe. Let's use REITs as an example. Mark Goodfield, a partner at accounting firm BDO Canada, said these securities may produce a mix of capital gains, which are subject to a 50-per-cent inclusion rate for tax purposes; various types of income that are treated as regular income; and, a return of capital, which isn't taxed in the year you receive it. Instead, a return of capital lowers your cost base for an investment.

This in turn means a larger capital gain when you sell, or a reduced capital loss.

REIT distributions are documented in T3 slips on a year-byyear basis. But when it comes time to sell, it's up to you to supply your adjusted cost base.

"I would say there's a significant number of people who would not be aware of this or, if they are aware of it, they would take a guess or ignore it," Mr. Goodfield said.

A small tax flaw in the TFSA is that dividends paid by U.S. stocks are subject to a 15-percent non-resident withholding tax. You avoid this tax in RRSPs and can claim a foreign tax credit in a taxable account, but the money is lost in a TFSA.

Ms. Woods said U.S. stocks should first and foremost go in RRSPs. But she believes that losing a bit of your dividend in order to have a strong totalreturn stock in your TFSA portfolio is a fair trade-off.

U.S. dividends are also useful as a source of cash for Canadians who spend time in the United States, she said. "A lot of snowbirds I have [as clients] want accessible U.S. money in their TFSA."

Follow me on Twitter: @rcarrick


Introducing the retirement-income TFSA The tax-free savings account is ideal for use by retirees to produce investment income. Here are two approaches to building a retirementincome TFSA, one emphasizing simplicity for do-it-yourselfers and the other a more sophisticated approach. Both portfolios were put together by Neville Joanes, who oversees portfolios for the robo-adviser WealthBar. Exchange-traded funds are used in each case.

Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R5

Baby Driver 3

Baby Driver bleeds cool. Telling the story of a young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) forced into a life of crime by a ruthless Atlanta gangster (Kevin Spacey), director Edgar Wright's ode to the heist genre is a zippy slice of expertly soundtracked carnage. It has perfectly choreographed car chases, bank heists and shootouts. It has a witty setup, wiseass heroes and a vast warehouse of one-liners. It has actors you know and love (Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx) having a ball being bad. But in being so very cool, Baby Driver speeds right past anything resembling maturity or restraint. Our hero - in fact, every single character - makes truly stupefying decisions that just don't track given what we've come to learn about them thus far, even if they operate in what's clearly a whacked-out underworld. The finale is a sloppy mix of video-game-inspired "boss level" antics and a manufactured fantasy that's as studiotested safe as anything out of Hollywood's intellectual-property machine this summer. Is all that enough to flatten Baby Driver's tires? Not quite. The ride is still fast, furious and fun as hell. (14A)

The Big Sick 3½

In a summer bereft of original comedies, The Big Sick is not only necessary, it's downright revolutionary. Here's a layered, nuanced film whose only goal is to tell a story of real people and real heartache, not to act as a crass marketing plank for a series of hopeful sequels and spinoffs (hi and bye, Baywatch and CHIPS). More than its divorce from the franchise game, though, The Big Sick is refreshing thanks to its onscreen diversity - aside from Master of None, has there ever been a Hollywood product with a brown actor as its romantic lead? - which is wisely played as really not that big of a deal at all. Kumail Nanjiani lets his natural charisma and hilarity carry the movie, which lightly fictionalizes his real-life courtship with co-writer Emily V. Gordon (played here by Zoe Kazan).

There's a slightly terrifying twist planted along the pair's path to romance, but it's handled with a deft level of sincerity by director Michael Showalter and the uniformly excellent cast (including a scene-stealing Ray Romano as Gordon's father). Like all Judd Apatow-supervised productions, it's about 10 minutes too long, but that is a small complaint when weighed against Nanjiani and Co.'s remarkable achievement. (14A)

Cars 3 2

The car-as-human idea was never Pixar's biggest brain wave and, as Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) hits the track for a third outing, the Disney animated franchise is running on fumes. To return a conquering hero to underdog status, the screenwriters have invented a bunch of younger, slicker new rivals with high-tech training methods who can overtake the reigning champion on the straightaway: Can an aging Lightning stay in the race? It's a plot that seems more likely to appeal to weary parents than the next generation of bouncy youngsters, although it does deliver one very funny scene where Lightning crashes a fancy new racing simulator as its preternaturally calm computerized voice describes the disaster. Otherwise, we get a lot of repetitive racetrack scenes - only a demolition derby stands out for the inventiveness of its animation - and a familiar message about believing in yourself. That's delivered by Lightning and his new trainer, a poorly developed character named Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a token female figure who seems unlikely to rescue anything. (G)

Rough Night 2

Why isn't Rough Night, the new bridesmaids-on-a-tear comedy, funnier? Blame the patriarchy.

(That's a joke. Or is it?) Rough Night has the pedigree of funny.

It's written by two of the team that write the divinely funny television series Broad City: Lucia Aniello, who also directs; and Paul Downs, who also costars as Peter, fiancé to bride-tobe Jess (Scarlett Johansson).

Jess's friends are played by funny women: Broad City star Ilana Glazer as Frankie, a wild-child lesbian protester; comedian Jillian Bell as Alice, a chubby teacher who wants to be Jess's bestie a little too much; SNL's Kate McKinnon as Pippa, Jess's hippie friend from her semester abroad in Australia; Zoe Kravitz as Blair, rich and perfect. The premise is a classic: a bachelorette weekend in Miami gone wrong. But at the first crisis - an accident with a hunky stripper - the movie falls apart and flounders to the end, because it doesn't know what its funny is supposed to be. (14A)

Spider-Man: Homecoming 3

As far as movies-as-line-items go, Homecoming is better than it has any right to be. The story is slight but spry, thanks partly to the jettisoning of origin story but also due to its blessedly small stakes. Tom Holland is no match for Tobey Maguire's endearing earnestness, but he handily erases Andrew Garfield's legacy. Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark pops by to dole out the necessary pinches of smarm, without overstaying his welcome. And the movie is gifted with one of Marvel's few genuinely interesting villains: Michael Keaton's Adrian "Vulture" Toomes. The film's subtitle, though, promises more than it can deliver, with "Homecoming" an obvious nod to the bigdance-high-school genre, one rightfully dominated by John Hughes. But just repeating the name "John Hughes" does not make your film a Hughes-ian exercise. The film takes place in a high school, there's a dance, there's a one-note bully and there's an embarassingly slavish Ferris Bueller nod. But to suggest that Homecoming even tentatively approaches Hughes's understanding of the pain of adolescence is as far-fetched as ... well, a boy being able to climb the walls. (PG)

Transformers: The Last Knight Zero stars Hate. That is the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Transformers: The Last Knight. Possibly "contempt." Or "joke." Maybe "slap in the face," though I realize that is more than one word. How else to explain, though, the motivation behind creating this fifth chapter in Michael Bay's exhausting toy story? Whatever you think of the previous four Transformers films, it is impossible to ignore the sheer malice that went into this new production. It is ugly to look at. Its characters are stupid - as in their decisions seem dictated by a level of subhuman intelligence - and grossly conceived. Its story is an exercise in Final Draft-sponsored Mad Libs, a string of impossibleto-decipher narrative beats that only exist to fill the next chunk of maddening screen time and, inevitably, lead to yet another sequel (teased, as is the current fashion, in a post-credits stinger). It is not so much lazy filmmaking as it is a very expensive middle finger to common sense and the basic concept of entertainment. (PG)

Associated Graphic

Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Robert Downey Jr., as Iron Man and Tom Holland as Spider-Man.

Jon Hamm, left, Eiza Gonzalez, Ansel Elgort and Jamie Foxx star in the fun action comedy Baby Driver by director Edgar Wright.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Federer makes quick work of Raonic
Defending champ Murray and second-seeded Djokovic exit tournament, leaving Swiss master with a clear path to Wimbledon title
Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S1

LONDON -- Milos Raonic could only sigh when asked about Roger Federer.

There wasn't much to say.

Federer had just thrashed the Canadian 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the quarter-final of Wimbledon on Wednesday, a defeat so certain it took less than two hours to complete. Raonic can at least take some comfort from the fact that he's in good company. Federer has yet to lose a set at Wimbledon this year and the victory over Raonic was his 89th career win at the tournament, a record run. It also put him into the semi-finals for the 12th time, another record. And on a day in which injuries took out top seed Andy Murray and second seed Novak Djokovic, the 35-year-old is now the clear favourite to win his eighth Wimbledon title.

"It's a stiff task," Raonic, 26, said after the match when asked about how to handle the Swiss master. "I guess you can know what you have to do, it's a lot harder to do it, than just to know it. ... I did everything I could. I tried. He's doing a lot of things well."

This was a far cry from last year when Raonic beat Federer in five sets in the semi-final, a resounding victory in which Federer made some uncharacteristic blunders, including double-faulting twice in a row in the crucial fourth set. That was a different Federer, one still battling knee and back injuries, and struggling with inconsistent play. Federer arrived in London this year a changed man. He'd taken six months off in 2016 and returned to win the Australian Open in January. He picked up two more wins at Indian Wells and Miami before skipping the French Open in May to preserve his strength for Wimbledon.

"I'm playing very well," Federer said after the match. "I'm rested.

I'm fresh. I'm confident, too.

Then great things do happen.

Confidence is a huge thing." It sure is and it showed from the opening set on Wednesday.

Raonic got off to a quick start, smashing two aces in the first game, including one that topped 140 miles an hour. But Federer kept his cool and promptly took a break point off Raonic, putting him on track to win the set 6-4.

He cruised through the second set, breaking Raonic twice and taking a 6-2 lead. The match was barely an hour old and Federer was already in control.

Before the third set began,

Raonic tried a different tactic. He took a lengthy bathroom break and changed his shoes. The pause and new footwear seemed to work and he managed something of a comeback, earning five break-point opportunities and pushing Federer around the court. But he couldn't convert on any of the break chances and Federer regained his composure enough to win the tiebreaker 7-4.

Raonic's famous serve amounted to little this time. Both men had 11 aces and Federer won points off his first serve 90 per cent of the time, compared with just 71 per cent for Raonic.

"He didn't serve as well as he did last year," Federer said. He noted that last year, Raonic hit his second serve far faster, topping out at 130 miles an hour at times. This year his second serve averaged just 101 miles per hour and his fastest was 111. "I just felt like I could somewhat get a read on his serve," Federer added.

Raonic also acknowledged the difference in Federer from a year ago. "I think the most significant thing is he's mentally sharper and I think he's moving better," he said, adding that with Murray, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal all out, Federer stands the best chance of winning. As for his own future, Raonic said he came out of the match healthy and feeling confident in his preparation for the summer ahead, which includes the Rogers Cup in Montreal and the U.S.

Open in New York. "I'm happy with the way my body's progressing. I'm happy with the things I'm doing," he said.

The same can't be said for Murray, beaten by Sam Querrey 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1 in another quarter-final. Murray has been hobbled by a persistent injury to his right hip, something that has bothered him for most of his tennis career. Before the tournament, he'd insisted all was well and that he was ready to go for the seven matches it would take to defend his title.

But by the fourth set on Wednesday, it was clear the injury had returned.

"The whole tournament, I've been a little bit sore. But I tried my best right to the end. You know, gave everything I had," he said afterward, adding he may have to take some time off to recuperate.

Injuries took a toll on Djokovic, too. Tomas Berdych took the first set 7-6 (2) and was Djokovic was down 0-2 in the second before quitting because of an elbow injury that has been troubling him for more than 18 months. That injury was on top of a sore shoulder he'd suffered this week as well, leaving him frustrated as he had been playing some of his best tennis in a year.

"It's unfortunate that I had to finish Wimbledon, a Grand Slam, this way. I mean, if someone feels bad about it, it's me," he said after the match, adding that he'd spent more than two hours before the match getting treatment.

Djokovic was the 10th player to withdraw from the tournament because of injury and he acknowledged the long season is tough on players. He and Murray "both had a very long, very tough year, a lot of matches, a lot of emotions, a lot of things in play," he said. "Professional tennis is getting very physical in the last couple of years. It's not easy to kind of play on the highest level throughout the entire season, then be able to do that over and over again every season, and then stay healthy."

It was left to Federer to offer some wise counsel about injuries and recovery. "Once you hit 30, you've got to look back and think of how much tennis have I played, how much rest did I give my body over the years, how much training have I done, did I do enough, did I overdo it or not enough," he said. "Sometimes maybe the body and the mind do need a rest."

Associated Graphic

Canada's Milos Raonic stretches for a ball during his quarter-final match against Switzerland's Roger Federer at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, on Wednesday.


Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates beating Canada's Milos Raonic after their quarter-final match at the All England Club in London, England, on Wednesday. Federer won 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4).


Ottawa formally apologizes to Khadr
Statement acknowledges role Canadian officials played; former child soldier wants to move on as 'productive member of society'
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A3

OTTAWA, TORONTO -- The federal government officially apologized to Omar Khadr on Friday for the role Canadian security officials played in the abuses he suffered as a teenage prisoner of the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The written apology came after Ottawa paid $10.5-million to the former child soldier to settle a $20-million civil lawsuit over violations of Mr. Khadr's rights as a Canadian citizen.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that agents of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service "offended the most basic Canadian standards of detained youth suspects" when they participated in abusive U.S. interrogations of Mr. Khadr while he was imprisoned at the U.S. detention facility for captured and suspected terrorists.

"On behalf of the government of Canada, we wish to apologize to Mr. Khadr for any role Canadian officials played in relation to his ordeal abroad and any resulting harm," the official apology stated. "We hope that this expression, and the negotiated settlement, will assist him in his efforts to begin a new and hopeful chapter in his life with his fellow Canadians."

At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould would not reveal how much compensation was paid because the settlement agreement is confidential, but sources have told The Globe it was $10.5-million.

Mr. Goodale insisted the apology and settlement had nothing to do with Mr. Khadr's role as a former al-Qaeda child soldier in Afghanistan, where he was accused of throwing a grenade that killed U.S. Delta Forces Sergeant Christopher Speer and injured special forces soldier Layne Morris.

"The settlement that we have announced has to do with the wrongdoing of Canadian officials with respect to a Canadian citizen," he said. "The Supreme Court of Canada has stated clearly and unequivocally that that behaviour on the part of those Canadian officials was wrong."

The Justice Minister said Ottawa had little chance of winning the $20-million lawsuit, and she noted its legal fees had already cost $5-million and were rising.

"A Canadian citizen's Charter rights were violated; as a result, the government of Canada was required to provide a remedy," Ms. Wilson-Raybould said.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer denounced the Liberal government for making a millionaire out of what he called "a convicted terrorist."

"Justin Trudeau should never have agreed to a secret deal that gave a convicted terrorist millions of dollars. Seeking money from the Canadian taxpayer is just a sign of continuing contempt for the country that Khadr has fought against," Mr. Scheer said.

Mr. Scheer said the former Harper government's repatriation of Mr. Khadr in 2012 was a sufficient response to the Supreme Court's ruling that his rights were violated.

"The fact that [Mr. Khadr] is in Canada today is the remedy, that is the compensation," he said. "If Omar Khadr is truly sorry for what he's done, that money would be given directly to the family of Sgt. Speer."

Mr. Khadr pleaded guilty in 2012 to killing Sgt. Speer so he could be moved to a Canadian prison.

He later recanted the confession and is appealing the U.S. conviction.

In two interviews on Friday, Mr. Khadr called on Canadians not to judge him for his conduct as a teenage enemy combatant in Afghanistan, where his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was a top alQaeda commander before he was killed in Pakistan.

"I'm not a hardened terrorist bent on doing anything," Mr. Khadr told The Canadian Press.

"We all do things we wish we could change. All I can do now is focus on the present and do my best to become a productive member of society."

Mr. Khadr said he knows many people will say he is profiting from what happened in Afghanistan, but he said the government's apology is about reconciliation and healing.

He told the CBC's Power and Politics the apology will allow him to move on with his life and hopes the financial compensation he received does not cause pain for the family of Sgt. Speer.

"I think it restores a little bit of my reputation here in Canada, and I think that's the biggest thing for me," he said. "I really hope that the talk about settlement or the apology does not cause people pain and if it does, you know, I'm really sorry for the pain."

Mr. Khadr, who spent a decade at the Guantanamo prison, said he holds no grudges against U.S. interrogators for the abuses, which included solitary confinement, sleep deprivation and shackling in stressful positions.

Mr. Goodale also expressed sympathy for Tabitha Speer over the death of her husband in the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.

"Obviously, our hearts go out to the family for the loss that they have suffered in the situation in Afghanistan. They are pursuing their legal rights and they will no doubt seek the redress that they think is appropriate and due to them," Mr. Goodale said.

