Crosby puts on a show with three goals
By ROY MACGREGOR
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
PITTSBURGH -- email@example.com
If there was any doubt that the oft-injured Sidney Crosby had retained his title as The Game's Best Player, he put all suggestions to rest Friday night in a shower of ball caps and a chant that seemed to come from all 18,645 throats in Consol Energy Center.
"M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!"
The 2013 Hart Trophy finalist - along with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and John Tavares of the New York Islanders - scored a natural hat trick in the first and second periods of his Pittsburgh Penguins Game 2 match with the Ottawa Senators, leading his team to a 4-3 victory and a two-games-to-none lock on this best-of-seven Round 2 series.
Crosby's dominance from the opening faceoff to the first two shots on goal, which he took, scoring on the second, was pivotal as the Penguins took early control and maintained it for much of the night, outshooting the Senators 42-22.
Yet the Senators kept it close in the third period, giving them some slim hope for when the series resumes Sunday in Ottawa.
If you went by the chatter of the morning skates, you would fully anticipate Ottawa would have been on the early attack and the Penguins scrambling to defend as Game 2 opened.
"Any time a team loses a Game 1," Pittsburgh defenceman Matt Niskanen had said, "there's usually a big pushback in Game 2 - so be ready for it."
"I expect them to come out pretty hard," added Crosby. "They'll want to start better and come out harder, so we've got to be ready for that."
"We're going to respond," vowed Senators head coach Paul MacLean, earlier that morning named a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL's top coach.
"We're going to make it a series."
That, certainly, was the expectation, yet it was the Penguins that came out on fire and the Senators who scrambled.
Crosby put his team ahead 1-0 barely three minutes into the game when he flew up the left side, blew past Ottawa's star defenceman Erik Karlsson and fired a hard wrist shot past Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson.
It was Crosby's 100th playoff point in 75 post-season games. Most impressive, though Crosby's mentor, Mario Lemieux reached the same plateau in a mere 50 games.
Karlsson was caught so flat-footed on the play that it dramatically underscored a growing debate this week as to whether or not the super-keen 22-year-old defending Norris Trophy defenceman had rushed his own recovery. Karlsson's Achilles tendon had been sliced 70 per cent through on Feb. 13 by the skate of Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke and had been expected to miss the remainder of the season, only to come back just in time for the playoffs.
Prior to the injury, Karlsson would easily have stayed with Crosby who, earlier in the day, had himself expressed great admiration for the young Swedish defenceman.
"Whenever he's out there the puck kind of follows him," Crosby had said of Karlsson. "He's smart. His speed allows him to be all over the ice."
But not this night, not when Crosby beat him so easily on the opening goal and not again, later in the opening period, when Crosby again came down Karlsson's side, kept the puck just out of Karlsson's reach and then threw a harmless looking shot at the Ottawa goal that slipped past Anderson, who clearly was reading pass.
That gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead, as a few minutes earlier Ottawa had scored on the power play when captain Daniel Alfredsson fed a quick pass to Kyle Turris and Turris basically shovelled the puck in past Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
A goaltender's duel this was not. Of the opening three goals, only Crosby's first deserved late night replay. Anderson recovered from his shaky start - stoning Jarome Iginla and Evgeni Malkin later in the game - but by then goals were as desperately needed as stops.
At the :49 mark of the second period, Karlsson took a hooking penalty when he let Cooke slip away on him for a shot. With Karlsson off, Crosby scored his third of the night on a hard slapshot that cleanly beat Anderson.
The sellout crowd predictably erupted, caps cascading down to celebrate the hattrick. And then the chants began.
"M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!"
Ottawa's Colin Greening, playing far better in the postseason than the regular season, scored to bring Ottawa to within a goal, but the Penguins moved to 4-2 when yet another Pittsburgh power play had just expired, Brenden Morrow tipping in a point shot from defenceman Paul Martin.
Early in the third period, Ottawa rookie Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his fourth goal of the playoffs when he picked a loose puck out of a goalmouth scramble and nudged it into the back of the Pittsburgh net to again put the Senators a goal away.Surprise! Wiggins opts for Kansas
With fanfare kept to a minimum, Canadian phenom announces he will play for Jayhawks
By RACHEL BRADY
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page S5
The world of U.S. college basketball awaited word from inside a small West Virginia high school on Tuesday as a quiet 18-year-old Canadian delivered news that is expected to shape the balance of power in the National Collegiate Athletic Association next season.
Andrew Wiggins of Vaughan, Ont., ended months of speculation by basketball enthusiasts when he announced he will play at the University of Kansas, surprising many who believed he would attend Florida State, his parents' alma mater. He instantly makes the Jayhawks a contender for the national title if you listen to college hoops insiders.
The announcement could have commanded a live broadcast on a major U.S. sports network, but the year's top recruit insisted on a simple setting - the gym of his high school, Huntington Prep, with friends, family and a single reporter from the local newspaper in Huntington, W.Va. The sports world could tune in only via the tweet-by-tweet commentary of that single scribe, which made the announcement even more intriguing.
"I would have been extremely surprised if he made his announcement any other way," said Roy Rana, who coaches Wiggins on the Canadian junior men's team. "He doesn't enjoy being in the limelight. In this day and age when everything becomes a huge media event, this kid insisted on making it very intimate with just his family and friends."
The 6-foot-8 forward was rated No. 1 overall by every major U.S. recruiting site. Fair or not, he has been called the best high-school player since LeBron James. Video montages of Wiggins swishing effortless jumpers and leaping to dunk as though he's spring-loaded have made the tall, lean teen a sensation on YouTube.
Speculation is rife that Wiggins will play only a single season of college ball before moving on to be the top overall pick in next year's NBA draft.
Many craving Wiggins's news flocked to the one reporter he allowed in, Grant Traylor of the Herald-Dispatch, who has covered the prep phenom for the past two seasons. Traylor's Twitter followers erupted from a modest 1,900 this week to nearly 17,000.
While most recruits had committed to schools months ago, Wiggins was still weighing his options right until the deadline this week, watching as each school's roster took shape with high-school seniors signing and college stars declaring for the NBA draft.
He narrowed his choices to four schools. There was Kentucky and North Carolina, full of college basketball tradition and prestige.
Wiggins's parents both attended Florida State. His father, Mitchell, played basketball there before going on to the NBA, and his mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, ran track. Wiggins's close friend and teammate, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, had already committed to FSU.
At Kansas, Wiggins can play with other McDonald's All-Americans and be close to his older brother Nick, who plays at nearby Wichita State.
"Few may have thought Kansas was the front-runner, but I'm not surprised he chose it knowing the kid, because his family does what they think is right rather than what the masses think is right," said Gus Gymnopoulos, who taught and coached the Wiggins kids at Vaughan Secondary School. "Kansas has one of the best teachers of basketball in coach Bill Self. By all accounts, Andrew is a one-year guy, so they would want him to go where he could gain the maximum development in that time, and my gut tells me they believed that was Kansas."
Fans and alumni from each of the four schools lobbied and bantered relentlessly online, but Wiggins kept the news quiet outside his closest family circle, a feat nearly impossible in today's world of tweets, news feeds and recruiting blogs. He told his Huntington Prep coach of his final decision only minutes before walking into the gym Tuesday.
"I think this decision says he definitely wants to win, which is very consistent with who Andrew is," said Rowan Barrett, assistant general manager and executive vice-president of Basketball Canada's senior men's program. "Bill Self has a great ability to put big-time players in good offensive position to exploit a defence, and Andrew will be put in a good spot to be successful."
Before Wiggins committed Tuesday, Kansas was called a fringe top 25 team for next season. Just minutes after Wiggins committed, ESPN altered its preseason college basketball rankings and put Kansas at No. 5, calling the Jayhawks "good enough to contend for the NCAA title."
"Obviously, everyone in Jayhawk-land is overwhelmed and excited today," Self said in a news release, admitting even he was pleasantly surprised. "We think he has a chance to be about as good a prospect as we've ever had."Lundqvist shuts door to force Game 7
New York goaltender records seventh career playoff shutout to set up winner-take-all showdown in Washington
By IRA PODELL
The Associated Press
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page S4
NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist slammed his stick in disgust when an overtime loss in Washington put the New York Rangers on the brink of elimination.
Two days later, the star goalie pumped his arm and let out an emphatic yell when his shutout kept the Rangers alive and set up a Game 7 in the United States capital.
Lundqvist was the difference Sunday in stopping 27 shots for his seventh NHL playoff shutout. The reigning Vézina Trophy winner was perfect in making Derick Brassard's second-period goal stand up in a 1-0 victory over the Capitals that forced a deciding game in the first-round, Eastern Conference series.
"We needed it. There was desperation out there," Lundqvist said. "We showed a lot of character and worked really hard. It was that type of game where you pay the price - big saves, physical. Great win."
Despite having little room for error, the Rangers stayed composed and played a disciplined game in which they took no penalties until a big scrum after the final buzzer.
Now the Rangers hope that can carry over to Game 7 on Monday night in Washington, where they have lost three times in this tight series. The home team has won all six games.
"They play really well at home and they're confident," Lundqvist said. "The games we've played in that building, special teams have played a big part. We played a really disciplined game, and that's going to be key for us because they have a really good power play, so you have to respect that.
"Play hard, but play smart."
The Rangers earned Game 7 wins at home in last year's playoffs over Ottawa and Washington. If they pull out this victory, it would give them just their second series win after falling behind 0-2.
"We are just going to have the same mentality we had coming into this game," Brassard said. "We just played our game, had fun. The guys were relaxed, and that's what we need to do [Monday]."
Special teams were a factor Sunday, but only in keeping the Capitals in it because of the Rangers' ineffective power play that went 0-for-5 and is 2-for-26 in the series. New York had a failed 5-on-3 advantage that lasted 44 seconds in the first period.
"Some were deserved. Some weren't deserved," Capitals forward Troy Brouwer said of his team's penalties. "We killed our momentum."
Washington didn't get a chance to improve on its 3-for-14 output in the first five games. Two Rangers power plays in the third cut out precious time the Capitals could have had to net the tying goal.
"We battled the whole way," Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said. "Disappointing, but we move along. Our [penalty-killing] is doing great, holding us in the series. Our guys kept their composure. We knew this could go seven."
Brassard handed Lundqvist the lead at 9:39 of the second period, with a goal that was originally credited to struggling forward Rick Nash.
Defenceman Mike Green left Washington short-handed when he took a retaliation cross-checking penalty on Derek Dorsett with 6:14 remaining.
"There are a lot emotions. You can expect scrums and things like that," Dorsett said. "You've got to play your game. You can't just go out and think you're going to scrum it up and win the game."
Just after Green's penalty expired, Lundqvist denied Eric Fehr's drive with a snaring glove save. He then covered the puck in front with 48.4 seconds left, keeping Marcus Johansson at bay after the Capitals pulled Holtby for an extra attacker.
Lundqvist was at his best earlier in the third when the Capitals came at him in waves. He turned aside Mike Ribeiro, who scored in overtime to win Game 5, with just over 11 minutes remaining, and stopped Fehr three minutes later on a rush up the middle.
"Especially late in the game, he made some great saves," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "Last year, and now he has another Game 7, I think that builds. The ultimate goal for Hank in his mind is to win the Stanley Cup, but you need to go through these types of situations to get there."Players aware of Canada's quarter-final jinx
Addition of Canadiens' Subban expected to strengthen blueline
By DONNA SPENCER
The Canadian Press
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page S4
STOCKHOLM -- A lapse of concentration in their most recent game aside, the Canadians have melded into a contending team at the International Ice Hockey Federation men's world championship on little preparation.
Canada heads into Thursday's quarter-final game with firepower on offence, an improving blueline, and goaltending capable of getting wins. The quarter-final has been Canada's stumbling block in this tournament with losses the last three years.
"We realize that," forward Steven Stamkos said. "The last three years, I think, have been early exits and it's not going to get any easier."
Canada awaits the conclusion of the preliminary round Tuesday to confirm its quarter-final opponent. Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban was added to the team Monday and will play in the quarter-final.
A 4-3 overtime win over relegated Slovenia on Monday gave Canada 18 points from five wins, an overtime win and a shootout loss in the round robin.
Unbeaten Switzerland was one point back with a game in hand. The Swiss need just a point Tuesday against Belarus to secure first place.
The top four countries in each group advance to the quarter-finals with one playing four and two facing three.
Host Sweden (4-2) will finish third in Canada's pool. Tuesday's game between the Czech Republic and Norway will determine the fourth quarter-finalist in Stockholm.
The United States, Finland and Russia will finish top four in Helsinki, but Tuesday will determine their seedings. The fourth and final playoff berth in that pool was still up for grabs between Slovakia, Germany, France and Latvia.
Because the NHL's lockout-shortened regular season ended three weeks later than usual, this Canadian team had no training camp or exhibition games.
After three practices, and one of them the night they stepped off the plane, Canada was forced to become a team on the fly. They played seven games in 10 days during the round robin, including back-to-backs three times.
Canada's team game improved each of the first five games. The sixth, Sunday's 2-1 win over the Czech Republic, lacked the offensive fireworks of the previous games.
The Canadians sleepwalked through the first period and trailed by two goals against the Slovenians, who came ready to compete.
Canada's forwards are the strength of this team. Stamkos, twice the winner of the NHL's goal-scoring trophy, is a threat every time he steps on the ice. His overtime goal was his second of the game and sixth of the tournament.
"Obviously you don't want to start a game like that," Stamkos said. "If you do against the next opponent, you're probably going to be going home."
Matt Duchene and Brenden Dillon scored Canada's other goals.
Devan Dubynk, who rotated with Mike Smith in Canada's net, made 17 saves for his fourth win of the tournament. Smith faced the tougher opponents in the round robin with wins against the Czechs and Swedes and a shootout loss to Switzerland.
Canada's blueline is a work in progress and was lacking the international experience of the forwards. Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis joined the team Saturday and has played the most minutes in his two games so far.
His stretch pass to Stamkos on Monday gave the forward an easy breakaway on 19-year-old Slovenian goaltender Luka Gracnar, whose 35 saves was almost enough for a historic upset.
Subban, a Norris Trophy finalist as the NHL's top defenceman this season, will add more big-game experience to the blueline.
"How physically strong he is, the fact that he's a right-handed shot and should be able to help our power play shooting from the off-side, he's a tremendous weapon skating on the big ice and being a veteran player is going to help our team," Canadian head coach Lindy Ruff said.
The defencemen, three of whom made their international debuts for Canada here, were a concern in Ruff's mind when the tournament began. Despite Canada's defensive gaffes in Monday's first period, Ruff is comfortable Canada's capabilities on the back end.NHL's best team finds another gear
By JAY COHEN
The Associated Press
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page S4
CHICAGO -- One bad-angle overtime goal was enough to grab the attention of the Chicago Blackhawks. Once that shot went in for Jason Zucker, it was all over for the Minnesota Wild.
Chicago advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2010 with a 5-1 victory over Minnesota in Game 5 on Thursday night. The Blackhawks got contributions from up and down the roster while overpowering the Wild in the final two nights of the series.
The NHL's best team during the regular season found another gear after Zucker lifted Minnesota to a 3-2 victory on Sunday. The Blackhawks never trailed again, winning the series 4-1, but coach Joel Quenneville is looking for more.
"I still think we've got to be better," he said. "I'm not doing cartwheels the last two games. I still think there's another level we've got to get to to be more consistent in our game and ratchet it up to playoff pace."
It's been the same refrain from the Blackhawks for months. They talked about building for the playoffs while they were setting an NHL record by recording at least one point in the first 24 games of the season. It was all about improvement when they went 11-2-2 in their final 15 games to secure the Presidents' Trophy awarded to the team with the most points.
So while there were plenty of reasons for optimism following the convincing series against the Wild, the Blackhawks think they can play even better.
"We still feel like we can push the pace a little bit more," forward Patrick Sharp said. "We've got talented players who are going to score goals, but there's things that we can do that I'm sure Joel will address much better."
It's going to be hard for Sharp and goalie Corey Crawford to play any better than they did against Minnesota. Sharp had five goals and an assist, breaking out after he missed much of the season with a shoulder injury. Crawford had his second career playoff shutout in a 3-0 victory in Game 4, and then made 21 stops in the series-clinching win.
The Blackhawks are a whopping 29-1-3 this year with Sharp in the lineup.
"He's proven in the past that he can score and coming off a couple of injuries late in the year, you know, he was fresh and ready to go once we began," Quenneville said.
But it wasn't just Sharp on the attack for Chicago, one of the deepest teams in the NHL. Eight players had at least one goal and 15 recorded at least one point.
"Whether it's someone who's in the lineup one night and out the next night, everyone's gotta step up when they get the chance," captain Jonathan Toews said. "That's what it's going to take to keep moving forward."
Next up for Chicago is a compelling matchup, no matter which team shows up for Game 1 of the Western Conference semi-finals.
If Detroit gets by Anaheim in the first round, the Red Wings will face the Blackhawks in the post-season for the first time since 2009. A playoff series between the traditional rivals could deliver quite the boost for the NHL, still trying to rebound from the costly lockout that trimmed this season to 48 games.
If the Red Wings lose to the Ducks, Raffi Torres and San Jose will take on Marian Hossa and Chicago. Torres was playing for Phoenix when he levelled Hossa in the playoffs a year ago, giving him a season-ending concussion. Torres was suspended for the ugly hit, but the Blackhawks surely remember what happened.
"It doesn't matter who it's going to be," Toews said. "It's going to be a tough opponent. We can expect that much and prepare ourselves as best we can for whatever might come in the second round."Dupuis stealing spotlight, goals from superstar teammates
By WILL GRAVES
The Associated Press
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
PITTSBURGH -- Dan Bylsma has been hearing it seemingly from the moment he took over as the Pittsburgh Penguins head coach four years ago.
Every time the Penguins hit a rough patch, the murmurs about finding a polished winger to play alongside superstar Sidney Crosby pop up. Bylsma understands the sentiment. It's just that it's a little misplaced.
Thing is, Bylsma thinks the Penguins already have the winger who can bring out the best in Crosby. Just don't call Pascal Dupuis under the radar any more.
He has a point. It's kind of hard to be under the radar - even when the radar is sometimes consumed by Crosby's star wattage - when you keep scoring goals whether Crosby's No.87 is skating alongside your or not.
The NHL's leading goal scorer in the postseason isn't Crosby or reigning NHL most valuable player Evgeni Malkin. It's not future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla or all-star James Neal. It's a 34-year-old chameleon playing perhaps the best hockey of his career by doing all the little things right, and most of the big ones, too.
Dupuis's textbook shorthanded goal that sealed Pittsburgh's 4-1 win over Ottawa in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals on Tuesday night gave him six through the first seven games of the postseason. Heady territory for a player who had never scored more than four times in a single postseason during his 12-year career.
The affable Dupuis can't quite explain what's happening. To be honest, putting so much thought process into the "why" might ruin the moment.
"I don't know where it's coming from, maybe from playing with great players, making the right plays," he said.
Maybe, Dupuis is far more than Crosby's sidekick. If anything, he's perhaps Pittsburgh's best two-way player at the moment, a fixture Bylsma can throw onto the ice in just about any situation as a security blanket.
"He's an extremely hard worker, extremely diligent," Bylsma said. "He gets good goals. He gets dirty goals, shorthanded goals like the one last night."
One that came with Crosby, Malkin and the rest of Pittsburgh's roster of bold-faced names sitting on the bench.
The Penguins were nursing a 3-1 lead midway through the third period when the Senators went on the power play. Enter Dupuis, who collected a little chip pass from Doug Murray inside the Pittsburgh zone then raced to the Ottawa net with teammate Matt Cooke to his right in a 2-on-1 breakway.
Rather than flip a crossing pass to Cooke, Dupuis patiently waited for Senators goaltender Craig Anderson to hedge just a bit in Cooke's direction. Given a small gap over Anderson's right shoulder, Dupuis fired from just in front of the net. The puck ripped just under the crossbar and the Penguins had a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series that continues on Friday.
"I had a little hole and I was confident to shoot it and I put it right there," Dupuis said.
Something Dupuis has developed a knack for whether Crosby is in the lineup or not. He collected a career-high 25 goals in 2011-12 even with Crosby missing the majority of the season due to concussion-like symptoms. He added 20 this year in just 48 games.Marchand makes his first postseason goal a winner
By HOWARD ULMAN
The Associated Press
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page S4
BOSTON -- Brad Marchand scored with 4:20 left in the first overtime and the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in the first playoff game in 40 years between the Original Six teams.
Marchand, Boston's top goal scorer in the regular season, got his first of the postseason on a pass from Patrice Bergeron. Marchand had carried the puck up the right side, passed it to Bergeron and kept going toward the net. Bergeron passed across the slot and Marchand tipped it past goalie Henrik Lundqvist from the left side of the crease.
The Bruins carried the play throughout overtime. They applied constant pressure, but couldn't score during a power play when Derek Dorsett was penalized for interference at 2:20 of overtime.
Boston nearly won in regulation, but Johnny Boychuk's shot from the right point clanged off the left post with one-tenth of a second remaining. Then he hit the left post at the other end of the ice at 6:34 of overtime.
Zdeno Chara gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 12:23 of the second before Ryan McDonagh tied it with 1.3 seconds left in the period. Derek Stepan put the Rangers ahead 2-1 just 14 seconds into the third period, and Torey Krug tied it on a power play with his first NHL goal in four career games.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final is set for Sunday night in Boston.
Both teams advanced with Game 7 victories Monday night. The Bruins overcame a three-goal disadvantage with 11 minutes left in regulation and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Bergeron's goal in overtime. The Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 5-0 behind Lundqvist's second consecutive shutout.
On Thursday, the Bruins played without three injured veteran defencemen: Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden. Three rookies started on defence: Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Krug, who was called up from Providence of the AHL after Seidenberg was hurt early in the first period Monday night.
The Bruins ended Lundqvist's shutout streak at 152 minutes 23 seconds when he gave up Chara's soft goal. Lundqvist appeared to have a good view of the 50-foot slap shot from just in front of the middle of the blueline and got a piece of the puck, but it trickled by him.
That lead nearly held up through the second period. But when Boychuk passed it from in front of his net to Tyler Seguin in the right circle, Rick Nash hit Seguin's stick and the puck went to McDonagh at the left point.
McDonagh's rising slap shot soared over the right arm of goalie Tuukka Rask. Stepan then made it 2-1 on a 30-foot shot from the slot through Rask's legs, two goals in 15.3 seconds.
Krug tied the game with teammate David Krejci in front of the net trying to screen Lundqvist. The shot from just inside the top of the left circle went under Lundqvist's left arm.
The teams last met in the playoffs in 1973 when the Rangers won the first-round series in five games. The previous year, they faced each other in the Stanley Cup final, and the Bruins won in six.Rangers rebound to top Caps
The Associated Press
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page S4
NEW YORK -- Dan Girardi and Derek Stepan scored third-period goals for the New York Rangers, who squandered a two-goal lead and then held on to get even in the best-of-seven NHL playoff series with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
Girardi ripped a shot from above the left circle, off a feed from Derick Brassard, to give the Rangers the lead again with a power-play goal 59 seconds into the third. The advantage was created by Jason Chimera's interference penalty at the end of the second.
Stepan made it 4-2 at 6 minutes 2 seconds, scoring into a wide-open net at the end of a give-and-go play in front with Carl Hagelin, who had a goal and two assists.
Game 5 will be back in Washington on Friday, before the series returns to Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The home team has won all four games in the first-round Eastern Conference matchup.
Brad Richards and Hagelin staked the Rangers to a 2-0 lead, but goals by Mathieu Perreault and Troy Brouwer tied it for Washington in the second period. The Capitals closed within 4-3 on defenceman Karl Alzner's goal at 7:31 of the third.
Henrik Lundqvist, selected a Vézina Trophy finalist earlier Wednesday, made 27 saves. Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots for Washington.
Despite having a 26-15 shots advantage through two periods, the Rangers found themselves locked in a tie heading into the third. Washington was outshot 13-9 in the second but scored twice in the final 6:52 to get even after Hagelin made it 2-0.
The Capitals began spending more time in the New York zone and making it increasingly difficult for the Rangers to get the puck out. The momentum was shifting, and the nervousness began to grow within the crowd as Washington's puck possession became more dangerous.
Joel Ward got the Capitals going when he led a strong rush up ice after the Rangers gave away the puck. Ward charged in, with Perreault, and made a hard move on defenceman Michael Del Zotto. Ward got Del Zotto down to the ice near the left post and feathered a pass through the crease to Perreault, who tied up Richards and slid in his first career playoff goal.
The Rangers appeared set to get out of the second with the one-goal lead they brought into it, but Brouwer's first of the playoffs tied it.
Defenceman Anton Stralman lost the puck in his end along the right-wing boards, and Mike Green barely kept the puck in at the point. He sent a pass into the high slot to Brouwer, who backhanded in a shot with 17.1 seconds left in the period.
Hagelin's second goal of the series doubled the Rangers' lead midway through the second.Mystery surrounds heir charged in death
By JILL MAHONEY AND PATRICK WHITE
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page A6
The man accused of murdering Tim Bosma has been portrayed as the wealthy heir to his family aviation firm who slid naturally into the CEO's chair after his father's death. But a contractor who helped overhaul the company describes an uneasy succession marked by the starkly different business visions held by father and son.
Last fall, the company was on the cusp of a daring new chapter in its 50-year existence. Wayne Millard had invested at least $8-million in a state-of-the-art hangar, built to maintain some of Canada's most prominent commercial fleets.
The company had secured key operating licences at a huge cost and was staffing up its 50,000-square-foot hangar in Waterloo, Ont., when the driving force behind the company's revitalization, Mr. Millard, died unexpectedly.
That's when 27-year-old Dellen Millard, the man formally charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mr. Bosma on Wednesday, took over and quickly made it clear that, despite being close with his late father, he did not share the elder Millard's aspirations for Millardair.
The younger Millard put the new building up for lease, according to the contractor who built the facility, dashing the new phase of the company before it could start. An avid pilot and car enthusiast, he used a portion of the hangar to store the family's sizable collection of vehicles and aircraft.
"Dellen, being a young man, wasn't really ready to take on a hundred employees and a business that he knew nothing about," said the contractor, who has known the Millard family for about a dozen years and asked not to be named.
His business philosophy only deepens the mystery surrounding the reluctant heir with the tattoos who now sits in protective custody inside a Hamilton jail. He is accused of murdering Mr. Bosma after the young father took two men to test-drive his pickup truck.
"I think the cops are barking up the wrong tree," the contractor said. "There's something else that's not right as far as I'm concerned. ... There's something wrong with the whole picture. They have no problem with money. He'll spend however many thousands on vehicles and airplanes and things - what's the story with him buying an old truck? There's something not right."
Outside court on Wednesday, Mr. Millard's lawyer, Deepak Paradkar, hinted at an alternative explanation yet to emerge. "There is a story behind this which I can't get into, but obviously it's more than it appears to be," he said after Mr. Millard appeared in a Hamilton court on Wednesday.
Mr. Paradkar rejected suggestions from reporters that Mr. Millard's personal and business fortunes were flagging, characterizing his client as a wealthy man who could have easily bought Mr. Bosma's 2007 Dodge Ram had he the inclination.
Police are still seeking at least two more suspects in the killing, and Mr. Paradkar said their arrests would help Mr. Millard's case. "There are other suspects out there, it's my understanding, and once they've been apprehended, you'll get a fuller picture of what's going on."
Standing more than six feet tall and wearing a wrinkled light dress shirt and grey slacks, Mr. Millard appeared unshaven but alert in court. He spoke only to say his name and consent to a list of people with whom he's prohibited from communicating.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bosma's widow, Sharlene, struggled to check her emotions as she spoke publicly for the first time since police confirmed her husband's charred remains had been found in the Waterloo region. Ms. Bosma, who wore a black sweater and had her hair pulled back, trembled as she delivered a heartfelt remembrance of her husband before microphones at her church.
"I am broken. The biggest part of me is gone," she said.
Ms. Bosma vowed that her little girl, who is two years old, would know how much her father loved her and would watch her sleep and chase her for tickles.
"I must ask for your support and prayers for the hours and the weeks and the months and, indeed, the years that lie ahead for us. Because this will never really be over for us."U.S. bills propose changes for Canadian vacationers
By JOSH WINGROVE, ANN HUI
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page A5
OTTAWA and TORONTO -- American lawmakers are considering further opening the border to Canadian snowbirds, by extending the amount of time vacationers can stay each year.
Two U.S. bills propose to allow certain Canadians to visit for up to eight months, rather than six. Thousands of Canadians head south during winter each year, with some carefully counting each allotted day to avoid trouble with U.S. immigration officials and Canadian health-care programs. If passed, the new laws could give some of them breathing room, though much work remains.
The federal government applauded the proposed changes, but said it had nothing to do with them. Instead, a non-profit group - the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) - says it met with more than 100 American senators, members of Congress and staff to press for the changes.
The campaign, though, is far from over. The bills haven't passed, and a previous version did not pass. Meanwhile, in Canada, many provinces still require six months of residency for health-care coverage. Advocates nonetheless call the proposals a first step.
"Our approach is that once the law passes, we'll be in a better position to further our efforts in Canada," said Evan Rachkovsky, a research officer at the CSA.
Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said it does not, and has not, lobbied for the changes. The department nonetheless said "we support any efforts to increase trade and tourism between our two countries."
The two proposed American bills, introduced this year, overlap - a sign of the difficult path U.S. bills take to being enacted. If one does manage to pass, the other likely won't, according to a spokesman for Congressman Mike Quigley, who co-sponsored one of the two bills with Congressman Joe Heck. The other was tabled by prominent Democratic Senator Charles Schumer as part of immigration changes.
"The bill is about bringing more travellers and tourists to the U.S. by streamlining the visa processing system," Greg Lemon, a spokesman for Mr. Heck, said in an e-mail. Canadians spent $16.5-billion in the U.S. in 2011, according to the Canadian government.
The CSA also hopes for changes to tax regulations, Mr. Rachkovsky said. Currently, Canadians who spend more than six months in the U.S. are not eligible to claim an exemption from being taxed in the U.S. Mr. Rachkovsky's group is lobbying to extend that to eight months as well.
"They recognize these obstacles," Mr. Rachkovsky said of the U.S. lawmakers working with his group. "And they have assured us that they will change the formula if the act were to pass."
The two proposed laws are different. For instance, Mr. Schumer's bill applies to Canadians 55 and older, while the other bill applies to those age 50 and older. The age is "not set in stone at this point," Mr. Lemon said. Both allow for a spouse to stay under the same rules.
Both bills would require vacationers to maintain a residence in Canada, and either own a home in the U.S. or sign a rental agreement for the duration of their stay. The visitors would be forbidden from working in the U.S. or claiming welfare. The CSA also hopes to see the changes included in a third U.S. bill, which hasn't yet been tabled.
Federally, Canadian citizens have no rules governing how often they are in the country, though permanent residents must spend at least two years in the country within a five-year period.
Health-care rules would need to be changed to allow travellers eight months' leave. In Ontario, B.C. and Manitoba, for example, Canadians can spend a maximum of seven months outside the country each year if they wish to maintain their health coverage. Other provinces set the limit at six months. Some provinces grant exemptions, including New Brunswick, where residents can apply to leave for of up to 18 months every three years. The snowbirds' group is pushing for all provinces to extend health coverage for eight-month absences.Mom of missing man makes heartfelt Mother's Day plea
Hamilton Police receive more than 400 tips from the public
By JILL MAHONEY
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page A6
It was an emotional Mother's Day for the family of an Ontario man who has been missing for almost a week.
Tim Bosma, a 32-year-old father, was last seen at his house in Ancaster, just outside Hamilton, before taking two men to test drive his pickup truck on the evening of May 6. He has not been heard from since.
"We don't know where he is, we don't know if he's safe or who's got him," his mother, Mary Bosma, told reporters on Sunday, fighting back tears. "We love him and we miss him so much. We know even though there's been an arrest, he is still not home with us."
Police arrested Dellen Millard, the 27-year-old heir to a well-known aviation dynasty, on Saturday in Mississauga, just west of Toronto. He faces charges of forcible confinement and theft over $5,000. Investigators were still searching for a second suspect.
Hamilton Police say they've received more than 400 tips and were planning two searches on Monday.
Television news station CP24 reported on Sunday evening that a Hamilton police source confirmed Mr. Bosma's 2007 black Dodge Ram pickup truck was located in Kleinburg, north of Toronto. The Globe and Mail could not immediately verify the information with Hamilton or York Region police services.
Police had spent several hours Sunday on a Kleinburg street where, according to a resident, Mr. Millard's mother lives. A trailer containing a pickup was removed from the street, neighbour Robert Dimas said. He did not know whether it was Mr. Bosma's missing vehicle, which he had listed for sale for $24,000 on Kijiji and Auto Trader. Police found his cellphone in Brantford, which is west of Ancaster, on Thursday.
"The focus of this investigation is to find Mr. Bosma," said Detective Sergeant Matt Kavanagh. "It's still a missing-person investigation so therefore, yes, I believe there's hope that he's alive."
Waterloo Regional Police Service officers were seen parked in front of a Millard Air hangar at the Region of Waterloo International Airport on Sunday. Det. Sgt. Kavanagh would not say whether Mr. Millard was co-operating with police.
Mr. Millard's grandfather, Carl, founded Millard Air, a charter airline, which was passed onto Dellen's father, Wayne, who steered the company into heavy-aircraft maintenance and built a 50,000-square-foot hangar at the Waterloo Regional Airport last year, according to an article in the aviation magazine Canadian Skies. Wayne died in late 2012, according to an obituary Dellen wrote.
On his 14th birthday, Dellen, who was then a student at the prestigious Toronto French School, according to the Toronto Star, became the youngest pilot to fly solo in both a single-engine airplane and a helicopter on the same day.
In recent years, he appears to have become interested in cars. He and another man were listed in the roster of the Baja 1000, an off-road race, in 2009. Photos on Facebook show Mr. Millard working on cars in an aircraft hangar.
Mr. Millard, his father and a woman are listed as directors of the Canadian Flora and Fauna Society, which was incorporated in 2007 and lists an address in Kleinburg, Ont., as its registered office. The firm's annual filings for 2011 and 2012 are overdue, according to corporate records. Wayne Millard was an animal welfare advocate, according to his obituary.
Sharlene Bosma last saw her husband around 9 p.m. on May 6, when two Toronto men arrived at their Ancaster home to take their truck for a demo drive. Mr. Bosma left with the men, telling his wife he would be home soon. At the time, he was wearing dark blue jeans, work boots and a long-sleeved shirt.Son's hidden camera records care-home staff abusing mother
By DAVID ANDREATTA
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page A7
An 85-year-old woman stricken with dementia depended on the staff at an Ontario long-term care facility to look after her.
Instead, as a hidden video camera showed, a staff member appeared to taunt Hellen MacDonald with a rag smeared with her own feces. Another blew his nose on her clean bed sheets. And male and female co-workers canoodled at her bedside. On another occasion, the camera caught an elderly male resident walking into Ms. MacDonald's room, opening her bedside drawer and helping himself to some of her belongings.
The images are as stunning for the mistreatment they chronicle as they are for the ensemble cast captured on film. Four workers at the St. Joseph's at Fleming home in Peterborough, Ont., were caught on video, which CHEX Television broadcast Thursday.
"It's so disrespectful, it's heartbreaking," said Ms. MacDonald's son, Camille Parent, 55, who had the hidden camera installed in his mother's room in April in response to a broken hip and black eye she suffered at the hands of another resident in February. "The dignity and respect they talk about there, it's just words. It looks good on paper and it's not there."