A Utah law office that represents Ms. Speer and Mr. Morris said its clients "had no comments at this time."

Ms. Speer and Mr. Morris have filed a court application in Toronto in a bid to enforce a $134-million (U.S.) wrongful death judgment against Mr. Khadr that a Utah civil court handed down in 2015. Mr. Khadr was in prison and did not defend himself in the case.

The government paid the compensation to Mr. Khadr and his lawyers on Wednesday before the Canadian lawyer for Ms. Speer and Mr. Morris was able to ask the courts to block it.

Mr. Goodale denied that federal lawyers circumvented the court application.

"The administrative management of the case was according to normal practices and procedures and had nothing whatsoever to do with any other legal proceeding," Mr. Goodale said.

A Toronto lawyer acting for the pair was in court on Friday in Toronto to set a date for an "urgent hearing" that could start a potential legal battle over the settlement.

Lawyer David Winer told Justice Thomas McEwen of the Ontario Superior Court he may try to seek an interim preservation order, which would maintain the assets pending the final outcome of a legal battle.

Justice McEwen noted that the application filed against Mr. Khadr last month looked out of date. "If anyone's read the newspaper, they would know there has been an alleged payout," the judge said.

The two sides are expected to file submissions next week, before a hearing on Thursday.

A legal attempt to force the government to take the compensation back from Mr. Khadr would likely be difficult. One source told The Globe that the money has been legally sheltered to prevent Ms. Speer's lawyers from gaining access.

Associated Graphic

Omar Khadr strolls through Mississauga on Thursday. He was awarded $10.5-million before lawyers for the widow of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan could block it - but the legal battle continues.


'Difference isn't a bad thing'
Roxane Gay talks to The Globe's Hannah Sung about secrets, boundaries and her powerful new memoir, Hunger
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R14

Roxane Gay was 12 when she was raped by a group of boys.

She began eating to comfort herself and create a "fortress." With Hunger, A Memoir of (My) Body, Gay uses direct, plain prose to chart her continuing relationship with her body, one that she tries to treat with kindness while publicly exposing it as a crime scene.

She recently sat down with The Globe and Mail's Hannah Sung.

You have a relationship with your body that you recount in great detail. As a writer and public figure, what is your relationship with this book?

I'm proud of it. It's difficult to talk about, not because of anything in the book but because in general, people don't know how to talk about fatness and so they ask very bad questions and are generally awkward or condescending, so that's a challenge.

I would also imagine that people don't know how to talk about rape.

People are fine with talking about rape. They're not good at it but they are very comfortable with it.

They ask bad questions like, "So you were raped, tell me about it."

There's a prurience that emerges whenever you're talking about sexual violence and they want to know the who and the why. They want a Lifetime movie. We do, for better or worse, have a general cultural conversation on sexual violence. It's not a good one, but it's there. In terms of fatness, it's not really there.

How do you hope to move the needle forward with Hunger?

I try not to have such grand ambitions, other than to write well. I certainly hope that we have a more expansive conversation on different kinds of bodies.

And just treat people with more empathy. Difference isn't a bad thing and someone else's body is really no one else's business.

When it comes to all women, is there anything you can say that Hunger has taught you about us?

No, we're not a monolith. This book hasn't taught me anything about women. It has reminded me that most women struggle with bodies, no matter what their body looks like. It's very depressing, honestly, to see the level of grief so many women are carrying in their bodies. I get lots and lots of e-mails in which people just pour their hearts out to me with just such sadness about how they see themselves and how they're treated. It's unnecessary and it's unfair.

Do you have any protocols for how you deal with those messages?

I try to listen to them as respectfully as possible because I know people are trusting me with their story but I'm not a therapist. And I say, "Thank you" and "I'm glad that my work resonated with you." And that's the truth. When you write about these kinds of topics, you know you're going to get certain kinds of responses and I respect that, but I also have firm boundaries. I can't carry everyone else's stories in addition to my own in the way that I think people sometimes expect me to.

What are your boundaries when it comes to protecting your friends and family when you write?

I always remind myself that it's my choice to write about my life.

Just because people are in my life doesn't mean I have carte blanche to write about them. In general, I write very vaguely if I'm writing about a relationship.

One repeated phrase that I found powerful, and it is a repetition in and of itself, is "I ate and ate and ate." The biggest word is three letters. What was your thinking behind that choice? I like the cadence of it and also, it was accurate. I ate and ate and ate. I didn't need to dress it up.

Oftentimes, when people want to hear narratives from fat people, they want these extravagant descriptions.

"There I was, on my couch, surrounded by bags of food," and that's just not how it was. It was more just this act of eating all the time. But in a really controlled, weird way.

You've thought a lot about "what ifs." Is there a perfect "what if" that someone could have said to you at 12 or 13 that might have changed your life in a positive way?

I just don't know. The game of "what if" is so futile. I do know that I wish I had told my parents then. I know they would have gotten me the help that I needed.

They're very loving, they're very aware, they're not afraid of mental-health professionals, so yeah, I don't know what should have been said but I should have talked to actual adults who cared about me and they would have figured that out.

Why do you think you could tell Time magazine but couldn't tell your parents [about being raped]?

Well, Time magazine pulled it from the book, I didn't tell them outright. It's just easier to put something on the page than it is to have conversations with people that have known you your whole life. Now, my parents definitely knew something was wrong and they had their suspicions but you don't want to hurt your parents, especially when they've been so good to you for so many years. When you start keeping secrets, it's hard to stop.

On the topic of secrets, you know the comedian Hasan Minhaj? One line I loved from him was, "Immigrants love secrets!"

Yes. That's very true.


I don't know. I think that we're always thinking that we're protecting each other when in fact, the truth is the best thing for all of us. I started being secretive with my parents at 12 and to this day - it's not that I'm secretive, I'm compartmentalized.

In the book, you mention a devastating moment where you bought some makeup and put it on for someone. And you mention that you still have that makeup in the bag it came in, shoved at the back of a closet.

Why do you hang on to it?

I hold on to it as a reminder: Don't let anyone ever treat you like that again.

And you want that reminder.

Yeah, absolutely. Boundaries are very new to me. I still am not super great about advocating for myself.

Really? It seems so surprising when I read your Twitter.

Well, it's easy on Twitter. Anything is easy on Twitter. Give me a keyboard and I'll have all sorts of things to say. It's much harder face to face.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Associated Graphic

Roxane Gay, who has a new memoir, Hunger, says that people don't know how to talk about fatness.


A bystander's legal obligation or overreaction?
Even if a child wasn't left alone in a hot car for long, police recommend calling 911 to minimize potential hazards
Special to The Globe and Mail
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Print Edition, Page D3

A woman here recently left her children alone in an SUV for a few minutes on a 20 C day and outraged bystanders surrounded her car until police arrived. This seems like a crazy overreaction - children who die in hot cars have usually been forgotten in there for hours. Should people be calling 911 while taking the law into their own hands like this when there's no actual danger?

- Winnie, Vancouver W hether or not parents catch heat for leaving their children alone in the car is for police to decide, but you should still call 911 and follow directions, they say.

"With respect to children left in a hot car, our messaging has been to call 911 and use the commonsense approach," Sergeant Jason Robillard, Vancouver police spokesman, said in an e-mail.

"Every situation is different and there is no easy answer to how a citizen should respond and act."

On July 3, several people called 911 to report two children left alone in an SUV in a Vancouver parking lot, police said. When a woman came to the vehicle and tried to drive away, bystanders surrounded it to keep her from leaving, a video showed.

"The people who called 911 did the right thing," said Amber Andreasen, director of Kids and Cars, a U.S.-based advocacy group. "We don't recommend that people confront the parent because it usually never ends well. Instead, we want people to follow the instructions of law enforcement."

Depending on a child's situation, those instructions could include safely breaking the glass to get the child out and taking him or her somewhere cool, Andreasen said.

Nineteen U.S. states have laws against leaving children in cars, Andreassen said. In Canada, Quebec is the only province with a specific law banning children from being alone in cars - there, it's children younger than 7.

Everywhere in Canada, if a child is alone in a car and is injured or dies, the parents could face charges under the Criminal Code, including criminal negligence. Also, provincial-child welfare laws usually apply.

'Why are you arguing?' That same week as the Vancouver kerfuffle, two Edmonton women were charged, in separate incidents, with causing a child to be in need of intervention under Alberta's Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act after leaving children in their cars while they were errands. In both cases, the children weren't harmed.

In the Vancouver case, a video shows an officer telling the woman that her children, 6 and 31/2, "could have died."

"Why are you arguing?" the officer said in the video, after the woman said it was just five minutes. "You want me to seize your kids and you'll never see them again?" The woman wasn't charged, but police referred the case to British Columbia's Ministry of Children and Family Development.

It doesn't have to be 30 C outside for a vehicle to heat up quickly, even if the windows are down and it is parked in the shade, the Canada Safety Council says.

"It is never okay to leave a child in a vehicle not even for a minute," said Lewis Smith, manager of national projects with the Canada Safety Council, in an e-mail. "Even in the low teens, temperature in a car rises exponentially fast. ... Being gone for only a few minutes is plenty of time for a car to heat up and for a child to get dehydrated and suffer from heat stroke or worse."

A large number of children left in hot vehicles are left there accidentally, Smith said.

"The best solution we've found to fight this is for parents to leave an object they'll need - their wallet, for instance, or a cellphone - in the back seat of the vehicle," Smith said. "This will cause them to reach back and grab it and, in the process, they'll be more likely to notice a child that isn't meant to be left in the vehicle."

In May, the owner of an unlicensed Vaughan, Ont., daycare received a sentence of 22 months after she pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death after leaving a two-year-old in an SUV for seven hours in 2013.

While there have been no deaths in Canada so far this year, in the United States, there have been 19 heatstroke deaths involving children in cars. In those cases, all the children were younger than 3.

"People just don't understand all the dangers children face when left alone in a vehicle," Andreasen said. "Heat is only one - children get strangled to death by seat belts, injured by power windows, start fires, put the cars into gear ... or find guns and accidentally shoot themselves or somebody else."

According to Kids and Cars statistics, from 1994 to 2016, 810 children in the United States died from heatstroke in cars; 11 were

fatally strangled by seat belts; and 81 were killed by power windows.

Fetishizing supervision?

The outrage over leaving even an older child alone for a few minutes ignores the reality that children are exposed to activities that are statistically more dangerous, such as riding in a car, all the time, Free Range parenting advocate Lenore Skenazy said.

"There's this idea that you can't leave your kids in the car for four minutes while you go in and pay for your gas - even though more kids die from getting hit in parking lots," Skenazy said in an interview with Globe Drive in June.

"What's really being fetishized is not safety, it's supervision."

So, is there an age where children can be alone in a vehicle?

There's no "hard-and-fast rule," the Canada Safety Council said.

"We typically recommend 10 years of age as a minimum for staying home alone, but a vehicle has some inherent safety risks that include likely being restrained to the seat, the potential for sudden mechanical issues and, of course, sudden and extreme temperature changes," Smith said.

"Our absolute minimum recommendation would be a child who is no longer in a booster seat, who is self-sufficient enough to be left at home alone for short amounts of time, and who is able to take care of themselves in emergency situations."

If the question needs to be asked, the child probably isn't old enough to be left alone, Smith said.

"This holds especially true if there's a younger sibling in the car, because it requires the care of another human being and not only self-sufficiency."

Have a driving question? Send it to

Canada's a big place, so please let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.

Associated Graphic

Experts say parents shouldn't leave children in a car alone, no matter how short a period of time as vehicles can heat up quickly. Other hazards to unsupervised children include seat belts.


Cozy with concrete
Bungalow in Edmonton's Laurier Heights is a pioneer of a more sustainable form of construction
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S4

Natasha and Ben Chiam's modern bungalow is a lot of things: soundproof, sustainable, environmentally friendly, fire resistant and hurricane and tornado proof. But above all else, Ms. Chiam says, "it's just a really amazing family home."

The house was custom built for the couple and their two young children back in 2010. At the time, it was a pioneer of insulated concrete form (ICF) construction and a uniquely modern single-family home in leafy Laurier Heights, a mature neighbourhood in an upscale part of west Edmonton.

Today, the home still makes an impression with a metal roof, apple and forest-green accents; metal, cedar and concrete siding; large windows; and lofty ceilings. Located at 13503 86th Avenue, it's currently on the market for $1,624,800.

"It was kind of an experiment I guess," Ms. Chiam admits. "We'd built a Craftsman-style home a few years earlier and really loved the design process, but we felt that look wasn't really us any more. Our family was growing so we needed more space."

The large lot with an expansive backyard overlooking a ravine was just what the family was looking for and they wasted no time finding a buyer for the twostorey Victorian home that came with it. With the heritage property relocated to an acreage outside Calgary and the couple armed with design inspiration from architecture and design magazines, they could move forward with their modern vision.

"With this house, we wanted to try to build something as environmentally conscious as possible and reduce our carbon footprint, especially as we were looking to build something bigger," Ms. Chiam says. "Ben really loves that West Coast modern look and we also wanted a house that was really easy to maintain, so we decided to break the mould and go with concrete."

ICFs consist of interior and exterior rigid foam panels which lock together like Lego. Concrete is then poured inside creating a superinsulated, soundproof, resilient structure. In fact, ICF construction is so resilient that it's often used to create safe rooms within homes in tornado- and hurricane-prone areas.

"At that time it was pretty unusual to build a whole house using ICFs; mostly ICFs were, and still are, used for foundations with a traditional wood frame on top" says Mike Sczesny of Fuse Architecture, who built the home in collaboration with Serenity Contracting. "I had never designed with ICFs before but Ben and Natasha were keen to build the most sustainable home they could and they wanted to do that with concrete."

In the past seven years, Mr. Sczesny has seen an increasing interest in ICF construction in Alberta.

"I've built a few homes entirely with ICFs more recently and I think there's definitely more awareness of it as a material now. At the end of last year Alberta made some big changes to it's residential energy code which I'm sure will also have an impact," he says. "It costs a little more money, but you do save on construction time in the short term and energy bills in the long term, so the trade-offs are there."

Though more expensive than traditional construction methods, ICF homes are proven to require up to 44 per cent less energy to heat and 32 per cent less energy to cool.

"Up front the cost of [ICF] was significant but we did see a reduction in our energy consumption," Ms. Chiam says. "We went with concrete floors with in-floor heating and we never needed air conditioning. The concrete house is 2,500 square feet on the main level which is 800 square feet bigger than our old wood-frame house and we were paying a little less for our energy bills there."

In addition to the home's modern aesthetic and energy efficiency, Ms. Chiam says it's greatest appeal lies in its thoughtful design.

"The sun hits the different rooms at the optimal times of the day and there's so many big windows that you barely need to turn on the lights in summer," she says. "We get cross breezes through the house when it's hot out and we have this beautiful backyard for the kids to play in which is overlooked by the kitchen."

"It's just provided us with a sanctuary, really," she adds. "It's a sociable house where everyone congregates in the living spaces rather than the bedrooms and it's very private and quiet. It's a place you enjoy spending time and that's what we wanted."

Mr. Sczesny agrees, the house was a triumph.

"Since they put the house on the market a couple of months ago it's been getting some attention, for sure. I've had people call up and ask if I can design them their own version of it. It's a house people really love."

Sadly, Ms. Chiam's health now requires a change in their living layout and the family have recently undertaken another major construction project, their fourth in just 13 years, on a property just a few blocks away.

"I have rheumatoid arthritis and I've had multiple knee and hip replacements throughout my life," she explains. "That's why we built the house as a bungalow in the first place. And while it is a bungalow, it does have stairs from the drive under garage up to the main level. We realized that in the long term we really needed a true bungalow with no stairs at all."

Their new home is an culmination of all of their design and construction experience with lots of inspiration from architecture and design-website Houzz.

"It's a 1950s bungalow which we've renovated to add 1,000 square feet and an attached garage onto the back," Ms. Chiam explains. "We love it because from the front you can't tell it's been renovated but when you step inside it's just not what you expect. It's been a really fun project to work on."

"We've taken a lot of what we loved about the modern house and incorporated it into this renovation," she adds, "we're even using the same builder, this is the third house we've built with him."

Ms. Chiam is currently recovering from her most recent hip replacement in their new home and says moving on was a good decision.

"Recovery definitely would have been a little harder for me in the old house because of the stairs. Plus this way we got to feed our need to keep building and renovating houses with our latest project," she says laughing.

"What can I say? We're serial infillers."

Associated Graphic

Natasha and Ben Chiam's modern Edmonton bungalow was built using insulated concrete forms, making it energy efficient. Though more expensive than traditional construction methods, ICF homes are proven to require up to 44 per cent less energy to heat and 32 per cent less energy to cool.