A page on the home's website reads: "At St. Joseph's at Fleming, we believe that care and compassion are essential in fostering sanctity of life. That's why our primary concern is to create a home for our residents where they can be given the best possible care in an environment of personal worth and dignity."
Alan Cavell, the home's chief executive officer, left a voicemail message in response to a reporter's inquiry saying that his home was taking the incident "very seriously" and that the workers caught on film had been suspended pending investigations being conducted by local police and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, which funds the home.
In a phone interview Friday, Mr. Parent described how he had the camera concealed in a tiny black box taped inconspicuously to the side of a television set in his mother's room. The box, he explained, resembled a remote to the television and apparently went undetected by workers.
Mr. Parent said the camera was activated by motion and recorded footage, but no audio, over the course of a month. He said he had additional footage that was not aired that showed workers abusing his mother.
"I've been told [the workers] were suspended," Mr. Parent said. "Does that mean they're going to come back, or are they really gone? They need to be charged or fired."
According to ministry records available online, the home had been inspected by the province 11 times in the past 28 months. The results of a twelfth inspection has yet to be posted, according to the ministry.
Six of the inspections were generated by reports of "critical incidents," including residents having been found wandering outside the home at night. Four of the inspections were prompted by complaints, including one resident attacking another.
Mr. Parent said he dismantled the camera on May 14 and requested a meeting with ministry bureaucrats in Peterborough to show them the footage he had collected. A meeting took place two days later, but he said ministry officials declined to view the video.
A spokeswoman for Health Minister Deb Matthews said the minister connected with Mr. Parent on Friday afternoon, shortly before the minister issued a statement on the matter.
"We have a zero tolerance for abuse in our long-term care homes," Ms. Matthews said. "Our loved ones are entitled to nothing less than the best care. While I can't yet comment further on this case, I can assure you my ministry officials are investigating."Quebec keeps questionable mammogram machines
By DAVID ANDREATTA AND ANN HUI
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page A1
Quebec plans to keep using mammography machines that are under scrutiny across the border in Ontario, despite questions about their effectiveness in detecting breast cancer.
On Tuesday, hours after Ontario announced it would spend $25-million to replace the 76 machines across the province and encouraged women to get retested, Quebec Health Minister Réjean Hébert insisted such actions were unnecessary.
"There is no evidence at this time that mammography equipment used in Quebec offers lower performance," Mr. Hébert said in a prepared statement in French.
The machines at issue are used primarily in the two provinces and employ a digital technology known as computed radiography, or CR, that according to a first-of-its-kind study, is 20 per cent less effective at detecting breast cancer than other devices.
Three-quarters of Quebec's 144 mammography machines, or 108, use CR technology, according to the province.
By contrast, about a quarter of Ontario's 316 mammography machines are CR devices.
The remainder either use traditional screen-film technology that produces black-and-white X-ray images or another form of digital technology called direct radiography, or DR.
The study, conducted by Cancer Care Ontario, found both detect breast cancer at the same rate.
Mr. Hébert said Quebec was taking the findings of the study, published in the journal Radiology, "very seriously" and the province would consult experts to determine the best course of action.
In no other province are CR devices as ubiquitous as in Ontario or Quebec. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have none. Just one of the 41 breast-screening sites in British Columbia uses CR technology.
Alberta estimates that 3 per cent of its machines are CR, and New Brunswick counts three of its 22 machines. Officials in both provinces said they are considering phasing out the machines in light of the study.
Ontario's heavy reliance on CR machines drew harsh criticism from the Ontario Association of Radiologists, which called the funding announcement a "Band-Aid" and accused the province of ignoring recommendations the association made in 2010 to phase out CR machines and adopt the DR technology.
"In most of the provinces, it has been recommended for a number of years [to move to DR] and radiologists there have been able to get their message heard," association president Dr. Mark Prieditis said. "In Ontario, that's extremely difficult to do."
The group's recommendation was not based on the performance of CR machines, but rather that the more expensive DR machines were preferred by radiologists and that Ontario ought to keep pace with the rest of the country.
Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews in an interview denied flouting the group's recommendations, noting that hospitals and private clinics that do screenings decide which technology to purchase.
CR and DR machines made their way into hospitals and clinics around 2005, and today cost about $250,000 and $330,000, respectively, according to the province. "We fund hospitals. We fund clinics. But we don't buy their machines," Ms. Matthews said, adding later: "We are in this case because we're saying you can't use those [CR machines] any more."
CR machines remain approved for use by Health Canada. Of the 76 in Ontario, five are in hospitals and 71 are in private health clinics, according to the province.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation applauded the province's move, and encouraged Quebec and others to follow suit.
"We would absolutely like to see governments across the country take the initiative and move from CR machines to DR machines in as expedited a manner as possible," said foundation co-chief executive officer Sandra Palmaro.Senate to set new residency rules
By BILL CURRY, KIM MACKRAEL
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page A11
OTTAWA -- A Senate committee is expected to find that three senators should not have claimed tens of thousands of dollars in residency expenses, even though an independent audit concludes the Red Chamber's rules are unclear and poorly defined.
New rules are expected to be announced Thursday that will aim to reduce the amount of money senators can claim while working in Ottawa, according to sources familiar with the process.
The Senate Board of Internal Economy asked the independent auditing firm Deloitte to examine the expenses of Independent Patrick Brazeau, Conservative Mike Duffy and Liberal Mac Harb to determine whether their residency expenses complied with existing rules. The three senators were accused of claiming a home in the National Capital Region as a secondary residence in spite of indications that it was in fact their primary residence.
The Deloitte report says the definition of residency is not clear, with as many as five different terms currently in use to describe where senators live, according to sources. The five terms include primary residence, secondary residence, National Capital Region residence, provincial residence and registered residence. As a result of these multiple terms, the auditors, while raising concerns about the sentators' actions, are expected to conclude they are unable to say definitively whether rules were broken.
The committee is expected to release its own report Thursday afternoon based on Deloitte's findings, and its language on the three senators is expected to be much stronger.
Members of the committee met Wednesday evening in Parliament's Centre Block with officials from Deloitte and Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella. Both Mr. Duffy and Mr. Harb were seen entering and leaving the closed-door meeting. A separate review of Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin's expenses is not expected to be resolved this week.
Controversy over expenses has dogged the Senate for months, with sharp divisions over how the chamber should respond. Even with hours to go before the Senate issued its response, sources say there was still strong debate within both parties over whether the Senate should refer its findings to the RCMP.
On April 19, Mr. Duffy issued a statement announcing that he had reimbursed the Receiver General $90,172.24 for living allowance expenses.
Sources speculate that Mr. Harb could be asked to pay back a larger amount given that he has been in the Senate longer than Mr. Duffy, while Mr. Brazeau would be asked to pay back less because his claims were more recent. However, it is not clear how the committee will address the issue of repayment.
On his way into the meeting, Mr. Harb dismissed a report that he would owe more than $100,000.
"I can say in all certainty, the report is false," he said. Asked how he felt about the meeting, Mr. Harb said, "I'm confident going in. As well, I'll be confident coming out."
Mr. Duffy played down the issue as he entered the meeting. "I don't see this as a big deal," he said.
Afterward, Mr. Duffy said he couldn't speak about the committee's report because it is under embargo until it is tabled in the Senate.
"I feel great, we can see the finish line," he said. Asked how he was affected by the audit process, Mr. Duffy said, "It's a business, you have to do your job and that's what I'm doing. We're working for PEI, we've got a lot on the go. I'm sorry, this isn't going to deter me from doing my primary job."Ottawa toughens immigration sponsorship rules
By STEVEN CHASE
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page A11
OTTAWA -- The Harper government is making it tougher for people to settle foreign parents or grandparents in Canada - hiking sponsorship qualifications to make it less likely newcomers will become a financial burden for taxpayers.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced more stringent requirements for Canadians or permanent residents wanting to bring their elders here under the family reunification program - new rules that will make sponsors financially responsible for these arrivals.
Changes include doubling the amount of time for which sponsors must cover any provincial social benefits incurred by their relatives. Ottawa said it is hiking the minimum necessary annual income for sponsors by 30 per cent, requiring sponsors to demonstrate they meet the new income threshold for three consecutive years instead of 12 months and extending the sponsorship responsibility period to 20 years from 10 years.
Mr. Kenney defended the changes as fiscally responsible, saying Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programs on offer.
"Why should we limit the number of parents and grandparents sponsored to Canada? Well, let me state the obvious reason. Elderly people place a much greater burden on the public health-care system, a public health-care system that is already in crisis, where costs are growing much faster than the economy, much faster than the population, where emergency wards are overcrowded, where wait times are enormous."
The Department of Citizenship and Immigration produced charts and figures that it said demonstrate after the 10-year responsibility period ends, the amount of welfare usage by sponsored immigrant parents jumps significantly.
The No. 1 source for parents and grandparents coming to Canada under this program is the Punjab region of India, according to Mr. Kenney's office. The government is also moving to restrict dependent children that can accompany parents or grandparents to Canada as part of this family reunification, saying now the cutoff age will be 18 years old.
The reunification program is being overhauled in part to fix a massive backlog that had grown to 160,000 applications with a decade-long wait for approval.
Mr. Kenney said the government is on track to halve the backlog by 2014. He also said Citizenship and Immigration would take 5,000 more applications for the program in 2014. Ottawa stopped taking applications two years ago to tackle the backlog.
Mr. Kenney also announced Ottawa will make permanent a popular alternative to the family reunification settlement program. The recently introduced "super visa" program grants foreign parents and grandparents a multiple-entry visa good for 10 years. Citizenship and Immigration is now issuing about 1,000 super visas a month. They allow holders to remain in Canada for up to two years at a time.
The NDP accused the government of making the reunification program too expensive.
"Over 20 per cent of Canadians were born abroad. For these Canadians, Conservatives are making family reunification a more distant dream than ever," NDP immigration critic Jinny Sims said. She said the changes mean "it would cost you more to even apply to reunite with your parents or grandparents - and two decades of full financial responsibility for their care if they come. And that's only if you happen to be one of the lucky 5,000 whose applications will be accepted next year."Class action hits maker of recalled birth control pills
By JUSTIN FAUTEUX
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page A3
TORONTO -- A group of Ontario women, including 40 who are pregnant, have launched an $800-million class action against Apotex Inc., the maker of the recalled Alysena birth control pill.
The lawsuit involves about 60 women, among whom there have been 40 unwanted pregnancies and four abortions, according to Sandy Zaitzeff, a lawyer with Thunder Bay firm Watkins Law Professional Corporation, which launched the suit.
"They're angry, they're distressed, they're worried," Mr. Zaitzeff said of his clients. "There's a lot of stress in something like this."
A total of 50,000 packages of the Alysena birth control pill with the lot number LF01899A were recalled April 8 when it was discovered that some packs contained two rows of placebo pills instead of just one. On April 13, the recall was expanded to 11 other lot numbers.
Apotex did not notify customers of the initial recall for five days after the problem was identified, prompting federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq to order an investigation into the delay on April 11.
Mr. Zaitzeff said the first plaintiff came to his firm last month, and since then the numbers have grown. He added that his clients come from across Canada and that he expects the number of women involved in the case to increase.
"The damages are substantial," he said, adding that his clients are facing financial, ethical, moral and health issues. "An unwanted pregnancy - to raise a child today is millions of dollars. Just because somebody had sex with another individual in today's world does not mean that they should be burdened with the costs of raising a child."
A request for comment from Apotex was not immediately returned.Russia detains American in spy caper
With the Boston Marathon bombing resonating, U.S. embassy official accused of wooing counterintelligence officer tied to Caucasus
By LYNN BERRY
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page A15
MOSCOW -- A U.S. diplomat disguised in a blond wig was caught trying to recruit a Russian counterintelligence officer in Moscow, Russia's security services announced Tuesday, claiming the American was a CIA officer.
Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, was carrying special technical equipment, disguises, written instructions and a large sum of money when he was detained overnight, Russia's Federal Security Service said.
The FSB, the successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, said Mr. Fogle was trying to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer who specializes in the Caucasus, the volatile region in southern Russia where the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects have ethnic roots.
Mr. Fogle, who was handed over to U.S. embassy officials, was declared persona non grata and ordered to leave Russia immediately, the Foreign Ministry said. He has diplomatic immunity, which protects him from arrest.
It was the first case of an American diplomat publicly accused of spying in about a decade and seemed certain to aggravate already strained relations between Russia and the United States.
The Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul to appear Wednesday in connection with the case. Mr. McFaul, who was doing a question-and-answer session on Twitter when the detention was announced, said he would not comment on the spying allegation.
Russia's Caucasus region includes the provinces of Chechnya and Dagestan. The suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings are ethnic Chechen brothers and the elder brother spent six months last year in Dagestan, now the centre of an Islamic insurgency.
U.S. investigators have been working with the Russians to try to determine whether suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev had established any contacts with the militants operating in Dagestan.
Russian officials expressed indignation Tuesday that a U.S. diplomat would carry out such an espionage operation at a time when the presidents of the two countries have pledged to improve counterterrorism co-operation.
On Tuesday, Russian state television showed pictures of a man said to be Mr. Fogle, wearing a baseball cap and a blond wig, lying face down on the ground. The man, without the wig, was also shown sitting at a desk in the offices of the FSB. Two wigs, a compass, a map of Moscow, a pocket knife, three pairs of sunglasses and packages of €500 ($646 U.S.) notes were among the items the FSB displayed on a table.
The FSB also produced a typewritten letter that it described as instructions to the Russian agent who was the target of Mr. Fogle's alleged recruitment effort. The letter, written in Russian and addressed "Dear friend," offers $100,000 (U.S.) to "discuss your experience, expertise and co-operation" and up to $1-million a year for long-term co-operation. The letter also includes instructions for opening a Gmail account to be used for communication and an address to write. It is signed "Your friends."
Samuel Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College London, called the evidence bizarre.
"I wouldn't have thought that spies gave each other written instructions," he said in a telephone interview. Mr. Greene also noted that the FSB had displayed Mr. Fogle's official diplomatic ID, suggesting he was carrying it along with the spy paraphernalia when he was detained.
"Maybe this is what the CIA has come to, maybe the propaganda folks in the Kremlin think we are this stupid, or maybe both," he said.
A five-minute video produced by the FSB and aired on state television showed a Russian official speaking to what appear to be three American diplomats who had come to pick up Mr. Fogle in the FSB office. The official, whose face is blurred, alleged that Mr. Fogle called an unnamed FSB counterintelligence officer who specializes in the Caucasus at 11:30 p.m. on Monday. He then said that after the officer refused to meet, Mr. Fogle called him a second time and offered him €100,000 if he would provide information to the United States.
The Russian official said the FSB was flabbergasted. He pointed to high-level efforts to improve counterterrorism co-operation, specifically FBI director Robert Mueller's visit to Moscow last week and phone calls between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Greene said the American diplomat's detention should be seen as part of Mr. Putin's confrontation with the opposition and not as something likely to have a major impact on U.S.-Russia relations.
"I think this is mostly for domestic consumption in Russia so that people say: 'Look at these naughty Americans trying to meddle in our internal affairs and spy on us,' " Mr. Greene said. "But everybody's got spies everywhere, so I don't see this as a major issue."
SPY VERSUS SPY: U.S.-RUSSIA ESPIONAGE
The Cold War is long over, but espionage is forever. Russian spies still operate in the United States and American ones in Russia. On Tuesday, Russia's security services said they had caught a U.S. diplomat whom they claim is a CIA official trying to recruit a Russian agent.
Here are some other cases of apparent spying between the old rivals:
The Anna Chapman ring
These Russian spies lived in suburban U.S. homes and worked as real-estate brokers and travel agents, quietly inserting themselves into American life and trying to penetrate U.S. policy circles. Court papers said Ms. Chapman and nine others assumed the identities of people who had died, swapped bags in passing at train stations and communicated with invisible ink and coded radio transmissions. After their 2010 arrests, all 10 pleaded guilty to spying charges. An 11th man was arrested in Cyprus, but jumped bail.
Dubbed a femme fatale, the red-headed Ms. Chapman, 28 at the time, became the most notorious member of the ring, partially because of glamorous photos she posted on social-networking sites of her international travels. She has stayed in the limelight since her deportation to Russia, hosting a reality TV show, modelling lingerie and becoming the face of a Moscow bank.
Mr. Tretyakov once called the United Nations a nest of spies. And he would know. For five years in the 1990s, Mr. Tretyakov worked at Russia's diplomatic mission at the UN - recruiting and running spies. He also found Canada to be fertile ground for finding people willing to rat on the United States.
Mr. Tretyakov claimed his agents helped Russia siphon nearly $500-million (U.S.) from the UN oil-for-food sanctions program for Iraq. Then in 2000, he defected to the United States. It's thought that Mr. Tretyakov handed significant information over to Washington, although he never specifically confirmed that he became a double agent. He died in Florida in 2010 at 53, of a heart attack.
Stanislav Borisovich Gusev
Mr. Gusev, a Russian diplomat, planted a bug inside the State Department in Washington and then hung around on a bench outside the building or in his car to listen, according to U.S. authorities. Agents became suspicious when they spotted him feeding a parking meter outside State Department headquarters without ever going inside. He was arrested in 1999 and expelled from the United States.
As a CIA officer in Turkey, Mr. Ames worked to turn Russians against their government. But in 1985, he switched sides himself, offering his services to the Soviets. He continued working for the Russians after the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. He communicated with his handlers by leaving chalk marks on a Washington mailbox. He eventually passed along to Moscow dozens of names of Russians who were spying for the United States. The Soviet Union executed 10 of them. The FBI arrested Mr. Ames in 1994 and he pleaded guilty to spying that same year.
Associated PressMan goes undercover to experience harassment
TV report's aim was to add to national debate on persecution of women
By SARAH EL DEEB
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page A14
CAIRO -- Waleed Hammad dressed conservatively for his secret mission into the world of sexual harassment and abuse on the streets of Cairo, donning a long tan skirt and sleeved shirt, and at times covering his head like many Egyptian women.
The 24-year-old actor walked the sidewalks, hidden cameras in tow, for an investigative television report, hoping the broadcast would enlighten national debate about how to combat deep-rooted day-to-day sexual harassment and abuse in this patriarchal society.
Initiatives to counter the problem have mushroomed in recent months. Vigilante groups have started protecting women at gatherings, particularly at large protests or during national holidays when groping and harassment in crowds is at an all-time high. Activists have offered self-defence classes for women. Social network sites have been started where women can "name and shame" their harassers.
On the other side of the debate are conservative religious clerics and some government officials who blame women, saying they invite harassment and sexual abuse by mixing with men. Their comments have inflamed the discourse, particularly at a time when Egypt's volatile and polarized politics blur social and political issues following the 2011 uprising that ousted long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
As he strolled, Mr. Hammad, who wore light makeup to conceal hints of facial hair and accentuate his eyes, was hissed at and verbally abused. In one instance - when he was wearing a head veil - he was taken for a prostitute and offered up to 4,000 Egyptian pounds ($575 U.S.) for one night. His report aired earlier this month on Awel el Kheit or "the Thread" on the private TV station ONTV.
"I can go wherever I want, do whatever I want very simply, very easily, very casually," Mr. Hammad said. "For a woman, it boils down to her having to focus on how she breathes while she is walking. It is not just the walk. It is not just the clothes. It is not what she says or how she looks."
As a woman walking down the street, "you have to be in a constant state of alertness."
This week, at a public meeting to make recommendations to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on how to address the problem, Omaima Kamel, presidential adviser on women's affairs, said she was seeking realistic statistics on violence against women because she sensed real exaggeration of the numbers reported by some research centres. Ms. Kamel is a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which emerged as the most powerful political faction in Egypt since the uprising. The group has recently criticized a United Nations document being drafted on violence against women. The Brotherhood said it was "deceitful," clashed with Islamic principles and undermined family values. The Brotherhood said it advocated sexual freedoms for women and the right to abortion "under the guise of sexual and reproductive rights."
Besides the daily experience of harassment on the streets of Egypt, sexual assaults at anti-government protests, where women have been groped, stripped and even raped, have risen both in number and intensity during the past year of continued unrest in Egypt.
The UN said it had reports of 25 sexual assaults on women at political rallies at Tahrir Square, the centre of the uprising, in one week early this year. Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault, which patrolled the square, reported 19 incidents alone on Jan. 25 - the second anniversary of the start of the uprising - including a case of a teenager raped with a bladed instrument.Global fashion retailers back building accord
By VERONICA E CLARE KANE
Reuters, with a report from Marina Strauss
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page A13
STOCKHOLM and MADRID -- The world's two biggest fashion retailers, Inditex and H&M, along with several other companies have backed an accord aimed at preventing another disaster like last month's Bangladesh factory building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people.
The agreement on fire and building safety, which is being led by the International Labour Organization, trade unions and other lobby groups, has been under negotiation since the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24.
Deadly incidents at factories have focused global attention on safety standards in Bangladesh's booming garment industry, the world's biggest exporter of clothing after China.
As of Monday, the following companies had announced their support: Inditex, the Spanish parent company of Zara; Sweden's H&M; U.S. apparel maker PVH, whose brands include Calvin Klein; Britain's Tesco; and Primark, the British retailer controlled by Canada's Weston family.
Loblaw Cos. Ltd., whose Joe Fresh apparel was being produced in a factory within the collapsed building in Bangladesh, is reviewing the accord and "not in a position to comment on it yet," spokeswoman Julija Hunter said.
Other big brands involved in the fire-and-building safety talks include Wal-Mart and Gap Inc., which said last year it would launch its own safety program.
Early this month, Loblaw executive chairman Galen G. Weston said the company is embarking on a new program to improve worker safety in Bangladesh.
He pledged to place Loblaw's own staff at factories abroad as well as develop a new building standard for any plant producing one of its private labels, which includes Joe Fresh. But he said there had been a general lack of response from other apparel retailers in addressing the "unacceptable risk" workers were exposed to in the Savar building.
As many as 30 global apparel producers were having goods manufactured in the illegally constructed Rana Plaza, according to Mr. Weston. Loblaw and Primark were among the few retailers to quickly acknowledge their ties to the building's factories. More retailers have since made statements on their connection to the Bangladesh building.
Toronto-based anti-sweatshop activist Maquila Solidarity Network called on Loblaw, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Gap Inc. and other North American retailers to sign on to the building-safety accord.
"This accord is clearly the way forward for any company that's serious about preventing further deaths in Bangladesh," said Kevin Thomas, director of advocacy for the group.Senate kills cross-border toll plan
By PAUL KORING
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page A11
WASHINGTON -- Obama administration plans to impose a toll on land travellers crossing the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico have been scrapped.
The proposed toll, which sparked angry responses on both sides of the borders, was blocked in a rare show of bipartisan unanimity by Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
"Canada is the United States' No. 1 trading partner," said Vermont Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy, who, along with Texas Republican John Cornyn, co-sponsored an amendment blocking any attempt to impose a crossing fee. "Some 300,000 Canadians cross into our country every day and spend nearly $235-million," Mr. Leahy said.
The amendment passed on a voice vote in the judiciary committee.
It effectively killed a Homeland Security suggestion in Mr. Obama's proposed budget that tolls on pedestrian and vehicular traffic crossing the two borders be considered as a means of raising revenues for the cash-strapped federal government.
"Whether they're from northern Vermont or southwest Texas, Americans living in border communities know their lives are interwoven with their neighbours across the border," the Senate amendment's preamble said.
"Our children play sports across the border. Our fire departments respond across the border. Our neighbours come across the border to shop, eat, and contribute to our local economy. Imposing a fee and tax to travel back and forth would put a barrier between neighbours and hurt American communities."
When the toll was first proposed, Canadian business groups, among others, were quick to condemn it.
"Building the walls higher and making the borders stickier and thicker is exactly the wrong way to go," said Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "Anything that drives up costs discourages traffic."
The Leahy-Cornyn amendment has no impact on existing border-crossing fees, such as tolls for using bridges at the border.
Those are not imposed by either federal government.High demand leads to toilet paper shortage
By FABIOLA SANCHEZ, KARL RITTER
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page A13
CARACAS -- First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities - toilet paper.
Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, as it does for other shortages, the embattled socialist government says it will import 50 million rolls to boost supplies.
That was little comfort to consumers struggling to find toilet paper on Wednesday.
"This is the last straw," said Manuel Fagundes, a shopper hunting for tissue in downtown Caracas. "I'm 71 years old and this is the first time I've seen this."
Economists say Venezuela's shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government's controls on foreign currency.
The government this week announced it would import 760,000 tons of food and 50 million rolls of toilet paper.
Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming blamed the shortage of toilet tissue on "excessive demand" built up as a result of "a media campaign that has been generated to disrupt the country."
"The revolution will bring the country the equivalent of 50 million rolls of toilet paper," he was quoted as saying Tuesday by state news agency AVN. "We are going to saturate the market so that our people calm down."ON THE LINE
How Ottawa's plan to foster wireless competition sank
By RITA TRICHUR, SEAN SILCOFF AND BOYD ERMAN
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page B6
'Today marks a new chapter for wireless in Canada."
That was Anthony Lacavera's bold declaration as he launched Wind Mobile on a chilly day in December, 2009. There was a buzz in the air as hundreds of people packed Toronto's waterfront to watch the 35-year-old chairman unveil a six-metre statue of "Joe," a tribute to the average Canadian consumer. Joe was a symbol for the millions of Canadians who would, presumably, soon be reaping the benefits - a lower cellphone bill - of increased wireless competition.
It was billed as a "historic day" for the cellular industry - and, in a sense, it was. Wind's launch was the end result of a deliberate strategy by the government of Stephen Harper to deal with a burning issue for consumers: the high cost of wireless service in a country where three players dominate the telecommunications market.
In 2008, the government came up with a plan to set aside a portion of publicly owned radio waves - the means by which cellphone and other signals fly through the air - for new entrants to the wireless market. Three new companies - Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile - were among those newcomers who took part in the auction.
There appeared to be pent-up demand for the new challengers. Tens of thousands of Canadians had flooded Wind's "Wireless Soapbox" website with tales of high prices and poor service. Although the company, which was backed by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, briefly stumbled on a hurdle when the CRTC questioned its ownership structure, the government eventually cleared Wind for launch.
Mr. Lacavera had every reason to be optimistic.
Three years later, the future is looking less friendly for Joe Canuck. Wireless prices have come down, but the government's goal of creating viable alternatives to the Big Three in a $19-billion industry is teetering toward collapse. Wind is up for sale, and has struggled to gain a foothold. Its two upstart peers also face uncertain futures. Public Mobile has hired investment bankers to explore strategic options, after one of its main investors decided to cut its losses. And Mobilicity, after months of beating the bushes for a buyer, found a white knight in Telus Corp., which announced a $380-million deal to buy the company this week. If that deal does not get government approval, Telus says, Mobilicity is bound for "bankruptcy."
The Telus-Mobilicity announcement was a powerful signal that the current government's wireless strategy is on life support. If the deal goes ahead, it is just a matter of time before Wind and Public Mobile are also swallowed up by major carriers, while a big block of unused wireless licences currently held by Shaw Communications Inc. would likely fall into the hands of Rogers Communications Inc.
The political costs of a failed policy could be significant. The Conservative government has invested political capital in making life better for wireless consumers, tapping into public sentiment over long-term contracts and hidden fees. The deep financial problems of the new players are putting pressure on Industry Minister Christian Paradis to either help the new entrants with more regulation or admit defeat and allow the upstarts to fail or get swallowed up by Telus, Rogers or BCE Inc. - leaving the market in much of Canada exactly where it was in 2008.
How did it go so wrong?
"Look, obviously expectations were one thing and the reality has been something else - I think no one is going to deny that," Mobilicity's president and chief operating officer Stewart Lyons said in an interview.
"All of the new entrants are in a relatively tough spot. You know, [it is] different for each one of us, but our spot, I would argue, is particularly tough. We obviously had high expectations, high aspirations when we launched the business three years ago, and some of those have not come to fruition."
Roadblocks to success
"We will make pain, and they will suffer," Egyptian telecom magnate and Wind backer Naguib Sawiris told The Globe and Mail in 2010.
A little more than a year later, he returned to say he regretted his decision to invest in Canada. "They take our money and they leave us to the dogs," Mr. Sawiris said, suggesting the government's wireless policy had really set up the new entrants to fail.
The three small upstarts have many gripes. While Ottawa reserved wireless licenses for new players in 2008, it stopped short of making other changes to ensure the upstarts' long-term success.
Anxious to protect their market share, incumbents were allowed to launch more discount brands, such as Rogers' Chatr and Telus's Koodo, to compete with the still-wobbly trio of upstarts.
The government, meanwhile, created rules around roaming and tower sharing but failed to enforce them. In fact, Industry Canada waited until this year to beef up those provisions. "We anticipated about a third of our sites to be shared, and today about 3 per cent of our sites are shared. So, that had a huge impact on our startup costs," Mr. Lacavera said. More tower sharing would also have allowed Wind to roll out much faster, because it would not have needed to secure so many locations and obtain building permits.
Roaming rates are a third pain point. Just last month, Wind once again criticized the government for its "apparent unwillingness to deal directly with artificially high domestic roaming rates." It also decried the lack of action on other thorny issues including termination fees, three-year contracts and the use of bundles to keep consumers from switching carriers. In a submission to Industry Canada, the company argued the "conditions simply do not yet exist" to sustain a fourth carrier in each region.
There are other, technical complaints: "hard hand-offs" of calls between carriers, which cause calls to drop when customers travel outside of an upstart's service area.
The big telecom companies say seamless transitions present technical challenges and argue they provide domestic roaming at commercial rates.
But the new entrants are partly to blame for their own misfortune. They underestimated the impact of the smartphone revolution and the sea change it would bring to the industry. After they launched, the business model quickly shifted from talk-and-text on flip phones to data consumption, including mobile video, on devices like the iPhone. None of the smaller companies offer the Appole phone.
In a further testament to how much the market has changed, Wind's former CEO Ken Campbell's marketing hook on launch day was: "You can replace your BlackBerry every year if you want, based on our proposition."
But after three years, the new entrants have captured less than 6 per cent of the market after spending much of their early days focused on the low-budget prepaid customer that pays up front for service. Wind shifted its focus to postpaid in mid 2012, while Public Mobile has begun offering data services including unlimited mobile music service.
"I thought the talk-and-text model, which is what that was, would last us for three or four years," Alek Krstajic, Public's chief executive officer, said in an interview last year. "Very quickly we realized the market is moving quickly."
For their part, the big wireless companies say competition has never been more fierce.
"No one is going to back off, they can't afford to," George Cope, BCE Inc.'s chief executive officer, told journalists following the company's annual meeting in Toronto. "I've been in the business since 1985, I don't think I've ever seen it as competitive from an intensity perspective." (BCE owns a 15 per cent stake in The Globe and Mail)
But critics say competition wasn't the first priority for the government when it came time to auction off publicly owned wireless spectrum, first in 2008 and again later this year, arguing that maximizing revenue has become more important. Increasingly, analysts are suggesting that the 700-megahertz auction, scheduled for November, but with a June 11 deadline for applications, will have to be delayed.
"I fear that the train does seem to have left the station on its way to, if not a train wreck, a dead end in terms of the competitive intensity of the Canadian wireless market and maximum benefits for customers," said Martyn Roetter, a Boston-based telecom consultant, who recently spoke at the Canadian Spectrum Summit in Toronto.
A plan for competition
To understand how the Harper government's wireless plan unravelled so badly, it's worth looking back seven years to revIew the assumptions they had.
By the time the government prepared to auction off publicly owned wireless spectrum in 2008, successive administrations had spent 15 years trying, and largely failing, to foster greater competition in the wireless arena. Some inside Industry Canada were dismayed to see first Clearnet, and then Microcell, get swallowed by larger players.
Shortly after the Conservatives came to power in 2006, the government released a report commissioned by the previous Liberal regime that found Canada's market for wireless services was trailing the rest of the OECD, due to lower penetration and usage rates, and higher prices. A key solution, the report stated - outside of its mandate - was to drop foreign ownership restrictions.
That was music to the ears within Industry, where some senior bureaucrats had internally pushed for years for the end of foreign ownership restrictions, only to be thwarted by concerns elsewhere in government that opening the door to foreign buyers in telecommunications would lead to takeovers in broadcasting - and threaten Canadian culture.
But while newly minted industry minister Maxime Bernier, a strong libertarian with a young like-minded staff, seized on the report, it was evident that revisiting foreign ownership liberalization would be a non-starter in a minority government. Still, wireless "was one of those areas where [Mr. Bernier] thought there was room for regulatory reform," said Paul Beaudry, Mr. Bernier's telecommunications policy adviser from 2006 to 2007. So the minister launched a process that would lead to an auction of wireless spectrum in 2008.
The goal of the auction, said Paul Boothe, associate deputy minister of Industry from 2007 to 2010, was broad: to create more competition. "We didn't have a view about what the ultimate market structure should be," he said. "No one knows ahead of time what these changes in market structure will produce, and technology is changing rapidly." From the outset the government's options were limited, given that foreign ownership changes were off the table. "If you have a view there is not enough competition and ask what can government do short of regulating, you end up in a space of spectrum set-asides," said a former senior government official who asked not to be identified. "You don't have a ton of alternatives and options, especially in a minority government."
The incumbents were strongly opposed to making any special allowances for new players - while many in Mr. Bernier's office felt the same way, opposing the set-aside of spectrum. "I was skeptical of the virtues of a set-aside," Mr. Beaudry said. He felt that by limiting who could bid on part of the spectrum, it would lead to reduced prices by buyers who either didn't need the help - or would inevitably sell out to an incumbent at a higher price.
But others at the departmental and political level didn't see it that way, swayed to some degree by a successful multifaceted campaign by Quebecor Inc. to push for a set-aside as well as mandatory use of roaming capabilities and towers of the incumbents. That would give the new entrants a hand against dominant entrenched competitors.
In the end, the auction put the boot to another one of the objections of the incumbents: That a rigged auction would raise far less money than an important public resource deserved. "I remember being in a meeting with lobbyists [for the incumbents] where they said 'If you have an unrestricted auction, you'll make $1.2-billion, and with set-aside, you'll only get $800-million, so that will cost the taxpayers $400-million'" Mr. Boothe said.
Things didn't turn out that way: The auction raised over $4-billion. To government, it was proof that the process was sound. "There were more people out there who thought they could make a buck by bidding on spectrum," said the senior official speaking on background.
Five years later, Mr. Boothe said, there's little doubt the new entrants created more competition and choice. "Whether prices are lower, you can probably get people to say yes and no to that," he said. "If you're asking 'Did this create a stable market structure?' I think the answer to that is, 'Not yet.' If that is one of the requirements of the policy, then we need to keep working on this, because the small guys have not proven to be durable."
But while bureaucrats may stop short of calling the past five years a failure, Martin Masse, another former policy adviser from Mr. Bernier's office, holds a different view: The competitive regime is "a mess" because the government hasn't fully addressed the foreign ownership question. Successive industry ministers, he said, "still haven't done what should have been done then and would solve the problem now" - by opening the whole sector to foreigners.
"It's still the same old story, the same old problem," he said. "You still have all the mess of five years of not having a level playing field and the foreign players are not that interested in coming here. We would have known if there was a place for a fourth national player if we'd opened to foreign ownership five years ago. Today it would all be solved."
Ottawa's options: Five potential outcomes
The race is on for incumbents in the wireless business to buy up the spectrum that was supposed to be set aside for new competitors.
Telus Corp. wants to buy Mobilicity, and Rogers Communications Inc. wants to buy the spectrum that Shaw Communications bought to start a wireless provider before deciding it had better ways to spend billions of dollars.