Chinese telecom giant expelled from trade association
Friday, July 21, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A1

OTTAWA -- A Chinese telecom giant at the centre of a controversial takeover of a Canadian high-tech firm has run afoul of China's powerful Ministry of Public Security.

Hytera Communications - whose principal shareholder is billionaire chairman Chen Qingzhou - has had long-standing close ties to the ministry that oversees China's police and security agencies. It has won numerous contracts to supply mobile and digital radio systems to Chinese police departments and local governments.

But last month, just days before it closed a deal to buy Vancouver-based Norsat International, Hytera was suddenly expelled from a mobile-technology trade association run by the ministry for its involvement in disputed bidding on a police contract.

The expulsion is unrelated to the takeover of the Canadian satellite communications company, but critics say Hytera's past connections to Chinese security authorities and its questionable business dealings should have raised red flags in Ottawa.

The Trudeau government approved the Norsat sale to Hytera in early June without conducting a full-scale national security review.

Such a review would have examined the economic and security impact of transferring sensitive Western satellite technology to Hytera, which has also been accused of stealing patents from Motorola.

"This is concerning and damaging new information that indicates that Hytera is a bad actor," Conservative critic for public safety Tony Clement told The Globe and Mail this week.

"I call upon the Liberal government to do a full new nationalsecurity review based on this new information and assess what risks there are to Canadian policies that could be potentially violated because of this information."

The domestic trouble engulfing Hytera, a company that only burst onto the Canadian landscape this spring, is reminiscent of the problems facing Anbang Insurance Group, whose chief executive has run afoul of the Chinese government this year.

Anbang, one of the biggest players of Chinese firms pursuing high-profile overseas acquisitions and investments, recently purchased a retirementhome chain in British Columbia.

It announced last month that CEO Wu Xiaohui has been detained by authorities and is "unable to perform his duties" with the company. The Anbang billionaire's arrest came amid an anti-corruption campaign by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On the Norsat controversy, the U.S Defence Department began a review of all its contracts after the firm closed a deal on June 23 to be swallowed up by Hytera. The U.S. military has contracts to buy satellite communications equipment from Norsat - technology that will now be transferred to China.

The details of what exactly led to Hytera's expulsion from China's Professional Digital Trunking (PDT) alliance remains shrouded in mystery.

The PDT alliance issued a statement on June 19, saying Hytera's membership was terminated for undisclosed actions during the bidding process on a digital policy system for the police department in the city of Maoming, in the southern province of Guangdong.

One source said Hytera was accused of undercutting other Chinese competitors with low prices.

It is unknown whether Mr. Chen, who has travelled on trade missions with the Chinese President, has run into trouble with the Communist Party, which has recently detained several billionaire businessmen and top party officials over alleged corruption and bribery.

Hytera did not respond to requests to explain why its membership was terminated.

PDT alliance spokesperson Zhou Yameng would not provide any details on the reasons for the expulsion or what punishment Hytera may face. It is the first time the alliance has expelled a member, according to one source who is part of the alliance.

"About the issue that Hytera was expelled by PDT alliance, we won't take interviews by any media," the spokesperson told The Globe.

The office of Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who approved the takeover without an in-depth national-security review, said the government took the advice of security officials in allowing the transaction to proceed but had no comment on Hytera's troubles with China's Ministry of Public Security.

However, Mr. Bains's press secretary, Karl Sasseville, said Ottawa has other tools that could prevent the transfer of Norsat's technology to China.

"Canada has robust domestic laws in place to prevent the exploitation of sensitive goods and technology and know-how," he said. "These laws, which apply to Canadian and internationally owned companies, provide valuable checks and balances."

Mr. Clement said the mystery behind Hytera's ouster from the PDT alliance underlines the problem the Liberals have in their efforts to negotiate a freetrade deal with China. Since the Liberals came to power in 2015, they have taken a more laissezfaire approach to Chinese investment than the former Conservative government, including foregoing national-security reviews of several Chinese takeovers of Canadian technology companies.

"This is the problem of engaging with the Chinese government more generally, because the people you are engaged with and are the decision makers one day may be out on their heels the next day. This is part of the concern that Conservatives have in going full-bore with a free-trade agreement set of talks," he said.

China expert Charles Burton, a former diplomat at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, questioned how seriously the Trudeau government examined the Norsat takeover.

"Evidently, Hytera has engaged in business malfeasance to win contract bids with local Chinese police departments on multiple occasions," Mr. Burton said.

"As this has been an ongoing issue with Hytera long prior to its bid for Norsat, it calls into question whether the government became aware of these serious concerns in the course of its review of Hytera's application to acquire Norsat and if so, why were these concerns dismissed when the bid was approved?" Motorola has alleged that Hytera has bolstered its business through technology that uses patents and trade secrets stolen from the U.S. firm in 2008. The case is the subject of court cases in the United States and Germany, as well as an investigation that is being conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Aside from the security concerns raised by the Hytera takeover, Mr. Burton said he was puzzled over why Ottawa allowed the deal to proceed given Hytera's ties to China's Public Security Ministry.

"It is clear that Hytera is complicit in developing technologies for the use of police communications," Mr. Burton said. "Canada has in past been unwilling to transfer technologies for Chinese police use due to the pervasive reports of Chinese police violations of human rights through gross invasion of privacy of communications in investigations and use of torture in interrogation."

In March, the Liberal cabinet approved the takeover of Montreal high-tech firm ITF Technologies - which the former Harper government had blocked on the grounds it would undermine a technological edge that Western militaries have over China. At the time, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had recommended against the takeover, saying ITF technology transfer would give China access to "advanced military laser technology" and would diminish "Canadian and allied military advantages."

With reports from Xiao Xu in Vancouver

For Congo's women, mines offer opportunities - and hurdles
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A1

Standing barefoot in a swampy pond, Bibicha Sanao sloshes the muddy water in her basin with an expert motion, panning tenaciously until she finds the hidden treasure: a few tiny slivers of gold.

It can be hazardous work. She lifts her pant leg to show the scars from a water snake's bite.

Sometimes she gets sick from the contaminated water and the chilly rain. It's not much safer when she toils in a nearby gold pit, where she was once buried in a landslide.

Yet, she won't give it up. Her mining work here in northeastern Congo is crucial for supporting her family, and she's been doing it for many years - despite obstacles that men never face.

Now, activists are fighting to remove those barriers, giving African women a chance at the higher incomes that traditionally go to men, while improving the health and safety of their working conditions.

Small-scale mining is a huge source of revenue in Africa, providing jobs for an estimated eight million workers who support 45 million family members.

At least a quarter of the workers are women.

And even though they are paid less than men, they earn six times more than what they receive in other work, researchers have found.

Mining could be a much bigger source of financial support for African women, but they are hobbled by restrictions that range from the discriminatory to the nonsensical - including cultural taboos and superstitions that are now being challenged.

Activists and civil society groups, including Canadian groups, are seeking to develop education and human-rights programs to give women a fairer chance in the mining sector. It's an example of the greater emphasis on gender issues by development experts in many countries, including Canada, where the Trudeau government has announced a "feminist" aid strategy to put women at the centre of its foreign-aid policies.

In interviews near their homes in Metale village, Ms. Sanao and other women revealed some of the irrational rules and cultural taboos that are imposed on them at the gold mines of Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The best-paying jobs are underground, in the tunnels and shafts, where diggers pry loose the rocks that contain gold. Yet, women are largely barred from underground work, because they are seen as "too weak" for digging. Instead they are often limited to lesser-paid tasks: pumping water, carrying rocks or washing and grinding the rocks.

In the mines around Metale village there is an even deeper discrimination against unmarried women. They are often perceived as prostitutes or temptations to the men, and they are chased away from the mines.

Married women face barriers, too. When they are menstruating or when they become pregnant, they are forced out of the mines because of superstitious beliefs that they will "curse" the mine and bring bad luck to the miners.

The result is a significant loss of income for the women.

In some mines in this region, the rules are even more bizarre.

When they are two months pregnant, women are banned from the mines. They are allowed back into the mines at four months, then banned again at seven months. "It's a traditional belief that they hear from their grandfathers," a local women's leader says.

Some of the women themselves are convinced that the superstitions are true. They claim that their husbands won't find any gold when they are menstruating or when they are two or three months pregnant. "I've experienced it myself," insists Mami Basikawike, who has worked in the mines for six years with her husband.

"Instead of finding a matchstick worth of gold as usual, we find none," she says, citing a traditional measure for the weight of small amounts of gold.

She describes another rule that discriminates against women miners here. Unlike men, they must ensure that they are modestly dressed at all times. The work is strenuous and they often rip their clothes, yet they are not permitted to keep working with torn pants. "The men could criticize you or chase you away," Ms. Basikawike says. "It's not a lot of money to buy one pair of pants, but over the course of a month, it's a lot."

The rules that discriminate against women are drafted by government committees in which women have no voice.

When a national agreement was drafted on Congo's small-scale mining sector in 2012, the agreement included an attempted ban on mining by pregnant women - even though women were not consulted and were not present on the committee that drafted the rules.

Consultations in the mining sector are routinely conducted in all-male meetings. "It's terrible - the women are never there," says Gisèle Eva Côté, a mining gender specialist at Partnership Africa Canada, an Ottawa-based civilsociety group with projects in Africa.

In interviews for her research, women told her: "We don't have the right to speak. We have to sit at the back in the meetings, and they don't listen to us."

A study by Canadian and Ugandan researchers, including a team from Carleton University, found similar issues in six mining zones in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. They found that only 15 per cent of women held the high-paying digging jobs, while 62 per cent of men were diggers.

"Almost all positions of authority over mining operations are held by men," the study concluded.

Yet, it also found that 58 per cent of female miners in the survey were the main income earners in their families. Mining work can have huge benefits for women, allowing them to support their families during lean periods when farming is unproductive.

Some women are even able to build up enough income from mining to diversify into businesses, the study found.

To unlock the economic potential of female miners, advocates from groups such as Partnership Africa Canada are discussing a new strategy. Their plan would aim to reduce the restrictions on pregnant miners, give women a greater voice in mining policy decisions, help women miners with technical and safety training, and launch education campaigns to tackle the cultural taboos and the traditional rules that limit women to lower-paying mining roles.

It will be difficult to introduce the plan in a region where the taboos have been entrenched for decades. But if it works, it could finally allow women a fair share of Africa's vast mining wealth.

Associated Graphic

Mami Basikawike digs up soil in her search for gold in a small mining site near the village of Metale, located in Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ms. Basikawike has worked in the Congo's mines for the past six years.


Bibicha Sanao pans for gold at a mining site near Metale. Ms. Sanao was once buried in a landslide while working in a gold pit.

Workplace abuse of nurses costs us all
Three-fifths of this segment of health-care workers say they've experienced harassment or assault on the job in the past year
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B14

Despite having one of the most demanding jobs in the country, nurses remain without many of the protections and safety standards enjoyed by other public-service workers, and it's costing Canadian taxpayers billions.

Sixty-one per cent of nurses say they have experienced abuse, harassment or assault in the workplace in the past 12 months, according to a recent study by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU).

By comparison, only 15 per cent of Canadian employees in other sectors reported experiencing abuse, harassment or assault in the workplace during the previous 24 months, according to a 2016 study by Vector Poll.

As a result of these incidents, Canadian nurses are more likely to experience burnout, show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), require time for recovery or leave the profession entirely. A 2015 study by the Manitoba Nurses Union found that 52 per cent of its members had been physically assaulted on the job, while 76 per cent had been verbally abused.

"Nine per cent of nurses are off absent due to their own illness or injury, and just that cost in Canada is close to a billion dollars per year," CFNU president Linda Silas said, adding that the average absenteeism rate across all other occupations in Canada is 5.7 per cent.

Ms. Silas said abuse, harassment and assault in Ontario hospitals cost taxpayers $23.8million a year. The CFNU study also found two-thirds of Canadian nurses have considered leaving their job in the past year as a result of abuse. "It hurts not only the worker, but it hurts our health-care system," she said.

Statistics gathered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board in Ontario suggest healthcare workers experience significantly more injuries than those employed in fields often perceived to be more dangerous. In 2014, for example, there were 639 lost-time injuries owing to workplace violence in the health-care sector in the province, compared with 77 in manufacturing, 10 in construction and one in mining.

A 2015 study by WorkSafeBC found nurses were the victims of more than 40 per cent of all violent workplace injuries in British Columbia during the prior decade, followed by lawenforcement workers with 14 per cent. Ms. Silas said that, unlike other public-service workers, who are protected by specific laws pertaining to their profession, health-care workers remain relatively unprotected by the legal system.

"There are specific laws that protect bus drivers," she said.

Bill S-221, which amended the Criminal Code to require stricter sentencing for assault cases involving public-transit operators, became law in 2015.

"There's nothing like that in Canada for health-care workers."

With few formal processes to deal with abuse, harassment or assaults in the workplace, a majority of incidents go unreported. According to the CFNU study, only one-quarter of victims sought help from their union, and only 60 per cent reported the incident at all. "There's nothing being done about it, so why should I fill out all the forms and take the time to meet with my manager?" Ms. Silas said.

The factors that contribute to the relatively dangerous working conditions experienced by nurses are many, ranging from the nature of the work itself to increasing patient populations and workloads to a lack of industrywide policies and standard practices.

"The key is to improve the occupational health and safety laws and improve internal reporting mechanisms and training, but No. 1 is better risk assessment," Ms. Silas said. She said that before workers arrive at a construction site, there is a thorough assessment of all possible risks, followed by deliberate measures to mitigate them.

"If your emergency ward is open 24/7, and you know next weekend there's a long-weekend festival just around the corner, chances are you will have more inebriated people in the emergency room," she said. "Maybe you need to increase security, maybe you need to increase staffing; those risk assessments often aren't done in health care."

Although Ms. Silas says these assessments are rarely completed, they are legally required, said Stuart Rudner, co-founder and managing partner of employment law firm Rudner MacDonald LLP.

"Bill 168, which came into force several years ago now, was the current [Ontario] Liberal government's first attempt to expand the Occupational Health and Safety Act to address things like workplace harassment," he said. "Bill 168 had requirements regarding policies and procedures, but it also required that every employer conducts a risk assessment."

The bill, Mr. Rudner said, was in large part a reaction to an infamous incident involving Windsor nurse Lori Dupont, who was stabbed to death in 2005 by an anesthesiologist with whom she had had a romantic relationship.

"Now, we have Bill 132, which came into force last fall, and really focused on harassment," he said. "As we see these changes, we see more being reported, not because there's a real increase in harassment, but because there's more of an understanding that it's unacceptable and should be reported."

While the number of reported incidents of abuse, harassment and assault are increasing in all sectors, health care continues to stand out as one in which employees are statistically more likely to experience abuse, harassment or assault first-hand.

Jamie Stewart, a registered nurse at Queens General Hospital in Liverpool, N.S., and a 23year veteran, said the number of incidents is "certainly increasing, adding that he personally experiences some form of abuse or harassment on a weekly basis, and witnesses an incident involving co-workers daily.

"The most commonplace would be forms of harassment: threats, yelling, more verbal aggression," he said. "I would probably say maybe one in 10 gets a little more aggressive, where you start to see people asserting themselves physically.

As far as physical contact, I would say it's more rare, but the threat is always there."

While he entered the sector aware of the emotional difficulty associated with caring for patients, Mr. Stewart says he never anticipated the abuse, harassment and assault he's witnessed on the job.

"Back when I started, you thought of the health-care setting as a place of safety, where people could go to get help and be cared for," he said. "Now, it's becoming more of a battleground."

Mr. Stewart said hospitals are tense work environments, where most occupants are in some form of personal or family crisis and staff members are often fatigued, in part because of the high absenteeism rate.

"People don't realize that this violence in the workplace contributes to the high cost of care," he said. "You have staff who have lost time due to injury, you have patients who are suffering because nurses aren't there to care for them and they don't have positive outcomes, so situations where nurses are suffering from PTSD or burnout is actually costing more than the cost of better security."

Associated Graphic


Federer wins eighth Wimbledon title
Looking fitter than ever, 35-year-old Swiss dismantles hobbled opponent Marin Cilic in divine fashion in less than two hours
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

LONDON -- If Roger Federer weren't already godlike, he sure is now.

Just look at the records: eight Wimbledon titles, 19 Grand Slam victories and playing tennis so well at the age of 35 that even he thinks he could still be competing here at 40.

Federer made it look all too easy on Sunday, claiming his latest Wimbledon crown by manhandling a hobbled Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in less than two hours. Fittingly, he finished the match with an ace as his wife and four children - two sets of twins - looked on.

The victory capped a remarkable run for Federer. He didn't lose a single set during the tournament and looked fitter than ever as rivals Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were felled by injuries and Rafael Nadal buckled in a five-set marathon. He won his first Grand Slam title here 14 years ago and he hadn't claimed victory at Wimbledon since 2012.

As he took his seat immediately after the match and waited for the award ceremony, the enormity of the accomplishment began to sink in and he shed a tear. Later, he tried to put into words his remarkable career, saying he was never a child prodigy.

"I was just really a normal guy growing up in Basel, hoping to make a career on the tennis tour," he said. "I guess I dreamed, I believed, and really hoped, that I could actually maybe really do it, you know, to make it real. So I put in a lot of work, and it paid off."

Sure, he had talent, supportive parents and great coaching. But that wasn't all. "I felt like I dreamed pretty big as a kid. I believed that maybe things were possible that maybe others thought were never going to be achievable," he said. "Then in the game, I guess, yes, I was blessed with a lot of talent, but I also had to work for it. Talent only gets you [so] far, really."

And beneath that calm exterior is a fighter who loves the spotlight and taking on opponents when it really matters. "I've always been a big-stage player. I always felt like I played my best on the biggest courts."

Few expected him to be back at Wimbledon this year and even he wasn't so sure. He lost in the semi-final last year to Milos Raonic and had been plagued by a host of knee and back injuries that could have finished his career.

After Wimbledon, he took the rest of 2016 off and vowed to take better care of his body. He returned in January, winning the Australian Open and picking up victories at Indian Wells and Miami before skipping the clay season to concentrate on Wimbledon.

"I'm incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I'm feeling, as well," he said. "I knew I could do great again, maybe one day, but not at this level. So I guess you would have laughed, too, if I told you I was going to win two [Grand] Slams this year. People wouldn't believe me if I said that."

The lanky Cilic was supposed to represent something of a challenge to Federer's place in history.

Seven years younger, five inches taller and possessed with a booming serve, Cilic had thrashed Federer in the semi-final of the U.S. Open in 2014. He looked the picture of confidence as he breezed through the tournament, losing just three sets. But the Cilic threat failed to materialize and the Croat was done in by a blister on his left foot, so severe that he lost concentration after a few games. It was all too much for the 28-year-old and after the third game of the second set, down 0-3 and already a set behind, he broke down crying.

"It was just emotionally that I knew on such a big day that I'm unable to play my best tennis," he recalled afterward. "For me it was actually very difficult to focus on the match, as well, as my mind was all the time blocked with the pain. It was tough for me to focus on the tactics, on the things that I needed to do." Medical staff taped up his foot and Cilic valiantly tried to carry on, but he was not up to it and rarely posed a threat.

And his mighty serve just couldn't deliver.

He'd gone into the match with the second highest number of aces during the tournament, at 135, but managed just five aces in the final, while Federer had eight.

Cilic's serve was so wonky during the opening set that he was putting less than half of his first serves into play. He also committed 23 unforced errors and didn't win a single break point. "I wasn't serving very good today because of [the blister]," he said. "I was just not able to set up properly on the balls."

For Canada, this year's Wimbledon didn't have the glory of 2016 when Raonic lost to Murray in the final and Denis Shapovalov won the boy's title. But there were still plenty of encouraging signs for Tennis Canada particularly among the younger rising stars.

Raonic got to the quarter-final and Shapovalov, now 18, has established himself enough as a professional that he received a wild-card entry, although he lost in the first round. Teenage sensation Bianca Andreescu breezed through qualifying and lost in the first round of the main draw, but picked up invaluable experience for someone just 17 years old.

Françoise Abanda, 20, also made it through qualifying and got to the second round of the main draw. Carson Branstine made it to the fourth round of girl's doubles and Gabriela Dabrowski, 25, got just as far in mixed doubles.

But Wimbledon was all about Federer this year. When asked what he thought made Federer so great, Cilic replied: "I think his ability and his desire to continue to improve is definitely one of the best in the game. Even at the age that he is at now, he's still improving, still challenging himself to get better and better."

Federer isn't sure if he'll be back at Wimbledon next year. The Rogers Cup in Montreal is also a question mark as he monitors his recovery and preparation for the coming hard-court season. But he has no plans to retire any time soon. "What keeps me going? I don't know, I love to play," he said with a smile. "I feel like I'm working part-time these days almost, which is a great feeling."

Associated Graphic

Marin Cilic of Croatia (left) and Roger Federer shake hands after the Wimbledon single men's final on Sunday in London.


Gastown pop-up raises the (wine) bar
Vancouver lovers of natural offerings should look no further than this cozy café complete with unique eats and inexpensive libations
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

The Birds & The Beets 55 Powell St., Vancouver 604-893-7832, Café & bakery Open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Juice Bar Natural wine and pasta pop-up at The Birds & The Beets; @juicebaryvr Wednesdays, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., entrance at 54 Alexander St.

A Cheap Eats pick, where you can dine well for under $30 before alcohol, tax and tip.

Don't you just love the thrill of the chase? Natural-wine lovers in Vancouver - where the pickings of fresh, fermented grape juice made with little to no chemical intervention are slim - will surely relate. So when I heard about Juice Bar, a new Wednesday-night pop-up at The Birds & The Beets, I made a beeline to Gastown. Even more exciting was that it finally offered the perfect excuse to write about this adorable café and bakery.

I was utterly charmed by The Birds & The Beets when it opened two years ago, and often recommend it to visitors from out of town. Yet the daytime hours and short counter-service menu seemed somewhat limited for a review. Having gone back several times over the past few weeks, I realize I was wrong. A café so whimsically curated, intensely food-focused and community-oriented deserves a typewritten hug.

The space feels tiny if you walk in from Powell Street, but it actually sprawls into a more expansive back room with a second entrance on Alexander Street. The look and feel is difficult to capture in a single snapshot. As the eyes wander around various cubbyholes and nooks, the sightlines emerge more like a collection of thoughtfully composed still-life paintings framed in unfinished wood as seen through rose-tinted glass: loaves of crusty sourdough displayed on the counter next to Mason jars filled with toasted granola and half-pound bags of coffee; a sunny window-side benchtop surrounded by bouquets of bright-yellow billy balls, eucalyptus, lavender and prickly purple thistles (yes, they also sell flowers, from Wild Bunch Florist); self-serve water taps mounted over a bushy boxed fern to catch drips; natural canvas totes silk-screened with botanical prints hanging from a brick wall; a faded-green metal library trolley stacked with every cookbook you wish you had at home.

The breakfast-heavy menu is similarly wholesome. Save for mayonnaise, everything is made in-house with local ingredients, including all the bread and baked goods. There is thick, tart filmjolk yogurt sprinkled with darkly toasted granola and fresh berries (from UBC Farm). Fat slabs of red-fife-wheat sourdough (the flour is stone-milled in Vancouver by GRAIN) are ladled with loosely runny ricotta and a crimson float of sweet strawberry preserves. Creamy scrambled eggs are stuffed into buttery brioche buns, while softly poached eggs ooze vibrant yellow yolk over smashed-avocado toast.

To think, all this deliciousness costs about the same as the doughy, undercooked breakfast rolls at Starbucks. And the service, overseen by owners Matt Senecal-Junkeer and Sean Cunningham, is so much more relaxed.

Later in the afternoon, you might want to try an intensely nutty bowl of warm barley tossed with roasted carrot-sweetened miso dressing, tangy pickles and spicy seeds. Or perhaps an oil-poached albacore-tuna sandwich (the fish is from Finest at Sea) on tooth-tugging ciabatta spread with a gloriously green parsley vinaigrette emulsified to the texture of mustard.

In addition to locally roasted Bows & Arrows coffee (espresso drinks and drip), there is a small selection of cider, craft brews and house-steeped ginger beer with a spicy kick.

The Birds & The Beets is a perfectly cozy (occasionally loud) hideaway for whiling away the day on your laptop. But it is only open during the day - for now, at least. The Juice Bar popup has been so well received, here's hoping it becomes permanent.

In the true spirit of pop-ups, the night is a casual collaboration with a short and sweet chalkboard menu: two pasta dishes (prepared by Gregory Sugiyama and Alexandrea Fladhamer, both of whom work fulltime at Burdock and Co.), two cream puffs (from the bicyclemounted vendor Sweet Boy Cream Puffs) and three natural wines (selected by Sion Iorwerth and Sarah Coxon; the former also works as a server at Burdock and Co., which probably explains why I love the concept so much.)

Inspired by the exploding bar à vins scene in Paris, Juice Bar fills a big gap in the Vancouver wine scene. Sure, you can go to a number of forward-thinking restaurants that serve these lively, juicy, unmanipulated wines.

Burdock and Co., Farmer's Apprentice, Grapes & Soda, Royal Dinette and Mak N Ming offer extensive lists. But they're all sit-down restaurants and relatively expensive.

The thing about natural wines is that they really do lend themselves to sampling. Without all the preservatives piled into mass-produced labels, they can be fragile. They are idiosyncratic.

And sometimes, they are terribly flawed. Unless you're a diehard purist who enjoys turpentine scent of volatile acidity and the mouse-droppings taint of lactobacillus infection, the thrilling treasure hunt can quickly crash into a high-stakes game of Russian roulette. Juice Bar, where the wines are priced at only $10 a glass, lowers the risk.

And it's a fun, festive event.

The organizers close off the front bar and squeeze everyone into the back, light some candles and crank the tunes. The wine bar is set up on a shelf along a walkway in the centre of the room. There is nothing pretentious about it.

The crowd favourite from last week's selection was a pét-nat rosé - Autour de l'Anne Wonder Womanne, replete with a bustier-clad superheroine on the label that belied the structural depth of the frothy fizz. There was also a surprisingly fruity chardonnay, Les Ammonites from Jura, that expressed very little of the oxidized mustiness common to the region. And Puszta Libre!, a juicy, chewy, refreshingly chilled Austrian Zweigelt that tempered the humidity of the muggy evening and went down easy with grilled-eggplant lasagna topped with ripely scented Taleggio.

If you are at all curious about natural wines, this cute café and inspired weekly collaboration just made them a lot more accessible.

Let's hope it turns into something more than just a summer fling.

Associated Graphic

Vancouver's The Birds & The Beets is a whimsically curated café that feels tiny upon entry, but sprawls into an expansive back room with sightlines akin to still-life paintings.


Birds & Beets' miso barley bowl is intensely nutty, tossed with roasted carrot-sweetened dressing, tangy pickles and spicy seeds.

Save for mayonnaise, everything at The Birds & The Beets, such as the charred vegetable sandwich, is made in-house with local ingredients.

Canadian allegedly behind Dark Web marketplace undone by Hotmail address
Arrested on July 5 and found dead in a Bangkok jail cell days later, 25-year-old millionaire faced extradition to the United States on 16 criminal counts - the second instance this year of U.S. agents targeting wealthy Canadian computer whizzes involved in a global online conspiracy
Friday, July 21, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A1

Earlier this month, Alexandre Cazes, a computer whiz from Quebec, was living in Bangkok.

He had a villa in Phuket, a Lamborghini and a Porsche, along with bank accounts in Thailand and Liechtenstein.

But the 25-year-old millionaire planted the seed of his downfall years ago, when he left his Hotmail e-mail address visible online. It was that clue which led police to detain him as the alleged mastermind of AlphaBay, a Dark Web site that served as the world's biggest anonymous online marketplace of illegal goods.

Within days of his arrest on July 5, Mr. Cazes was found dead hanging in a Bangkok jail. His apparent suicide occurred ahead of his extradition to the United States, where he was indicted on 16 criminal counts, including racketeering, narcotics conspiracy and money laundering.

Details of the investigation that led to Mr. Cazes's demise and the dismantling of AlphaBay are outlined in U.S. court documents released Thursday. This case amounts to the second time this year that American federal agents have successfully targeted an ostentatiously wealthy Canadian computer expert in his early 20s while unfurling a global conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions announced the charges in Washington, telling reporters the AlphaBay bust stands as one of the most significant criminal investigations of 2017. He said such marketplaces are directly linked to a deadly continuing opioid epidemic, which is now killing one American every 11 minutes.

"We know of several Americans who were killed by drugs [bought] on AlphaBay," Mr. Sessions said. "One was just 18 years old when in February she overdosed on a powerful synthetic opioid which she had bought on AlphaBay."

The RCMP assisted the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in its probe of Mr. Cazes and started a parallel criminal investigation of him after being tipped by U.S. authorities in January.

While the Mounties have lately been redoubling their own efforts at tackling cybercriminals and halting fentanyl smuggling, a chief superintendent has publicly lamented how Canadian efforts have been stalled by clandestine transactions done anonymously on the Internet, through sites that bear a close resemblance to AlphaBay.

In March, an alleged hackerfor-hire from Ancaster, Ont., was arrested on a U.S. indictment alleging that he hacked customer information from computer giant Yahoo on behalf of Russian intelligence agents. Until that point, 22-year-old Karim Baratov was simply known as a wealthy Ontario resident who had somehow amassed a Lamborghini, a Porsche 911 and an Aston Martin.

According to the U.S. indictment against Mr. Cazes, he had a net worth of $23-million (U.S.). A U.S. asset-seizure order issued against him and his Thai wife includes a Lamborghini Aventador, a Porsche Panamera, a Mini Cooper, a BMW motorcycle and accounts with four Thai banks, Bank Alpinum AG in Liechtenstein and Bitcoin Suisse AG, in Baar, Switzerland.

The filings also said the couple owned real estate in Bangkok, in the resort town of Phuket, in Cyprus and in the Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda.

Mr. Cazes obtained citizenship in Antigua, the documents say, thanks to his $400,000 purchase of a beachfront property. They also say he was in the process of acquiring Cypriot citizenship by spending 2.4-million ($3.5-million Canadian) to buy a villa in Famagusta, a picturesque port on the east coast of Cyprus.

"The payments for these illegal items," the forfeiture complaint said, "represent racketeering proceeds based on their connection to the AlphaBay marketplace."

Mr. Cazes was born Oct. 19, 1991, and he grew up just outside Trois-Rivières, 150 kilometres downriver from Montreal. His father, Martin, a garage owner, described his son as a trouble-free child who was so gifted that he skipped a year ahead in school. "An extraordinary young man, no problems, no criminal record," the elder Mr. Cazes recently told the TVA news network. "He never smoked a cigarette, never used drugs."

Alexandre Cazes was 17 when he founded his own business, EBX Technologies, which he incorporated as a company selling software and repairing computers. The family believed that he had made his fortune by transacting in digital currencies, but according to the U.S. indictment, EBX Technologies was simply a front.

At the time the FBI shut it down, AlphaBay allegedly carried 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and chemicals and more than 100,000 listings for stolen items. This dwarves the 14,000 listings that had existed on Silk Road, another infamous Dark Web marketplace that was dismantled by the FBI in 2013. In fact, Mr. Cazes launched AlphaBay just a few months after Silk Road was put out of business, according to the U.S. indictment in Eastern California District Court.

Like its predecessor, AlphaBay operated on the Dark Web, which means the marketplace could be accessed only through Tor, an increasingly popular software that enables anonymized Internet communications that are very difficult to trace, even for government-intelligence agents. In addition to selling drugs, AlphaBay users also sold weapons, computer malware and stolen credit-card information.

According to the court complaint, the site charged a commission between 2 per cent and 4 per cent.

AlphaBay grew to have about 10 employees, the court documents say. "We take no responsibility if you get caught," the site allegedly warned, "so protecting yourself is your responsibility."

U.S. authorities began investigating AlphaBay by tasking federal agents to make undercover purchases of illicit drugs, fake ID documents and a device that steals card data from bankmachine users.

The turning point in the probe came late last year. That's when investigators discovered that during an early phase of AlphaBay's operations, it displayed an administrator's e-mail address when users initiated a passwordrecovery process.

That e-mail - Pimp_Alex_91@ - belonged to Mr. Cazes, according to U.S. federal agents. They discovered that when he was 17, Mr. Cazes used the same e-mail account to post a virus-removal tip on a tech forum.

Last month, U.S. authorities obtained warrants against Mr. Cazes, who was at his home in Bangkok when it was raided by the Royal Thai Police. They found an open laptop computer in his bedroom that was logged on AlphaBay as an administrator, the complaint said. Inside the laptop were passwords, a list of AlphaBay servers and a file detailing assets.

A week after his arrest, and just before his extradition hearing, Mr. Cazes was found dead. According to the Bangkok Post, he used a towel to hang himself from the toilet door of his cell.

In Quebec, Martin Cazes can't comprehend that Alexandre's life ended in such a fashion. "In my heart as a father, it's hard to accept that my son committed suicide," he told TVA. "He was under police supervision. It's unbelievable."