The only hitch is, Ottawa does not want the incumbents buying these chunks of the airwaves. As Industry Minister Christian Paradis said a few weeks ago, "the intent of the policy was not to have this set-aside spectrum to end in the hands of incumbents."
But what options does Mr. Paradis have?
1. Give up on the competition idea.
Admit failure. Mobilicity loses millions of dollars a month. Rivals Public Mobile and Wind Mobile are for sale. On a market level, it's not working. What's more, the attempts to keep creating a rival to BCE Inc., Telus and Rogers seem odd when set against the supposedly free-market nature of the Conservative party, anyway.
2. Block the Telus and Rogers deals.
At the other end of the spectrum (sorry), the government could say no to both spectrum sales and hope some sort of white knight rides in with a rescue plan and a billion dollars to keep the dream of more telecom competition alive. The risk is if the saviour never shows, companies like Mobilicity are in such bad shape they fail outright.
3. Be more heavy handed regulating tower sharing
and roaming. The government could more tightly enforce rules that are supposed to help the upstarts by, for example, giving them access to the incumbents' towers. There's little downside in this for Ottawa. But at this point it's probably not enough to really save any of the upstarts.
4. Try another, lower cost way of creating rivals to BCE, Rogers and Telus. Instead of trying to create rivals with their own networks and spectrum, an expensive undertaking, the government could mandate mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) access to incumbent networks. In this scenario, a new operator could sell phones under its own brand but route calls through the incumbents' towers and spectrum. It's a cheaper way to get going. It's been tried in other markets to varying degrees of success.
5. Allow the big companies to be bought.
Foreign wireless operators have not been keen to enter Canada by way of buying a small operator. Mobilicity tried and failed to drum up foreign interest. So the government could try to tempt a Verizon or an America Movil into Canada by taking off ownership restrictions on the big telecommunications companies. There are numerous hurdles, including the fact that BCE and Rogers also own protected media assets. And there's also a big risk - that it does not actually lower prices for phone service. What if a foreign company came and bought a Canadian telecom giant, costing head office jobs and prestige, only to sit back and enjoy the high prices it could extract in Canada? That would be a political nightmare.
Pierre Karl Péladeau: A different perspective
If there is one newcomer to the Canadian wireless scene who is happy with his market position, it is Quebecor Inc.'s controlling shareholder Pierre Karl Péladeau. His Vidéotron Ltée unit now counts more than 400,000 wireless subscribers in Quebec less than three years after its September, 2010, launch.
Of course, it would be hard for Mr. Péladeau to feel otherwise, given that he got everything he wanted when Ottawa set the rules for the 2008 spectrum auction that enabled his company to enter the wireless market.
In late 2006, as consultations were under way in Ottawa to determine the rules for the spectrum auction, Mr. Péladeau turned to long-time adviser Luc Lavoie - an influential communications strategist and a former spokesman for prime minister Brian Mulroney - to charge up Quebecor's efforts. The company was looking for three things: a set-aside of 40 of the 100 megahertz of available spectrum that only newcomers to the wireless business could bid for; mandatory roaming on the network of the incumbents; and sharing use of their communications towers.
Mr. Lavoie crafted a full-on campaign that included full-page advertisements, speeches, studies and extensive lobbying, pushing on the lever that he knew would work with government: That the incumbents, left to their own devices, had kept prices too high, hadn't invested enough in the networks, and were using dated technology.
The incumbents argued that a set-aside was effectively a subsidy. Quebecor countered with a powerful image of a smartphone bound and squeezed in chains, implying that Canadians were prisoners of wireless giants that denied them better wireless service. Mr. Péladeau's key speech to the Canadian Club of Ottawa in April, 2007 - in which he said "there is a flagrant lack of competition in this sector" - so incensed the late Ted Rogers that he accused Mr. Péladeau of shaking the government down for "favours."
"That speech was full of holes," said one senior Ottawa telecom policy observer who is not associated with Mr. Péladeau. "But it defined the debate. Everything after that by the incumbents was catch-up."
The spectrum that Quebecor eventually purchased cost $500-million - an amount that Martin Masse, a former policy adviser to Maxime Bernier when he was industry minister in 2006 and 2007, feels was far lower than the company should have paid. "The set-aside was just a subsidy for Quebecor," he said, arguing that the company wanted the spectrum so badly it should have been willing to compete in an open auction against the incumbents.
But Quebecor had something else going for it: Unlike other upstarts, it was able to bundle its wireless offering together with cable, Internet and home telephone services, putting it on equal footing with rival Bell. It also had an established capital markets presence and solid cash flows from its other businesses.
Eastlink, a subsidiary of Bragg Communications Inc., is also looking to make a go of a wireless business in its Atlantic Canada market with the spectrum it purchased in 2008. While it only launched its service this year, CEO Lee Bragg says the company deliberately took its time and learned valuable lessons from the struggles of the wireless-only upstarts. Like Quebecor, the company has the benefit of other businesses it can bundle with wireless - though as Mr. Bragg put it in an interview in February, "we have something to lose if we screw that relationship up."
Sean Silcoff, Rita TrichurBond out, Hayward in at Glencore Xstrata
Former BP CEO, at helm for Deepwater Horizon disaster, takes over as interim chairman at miner
By ERIC REGULY
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page B3
ROME -- A vicious boardroom cull at Glencore Xstrata PLC, the world's fourth-largest mining company, simultaneously ended the career of one of Britain's most famous directors and revived the career of one of its most infamous.
At the newly formed company's first annual general meeting, in Switzerland, a shareholder vote sent chairman Sir John Bond packing.
He was replaced on an interim basis by Tony Hayward, the deputy chairman whose career as chief executive officer of BP PLC was wrecked in 2010, when he took the fall for the disastrous Macondo oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, also known as the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Sir John's ouster was the result of his support for an extraordinarily lavish executive pay package for the senior executives of Xstrata, among them former CEO Mick Davis. The Anglo-Swiss mining company officially merged with Glencore only last week to create a mining and trading giant with a market value of £44-billion ($68.4-billion) and deep links to Canada, where it owns grain handler Viterra Inc. and nickel miner Falconbridge Ltd.
The shareholder revolt marks a rare defeat for one of the Britain's best-known and most successful executives. Sir John spent most of his career at HSBC as CEO and, later, chairman, and was knighted in 1999 for his services to banking. He was also chairman of Vodafone, one of the world's biggest mobile communications companies.
Sir John knew the shareholders' vote would go against him and the other directors of Xstrata who had joined the board of Glencore Xstrata. The proxy votes that trickled in Wednesday, a day ahead of the shareholders meeting, were overwhelmingly in favour of his removal. In the end, more than 80 per cent of the votes went against him.
Three Xstrata directors who had joined the Glencore board also got swept away. Yet another resigned ahead of the meeting, raising the Xstrata directors' kill-off to five and essentially handing Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg full control of the enlarged company.
Sir John opened the meeting by telling shareholders, "I will not be re-elected as your chairman. Therefore the right thing for me to do is pass the chair to Tony Hayward, who is the senior independent director and deputy chairman and I will do that now."
The appointment of Mr. Hayward, 55, as interim chairman thrusts the oil executive back onto the global stage after three years of relative obscurity. He became CEO of BP in 2007 after his predecessor, Lord John Browne, resigned.
Mr. Hayward left BP after the Macondo well disaster - which may cost the company $40-billion (U.S.) - and after being widely criticized for his handling of the accident. The White House lashed out at Mr. Hayward after he attended a yacht race while the disaster continued. He was also scorned for saying "I'd like my life back" amid the disaster, a comment for which he apologized.
Mr. Hayward later surfaced as the boss of an oil-and-gas investment vehicle called Vallares, which was later bought by Genel, an oil producer in Kurdistan and northern Iraq.
He joined the board of Glencore after its initial public offering in 2011 in London and Hong Kong. But he will not be a candidate for the permanent chairman's position; the company is launching a global search for a chairman who knows the mining and commodities industries.
Sir John's ouster must have been all the more painful for him because it appears he lost the support of most of the senior managers and executives of Glencore, who control 35 per cent of the shares in Glencore Xstrata.
The root of his downfall goes back to last spring, when Mick Davis, then the CEO of Xstrata and the prospective boss of Glencore Xstrata, was awarded a retention package that many shareholders considered excessive. The package took some of the blame for delaying the merger of the two companies, which took more than a year to achieve.
Mr. Davis would be paid £28.8-million if he stayed at the combined company for three years. In total, 73 Xstrata executives and managers were to get £170-million. The packages came with no performance condition.
Later, the packages were revised to include a performance target based on cost savings. By then it was too late; Sir John had lost the confidence of many shareholders. "There was a lot of damage done, " said a London analyst who declined to be identified because his firm was one of the merger's advisers.From a failed hedge fund to the top of Teachers
By JANET MCFARLAND
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page B3
Ron Mock has completed his rise from the ashes of collapsed hedge fund firm Phoenix Research and Trading Corp., putting a controversial failure behind him to become the new chief executive officer of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.
Mr. Mock, 60, was named Tuesday as the successor to Teachers CEO Jim Leech, who is retiring at the end of the year. Mr. Mock is currently Teachers' senior vice-president of fixed income and hedge funds, heading the largest of the pension plan's six major asset management groups.
The appointment makes Mr. Mock just the third CEO to lead the $130-billion fund since its creation in 1990 to manage pension assets for 303,000 current and retired Ontario teachers. The fund was initially headed by Claude Lamoureux, who was succeeded in 2007 by Mr. Leech.
"I am very excited, because it's not every day that someone gets to lead an organization like this," Mr. Mock said in an interview. "Teachers is a leader in this field, and to be the one chosen to lead it, I'm thrilled."
Before joining Teachers in 2001, Mr. Mock was CEO and co-founder of Phoenix Research and Trading, a hedge fund management company that collapsed in 2000 with losses of over $125-million (U.S.).
The failure came after Mr. Mock discovered bond trader Stephen Duthie had secretly taken a massive and unapproved $3.3-billion position in U.S. benchmark Treasuries in 1999.
Mr. Mock notified the Ontario Securities Commission about the discovery and reached a settlement agreement with the regulator in 2003, accepting a six-year prohibition from acting as a director or officer of a public company, and a reprimand after acknowledging he did not do enough to supervise Mr. Duthie's trading. The OSC settlement said Mr. Mock's supervision was "wholly inadequate" and the trading scheme could have been detected with scrutiny.
Mr. Duthie, meanwhile, received a 20-year ban from trading securities or acting as a director or officer of a company after an OSC hearing panel ruled he mispriced and hid a huge volume of unauthorized trading. The panel ruled his conduct was "duplicitous."
Mr. Leech said in an interview the Teachers board considered Mr. Mock's role at Phoenix, but felt he had broken no laws and had been a highly respected leader in his 12 years at Teachers.
"Anybody who has been in the securities business for 25-plus years is going to have some scars - Lord knows, I've got mine," Mr. Leech said. "The name of the game is to make sure you learn, and he learned that the buck stops at the top." One of the victims of the firm's collapse was Teachers itself, which lost $10-million on investments, Mr. Lamoureux said.
Mr. Lamoureux, who was Teachers' CEO at the time, said he was initially astonished when another Teachers executive suggested the pension plan hire Mr. Mock in its hedge fund division.
But after conducting an investigation, Mr. Lamoureux said he became convinced the failure was the fault of the bond trader and Mr. Mock was not to blame.
"I think he had a rough time for a couple of years after he was hired because the OSC was all over him, when in fact he went to them of his own free will - and many people don't do that," Mr. Lamoureux said. "But we kept him, and I knew that the board of Teachers was very pleased with him when I was there. He did a great job on fixed income when he took that over."
Mr. Lamoureux said fixed income had not been generating high enough returns when Mr. Mock joined Teachers, and he helped turn around its performance.
Mr. Mock is one of five senior vice-presidents at Teachers who run different portions of the fund's investment portfolio.
"He did a fabulous job. I've been at many meetings with him with these hedge funds and you can see that Ron knew more than a lot of people who came to visit us and were trying to sell their stuff." Mr. Mock said Tuesday he is ready to oversee a far broader portfolio of assets. But with Mr. Leech still in the top job for another seven months, Mr. Mock said it is too soon to talk about his vision for Teachers or any changes he would foresee. .Chatr ads misleading, court told
Rogers replies that ads were true, complaints were orchestrated by cellphone rivals
By JEFF GRAY
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page B3
TORONTO -- LAW REPORTER
When it launched its Chatr discount cellphone service in 2010, Rogers Communications Inc. fired up an aggressive ad campaign that pledged "fewer dropped calls" than its upstart wireless rivals.
To drive the point home, some of the ads showed the conversations of rival providers' customers suddenly disappearing in puffs of smoke. Chatr customers were shown continuing to chat away, with the tagline, "No Worries. Talk Happy."
Three years later, Rogers is anything but happy, in court fighting allegations from the federal Competition Bureau that its claims violated Canada's false-advertising rules.
Closing arguments in the trial of the case against Rogers began Monday in Ontario Superior Court. Competition Bureau lawyer Tom Curry told court that the ads contrasting Chatr's customers with its rivals suggested a "meaningful" difference in dropped calls that consumers would notice.
"None of that is actually true," Mr. Curry said, arguing that even in places where data suggests Chatr did have fewer dropped calls, the difference is tiny, as little as one additional dropped call in 500 calls.
"The differences are not significant in many, or most cases," he told court. "Those images are significant. They create a general impression of a strong and meaningful difference in the level of service."
It's a case that raises questions about aggressive advertising campaigns and sheds light on the bruising battle that emerged between established cellphone companies and the new wireless carriers that entered the Canadian market after 2008.
The federal regulator charges that Rogers produced "false and misleading" ads, and failed to back up its claims about dropped calls with "adequate and proper tests." The bureau is seeking a $10-million fine. The trial began last summer.
Rogers counters that the ads, which it withdrew when the Competition Bureau raised objections, are "unquestionably true and correct." In addition to claiming that its established network is inherently more reliable, it conducted what it says were industry-standard "drive tests," common in the United States and Europe, that involve making calls on competitors' networks from specially equipped trucks.
The Competition Bureau disagrees with Rogers's interpretation of those tests. And it has highlighted network data, gleaned from cellphone companies' computers, which it claims is more accurate and contradicts Rogers's conclusions. Rogers has argued that this data can't be used for comparisons because it is complex and comes from different networks that can be configured in different ways.
In written closing arguments submitted to the court by lawyers for Rogers, the company blames the prosecution on its rivals, Mobilicity, Public Mobile and Wind Mobile, which it says were "determined to undermine Chatr" and made "multiple co-ordinated complaints to federal regulators within days or weeks of the launch of Chatr."
Rogers - which points out that its rivals had faced "highly publicized" problems with their own networks - claims its competitors "seriously misled" the Competition Bureau about the use of network data and drive tests: "Rather than conduct a proper, thorough and balanced investigation, the Bureau engaged in a rush to judgment, and did so in a manner that can only be viewed as regrettable."
The company says it was "blindsided" when then-commissioner of competition Melanie Aitken went public with the bureau's false-advertising allegations in November, 2010. Rogers says it was labelled a "cheat" despite "co-operating fully" and pulling the ads when concerns were raised.
The allegations left it facing a "firestorm of criticism," Rogers says, while its smaller cellphone rivals were "celebrating." In Mobilicity's case, in what Rogers called a "media stunt," a dance troupe was sent to the Rogers head office.
The company claims that the Competition Bureau is simply wrong to question the drive-test data and that the regulator has taken "a series of positions in this case that no regulator in the world has ever taken."Amplats to slash production, 6,000 jobs, in South Africa
By GEOFFREY YORK
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page B4
JOHANNESBURG -- The world's biggest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum, has announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs from its South African mines, triggering fears of a major battle with trade unions as the platinum sector struggles with mounting losses.
The announcement was immediately greeted by furious criticism from South Africa's powerful unions, raising the spectre of another season of violent clashes in a country where dozens of workers were killed last year.
But the company, known as Amplats, insisted that it had to reduce production in its platinum mines after suffering heavy losses last year. One study estimated that 70 per cent of all South African platinum mines were operating at a loss last year because of rising costs, oversupply and falling prices.
Amplats had originally intended to cut 14,000 jobs from a work force of about 56,000 employees. But when its plan was first mentioned in January, the South African government was outraged, accusing the company of behaving like "a child."
The company agreed to suspend the plan while it discussed the issue with government, but on Friday announced it would still go ahead with deep cuts to its production and job levels.
The decision is expected to cut production by about 250,000 ounces at the Amplats mines next year - about 11 per cent of its total production - and it will be followed by further cuts of 100,000 ounces in following years. Three mine shafts in the Rustenburg area will be idled. The restructuring of its mining operations will cost the company about $250-million (U.S.).
The restructuring plan "retains flexibility, reduces complexity and will position us to achieve our goal of creating a sustainable and profitable platinum business," Amplats chief executive officer Chris Griffith said in a statement.
South Africa and Russia, which control about 90 per cent of the world's supply of platinum group metals, announced in March that they will try to create an OPEC-style trading bloc to control exports and limit supply. Many analysts are skeptical that the idea will work, since private companies largely control the supply, but it was a symptom of the growing crisis in the industry.
Most of South Africa's biggest platinum miners are based in Britain or South Africa, but several smaller Canadian companies are involved in developing mines here.
While the latest Amplats restructuring plan seems to have the government's unofficial approval, the reaction from workers will be much more pugnacious. Labour leaders were already vowing to fight Amplats after they heard the job-cuts announcement.
"It is a spit in the face to the workers and people of South Africa," said Patrick Craven, spokesman for the Congress of South African Trade Unions. "Thousands of families face losing their only breadwinner, and communities around the mines and in far-flung rural areas will be devastated."
More than 50 people were killed in labour clashes in South Africa last year, including 34 protestors shot by police in the infamous Marikana massacre at the Lonmin platinum mine in August. It was the deadliest use of lethal force against protestors in South Africa since the apartheid era.
The wave of illegal and often violent strikes across the mining sector, however, led to double-digit wage increases for many workers, a lesson that they have not forgotten. There are warnings that further turmoil could be triggered by wage talks that begin this month in the mining sector, including platinum, gold and coal. A more militant new union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, has gained a strong position in the platinum sector over the past year, representing about 40 per cent of the Amplats work force.The case for a rate hike from the Bank of Canada
By KEVIN CARMICHAEL
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page B2
The argument against ultra-low interest rates tends to be reduced to concerns about inflation and asset-price bubbles, but there are other reasons to worry.
Could insurance companies adopt the riskier habits of investment banks? Is it harder for small companies to raise capital? Are the provinces avoiding getting serious about their finances?
Paul Masson, one of Canada's leading financial economists, lists those risks - along with the more common worries - in making a case that it's time for the Bank of Canada to change course.
"The cumulative effect of artificially low interest rates ... will show up in pervasive distortions of economic decisions," writes Dr. Masson in a paper published Wednesday by the C.D. Howe Institute. "The Bank of Canada should start now to reverse some of the monetary stimulus and begin raising interest rates."
Dr. Masson's call for higher rates is a challenge to the debate over Canada's monetary policy. The paper helps explain why Governor Mark Carney has resisted a tilt to neutral.
Like the central bank, Dr. Masson worries that too many households will be unable to keep up with their debt when borrowing costs inevitably rise. Dr. Masson also sees the potential for trouble in the insurance industry. These companies offset their liabilities with investment income, traditionally done by purchasing government bonds. Because yields are so low, profit margins are shrinking - creating an incentive to purchase riskier assets.
Dr. Masson sees many other reasons to be wary, including potential bubbles in real estate investment trusts and high-dividend-paying stocks. The rush to dividend-paying stocks - the closest thing investors have to a safe investment generating a little income - could be hurting smal companies, which typically reinvest their earnings. This has broader economic implications, because smaller firms tend to grow faster and hire more people than established corporations.
While aware that its interest-rate policy carries some risk, the Bank of Canada has decided the possibility that higher borrowing costs would choke economic growth is the greater threat.
Sluggish growth is keeping a lid on inflation. Higher interest rates would put upward pressure on the currency, which is already trading at a level the central bank says hurts Canadian competitiveness.
Dr. Masson acknowledges the concern, but believes a steadily recovering U.S. economy provides some room to raise rates.
It is unlikely Canada's policy makers will be persuaded. However, Dr. Masson's work won't go unnoticed at the central bank. Anyone who wonders why the Bank of Canada insists it wants to raise interest rates as soon as possible need only read Dr. Masson's paper.Rona faces challenges despite overhaul
New CEO takes charge amid weak consumer spending and pressure from U.S.-based rivals
By BERTRAND MAROTTE
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page B2
MONTREAL -- The board of directors has been shaken up, a new chief executive officer is in charge, and a senior vice-president whose mission is to improve operational efficiencies has been hired.
The folks at Rona Inc. say the pieces are coming together in a top-to-bottom renovation of the home-improvement retailer. Observers will be watching closely for signs of progress when the company unveils first quarter results and holds its annual meeting Tuesday.
Newly installed CEO Robert Sawyer, a food-retailing industry veteran, will no doubt provide an update on the work being done.
At the end of the month, Alain Brisebois, a former colleague of Mr. Sawyer's from his days at grocery chain Metro Inc., joins the management team with the key job of wringing more productivity and cost-effectiveness out of the various departments, including purchasing, merchandising, procurement and marketing.
Rona's ultimate aim is to shrink itself by selling assets and shifting from big-box stores to smaller "proximity" outlets.
But the hardware chain faces major challenges, notably a still-weak consumer spending climate and growing pressure from U.S.-based rivals such as Home Depot Canada and Lowe's Cos. Inc.
Analysts aren't expecting any pleasant surprises in the first-quarter results. The consensus estimate according to Thomson Reuters is for a loss of 10 cents in adjusted earnings, the same as a year ago.
Mark Petrie of CIBC World Markets said in a recent research note that cold and wet weather in the first few months of the year - particularly February and March - will likely hobble same-store sales growth, with a strong dealer network unlikely to offset weakness in the corporate and franchise stores. He anticipates a loss for the quarter - the least important, seasonally - of 13 cents.
"Over the last six weeks, Rona has announced two very strong additions to its management team. Both Robert Sawyer and Robert Brisebois have excellent track records and bring strong operations skills to Rona," Mr. Petrie said.
"Mr. Sawyer has only been on the job for a couple of weeks, so it is still too early to hope for more radical action beyond the strategic priorities outlined by the company earlier this year. However, these hires make us more optimistic that Rona will be able to stabilize its sales and earnings trends despite a very challenging environment."Griffiths Energy plans name change, IPO
By CARRIE TAIT
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page B2
CALGARY -- Griffiths Energy International Inc., the Calgary-based oil company which paid a $10.35-million penalty after pleading guilty to bribing African officials, has officially revived its initial public offering aspirations.
The company, which expects to rename itself Caracal Energy Inc. later this month, filed paperwork for a Canadian IPO Tuesday.
Griffiths, which holds oil leases in Chad, previously iced hopes of an IPO after discovering its former leadership team bribed Chad's ambassador to Canada. While the company settled, the investigation continues.
Griffiths also wants to list shares on the London Stock Exchange, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
RBC Dominion Securities Inc. and Barclays Capital Canada Inc. will co-lead the Canadian IPO, with a helping hand from Canaccord Genuity Corp. and FirstEnergy Capital Corp. Concurrent with the closing of the Canadian IPO, Griffiths will sell shares to investors in the United Kingdom, certain member states to the European Economic Area, the United States, and other jurisdictions, with the same dealers managing the effort.
Founded by the late Bay Street investment banker Brad Griffiths, the company needed a clean slate to pull off an IPO, even though it was able to form a partnership with Glencore International Plc, the Swiss commodity and mining company, as it was wading through its internal investigation.
While Griffiths has settled its legal woes in Canada, the boilerplate on its Tuesday announcement came with a sharp warning.
The prospectus notes that an investment in the common shares of the company is speculative and involves a high degree of risk.
"The company's business is subject to the risks normally encountered in the oil and natural gas industry," it says, "as well as many additional risks associated with conducting oil and gas operations in the Republic of Chad, a developing country in Africa.
"An investment in the common shares of the company is suitable only for those investors who are willing to risk a loss of some or all of their investment."Bruce Bochy: old-school manager
Not for him the geek philosophy of stats-crunching sabermetrics. The boss of the San Francisco Giants relies on instinct, experience and people-management skills to achieve success
By TOM MALONEY
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page S5
TORONTO -- There was no logical explanation for what he did. The 1996 season had come down to the last game, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, win or go home, and Bruce Bochy as the manager of the San Diego Padres had a tough call to make. He needed a starting pitcher. Bob Tewksbury, while rested, had last started a game 12 days earlier and given up six runs in 31/3 innings. No one had confidence in him because he "couldn't get anybody out" in the second half of the season, recalls Tim Flannery, then as now Bochy's third-base coach.
Bochy went ahead and named Tewksbury.
"In my own mind, I'm thinking, 'What the hell is he doing?'" Flannery recalled recently. Tewksbury pitched seven scoreless innings that September day, and the Padres won the game in extra innings to take the National League West title. Flash forward 12 years, and Bochy as San Francisco Giants manager tapped Tim Lincecum (10-15, 5.18 ERA) for a pair of critical relief appearances against the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series, after his down season as a starter. Lincecum struck out eight, allowing no hits and no runs in 42/3 innings.
As Bochy brings the NL West-leading Giants into Toronto to play a pair of interleague games against the Blue Jays on Tuesday and Wednesday, he is closing in on 1,500 wins in his 19th year as a manager, with 2010 and 2012 World Series titles in the bank. Those represent Hall of Fame credentials in the age of sabermetrics, for a man who stands in defiance of the stats-based wave in Major League Baseball, instead relying on instinct, experience and people-management skills to achieve success.
"He's patient, he never gives up on a player," Flannery said. "That confidence he gave Tewksbury ... I've seen him do that with Timmy early in the season, too. It still boggles my mind. I'm very impatient and overreactive whereas he's not that, he's steady, he looks at the big picture all the time."
Bochy, a .239-hitting backup catcher in nine seasons, remains as steady, stoic and up-front as when first handed the managerial reins in 1995. He fretted then about burning bridges with locked-out players during a labour dispute as their replacements took over the clubhouse, yet one season later had the Padres in the playoffs and, in 1998, into the World Series against the New York Yankees.
He has digested a number of business books about management theory, in particular Phil Knight's autobiography about building Nike, and another, Nuts, on the growth of Southwest Airlines by Kevin Freiberg, a friend of Bochy's. He'll also collect and use motivational devices, last year a clip from the movie about race car driving when it came time in the season to put pedal to metal.
The manager's position is the last peg in an organizational effort to develop individual players into big-leaguers and the team into a championship-calibre unit, as he sees it. Opposed to the nerdish element populating front offices and fan chat rooms these days, he believes in the human dynamic - team chemistry - as a significant factor in the equation.
"You can continue teaching them how to play, but they've got to play together and become a cohesive group," Bochy, 58, said during a recent interview at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
"That's why I take it personal, especially with the sabermetrics. They say, 'You should play these guys today because the numbers show it.' These guys aren't robots, they are human beings and they have to be treated like that in order to play the game the way it should be played, and to play together. ... Managing people is the most important aspect of the game, more so than the game itself."
A sturdy man with a deep, gravelly voice, he means what he says. He'll set the bar, and if a player is underperforming, try to understand the reasons, whether personal or physical, and take action accordingly. If a player is disenchanted, he'll try to find out why and deal with it. He doesn't pander in order to be liked. He's about straight talk.
"They have to know what you expect out of them," Bochy said, "your style of baseball, how you want to play the game. That's true in any sport."
Ultimately, he'll make the tough call for the good of the team. In 2010, highly paid pitcher Barry Zito was left off the playoff roster, only two years later for Bochy to bank on him rather than Madison Bumgarner in Game 5 of the 2012 NLCS, with the Giants trailing the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1. Zito pitched splendidly and Bumgarner came back to beat the Tigers in Game 2 of the World Series. During the regular season, outfielder Melky Cabrera, now with the Blue Jays, "carried" the Giants with his bat until being suspended in early August for using a performance enhancer. Bochy left Cabrera off the postseason roster because the other players had gelled through the stretch run.
Catchers need to handle different personalities on pitching staffs, and once their playing days are done, the likes of Bochy, Mike Scioscia and John Gibbons tend to become managers more than any other position player. In 1988, Bochy joined Triple-A Las Vegas as a player-coach, then moved through the San Diego minor-league chain as a manager.
"The best thing for me was to start in rookie ball," Bochy said. "You get young kids in their first year professional ball, dealing with being homesick, learning how to handle themselves in a professional manner, taking responsibility for little things like paying bills and being on time. As a manager of the ball club, you become a parent to 25 guys."
After the Padres made the 1998 World Series, ownership decimated the roster, with ace Kevin Brown and centre fielder Steve Finley among the departed. The team endured five consecutive sub-.500 seasons.
"All of a sudden we were awful," Bochy said. "You find out a lot about yourself, and it helps you deal with the most difficult part of the game, losing. When you go through difficult times, or get off to a rough start, it's important to walk into the clubhouse the same way and keep doing what you need to do to have the club prepared. When the players need you, is when you're losing. When they're going through tough times, that's when they need support."
Sandy Alderson, the Padres' chief executive officer, made it known that Bochy's 12-year term would be coming to an end despite back-to-back first-place finishes in 2005 and 2006. Alderson granted permission for Bochy to interview with Giants general manager Brian Sabean, and Bochy moved north into a condo across the street from AT&T Park. As the Barry Bonds saga in San Francisco wound to a close, the Giants went 143-181 in Bochy's first two seasons, prompting radio call-in types to label him "Botchy."
By personal rule, Bochy does not allow himself to reflect disappointment or frustration in the dugout. He doesn't want players to see those expressions for fear of shredding their confidence. Likewise, he appreciates the resolve from Sabean in the two dark years.
"It would have been easy for them to make a change," Bochy said. "I had to remind myself, you're doing all you can and that's all you can do. I tell players the same thing, as long as they do that, they're winners. When a player makes an error, they know my philosophy is, if you play the game hard and play the right way, you're going to make mistakes. Put it behind you. I don't want you dwelling on it. I'm not going to say anything."
The Giants are on a run of four consecutive winning seasons, and have a 22-15 record in 2013. The Dodgers spent big in the off-season, and entered Monday trailing the Giants by seven games, in last place, with the Padres just ahead of them, in fourth.
Bochy will enter the clubhouse today in the same way he did in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2010.
San Francisco Giants (22-15)
at Toronto Blue Jays (15-24)
Tuesday, 7:07 p.m. (ET): LH Barry Zito (3-1, 2.75) vs. RH R.A. Dickey (2-5, 5.06)
Wednesday, 7:07 p.m.: RH Brandon Morrow (1-2, 4.69) vs. RH Ryan Vogelsong (1-3, 7.78)
Notes: Jays closer Casey Janssen has allowed only four hits and one run in 13 innings for 10 saves. Right-handed hitters are 1-for-19 (.053) against him, left-handers 3-for-24 (.125). ... Dickey is 9-3 in interleague play with a 4.00 ERA; he's 0-1 in three games lifetime vs. San Francisco. ... Morrow was pushed from a scheduled Friday start to Sunday, then to Wednesday, owing to a stiff neck. ... The Giants are coming off a 7-3 homestand; they've won 14 of the last 19 home games. ... The Giants' pitching staff ranks third among MLB teams in strikeouts while the Jays' hitters rank seventh for striking out. ... With a double and his first homer this season, former Jay Marco Scutaro extended his hitting streak to 12 games, batting .479. ... Hunter Pence has five doubles and three home runs in the past 12 games. ... Entering Monday's play, the Blue Jays had an MLB-leading 51 home runs while San Francisco's pitchers had given up 37. ... The Giants are 17-5 when scoring the first run. ... The Giants are 8-4 lifetime against the Jays, 3-3 at Rogers Centre. ... Zito is 5-3, 3.50 vs. Toronto, 1-3, 4.91 at Rogers Centre. Tom MaloneyTop defensive forwards key in playoffs
It's no coincidence that Datsyuk, Toews, Bergeron, finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, are still alive
By JAY COHEN
The Associated Press
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
CHICAGO -- Pavel Datsyuk is one of the NHL's most feared scorers, a wizard with the puck who is equally adept at setting up his teammates for easy plays. Jonathan Toews has at least 23 goals in each of his six seasons in the league, and Patrice Bergeron is one of the top offensive threats for one of the league's best teams.
If you want to stop a Datsyuk, Toews or Bergeron, it surely helps to have a Datsyuk, Toews or Bergeron.
The three finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the NHL's best defensive forward are still alive in the playoffs, and it's no coincidence. The league's top teams count on their forwards to come back and pressure the opponent's top scorers, not only for defensive purposes but also to create chances on the other end.
"You need those kind of players to win, to be successful," said Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, a former NHL defenceman. "Because you're going to have times, usually half the time in your shift, you're going to be in your own end or you're going to have to be defending, and knowing where you have to go and coming up with loose pucks or forcing these guys to make indirect plays where you get the puck back, there's a skill involved there and there's some work that's involved."
Datsyuk of the Red Wings and Toews of the Blackhawks will be back on the ice when Chicago plays host to Detroit in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series on Saturday afternoon. Bergeron will try to help the Bruins to a 2-0 lead against the New York Rangers when their series resumes on Sunday.
The Blackhawks used a dominant final two periods to beat the Red Wings 4-1 on Wednesday night, shutting down Detroit's leading trio of Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen. Datsyuk played more than 21 minutes, but was held without a point and did not attempt a shot after he had two goals and five assists in the first round against Anaheim.
"He's going to be a top player in this series. We know that. They know that," forward Patrick Sharp said after Chicago practised on Friday. "It's just hopefully we can contain him in some way."
Datsyuk had 15 goals and 34 assists in 47 games this season, helping Detroit reach the playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season. The three-time Selke winner also tied Toews for the NHL lead with 56 takeaways and won 55 per cent of his faceoffs.
The 34-year-old Russian centre, who was selected in the sixth round of the 1998 draft, is way more than just an offensive wizard.
"He can come out of nowhere and steal the puck from you and make a play, and before you know it, it's in your net," Toews said. "He's as skilled as they come on both sides of the puck and obviously a tough guy. You've got to go out there and try to outwork him every shift, because it's tough to outclass him any other way."
Toews is coming off another solid season, when he tied Patrick Kane for the team lead with 23 goals and also contributed 25 assists in 47 games. The captain also had a career-high plus-28 rating as Chicago captured the Presidents' Trophy awarded to the team with the most points in the regular season.
"We play the same type of game," Datsyuk said. "We fight every year against each other. It's not easy. When a good player plays against a good player, every time they make each other better."
While Datsyuk and Toews are squaring off in the Western Conference semi-finals, Bergeron is trying to get Boston back to the East final for the first time since it won the Stanley Cup in 2011. The Bruins lost to Washington in the first round a year ago.
Bergeron, who won the Selke award last season, was successful on an NHL-best 62.1 per cent of his faceoffs this year and also had 10 goals and 22 assists. He then had the tying and winning goals in Boston's dramatic overtime victory against Toronto in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs.
"You get the same thing out of him night after night," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "What I mean by the same thing is, you'll never, ever question his effort, and never question his commitment. Whether he has a good game, a great game, or an average game, you're always going to be able to rely on him."
While Datsyuk, Toews or Bergeron are among the best in the league, two-way play is a requirement for forwards in today's NHL. Marian Hossa, Toews's teammate, is regarded for his defensive skill, and Mike Richards of defending champion Los Angeles also is a factor in the Kings' end.
It's hard to get this far in the postseason without a group of forwards who are willing to pitch in on defence.
"I've had the good fortune to coach all three of them," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said, referring to Datsyuk, Toews and Bergeron. "They're good, good men, and they play without the puck and they help you win at the playoffs."Maple Leafs pull off another upset
Toronto shocks Boston to take series to a sixth game
By JAMES MIRTLE
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
BOSTON -- You could have switched the jerseys - blue and white for black and gold - and few would have been surprised.
As it was, though, this was a shocker.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were all over the puck, dominating the play, hemming the Boston Bruins in their own zone for a full 20 minutes to start a game as they outshot them 19-8 and took draws in the offensive zone again and again.
And they did so in a pivotal, must-win playoff game in Boston, where they had won just twice in regulation in their last 15 trips to the TD Garden.
For a Leafs team that had been whipped 8-0 here roughly 13 months earlier, this could be a turning point, a shift where new coach Randy Carlyle could finally say that his preseason goal of restoring "respect" to the franchise was finally coming to fruition.
The Leafs weren't just back in the playoffs. They were succeeding there.
Toronto pulled off another remarkable upset on Friday night, narrowly beating the Bruins 2-1 to extend the series to a sixth game at the Air Canada Centre and give the Leafs life in their first-round series after a heartbreaking overtime loss in Game 4.
Through 40 minutes, it was one of the Leafs' best efforts of the season, too, from netminder James Reimer's flawless goaltending to two brilliant individual efforts by Tyler Bozak and Clarke MacArthur to give their team a 2-0 lead early in the third period.
Just in those areas alone, Toronto got elements that had been missing earlier in the series - excellent goaltending and production from its secondary scorers - two key differences that shifted the momentum in a big way.
The Leafs had to hang on for dear life late - with the Bruins whiffing on shots and clanging posts until big Zdeno Chara finally beat Reimer with nine minutes to play and brought the crowd to a full throaty roar - but hang on they did.
Even with the white-knuckle third period, however, this was a solid playoff performance, one that showed just how far the Leafs had come from the ugly way they had limped through the tail end of their season.
They had set the tone right from the start, using a power play in the opening minutes to pin the Bruins down low and generate chance after chance on the seemingly airtight Tuukka Rask.
But that first 20 minutes appeared to be one of those stretches where everything would go right but nothing goes in, the type where a what-more-can-we-do letdown in the intermission would only be natural.
That didn't happen in Game 5, at least not in the second, as the Leafs held on to strike first - Bozak doing the honours on a breakaway with Boston in the midst of a brutal power play - moments after Reimer made a game-changing save at the other end.
From where they had been, less than two weeks ago, this was quite a shift.
Recall that, over their final 12 games of the regular season, Toronto had more often than not been the weaker team, outshot by 10 or more on average and relying on Reimer to scrounge up enough points to narrowly clinch their first playoff berth in nine years.
But other than a lopsided Game 1, that hasn't been the story of their series with the Bruins, as the Leafs have gone basically shot for shot with a much more veteran-laden team, playing them to a draw the last four games.
The respect Carlyle wanted? It's already there.
"I said that the last time we played a [regular-season] game here how good they've become," Bruins coach Claude Julien said at one point in the series. "They are in the playoffs now. I guess you guys [in the media] need proof. Well, now you got it."
"There's a certain amount of pride in making the playoffs, I mean, it's not an easy thing to do," winger Joffrey Lupul had mused prior to Game 5. "But we're not here to lose. We're here to win this series, and if we don't win this series, then we're going to be disappointed."
Disappointment will have to wait, as the pregame talk proved to be far more than just talk.
The Leafs came to play in this game and this series, and even down 3-1 to a team they were expected to lose handily to, they weren't ready to concede anything.
If that isn't the first early steps of a trip down the path to respectability in the hockey world, what is?Original Six rivals set to meet after improbable first-round wins
By IRA PODELL
The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
NEW YORK -- Nearly everything about the New York Rangers' Game 7 victory over the Washington Capitals was improbable, and yet the 5-0 drubbing they authored wasn't even the most surprising result of the night.
No, that belonged to the Boston Bruins - the Rangers' next opponent in the NHL's Eastern Conference playoffs.
On the karma scale, this matchup of Original Six teams is pretty much a dead heat as these classic clubs get set to meet in the postseason for the first time in 40 years.
Heading into Monday's Game 7 between the Capitals and the Rangers, history certainly suggested it would be Washington's big night.
The home team had won the first six games of the series, the Rangers had been 0-5 in road Game 7s, and only once had New York rallied to overcome an 0-2 series hole to advance. None of that mattered in the end as the Rangers got goals from five players - four of whom hadn't scored in the first six games - and Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves in his second shutout of the Capitals in two days.
"That's what we need. Everyone chips in, everyone helps," said star forward Rick Nash, who was held without a goal in the series. "It's not one guy, besides our goalie, who is amazing every night.
"We win together, we lose together. It's a good team."
No one could see 5-0 was about to happen, especially after the Rangers barely stayed alive at home on Sunday with a 1-0 victory. The way Lundqvist is playing, one goal would have been enough again.
The reigning Vezina Trophy winner, a finalist for the award again this season, made 62 saves over the final two games when the Rangers faced elimination. Only three others have posted shutouts in Games 6 and 7, and Lundqvist is the first to do it since Detroit's Dominik Hasek in the 2002 Western Conference finals against Colorado, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"There are moments where you enjoy it and you think, 'Wow, this is great.' And you have fun. But there are also moments where you don't feel great," the 31-year-old Lundqvist said. "You feel the pressure and you just want to get it done so badly. You try to control your emotions. That's the key for me.
"I'm an emotional guy when I play. I try to just stay calm and focus on my thing, but it's hard when you want to win so badly."
The Rangers tied the NHL record for largest margin of victory by a road team in a Game 7, and posted their first Game 7 shutout, too.
They made it to the Eastern Conference finals last year after Game 7 home wins over Ottawa and Washington when New York was the top-seeded club. The Rangers won't have home-ice advantage in the second round against Boston, the No. 4 seed that outlasted the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday in dramatic fashion.
The Bruins, who had led the series 3-1, were on the brink of elimination when Toronto stormed to a 4-1 lead in the third period. The collapse was near complete before the Maple Leafs had one of epic proportions.
Boston scored three goals in the final 10:42 of regulation, including a pair 31 seconds apart that got the game tied in the final minute. Patrice Bergeron netted the tying goal and then won it 6:05 into overtime.
The Bruins will join the Rangers in carrying a wave of momentum into Game 1 in Boston on Thursday night.
"I still think we can improve and do a lot of things better, and we have to, if we want to beat Boston," Lundqvist said. "It's going to be a tough series. The great thing here, we managed to win the series without playing our absolute best. Going down the stretch, we really improved as a group, and personally, as well. But I think we all know that playing Boston now, we have to step it up a little more."
The areas in which the Rangers need improvement are clear. It would have seemed impossible that New York could have won even one series without a goal from Nash and only one each from captain Ryan Callahan and Brad Richards.
The sixth-seeded Rangers certainly won't count on it happening twice. New York also has to figure out its power play that converted only two of 28 chances against Washington.To beat Lundqvist, Bruins must first get a shot away
By HOWARD ULMAN
The Associated Press
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
BOSTON -- Putting the puck past Henrik Lundqvist is a huge challenge for the Boston Bruins.
Of course, they have to get it to him first and that's a tough task against the shot-blocking New York Rangers.
"They're definitely going to be laying down to block those shots," Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said after practice for Thursday night's series opener. "We have to be aware of that. I think it's about finding ways to get that puck to the net and faking shots and moving more."
On Monday night, it seemed the Bruins wouldn't have to worry about that. They were close to elimination.
Then they rallied from a three-goal disadvantage in the last 11 minutes of the third period and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Bergeron's overtime goal in Game 7.
"You don't give up," Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr said Wednesday, but "if you try to do it again, you're probably not going to do it even if you try 100 times, but it happened."
Now it's time to forget that unforgettable comeback. It's time for the Eastern Conference semi-finals, the first playoff meeting between the teams in 40 years.
Lundqvist, last year's Vézina Trophy winner and finalist for that award this season, enters the series with consecutive shutouts in Games 6 and 7 against the Washington Capitals. He stopped 62 shots in those games while facing elimination.
The key to the shutouts?
"Box them out before they get [near the goal] so they can't provide a screen," Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi said. "If we can't box them out, the biggest thing is getting [at] their sticks. Hankie is going to stop that shot if he sees it. We have to do a good job of letting Hankie see those first shots, make sure there's no tips."
Girardi led the NHL this season with 125 blocked shots, just under three a game. The Rangers were sixth with 16.1 a game. And in the playoffs, they have three of the top seven shot blockers - Girardi in second place with 24, Ryan McDonagh in fourth with 20 and Ryan Callahan in seventh with 18.
And even though Bruins captain Zdeno Chara can slap the puck at more than 100 mph from the point, they're not likely to shy away.
"Anything they can get to, they're going to block," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "If they have a chance to block a shot, they are going to block a shot. Everybody."
If they do, Chara could make it painful.
"I'm certainly not going to ask him to take anything off his shot because they're blocking," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
He wants his players to keep their heads up and watch where they're shooting instead of just looking down and hitting the puck as hard as they can.
"We're going to have to work extra hard to get those pucks through and then get them to reach the net," Julien said. "At the same time, I don't think it's a big secret to know that they got a pretty good goaltender, and that traffic in front of the net is going to be something we're going to want to do a lot."
Boston's Tuukka Rask, a more aggressive goalie than Lundqvist, also has been outstanding in the playoffs.
But he could be without three injured veteran defencemen. Andrew Ference missed Games 6 and 7, Wade Redden sat out Game 7 and Dennis Seidenberg played just 37 seconds of the finale before being sidelined. None of them practised Wednesday.
"Sometimes it's better not to practise and just to play," said Julien, careful not to tip his hand.
Rookies Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug all could be active.
"It's going to be a challenge for us," Rask said. "It gives these new guys an opportunity to step up and show what they've got. If I was in their shoes I'd be really excited."
Both teams' leading goal scorers in the regular season - New York's Rick Nash (21) and Boston's Brad Marchand (18) - were shut out in their first series. But Marchand assisted on Bergeron's series-winning goal and Nash seems to be making progress.Cup window beginning to open for Habs
With a youthful, but elite, nucleus, Montreal could be primed to contend for a number of years
By SEAN GORDON
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page S4
MONTREAL -- Amid the evident frustration and melancholy, there was a hint of a metaphorical breeze.
Perhaps it's because Montreal Canadiens' window to contend for a Stanley Cup has been cracked a little.
Now it's up to GM Marc Bergevin to find a few new sticks to prop it open completely.
This is a team with as dynamic a core of young talent as you're likely to find in the East - the same can be said of the Sens, this is playoff rivalry that will surely bloom in the coming seasons.
Conventional wisdom now dictates the Habs - and their forwards in particular - were pounded into submission by the bigger, stronger Senators, and that they need to add bulk to compete at playoff time.
"All of a sudden everybody thinks that's it. I don't think so. My opinion is we're a good team, a quick team with speed, and when we use that when we're playing against Boston ... we were down by two goals twice in the third period in their building and came back. They're tough, and we're not supposed to be?" said centre Tomas Plekanec.
While it's true the Sens have more size on the blueline, they also have three regular forwards who are shorter than six feet (the Habs have four).
Taking the broader, longer view, it's fairly clear Plekanec is right, and what Montreal needs, more than size, is elite goal scoring talent - although rookie Alex Galchenyuk will surely be a big part of the answer to that problem - and more experience and toughness on the blueline.
So while it's tempting for fans to think Bergevin will be smooth-talking his colleagues in hopes of unearthing some scrappy, XXL-sized forwards this off-season, he's likely more interested in finding a hard-edged, shut-down defenceman (particularly given knee injury victim Alexei Emelin will likely be unavailable until after Christmas), and a high-scoring winger or two.
It's readily apparent the Habs won't re-sign Michael Ryder, an impending free agent who scored only one playoff goal and will surely be looking for a long-term contract, but the money saved on Ryder, along with the $4.25-million (all currency U.S.) they could recoup by buying out Tomas Kaberle, means Bergevin should have north of $10-million in cap space to play with.
"Our team wouldn't be upset if this team didn't change one nameplate in this room ... the best part about our situation is management has realized that in-the-room is as important as on-the-ice, they went out last summer and got the right guys for the room. I think it's helped out a lot, we have a lot of confidence they'll go that direction again," said Max Pacioretty, who led the team in scoring in the regular season and played his last three playoff games with a separated shoulder.
It's true that the Habs showed character, but the strength of this team is youth.
Galchenyuk and fellow first-year pro Brendan Gallagher showed over the 48-game schedule and abortive playoff run that they aren't cowed by the big stage, and both youngsters bring a badly needed boost to the Habs lineup - the former with his world-class skill and shot, the latter with a big man's game and don't-know-the-meaning-of-quit attitude that ripples through the team.
"[Gallagher] should be the rookie of the year, it shouldn't even be a contest the way he competes. ... [Galchenyuk] is only 19, it's scary how good he's going to be, I'm really excited to be part of this team, this is a team on the upswing," defenceman P.K. Subban said this weekend as the players packed up their gear.
Subban, it bears mention, has an excitable nature.
But he is another player who has made giant strides, putting up numbers that earned him a nomination for the Norris Trophy, awarded to the league's top defenceman.
The expectation is he will only improve.
Subban turns 24 on Monday, he is just one part of the 25-and-under nucleus of this team, which includes Gallagher (21), Galchenyuk (19), centre Lars Eller (23), Pacioretty (24), and goalie Carey Price (25).Bruins take commanding lead
Phaneuf likely takes rap
By JAMES MIRTLE
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
TORONTO -- Back and forth they went, well beyond 60 minutes, and then 70, and deep into what will likely be the series' defining game.
A loss for the Toronto Maple Leafs and they would be down 3-1 and likely out of it against a team they've rarely beaten, albeit after strong showing in their first postseason in nearly a decade.
A win and who knows?
But that wasn't the script on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre.
Instead, 13 minutes into a wildly entertaining overtime, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf went for a big hit rather than the safe play, the Boston Bruins top player in this series, David Krejci, raced the other way and capped off a hat trick 13 minutes for a 4-3 win.
In a game not of inches, but millimetres - given Leafs forward Matt Frattin hit a post in overtime - the one misplay gave Boston the stranglehold on the series, especially with the Leafs heading back to a city where wins have been extra scarce.
The result, however, was fitting, as this was a close, hard-fought game right from the start.
Two of the Leafs top scorers combined for a pure finesse goal two minutes in, with Phil Kessel feeding Joffrey Lupul from behind the net for his third of the series.
Then came a lucky break, as defenceman Cody Franson's seeing eye shot eluding Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask in part due to the 6-foot-9 screen provided by teammate Zdeno Chara.
That Boston would come storming back was all but a given, and their second period barrage was particularly painful. The Bruins fired puck after puck into Leafs netminder James Reimer's crease, looking for a rebound, and piled up three unanswered goals to take hold of the game.
Krejci - now the NHL playoffs leading scorer with 10 points in these four games - was the star of that run, too, plowing into the crease with abandon in scoring his third and fourth goals of the series four minutes apart to push his team into a 3-2 lead.
But in a wildly entertaining game that was filled with more speed and skill far more than brute strength, the Leafs were hardly outclassed through 40 minutes - in part because coach Randy Carlyle had wisely iced his best lineup yet.
Alternate captain Clarke MacArthur was the perfect example, as he dressed for the first time since the series lopsided opening game and went on to belt in the tying goal late in the middle frame.
(Both assists on that 3-3 marker were to players - Jake Gardiner and Frattin - who have sat out plenty of games lately as healthy scratches despite bringing a strong possession game this season, curious decisions that add a bit of "what if?" to some of the earlier games.)
Added to the drama was a huge four-minute penalty kill by the Leafs to start the third - called on Nazem Kadri as part of a dreadful game for the youngster - that gave the home team a big lift.
Moments later, however, Leafs defenceman Mark Fraser took a puck to the face and went to the ice in a pool of blood, a sombre moment midway through the third period that wiped out half of what has been a strong second pairing for the rest of the game.
But the deadlock held through the third and well into OT before Phaneuf's faux pas ended up in the back of the Leafs net, with a shaky performance from both the captain and Reimer hardly inspiring confidence in the extra session.
Even in a loss, however, in a series that has lacked a certain sense of drama mainly because no one has been all that sure just how much of a fight the Leafs would put up, this was a turning point.
Win or lose, Toronto has hardly gone quietly into the night in its first playoff appearance in nine years, playing the Bruins to a draw through most of the last three games despite being given little chance in the series.JAMES MIRTLE LOOKS AT DECISIONS THE LEAFS MUST MAKE IN THE OFF-SEASON
By JAMES MIRTLE
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
All eyes on James Reimer
"At this point, I'd say he'll be back as No.1," general manager Dave Nonis said." I don't think anybody can point to goaltending as an issue with our team."
He, of course, being James Reimer, the 25-year-old starter who emerged as the Leafs' most-valuable player during the regular season and was excellent in Games 5 and 6 in the postseason to get his team to a seventh game.
Even that performance and subsequent endorsement from his GM won't be enough, however, for Reimer to fully quiet every question about how set the Leafs are in goal, even if the potential move Nonis makes is for a veteran backup to help out.
There was plenty of talk during the season that that's the route the Leafs would go, as they were in talks for both Miikka Kiprusoff and Roberto Luongo leading up to the trade deadline, and those conversations may continue over the summer.Defence:
"Great players aren't readily available in free agency," Nonis said. "So we're going to have to either develop those players, and be patient with the guys we have coming, or we're going to have to try to add pieces."
Nowhere could the Leafs use a better free-agent crop than on the blueline. As it is, the only big-minute defencemen available in unrestricted free agency at this point are the likes of Sergei Gonchar, Mark Streit, Ron Hainsey and Rob Scuderi - hardly star-studded. While the Leafs got good news on defence in terms of an emergence from Cody Franson and strong play from Jake Gardiner in the postseason, this is an organization without enough depth on the back end and which is still left relying too heavily on captain Dion Phaneuf most nights.
Three key blueliners are restricted free agents, too - Franson, Carl Gunnarsson and Mark Fraser - and their new contracts will eat into available cap space. Finding another top four defenceman stands as Nonis's toughest task.
What to do with Tyler Bozak?
"If there's a contract that makes sense for us and makes sense for Tyler then we'll sign him," Nonis said. "It's not a situation where we have to sign Tyler Bozak because there are numbers that make sense for the team."
The Leafs centres remain the organization's other key question mark, as Bozak is an unrestricted free agent, Mikhail Grabovski is coming off a down year and Nazem Kadri is a restricted free agent due a sizable raise.
Here Nonis will have his work cut out for him under the cap as Bozak is believed to be seeking up to $5-million annually, Grabovski already makes $5.5-million and Kadri will be asking for something likely in the $3-million range.
If those commitments are all made or kept, that will leave the Leafs will only minimal cash to spend elsewhere, which would mean most improvements next season would have to come from within.Vanished dreams of an accused killer
In 2011, Dellen Millard was young, rich and heir to a thriving business. Now he's charged with murder as police scour his farmland
By JILL MAHONEY AND PATRICK WHITE
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page A6
Two and a half years ago, Dellen Millard envisioned a life of rural leisure when he first laid eyes on the quiet section of farmland along Roseville Road. It was a 20-minute drive south of the Waterloo, Ont., airport where he would soon work alongside his father, Wayne, in a new state-of-the-art hangar owned by the family firm. He could imagine building his dream home there alongside the corn and barley crops, settling down with the woman he introduced to a local real-estate agent as his fiancée.
His outlook at the time could be summarized in the word he would have tattooed on his wrist: "ambition."
The deal closed in May, 2011. The price: $835,000, all cash.
Within two years, his father would be dead, Mr. Millard would stand accused of murdering an Ancaster, Ont., father and his bucolic piece of land would come to symbolize an appalling end rather than a fresh beginning.
Forensic investigators are slated to wrap up a one-week search of Mr. Millard's farmland and the hangar on Saturday, a hunt that has uncovered a portable livestock incinerator and the charred remains of Tim Bosma.
The strange circumstances around Mr. Bosma's death - as well as the first-degree murder charge laid against a modest, young man of means - have vaulted the sad and vexing story to national attention.
On Monday, May 6, 32-year-old Tim Bosma left his wife and two-year-old daughter at his Ancaster home to take two strangers - a tall man and short man - for a test drive in his black 2007 Dodge Ram. He never returned.
His disappearance confounded police for days until a man came forward with an eerie story of two similar men who had taken his red Dodge Ram for a test drive a day earlier. He recalled an "ambition" tattoo on the tall man's wrist.
Four days after Mr. Bosma's disappearance, police tailed Mr. Millard for at least four hours before arresting him and later charging him with forcible confinement, theft over $5,000 and, eventually, first-degree murder.
Through his lawyer, Deepak Paradkar, Mr. Millard has denied all charges. Mr. Paradkar characterized his client as the wealthy heir to his family's aviation business who had no debts and no need to steal a used truck.
Police are looking for two more suspects - the short man and the driver of an "SUV-type" vehicle that appeared to be following Mr. Bosma's Dodge as it pulled away from his home.
Mr. Bosma's family, meanwhile, has scheduled a public memorial on Wednesday at Carmen's banquet hall in Hamilton.
While the Bosma family grieves, those who know Mr. Millard are perplexed by the charges against him. The real-estate agent, Bruce Nicholson, recalled a business-savvy young man who never flaunted his money and had a keen eye for trucks, including Mr. Nicholson's new Chevy Avalanche. "We talked, you know, how do you like yours? What's it got? You know, like guys do about their trucks. It was always quite easy and friendly," Mr. Nicholson said.
For Mr. Nicholson, the story doesn't add up, especially the part about Mr. Millard allegedly stealing Mr. Bosma's six-year-old truck, "when he can write a cheque for a half a dozen new ones," he said.
One friend of Mr. Millard's girlfriend shared the impression of him as a modest man who acted neither spoiled nor particularly well-off. "He's a soft-spoken sort of a guy," said the friend, who cannot be named due to a publication ban. "I didn't even know he had money. He never acted like it."
Though the two never became close, the friend said Mr. Millard seemed to treat his girlfriend well, taking her on skydiving trips and tropical vacations.
The investigation into Mr. Millard's alleged involvement in the Bosma murder has forced investigators to consider some macabre possibilities. A relative of one man questioned by Bosma investigators told The Globe and Mail the interview included questions about the 2012 death of Dellen's father, Wayne.
Police are also re-examining his relationship to Laura Babcock, a Toronto woman who went missing last July, according to a CTV News report.
Toronto Police said Wayne's death on Nov. 29, 2012, was deemed a suicide at the time. Nearly six months later, the Ontario Chief Coroner's office says the investigation into Wayne's death remains "ongoing."
The death halted ambitions for the Waterloo hangar. Established by Dellen's grandfather, Carl, in the early 1960s, Millardair was moving from Pearson International Airport to an $8-million hangar in Waterloo. The company would operate as one of only a couple of privately owned aircraft repair hangars in Ontario that could maintain jets as large as Boeing 757s.
But when Wayne, who was in his early 70s, died suddenly last fall, Dellen put his father's plans on ice, laying off staff and cancelling a key certificate from Transport Canada. Instead, he put the hangar up for lease and continued to store his collection of cars and aircraft there.
However, a contractor who worked on the hangar said Mr. Millard wasn't the type to tinker on engines himself. "I've never seen his hands dirty that way. I didn't find him that mechanically inclined," the contractor said.
In fact, once when Mr. Millard needed some space he took a cutting torch and removed some structural components from the building, the contractor said. "That's something you don't do and I told him we have to put it back. And if he was a little more mechanically inclined, he would know that."
Still, the recent developments don't add up for the contractor.
"They have no problem with money. He'll spend however many thousands on vehicles and airplanes and things. What's the story with him buying an old truck? There's something not right."Harper does the selling himself
Prime MInister touts the benefits of the Keyston XL pipeline in America's business capital
By JOANNA SLATER
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page A4
NEW YORK -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a stark case for the Keystone XL pipeline to an influential New York audience, saying no further debate is necessary and an increasing supply of oil from Canada is inevitable.
"This absolutely needs to go ahead," Mr. Harper said during a packed session at the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan. "All the facts are overwhelmingly on the side of approval."
The only "real immediate environmental issue here," he added, "is do we want to increase the flow of oil from Canada via pipeline or via rail."
Mr. Harper's trip marks a new tactic in an all-out effort by the Canadian government to counteract the project's opponents and ensure that the pipeline moves forward. The push includes an ad campaign launched this week and rotating visits to the U.S. by a parade of cabinet ministers.
On Thursday, however, Mr. Harper did the selling himself.
His destination is a stronghold of Democratic voters, some of whom oppose the Keystone project.
But New York is also the nation's business capital, something Mr. Harper embraced. At the public event on Thursday afternoon, his audience included corporate executives, investors and academics. He also participated in a private breakfast and intimate afternoon roundtable with selected business chieftains.
He noted that the Keystone pipeline, a project of TransCanada Corp., could create 40,000 U.S. jobs. Given the current challenging climate for job creation, he said, "I don't think ... we can afford to turn up our noses at that."
Ottawa considers the pipeline a crucial conduit for moving oil from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. But the proposal has met with stiff opposition from critics who say it will accelerate climate change by making it easier to develop Alberta's reserves of carbon-laden oil.
Mr. Harper rejected those arguments. "Yes, there still are emissions issues, but no more so than heavy crudes in other parts of the world," he said. "This is an enormous benefit to the United States in terms of long-term energy security."
The Prime Minister also alluded to the tactics of those who oppose the project - including a number of vocal protesters just outside Thursday's event - following a question about how to combat climate change.
"It is not just a matter of getting on a street corner and yelling and that will somehow lead to a solution," Mr. Harper said. "These are real challenges where environmental needs intersect and often appear to be at cross purposes with economic and social development. Unless we realize that and take those things seriously, we're going to keep talking around the real issue."
During the hour-long session, Mr. Harper touched on a wide range of topics, from the development of the oil sands to foreign investment in Canada to the ongoing conflict in Syria. He urged U.S. President Barack Obama to exercise "extraordinary caution in jumping into" the situation in Syria. "Arming unnamed people whose identities we do not know and whose objectives we do not understand, I think is extremely risky."
Mr. Harper shared the stage with Robert Rubin, a former U.S. treasury secretary, who helped lead the discussion. The Prime Minister took questions from the audience but not from the media. He did not address the ethical controversy raging at home over a $90,000 payment by his chief of staff to cover improper expenses incurred by Conservative Senator Mike Duffy.
Following the event, Mr. Harper participated in an economic roundtable with a select group of six U.S. business leaders, including David Cote, the chief executive of Honeywell International Inc., Michael Evans, the vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Thomas O'Malley, chairman of oil refiner PBF Energy. One of the participants, Louis Chênevert, chief executive of United Technologies Corp., described it as a "great session."
Mr. Harper's visit also provided an opening for Keystone's critics. Thomas Homer-Dixon, a professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, said there is a "deep contradiction between Canada's plans for the development of the oil sands and the climate reality we are facing around the world." Prof. Homer-Dixon joined with prominent scientists in sending a letter to Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass in hopes of generating some critical debate during Mr. Harper's appearance.
Across the street from the event, about 50 protesters awaited Mr. Harper's arrival, chanting and carrying signs that read, "Tar Sands Oil is Dirty Energy" and "End the Murder of our Planet."
"I have a daughter and I care about her living on a beautiful planet," said Elizabeth Kelley, 48, an activist who lives in New York. "I know what tar sands oil is and how terrible it is. I also know that climate change is real."
Faced with a blitz by Ottawa that includes an advertising campaign in Washington, opponents of Keystone have fired back, unveiling a website - oilsandsrealitycheck.com - and social media campaign that, they say, provide a reality check on the Harper's government's oil sands claims.
The loud and polarized public debate over the pipeline appears set to continue until Mr. Obama decides whether to approve it.
"The environmental community wants to keep up the pressure and the proponents don't want to be caught flatfooted like they have been before," said Michael Levi, an energy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations who recently published a book called The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future.
Once an obscure issue, the pipeline has turned into "one of the focal points - if not the focal point, of the American energy debate," Mr. Levi said. "It's an extraordinary change."
With report from Shawn McCarthy in OttawaCoderre set to enter Montreal mayoral race
High-profile Liberal MP will trigger federal by-election in Bourassa when he resigns his seat
By DANIEL LEBLANC AND INGRID PERITZ
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page A4
MONTREAL and MONTREAL -- Liberal MP Denis Coderre is finally entering the race to lead Montreal and try to clean up a massive corruption scandal at city hall, a move that will open up his seat to one of the most interesting by-elections in recent history.
Mr. Coderre is the front-runner in the Montreal mayoral race, according to the most recent poll, although the municipal election is nearly six months away and more candidates could still enter the fray.
He brings widespread recognition to his bid - Mr. Coderre is a ubiquitous presence in the Quebec media and on social networks - although it remains to be seen whether he can effectively transition from federal to municipal politics and convince cynical Montreal voters that he can clean up the city. Originally known as a political organizer for the federal Liberals, Mr. Coderre became an MP in 1997 and was a minister in the Chrétien and Martin governments, never hiding his leadership ambitions.
He is set to officially enter the mayoral race on Thursday morning as the city tries to dig its way out of a debilitating corruption scandal. He will announce his candidacy at a news conference in front of City Hall, a building that has become a symbol for a system of bribery, colluding engineering firms, Mafia-backed construction companies, shoddy infrastructure jobs and corrupt city officials.
Mr. Coderre would be the first big-name challenger for a job that has attracted few marquee figures. Montreal's business community had approached several high-profile business, political and cultural figures, among them former Grand Prix boss Normand Legault, former Conservative cabinet minister Michael Fortier and former newspaper publisher Lise Bissonnette. None expressed interest in the job.
The Montreal board of trade went so far as to post a faux want ad seeking a mayor whose qualities include "unfailing determination, integrity, leadership and management skills."
"The mayoralty of Montreal right now is facing a crisis of governance," Michel Leblanc, head of the business group, said in an interview. "The link of trust between citizens, public institutions and the mayoralty has been very badly damaged."
The November vote will be crucial in rebuilding confidence in Montreal's highest office, he said. He has met Mr. Coderre, but the Liberal MP has yet to present his vision for the city.
"Mr. Coderre still hasn't explained what he wants to do," Mr. Leblanc said.
A CROP poll published Wednesday placed Mr. Coderre in first place in a race against his two declared rivals, city hall opposition leaders Richard Bergeron and Louise Harel.
Still, Mr. Coderre's support remains soft. Pulling in only 33 per cent of voter support, his candidacy appears to be generating only moderate enthusiasm. Youri Rivest, vice-president at CROP, said Mr. Coderre's strongest asset may be that he's the first fresh face to appear on Montreal's municipal scene.
"It's not Coderre-mania, but at least he's a new player," Mr. Rivest said.
Mr. Coderre's exit from the House of Commons will force a by-election in the federal riding of Bourassa, which he first won for the Liberals in the 1997 general election. The race will showcase a faceoff between Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, who are both Montreal Island MPs and will be engaged in a battle for Quebec seats in the 2015 general election.
The Liberal Party and the NDP are planning to hold open nominations in Bourassa, which borders Mr. Trudeau's riding of Papineau and resisted joining the NDP Orange Wave in the last general election.
The NDP is portraying itself as the underdog in the race, calling Bourassa a "Liberal stronghold."
"Well don't forget it's a strong Liberal riding, it's the Liberals' race to lose," Mr. Mulcair told The Globe and Mail. "We're going to make sure that we recruit a high-calibre candidate who can put on a tremendous fight and put all of our energy and resources behind that."
The Liberals, meanwhile, are hoping that the by-election will showcase Mr. Trudeau's ability to win seats in Quebec. Still, Liberals insisted that it can sometimes be hard for parties to hold on to seats in by-elections after the departure of a highly visible MP such as Mr. Coderre.
"That dynamic is always tricky," a Liberal strategist said, also speaking on condition of anonymity. "It's going to be tough."
Mr. Coderre is not expected to resign his seat immediately; he wants to deal with a few final constituency files. Still, Liberals expect that he will leave either later this month or in early June.
With a report from Justin Fauteux in TorontoOttawa goes online to woo Iranians
Digital diplomacy bypasses Iran's government to speak directly to the people
By CAMPBELL CLARK
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page A8
OTTAWA -- The Harper government is launching an effort to reach Iranians through the Internet and social media nine months after cutting diplomatic ties to Tehran.
It's Ottawa's first substantial foray into digital "direct diplomacy," with a bid to bypass Iran's government and offer a platform to dissidents and human rights activists. The initiative was launched during the run-up to the country's June 14 presidential elections.
The Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran was hosted by the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, but sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs with $250,000 in public money. And it was kicked off with a speech by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who said "we want to expand our relations with Iranians, free from the regime's filters."
The initiative provides the Harper government with an outlet for criticism of the Iranian regime even after Ottawa suspended diplomatic ties, imposed sanctions, and declared Iran a state sponsor of terrorism. Mr. Baird's speech attacked the country's "clerical, military dictatorship," abuses of human rights, the country's nuclear program and its powerful Revolutionary Guard.
The idea is to stream the content into Iran, and around the world, over the Internet - and then to encourage Iranians to join in with comments and questions through social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. And the plan is to keep doing it over the next two years.
"This is the first major experience of direct digital diplomacy that Canada has engaged in," said Munk School director Janice Stein. "It's primary purpose is to bring Iranians into the conversation."
The Global Dialogue consisted mostly panels of experts, human rights activists and dissidents who have left Iran, but with social-media and e-mail questions and comments added from inside Iran and elsewhere; organizers said they have been in contact with Iranian-Canadians and others now living outside the country to try to reach their networks inside Iran. Government officials said the University of Toronto had taken security measures to try to protect the identities of Iranians, and connections through mass-audience social-media channels would make it harder for Iranian authorities to trace them.
How much content will get through remains an open question. The Iranian regime regularly uses "throttling" mechanisms to slow Internet downloads by its citizens and, with the election looming, has this week taken additional measures that effectively cut off foreign Internet streams after about a minute, Canadian government officials said. The content will remain posted in the hope that clips can reach Iranians later. "There was a significant number of questions in Farsi coming from inside Iran," Ms. Stein said, though she could not immediately provide figures.
The timing of the launch, just as the Iranian presidential election campaign is taking shape, is no coincidence. Mr. Baird said in his speech that Western countries watched Iranian protesters in 2009 "outraged by a stolen election that mocked their right to choose," but should have done more to support them.
Government officials described the Global Dialogue as an effort to provide a platform for debate on issues such as the economy and human rights that would normally get an airing in an election campaign, but can't be discussed fully in Iran.
Iran's last presidential election in 2009 sparked the Green Movement protests from activists who charged that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was fraudulently re-elected. It grew into a broader campaign for reform that was violently repressed by Iranian security forces.
It's widely believed that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is anxious to ensure there is no repeat of the Green Movement protests, and opposes the rumoured plan of Mr. Ahmadinejad - barred by law from running for a third term - to back a close associate for the presidency. It's expected that three of Ayatollah Khamenei's close supporters will run, with two backing out to support the leading candidate among them.
Even without fraud, Iran's presidential elections are not an all-out race for the top job. The Supreme Leader remains the most powerful figure in the country, and election candidates must be vetted first by the country's Council of Guardians, which has in the past barred several reformists on the grounds that they are not fully dedicated to Islamic values.'Together, we will make British Columbia better'
Liberals soar to majority as NDP support wilts, but leader fights to hold her own seat
By MARK HUME, IAN BAILEY, JUSTINE HUNTER
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page A1
VANCOUVER -- British Columbians voted overwhelmingly to send the Liberal Party back to power, in one of the most dramatic political comebacks in recent Canadian history.