Associated Graphic

Alexandre Cazes

Father of the zombie movie
With debut film, Night of the Living Dead, he reinvented horror genre, adding social commentary and inspiring legions of imitators
Associated Press
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S6

George A. Romero, whose classic Night of the Living Dead and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, has died. He was 77.

Mr. Romero died Sunday following a battle with lung cancer, his family said in a statement provided by his manager, Chris Roe. Mr. Romero's family said he died while listening to the score of The Quiet Man, one of his favourite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher, and daughter, Tina Romero, by his side.

Mr. Roe told The Canadian Press in an interview from Los Angeles that Mr. Romero died in Toronto, where he had lived since 2004.

Mr. Romero "was a gentle giant and one of the kindest, most giving human beings I've ever had the pleasure of knowing," Mr. Roe said Sunday, noting he and the director had been friends for 15 years.

Mr. Romero is credited with reinventing the zombie movie with his directorial debut, the 1968 cult classic, Night of the Living Dead. His zombies were always more than mere cannibals. They were metaphors for conformity, racism, mall culture, militarism, class differences and other social ills.

"The zombies, they could be anything," Mr. Romero told the Associated Press in 2008. "They could be an avalanche, they could be a hurricane. It's a disaster out there. The stories are about how people fail to respond in the proper way. They fail to address it. They keep trying to stick where they are, instead of recognizing maybe this is too big for us to try to maintain. That's the part of it that I've always enjoyed."

Night of the Living Dead, made for about $100,000 (U.S.), featured flesh-hungry ghouls trying to feast on humans holed up in a Pennsylvania house. In 1999, the Library of Congress inducted the black-and-white masterpiece into the National Registry of Films.

Mr. Romero's death was immediately felt across a wide spectrum of horror fans and filmmakers. Stephen King, whose The Dark Half was adapted by Mr. Romero, called him his favourite collaborator and said, "There will never be another like you." Guillermo del Toro called the loss "enormous."

Night of the Living Dead "was so incredibly DIY I realized movies were not something that belonged solely to the elites with multiple millions of dollars but could also be created by US, the people who simply loved them, who lived in Missouri, as I did," wrote James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy director, who penned the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead.

Mr. Romero's influence could be seen across decades of American movies, from John Carpenter to Edgar Wright to Jordan Peele, the Get Out filmmaker.

Many considered Night of the Living Dead to be a critique on racism in the United States. Ten years later, he made Dawn of the Dead, in which human survivors take refuge from the undead in a mall and then turn on each other as the zombies stumble around the shopping complex.

Film critic Roger Ebert called it "one of the best horror films ever made - and, as an inescapable result, one of the most horrifying. It is gruesome, sickening, disgusting, violent, brutal and appalling. It is also ... brilliantly crafted, funny, droll, and savagely merciless in its satiric view of the American consumer society."

Mr. Romero had a sometimes combative relationship with the genre he helped create. He called The Walking Dead a "soap opera" and said big-budget films such as World War Z made modest zombie films impossible. Mr. Romero maintained that he wouldn't make horror films if he couldn't fill them with political statements.

"People say, 'You're trapped in this genre. You're a horror guy.' I say, 'Wait a minute, I'm able to say exactly what I think,' " Mr. Romero told the AP. "I'm able to talk about, comment about, take snapshots of what's going on at the time. I don't feel trapped. I feel this is my way of being able to express myself."

The third in Mr. Romero's zombie series, 1985's Day of the Dead, was a critical and commercial failure. There wouldn't be another Dead film for two decades.

Land of the Dead in 2005 was the most star-packed of the bunch - the cast included Dennis Hopper, John Leguizamo, Asia Argento and Simon Baker.

Two years later came Diary of the Dead, another box-office failure.

There were other movies interspersed with the Dead films, including The Crazies (1973), Martin (1977), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988) and The Dark Half (1993). There also was 1981's Knightriders, Mr. Romero's take on the Arthurian legend featuring motorcycling jousters. Some were moderately successful, others box-office flops.

George Andrew Romero was born on Feb. 4, 1940, in New York. He was a fan of horror comics and movies in the preVCR era.

"I grew up at the Loews American in the Bronx," he wrote in an issue of the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound magazine in 2002.

His favourite film was Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Tales of Hoffman, based on Jacques Offenbach's opera. It was, he once wrote, "the one movie that made me want to make movies."

He spoke fondly of travelling to Manhattan to rent a 16mm version of the film from a distribution house. When the film was unavailable, Mr. Romero said, it was because another "kid" had rented it - Martin Scorsese.

Mr. Romero graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1960. He learned the movie business working on the sets of movies and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which was shot in Pittsburgh.

The city became Mr. Romero's home and many of his films were set in western Pennsylvania. Dawn of the Dead was filmed in suburban Monroeville Mall, which has since become a popular destination for his fans.

The last film Mr. Romero directed was 2009's Survival of the Dead, though other filmmakers continued the series with several sequels, including a recently shot remake of Day of the Dead.

But Mr. Romero held strong to his principles. A movie with zombies just running amok, with no social consciousness, held no appeal, he often said. "That's not what I'm about."

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

Filmmaker George A. Romero, seen in 2008, said making movies in the horror genre allowed him to express himself and say exactly what he thought. He maintained he wouldn't make horror films if he couldn't fill them with political statements.


Dissident provoked China's fury
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was imprisoned for 'inciting subversion,' wrote of love, philosophy and human freedoms
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S6

BEIJING -- His pen was a sword wielded at China's Communist Party, a spotlight illuminating his country's social contradictions and a minstrel soothing his wife with poems of tender lament for the woman he loved, and the life they were forced to live apart.

For decades, Liu Xiaobo was one of his country's most important voices, a critic, thinker and scourge of authoritarianism whose work won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the fury of a Chinese state that repeatedly incarcerated him, making him its most famous political prisoner.

The Chinese government announced his death on Thursday. Mr. Liu, 61, had been battling liver cancer in a hospital where he spent his final weeks on medical parole from an 11-year prison sentence. He was sentenced in 2009 on charges of "inciting subversion of state power," accused by the Chinese government of working with anti-China Western forces and seeking to overturn the government.

He is only the second Peace Prize laureate to die in custody, after German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who spent his final days under the watch of Nazi secret police.

"Terribly sad that this champion of human rights has died. We mourn his loss but his message of hope and freedom will endure," Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, tweeted on Thursday.

Liu Xiaobo was born on Dec. 28, 1955, in China's northeastern Jilin province, the third of five brothers. His father, a literature professor, was a Communist Party member with an enduring faith in the party's theories and leadership. His father's library of Marx, Engels and Lenin gave him an early introduction to Western philosophers. His father's strict approach to child-rearing also helped to cultivate an early rebellious streak in Mr. Liu, who first found licence to run wild during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. It was a period that left a profound mark on him, sobering him to the realities of life in Communist China.

"The lot of us grew up under a savage regime, which cultivated hate, worshipped violence, indulged in cruelty and encouraged indifference," he once wrote. "It made brutality and viciousness part of people's genes."

Encouraged to pursue knowledge by his father, he studied Chinese literature after the Cultural Revolution, writing poetry as a university student, reading Kafka and Dostoyesvky and becoming caught up in the student ferment that produced a nascent democracy movement in the late 1970s.

He became a literature professor, writing about philosophy and human freedoms. He provoked controversy with acerbic critiques of popular domestic writers and disdain for China's most famed thinker, Confucius. His rising profile in an opening China allowed him to travel abroad in the 1980s and he was lecturing in the United States when student protests began to roil his home country.

He returned to China in April, 1989.

"In his mind, that was going to be an opportunity to write history, one he couldn't miss," said Hu Ping, a friend of Mr. Liu who is a critic of China and editor of the Chinese-language monthly Beijing Spring.

Mr. Liu joined the protesters at Tiananmen Square, participating in a hunger strike. But as tanks approached in early June, Mr. Liu orchestrated a negotiation with the troops that allowed students to leave peacefully.

"Many students wanted to stay and fight and die for democracy, including myself," said Rose Tang, who was there at the time and has since edited a Facebook page devoted to Mr. Liu. She now credits him with saving her life and told him as much years later.

"He stuttered: 'Don't thank me,' " Ms. Tang said.

"He deserved the Peace Prize definitely for saving the lives of some 2,000 students inside Tiananmen Square alone," she said.

"As a thinker, activist and moral leader, he was ahead of his time," she said.

To Chinese authorities, he was a traitorous figure who stomped on his homeland and compatriots and organized opposition against them. Bitter at a society that he faulted for allowing the rise of chairman Mao Zedong and authoritarian Communist rule, he famously said it would require "300 years of colonialism" to achieve real change in China.

"Chinese people are totally weak both physically and psychologically," he said once. Another time he argued that "if Chinese people want to live as human beings, they should adopt the system of Western countries."

He was detained after the Tiananmen protests and then sent to a labour camp in 1996 for "disturbing public order." It was at that camp that he married Liu Xia and the bright flame of their romance kindled an outpouring of poetry tinged with the sadness that theirs would always be a relationship interrupted by the interventions of a hostile state.

(A previous marriage produced a son from whom he was estranged.)

Neither love nor his time behind bars moderated Mr. Liu's political passions. He refused the entreaties of friends to leave for the safety of a democratic country, telling them he admired Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize laureate who endured years of house arrest for her prodemocracy views.

"Liu Xiaobo took her as a model," Mr. Hu said. "And he believed that China needs a model of morality, someone who stays inside China."

He wrote under heavy surveillance, until he co-authored Charter 08, a 2008 document that accused China's Communist Party of legion wrongdoings and called for the end of one-party rule.

He was arrested hours before the document was released and sentenced to prison for 11 years.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, given to him in absentia for "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

Prison ended the public part of that struggle, by silencing him.

But to his supporters, it also imbued him with a moral force.

"The appearance of a martyr will completely change the soul of a nationality," wrote exiled Chinese writer Liao Yiwu. "Gandhi was one occasion, as was [Vaclav] Havel and the farmer's kid born in a manger 2,000 years ago. The improvement of humankind is up to these infrequentlyborn people."

And as with those others, Mr. Liu's words remain. They are incisive and passionate; inflected with a sense of history and justice; unstained by despair or enmity but cutting in denouncing nationalism, repression and atavism. They are also infused with an optimism that authoritarianism must one day give way to political openness and individual autonomy.

To submit an I Remember: Send us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. Please include I Remember in the subject field.

Associated Graphic

Pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo, seen in 1995, was one of China's most important voices; a critic and scourge of authoritarianism.


The alt-right vs. the avant-garde
Art has long been the target of many conservative movements around the world, but it is unclear what they would have in its place
Special to The Globe and Mail
Monday, July 10, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L2

Many people were alarmed by the National Rifle Association video that gained wide circulation on social media last week. The official spokesperson of the NRA, talk-show host Dana Loesch, rails against all sorts of contemporary dangers - criticizing the U.S. President, protesting in the streets - and stops just short of a call to armed insurrection.

Much has been said about the content of the speech, but I was also intrigued by the choice of images that flickered rapidly as the speech unfolded. The montage was of all sorts of apparently random things. Ordinary building were intercut with footage of political demonstrations.

Some of the photos were of contemporary art and architecture.

One brief image was of a swirly Frank Gehry building (the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra); one was of Anish Kapoor's shining egg sculpture in Chicago, Cloud Gate.

So they are not random after all. Art, particularly avant-gardist art, has long been the target of conservatives in all countries.

Art is part of the great fraud that is being perpetrated on ordinary people: It is an extension of the media and therefore always fake news. The speech is explicit about the role of art in the hoax: "They use their singers and comedy stars and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again," Loesch says.

A less widely circulated altright (a U.S.-based white nationalist movement) video lecture also appeared at the end of June, this one specifically about the role of architecture in the fraudulent liberal conspiracy. This one, made and promoted by the far-right site Infowars, is an antiarchitecture narrative spoken by British-born activist Paul Joseph Watson. It is titled Why Modern Architecture Sucks. It has, so far, more than 300,000 views. The 35-year-old Watson is an Infowars editor-at-large and a contributor to The Alex Jones Show, the radio branch of Infowars.

Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist who believes that the Sandy Hook elementary-school shooting was, as with the moon landing, staged by the U.S. government.

Watson's polemic against "modern" architecture (which includes all trends in postwar architecture, including postmodernism) is a familiar one. We heard it from Prince Charles in the 1980s. Architecture that respects the "form follows function" dictum, as well as the more ornate experiments of recent years, is stark and ugly and inhuman. The grand old cities of Britain have been disfigured by monstrous concrete housing projects and public buildings. This ugliness leads to alienation and social problems. People don't want to live in high-rises. Concrete, glass and steel are cold building materials. People lost cozy neighbourhoods when rowhouse slums were torn down.

And he makes well-known charges of totalitarian tendencies against the most famous of idealistic modernists, especially Le Corbusier. In this, he is not at all wrong. Le Corbusier did hold quite a few alarming beliefs. He did see architecture as a form of social engineering and he did have links to fascism - and if his rigid planned cities had ever been constructed, they would have been a social nightmare.

Nor is Watson wrong that the famous failed housing projects of the sixties and seventies, and the most unpopular of brutalist buildings, were designed by leftwing idealists. Brutalism was the product of a heady optimistic time that envisioned classless equality in what was probably a naive way.

Watson goes farther. Modernist architecture is not just socialistic, but "inherently totalitarian." It aims to take away our freedoms.

It represents globalism itself. The globalist goal is to make the whole planet identical. If we revere the local and reject the global, we retain architectural idiosyncrasies and charm.

This echoes the nationalism of the right: National differences are valuable; we must protect our national identity from foreign influences and religions.

This is why free trade and open borders are bad. (By the way, the supposed enemies of this local/ national culture are not just Muslim. The comments that follow this video quickly turn to overt anti-Semitism, with many posters embedding artists' and architects' names in triple parentheses, code for Jewish identity.

A comment such as "(((Who's))) behind modern art?" is a veiled suggestion that art is Jewish.)

Watson singles out one particularly daring recent building, the art museum in Graz, Austria, built in 2003 by Colin Fournier and Peter Cook to look like a giant blob with sucker-like protrusions. Watson hates it of course, but its particularly gleeful about its being an art museum. Of course it is! Contemporary art is just as decadent.

What is the problem with new art and architecture? The word postmodernist comes up here - not to describe actual postmodernism (in architecture, that category would actually include nostalgic pastiches of the kind that Watson seems to favour) but to mean everything that is new and bad. In some conservative circles right now, the word is used interchangeably with "politically correct" and "Marxist."

Watson rails against "... the relativist, collectivist, postmodernist lie that objective standards of beauty don't exist."

He is not the first political thinker to deride the cosmopolitan tendencies of avant-gardist art, nor to think of it as degenerate (though he carefully avoids using that word). He is wrong about a number of things. Postmodernism doesn't mean what he thinks it does and it is explicitly opposed to the modernism he so despises. Furthermore, the authoritarian tendencies of utopists such as le Corbusier, as well as the failures of mid-century social-housing plans, have been critiqued to death by the very artists he thinks are complicit.

But he is right about one thing: There is a very strong link between contemporary artists and left-wing political thought, even radical leftist thought. He is not wrong to see impulses toward equality and cultural internationalism in all this odd stuff; he is not wrong to see it influenced by academic political theory.

The alt-rightists are not very clear, however, on what they would like to see replace contemporary art and architecture.

Right now, they hate Shakespeare just as much as they hate Renzo Piano, just as much as they hate Saturday Night Live.

What kind of art is left? Are they going to be brave enough to say that they despise the idea of art itself?

Associated Graphic

Anish Kapoor's stainless-steel Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago was one of the architectural images that briefly flickered behind a recent National Rifle Association video that delved into the dangers of the contemporary world.


Avant-garde architecture, such as that of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, has been called out as part of a fraudulent liberal conspiracy in a video released by a conservative faction.


As Canada signs pacts with China, Nobel laureate dies in custody
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A1

BEIJING -- A Canadian goodwill mission led by Governor-General David Johnston met with the top tier of China's political leadership in Beijing on Thursday, agreeing to work more closely together on culture and winter sports.

The agreements mark a new effort to join hands with the world's second-largest economy as Canada prepares for a third round of free-trade exploratory talks in about two weeks, and an expected second visit to China by Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister later this year.

But an afternoon meeting between Mr. Johnston and Chinese President Xi Jinping inside Beijing's luxurious Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on Thursday also underscored the potential pitfalls for Ottawa in pursuing a new "golden era" with an authoritarian regime that keeps thousands of political prisoners and is regularly accused of torturing those who press for human rights.