The election was a stunning turnaround for Premier Christy Clark, although she was struggling Tuesday to hold her own seat in Vancouver-Point Grey.
Polling had for months put her far behind NDP Leader Adrian Dix, and many thought a change was inevitable after 12 years of Liberal rule.
Voters appeared to have grown tired of the governing Liberals. And Ms. Clark, who came back to win the party leadership after leaving her job as a radio hotline host, was never regarded seriously by many. Her critics, including some in her own party, believed she lacked the gravitas necessary to continue as leader.
On the campaign trail, however, she connected with voters, putting on hard hats, hugging heavy equipment operators and repeatedly saying that more than anything she wanted to put British Columbians back to work.
"Tonight we have received a mandate from the people of British Columbia," Ms. Clark said after fighting her way through a jubilant mob to take the stage and give her acceptance speech. "We will honour what you have bestowed upon us and together we will make British Columbia better."
At another Vancouver hotel, Mr. Dix conceded defeat in a speech neither he, nor the pollsters, ever expected he'd have to give.
"Never a dull moment in B.C. politics," he said to a crowd that had gathered expecting to celebrate a victory.
"Elections belong to the voters - and the voters have decided," said Mr. Dix, with the returns showing the Liberals leading or elected in 51 seats, the NDP, 32, one Green - the first at the provincial level in Canada - and one independent.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Dix said he won't decide his own future as leader of the NDP until he has met with the caucus.
Sensing the election slipping away the Liberals fought down to the wire trying to get their vote out as early polls suggested the party's 12-year reign was over in British Columbia.
"Dig deep. Phone and visit potential voters. It's full-on battle stations," Mike McDonald, the Liberal campaign director said in an e-mail blast to members, just an hour before polling stations closed, Tuesday.
By then confident NDP workers, buoyed by pollster's projections of a majority government, were already rehearsing plans for a victory speech by Mr. Dix.
But when the vote results started to pour in and a stunning come-back was suddenly in the making by Ms. Clark, whose riding remained in doubt, but who had led her party back after trailing the NDP by 20 points at the start of the campaign.
Word of a Liberal majority set party members cheering, whooping and clapping in the ballroom where supporters had gathered.
"I'm trying to mask my joy right now . . . but I am very happy," said former federal cabinet minister Stockwell Day, who has taken up the cause of the provincial Liberals.
"This will lead in the history of reversals," he said.
Former B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen said the party always assumed it would be able to close the gap with the NDP.
Mr. Hansen said Ms. Clark had run an "incredible" campaign because she focused relentlessly on economic growth and was engaging with voters.
"That is her real strength. She is a great campaigner and she has proven that over the last four weeks," he said.
Liberal candidate Sam Sullivan, a former Vancouver mayor, seemed shaken by the unexpected victory.
He said the Liberals won because of Ms. Clark.
Mr. Dix, who at times in this election seemed nervous and unsure of himself, on the final day swept across B.C. in an impressive display of logistics and endurance. In 24 hours he traveled 1,700 kilometres and visited 13 communities. But in the end, even that marathon performance wasn't enough.
With files by Marsha LedermanEffort afoot to sue Canadians for illegal downloads
The Canadian Press
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page A5
MONTREAL -- Massive lawsuits targeting people who illegally download copyrighted content are common in the U.S., where people have been stuck with hefty fines and out-of-court settlements.
Now there's an attempt to bring that to Canada.
At the centre of the effort is Canipre, the only anti-piracy enforcement firm that provides forensic services to copyright-holders in Canada.
The Montreal-based firm has been monitoring Canadian users' downloading of pirated content for several months. It has now gathered more than one million different evidence files, according to its managing director Barry Logan.
One of its clients is now before Federal Court in Toronto, requesting customer information for more than 1,000 IP addresses - a user's unique Internet signature - collected by Canipre.
That client is the American studio Voltage Pictures, maker of hundreds of films including the Academy Award-winning Hurt Locker.
On the other side of the case is Teksavvy, an Ontario-based Internet provider. The IP addresses flagged by Canipre link back to its users.
The case is set to resume next month.
If the court orders Teksavvy to hand over customer info, it could be the beginning of a new chapter in the anti-piracy battle in Canada.
"We have a long list of clients waiting to go to court," said Canipre's Mr. Logan, who estimates that about 100 different companies are paying close attention to the case.
These lawsuits have been common in the U.S. Between 200,000 and 250,000 people have been sued in the last two years, according to one Internet civil-liberties group.
"They send off threatening letters telling them, 'If you don't pay up we're going to name you in this lawsuit and you could be on the hook for up to $150,000 in damages,'" said Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Canadians don't risk such severe damages because of a bill passed last year that modified the federal Copyright Act.
Bill C-11 imposed a limit of $5,000 on damages awarded for non-commercial copyright infringement, which applies to the average consumer who downloads films.
"The reason Parliament did that [is] they didn't want the courts to be used in this way," said David Fewer, director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. "Copyright is supposed to be a framework legislation. It's not supposed to be used for building a compensation model." He says the phenomenon of file-sharing suits is relatively new in Canada.
The advocacy group is an intervenor in the Toronto case.
Mr. Fewer said there has only been a single file-sharing lawsuit in Canada, launched by the music industry. The case, BMG Canada Inc. vs. John Doe, was launched in 2004, and it failed.
Mr. Fewer said no similar attempts have been made - until now.
"I'm a little bit surprised to see this (new) litigation popping up in Canada. We typically don't have a culture in Canada for this kind of use of courts," Mr. Fewer said.
For now, Canipre is the only Canadian firm providing this type of service. And it's proud of the work it does.
"We understand the culture of piracy," Mr. Logan said, adding that he has been involved in numerous IP-related litigation cases across Canada.
"We're bringing that model up here as a means to change social attitudes toward downloading," said the Canipre executive. "Many people know it is illegal but they continue to do it."
The company advertises its ability to conduct "aggressive takedown campaigns" for clients.
It monitors websites where pirated content is known to be available, and it searches for its clients' content. When it finds violations, Canipre asks the hosting website to remove the content - a process known as a takedown request.Alberta eliminates peewee bodychecking
Hockey Canada considers nationwide ban
By ALLAN MAKI
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page A7
CALGARY -- With Alberta on board, Hockey Canada is planning to introduce documents and medical data to spearhead discussions for a nationwide ban on bodychecking at the peewee level.
The issue of player safety and hitting among 11- and 12-year-olds will be presented to Hockey Canada's board of directors at this month's annual general meeting in Charlottetown.
Paul Carson, Hockey Canada's vice-president of hockey development, will make a formal presentation outlining the risks and effects of young players being allowed to bodycheck one another at a pivotal stage in their development.
Included in the presentation will be much of the information Hockey Alberta used to announce Wednesday it was banning bodychecking among peewees beginning this fall.
Hockey officials in the province took note of a five-year University of Calgary study that showed Alberta peewee players were at three times the risk of being injured, and four times the risk of suffering a concussion, than peewees in Quebec, where hitting wasn't allowed.
The study also showed concussion symptoms usually go away in seven to 10 days in 80 per cent of cases, but for some patients the effects can last for weeks, even years.
Hockey Alberta's decision puts it in line with Quebec and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, which has taken bodychecking out of its house-league programs at all levels. British Columbia has removed bodychecking in various recreation leagues.
Mr. Carson, who helped Hockey Alberta formulate its ban, will also rely on the opinions of an advisory group consisting of psychology and kinesiology experts when he outlines his talk to Hockey Canada's 31 voting directors.
"We did have a preliminary discussion with the board during the women's world championship in Ottawa [last month]," Mr. Carson said. "We had an opportunity to present a number of issues. Bodychecking was one. There'll be no surprises at the AGM."
Hockey Alberta also announced the creation of a "player safety strategy to focus on the reduction of serious injuries in the game at all levels."
Alberta Liberal health critic Dr. David Swann issued a statement saying: "By banning bodychecking for players under 13, we can prevent at least 1,500 injuries, including 400 concussions, which can be devastating for our young people. ... This decision also has the potential to save Alberta more than $210,000 a year in direct public health-care costs."
Calgary peewee coach Mark Howell, who also coaches the University of Calgary men's hockey team, supported the bodychecking ban, insisting peewee players should concentrate on developing their skills without worrying about being hit.
"We need to introduce checking, but not body contact," Mr. Howell said.
"We can teach stick positioning, proper angling, rubbing a player off without bodychecking him. We need to give the kids time to learn the fine motor skills to play the game at high speeds. The longer we give them, the more equipped they'll be to move forward when bodychecking is allowed."
Hockey Canada is looking to make the game safer to better recruit and retain its minor-hockey membership numbers.
More than 8,000 children dropped out of the sport this season compared to the year before. Many parents are concerned about the sport's dangers and potential for injury.Greyhound bus killer may get more community passes
By STEVE LAMBERT
The Canadian Press
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page A4
WINNIPEG -- A man who beheaded and cannibalized a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba is likely to get more privileges in the coming weeks - something his victim's mother says should never happen.
The Vince Li, 45, has stopped having hallucinations, has been a model patient at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre and is ready for more escorted passes into the community, his psychiatrist said Monday.
"I believe that, primarily, Mr. Li is invested in co-operating with and working with the treatment team," Dr. Steven Kremer told the Criminal Code Review Board, which examines Mr. Li's condition annually.
Mr. Li has made "excellent improvement" since the 2008 attack, Dr. Kremer said.
Mr. Li was found not criminally responsible for killing Tim McLean - an attack Crown attorney Susan Helechilde called "perhaps the most macabre crime ever committed in Manitoba."
Mr. Li was an undiagnosed schizophrenic at the time, but has continually taken his medication, has had no problems with staff or other patients and realizes he needs to stick to his treatment, Dr. Kremer said.
Mr. Li was initially confined to a locked wing of the hospital, but in 2010 was granted the right to escorted walks on hospital grounds. Last year, he was given the right to escorted daytime trips into Selkirk. He had to be accompanied at all times by a security guard and a staff member.
Dr. Kremer and other members of Mr. Li's treatment team suggested Monday that Mr. Li be given more trips. They said he should be allowed to go to Winnipeg under the same supervision. He should also be allowed to go to Selkirk, Lockport and nearby beaches under more relaxed, group supervision, they suggested.
The Crown did not oppose the proposal's main points, but asked that staff be required to have cellphones at all times.
The review board said it would make its decision within a week.
The annual hearings are an unpleasant experience for the victim's mother, Carol DeDelley. She said Mr. Li should remain locked up for the rest of his life, but the mental-health system seems intent on eventually freeing him.
"I just believe that [Mr. Li] ought to remain where he can get the care and treatment he requires and we can all feel safe," Ms. DeDelley told reporters after the hearing.'Lion of Punjab' poised to roar again
Nawaz Sharif's hopes of returning to the prime minister's office rest on persuading voters he can croon with the Taliban, orchestrate the economy and keep the electricity humming
By AFFAN CHOWDHRY
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page A21
LAHORE, PAKISTAN -- Overthrown, imprisoned and exiled to the political wilderness, Nawaz Sharif has staged a remarkable comeback.
The Lion of Punjab, as his supporters call him, is on the cusp of becoming Pakistan's prime minister for a third time in historic elections Saturday, while his younger brother, Shahbaz, is expected to regain control of the country's most populous and wealthy province, Punjab.
For more than 30 years, dogged by allegations of egregious patronage and questionable megaprojects, the Sharifs have hung on as Pakistan has convulsed and teetered. Even in their dynasty's darkest moments, they have remained both relevant and regal, amassing a personal fortune that allowed the clan to build a palatial residence, an estate with peacocks and deer roaming the grounds and two stuffed African lions outside a room where guests are received at the 283-hectare property near Lahore.
The Sharifs are betting that Pakistanis see them as a great hope of entrepreneurial spirit, a dynastic duo who can combat dismal economic growth, aggressive Taliban destabilization and diminishing security after winning the first democratic change of power in the country's history.
Along a dusty, rural road lined with textile factories and sugar mills lies the village of Manga Mandi - part of a whistle-stop tour for the Sharifs before campaigning officially ended Thursday. Several thousand are crammed into a village square. Party posters depicting the two brothers line the buildings as songs blare over loudspeakers. Rivals supporting the Sharif brothers' main opponent - former cricket superstar Imran Khan - taunt the crowd by showing a Khan election poster from atop a building behind the stage. The crowd roars.
For Rana Imran Haider, the young organizer of this rally, the Sharifs will be good for business.
"When it was [Nawaz Sharif's] tenure until 1999, the industry was booming. Everybody was happy. For the last five years, the industry has been crashed. I belong to the textile industry, more than 500 units - textile mills - have been shut down because of electricity crisis, because of security issues," Mr. Haider said. "They [the Sharifs] can solve these problems."
Minutes later, the electricity cuts off and the village is plunged into darkness. There are cheers and cackles as rally-goers switch on the built-in flashlights in their cellphones and wave them above their heads.
Power reliance is a big issue in this country. Pakistani experts estimate that, in 2009, power outages affecting factories and manufacturing cost the economy $3.8-billion, or 2.5 per cent of the GDP. Since then, the electricity problem has only worsened.
And the question of how much outside countries can rely on Pakistan's authority over its extremist elements is another issue. The stakes in this election could not be higher for the country - or the region.
What is at stake
The Pakistani Taliban is waging a resilient insurgency in the tribal areas and frustrating the army. It has carried out suicide attacks and bombings across the country - killing more than 100 people, often secular political party activists and candidates - in the three weeks before election day. And it now controls chunks of Karachi, the country's largest city and Pakistan's commercial engine.
Pakistan's neighbour, Afghanistan, is imploding slowly under its own Taliban insurgency - which it blames on Pakistan. Its relationship with India is mired in mistrust and animosity over Pakistan-based jihadi groups carrying out attacks in India. At a time when Western powers are cracking down on Iran over its nuclear program, Pakistan has signed a deal to build a gas pipeline with Iran to meet its energy needs.
The world looks to Pakistan to solve its internal wars, seal its borders and stem the flow of militants in a nuclearized region already roiling with tension.
Those problems will likely wind up at the desk of the doughy, energetic and unbowed Nawaz Sharif. At 63, and with two tumultuous terms in the prime minister's chair behind him, the aging lion sees his last chance to rule the kingdom. His main challenger, Imran Khan, toppled nearly five metres from a makeshift platform at a Lahore rally on Tuesday and broke three vertebrae. He now lies in a hospital bed but may yet play the role of spoiler.
"[The lion] will roar on May 11th, everyone else will run away," Mr. Sharif promised tens of thousands of supporters at a rally in southern Punjab last month. But his opponents are not so easily frightened - even with the occasional display of an actual caged lion at some Sharif rallies. His victory is by no means a certainty.
Mr. Sharif's probable victory is somewhat improbable when one considers the 2x3-metre prison cells in which he and his brother languished after a military coup, led by Pervez Musharraf, in 1999.
This time around, the campaign message is captivating and quixotic. Mr. Sharif said recently that Pakistan and India had wasted billions of dollars in a futile arms race and should sit down and negotiate. That opinion, though, can't be too popular with the army, whose support he will require to keep the country stable.
He has also hinted that there isn't a military solution to the country's struggle with the Pakistani Taliban. "I think guns and bullets are always not the answer to such problems," Mr. Sharif said in an interview with Reuters, suggesting that negotiating with the Pakistani Taliban was one of the options that should be pursued.
Ambitiously, Mr. Sharif promises to turn Pakistan's economy into an Asian tiger. His main promise is to solve the electricity crisis - which has left factories silent, hurt small business and forced families to cope with outages. Pakistanis are frustrated with their government's rationing of electricity, which leaves the country without power for 12 hours or more over the course of a day.
Continuing the Sharif love affair with transportation, Mr. Sharif has promised high-speed bullet trains that will carry passengers from the port city of Karachi to northwestern Peshawar in a day. The Sharif stamp is already on the country's first major super highway built in the 1990s between the capital Islamabad and Lahore - a lavish $1-billion project in a country with one of the lowest literacy rates and lowest health expenditure as a percentage of GDP in South Asia.
"The Sharifs have been around for 30 years, a lifetime. Their specialty all these years has been the quick-fix gimmick," wrote former Sharif ally Ayaz Amir in a column last month for Pakistan's The News International newspaper.
The brothers' family fortune was established by their father, Mian Muhammad Sharif, who migrated to Pakistan from Amritsar, India, following partition in 1947 and founded a steel mill in Lahore.
But the policy of nationalization in the 1970s under Pakistan Peoples Party leader and prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto hit the Sharif family especially hard when the steel business was taken over - leading to a long-standing political rivalry and enmity between the Sharifs and Bhuttos. The enmity calmed after a 2006 agreement signed between Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. The Charter of Democracy committed both politicians to strengthening the civilian government and curbing the power of the military.
Since Ms. Bhutto's assassination in 2007, the Sharifs have tangled with her widower, President Asif Ali Zardari - with Shahbaz Sharif delivering the sharpest attacks, referring to him as "Ali Baba" and his cabinet as "the 40 thieves."
Out of power for the past five years, though, Nawaz Sharif has relied on his younger brother's achievements as outgoing chief minister of Punjab.
Shabhaz has been credited with gains in public health and curbing a dengue epidemic, and improving enrolment and attendance - of students as well as teachers - in Punjab schools. Other projects, such as awarding free laptops to students, have been called gimmicks.
He is said to want to lead the Ministry of Water and Power, but his older brother wants him to stay on as Chief Minister in Punjab - the family stronghold.
It is nearly 11 p.m on Thursday, the last official day of campaigning.
In Lahore, the older Sharif is making one last pitch to be prime minister: "If you give us five years, you will see that we can change the fate of this country."
In Manga Mandi, Shahbaz Sharif steps onto the stage to tell the audience that, with its help, his brother, Nawaz, will be prime minister after Saturday. And he promises electricity. "Or my name is not Shahbaz Sharif," he shouts in a voice strained by a gruelling schedule. Five minutes later, he is back in his car and heading to one more rally.
Next time the electricity goes off, though, fewer in Manga Mandi may be laughing.Cameron agrees to support bill calling for vote on EU membership
By PAUL WALDIE
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page A13
LONDON -- British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing growing questions about his leadership as he struggles to contain a caucus revolt over Britain's membership in the European Union.
On Tuesday, Mr. Cameron bowed to pressure within his party and agreed to support proposed legislation that will commit the government to hold a referendum on EU membership by 2017. According to the draft bill, Britons will be given a simple question to answer: "Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union?"
The measure is more about politics than policy because it has almost no chance of becoming law. It has also failed to ease concerns among many of Mr. Cameron's critics, inside and outside his party, who believe he lacks direction on the EU issue and is simply trying to appease his caucus.
For months, Mr. Cameron has said he wanted to renegotiate Britain's participation in the EU and then put the new deal to a vote by 2017. But that is contingent on his Conservative Party winning the next election in 2015.
While Britain is a member of the 27-member EU, it has not signed on to every EU treaty and has won exemptions from some EU policy decisions. For example, it does not use the euro and it is not a party to all of the Schengen agreement, which opened borders between signatory European countries. Nonetheless, many people in Britain believe the British economy has been strangled by EU regulations, human-rights policies and relaxation of border controls.
Mr. Cameron has not been specific about what he would renegotiate, but has expressed support for change in the way the union operates.
A growing number of Tory MPs have grown dissatisfied with Mr. Cameron's pledge to renegotiate EU membership and then have a referendum. Some Tories have demanded an earlier vote on the EU, while others called on the Prime Minister to do what he has finally done now - put the commitment into legislation to show voters he is serious. This week, further cracks in the caucus appeared when two cabinet ministers said that if a referendum were held today, they would vote to withdraw from the EU.
Driving much of the Conservative angst is the surging threat of the United Kingdom Independence Party, or Ukip, which fiercely opposes EU membership and wants limits on immigration. Both positions strike a chord with voters and Ukip scored a number of upsets in recent local elections. While the party has never polled more than about 3 per cent in a general election, its popularity now stands at 18 per cent, according to a poll released this week by the Guardian newspaper. The Tories are at 28 per cent, their lowest level in a decade, while the opposition Labour Party is at 34 per cent.
Mr. Cameron's pledge on Tuesday to support referendum legislation has done little to soothe his critics. That's partly because the proposed bill likely won't ever pass into law. Mr. Cameron's Tories don't have a majority in the House of Commons and are in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, who back the EU and oppose the referendum.
As a result, Mr. Cameron could not introduce the legislation as a government bill because he would risk ending the coalition. Instead, the Conservative Party drafted the bill and plans to have it introduced as private members' bills.
Despite Mr. Cameron's proposed referendum bill, a group of 80 Tory MPs said on Tuesday they will press ahead with their own motion Wednesday, which chastises the government for failing to include the EU referendum in the recent Speech from the Throne.
"The nature of our relationship with the EU is of fundamental importance to this country, and therefore political transparency is needed," said John Baron, a Tory MP who introduced Wednesday's motion. "Too many politicians have obfuscated for too long, and the electorate are tired of it."
Mr. Cameron stood by his latest effort. He told Sky News during a visit to Boston on Tuesday: "When all the dust has settled, I think that people will be able to see that there is one party, the Conservative Party, offering that in-out referendum and two other mainstream parties, the Liberal Democrats and Labour, who oppose an in-out referendum."Final toll from building collapse: 1,127
Rescued seamstress renounces garment work; worker unrest prompts closing of more than 300 factories indefinitely
By RUMA PAUL, SERAJUL QUADIR
Reuters, with a report from Associated Press
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page A13
DHAKA -- Bangladeshi salvage workers on Monday neared the end of their search for victims of the collapse of a factory building, scouring the basement of the complex that crumbled in on itself and killed 1,127 people.
The death toll of 1,127 - the world's most deadly industrial accident since the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India - could be the final one as no more bodies were found on Monday, a spokesman at the army control room co-ordinating the salvage operation said.
The 19-year-old seamstress named Reshma, who spent 17 days buried alive under factory rubble until her dramatic rescue on Friday, made her first public appearance on Monday and said she drew on mental fortitude to survive.
Reshma was brought in a wheelchair to speak with journalists just outside her room in the intensive-care unit of a military hospital. She suffered a head injury in the collapse, and part of her head was covered Monday with a light violet shawl.
Flanked by a nurse, a psychiatrist and another doctor, she initially appeared dazed and fragile and spoke in a voice so quiet it was impossible to hear. Finally, in a low shaky voice, she recounted her ordeal.
She said she moved to the Dhaka area three years ago and began working. On April 2, she joined a garment factory on the second floor of the Rana Plaza, where she earned the equivalent of $60 a month.
On the morning of April 24, she heard there were cracks in the building and saw co-workers, mainly men, refusing to enter. The managers reassured them: "There is no problem. You do your work," she said. Soon after, the building crashed down around her.
"When it happened, I fell down and was injured in the head heavily. Then I found myself in darkness," she said. She survived on four packets of cookies and some water, she said.
"Another person, a man, was near me. He asked for water. I could not help him. He died. He screamed, 'Save me,' but he died," she said. "I can't remember everything that happened. I never thought of coming back alive."
The tragedy has created global pressure for reform in the Bangladeshi garment industry. But Reshma said she will not be drawn back into such work.
"I will not work in a garment factory again," she said.
The Bangladeshi cabinet approved an amendment to the country's labour laws on Monday, paving the way for parliament to allow garment workers to form unions without prior employer approval.
International labour and human-rights groups had long campaigned for workers to be able to establish unions without such approval. The amendment was endorsed a day after the government decided to form a wage board to consider pay increases for ready-made garment workers.
Meanwhile, worker unrest prompted authorities to shut down more than 300 garment factories for indefinite periods in the Ashulia industrial belt, on the outskirts of Dhaka, that accounts for nearly 20 per cent of total exports.Nigeria deploys troops to combat extremist rebellion
By JON GAMBRELL
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page A20
LAGOS, NIGERIA -- Nigeria rumbled to a war footing Wednesday as soldiers and equipment moved into its northeastern states as part of an emergency military campaign against Islamic extremists waging a bloody insurgency.
In the last two days, Associated Press journalists and witnesses have seen armoured tanks and soldiers moving through major roads and cities in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Those states, crossing an arid region of some 155,000 square kilometres, are now under a state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday night. The presidential order allows the military to arrest anyone at will and raid any building suspected of housing extremists.
It was unclear the exact strength of the incoming military presence. A statement issued Wednesday by a military spokesman promised a "massive deployment of men and resources." However, no specifics were provided.
In Maiduguri, the spiritual home of the Islamic extremist network known as Boko Haram, state officials said soldiers had been airlifted into the city. An AP journalist saw convoys of military vehicles on Monday night heading north into the rural expanse that borders Niger and Chad.
Nigeria's military also has jet fighters and attack helicopters, but it was not clear if those would be used in the assault.
The President's speech offered the starkest vision of the ongoing violence, often downplayed by security forces and government officials due to political considerations. Mr. Jonathan described the attacks as a "rebellion," at one point describing how fighters had destroyed government buildings and "had taken women and children as hostages." He even acknowledged for the first time that Nigerian forces had lost control of some villages and towns in the northeast.
Nigeria's military even has said Islamic fighters now use anti-aircraft guns mounted on trucks to fight the nation's soldiers, likely outgunning the country's already overstretched security forces.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell condemned Boko Haram's "campaign of terror" and echoed the need to deal with the "worsening cycle of violence in northern Nigeria."
But he said Nigeria must ensure that its security forces "protect civilians in any security response in a way that respects human rights and the rule of law." Recent allegations of abuses in Baga and elsewhere in the north need to be fully investigated, with those responsible for wrongdoing held accountable, he said.Nigerian soldiers kill 21 suspected Islamist fighters in northeast
By HARUNA UMAR, JON GAMBRELL
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page A18
MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA -- Soldiers in Nigeria launched their first raid against suspected Islamist fighters in a campaign to take back control of the nation's northeast, killing at least 21 people, a security official said Friday.
The fighting happened Thursday in the Sambisa Forest Reserve, just south of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, which soldiers previously targeted while hunting for fighters belonging to the extremist network known as Boko Haram. Details of the raid, however, remained sketchy on Friday as a military spokesman offered contradictory details about the assault.
Meanwhile, gunmen launched an assault on the hometown of one of Nigeria's former military rulers hundreds of kilometres away, attacking police stations and banks.
Soldiers started the attack on the Sambisa Forest Reserve on Thursday, having previously converged on the area in advance of President Goodluck Jonathan's state of emergency decree affecting three states in the nation's northeast, a security official said. The shelling killed at least 21 suspected Islamist fighters, the official said. There was no independent confirmation of the assault or casualties.
"We are not going to leave the forest until it's over," the official said, referring to the emergency rule.
This new military campaign comes on top of a previous deployment of soldiers and police to the region. That deployment failed to stop violence by Islamist fighters, who have killed more than 1,600 people since 2010, according to an AP count.
Oil-rich Nigeria suffers from continuing insecurity throughout the country - kidnappings in the east, oil pipeline thefts in the southern delta and violence by ethnic militias throughout the fertile central belt.HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP PEGS SYRIAN DEATH TOLL AT 82,000
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page A3
At least 82,000 people have been killed and 12,500 others are missing after two years of civil war in Syria, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.
Most of the dead were killed by troops and militia loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, and most of the missing are believed to have been detained by the government's secret police and other loyalists, the monitoring group said.
"The vast majority of civilian victims were killed by the regime. Killings in unofficial jails are commonplace, and the conditions under which prisoners are held are horrific," said Rami Abdulrahman, the Observatory's president.
The Observatory, established by Mr. Abdulrahman in Britain seven years ago, said 4,788 children were among the 34,473 civilians killed. Another 12,916 anti-Assad fighters were killed, along with 1,924 army deserters, it said.
On the loyalist side, 16,729 troops and 12,000 pro-regime militiamen and "informants" have been killed by rebels. The report said the fate of around 2,500 loyalist troops believed to be held by rebels is unknown.
In a tweet, the group said it estimates the number of combatant casualties on both sides is higher, "since all sides are very secretive about losses in clashes."
"The figures we have are the documented killings" Mr. Abdulrahman said. "We estimate the total number of people killed since the revolt to have surpassed 120,000."TELEVISED WATERGATE HEARINGS BEGIN
By BOB LEVIN
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page A2
"The committee will come to order," declared Sam Ervin, 76 and suddenly a TV star. The North Carolina Democrat chaired the Senate Watergate Committee - charged, as he put it, with healing "the wounds that now afflict the body politic." He was just an "old country lawyer," he drawled (though one schooled at Harvard), and he personified a folksy, craggy rectitude to a reeling nation. His eyebrows danced, his jowls flapped, he thundered like a biblical prophet. When smug White House aide John Ehrlichman questioned how he knew something, Ervin snapped, "Because I can understand the English language, it's my mother tongue," and the audience roared. The daily drama lasted nearly three months and led to Richard Nixon's resignation. Then Ervin went home to practise law - and make American Express commercials.DIGGING IN
A drive into the heart of the heated debate over TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline
By NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page B6
ALONG THE KEYSTONE XL ROUTE
The kid, as Randy Thompson calls the land agent from TransCanada Corp., wanted to talk. He was persistent. So Mr. Thompson arranged a meeting at the family's Nebraska ranch house.
"He wanted to know if they could do some surveying," Mr. Thompson recalls. "We told the kid - if you want to waste your time, go ahead and survey it. But I can tell you, we don't want the damn pipeline."
TransCanada wanted to build its Keystone XL project through the middle of the Thompsons' corn field. The family was worried that it would disrupt the farm's irrigation system. But there was a solution. If TransCanada would move the pipeline an eighth of a mile - 200 metres - the Thompsons could live with that.
"We said, 'you just run this thing down to the end of our field so it's not cutting our field in half, and we'll sign the damn easement,' " he says.
TransCanada said no, arguing that the move would require too sharp a bend in the pipe. It threatened expropriation if the family would not sign a deal. Mr. Thompson grew angry. His face, the Stetson-bearing image of the "pissed-off farmer" he calls himself, became the symbol of an opposition that sprung out of the corn fields and spread all the way to the White House. Mr. Thompson would go on to personally meet with some of the most powerful political leaders in the United States to argue against Keystone XL.
But, he says six years later, it didn't have to be this way - TransCanada could have just moved the pipe route at the time and settled the matter.
It is a common sentiment.
The pipeline industry faces what former U.S. pipeline regulatory official Brigham McCown calls "a decade of activists aggressively targeting pipeline infrastructure." Keystone XL, whose review has now stretched over 67 months, is a singular example of how badly things can go wrong for the energy industry when those activists dig in - and how costly that resistance can be.
The Keystone XL battle casts a shadow over TransCanada and rival Enbridge Inc. at a time when the companies together are working through some $62-billion in new projects. It is a historic renaissance in pipeline building at a time of unprecedented opposition to what those companies do.
And for Canada, building Keystone XL is of singular importance. The pipeline promises to open a major new outlet for Alberta oil, which has faced difficult and deep swings in prices due to export bottlenecks, and provide support for the continued expansion of the oil sands. For that reason, it has been avidly pursued by the highest levels of both government and industry.
Yet what becomes evident on a drive along the 3,134-kilometre length of Keystone XL is that some of the industry's pain is self-inflicted. Along the route, many describe TransCanada and its land agents as intransigent, hard-nosed, quick to threaten court-approved expropriation of land and slow to offer reasonable compensation.
In Alberta and Saskatchewan, after a crowd of cattle and wheat farmers gathered to jointly negotiate terms, they succeeded in securing 10 times the money TransCanada first suggested - raising questions over the reasonableness of the initial offer, a question that has echoed elsewhere on the route. Even those supportive of the pipeline and its benefits have often been left with a bitter taste from dealings with a company that declined to accommodate concerns over pipeline pump stations and worker-housing facilities.
TransCanada has found through polls of its landowners that "we're doing a good job," says Andrew Craig, land manager for the Keystone system. He declined, however, to provide more specific approval numbers. The company says it is, as a general policy, generous with landowners, and has obtained voluntary agreements to access the land on more than 90 per cent of the route. Of course, landowners know that if they don't sign on their own, the company can force its way onto their land through the courts.
Now, the anger stoked by Keystone XL is propelling a broad set of new demands as landholders feel empowered to push TransCanada for annual payments and changes to legal liability - terms that, if they are met, stand to add new costs and risks to the way pipeline companies operate.
Not that people like Mr. Thompson would care. After all, he was ready to sign and be done with it years ago, had the company drawn a new line on a map 200 metres away.
"They have shot themselves in the foot time and time again because of their total arrogance," he says. "Honest to God, if they would have done that when we first started asking them to do it - hell, they would have been pumping oil already."
A challenge for future pipelines
The sign at the Nebraska state line displays a sunny slogan: "the good life." Lately, though, the state has become the centre of unrest against Keystone XL. But the image of angry ranchers is in many ways a misleading one. In the 2012 election, at the height of the pipeline debate, more Nebraskans voted for the Republican presidential candidate - unabashed Keystone XL supporter Mitt Romney - than in 2008.
It's not just Nebraska. Every state - and virtually every county - on the pipeline's path voted for Mr. Romney.
Those voters are committed pipeline supporters, too. Tim Gravelle, a statistician and former pollster who is principal scientist at Insights Lab in Toronto, matched the Keystone XL route with data from a broad 2012 Pew Research Center survey. He found that the closer people are to the pipeline, the more likely they are to support it. Within the broader American public, 66 per cent think the White House should sign off on the pipeline. Among those 800 to 1,600 kilometres away from the route, 76 per cent back approval. At 160 to 800 kilometres, support rises to 79 per cent. And under 160 kilometres from the route, fully 84 per cent want Keystone XL built.
"It is sort of NIMBY turned on its head," Mr. Gravelle said. "The people for whom this is in their backyard probably recognize there are economic benefits that are going to accrue to me directly, or indirectly as a result of increased economic activity in my area."
The numbers add a surprising wrinkle to TransCanada's Keystone troubles, which have arisen on a route filled with people who are, by nature, overwhelmingly disposed to support its work. Those troubles stemmed in part from its route across the sensitive Sand Hills ecosystem - a route it had to be ordered to amend by the White House, after leaving untouched in the face of ranchers begging for change - and in part from activists living far away and concerned about broader environmental issues.
The company acknowledges that the old way of building pipelines no longer works for an industry facing a barrage of concern about leaks and welds and general safety. "We have to change the way that we approach things," chief executive officer Russ Girling says in an interview.
But, he says, TransCanada works with some 60,000 landowners, and "we have a great relationship with those people." The company spends years on twists and turns to find the best path. "Once we get it on the map and we get on the ground, we spend a lot of time on the ground rerouting it," Mr. Girling says. "I'd say there's been a couple thousand reroutings of that pipeline along that 1,800-kilometre corridor."
That much becomes clear on a flyover of the southern leg of Keystone XL, which is already under construction: The pipe zigs and zags to avoid an airport and sloughs. At particularly sensitive areas, like a high school and large river crossings, it leaves no mark at all. In those places, the company uses horizontal boring to open a path for the pipe.
There is no avoiding the fact, though, that any pipeline corridor is going to be made up of people's pastures and backyards and some will hate it "no matter what you do," Mr. Girling says.
Still, Nebraska's opposition underscores the industry's challenge ahead. "We just secured $16-billion in new projects," Mr. Girling says. "No illusions in my mind as to how difficult those are going to be to get permitted. And our challenge as a company is to get better at how we approach these things. And it's getting on the ground talking to the people that are affected and making sure that you meet their needs."
Playing hardball with ranchers
Daryl Swenson's cattle graze around gas wells on his farm near the South Saskatchewan River in Alberta. He has worked for natural gas companies. He thinks Keystone XL is a needed export outlet for the oil that powers Alberta's economy. "Canada needs the oil to be going out of here," he says.