The meeting began at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. Five minutes later, imprisoned Chinese writer and democracy champion Liu Xiaobo died. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China," and his death marked the first time since the Nazi era that a Nobel laureate died in custody.

Although the time for the Canadian meeting was confirmed far in advance, the seriousness of Mr. Liu's latestage liver cancer was well known - the Chinese hospital where he was kept issued grave updates on his health, warning this week that his organs were failing.

He died as Mr. Johnston and Mr. Xi exchanged pleasantries.

"You are an old friend of the Chinese people," Mr. Xi told Mr. Johnston.

"I'm willing to make joint efforts with you to push forward Sino-Canadian relations to achieve new levels of co-operation and communication," the Chinese President added. He later called for the two countries to "initiate negotiations on a freetrade agreement as soon as possible," state media reported.

Mr. Johnston reciprocated his host's warm feeling. "Mr. President, it's wonderful to be back in China. I feel I've returned home," he said.

"We are especially grateful to you for making time for us."

The two men later looked on as Chinese and Canadian officials signed a pair of deals meant to create new ties between the two countries. Canada pledged to co-operate on the development of China's Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and signed on to a new China-Canada joint committee on culture.

Then the meeting broke and the Canadians, including Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, moved to a formal dinner with Mr. Xi.

Hours later, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland issued a statement eulogizing Mr. Liu as a "giant of humanity" who "believed in the human quest for freedom, the certainty of political progress and the importance of dispelling hatred with love."

He "selflessly declared that he would 'forever be living with the guilt of a survivor and in awe of the souls of the dead.' Today, the world stands in awe of Mr. Liu, his example and his quest for a better world."

The statement said Mr. Liu "spent many years imprisoned for peacefully exercising his right to speak freely," but its tone contrasted with more damning responses from ministers in other countries, including British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who said of Mr. Liu's treatment by China: "This was wrong."

And the pictures of Mr. Xi and Mr. Johnston smiling together near the moment of Mr. Liu's death created a striking image of the uncomfortable situations that can arise conducting affairs with a regime in which the crushing of dissidents and promises of international amity are carried out by the same people.

The Canadian government in a recent internal report said China's treatment of its people is worsening. "In the past two years the overall trend for human rights continues in a decidedly negative direction," says the report, which was obtained by The Canadian Press.

Mr. Trudeau's government has urged China "to do more" on human rights, but also approved Chinese investments in sensitive sectors.

Canada has not, however, been silent on Mr. Liu. John McCallum, the former cabinet minister who is now ambassador to China, said in a statement on Wednesday: "We have repeatedly expressed our grave concerns about Mr. Liu's well-being to the Chinese authorities. ... We continue to appeal to China to uphold its international human-rights obligations, including freedom of expression, and to release those imprisoned for exercising their rights." And the Governor-General's trip has sought to elevate Canadian connections with China in areas such as innovation, elder care, support for the disabled and hockey - hardly unsavoury goals.

"We have to sell Canadian people that stronger ties with China is a good thing. And I am convinced that they are," Mr. McCallum said on Thursday in a meeting with the Communist Party Secretary of Beijing, who is also president of the city's Olympics organizing committee.

Conducting sports diplomacy will allow China to benefit from Canadian expertise on ice and snow - while also improving access to China for Canadian coaches, athletes and businesses before the 2022 Winter Olympics, Ms. Qualtrough said.

It "definitely is part of the trade agenda," she said. But cooperating on the Olympics and Paralympics also gives Canada a new platform to "advance the agenda for people with disabilities in China through the hosting of the games," she said.

Mr. Qualtrough offered sports, too, as a potential way to bridge some of the thorny questions with China. Forge bonds through sport, she said, and it can be "easier to have more difficult, heavier diplomatic discussions."

Canada is far from alone in grappling with how to navigate China's central importance to the global economy while maintaining a commitment to human rights.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Mr. Liu "dedicated his life to the betterment of his country and humankind, and to the pursuit of justice and liberty" and "embodied the human spirit that the Nobel Prize rewards."

He was joined by other leaders in expressing anger and sorrow.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Mr. Liu a "courageous fighter for civil rights and freedom of expression."

But U.S. President Donald Trump expressed enthusiastic praise for China's President on Thursday, calling Mr. Xi "a friend of mine. I have great respect for him."

"He's a very talented man. I think he's a very good man," Mr. Trump said.

Associated Graphic

Governor-General David Johnston, far left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, far right, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Thursday. Chinese and Canadian officials signed a pair of deals meant to create new ties between the two countries.


In Wapekeka, a community grappling with suicide, calls grow for federal funding and local solutions
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A1

They have dismantled part of the outdoor rink on the Wapekeka First Nation.

While other Canadian kids go to their arenas to play hockey or chase each other around the ice, the children of the tiny fly-in community north of Thunder Bay look at their rink and think about the suicide of a friend.

On June 13, 12-year-old Jenera Roundsky hanged herself in one of the warming huts.

Her death came after two girls the same age killed themselves in January elsewhere on the reserve and set in motion a suicide watch of Wapekeka's young people that continues to this day.

"What we're doing right now is just trying to stabilize the community, the youth and that is the short-term goal," said Brennan Sainnawap, the chief of the First Nation of about 350 people. The remote village took care of one of its immediate needs by removing a portion of the rink that might have prompted other young people to consider ending their lives.

Children have been visiting the site since Jenera's death and community leaders were worried that they were doing so unsupervised.

First Nations leaders point out that many of their communities across Canada are searching for ways to stop young people from killing themselves.

The act is performed five to six times more often by First Nations youth than by other Canadian children.

They say broader strokes are necessary, including a change to the way the federal government delivers health-care funding to First Nations, so they can adequately respond to suicide crises when they hit. And they say the situation in Wapekeka proves their point.

The community went through a previous spate of 16 suicides between 1982 and 1999.

Those deaths abated after Wapekeka introduced a program of support largely centred around an annual conference that brought together hundreds of people to discuss prevention strategies and healing. That conference ran for two decades, but ended in 2014.

Two years later, it was discovered that six children living on the reserve had entered into a suicide pact - a number that eventually climbed to 10.

Wapekeka went to Health Canada in July, 2016, with a strategy for keeping the children from carrying out their plan.

It involved bringing a four-person mental-health team into the community to take a "holistic approach" to suicide prevention that would involve the children, their families and extended family members.

The cost would have been $376,706. But Health Canada's Ontario regional office did not have any extra resources at that time, a department official explained.

So no funds could immediately be provided.

Now, Wapekeka is once again in the middle of a crisis that has left the community mentally and physically exhausted.

Notes from conference calls that have taken place in recent weeks show that Mr. Sainnawap and other community members are desperately trying to ensure that the children who are most at risk are getting help.

They include the brother of one of the girls who died this year who subsequently tried to kill himself in the village playground, the 12-year-old boy who discovered Jenera's body and a 15-yearold girl who came home from Sioux Lookout to attend Jenera's funeral to find her own mother in the act of trying to hang herself.

The leaders of Wapekeka have called in the Canadian Rangers, a mobile force of army reservists who specialize in patrols, to watch for children who might be sneaking off to a solitary place to end their lives.

But they are also working on a five-year plan that Mr. Sainnawap says will be rolled out in phases and involves training his people in suicide prevention.

Valerie Gideon, an assistant deputy minister at Health Canada, says the suicides of First Nations people have become a top priority within her department.

All First Nations have access every year to a suite of mentalhealth and addictions programs that have been in existence for decades, she said.

That money is provided through five-year agreements and the communities have a lot of flexibility in terms of how it is spent, Ms. Gideon said. In Wapekeka's case, it amounts to about $650,000 annually.

In addition, the money for the four councillors that Wapekeka had requested last July was eventually approved last winter, after the first two suicides, and has since been extended for two years.

So the community now receives more than $900,000 annually for mental-health and suicide prevention, Ms. Gideon said.

"And since the terrible tragedies last winter, in addition to all of the community-based funding," she said, "we are also funding 24/7 counselling support on the ground in Wapekeka."

But Isadore Day, the Ontario regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, said all of that federal money is still provided as line items on a budget and not through continuing block funding that can be accessed quickly by First Nations.

The fact that Wapekeka was denied its request for a suicide-prevention team at a time that the money was desperately needed, is proof that the current system does not work, Mr. Day said.

Rather than pay for individual mental-health programs that require frequent reapproval by Ottawa, give the money to a First Nations health authority that can act decisively and responsibly in a First Nation's interest, he said "That will allow us greater ability to be within the decision-making process," Mr. Day said.

"It will cut the level of red tape, it will cut the level of cost expenditures going to a bureaucracy that knows nothing of our communities and it will get the monies closer to the communities."

Mike Kirlew, a doctor who has worked with the First Nations people of Northwestern Ontario for more than a decade, agrees that the Indigenous health system needs a funding overhaul.

"When they [Wapekeka's leaders] detected that there could be a hint of a suicide pact or an increased rate of suicide, they developed a comprehensive plan that was community centred, that was based on community values, and it was not funded.

And six months later, two girls lost their lives ..." Dr. Kirlew said.

"Help us transform the system so we are not in crisis-response mode," he said.

Back in Wapekeka, the suicide watch continues, but the chief is determined to get past the point of continual crisis response, past the time when the locations of suicides must be dismantled to stop copycats.

"Right now, we are just concentrating on the youth, to stabilize them. But we need the whole community to come on board - the parents, the elders, everybody," Mr. Sainnawap said, because "eventually it is just going to be the community that is going to help themselves."

k.d. lang collection finds home in Alberta
Big, Big Love, an exhibit featuring a number of items donated by the musician, opens this week at Calgary's National Music Centre
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R4

k.d. lang received a personal tour of the National Music Centre in Calgary from its president and CEO Andrew Mosker, and she liked what she saw - a lot. So much that she offered him her collection.

"When I saw the museum, I was like: I would love to give you my clothes; I have all my clothes; I have Junos, I have Grammys, I have gold records that I don't use or display, I would love you to have them," lang says. "It was a beautiful collective match."

The 56-year-old lang donated a number of items to the NMC, which opened in Calgary's East Village just over a year ago. She also provided loans for a temporary exhibition looking at her career. Big, Big Love: k.d. lang on Stage opened this week at Studio Bell, the physical home of the NMC.

"It's an amazing honour and it's kind of circuitous that all my sort of material items would end up back in Alberta, including myself," says lang, who was born in Edmonton, grew up in Consort, Alta., and now divides her time between Calgary and Portland, Ore. "It's a funny circuitous turn."

The exhibition's artifacts include instruments - such as the custom-made black acoustic guitar with decorative crow inlay (lang has a thing for crows) and white mandolin (this one has a rooster) from her 1989 Absolute Torch and Twang tour. The show also features more than 20 costumes, including her iconic mid-1980s cowpunk stage outfit; the striped shirt she wore in her Constant Craving video; the ball gown from her Miss Chatelaine video; and the fringed westernstyle outfit she wore for the closing ceremony of the 1988 Calgary Olympics - a favourite of hers.

Viewers will also see awards, including her beloved first Juno, which she painted with friends after she won it (in 1985 for Most Promising Female Vocalist). She says it's probably her most precious item - and yet she does not display her awards at home.

"I feel like that stuff can impede my thinking in a way," she says, when asked about that decision.

"I always like to work from a place of feeling like I'm [new].

That I'm just beginning; that I'm swimming upstream. So I don't want to remind myself necessarily of my accomplishments.

Because I think in a way it can weigh my spirit down a little tiny bit."

Lang is speaking as she prepares to launch her Ingénue Redux tour, marking the 25th anniversary of her breakthrough album, Ingénue. A 25th anniversary reissue is also out this month. Ingénue was lang's second solo effort and it shot her into the stratosphere. But it was a gamble, she says, when asked about the experience of making the record with key collaborator Ben Mink.

"It felt honest; it felt like Ben and I kind of decided to move away from the country thing. I really wanted to get back to the influences that really I felt were closest to home - Joni and jazz and Ben's Eastern European influences.

"I was scared," she says. "I thought we were going to get killed for it and we did get a lot of bad press at the beginning, but it felt honest. And it felt like a real natural pivot in terms of longevity and focusing on what feeds me as a musician. We just put our heads down and made music that we felt."

In addition to the move away from traditional country music, the album was a risky departure from the mainstream in other ways.

"I made a conscious decision to not ornament my vocal style; to keep it really still. It's a very meditative record. I wouldn't say a dirge necessarily, but it's very introspective and very insular and it was just very different than what was happening at the time."

The impact of that album on lang's life was enormous; she describes it as "good, bad, ugly, amazing, surreal." But it catapulted her to superstardom. She was all over the radio, burning up the music charts and became a darling of American media, from The New York Times to late-night TV to Barbara Walters. She came out publicly on the cover of The Advocate, and then there was that infamous Annie Leibovitz cover of Vanity Fair, which featured lang lying back in a barber chair while swimsuit-clad supermodel Cindy Crawford gave her a shave. There was a lot of focus on her sexuality. "k.d. lang is the type of politically radical vegetarian lesbian defender of wildlife you'd want to bring home to mother," began the July, 1992, Times profile.

A quarter-century later, lang says going through the old material was unnerving and emotional as she prepared to launch the tour July 18 in Melbourne, Australia. "A lot of memories, a lot of everything came rushing through me, coursing through me when I first listened and I started preparing for the tour," she says.

"But as time went on, I sort of started to realize that, similar to a film director who makes a film based on a book that's been around for 25, 30 years, it's probably best to not superimpose your own emotions on it too much and just sort of offer it in the most open, most unfiltered way, so that the audience can listen and experience their own emotions with it.

And hopefully the audience who are coming have had a relationship with the record."

We discuss the idea that a work of art is not complete until it has been experienced by a listener - or reader or viewer.

"I don't think art is ever finished, because a new experience is a type of rebirth. So it dies and is reborn and in nanoseconds," she says. "There are times when you walk away from it and there are times when you're reacquainted with it or someone else is reacquainted with it. I guess it's kind of like air. You breathe it, but it's not over; it goes on and becomes something else."

Big, Big Love: k.d. lang on Stage runs through June 1, 2018. The Canadian leg of her Ingénue Redux tour begins Aug. 12 in Victoria, and ends Sept. 19 in Hamilton. Visit

Associated Graphic

k.d. lang calls a National Music Centre's exhibit about her career, featuring many of her costumes and instruments, 'an amazing honour.'


This outfit is one of several of k.d. lang's iconic costumes on display at the National Music Centre in Calgary.


Canada 150 projects given extra funds
Ottawa gives additional $9.3-million to 11 of 38 'signature' programs, but Canadian Heritage says money was already accounted for
Monday, July 17, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A3

OTTAWA -- The federal government is awarding millions of dollars in extra funding to some of its key Canada 150 projects to shore up budgets, compensate for lower-thanexpected private fundraising and help projects promote themselves in a crowded field.

Even though Canada Day has come and gone, dozens of Ottawa's key projects - pitched by private companies and funded from federal coffers - are still under way. Collectively, they seek to engage millions of Canadians in celebrating their country through activities such as public talks, film viewings and competitions.

The funding for these 38 "signature projects" represents almost 40 per cent of the $200-million the federal government is spending to recognize the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The rest of the funds pay for major anniversary events, such as July 1 on Parliament Hill, and hundreds of smaller projects across the country. When combined with the money set aside to fix up community buildings under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, Ottawa is spending more than half a billion dollars to commemorate the country's birthday.

A spokesman for the Heritage Minister says the $9.3-million in additional funds for 11 of the signature projects has already been accounted for.

"For us, the eventual need for supplemental funding for some projects had been predicted and there was a reserve in the Canada 150 signature envelope. This is not new money," spokesman PierreOlivier Herbert said.

Canadian Heritage budgeted $79-million in total for the signature projects and expects an average of 500,000 Canadians to participate in each one, according to the department's annual report to Parliament.

The biggest top-up was provided to the RDV 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, under which more than 40 "cathedrals of the sea" are scheduled to make stops in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Approved by the Harper government in 2015, the project initially received $7-million.

That amount has been boosted by an extra $3.4-million to cover "docking licence fees," Canadian Heritage said.

A spokesperson for Heritage explained that the additional funding for Rendez-vous Naval de Quebec, the company behind the program, was used to add 20 days in August to the event and increase the number of cities visited by the tall ships.

The most expensive signature project is Sesqui, a travelling cinematic show that seeks to marry cutting-edge art and technology with a film of Canadian landscapes projected inside custombuilt domes.

The project, billed as "this generation's Expo 67" in its application for Canada 150 funds, received an initial $9.5-million investment from the government, followed up by an extra $1-million last year when anticipated support from provincial and corporate sponsors did not materialize. Sesqui cut down its national dome tour to just Ontario, but produced new film and virtual-reality content that still allowed it to schedule events in cities across the country.