But when TransCanada called to negotiate access to his land, he was shocked. "The initial offering of money to the landowners was paltry. It was next to nothing," he says. "So everybody decided to get together." Mr. Swenson became one of five negotiators for the Alberta Association of Pipeline Landowners (AAPL), a group that dealt with TransCanada on behalf of 60 per cent of those along the new route for the original Keystone pipeline in Alberta and Saskatchewan. They negotiated terms for Keystone XL as well, led by Jim Ness, a man on the Keystone route with an appetite for fighting hard against big companies.
Mr. Ness is no liberal. "I'm a redneck. I like guns. I shoot guns," he says. But when he was 12, he was beaten up by a bully and "decided that day that I was going to pursue justice the rest of my life," he says. He has dedicated much of the past decade to fighting what he considers a new kind of bully: the energy industry. He's even trained for the battle. In 2004, he became a licensed land agent.
"I wanted to know how the system works and find out if there's any possibility that landowners have some rights. And, of course, we have practically none." One major problem involves dead pipelines. Once a system is legally abandoned, landowners worry about who will hold liability for the line - particularly if the company that owned it ceases to exist (although in Canada, the National Energy Board is setting up an abandonment fund to help address the issue).
There are other concerns, too. If Keystone XL is built on Mr. Ness's land, he says a neighbour can't legally help him harvest crops on the right-of-way without written permission from TransCanada. (The company says that's only partly true, and that such rules are there to prevent heavy equipment from damaging the pipe.)
"Some of these issues - it's not about compensation. It's about risk liability, hazards imposed on your lifestyle," Mr. Ness says.
With Keystone, the men sought changes. They wanted annual payments and a lightened long-term liability burden. They failed. According to Canadian and Alberta law, companies "are not forced to do anything," Mr. Ness says - and with the ability to expropriate, he adds, companies don't have as much incentive to make people happy.
Along much of the Keystone XL route, landowners described fruitless requests for accommodation. The impoverished Faith School District in South Dakota fought for five years - in a battle that ended up in state supreme court - to move a pump station by 1.5 kilometres in hopes of deriving needed new revenues. It failed.
Cody Math, the first American whose house the pipeline will pass, asked TransCanada to shift a northern Montana pump station in hopes of shielding himself from industrial noise that might affect his quiet home on the plains. He lost. The city of Baker, Mont., wanted a new water well to provide for an 800- to 1,000-person worker camp it intends to build there. TransCanada is spending nearly $3.5-million on water and sewer infrastructure upgrades, but declined a new well - it's rehabilitating an existing one instead - and the city is paying for a new cell in its sewage lagoon, as well as two new police officers to handle the influx of people.
In Alberta, meanwhile, the AAPL negotiators did succeed in securing a TransCanada-funded monitor to spot any environmental or construction problems. And they wrested far more from the company: some 10 times its initial offer. (TransCanada calls that number misleading: Agricultural land values go up over time - in Nebraska, they're up to $12,000 an acre from $4,500 in 2008 - and changes in crop prices can also raise payments.) But Mr. Swenson called the process "very frustrating."
"I don't think of them as evil," he says. "I think they're there to make the most profit for their shareholders. And it doesn't matter if they can get away with paying as little as possible to everybody else."
Hoping for a better deal
On the road west from Scranton, N.D., Highway 12 crests a hill to a view overlooking a field filled with pipe. Row upon row of green-coated pipe, some stamped "MADE IN CANADA," lies neatly stacked four high. This is the Gascoyne pipe yard, home to 350 kilometres of Keystone XL - nearly a fifth of the pipeline, in 15,000 different segments. This summer will be the third some of it has sat idle here, a local worker says.
The pipe provides one of the most tangible glimpses of the stakes for TransCanada, which has already spent more than $1.8-billion to buy equipment and prepare to build Keystone XL.
Critics hope they can use that Gascoyne pipe yard - and TransCanada's eagerness to get going - as leverage for better deals. In Nebraska, those along the new route are seeking terms that stand to alter the relationship between pipeline companies and landowners. They have formed the Nebraska Easement Action Team, or NEAT, which has leaned on the expertise of Domina Law Group, a formidable class-action and personal injury firm in the state. Brian Jorde, the lawyer working with NEAT, figures about 30 per cent of those along the new Nebraska route are members; another 14 per cent aren't prepared to negotiate at all, while others have shown an interest in signing up if TransCanada gets its permit.
Those willing to talk have serious demands. They want negligence shielding for landowners who accidentally damage the pipeline. They want regular payments - if not every year, then every 10. They want the ability to extract more money if the pipeline easement is ever sold.
"We'll never get it all, we realize that," Mr. Jorde says. But the stakes are high - not just for Nebraska, but for the entire pipeline industry. If NEAT can persuade TransCanada to give in on some terms, it will clear the way for others to make similar demands in future expropriation battles. It could change the way pipelines are built. "We would be setting precedent, because they know they don't have to give these things," Mr. Jorde says.
As for Mr. Thompson, the Nebraska rancher, in a surprising twist he expects Keystone XL to eventually be built. He believes the White House will impose some sort of carbon regulation - and perhaps demand yet another new route through his state - but eventually clear the way.
"I don't really have the sense that Obama is going to deny the permit," he says. And though some have threatened thousand-strong blockades, or even violence if construction begins, once approval is granted the "chances of really stopping it are what? Not very good," Mr. Thompson says.
Still, he can't keep from shaking his head at it all. TransCanada, it turned out, eventually moved the pipeline well away from the family ranch amid a broader route change through Nebraska.
"Why didn't [TransCanada] come out of the gate and treat people fairly? They would have had a hell of a lot less resistance," he says. Instead, "they want to screw you into the ground and force it down your throat. And that just doesn't work."
Keystone XL (northern leg)
Awaiting U.S. presidential approval, in service: Unknown
Alberta / Hardisty
Saskatchewan / Val Marie
Montana / Whitewater, Baker
South Dakota / Faith, Winner
Nebraska, Fullterton, Steele City
Keystone, In service: 2010
Alberta / Haristy, Oyen
Sask. / Regina
Nebraska, Steele City
Cushing Extension, In service: 2011
Nebraska, Steele City
Keystone XL south (Gulf Coast Project)
Under construction In service: late 2013 (planned)
Oklahoma , Cushing, Atoka
Texas, Port Arthur, Houston
THE GLOBE AND MAIL / SOURCES: TRANSCANADA; GRAPHIC NEWS; ESRIEPA should be put on a diet of economics
By TODD HIRSCH
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page B2
Todd Hirsch is the Calgary-based chief economist of ATB Financial and author of The Boiling Frog Dilemma: Saving Canada from Economic Decline.
There are plenty of weight-loss schemes promising quick, painless ways to shed pounds. If you want a surefire way to lose five pounds in one day - and keep it off - here's the solution: Have all your unnecessary body parts removed. Your appendix, wisdom teeth, extra ribs, pinkie toes, second kidney. Yank them all out and you'll be permanently five pounds lighter, guaranteed!
No one would do this of course, because the costs - financial and physical - would far outweigh the benefits.
Economists know all about this. Classical microeconomics teaches that the optimal point of production occurs when the marginal cost of producing the last good is equal to the marginal revenue (or benefit) received. In the example of surgical weight loss, the marginal cost (the cost of the operation and the physical recovery time) is far in excess of the marginal benefit (the advantage of weighing five pounds less).
So why is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency talking about a new, ultralow-sulphur gasoline? In its proposed Tier 3 Motor Vehicle and Fuel Standards, the sulphur content in consumer gasoline would be reduced from the current 30 parts per million to 10 ppm starting in 2017. The idea is to reduce smog and improve health benefits for Americans.
It would have the desired results, no doubt, but do the marginal costs equate to the marginal benefits?
According to the EPA, the plan would add about 1 cent to the price of a gallon of gasoline, and about $130 (U.S.) to the price of a car, for a total cost to the economy of about $3.4-billion annually. Critics suggest the costs could be much greater. However, the EPA says the monetized health benefits would be between $8-billion and $23-billion annually by 2030 - a large and ill-defined range.
So, do the math. Assume that the health benefits are at the mid-point of the range -$15-billion a year by 2030. Given the known costs of at least $3.4-billion starting in 2017, it would still take decades for the plan to start paying off. If the costs were higher, and the monetized health benefits less, it would take longer.
Reducing emissions and improving air quality through legislation is critically important. But plans such as that for ultralow sulphur gasoline do it at a cost well in excess of potential benefits. It's the equivalent of removing your appendix to shed a pound of body weight. In terms of legislation to clean the air, there is much lower hanging fruit that would be far more effective - and at a far lower cost. Waiting until well into the 2030s to reap any health or economic benefits is simply too high a price.
Consider the U.S. coal-fired electricity system, which spews more carbon into the atmosphere than almost everything else combined.
Laws to curb coal-fired electricity by expediting conversion to natural gas would result in a much greater bang for the buck - the marginal costs would equal the marginal benefits much sooner. Legislators know this. Environmentalists know this. Business leaders know this. But few leaders are willing to tackle the coal industry head on because of the political fallout that would ensue.
The EPA's ultralow-sulfur gasoline proposal comes with less political risk. The auto makers might moan and groan because much of the burden of the program will fall on them through higher vehicle production costs (which will show up in the sticker price). But after the government bailouts a few years ago, the auto industry has little social or political capital to plead its case. And consumers probably won't wince at an extra penny per gallon.
Political ease, however, should not be the litmus test of good policy. Lawmakers need to tackle carbon emissions, air quality, and smog - but the actions taken need to produce results commensurate with their costs. Marginal costs should equal marginal benefits.
To every problem there is an economic answer, and then there's a political answer. Unfortunately, politics nearly always wins out.Cogeco's Audet family not ready to cut the cord, but an eventual sale is all but inevitable
By SEAN SILCOFF
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page B2
Since Cogeco Inc. patriarch Henri Audet died last November, it has been fair to ask how long the cable and media company, now led by his son Louis Audet, will remain under family control.
This week, the Audets said they would sell a chunk of their holdings. The family insists they aren't selling more. They may believe that's true, but it will become harder for the Audets to defy the forces of gravity that eventually lead most second-generation families in the sector to sell out.
Louis Audet called the sale of 432,700 subordinated shares (worth roughly $18-million) by the family holding company - which benefits Henri Audet's widow and their five children - an "exceptional transaction" that will help with succession planning.
"All members of the Audet family ... remain fully committed to continuing to pursue the work of our father," he said in a release. They also remain very much in control, maintaining a 70.8-per-cent voting bloc through their multiple voting shares.
But there is both a business and personal case for selling out. Canada is a consolidating market, and Cogeco is one of the last medium-tier holdouts. Many expect Shaw Communications Inc. to eventually sell, while last week, Lee Bragg, head of eastern Canadian player Eastlink, said the company would consider selling if regulators approve BCE Inc.'s takeover of Astral Media Inc..
Cogeco has been a buyer, not a seller, but its track record has been uneven, including the disastrous 2006 purchase of a Portuguese cable firm.
But even at home its well-performing business could face increased pressure, with Rogers Communications now owning cable systems on all three sides of Cogeco's stronghold in the Hamilton-to-Toronto corridor.
It would make sense for Cogeco to sell out, or at least divest the lucrative Southern Ontario part of the business to Rogers (which already owns a sizable minority stake in Cogeco).
But set aside competitive threats and you still have a family-controlled business where the interests of all family members won't necessarily be aligned once the five siblings are in charge.
Following this week's sale, the family's remaining stake is on track to pay $1.76-million in dividends per year. Split five ways that's not much. But if the family sold out, their total stake, now valued at just under $100-million, would likely fetch more than $180-million, as one analyst has suggested, or $36-million each.
You could argue that by selling some shares now, the family has foregone millions of dollars' worth of premium they could have commanded in a takeover.
But then, Louis Audet has much different interests than his siblings, namely holding on to a job that has paid him, on average, more than $3-million annually over the past three years, and will continue to bolster a pension already worth more than $1-million per year.
To him, his presumed share of the spoils of a sale would be nice but relatively modest given his earnings power at the family company. Thus he has relatively more incentive to maintain the status quo regardless of what offers may come in.
To be fair, the CEO told the Globe's Rita Trichur last year that the family "does not define itself in monetary terms" and was "devoted to doing more than receiving dollars in bank accounts - it is not what we do."
But second-generation concerns have a way of changing the conversation at family companies once the founder is gone. For the time being, the Audets appear to be a united family.
But unless the dauphin can improve on his track record - he created no shareholder value in the last five fiscal years - the tone of the family discussion will likely tilt, as it has for so many other families facing the same situation.Quebec smelter upgrades placed on the back burner
By SOPHIE COUSINEAU
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page B1
MONTREAL -- With an aluminum market weighed down by surpluses, Alcoa Inc. and Rio Tinto Alcan are postponing billions in upgrade and expansion plans to their smelters in Quebec.
While some 750 Rio Tinto Alcan employees will get to keep their jobs longer, 500 Alcoa workers will be pushed into early retirement.
Alcoa is deferring by three years the $1.2-billion modernization of its Baie-Comeau smelter. But the aluminum producer is still going ahead with plans to shut down two of the plant's old potlines. The dismantling of those Soderberg potlines, which will take place over the next two years, will eliminate 500 positions, or about a third of the smelter's 1,400-employee work force.
This is the second time the American producer has reviewed its plans for the upgrade of the Baie-Comeau smelter, which was built in 1957. The Pittsburgh-based company first unveiled plans to modernize the smelter in 2008, but gave the final go-ahead on Nov. 7, 2011, after securing a 25-year electricity procurement deal with the Quebec government.
For its part, Rio Tinto Alcan is also pushing back, by three years to 2019, completion of the $2.1-billion investment plan it unveiled in 2006.
The producer has invested $1.5-billion so far, most notably in the first phase of the new Jonquière production centre. But it still has to complete the second and third phases of the new Saguenay-region smelter and possibly expand its facility in Alma, in the Lac-Saint-Jean region, said spokesperson Claudine Gagnon.
In the meantime, Rio Tinto Alcan will keep open its dated and polluting Arvida smelter for two more years. The plant, which employs close to 750 employees, was scheduled to close by the end of 2014 at the latest.
To secure electricity deals with the Quebec government, both multinationals had promised to complete their expansion plans on schedule. But market conditions have changed, with faltering consumption by the automotive and aerospace industries, among other industrial users. The price of aluminum has fallen by a third since 2011; it now trades at $1,800 (U.S.) per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, an amount that barely covers production costs.
Given the economic environment, the Quebec government accepted the need for a temporary delay in investments. "We are giving them more time and flexibility, so that they will be in a position to complete their investments," Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau said in a press release.
Russia's UC Rusal, the world's biggest producer by volume, has already announced plans to cut its output by 7 per cent this year.
Earlier this month, Alcoa said it was reviewing 460,000 metric tons of smelting capacity, with an eye to cutting its aluminum production by 11 per cent. The two lines it is dismantling represent 105,000 metric tons of capacity, or close to a third of the output of the Côte-Nord region plant.
All the job cuts will be achieved through voluntary departures, said company spokesperson Lysane Martel. Early retirement packages will be offered to all unionized plant employees. "Alcoa believes in Baie-Comeau," she said. "This is only a delay."
Francis Truchon, president of the National Union of Aluminum at Baie-Comeau, said he is not overly concerned by the three-year lag, and believes Alcoa will keep its promise to modernize the Baie-Comeau facility. The company's three smelters and plant in Quebec operate as an ecosystem, he said. Alcoa will invest $100-million in the next three years to prepare for the upgrade. But he acknowledges the delay is bad news for the region. "A lot of subcontractors were waiting for this work."Industry hopes for pipelines rekindled after B.C. election
By KELLY CRYDERMAN
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page B1
CALGARY -- Now that the campaigning is over, the energy industry says it's time to get down to the brass tacks in talks for new oil pipelines through British Columbia.
The surprise win by the Liberals on Tuesday is a relief for energy companies. Premier Christy Clark is an unabashed booster of liquefied natural gas exports , still years away, that will cost billions to construct. She has said British Columbians could benefit from a natural gas windfall in line with what oil has done for Alberta.
But the Liberal victory is still a relative wild card for pipeline companies. While Ms. Clark hasn't ruled out specific pipeline projects as her NDP competitor did, she has picked up on British Columbians' concern about increasing the barrels of bitumen crossing the province and being loaded into tankers on the West Coast. She has set what she says are immovable conditions for heavy oil to be transported across the province, including First Nations consultation, marine oil spill prevention and that B.C. receive "its fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits."
The energy industry says it can work with that.
"The five conditions are very clear. We think those are useful. We think they set the stage for focused discussions amongst federal and provincial governments," said Geoff Morrison, manager of B.C. operations for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "There's definitely a greater appetite, I think, amongst this government to explore ways to make it work, where the alternative [the NDP] was pretty clear about their desires."
B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix in his campaign said the province would conduct its own inquiry of the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal despite the National Energy Board review process. Now the energy industry is hoping the Liberals' new mandate, won on a campaign of putting jobs and the economy first, means real progress can be made.
At stake is the B.C. government's position on Enbridge Inc.'s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline between Bruderheim, Alta., and Kitimat, B.C., and Kinder Morgan Inc.'s plans to twin its Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from just outside of Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., and which will increase capacity to 890,000 barrels a day from the current 300,000.
Those projects, along with TransCanada Inc.'s proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, are considered lifelines for neighbouring Alberta's oil industry, which needs to find new markets for its fast-rising oil sands crude production. Ms. Clark's victory, aided by a number of prominent federal Conservatives, comes the same week that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will travel to New York City to speak at the influential Council on Foreign Relations think tank, where his government's push for approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project is sure to be front and centre.
Janet Holder, leader of the Northern Gateway project team for Enbridge, said all the company has heard from the B.C. Liberals is the original five terms, and "we believe that we can meet those conditions."
If the Northern Gateway project wins federal approval but does not meet B.C.'s demands, Ms. Clark has said in the past that her government could still block construction by denying permits, or by directing B.C. Hydro to refuse to provide the pipeline with power.
With oil sands production projected to double in less than a decade, there are concerns the output could soon outstrip transport capacity.Potash Corp. poised to bloom
By SEAN SILCOFF
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page B2
OTTAWA -- Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan's Bill Doyle has always had an enviable position, and the list of things that could possibly be of any concern to the Fertilizer King is shrinking.
Sure, last year wasn't a stellar one for Potash - its stock traded sideways as profits fell by 32 per cent from the previous year. But that was largely due to a Potash-instigated buyers' strike - the company hates to negotiate on pricing and often chooses to down tools instead - and the strike appears to be over. Potash shipments in the first quarter jumped by 78 per cent over the same period a year ago, as the company ended a string of six earnings shortfalls. Many analysts forecast significant increases in free cash flow this year and next, as well as possible dividend increases or share buybacks.
But things are looking even rosier longer term, now that two obstacles have diminished. First, potash producers settled a potentially costly class-action lawsuit by customers in the U.S. accusing Potash and six other firms in Saskatchewan, Belarus and Russia of colluding to keep prices high. Potash's $43-million (U.S.) share of the settlement was a pittance, amounting to two days' worth of revenues. Second, the prospect of a glut of capacity - coming from new potash projects like BHP Billiton's proposed $14-billion mine's proposed $14-billion mine in Saskatchewan - is waning.
Now that the supercycle is over, the industry is in a hangover phase, and new BHP boss Andrew Mackenzie is singing a different song. He's promising to make more prudent, targeted investments and deliver better operating margins, and sounds like he's backing away from potash, telling the Wall Street Journal BHP hasn't yet decided whether to proceed. Why would they, when it would mean spending all that money to add excess capacity, not to mention threatening the cozy relations between existing producers (BHP had pledged not to join jointly-owned marketing organization Canpotex) that support potash prices?
After eight years of flat or declining demand for the fertilizer, it's easy to see why developers are pulling back on plans that were due to increase global capacity by an average of 4 per cent per year through 2021. The signs are ominous: Mosaic and K+S Group recently said they will defer previously announced projects while Brazil's Vale says it won't proceed with a potash mine in Argentina. Expect BHP to follow suit.
Potash customers are buying again, anti-collusion actions are now settled and concerns of overcapacity are melting away. If it seems like potash producers live a charmed life, they've earned it, by not succumbing to the same mistakes that bedeviled other miners when the market got hot.TSX sees first tech IPO in months
By JACQUELINE NELSON
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page B2
In both Canada and the United States, the tech sector showed strength in the early part of 2013, and a number of new issues came to market south of the border.
Now, a bellwether is stepping out on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Halogen Software Inc. hit the TSX Friday under the trading symbol HGN, and jump 15 per cent from its $11.50 initial public offering, to close at $13.20.
Halogen said Monday that it had filed its final prospectus having raised $50-million selling shares to investors at $11.50 each.
"At this point in time we thought it was a great opportunity to go to the markets and raise additional capital," said Halogen's chief executive Paul Loucks.
The Ottawa-based company sells talent management software, which includes recruiting, learning and development, and compensation.
Halogen is the first tech IPO to reach the TSX since Vancouver-based video surveillance company Avigilon Corp. crossed over in November 2011. That IPO originally raised gross proceeds of $21-million, and proceeds of $5-million in a secondary offering.
But while Avigilon stands out as a winner, there have been other less-successful newcomers. In mid-2011, a Toronto-based cloud software company called NexJ Systems Inc. hit the market after selling shares for total gross proceeds of $44-million. Today, that stock is down 70 per cent.
Other companies outside the technology space have also been wary of listing, with some citing "market conditions" as the main deterrent.
One area where market volatility hasn't been an issue, however, is in the real estate sector.
Real estate investment trusts dominated the new listings through the first third of the year.
It remains to be seen whether more tech companies will follow Halogen's lead, but at least one more is waiting in the wings.
In April, semiconductor company ViXS Systems of Toronto announced its own plan to go to market. It has reportedly piqued much investor interest and its valuation could be higher than any of the tech IPOs the market has seen in recent years.
Mr. Loucks insisted that for Halogen, it was the amount of business opportunity foreseen, rather than stability in the markets, that prompted the company to head to the TSX.
Halogen targets mid-sized companies with between 100 and 10,000 employees for its customers.
"Our competitors primarily focus on the enterprise side of things, and I think there's a really interesting market here in the mid-market," he said.
Currently, 82 per cent of Halogen's revenues come from the United States, but it targets growth opportunities around the world.Inflation reading forecast to dip on lower gasoline prices
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page B2
Sometimes it's hard to remember that prices at the gas pump can and do fall, but they did last month, taking inflation along for the ride.
Economists expect Statistics Canada to report this week that consumer prices fell 0.2 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, taking the annual inflation rate down below 1 per cent, to somewhere between 0.5 per cent and 0.8 per cent.
That would have been helped along by the death of the harmonized sales tax in British Columbia last month.
If correct, April would mark the second monthly drop in consumer prices in a row, brought down by what Toronto-Dominion Bank says was probably a decline of 8.2 per cent at the pump, the fastest for an April reading since 2003.
"Canadian inflation looks to slow back below 1 per cent in April due largely to an unseasonal decline in gasoline prices," said Benjamin Reitzes of BMO Nesbitt Burns.
"The big decline in the headline would leave inflation well below the Bank of Canada's 1-per-cent forecast for all of [the second quarter], though both May and June should see some acceleration," he added.
The so-called core rate of inflation, which strips out volatile items and helps guide the central bank, is expected to be 1.2 per cent on an annual basis when Statistics Canada releases its report Friday morning.
The Bank of Canada is widely expected to hold its benchmark rate at 1 per cent until late next year or early 2015, given the economic outlook and tame inflation.
"The persistently soft inflation readings are consistent with the wide output gap and strong [Canadian dollar]," said Mr. Reitzes.
"Until either of those factors dissipates, price pressures are likely to remain muted, leaving little need for the bank to come off the sidelines."
Tame prices are, of course, good news for families juggling record debt levels amid an uncertain economic outlook.
"Weak inflationary pressures have been a welcomed relief for consumers, providing them with a boost to purchasing power in an environment of subdued wage growth and slowing economic activity," said CIBC World Markets.
"That theme was likely seen yet again in April, when a drop in gasoline prices triggered a sharp deceleration in inflation. Subdued price pressures elsewhere including food and mortgage interest costs likely also weighed on the headline."
StaffPenguins turn to backup goalie
Shaky performances by Fleury convince Bylsma to make move to Vokoun
By WILL GRAVES
The Associated Press
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma insists he still believes in Marc-André Fleury, that the issues for the reeling Penguins go far beyond the struggles of their Stanley Cup-winning goaltender.
Still, that didn't stop Bylsma from making a switch he hopes will shift momentum in Pittsburgh's entertaining but bewildering first-round playoff series with the New York Islanders.
Tomas Vokoun will get the start in net for the Penguins in Game 5 on Thursday, a move necessitated by three consecutive shaky performances by Fleury and Vokoun's eye-popping numbers against the Islanders this season.
"We brought Tomas Vokoun in to play big games for us," Bylsma said.
The 36-year-old veteran's next start might be the biggest of his career. The eighth-seeded Islanders tied the series at 2-2 with a wild, momentum-swinging 6-4 victory on Tuesday night, one that seemed to further erode Fleury's confidence. New York scored three times in the game's final 16 minutes, including a pair of soft goals for which Fleury was woefully out of position.
Fleury expressed his frustration afterward. His remorse, however, didn't stop him from being yanked in the playoffs for the first time in his career. The last time someone other than Fleury started a postseason game for the Penguins was in 2001.
Vokoun, acquired in a trade with Washington last spring, served as 1b to Fleury's 1a during the regular season, going 13-4 with a 2.45 goals-against average. He was even better against the Islanders, posting a perfect 3-0 record while stopping 98 of 101 shots. Now he'll be tasked with doing something he's never done in his 15-year career, help get a team past the first round. Vokoun's playoff record is 3-8, though those appearances came for overmatched Nashville teams in 2004 and 2007.
The top-seeded Penguins aren't overmatched. At the moment, though, they do appear a little overwhelmed.
New York looked to be little more than a speedbump for Pittsburgh after the Penguins rolled to a 5-0 win in Game 1. Yet the Islanders have bounced back to win two of the last three while pumping 16 goals by Fleury. New York's dominant performance in the third period of Game 4 allowed the Islanders to escape what would have been a 3-1 hole.
"We're hoping that they are a little rattled and they are a little worried about us because we think that we have every opportunity to win this series," New York defenceman Matt Carkner said. "We're here to win this series."
Two more nights like Tuesday will have the Islanders into the second round for the first time in 20 years. New York's last playoff series win came against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins in 1993. That series went seven games. This one has all the makings of heading there too.
The longer things go, the more Pittsburgh hopes its star-studded roster dotted with Stanley Cup winners and Cup-hungry veterans will get into a rhythm. It hasn't happened in the last three games, as the Islanders have turned each contest into a track meet, luring the Penguins into sloppy mistakes New York has greedily turned into goals.
No miscue loomed larger than a giveaway by reigning NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin in the third period on Tuesday. With the score tied 4-4, Malkin was attempting to clear the zone when he decided to throw a pass toward the middle instead of safely up the boards. Islanders centre John Tavares picked up the lazy pass, swooped in on Fleury, squeezed off a wrist shot, and the ensuing rebound that proved to be the game-winner.
Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby credited the Islanders for their relentless fore-check, but allowed the Penguins could be smarter with the puck.
"Part of it is us not making bad plays sometimes, too," he said. "When they're coming that hard, the play needs to be made and you've got to execute or else they're coming back the other way pretty quickly."
New York has counterpunched the NHL's highest-scoring team much in the same way the Flyers did to the Penguins in the first round a year ago. Philadelphia knocked off Pittsburgh in six high-scoring, defence-optional games. The Penguins stressed they had learned a painful lesson. It hasn't looked like it for most of the last three games.
"They're playing aggressive and we plan on matching that and finding a way to win this series," Pittsburgh forward Jarome Iginla said. "I think this could be great for us."
It could be great for the Islanders too. New York spent the last six weeks of the regular season scrambling to make the postseason. After needing a game to get their feet set, the Islanders have gone skate-to-skate against a team with far more experience about what it takes to be successful this time of year.Down and out in Boston
Bergeron scores tying goal late in third, winner in overtime as Bruins roar back to eliminate Maple Leafs
By JAMES MIRTLE
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
BOSTON -- This was the meltdown in Beantown.
And it couldn't have been drawn up any more painfully for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their long-suffering fans.
After an ugly opening few minutes, they had roared back, scoring four unanswered goals on the Bruins in Boston, appearing well on their way to the second round of the NHL playoffs with just 15 minutes left of regulation, a three-goal lead and the TD Garden suddenly the TD Mausoleum.
But not for long.
The Leafs' 4-1 lead lasted less than four minutes. Their 4-2 lead only nine more, when there was 1 minute 22 seconds left in the game. Thirty seconds later, it was tied, headed to overtime, and the rafters were about to come down around the suddenly shaky Leafs.
What came next wasn't a surprise.
The Bruins eliminated the Leafs in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference series Monday, with Patrice Bergeron scoring both the tying and winning goals to pace his team to a 5-4 overtime victory that will go down as one of the craziest playoff games played by either franchise.
"That's definitely among the top five lows in your life. ... It's just an empty feeling really," said Leafs goalie James Reimer, who stopped 30 shots.
"It's probably the toughest loss I've had in pro hockey. ... It's just an extremely tough loss," defenceman Dion Phaneuf echoed.
It was an impossible mix of elation and heartbreak for Toronto, which had appeared on the verge of coming back from down 3-1 in the series, only to have it taken away in 15 minutes of terrible hockey.
The Leafs had appeared tentative, nervous even, from the opening faceoff, standing around and flubbing passes as the building rattled around them and the hosts put up a one-goal lead.
This was Game 7, in all its glory and for the very first time for vast majority of the Maple Leafs players, with the final step of their comeback appearing to be headed for a letdown right away.
So when normally reliable defenceman Cody Franson oddly drop passed the puck between his legs, to no one in particular, and watched a Bruins defenceman belt it into the Leafs net less than six minutes in, it felt like a sign.
Instead, the Leafs quickly started their rally, with Franson tying the game on a power play minutes later, then adding the go-ahead goal early in the second.
Making matters more interesting, the game was a street fight, far more than any other game in this series.
The officials were all over the map, too, putting the whistles away on obvious calls - like a Chris Kelly elbow that bloodied Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk's nose in the second period - and blowing down small stick infractions and minor skirmishes, creating an uneasy atmosphere on the ice.
That played more into Toronto's hands than the Bruins' early, as the Leafs were given the game's first two power plays and, using one of their strengths during the season, racked up a sizable lead on the shot clock on the man advantage.
It didn't help that Bruins' No. 2 defenceman Dennis Seidenberg left the game after just one shift with what appeared to be a broken hand, forcing coach Claude Julien to mix and matching a five-man unit that included two rookies. That was much of the reason Boston had such a tough time managing the puck to start, as it generated just 13 shots through two periods and rarely tested Reimer with quality chances.
At the other end, meanwhile, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was far busier, struggling with rebounds and Toronto players crashing his crease and getting odd-man advantages with regularity.
That's how Phil Kessel made it 3-1 to start the third period, and assisted on Nazem Kadri's insurance goal for a seemingly insurmountable three-goal lead with just 15 minutes to play in regulation in the series.
Boston, however, wasn't dead yet, and it finally began pumping pucks on the Leafs net and began its own assault in outshooting Toronto 17-6 in the third.
With just 9:18 to play, Nathan Horton - a Leafs killer all series - brought his team to within two (4-2) and some small amount of life back into the building.
Then, with Rask on the bench and Boston smelling blood, they beat Reimer twice in a 31-second span to force overtime and bring the house down.
The atmosphere was so charged that, through the full 20-minute intermission, the majority of the fans simply stood in their seats singing, serenading the fact their team's season wasn't over and they still had a chance.
That setup a ridiculously paced extra period, with the Bruins swarming and eventually scoring when young Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner gifted Bergeron the puck right in front with Reimer down and out.
"We gave it away. We gave it to them," Franson said.STARS FIRE COACH AFTER PLAYOFF DROUGHT CONTINUES
The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
Frisco, Tex. -- Glen Gulutzan couldn't end the longest playoff drought in franchise history for the Dallas Stars and the second-year coach didn't hold the option on the remaining season in his contract.
When the general manager who hired him was dumped two weeks ago, Gulutzan's firing looked like the inevitable next step in an overhaul of the staff and it came Tuesday in an announcement from new general manager Jim Nill. He nevertheless said the move wasn't a foregone conclusion in his mind.
"That's why this process took so long," Nill said. "I needed to do my homework. I needed to get to know everybody. It's tough when you come into a new situation. I wanted to be fair to everyone."
The Stars missed the playoffs in both of Gulutzan's seasons, making it five straight years without a postseason trip for a franchise that crammed 73 playoff games into a four-year stretch a little more than a decade ago.
Joe Nieuwendyk was a prominent member of those Stars teams, winning the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP when Dallas won the Stanley Cup in 1999. He didn't come close to replicating that success as general manager, finally getting replaced by Nill after four years of missing the playoffs.
Gulutzan was the second of two failed coaching hires for Nieuwendyk, who fired Dave Tippett when he arrived and hired Marc Crawford, a Stanley Cup winner with Colorado in 1995.
Crawford brought a tougher style than the player-friendly Tippett, but he missed the playoffs in both his seasons while Tippett took Phoenix to the postseason the first three years after the Stars let him go.
The hiring of Gulutzan when he was 39 was seen as a move back to the players' side. He was plucked from the Stars' top affiliate, the Texas Stars of the AHL, after eight seasons as a head coach in the minor leagues.
Dallas was in contention late in both his seasons, but faltered down the stretch. He was 64-57-9, including 22-22-4 in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. The Stars controlled their playoff fate with five games remaining each year under Gulutzan, but went 0-9-1 in those 10 games.
Assistant coach Paul Jerrard also was fired, while assistant coach Curt Fraser and goaltending coach Mike Valley will stay with the club. The new head coach will inherit a playoff drought that's now two seasons longer than the previous record of three straight from 1973-76, when the franchise was in Minnesota.
"Things have to change here," Nill said. "It hasn't been right. We're in the business to win here. We're going to put something in place to start that process."
Nill said he met with Gulutzan about five times before delivering his decision Tuesday.
"We had some good discussions," Nill said. "It's part of the business. Sometimes you have to go through peaks and valleys. In the end, this is going to make him a better coach."
Nieuwendyk tried to get Dallas back to the playoffs this year by adding veterans Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy and Ray Whitney, but ended up trading Jagr, Roy and longtime captain Brenden Morrow with the team languishing at the trading deadline.
"The nice thing is the slate is clean," Nill said. "We don't have a lot of contracts that tie our hands. We know the positions we've got to get better in. We're fortunate in that we have a good young foundation. We're just going to continue to make that foundation stronger."Torres gets variable penalty
Suspension depends on how long Sharks in hunt
By ERIC DUHATSCHEK
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
LOS ANGELES -- The NHL took a newly creative approach to supplementary discipline by suspending San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres for anywhere between three and six games as a result of an illegal check to the head of Los Angeles Kings' centre Jarret Stoll, but it may also have opened up a can of worms because of its ruling.
Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's chief disciplinarian, determined that Torres was guilty of violating NHL rule 48.1 - the illegal-check-to-the-head rule - and suspended him for the duration of the series against the Kings.
Since the Kings held a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-final heading into Thursday night's second game of the series, it left the length of the Torres suspension undetermined - as few as three if the Kings sweep or as many as six if it goes the distance.
On one level, Shanahan's ruling permits the punishment to fit the crime because it punishes the Sharks, in the here and now, against a current playoff opponent.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter implied that Stoll's injury will likely keep him out for the series; this decision means Torres cannot come back and help the Sharks win the series, either.
Procedurally under the new collective agreement, a player's appeal first goes to the commissioner. Contrary to what has been widely reported, there is no games limit on appeals to the commissioner.
Players have 48 hours to make that appeal in writing.
According to the contract, the commissioner must "endeavour to hear all appeals on an expedited basis." If the commissioner's ruling is for six or more games, the player then has seven days to file an appeal with the neutral-discipline arbitrator "who shall have full remedial authority in respect of the matter."
Currently, as the two sides continue to hammer out the language of the new collective agreement, there is no neutral-discipline arbitrator in place.
On Twitter, player agent Allan Walsh called the decision a "gutless attempt to avoid appeal by neutral body."
In announcing the suspension, Shanahan said he based his decision on three factors: That the primary - but not necessarily the first point of contact - was between Torres's shoulder and Stoll's head; that Stoll was injured on the play; and that Torres was a repeat offender, who had previously been suspended three other times by the league for illegal acts.
"Rather than hit Stoll through the core of his body, Torres takes a route that makes Stoll's head the principal point of contact," said Shanahan, who went on to acknowledge: "Although we'd agree Torres might make initial contact with Stoll's shoulder that is a glancing blow."
Shanahan also conceded that while Torres "never leaps into Stoll nor uses his elbow in the hit," the former was responsible for taking "a different route to the puck carrier" that would permit him to "hit through the core of the body."
The collective agreement will also specify that "as a general rule, a player who is suspended shall serve a specific number of games" - which Torres's suspension doesn't. However, an NHL source suggested: "That's precisely why it says 'as a general matter.' Language permits creativity."Rookie defencemen get trial by fire
By JIMMY GOLEN
The Associated Press
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have three rookie defencemen in the lineup for the Eastern Conference semi-final against the New York Rangers.
It's not because they want to.
It's because they have to.
"As you know, we're getting thin here," Bruins coach Claude Julien said on Friday, a day after Torey Krug, in his first career NHL playoff game, scored to send the game into overtime and Boston defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven, second-round playoff series.
With veterans Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden injured, the Bruins used first-round draft pick Dougie Hamilton along with Krug and Mart Bartkowski on defence. Hamilton assisted on Krug's goal with 2:55 left in regulation, and Bartkowski played a career-high 26 minutes in the 3-2 victory over the Rangers.
"For a coach, you couldn't ask for a better situation," Julien said on Friday, when his team took the day off to rest up for Sunday's Game 2. "A lot of credit goes to the coaching staff down there [in the minor leagues] that's done a great job at preparing those guys."
Julien would not say whether any of his injured players would be able to return for the second game. If not, he'll continue to rely on his rookies. Hamilton, who made the team out of training camp and played 42 games in the lockout-shortened season, said it helps to know that he won't be yanked out of the lineup with one bad shift.
Even if it's only because the Bruins have no choice.
"For all of us, it's not just trying to belong, but getting that opportunity to get regular shifts. It helps you stay focused," he said. "It makes it easier when you have that confidence that you can just stay in the game and focus on the game."
Hamilton, the No.9 overall pick in the 2011 draft, had five goals and 11 assists this season while averaging about 17 minutes a game. But he moved up the depth chart when injuries stripped the Bruins of three of their top six defencemen.
"We've got to remember that he's 19 years old," Julien said. "He's made some unbelievable plays on some goals; we saw that early when he came in and we seemed in awe of that. Playoffs is another step and he's taken that step extremely well, to me."
To help fill in, the Bruins called Bartkowski up from the AHL for the third time this year; he had two assists and six penalty minutes in 11 games for Boston this year. And Krug, who's played three NHL games in the past two seasons, was brought up from Providence on Tuesday after Seidenberg lasted just 37 seconds in the first-round finale over Toronto.
"What we've seen from [Krug] the few games he's played with us, he doesn't seem to be intimidated by anything, or any circumstances," Julien said. "I didn't see a guy that was nervous at all."Rivals hope IOC takes notice of symbolic event
Iran trounces U.S. in charity match, and U.S. trounces Russia, but real goal is to raise awareness of sport
By RACHEL COHEN
The Associated Press
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
NEW YORK -- Iran's wrestling team visited the United States for the first time in a decade and found a virtual home meet.
The fans waving Iranian flags and stomping on the temporary bleachers were treated to a show of dominance by the wrestling power Wednesday in the exhibition at Grand Central Terminal. Iran beat the Americans 6-1.
"It's typical Iranian. Wherever we go, they do the same thing," two-time world champion Mehdi Taghavi Kermani said through a translator after winning his match at 1451/2 pounds.
The fans' chanting and horn-blowing echoed off the intricate patterns on the ceiling high above and through the curtains separating Vanderbilt Hall from the commuters rushing home to the suburbs. The event dubbed "The Rumble on the Rails" marked the fourth successive year a New York City landmark was transformed into a wrestling meet to raise money for charity, with the past two in Times Square.
But this one took on added significance beyond supporting wrestling non-profit Beat the Streets. In February, the International Olympic Committee recommended that the sport be dropped starting with the 2020 Games.
So there were the United States, Iran and Russia all together Wednesday, hoping the IOC takes to heart the symbolism of the three nations peacefully sharing a wrestling mat. The Americans swept five freestyle matches from the Russians later in the day.
Iran also will face the United States in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Wrestling is now one of eight sports seeking to fill one spot in the 2020 Olympics. The IOC board will meet May 29 in Russia to recommend a short list, with the final decision in September.
"This is what we're trying to do right now," said 22-year-old Kyle Dake, who could be an American star of the 2020 Olympics. "This is how we're going to save Olympic wrestling."
The youngster was the lone bright spot for the United States against Iran. At 163 pounds, he beat veteran Hassan Tahmasebi, who's almost 10 years older, in his first major senior-level international match.
In March, Dake became the first wrestler to win NCAA titles in four weight classes. College wrestling uses folkstyle, and Dake hadn't competed in freestyle in more than a year before Wednesday. Both his periods were scoreless and went to a leg clinch, and he won the first despite losing the ball draw.
"It was really loud in there. Feels like we were in Tehran," he joked. "What's going on? Where's our USA folks?"
They got going chanting "U-S-A U-S-A!!" during the Americans' second meet of the day. Some of the top U.S. wrestlers, including Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs, took the mat against Russia, which did not send its best lineup. Burroughs remained undefeated, though he needed three periods to beat Saba Khubetzhty at 163 pounds and cracked a molar in a headlock.
"I had a filling in this tooth, and it's somewhere out there on the mat," he said with a laugh.'Bad luck' hobbled Habs, coach says
By BILL BEACON
The Canadian Press
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
MONTREAL -- There will be no long, giddy playoff ride this season for the Montreal Canadiens.
A surprising regular season in which they went from last in the NHL Eastern Conference a year ago to second place with a 29-14-5 record in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign came to a crashing halt in the playoffs.
The Canadiens were ousted in five games by the seventh-seeded Ottawa Senators, losing the final game in a 6-1 blowout on home ice on Thursday night. After the game, players looked to be in shock that it could be over so soon.
"It's a heartbreaker," winger Max Pacioretty said. "A couple of bounces the other way and we come into [Game 5] up 3-1."
While the Canadiens felt they outplayed Ottawa in all but Game 3 - a fight-filled 6-1 defeat - they were outscored 20-9 in the series, including 13-0 in third periods and one overtime period.
The NHL's fourth-best attack in the regular season (3.04 goals per game) outshot Ottawa 172-147 in the series, but couldn't solve goaltender Craig Anderson or the big defencemen who cover the front of his net.
At the other end, shots that probably shouldn't have gone in squeaked past Carey Price, who suffered a suspected groin injury late in Game 4. Backup Peter Budaj was lit up for six goals on 29 shots in the series finale.
The story of the series played out in Game 1, when Montreal fired 50 shots at Anderson but lost the game 4-2. They also lost centre Lars Eller, who left behind a pool of blood as he was taken by stretcher to an ambulance after an open-ice hit from Eric Gryba, who was suspended two games.
Injured forwards Brian Gionta, Brandon Prust and Ryan White also didn't finish the series. Pacioretty missed Game 2, but toughed it through the rest despite a separated shoulder.
"The last two weeks we had a lot of bad luck," coach Michel Therrien said. "But our approach since Day 1 was that that was not an excuse. And I don't think the players used that as an excuse because every game, the way they prepared themselves and the way they started the games, I could tell that was not an excuse."
Now, Habs management has to figure out what went wrong and what changes are needed. It would not be a surprise if general manager Marc Bergevin went looking for more size and muscle at the back end this summer.
The team's most pleasant surprise was the play of rookie forwards Alex Galchenyuk, the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, and small but gritty Brendan Gallagher, a Calder Trophy nominee after a 15-goal season.
"Those two kids progressed all season long," Therrien said.Gaydosh inks deal with Panthers
By ALLAN MAKI
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
When Blake Nill, head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos, first met with Linden Gaydosh, the young recruit said he wanted two things in life: to play football and be a farmer.
Consider goal No. 1 accomplished.
The former U of C defensive lineman was recently named the first pick overall in the 2013 CFL draft, and on Sunday he agreed to a contract with the NFL Carolina Panthers. The 6-foot-3, 314-pound Gaydosh attended a Panthers rookie mini-camp and did enough in drills and practices to earn a contract and an invitation to the main training camp.
That means the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who drafted the 23-year-old from Peace River, Alta., will have to wait on Gaydosh and whether he stays with the Panthers. The Ticats listened to trade offers for the first pick, but used it to select a player they felt was going to step into their lineup and provide an instant presence.
"I'm very excited for him," Nill said of Gaydosh. "He's a farm kid from Northern Alberta who had a dream to play pro football and he never wavered from that, not just on the field, but academically as well.
"When he came here he wasn't the highest-rated guy academically, but our academic development and our program within the football team worked with him. Linden deserves a lot of credit for putting in the effort. He flat outworks people."STUNNING WIN FOR CLARK
Focus on economy pays off in a comeback for the ages
By GARY MASON
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page A1
British Columbians awoke to a new government Wednesday, but not the one most were predicting.
The outcome left the B.C. NDP stunned and supporters no doubt questioning the very existence of the party. The Liberals made debt and the economy the two central issues - areas the broader electorate clearly did not have confidence the NDP could handle. It was a strategy that had served the Liberals well through three previous elections, but was not supposed to prevail this time. We can thank pollsters for raising that expectation, after they predicted margins that would have given the NDP a majority - and turned out to be spectacularly wrong.
The Liberal tactics worked, notably the constant references by Ms. Clark and her candidates to what they called the Dismal Decade of the 1990s, when the NDP was in power and B.C. became a have-not province. It's a political legacy that continues to haunt the left in its present form, and will prompt many to ask: If the New Democrats couldn't grasp victory with the most winnable conditions they've had since 1991, how can they ever?
There will be plenty of soul-searching and second-guessing. For instance, many will ask why the NDP announced during the campaign that it would kill the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion proposal - after already coming out against Northern Gateway. It allowed the Liberals to frame the debate around their issues.
The NDP was about killing jobs and debilitating the economy; the Liberals were about creating employment and building strong economic growth.
Ms. Clark emerged as a far more skilled campaigner, with high telegenic appeal and an easy rapport with voters. Mr. Dix, on the other hand, often seemed uneasy in public, and more comfortable with his nose buried in the policy books he loves. Ms. Clark ran a traditional, attack-style campaign, while Mr. Dix ran a positive campaign that some suggested would not work in B.C.
The Liberals now face a daunting assortment of challenges that span the public-policy spectrum.
From attempting to stabilize a fragile economy to reining in the province's accumulated debt, the decisions with which they must now grapple have generational consequences. And at least some of the moves are certain to have pan-national implications, as pipeline politics continue to dominate the enviro-economic debate in B.C.
Decisions must be made on new dams, transit infrastructure and skills training, which is tangentially tied to significant demographic hurdles. Add to the mix a slumping real-estate market in Greater Vancouver with a supply-chain impact on an array of housing-related businesses, and you have enough material for a planning-and-priorities briefing document that should make Ms. Clark wince a little.
All these matters will be questions for a new cabinet, which is expected to be named soon.
Of course, the No. 1 concern is the economy, which is the basis for all that government does. The Business Council of B.C. forecasts growth at a tepid 1.7 per cent this year. Business investment is off, as is consumer spending. This will have an impact on provincial tax revenue. There are no signs of a robust rebound in the short term.
One area the government is sure to focus on is the liquefied natural-gas industry, which many analysts believe could be worth billions to the province in royalty revenues. But B.C. is in a dogfight with several other countries to get LNG to market, adding urgency to the many decisions that have to be made around the development of the resource.
Those companies intent on capitalizing on the LNG opportunity require more energy than B.C. Hydro is in a position to offer. In that regard, Hydro will be waiting for the government to decide on whether to proceed with the contentious $8-billion Site C dam project on the Peace River. The file has been on the planning books for decades.
The backdrop to all of this economic activity is a skills shortage that all the parties talked about during the campaign. A dearth of qualified workers - a deficit believed to be in the thousands - has been the No. 1 complaint of companies operating in the province for some time; it was the subtext to last year's foreign-workers controversy involving HD Mining.
Complicating all this is the fact that B.C.'s population is getting older. People who make up the bulk of the workforce - those aged 16 to 64 - will peak in a couple of years at 70 per cent of the population. Then it falls off to 55 per cent by 2036, which means Ms. Clark's government will need a vision that extends beyond the terms of its four-year mandate.
For now, however, those are decisions for another time. The next few days will be about recuperating from one of the wildest elections the province has ever seen.RCMP under review over native women
Public-interest investigation of policing in northern B.C. launched in response to scathing report from Human Rights Watch
By KIM MACKRAEL
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page A3
OTTAWA -- The civilian watchdog that oversees the RCMP is launching a public-interest investigation into the force's treatment of aboriginal women and girls this week in response to a scathing report from a New York-based human-rights group.
The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP will examine policing issues in northern British Columbia, including officers' use of force, police handling of missing-persons reports, and the treatment of young people. The investigation comes after a Human Rights Watch report detailed allegations of abuse and mistreatment by police and suggested the RCMP has failed to properly investigate a series of disappearances and suspected murders of aboriginal women.
Complaints documented by the rights group ranged from handcuffs being applied too tightly to an unwarranted attack by a police dog against a 12-year-old girl and allegations of sexual abuse and rape. The report did not include the full names of many of the alleged victims because it said they were too fearful of repercussions from police to allow themselves to be identified.
"What we're trying to do is take a broader approach than Human Rights Watch," Richard Evans, the commission's senior director, said on Wednesday.
The commission does not have the power to investigate criminal allegations, but it can look at whether some of the concerns raised in the report point to systemic problems in the RCMP's treatment of aboriginal women and girls in northern B.C., he said.
RCMP officers' conduct will be tested against the force's policies, guidelines, training and legislation, according to terms of reference posted on the commission's website on Wednesday. It will also look at whether officers were thorough and impartial in their work and try to determine whether the existing rules are adequate.
A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the government has no information about the Human Rights Watch allegations and had asked the commission to look into the matter.
Meghan Rhoad, a researcher with Human Rights Watch who was the lead author on the group's report, said she is encouraged that the government had referred the issue to the commission. But she expressed doubts about the commission's ability to handle the probe impartially because of its close connections with the police force it is responsible for monitoring.
"They're not a body that is at an adequate distance from the police to be able to go in and do this kind of an investigation," Ms. Rhoad said.
When an individual complains to the commission about a specific incident, the report is generally sent to the RCMP for the force to investigate or ask another police force to handle. Individuals who are not satisfied with the outcome can bring the concern back to the commission and ask it to follow up.
But public-interest investigations are run differently, Mr. Evans said, and allow the commission to investigate concerns independently - and avoid divulging a complainant's personal information to the RCMP.
A spokesman from the RCMP said the force takes the allegations seriously and is looking for opportunities to help it identify the complainants. "Complaints can be made to the RCMP directly, to the Commission [for] Public Complaints against the RCMP or to other independent investigative bodies without fear of retaliation," Sergeant Rob Vermeulen wrote in an e-mail.
Opposition parties and aboriginal leaders have called for a national commission of inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls in Canada, a move Human Rights Watch researchers also support.
The government has not responded directly to those calls, but, earlier this year, it agreed to establish a parliamentary committee to study the issue. The Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women has met four times since March and is expected to table a report on its findings next year.
AREAS OF EXAMINATION
The commission's probe will examine six broad areas in policing, in part to determine whether the RCMP is treating aboriginal women and girls differently. The areas are:
the policing of public intoxication;
the practice of male officers searching women and girls;
the handling of missing-persons reports;
the handling of domestic-violence reports;
use of force;
treatment of young peopleRCMP probe payments to Duffy, Brazeau, Harb
By GLORIA GALLOWAY
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page A4
OTTAWA -- The RCMP is looking into Senate expense claims and critics have more ammunition in their calls for abolition after three members of the Red Chamber were found to have improperly received tens of thousands of dollars in living expenses.
The Mounties issued a statement on Sunday saying the matter of payments made to senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb is being examined by the RCMP National Division's Sensitive and International Investigations Section.
"Based upon an evaluation of the information provided, the RCMP may or may not initiate an investigation," the RCMP said, adding that no further comment would be made by the force unless criminal charges are laid.
Independent audits conducted by Deloitte have found that Mr. Duffy, Mr. Brazeau and Mr. Harb improperly said their principle residences were more than 100 kilometres from Parliament Hill and, on that basis, received living expenses to which they were not entitled.
A committee composed of senators demanded that the money be repaid but did not ask the police to investigate, eliciting an angry response from opposition New Democrats who would like to see the Senate abolished.
"When you have an institution where nobody can be fired, you are going to have corruption, you are going to have people breaking the rules because they think they can break the rules," Charlie Angus, the NDP ethics critic, said Sunday.
"It doesn't seem that there is any way that Canadians can actually enforce the rules, and that's a huge problem of legitimacy," Mr. Angus said. "The Senate has shown throughout this scandal that their fundamental task is to protect their own and not to be accountable to Canadians."
As for the news that the police are looking into the expense claims even without a referral from the Senate, Mr. Angus said: "I will believe charges when I see them."
Mr. Harb quit the Liberal caucus and is refusing to return $51,482, saying he will take the matter to court. Mr. Brazeau, an independent, has not said whether he will repay $48,744. Mr. Duffy, a Conservative, voluntarily paid back $90,172.24 before the release of the audits, saying he had found the paperwork confusing and also returned additional expenses he had claimed while on vacation in Florida.
When asked about a potential police investigation, Marjory LeBreton, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, said she had seen no evidence of RCMP interest in the matter.
But Ms. LeBreton pointed out that even the auditors' reports said the Senate rules are unclear in defining what constitutes a primary residence. And, she said, when the auditors were asked at a Senate committee if there was anything they found that would warrant further action, "the answer was no."
The reports of the auditors and those of the Senate committee that looked into the expenses of the three senators are public documents and could be used by the police in their work. But the RCMP would have to ask the Senate for any additional material such as forms relating to the actual expenses that were claimed.
Asked if the government would co-operate in the event of an RCMP investigation, Ms. LeBreton said: "It's a hypothetical question and I have no comment."
James Cowan, the Leader of the Senate opposition, said law-enforcement officials and lawyers who deal with criminal matters have told him that the RCMP is likely to follow a matter like this very thoroughly, and does not need a referral from a third party to launch an inquiry.
In the event of a full-fledged investigation, "I would assume that the Senate would co-operate fully, but that's not my decision," Mr. Cowan said.
As for renewed questions about the Senate's legitimacy, Mr. Cowan said there always have been and always will be critics of the Red Chamber and "when we are under attack anyway, as being unelected and unaccountable, then this is real fodder for that."
With reports from Kim Mackrael and Bill CurryCoderre launches Montreal mayoralty bid with promise to change a corrupt system
Candidate says he would cap political donations at $100 and appoint an inspector-general
By INGRID PERITZ
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page A3
MONTREAL -- Veteran politician Denis Coderre launched his long-anticipated bid for the mayoralty of Montreal Thursday by promising to restore Montrealers' battered trust in their city, saying he would cap political donations and appoint an independent inspector-general to probe corruption.
In an interview after his official campaign launch, Mr. Coderre tried to dispel doubts about his credentials as a reformer. He cast himself as a political outsider despite his 16 years as a federal MP, capable of leading Montreal out of the morass of a corruption scandal.
"I'm an outsider. I was not involved in provincial or municipal politics," he said. "But Montrealers know me. Because of that, I think that I'm the man of the situation. And my first priority is to bring back confidence in city hall and the city itself."
Mr. Coderre, the first high-profile candidate to enter the November election race, ended a barely concealed campaign to run for Montreal's top job with a news conference in front of City Hall, the grandiose building that has come to symbolize sleaze as much as political power. But the long-time Liberal, who has carefully used social media to hone his message, met with some unscripted, on-the-ground turbulence.
His announcement was disrupted by booing and jeering social-housing protesters, two of whom appeared in masks and were later arrested. Another, elderly demonstrator was knocked to the ground during a scuffle and taken to hospital.
Mr. Coderre was mostly unfazed by the protesters during his speech and appealed to them for respect, prompting some to say the heckling helped the populist politician appear leader-like. At one point Mr. Coderre stood his ground on the controversial issue of protesting with masks, saying "those who demonstrate wearing masks ... do not represent Montrealers."
In the interview, Mr. Coderre said he understood voters' anger at disclosures before the Charbonneau commission into corruption, which has brought to light a broad system of collusion that inflated the cost of city contracts and involved corrupt bureaucrats, construction companies, the Mafia and middlemen feeding donations to political parties.
"If you find out that you're overpaying by 30 per cent on all the jobs and you have organized crime all over the place, there is a problem," he said.
"My reaction is that it's something that happened in the past," he said. "We have to look ahead and put up structures to make sure it doesn't happen again."
He said he would create an independent inspector-general at city hall that he qualified as a "police of contracts," with the power of investigation. He would cap political donations at $100 and review policies requiring contracts to go to the lowest bidder.
In a break with Montreal's tradition of municipal parties, he said his new Team Denis Coderre will not be permanent and councillors who join will not have to toe a party line. He said Montreal is an administration, not a parliament, and the party system was largely to blame for the corrupt practices that are now under investigation.
Polls place Mr. Coderre with a comfortable lead heading into the race against his two declared opponents, city opposition leaders Louise Harel and Richard Bergeron. However, a large percentage of voters remain undecided, and other contenders could enter the race.
Ms. Harel, leader of the Vision Montréal party, criticized Mr. Coderre for standing on the sidelines for more than a year while Montreal suffered through crisis after crisis, tweeting about the Montreal Canadiens but remaining mute about the city. "Finally," she said after Mr. Coderre's announcement, "we're getting a reality check."
Mayor Gérald Tremblay resigned in disgrace in November and was succeeded by interim Mayor Michael Applebaum, who says he will not run for mayor in November.
Mr. Coderre's entry into Montreal's election race opens up another, crucial battle at the federal level to fill his seat in the riding of Bourassa. He said he will resign June 2.Tories support backbencher's victims' rights bill
Bill C-479 would increase the time between parole hearings for violent offenders and give victims more access to the process
By KIM MACKRAEL
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page A3
OTTAWA -- The Conservative government has thrown its support behind a private member's bill aimed at giving victims better access to parole board hearings and limiting the frequency of reviews for violent offenders.
Bill C-479, introduced by Conservative MP David Sweet, would increase the maximum time between hearings for violent offenders to five years from two and require parole boards to make a greater effort to allow victims and their families to present statements during hearings or provide written or recorded submissions.
Some of the proposed changes reflect recommendations from Sue O'Sullivan, the federal victims' ombudsman. Ms. O'Sullivan has said that victims should have the automatic right to attend parole hearings unless there are clear reasons to bar them. She has also asked that offenders lose the ability to withdraw parole applications on short notice.
But the bill is raising concerns that the proposed wait of up to five years between parole hearings could make it harder for offenders to reintegrate after their release, particularly those serving sentences of five years or less.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the bill would strengthen victims' rights and give victims and their families more opportunities to be heard in the parole process. And he said the longer wait for violent offenders would help protect victims from the strain of attending more frequent hearings.
"I think what happens is that individuals, under the present system, are re-victimized every two years, because it's essentially mandatory," Mr. Toews said. "And even where an individual has no hope of getting parole, the hearing proceeds and re-victimizes the victims."
Catherine Latimer, executive director of the John Howard Society, said victims can have good reasons to attend some parole board hearings, pointing to situations where it is likely that an offender would return to a community where the offence was committed or where a victim requests particular conditions on the individual's release, such as a no-contact order.
But she said the release system is not designed to give victims a meaningful say in whether a person is released because those people have no knowledge of the offender's behaviour while in jail. "The parole decision should really be looking at what progress the person has made against his rehabilitation plan and what risk he poses now," she said.
Ms. Latimer added that those who are serving less than five years might have only one opportunity for parole under the proposed changes. That means that if their first application is rejected, the likelihood is greater that they would serve their full sentence and be released without the kinds of conditions a parole board can impose.
Mr. Sweet's bill is the third private member's bill on criminal justice that the government has supported in recent weeks. During a debate on Conservative MP Parm Gill's gang recruitment bill last week, Liberal MP Sean Casey accused the government of using backbench MPs to avoid an obligation to check proposed legislation for compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Speaking to reporters about the parole-hearing bill on Wednesday, Mr. Toews said most of the private members' bills the government has supported are focused on specific issues and relate to concerns from constituents. "We are giving our upper benchers, our backbenchers, a real say in Parliament. They're accomplishing what their constituents have sent them here to do," he said.Wallin resigns from Tory caucus
Ex-journalist becomes fourth senator to sit as independent; says she will recuse herself until audit of travel expenses is complete
By KIM MACKRAEL
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page A4
OTTAWA -- Senator Pamela Wallin has quit the Conservative caucus to sit as an independent, making her the fourth senator to leave her party amid a growing controversy over expense claims in the Red Chamber.
In a statement issued late Friday, Ms. Wallin said she would recuse herself from caucus until an independent audit of her travel expenses is complete. Her withdrawal came one week after the Senate's internal economy committee tabled reports saying three other senators had improperly claimed tens of thousands of dollars in housing expenses.
"I have been involved in the external audit process since December 2012 and I have been co-operating fully and willingly with the auditors. I have met with the auditors, answered all the questions and provided all requested documentation," Ms. Wallin said in her statement.
Three other senators whose expense claims were in question have also left the party fold. Mike Duffy resigned from the Conservative caucus Thursday night after it was revealed that the Prime Minister's top aide had cut him a cheque worth more than $90,000 to help Mr. Duffy repay improper expense claims.
Patrick Brazeau was removed from the Conservative caucus earlier this year after he was charged in an unrelated matter, and Mac Harb quit the Liberal caucus last week when the Senate committee for internal economy ordered Mr. Harb and Mr. Brazeau to repay the housing allowances they had collected over the past two years, with interest.
Ms. Wallin's audit has not yet been released, and is believed to be more complex because of the large number of travel-related documents auditors must review. Between September, 2010, and the end of February, 2013, Ms. Wallin charged about $375,600 in travel expenses, with only a fraction of the total listed as "regular travel," the Senate's term for travel between Ottawa and a senator's primary residence.
The former broadcaster was appointed to the Senate in 2009 to represent Saskatchewan. She said earlier this year that many of her flights to her home province are not direct, and are therefore listed as "other travel" on her expense forms.
NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said Ms. Wallin's resignation from caucus adds to the ethical concerns surrounding the Senate. "Why was she racking up these kinds of outrageous bills? I think she owes us an explanation," Mr. Angus said Friday.
While Mr. Duffy is said to have faced intense pressure from his colleagues to leave the Conservative caucus this week, a Conservative source said many senators are reserving judgment on Ms. Wallin, whose audit is not yet complete, and were surprised to see her step aside. The Conservative government has previously come to Ms. Wallin's defence, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggesting earlier this year that he had looked at her expenses and found them to be in line with those of other Saskatchewan senators.
Lowell Murray, a retired Progressive Conservative senator, said on Friday that senators should speak out about the expense claim controversy publicly. "It's weighing a bit on my mind that my former colleagues and friends are going underground on this issue when they're going to have to come out front and be seen to confront it," he said.
Senators are expected to debate the audits and reports that have been released so far in the Red Chamber next week.Voters send Penashue packing
Former Conservative cabinet minister, who resigned after breaking election-finance laws, loses bid for re-election
By GLORIA GALLOWAY
With a report from The Canadian Press
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page A4
OTTAWA -- Peter Penashue has lost his gamble that the voters of Labrador would prefer to have a seat at the Conservative cabinet table than punish him for spending more than he was allowed in the general election two years ago.
Mr. Penashue, former minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, was roundly defeated Monday by Liberal candidate Yvonne Jones, a former leader of the provincial Liberals in Newfoundland and Labrador and a former mayor of Mary's Harbour.
When all the votes were counted, Ms. Jones had 48.2 per cent of the vote. Mr. Penashue had 32.5 per cent and NDP candidate Harry Borlase had 18.8 per cent.
"The people of Labrador wanted change," she told a roaring crowd of supporters at her victory party in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. "They want representation that's going to put Labrador first and I can guarantee you, they've got it tonight."
The voter turnout during by-elections is usually lower than for general elections but more voters cast ballots this time than two years ago.
Ms. Jones was not a hugely popular politician as a member of the Newfoundland legislature. But the voters of Labrador, the riding with the smallest population in Canada, were not ready to elect a man who admitted his previous campaign had violated election spending laws - even if he was willing to quit and run again.
For the Liberals, the win represented the first good electoral news in some time.
Some pundits had characterized the campaign as the first test of Leader Justin Trudeau's ability to draw the kind of support his party needs to begin the climb back from third place in the House of Commons.
Mr. Trudeau, in Montreal on Monday, said in a statement that he was immensely proud of his candidate.
"Today we have demonstrated that the Liberal message of hope and hard work is resonating," he said, "and that Canadians are tired of the Conservatives' politics of cynicism, division and fear."
But Labrador is not a microcosm of federal politics. The Liberals lost by a scant 79 votes in 2011. And the result could more easily be viewed as a statement about the unwillingness of voters to reward politicians who are seen to have strayed outside the lines.
Mr. Penashue resigned from Parliament in March after an Elections Canada investigation found that his 2011 campaign accepted illegal donations. He exceeded his campaign spending limit of $84,468.09 by $5,529.76 while also accepting tens of thousands of dollars in off-limits donations. They included cash from 16 listed corporations and non-monetary contributions from two airlines that flew him around the riding.
He has since repaid almost $48,000 with the help of the Conservative party, but it's not known whether files were referred to the Commissioner of Elections. The commissioner can issue compliance orders or seek criminal charges through the Office of the Public Prosecutor.
Although NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair visited the riding more than once in support of Mr. Borlase, it seemed from the outset that it was the Liberals' contest to lose.
Mr. Penashue told the voters of Labrador that they had a choice. They could elect him or they could settle for someone who will not have the same kind of clout around the cabinet table of the Harper government.Politicians decry lack of decorum after NDP minister charged with allegedly assaulting Liberal rival in legislature washroom
By MICHAEL MACDONALD
The Canadian Press
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page A5
HALIFAX -- Less than a day after a Nova Scotia cabinet minister was charged with assaulting another member of the legislature, Premier Darrell Dexter suggested it's not unusual for tensions to rise in the House before an election.
"I would not characterize this session as being any different than past sessions that I have seen in similar points in the cycle," the NDP Premier said Friday outside the legislature.
But opposition politicians said the case, involving an alleged scuffle between two 65-year-old men inside a washroom near the legislative chamber, was an embarrassing example of how a lack of decorum in the House has hit a new low.
"I'm very embarrassed as an MLA and I'm sure that all Nova Scotians are embarrassed, too," said Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie. "This place should have a certain level of dignity. ... The events of [Thursday] just reinforce all that's wrong about the negative mudslinging that inevitably leads to something like what happened."
Liberal Keith Colwell alleges he was assaulted by Percy Paris, who resigned as Minister of Economic and Rural Development late Thursday after Halifax police charged him with assault and uttering threats. Mr. Paris is to appear in Halifax provincial court June 18 and none of the charges against him have been proven in court.
The NDP caucus office said Mr. Paris was not available for comment Friday on the advice of his lawyer.
On Friday, the legislature referred what happened to its internal affairs committee at Mr. Colwell's request.
"This improper behaviour by the minister was quite clearly an execution of a threat and intimidation, an attempt to prevent me from performing my function as a legislator, elected representative for my constituents and member of this assembly," he told the House.
Mr. Colwell, a member since 1993, said he pursued the case in the House because everyone has a right to feel safe at work.
Mr. Paris, who describes himself as the only member of African descent, said Thursday that debate in the House concerning the province's black community had irritated him.
"There were a lot of things that were said [Thursday] that don't set well with me," Mr. Paris said before he was charged. He has represented the Halifax-area riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank since 2006.
Mr. Colwell, who represents Preston, a Halifax-area riding with a large number of black constituents, had raised questions in the House on Thursday about a mobile mammography unit, accusing the government of failing to send it to his riding. He asked the Premier to apologize to the people of Preston, saying it was "a black community that's not going to get the service this year because it was left off the government's website."
Later, Mr. Paris said he had a "heated exchange" with Mr. Colwell while the two were near the doorway of a washroom for members of the legislature. "Things reached a point where I lost my composure for a few brief seconds," Mr. Paris said, declining to describe what happened.Cleveland reunions give hope to families of missing Canadians
By AMBER DAUGHERTY
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page A8
The escape this week in Cleveland of three female captives gave hope to Canadian families and friends who are still searching for their missing sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts and nieces.
"Hope keeps everything in check," said Glendene Grant, the mother of a woman from British Columbia who went missing seven years ago in Las Vegas at age 21.
Ms. Grant hired private investigators after her daughter, Jessica Foster, went missing. They found out Ms. Foster had been in the hospital with a broken jaw, and had been arrested for solicitation before her disappearance.
The families of Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, who escaped from a nightmarish captivity that police say included being beaten, chained and raped, said they never gave up hope they would find the women alive.
Many Canadians in similar situations also dream of seeing their loved ones alive one day, even if what they have been through is "horrific," says Lusia Dion, co-creator of the Canadian Centre for Information on Missing Adults website, a resource that police recommend to the families of missing women.
The Cleveland escape "certainly gives a lot of families a lot of hope that their missing loved one may be located," Ms. Dion says.
CNN reported this week that the accused tormentor showed the captives televised coverage of vigils held by the Berry and DeJesus families, who have said they never gave up hope the girls would return home alive.
The family of Michelle Knight did not hold vigils and her grandmother said they were certain she was dead.
Ms. Berry and Ms. DeJesus returned home this week and their families have appealed for privacy to help with the healing process. Ms. Knight was released from hospital on Friday and also asked for privacy.
After her daughter disappeared, Ms. Grant started an Internet radio show called Missing and Exploited, and it was there that she was introduced to Nancy DeJesus, Gina's mother.
"Nancy took the opportunity to call in because that's what we do; we call in and try to get our kids' names and stories out there as much as possible," Ms. Grant said.
"My coping skill is through helping others and it really does help me," she said. "It's helped me get through over seven years of a nightmare."
Ms. Dion says the main message for families is not to give up hope.
"The position that we take is that we assume that the missing person is alive, unless there's reason to suggest otherwise."
"There are a huge number of missing adults in this country," she said.
The Canadian Police Information Centre says there were 4,989 cases of women going missing for unknown reasons in 2011 across Canada. That's the last year for which statistics are available.
The RCMP created a database of missing persons this January.
Sergeant Lana Prosper of the RCMP runs the website called Canada's Missing, or the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains, and says it has led to an increase in tips in the cases.