"We did have our project scope change based on support levels last year, but through partnerships across the country, we're on target to reach our targets for participation," spokesperson Sean Moffitt said in an e-mail.

For most of the signature projects, federal Heritage funding is only one source of revenue, with other government or private sources making up the balance.

The Students on Ice Foundation, which received $4.8-million from Heritage to pilot an icebreaker for a 150-day journey from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage, received an additional $2-million earlier this year to fill a fundraising gap and to participate in Winterlude.

"Over the two years of planning for the Canada C3 project, the scale, scope and budget also grew," said Students on Ice president Geoff Green. "It became much more than a voyage of celebration. It became a voyage of reconciliation, science, education and a massive communication platform. With all that, the overall project budget went over $10-million."

In the case of an exchange program called Canada 150 & Me, which initially received $700,000 from the government, organizers found $500,000 in external funding. However, they were still short and the government pitched in an additional $200,000.

Deborah Morrison, president of Experiences Canada, said that as part of the project, 450 kids travelled around the country to participate in forums on issues such as human rights, immigration and the environment.

"Our choice was either to reduce the number of kids travelling or cut back on the programming, and we made a decision together it was worth the additional investment," she said.

ParticipAction, which received $4.9-million from Heritage, says an extra $500,000 helped it add events to its 150 Playlist program to promote physical fitness.

CEO Elio Antunes said the government is funding only about a third of the project's overall budget, the rest is coming from corporate sponsors such as Manulife and Chevrolet.

"We have leveraged the government money significantly to attract additional investment," Mr. Antunes said.

He added that the project got a lot of attention when it debuted late last year, but that became harder to get Canadians engaged as other Canada 150 programs picked up.

"Leading up to July 1, there was lots of activity, both governmentsponsored and otherwise. So it's been a bit tougher to break through," Mr. Antunes said.

Another organization received additional funds to expand its plans for the Canada Day weekend.

A non-profit group called WE got an extra $1-million on top of its initial funding of $500,000 to put together a July 2 show on Parliament Hill that featured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and artists such as Nelly Furtado.

Organizers predicted a crowd of up to 100,000 for the show, but the RCMP estimate only 14,000 attended. The show was also broadcast online.

Not all signature projects have launched yet.

Vox Pop Labs, which received $576,500, had planned a spring unveiling for its Project Tessera nationwide survey on what it means to be Canadian. But after receiving the results of its original pilot studies, the firm needed time to readjust its methods, CEO Clifton van der Linden said, and Vox Pop's media partner, CBC, pushed for a fall launch.

4Rs Youth Movement, which received $398,000 to produce a series of gatherings for young people to discuss Indigenous issues, says it hopes to begin its programming in August.

Associated Graphic

Winnipeggers form a 'Living Leaf' as part of Canada 150 celebrations on July 1. Canadian Heritage budgeted $79-million in total for a number of 'signature projects' and expects an average of 500,000 Canadians to participate in each one, according to the department's annual report to Parliament.


Well suited
What started as the antithesis of fashion, the jumpsuit, is now the trendiest item in men's wear. Jeremy Freed marvels at the wearability of the singular style
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page L4

In 1920, an advertisement appeared in the Italian newspaper La Nazione for a new kind of clothing. Composed of straight lines, a few seams, a handful of buttons and a belt, the "TuTa" was a one-piece unisex coverall designed to be functional, stylish and easily reproduced. The advertisement included a pattern as well as a pronouncement from its creator, hailing the TuTa as "the most innovative, futuristic garment ever produced in the history of Italian fashion."

This wasn't just hype. The TuTa, or as it's better known, the jumpsuit, turned out to be one of the most successful fashion designs ever created - just not in the way it was intended.

The TuTa's creator, Ernesto Michahelles, was a Florentine artist better known by his pseudonym, Thayaht. A sculptor, painter and industrial designer, Thayaht aligned himself with the Italian Futurist movement, a group of impassioned young men obsessed with burning down the gilded, silk-trimmed old world and replacing it with one defined by mechanization, speed and modernity. The futurists saw fashion and foppery as serious problems facing society and the TuTa was their solution.

While the futurists would go on to become staunch proponents of fascism (Thayaht's most famous painting is a representation of Mussolini flanked by airplanes and barbed wire), some of their ideas about creating a better world were more palatable. Which brings us back to the TuTa.

Show me a vision of the utopian future and I'll show you someone dressed in a jumpsuit. By almost universal agreement, when asked to envision a time when humanity has solved a great many of its problems, our best creative minds all predict the disappearance of fashion and its replacement by a sturdy garment that's a shirt and pants in one. Part of this is certainly due to the fact that in the future we'll spend a lot more time on spaceships, but it also simply makes sense. How much time we'd save - and how many resources - if instead of following the whims of hemlines, trouser widths and statement accessories we could all just agree to wear the same thing every day. Despite the fact that I make my living writing about fashion, I find this idea immensely appealing.

In 2011, I went to Paris for fashion week. Aside from drinking at the Hemingway Bar at The Ritz, and eating a life-changing jambon beurre, the most memorable thing about that trip was a beautiful, supple and buttery soft deerskin jumpsuit I saw at the Hermès men's-wear show. I was familiar with this type of one-piece as a boilerman's uniform and as the stage costume of both Ziggy Stardust and aloha-era Elvis, but this one was something quite different. It was tough, masculine and utilitarian while somehow remaining completely impractical. I was fascinated. As much as I wanted one, however, I wasn't sure how it would fi t into my wardrobe. What works for Bowie, I reasoned, doesn't necessarily work for me. The jumpsuit has had a cultural moment in just about every decade since its inception, from the olive drab mechanic's uniform of Second World War to the fl oppy-collared disco onesie, to the neon-hued ski suits of the 1980s. Rappers favoured them in the '90s and they're perennially popular with toddlers.

Now, after a few years' absence, they are suddenly everywhere again. Louis Vuitton, Armani, and J.W. Anderson all had a go at creating the perfect jumpsuit this spring, as did Rick Owens, Junya Watanabe and Levis. There's also the infamous RompHim men's romper, but the less that is said about it, the better. Some are more wearable than others, and each is appealing in its own way, but the question remains: How does one actually wear a jumpsuit in real life? I fi nally worked up the courage to buy a jumpsuit a few months ago in Japan. I found mine at a uniform shop in a part of Tokyo full of restaurant supply stores. The fi rst time I wore it out of the house I felt like I was walking around in a tuxedo or a fi refi ghter's uniform. It seemed like people were staring at me, and I didn't know if that was good or bad. The feedback, however, was quite positive. "Don't you look snazzy in your jumpsuit," said a colleague who's old enough to remember how fetching Elizabeth Taylor looked in hers. "I should get one of those for work," said a writer friend who'd heard J.D. Salinger used to wear one.

"You look like Tom Cruise in Top Gun," said my editor. I'm pretty sure this wasn't true, but it was too good a compliment to turn down. It's impossible to say with certainty what Thayaht would have thought of Ziggy Stardust, Top Gun or Diddy and Mace in the video for Mo Money Mo Problems, but I'm pretty sure he'd be disappointed. The average person probably spends more time, money and resources on fashion now than ever before. Indeed, while the TuTa has been embraced with equal enthusiasm by celebrities on red carpets and tradespeople who perform oil changes on cars, it has largely been ignored by its intended audience: the vast numbers of normal people doing everyday things. Why put on a coverall to run to the store when you can wear jeans and a T-shirt? Or around the house, when you can slip on cozy sweats? I'm sure there are offi ces in which a jumpsuit would be appropriate attire, but I don't know anybody who works in one.

I like my jumpsuit, though. I wore it out to lunch one day, and to meet friends for drinks on a couple of occasions and it served me well. It's comfortable, has enough pockets for all of my stuff and is remarkably easy to accessorize. Thayaht knew this, of course - that was the whole point. He probably wouldn't have approved of his invention being co-opted by the fashion world, but perhaps it's not all bad news: this summer may be the closest he'll ever come to achieving his dream of a one-piece unisex utopian future.

Associated Graphic

SUIT SUPPLY Columnist Jeremy Freed (top) sports a pair of Levi's Orange Tab coveralls, one of the season's more affordable jumpsuit options. Designer labels including (above, from top to bottom), J.W. Anderson, Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo all offered their own swish versions for summer. GETTY (RUNWAY).


Tories slam Trudeau for Khadr payout
Conservatives take to the Internet and U.S. media to lambaste Ottawa over apology and compensation to former child soldier
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A4

OTTAWA -- Federal Conservatives are mounting an aggressive cross-border campaign against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his government's $10.5-million payment to Omar Khadr, appearing in U.S. media outlets and launching a website criticizing the Liberal government's decision to compensate and apologize to the former child soldier and Guantanamo detainee.

This week, Conservative MP and former journalist Peter Kent drew significant U.S. attention to the case after he wrote an opinion piece about the payment in the Wall Street Journal, calling it a "cynical subversion of Canadian principles," while Conservative MP Michelle Rempel appeared on Fox News with host Tucker Carlson to lambaste the government.

"Most Canadians are absolutely outraged about this," Ms. Rempel said during her in-studio visit.

When Mr. Carlson asked if the payment was "a way of giving the finger to the United States," Ms. Rempel replied, "I think that this should have played out in a court of law."

Ontario Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant also targeted Canadian journalists in a faux newscaststyle Facebook video, accusing the "elite-stream media" of "fake news" stories about Mr. Khadr to keep the Liberals in power. The video has since been taken down, but was saved by Press Progress, the media project from the leftleaning Broadbent Institute.

The federal Conservative Party recently launched a website, called "Khadr Questions," with suggested social-media posts questioning why and when Mr. Trudeau's government made its decision to compensate "a convicted and self-confessed terrorist."

"Justin Trudeau has made Khadr one of the wealthiest men in Canada," it says.

The Liberals quickly shot back at the opposition. Stephen Fuhr, the Liberal MP for Kelowna-Lake Country in British Columbia, called the Tory website an example of the "unacceptable politics of fear and division that has become a hallmark of [leader] Andrew Scheer," in a statement provided by the Prime Minister's Office.

One of Mr. Trudeau's top advisers, Gerald Butts, weighed in on Twitter, suggesting Mr. Scheer's Conservatives have abandoned the bipartisanship that defined interim leader Rona Ambrose's tenure. "The Canada-U.S. relationship should be above domestic politics. For a brief moment, between permanent CPC leaders, it was," he wrote in one tweet.

In reference to Mr. Kent's article, Mr. Butts tweeted: "A long CPC tradition of airing Canadian disputes in the Wall Street Journal. It's where Stephen Harper advocated for joining the Iraq War." He also said Mr. Khadr "beat the federal government three times at the Supreme Court" because he "got tortured in Guantanamo."

Mr. Trudeau has publicly defended the government's apology and settlement, saying Mr. Khadr's rights had to be defended.

"The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, every one of us, even when it is uncomfortable," Mr. Trudeau said at the end of this month's Group of 20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. "This is not about the detail of the merits of the Khadr case. When the government violates any Canadian's Charter rights, we all end up paying for it."

The Toronto-born Mr. Khadr was captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15 in 2002, following a shootout with U.S. troops in which he was badly wounded. He was accused of throwing a grenade that killed U.S. Army medic Christopher Speer in the firefight and was sent to the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Khadr, now 30, spent more than 10 years in U.S. and Canadian custody, much of that time in Guantanamo. Once the youngest detainee there, he was transferred to Canada in 2012 after accepting a plea deal.

He now argues the acts he is accused of committing as a 15year-old in Afghanistan were not war crimes at the time and says he only pleaded guilty to throwing the grenade that killed Mr. Speer as a way out of American captivity.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 that the actions of federal officials who participated in U.S. interrogations of Mr.

Khadr had offended "the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects." At the U.S. military prison, Mr. Khadr was subjected to physical pain, isolation, sleep deprivation, shackling in stressful positions and threatened with rape.

Mr. Khadr's lawyers had filed a $20-million lawsuit against the federal government. Mr. Trudeau recently said he understands why Canadians are angry about the payout, but insisted a court case would have ended up costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars more. "I share those concerns about the money. In fact, that's why we settled," Mr. Trudeau told reporters last week.

The payment stymied efforts by Mr. Speer's widow, Tabitha Speer, and Layne Morris, a fellow Delta Force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight, to stop the government from settling with Mr. Khadr.

Ms. Speer and Mr. Morris won a 2015 default judgment in Utah against Mr. Khadr for $134-million (U.S.) in damages for his alleged actions in Afghanistan, and want courts in Canada to recognize and enforce that judgment. Mr. Khadr was in prison and did not defend himself.

Conservative Party spokesman Cory Hann said the Khadr website was created "due to the overwhelming amount of questions Canadians have surrounding the $10-million taxpayer-funded payout to an admitted and convicted terrorist." The Liberal government has faced a public backlash against the apology and payment to Mr. Khadr, with a public-opinion survey showing 71 per cent of Canadians opposed the deal.

Mr. Hann denied, however, that the personal data collected on the site will be used for fundraising purposes.

"This is not a fundraising website and no fundraising will be done off it. It's meant to keep people up to date on the story and allow them to share the questions they have that the Liberals refuse to answer," he wrote.

An online fundraiser set up by right-wing Rebel Media, which aims to raise $1-million for Mr. Speer's two teenage children, had raised almost $200,000 by midday Tuesday.

Matthew Dubé, the NDP's public safety critic, blamed both the former Conservative and Liberal governments for causing the controversy in the first place.

"New Democrats have always maintained that Omar Khadr's case should be handled by Canadian authorities in accordance with Canadian law, free from political interference. It's very troubling to see Conservatives continue to play politics by fundraising off the case," he said in a statement.

"If past Liberal and Conservative governments had done their jobs, there would be no need for this compensation."

With a report from The Canadian Press

'An inspired choice' to represent the Queen
Those who have taught and worked with Julie Payette have nothing but praise for a 'brilliant ... hard-working ... a bit intense' woman, John Ibbitson reports
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Print Edition, Page A9

In the late 1980s, Julie Payette asked Graeme Hirst, a computer specialist at the University of Toronto, if she could take one of his courses. The answer was no.

Ms. Payette was a graduate student in computer engineering and Prof. Hirst's field was computer science; she lacked the necessary prerequisites, he told her.

But Ms. Payette "does not take no for an answer," he recalled Thursday. Not only did she take the course, filling in the prerequisites in her spare time, Prof. Hirst ended up co-supervising her master's thesis in the area of computational linguistics.

"Brilliant ... hard-working ... a bit intense," said Prof. Hirst, describing a student who excelled at whatever she turned her hand to. She was, he thought, a natural choice for Canada's space program in the 1990s. And he believes she is a natural choice to be Canada's next governor-general.

Being an astronaut is perfect training for being a governorgeneral. Both must serve as an ambassador for Canada to the world and to Canadians themselves. And both may be called upon to make difficult choices under considerable pressure. Ms. Payette shone in these tasks as an astronaut and will as well as the Queen's representative in Canada, predicted Prof. Michael Stumm, who taught Ms. Payette at U of T. "She'll be stupendous."

Born in Montreal in 1963, the daughter of a theatre accountant and an engineer, Ms. Payette was a stellar student at McGill University, where she came to the attention of Claude Guay, an IBM executive then and now. He hired the student intern after she graduated. "It was clear right away that we had a very gifted individual," Mr. Guay recalls. "People would rave about the kind of work that she would do. ... We were actually very disappointed when she left."

In Toronto, as well as getting a graduate degree in engineering, Ms. Payette sang for three years in the choir of Tafelmusik, the acclaimed baroque chamber orchestra. She took a copy of their recording of Handel's Messiah with her into space, "which was very cool," said choir director Ivars Taurins. Is she competitive?

When Mr. Taurins told Ms. Payette that she would be singing with the second, rather than the first, sopranos for Bach's Mass in B Minor, she practically cried.

Upon graduation, Ms. Payette worked with IBM in Zurich and Bell-Northern Research in Montreal, before becoming one of four chosen from more than 5,000 applicants in 1992 to become an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency. Marc Garneau, who was one of Canada's first astronauts, was on the committee that selected her.

"It was a no-brainer to choose her back then," said Mr. Garneau, who is now the federal Minister of Transport.

Ms. Payette had an impressive background in science and engineering, she was multilingual, a lover of the arts - an articulate, cosmopolitan personality who was curious about the world. "I couldn't be more pleased" by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to recommend Ms. Payette as governor-general, he said in an interview. "It's an inspired choice."

As part of her training, Ms. Payette learned Russian (she is also conversant in Spanish, Italian and German and idiomatic in English and French) and earned a pilot's licence. She flew in 1999 in the space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station, and again in Endeavour in 2009. From 2000 to 2007, she was chief astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency.

After leaving the agency in 2013, she spent three years as chief operating officer of the Montreal Science Centre, leaving abruptly in 2016. She has also served on various boards, including a board of advisers at McGill's faculty of engineering. "She's been looking at science education for quite some time," said Benoit Boulet, the faculty's associate dean, and pays particular attention to encouraging women to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

Personally, Ms. Payette is a "kind, gracious, people kind of person," Prof. Hirst said. "She was like that as a student and she was like that as an astronaut as well."

She can be very direct and demanding, setting high standards, not only for herself, but for those she works with. In 2011, Ms. Payette spent a year at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. "She's a real person," says David Biette, who was director of the Canada Institute at the time.

"She's not this perfect little butterfly who went up in space ... I don't think she has a lot of patience for bullshit."

Though the public role of astronaut translates easily into the equivalent role of governor-general, Ms. Payette's background is in science rather than law. This could leave her in unfamiliar territory when confronted with a challenge, such as the one that governor-general Michaëlle Jean, a former broadcaster, faced in 2008, when Stephen Harper recommended that Parliament be prorogued on the cusp of what would have been his government's defeat in the Commons.

(She accepted his advice.) B.C. Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon, a former rancher, faced a similar decision in June when Premier Christy Clark, whose government had been defeated on its Throne Speech, recommended she call an election. (Ms.

Guichon declined the advice and turned to NDP Leader John Horgan to form a government.)

That said, governors-general and lieutenant-governors have legal scholars to advise them when such situations occur. And ultimately, "a lot of these things are common sense," Prof. Stumm observes. "And I can tell you that Julie has a tremendous amount of common sense."

With files from Ingrid Peritz in Montreal


Oct. 20, 1963, Montreal


Jacqueline, a theatre accountant


André, an engineer


International baccalaureate from United World College of the Atlantic in South Wales (1982)

Bachelor of electrical engineering, McGill (1986)

Master of applied science in electrical and computer engineering, Toronto (1990)



STS-96, a 10-day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station (ISS), May 27-June 6, 1999. First Canadian to board ISS.


STS 127, a 16-day mission aboard the space shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station, July 15-31, 2009. Served as flight engineer and mission specialist 2.


Single mother, 14-year-old son


Plays flute and piano, sang in choirs of Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra


French and English (fluent); Russian, German, Italian and Spanish (conversant)


Enjoys scuba diving, racquet sports, skiing, running. Has a pilot's licence.

- John Ibbitson

Events collide with one another and the past
With so many festivals taking over the streets of Montreal this summer, it can be hard to discern where some end and others begin
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Print Edition, Page R6

Montreal in summer is packed with festivals, especially during this year of major anniversaries for Confederation, Expo 67 and the founding of Montreal.

Such is the crush of events that some festivals overlap in space as well as in time, as I inadvertently discovered while checking out free outdoor events by Montréal Complètement Cirque (MCC).

This fête strives each year to blanket more of the city in circusrelated shows and workshops. It has a particular grip on parts of bustling Saint Denis Street, where several blocks have been closed to traffic, decorated with festival banners and opened to roving performers. The nearby Place Pasteur acts as a stage for emerging circus acts - the place to be, perhaps, to spot the next big talents.

MCC also features large-scale creations such as the dance-inspired Rouge; and Les 7 Doigts' Vice & Vertu, a skilled but verbose threehour spectacle about 1940s Montreal that left me thinking that documentary circus is an idea whose time has not yet come.

In the free-range part of Saint Denis, I ran into a troupe of acrobats doing stunts on the asphalt, dressed in what looked like a skimpy version of paramilitary gear. Further on, some clowns pretended to stage equestrian events with horses that were actually extensions of their costumes - a playful allusion, I thought, to the once-central role of horses in the modern circus.

Another group of performers in a wooden pen were doing a hilariously detailed impersonation of sheep grazing, lying down and staring into space. This disciplined but nearly static clowning looked like a bold breach in the limits of circus, which is usually more athletic.

What I didn't know until later was that some of the clowning I saw on Saint Denis was part of another festival happening on the same city blocks at the same time. Both the sheep and the equestrians were installed by À nous la rue, a citywide July festival that will have presented about 800 street-theatre performances by the end of the month.

Embarrassingly, I discovered my mistake when I asked MCC director Nadine Marchand for her thoughts about how sheep impersonation could be an extension of circus. "That's not my programming," she said briskly.

And yet, the MCC website has a well-illustrated page devoted to several À nous la rue shows, including the sheep (Les moutons, by the physical theatre company, Corpus). There was almost more information there than I was able to find on Saint Denis, where signs associating some of the performances with À nous la rue were few and inconspicuous.

Does it really matter to most people if something they see and enjoy, for no cost, is part of festival A or festival B?

Probably not, but the festivals care. An important behind-scenes aspect of the business is proving you have an audience that knows when it is experiencing your work.

Two winters ago, Luminothérapie seemed to realize that passersby couldn't distinguish between its annual light installations around the Quartier des spectacles and other creative projections nearby. It stopped inviting multiple parties to dream up diverse projects and hired a design company to create content that would give the multisite spectacle a single harmonious look. À nous la rue shouldn't think of going that far, but could stand to work on its street identity, especially when sharing space with another festival.

Another, more ghostly kind of spatial overlap is happening all this summer along Sherbrooke Street West, where the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has installed a kilometre-long exhibition called La Balade pour la Paix: An Open-air Museum. The art part of this show consists of about 30 large sculptures and dozens of photographs, all deemed by the curators to support "a humanistic message of peace."

The overlap in this case is with Balade's notorious precursor: Corridart, a 1976 display of sculptural installations and photographs on a much longer stretch of Sherbrooke, organized as part of the cultural program for the Summer Olympics. The night before it opened, however, the provincially funded exhibition was torn down and carted away by city workers under orders from mayor Jean Drapeau, who called the works "a pollution" of the streetscape.

Ironically, the mayor's vandalism against a show that might otherwise have been seen and forgotten ensured Corridart an undying place in Montreal's cultural memory. The show was on everyone's lips last fall, when one of its works (by Pierre Ayot) was restored and installed on the Plateau; and more recently when Bill Vazan, another Corridart alumnus, created a labyrinthine land-art piece near City Hall -

"right under the nose" of a bronze statue of Drapeau, as Le Devoir noted last week.

Corridart is the spectre that haunts Balade. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the new show has positioned itself to be as unlike its predecessor as possible.

Corridart was a mainly local meditation by Montreal artists on how the city's built environment was changing, not always for the better. Balade's photojournalistic images, and its choice of sculptors (including Magdalena Abakanowicz and Wang Shugang), are resolutely international. Corridart's prime unit of collective humanity was the neighbourhood or civic community.

Balade's is the nation-state, as represented by more than 200 flags strung along cables the length of the display; though national flags symbolize conflict at least as often as they do peace.

Balade has the identity issue well in hand, however: All components are uniformly laid out and labelled, in part to distinguish them from other artworks already on the street. Corridart was much more ambiguous in presentation, with photos mounted on construction scaffolding, and a three-storey installation by organizer Melvin Charney that mimicked the stately Sherbrooke mansions being sacrificed to civic modernization.

That may be the difference between a festival, as an orderly container of events, and an intervention, which positions things and events where they may startle. The best combination may be a street-festival performance that overturns your expectations of what can happen in a public place, while leaving you with a more or less clear idea of how it came about and who put it there.

Montréal Complètement Cirque continues at various locations through July 16. Rouge continues at Place Émilie-Gamelin through July 30. Vice & Vertu continues at Société des Arts Technologiques through Aug. 6. La Balade pour la Paix continues on Sherbrooke Street West through Oct. 29.

Associated Graphic

Montréal Complètement Cirque is putting on many outdoor events this summer, some of which confusingly intersect with installations by À nous la rue, a citywide July festival.


A touch of Mexico a SkyTrain ride away
In old-school New Westminster, close your eyes and El Santo's vibe and cuisine can make you feel like you're in Yaletown
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Print Edition, Page S3

El Santo 680 Columbia St., Vancouver; 604-553-1849; Contemporary Mexican, casual dining Appetizers and tacos, $9 to $12; shared plates, $7 to $24; mains, $14 to $28.


Have you been to New Westminster lately? Realtors are calling it the Brooklyn of Vancouver - a SkyTrain-connected small town where cool kids with a hankering for home ownership can still afford heritage fixeruppers and waterfront condominiums.

Yet, for all the third-wave cafés, craft breweries and ciabatta-sandwich shops that inevitably followed those cool kids, the city's main drag - Columbia Street, a.k.a. the Golden Mile - remains a slightly bizarre, bluecollar shopping district that continues to do a roaring trade in bridal gowns and industrial safety vests.

Among all that poufy crinoline and DayGlo reflector tape, a modern Mexican restaurant has lately been giving the Paramount Gentlemen's Club a run for its money as anchor of the strip. The buzz has been building since El Santo opened at the end of 2015. More recently, it tied with La Mezcaleria to win best Latin restaurant at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.

Best Latin, in all of Metro Vancouver? Well that sounds worthy of a two-zone TransLink fare.

But, like so many boosterrific claims around gentrification, this gold-medal showing is actually somewhat of a compromise.

Don't get me wrong. There is a lot to like about El Santo. If I were a cool kid living the life of a condo developer's glossy-brochure dream, I'd be pretty stoked about being able to saunter in on a Saturday night when a rotating roster of Latin musicians park themselves in the front window. Hey, doesn't this make El Santo even more cosmopolitan than most of downtown Vancouver, where live music in restaurants is few and far between?

And for a genre that is still largely defined by pinatas and sombreros, El Santo is definitely a fresh breath of sophistication.

The restaurant has a bright, airy ambience - the kind Yelpers tend to call "Big City" - replete with high ceilings and polished concrete floors. Dressed in marigold and dusty teal, the spacious main dining room is tastefully layered in hand-stitched leatherette panelling, metal-mesh screens, hand-blown-glass cluster lighting and a commanding sculpture of a masked Mexican wrestler assembled from wine corks.

It's cool. It's hip. You can squint your eyes and pretend you're in Yaletown. If you need help visualizing, the bar offers a huge selection of tequila and mezcal - more than 100 brands.

You can order shots in flights or with a chaser of verdita, a zesty green juice pressed from mint, cilantro, lemon and pineapple, which makes the booze go down like healthy smoothies. The margaritas, made with squeezed-toorder lime and none of that nasty agave sweetener that has lately grown into a ubiquitous scourge, are excellent. The allB.C. wine list is discerning.

The setting is sharp. The service is snappy. There's nothing cheesy about it, including the menu, which is focused on local freshness and housemade goodness - and probably explains why the Vancouver Magazine judges were won over.

"It's important to tell people that Mexican food is more than just tacos and enchiladas," says owner Alejandro Diaz, a former hotel-industry accountant, speaking by phone from Guadalajara, where he and his souschef were doing food and beverage recognizance while sourcing new parts for their handmade tortilla machine. "When I think Mexican, I think fresh."

As it is at El Santo, where the meat is all sourced from local suppliers. Citrus-marinated duck leg, for example, from Yarrow Meadows certified-organic farm, is densely fatty and charred on the edges, but not what most would expect from a Mexican restaurant. The small, messy portion is served on small, square cast-iron pans with no embellishment save for a side of creamy guacamole and dark, smoky salsa. It's great meat, but it's just meat - a little bland and not what many would expect.

The kitchen doesn't have freezers, so the main fish dish is whole rockfish served Spanishstyle with capers, olives and tomatoes in a mild-chili broth.

I'm sure it's great, or at least better than the cornmeal-crusted tostaditas, which are ploddingly dry with their sparse sprinkling of jalapeno vinaigrette.

Rajas con crema is advertised as creamy, but it's actually more corn-y and not exactly satisfying for those wanting thick heft. As with the enchiladas flor de Jamaica - dried-out tortillas filled with tart, rehydrated hibiscus flowers and crunchy slivered jicama - it's all a bit Spartan and restrained. The main ingredients are great, it's just the execution that's lacking.

There is nothing inherently wrong with food that isn't immensely Instagrammable. But when sharing a plate of rockfish ceviche, I don't want to taste murky sludginess from too much charred pineapple that's been floundering in the citrus marinade. I'm sure the cool kids would agree that there is enough muck to be found on Tinder. Who needs that on the plate?

And it's just sad when you order slow-roasted pulled chicken tinga de pollo tacos with house-made chorizo, but the guajillo salsa is missing and none of that smoky sausage can be detected on the plate.

If the cool kids were looking for advice, I would suggest starting with sopa azteca, a very traditional soup usually swamped with stringy cheese, but here made exceptionally crisp and clean with a glistening clarified chicken broth. This is excellent soup.

The soup would be followed by grilled Caesar salad. Yes, Caesar salad, which may sound odd, but was actually invented in Tijuana. This gluten-free version, adorned with crispy chile-dusted chicharron swirls instead of croutons, in lightly charred-lemon vinaigrette, is delightfully light. Finish it up with braised beef-cheek tacos that are creamily braised in peanut butter, spiked with coffee, chili and crispy shallots.

El Santo is a nice restaurant for New Westminster. I'm sure it will make the locals happy and that's really all it was intended to do.

Would I call it a gold-medal-worthy destination? No. But apparently there are some big changes coming to the kitchen and bar, so it might live up to all the inflated hype yet.

Associated Graphic

El Santo bar manager Vanessa Coupar pours tequila with a verdita chaser. Owner Alejandro Diaz says 'Mexican food is more than just tacos and enchiladas,' although the menu has plenty of the former, including tacos cachete, seen below.


Tax changes would shake small business
Three tax-planning tactics that Ottawa is looking to shut down will leave the backbone of Canada's economy significantly worse off
Friday, July 21, 2017 – Print Edition, Page B8

Ever since the 2017 federal budget in March, when the government announced that tax changes affecting private corporations would be coming, I've been feeling queasy. Well, the proposed tax changes were announced by Bill Morneau, the Finance Minister, on Tuesday.

And ugly they are. Here's a primer on the potential changes.


Mr. Morneau announced in the budget back in March that the Liberals have not been pleased with some Canadians who are using corporations in their tax planning, and that changes would be made. The claim is that certain folks are using corporations to pay less than their fair share of taxes. While the proposed changes are meant to affect the wealthy, there will be no shortage of small-business owners, the backbone of the Canadian economy, who will be significantly worse off as a result.


There are three tax-planning tactics the government is looking to shut down:

Income sprinkling

Some business owners sprinkle income to family members by way of salary or wages, or dividends, to reduce the family's overall tax burden. There are already rules in place to prevent unreasonable salary or wages from being paid to family members who are not truly earning the compensation they receive.

There are even "kiddie tax" rules to prevent dividends paid to minor children from being taxed at their lower rates.

So, what's changing? The government wants to now restrict the ability to pay salary or wages, or dividends, to adult children between the ages of 18 and 24, by extending the "kiddie tax" rules - formally called the "tax on split income" (TOSI) - to them. The proposals will apply a "reasonableness test" that will assess the adult child's contributions to the business (both labour and capital) in determining whether amounts paid to that child should be taxed at his or her normal tax rates, or at the highest tax rate possible.

In the past, families have also taken advantage of the lifetime capital gains exemption (LCGE), which shelters from tax up to $835,716, in 2017, of capital gains on qualifying small-business corporation shares). Good tax planning has seen the LCGE of each family member used to shelter gains on the family business. The government has proposed to restrict this. Starting after 2017, capital gains realized by a family member can no longer be sheltered with the LCGE to the extent those gains accrued while the individual was a minor. Further, any capital gains accrued while the shares are held in a family trust, or gains subject to the TOSI would not be eligible for shelter using the LCGE.

Finally, in the past, the TOSI (which you'll recall is a special tax, at the highest rate going, that applies to certain income reported in the hands of children) has not applied to second generation income - that is, income on income. So, if a corporation paid, say $100 in dividends to a child, and the child paid the highest rate of tax (the TOSI) of, say, $40, there would be $60 left after taxes. That $60 could be invested and any income in the future on that $60 (income on the income) would not be subject to the high rate of tax (the TOSI). This will change if the new proposals are enacted. All future income (income on any income) will be subject to the same high rate tax (the TOSI).

Confused yet?

Passive income

When a corporation generates income, it's eligible for a pretty attractive rate of tax (about 15 per cent, but it varies by province) on the first $500,000 (federally) of active business income.

If a business owner doesn't need all of his earnings to support his lifestyle, it's common to leave the rest in the corporation to invest - perhaps in a portfolio earning passive income. For example, if you earn $100 in active business income and pay $15 of that to the taxman, you'd have $85 left to invest in the corporation. If you had earned that business income person