There are 461 missing adults listed, many of whom have been missing for 10 years or more.
Sgt. Prosper said there is still hope for finding these people.
"It's not as rare as I think people believe it is," she said.
"Yes, it is rare in the context of the majority of people that are missing after a decade. There's not always the good news story."
Sgt. Prosper says the lesson she hopes people take away from this week's developments in Ohio is that the worst should not always be assumed about missing people. Ms. Grant said she can't stop hoping.
"If Jessie were to walk through my door today and realize that I had been talking about finding her remains and letting her rest in peace I couldn't imagine looking at her and saying I had lost hope and I had given up," she said.
"I tell a lot of people that the things I do, I actually do for Jessie," she said. "If Jessie's not able to live a good life, or laugh, or have any sense of happiness, I try to do a little bit of that for her, and keep her life going."Obama, Erdogan agree al-Assad must go
By PATRICK MARTIN
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page A9
President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on almost all the large geopolitical issues they discussed Thursday at a meeting at the White House, but it is the one small thing on which they disagree that may come back to haunt the U.S. leader.
Speaking at a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, the two men vowed to increase international pressure on the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, currently engaged in a deadly campaign to end a popular insurrection that has killed about 80,000 people.
They agreed that "Assad needs to go," said Mr. Obama, and that they will do everything possible to assist the opposition on the ground in Syria.
In this there is nothing new, although Mr. Obama did say that when it comes to averting the use of chemical weapons believed to be in the hands of the Assad regime, there are a number of actions Washington could take.
"There are a whole range of options that the United States is already engaged in," the President said. "And I preserve the options of taking additional steps, both diplomatic and military, because those chemical weapons inside of Syria also threaten our security over the long term as well as our allies and friends and neighbours."
However, on one matter - Mr. Erdogan's intention to visit the Gaza Strip next month - the two men disagreed. The controversial trip would include meeting with the Hamas government in Gaza, which has been designated by the United States and Israel as a terrorist organization and which does not recognize Israel's right to exist.
Mr. Erdogan said he believed his visit would contribute to the resolution of the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, the Israeli killing of nine Turkish citizens who were on board a vessel carrying humanitarian supplies intended for Gaza.
That is not how Israel and the United States view things. The Gaza visit has been denounced by Israel and strongly discouraged by the Obama administration as giving unwarranted recognition to Hamas.
Mr. Erdogan tried to soften the blow by adding that he also would be visiting the West Bank, governed by the Palestinian Authority of president Mahmoud Abbas, whose administration does recognize Israel and seeks to negotiate with it the recognition of an independent Palestinian state. The Turkish leader has yet to say whether he would visit Israel.
Israel and Turkey have been at odds since the 2008-09 Israeli attack on Hamas in Gaza in response to a hail of rockets fired on Israel from Gaza. Soon after the fighting, relations between the two countries were downgraded.Cameron pressed to put EU membership to a vote
By ANDREW OSBORN
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page A3
WASHINGTON -- British Prime Minister David Cameron will publish a draft bill on Tuesday to prepare for a referendum on Britain's European Union membership - a political gamble aimed at placating anti-EU lawmakers who are pressing him to take a harder line on Europe.
The Conservative leader's concession comes less than four months after he pledged to renegotiate the terms of Britain's EU membership and then hold a vote before the end of 2017.
Mr. Cameron's referendum promise in January failed to satisfy Conservative critics who now want him to hold the vote before the next national election in 2015 or pass a law committing the party to the vote.
"The Conservative Party will [on Tuesday] publish a draft bill to legislate for an in-out referendum by the end of 2017," a senior Conservative source told reporters in Washington after Mr. Cameron met with U.S. President Barack Obama.
It will be hard for the Conservatives to push a referendum bill through Parliament because it will likely be opposed by their pro-EU coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, as well as the opposition Labour Party.
Conservatives have been rattled by the growing popularity of the UK Independence Party, which campaigns for Britain's withdrawal from the EU and tighter immigration laws. UKIP's poll rating has climbed steadily since Mr. Cameron's EU referendum pledge, with the party taking a quarter of the vote in local elections this month.
The Labour Party said Mr. Cameron had "lost control of the agenda and lost control of his party" when he should be working on reviving Britain's economy.Safe holding jewels stolen from hotel during film festival
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page A17
CANNES, FRANCE -- Chopard jewellery worth $1.4-million intended to adorn movie stars at the Cannes film festival has been stolen, a police source said on Friday, but the company said the value had been exaggerated and the items were not for actresses to use.
According to the source, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the case with the press, the jewels were in the safe of a room rented by an employee of the luxury jeweller, which is also a Cannes sponsor.
"The jeweller hasn't yet furnished details of what exactly was stolen," the source said.
Later in the day, Chopard said in a statement that the value of the jewels stolen was not as high as had been reported and that they were not "part of the collection destined to be used by actresses" during the festival.
The Cannes film festival, the world's largest, draws thousands of movie stars, industry executives and journalists to the fabled resort on the Mediterranean.
Jewellers and fashion houses use the annual event as a promotional showcase, lending gowns and accessories to celebrities who are photographed on the famed red carpet and at parties along the palm-lined Croisette waterfront.
The incident at the Suite Novotel four-star hotel in central Cannes - opposite a municipal police station - took place on Thursday night.
The entire safe was removed from the wall and taken from the room, which someone entered without either forcing the door or using the magnetic key card, the police source said.CANDIDATE WALLACE SHOT IN MARYLAND
By JOANNA SLATER
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page A2
The candidate had finished his stump speech and was shaking hands in a Maryland parking lot when the bullets flew - five shots fired, at close range. The shooting left Alabama governor George Wallace paralyzed from the waist down, effectively ending his run for president in the Democratic primaries. The deranged assassin, Arthur Bremer, was in search of celebrity and he picked a polarizing target. Wallace was a diehard opponent of the civil rights movement who infamously declared in 1963, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." But it was not forever, not even for Wallace. Ten years after the shooting, he managed to win a fourth term as governor and repented his opposition to school integration. "That was wrong," he said to a group of black voters. "And that will never come back again."SUICIDE BOMBERS BLAST CASABLANCA
By PAUL KORING
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page A2
More than a dozen Salafia Jihadia suicide bombers struck civilian targets in Casablanca, killing 33 and wounding more than 100 in the worst-ever Islamic extremist attacks in Morocco. A popular restaurant, hotel and Jewish community centre were hit. Several bombers got lost and just blew themselves up in the al-Qaeda-linked plot allegedly ordered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi; two bombers wearing explosive-packed vests were arrested before they detonated. Moroccans reacted with a huge outpouring of solidarity. Tens of thousands cheered King Mohammed when he toured the blast sites. A wave of arrests followed - more than 2,000 were detained in the next year. Nearly a dozen extremists were convicted in connection with the attacks - but nine of them escaped in a still-unexplained prison break in 2008.PHILADELPHIA POLICE BOMB URBAN COMMUNE
By BOB LEVIN
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page A2
It takes a special sort of logic to decide, amidst an armed standoff with radicals holed up in a row house, to bomb your own city. Yet that was the unique strategy approved by Philadelphia's mayor that bristling spring of 1985. MOVE, an anti-technology, black-liberation commune, had clashed with police before, and now neighbours in the middle-class enclave complained of vermin and bullhorn-boomed harangues. Police tried to arrest members for minor crimes, but neither teargas nor water cannons nor gunfire flushed them out. Cue the bomb squad: As a chopper hovered overhead, an officer dropped an explosives-laden satchel, the ensuing fire consuming an entire city block. Eleven people, including five children, were killed. A subsequent report - with a gift for understatement - called the bombing "unconscionable."BY THE NUMBERS
By DOMINI CLARK
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page T6
The amount (in U.S.) of baggage fees collected by American airlines in 2012. The industry landed in the black solely because of extra charges for services such as luggage and booking changes, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The average cost for one night in a standard double room at the St. Regis in New York. That makes it the priciest room in the Big Apple, according to newyorkhotels.org. Mind you, that does include butler service, a complimentary shoe shine and fresh fruit on arrival.
The age of Ryan Irwin, a U.K. teen recently hired by Ryanair to pilot its planes. Yes, pilot. Don't worry: He's got 18 months of training behind him.
Sources: Chicago Tribune, newyorkhotels.org, Liverpool EchoBeer stores spruce up in battle for drinkers
Staid retailers get a new look as tastes shift to wine, but frustrations run deep
By SUSAN KRASHINSKY
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page B5
TORONTO -- MARKETING REPORTER
The smell of stale beer is still there; the sometimes unavoidable by-product of a vast recycling program that leaves it to consumers to wash their empties. But olfactory suggestions aside, this is a Beer Store refreshed.
Gone is the joyless, industrial store where shoppers were forced to select their orders from a big plastic board to be hauled out from a dank warehouse. Rather, wall-mounted Samsung tablets can be used to browse, and an added cooler, framed in exposed wood, lets beer drinkers actually touch the product. Upbeat music plays and amber lampshades hang above the cash registers, manned by staff in uniforms labelled "Beer enthusiast" or "Beer champion," newly trained to suggest flavours and food pairings. In a Facebook-style re-brand, the "The" is gone. It is now, simply, Beer Store.
The test project by Ontario's beer oligopoly - most sales are controlled by three large multinational brewers - responds to years of customer frustration, and has been rolled out in four Greater Toronto stores, just in time for the May long weekend. In some pilot locations, a wall has been erected separating the returns area, and eliminating the smell altogether. "We're trying to enhance the customer experience," said Andrea Randolph, vice-president of retail at Beer Store.
It's just one example of how liquor retailers across the country - private and government-run - are vying to make shopping for beer more pleasant. While beer is still the dominant alcoholic beverage, its market share has been slipping. Sales peaked in 1993, with 53 per cent of the market, while wine drew 18 per cent. By 2012, beer's market share was down to 44 per cent, and wine sales grew to 31 per cent of sales.
As the $20.9-billion alcoholic beverage market shifts, beer makers have launched a slew of new products. Now, it seems, attention has turned to the places where beer is sold.
The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch has over the last five years introduced 22 "signature stores" offering "enhanced presentation and broader selection," and will roll out more changes over the next year and a half.
In Manitoba, where there is a mix of public and private liquor retailers, the government opened four Liquor Mart Express mini-stores, with the goal "to provide greater customer service and refresh Manitoba's retail model."
The Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission recently announced a re-branding of its government-run liquor stores, with a new name: "PEI Liquor." It is also changing its colour scheme, shelving layout and design of its stores.
The Société des alcools du Québec, which does not own its retail outlets, invests roughly $13-million per year on improving its look, refreshing its stores each time a lease comes up.
And the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., which renovated the front of its stores years ago, has been working to overhaul the "cold zone" back room where customers can browse, to make it look less like a warehouse, with nicer-looking signs and more educational elements.
Liquor retailers have no choice but to shift their shopping environments, and marketing, said NSLC spokesman Mike Maloney. He looks to grocery stores, with better lighting, wider aisles and attractive displays. "The grocery chains have changed dramatically, they've upped their game ... We're playing catch-up."
While the Ontario Beer Store's newly renovated locations have generated some buzz, its business model, which has its roots in the post-Prohibition late 1920s, remains unchanged. Perhaps because of its staid image and slow pace of change, many Ontarians mistake the Beer Store for a government-run entity - the Liquor Control Board of Ontario's shabby cousin. In fact, it is a near monopoly, controlled by multinationals: Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd. (owned by Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev SA), Molson Coors Brewing Co. (merged with Coors and based in Denver and Montreal), and Sleeman Breweries Ltd. (owned by Japan-based Sapporo Breweries Ltd.)
In the limited coolers of the old-style stores, shelf space is allocated by a beer's market share - the brands of the firms who run the retail outlet get primacy. As the Beer Store opens up the tightly controlled shopping process, the same can't be said for shelf space for craft brews.
"The first question that occurs to me is, which brands are going to be in those coolers? It wouldn't surprise me if it's the usual suspects," said Darren Smith, president of Lake of Bays Brewing Co. in Baysville, Ont. "The tablet is nice, but you're still browsing, without being able to touch the product, from a massive list of beers."
According to Gary McMullen, president and head brewer at Muskoka Brewery, and chairman of industry association Ontario Craft Brewers, the refreshed stores amount to little more than a "facelift."
"It doesn't change the fundamentals of the system ... I don't know of any industry in the world where one company has to sell their product through another company that's a competitor. It's like Ford having to sell their cars through a Honda dealership," Mr. McMullen said. Behind the makeover, he said, is a system that makes it difficult and expensive (because of listing fees the Beer Store charges to carry products) to get products in front of customers.
"It's absolutely critical. It's the way that almost any retail outlet functions in the world: the whole idea is that the customer can see and feel the product they're about to purchase," said Lake of Bays' Mr. Smith. "If you don't have mainstream recognition, that's all you have."
The majority of Mr. Smith's sales come not from the Beer Store, he says, but from the LCBO - common for the smaller craft beers. In fact, as craft beers have become more popular, and as the LCBO has done work to refurbish its retail environment, it has stolen a small amount of market share away from the Beer Store. In the 2008-09 fiscal year, the LCBO had 22.3 per cent of sales in the province with the remainder going to the Beer Store. By 2012-13, the LCBO's share had risen to 25 per cent.
The LCBO's popularity among a certain segment of beer drinkers hasn't gone unnoticed. In Toronto's trendy Distillery District and Liberty Village neighbourhoods, the Beer Store opened two "Beer Boutique" locations in 2011 to woo urban dwellers more attracted to the LCBO than the dingy Soviet-feel of a traditional store. Features include exposed brick walls, displays with rustic wood casks, and much, much more cooler space to allow customers to handle their own beer.
The Beer Store says the more recent changes have nothing to do with the noise about changing the model of beer sales in Ontario, or the myriad criticisms of that model. Ms. Randolph says they were hearing from customers that the stores felt old. "These stores needed a refresh," Ms. Randolph said. "If it turns out this is what people like ... then you determine the fate of the brand."
ONTARIO'S BEER SYSTEM
The rising tab for placement
The cost of selling beer for brands other than those owned by the firms that run Beer Store has been going up, according to the craft brewers. Here's how the system works:
At the LCBO
Product sale and placement is at the discretion of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. The Board will regularly put out product calls, outlining what they are looking for to add to their offerings. Once brands are selected, owners have the right to get in touch with store managers to ask to be sold at each location. There are no listing fees. However, the LCBO charges fees for point-of-purchase marketing such as aisle placement or Air Miles offers.
At the Beer Store
The retailer charges a listing fee to brewers for the privilege of being sold at the Beer Store - which includes no guarantee of shelf placement.
The one-time fee starts with a base charge of $2,848.93.
Then, for each product and each format of that product (e.g. 6-pack cans, 12-pack bottles, etc.) there is a separate fee of $227.92 per store for the first 233 stores, $53.56 per store for the rest, and $535.63 per store for the 37 locations classified as "constrained" stores.
To secure placement at all 446 stores province-wide, this all adds up to a tab of more than $82,000 per packaged product.
How did Ontario end up with a privately-controlled quasi-monopoly on beer sales, anyway? It goes all the way back to Prohibition, which was repealed in the province in 1927. Like others, Ontario's government set up a liquor control board to oversee the newly legalized sale and import of alcohol. And since it can be an addictive substance, harm reduction was also part of the mandate.
At the time, beer was still sold mostly in kegs and was not pasteurized. The LCBO did not "want to manage the unique challenges related to handling beer," according to the retailer, so it negotiated with the beer industry at the time to create the Brewers Warehousing Co. Ltd. (which is now officially called Brewers Retail Inc., but operates under the Beer Store name.) It operated under the Liquor Control Act of Ontario, which passed in April, 1927, and a provincial charter was granted to Brewers Warehousing Co. Ltd. on Oct. 26, 1927. The company also served as the retailing arm of 35 regional brewers, and in order to sell beer through its system, these brewers had to buy shares and become part-owners. Over time, the number of owners has gone up and down, and through consolidation in the industry the original 35 brewers have dwindled to just three currently. They are licensed to operate by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and governed under the Liquor Control Act. But critics say there is no practical oversight, and nothing about fair treatment of non-owner brewers in the Act.
The Beer Store now sells more than 370 brands from more than 90 brewers in more than 1,000 package combinations. According to TBS, 70 per cent of the brands listed for sale are not owned by the companies who run the beer store. (Critics say, however, that if you look at what's sold by volume, a large percentage of what's stocked is from owners or affiliates.)
Source: Beer Store, staffThe business of politics: Lessons from the B.C. election
By BRENT JANG
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page B1
VANCOUVER -- Consider the challenges of losing market share, hearing critics bash your brand, coping with internal staff upheaval and watching your main rival woo consumers with a product that's disturbingly similar to your own.
For B.C. Premier Christy Clark, those were her political challenges - in business terms - as her B.C. Liberal Party began the 2013 election trailing its NDP rival in public opinion polls. But Ms. Clark and the Liberals managed to stage a surprise victory, winning a majority government in Tuesday's election despite near-universal predictions of defeat. Here are four key lessons for any business person facing hurdles:
Lesson 1: Deliver a consistent message about the future
Ms. Clark displayed her leadership qualities by being persistent, narrowing the focus and setting ambitious goals, management experts say.
At the outset of the campaign, she said her party would mark up a historic victory, later dubbing herself the "Comeback Kid" in advertising. Few outside the party believed it - until the votes were counted.
In post-election analyses, that victory is being attributed, in part, to her relentless hammering at the notion that only the Liberals could safeguard British Columbia's economy.
"The person who is able to articulate an idea in a clear, convincing and consistent way induces people to follow them," said Jim Fisher, vice-dean of programs at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. "You don't want to follow somebody unless you trust them, and you can't trust them if they keep shifting messages. The power of saying things over and over again is that after a while, people start believing you. Staying on message resonates."
Ms. Clark drove home the vision that exporting liquefied natural gas will be a crucial part of British Columbia's economic growth, creating jobs for families and leading to paying off the province's debt in the long term.
He said the B.C. Liberal Leader was relentless in the way she portrayed her party as best-suited to manage the economy, even though her goals may prove to be too lofty. In the private sector, an executive could set the goal of doubling revenue in three or five years, but even if sales turn out to be slower than expected, it is still pertinent that a company show that it is pursuing a growth agenda, he said.
Lesson 2: Be realistic
Employees won't buy into unrealistic corporate goals, Mr. Fisher cautioned. "Workers have to see a bridge between words and some sort of action," he said, noting that once an executive outlines a vision, employees will want to see those growth initiatives supported.
Ms. Clark took aim at New Democrats as she warned that NDP Leader Adrian Dix couldn't be trusted to oversee economic pressures. The Liberal Party was criticized for its negative message, while the NDP chose to avoid harsh campaigning. In B.C., nice finished last, and negative - the Liberals would say realistic - campaigning won the day.
The Liberals took advantage of being underdogs entering the campaign and aggressively attacked the NDP with negative ads, said Tirtha Dhar, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.
For business, negative ads are relatively rare, and usually reserved for underdog contenders (as was the case with Ms. Clark). But executives must realistically outline both the rewards and pitfalls ahead when times are bad, Mr. Fisher said.
Lesson 3: But don't shy away from long-term ambition
Greg D'Avignon, president of the Business Council of British Columbia, said Ms. Clark figured out that even though there are many hurdles to clear before even one major LNG proposal comes to fruition, the possibility of revenue from new energy projects isn't farfetched.
Whether it is a small business or large one, it takes strong leadership to have the conviction that you will be able to act on a vision, despite many challenges, he said. "Part of leadership is creating aspirations that even if you fall short, it focuses people's attention and gets them moving in the same direction," Mr. D'Avignon said.
Lesson 4: Go retail
Townhalls are a good way to keep in touch with employees, though business leaders caution that CEO styles vary widely, so some will be better than others at speaking with workers in small groups. In some cases, it might be better to designate a vice-president to lead a townhall.
In the case of courting voters, Ms. Clark knew the power of images. She wore a hard hat on one campaign stop and dressed casually in a classroom of children on another stop. She gave the impression of someone who is willing to listen, Mr. D'Avignon said, whether to workers on the assembly line or kids in school.Ottawa's auction rules put upstarts in tight spot
By RITA TRICHUR AND BOYD ERMAN
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page B1
Struggling wireless companies are facing a new obstacle to their long-term survival - an obscure clause in Ottawa's rules for the upcoming auction of spectrum.
Mobile carriers have until June 11 to put down deposits to secure their spots as bidders in the sale of the coveted 700 megahertz frequency, scheduled for November. The spectrum is considered crucial for wireless players to build faster LTE networks that are proving popular with smartphone-using consumers.
But the government's rules state that once a company submits an application to bid, it is prohibited from having any discussions about a potential sale or merger with other registered bidders until final payments for spectrum are made, which is likely to be in early 2014. That's a problem for three new-entrant carriers, Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile, all of which are in need of money and are now looking for buyers or partners.
Any freeze on potential merger-and-acquisition activity could deal a blow to the government's goal of ensuring sustainable competition with at least four carriers in every regional market.
If that trio of upstarts signs up as bidders, they run the risk of alienating potential buyers, including incumbent carriers like Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. Additionally, new entrants would also be barred from pursuing a merger among themselves until the auction is long over - an outcome that would drive up their own costs to bid.
Conversely, if they sit out the auction in order to preserve discussions with potential acquirers, they risk damaging the value of their businesses by not acquiring 700 MHz spectrum. That particular band of radio waves is in high demand because it is particularly suited to facilitate mobile data traffic - so the licences are key to building networks that can attract higher-end smartphone customers.
It is also unclear whether Ottawa plans to introduce new rules that would restrict the Big Three from buying new entrants.
This confluence of factors is raising the spectre that the government may have to delay the auction.
"If you are looking at selling, you are taking an axe to the parties you can talk to [by registering for the auction]," said a source familiar with the situation. "And you are eliminating the incumbents [as a potential buyer of an an upstart] because there is no question that they will register."
The government's rules were created to prevent collusion among bidders. Specifically, the policy states: "Any discussions regarding an addition or a significant change of beneficial ownership, from the receipt deadline for applications until the deadline for the final payment on winning bids, involving two bidders or any of their affiliates or associates, would fall into the area of prohibited discussions and would be considered contrary to the auction rules."
Although deposits are refundable, any bidder that withdraws would face scrutiny over the reason for bailing out.
Industry Canada did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment on Tuesday, while Wind, Mobilicity and Public Mobile declined to comment. All three of those carriers, however, have asked Ottawa for more help. Mobilicity has requested assistance in raising capital and Public Mobile has asked for a later deadline for applications and deposits.
Earlier this year, Telus began talks to acquire Mobilicity. Rogers is considered a potential bidder for Wind Mobile, while BCE's chief executive officer said last week that his company would also be interested in bidding for new entrant assets if Ottawa permits mergers in the sector.
"It is very, very unclear as to what the government does here. Clearly, every new entrant is waiting for the opportunity to sell to an incumbent. The government is looking at that," said Dvai Ghose, a telecom analyst at Canaccord Genuity.
He said the government needs to clarify the rules on industry mergers before June 11.
"And even if it does, unless it completely blocks any mergers and acquisitions at all - even between new entrants, which is ludicrous - how can you really have an auction in November? It is a very difficult thing."Mobilicity ramps up buyer search as its debt clock winds down
By RITA TRICHUR
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page B1
Wireless upstart Mobilicity has scoured the globe to find a willing buyer. Its financial advisers have contacted "more than 30" potential purchasers including incumbents, new entrants, international telecoms and U.S. private-equity firms, according to court documents filed as part of the company's restructuring.
But despite those "extensive marketing efforts," the Vaughan, Ont.-based carrier has yet to clinch a binding sale agreement. And time is running out for it to do so before debt holders vote on two plans of arrangement related to its restructuring this month.
"Given its current financial circumstances, the Mobilicity Group needs to either reach agreement with a willing buyer for its business who can finance the operations going forward, or it needs to restructure its capital and secure additional funding in order to advance its business," reads a sworn affidavit of William Aziz, president of Blue Tree Advisors II Inc., who was retained to act as Mobilicity's chief restructuring officer.
Late last month, Mobilicity, legally known as Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc., obtained two court orders allowing it to pursue "strategic options" including a sale. If the firm fails to find a buyer, it will pursue a recapitalization plan to patch up its balance sheet, a move that should keep it operational - for now.
"The plan the company is pursuing leaves it in a good position and funded in any event as we continue to make progress pursuing various strategic options," said CEO Stewart Lyons in an e-mailed statement Wednesday.
Debt holders are scheduled to vote on the two plans at meetings in Toronto on May 21, which leaves the carrier little time to seal a deal with a potential buyer.
Although Telus Corp. commenced takeover talks with Mobilicity earlier this year and is closely monitoring its restructuring process (it had a lawyer present for court proceedings last month, according to a source), the two companies have yet to reach a firm agreement. Even if a deal were to materialize prior to May 21, it is unclear whether the federal government would give its blessing to such a union.
Mobilicity, meanwhile, is fighting a separate court battle with one of its bondholders, private-equity firm Catalyst Capital Group Inc., over a financing deal announced earlier this year. Catalyst, which is headed by distressed-debt expert Newton Glassman, is also eyeing control of Mobilicity and its rival Wind Mobile and is lobbying Ottawa on the file.
All this, however, is raising questions about Mobilicity's future. In addition to searching for a buyer, the company unsuccessfully completed an investor roadshow in 2012 to raise financing. As a result, the company pursued its bridge financing earlier this year.
Still, the company's finances remain shaky, according to court documents, for which some law firm employees were enduring long line-ups this week to obtain.
"For the quarter ended December 31, 2012, the cost of maintaining the Mobilicity Group's network, paying distributors and other service partners exceeded revenue and financing proceeds by approximately $12-million prior to financing costs, or $30-million in total," reads Mr. Aziz's affidavit.
Sources have previously suggested that Mobilicity could be worth about $350-million to $400-million, if the company is mostly valued for its spectrum. But any acquirer would also need the wherewithal to tackle the company's financial woes, which have also been outlined as part of the case.
BY THE NUMBERS
Number of subscribers
Minimum monthly revenue
2012 revenues, up from $51.66-million in 2011.
Total assets, as of the end of 2012.
Annual operating loss
"Total comprehensive loss for the year," compared to $133.4-million for 2011.
Source: Court documentsFor victor, an economic slump and slog await
By BRENT JANG
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page B1
VANCOUVER -- A weakening B.C. economy will weigh heavily on whichever party forms the government after Tuesday's provincial election.
British Columbia's outlook is dogged by slower economic growth in China, slumping commodity prices and questions surrounding how durable the recovery in U.S housing starts will be.
And there's the slump in the local real estate market, which has seen both prices and sales activity fall.
"Whoever is going to win power in the election is going to come into office presiding over an economy that is growing at a very sluggish pace, with a lot of uncertainties and risks out there," Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of British Columbia, said in an interview Monday.
In the short term, there is little influence that any newly elected government will be able to exert on the provincial economy, said Hamish Telford, head of the political science department at the University of the Fraser Valley.
While the NDP and Liberals have sought to highlight their differences on tax policies during the election campaign, "they appear to be different only at the margins," Mr. Telford said.
For instance, the NDP is proposing relatively small shifts such as raising corporate income tax rates slightly higher than the Liberals, he noted.
Over the longer term, greater policy differences emerge.
The NDP in particular has raised concerns about fracking in natural gas production, and the party has vowed to reverse a decision by the B.C. Liberals to streamline provincial environmental reviews with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
The Liberals charge that the NDP would harm the economy, but New Democrats counter that they support job creation in a sustainable fashion.
The B.C. Liberals have been in power since 2001, while the province's New Democratic Party is seeking to win its first B.C. general election since 1996.
The business council forecasts that the province's economy will grow by 1.6 per cent this year, down slightly from an estimated 1.7 per cent last year. British Columbia's growth in real gross domestic product has slowed, compared with 2.6 per cent in 2011.
"We're not changing our 2013 forecast based on who wins the election. We will revisit the forecast later in the year once we see a new budget," Mr. Finlayson said.
For British Columbia, which is banking on increased exports to China to help bolster the province, strong lumber prices have been a pleasant surprise. The rebound in U.S. housing starts has provided a welcome lift to long-suffering B.C. lumber producers. Many of those producers have diversified beyond the United States over the years by selling wood products to Asian customers.
Natural gas markets are showing early signs of staging a recovery.
But a range of other commodities have slumped over the past 18 months, notably prices for coal, copper and zinc - hurt by fears of China's economy taking a breather, PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a report on B.C.'s mining industry.
The Liberals and NDP have touted the potential in exporting liquefied natural gas.
Still, it will take years for the fledgling LNG industry to become a reality, and even then, it is unclear how many projects will go from the drawing board to the production, pipeline and shipping phase.
Two oil pipeline proposals, Northern Gateway and the planned expansion of the Trans Mountain system, are touted by the energy industry as crucial to helping boost Canadian exports.
Those proposals, however, face high hurdles. The NDP, for instance, opposes Kinder Morgan Canada Inc.'s Trans Mountain plans to increase oil tanker traffic at the Port of Vancouver.
Both the Liberals and NDP have expressed major concerns about Northern Gateway.OSFI probes longer-term uninsured mortgages, could act
By TARA PERKINS
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page B1
Canada's bank regulator is casting a wary eye on uninsured mortgages of more than 25 years as policy makers in Ottawa continue to fret about the housing market and high consumer-debt levels.
It is not clear what, if any, actions the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions may take. The regulator is talking to lenders about the issue, and assessing the risks, in deciding whether it needs to crack down.
"We are working to determine the desirability of some changes given current conditions in housing markets and recent trends in household indebtedness," OSFI spokesman Brock Kruger said in an e-mail to the Globe.
Amid fears that Canada's housing market was floating into bubble territory, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has been taking steps to stem the growth of consumer debt and house prices.
The tool he's been using is mortgage-insurance rules, which he has tightened four times since the financial crisis. The most recent changes were last July and included cutting the maximum length of insured mortgages to 25 years from 30.
Mortgage insurance is mandatory in Canada when the borrower has a down payment of less than 20 per cent.
During his time in office, Mr. Flaherty has ensured that he is the one setting the country's mortgage-insurance rules. He's used that power to try to steer the housing market toward a soft landing and to prevent the damage that a housing-market crash could do to the economy.
His ability to preside over the rules stems largely from the fact that the federal government backstops the mortgage insurance that Canada's three mortgage insurers sell.
And, because a large proportion of borrowers have small down payments - especially first-time buyers - his rule changes have had a large impact. Real-estate players say the July changes are what sparked the sharp decline in home sales that has occurred in most parts of the country since then.
But Mr. Flaherty, who has publicly scolded banks for offering ultralow mortgage rates as he tries to take the steam out of the market, has less power over uninsured mortgages, those where the borrower does have a down payment of at least 20 per cent.
Senior bankers say that both he and OSFI have been worried since late last year that banks are continuing to offer looser lending standards, such as long amortizations, on uninsured mortgages.
Some banks argue that because the borrowers have large down payments, Ottawa should not intervene. What OSFI is seeking to get a handle on now is how much risk borrowers in this category pose to the banks.
While data are not available, one banker said that as much as 40 per cent of uninsured mortgages have amortizations greater than 25 years.
The banks don't disclose the lengths of mortgages they are currently selling, but 48 per cent of all outstanding mortgages, both insured and uninsured, in the portfolios of the country's six largest banks have remaining amortization periods of longer than 25 years, National Bank analyst Peter Routledge said.
OSFI is responsible for ensuring banks do not take excessive risks that jeopardize their ability to meet their financial obligations. "Any proposed changes to our mortgage guideline that may result from this work would be subject to a public consultation process," Mr. Kruger said.Entering post-Stronach era, Magna rallies as the company opens the coffers
By GREG KEENAN
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page B3
TORONTO -- AUTO INDUSTRY REPORTER
The days of Magna International Inc. hoarding cash are coming to an end in another demonstration that the auto parts giant is putting the Frank Stronach era behind it.
"We're generating a fair amount of cash and we've got cash on the balance sheet," chief executive officer Don Walker told reporters Friday after the company's annual meeting. "We recognize we need to be putting that cash to work."
The company would like to be cash neutral, chief financial officer Vince Galifi added.
Magna built up its cash pile over more than two decades after Mr. Stronach essentially banned debt after a debt-fuelled expansion binge brought the company to the edge of a financial abyss in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
It endured continued calls from institutional shareholders and analysts to pay higher dividends, buy back shares or make some other effective use of the cash during those years, but Mr. Stronach, founder and until 2010 Magna chairman, insisted the cash hoard remain intact. The cash pile grew to $2.8-billion before the recession hit in 2008.
The strong balance sheet created by the cash pile provided a key pillar that enabled the company to weather the 2008-09 auto crisis and bankruptcy protection filings in 2009 by two of its largest customers, Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. It also put the company in a position to make the winning bid for GM's European Adam Opel division, although GM later cancelled the sale of Opel.
Mr. Stronach stepped down as chairman in 2011 after a controversial buyout of his multiple-voting shares in 2010. Since then, Magna has steadily increased its dividend, bought back shares, restructured its board of directors and taken other shareholder-friendly actions.
The cash will be put to work on capital spending for growth opportunities, acquisitions and more dividend increases and share repurchases, Mr. Walker and Mr. Galifi told the company's annual meeting yesterday. Profit rose to $369-million from $343-million, generating share profit of $1.57 versus $1.46 a year earlier. Revenue rose to $8.36-billion from $7.67-billion.
A brighter outlook for 2013 sales than the company issued in February and an improvement in some troubled European operations also helped send the company's shares up 3.56 per cent to $65.46 in trading on the TSX.Sharks lifted by free-spirited Burns
San Jose's defenceman-turned-forward doesn't always follow the team's plan, but his innovation seems to work
By ERIC DUHATSCHEK
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
SAN JOSE -- firstname.lastname@example.org
One day last week, before the start of their playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, the San Jose Sharks' twin towers, Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, were bantering back and forth in the dressing room and for just a moment, it looked like a scene straight out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Thornton has long been seen as a Spicoli, laid-back, surfer-dude type and Burns is something of that too - his body covered in tattoos, his primary claim to fame, apart from professional hockey, the snakes, reptiles and other exotic animals that he's collected for years.
Burns is fielding a hockey-specific question - about his switch to forward from defence - when Thornton arrived, dripping from sweat after practice. We had been talking about how long this switch might last and Burns's answer was designed to draw Thornton into the conversation: "I think it's good that you can do both. I enjoy playing both. Maybe I'll play wing as long as the big [expletive] here plays. That's my meat there."
Thornton smiled and without pausing, immediately began a new and completely different conversation: "We just abused our backup goaltender out there," he said with what can genuinely be described as a cackle, and off they went, laughing and exchanging barbs.
Nearby, defenceman Scott Hannan, whose locker stall is beside both players, was watching with amusement.
"Brent's like a free spirit," Hannan said, "but he creates a lot out there. Obviously, big bodies are hard to handle, especially with his hands and the quick release he has. He seems to have some chemistry with Joe and Gally [T.J. Galiardi]. You can see it in the room and you can see it on the ice. It's fun to watch him play."
It is not much of a stretch to say that the Sharks' year was - if not saved, then certainly turned around - by a decision coach Todd McLellan made around midseason, when he switched Burns to forward. Burns had missed the early part of the year recovering from a sports-hernia operation and when he came back, a couple of youngsters on defence, Matt Irwin and Justin Braun, were playing well enough for McLellan to get creative. The Sharks had been having trouble scoring and McLellan, who had coached Burns in the minors for AHL Houston when both were in the Minnesota Wild organization, had a proposal for him - move back up front, where he could play the game as a quintessential NHL power forward.
"There was a risk factor in doing that," McLellan said, "because Brent was an all-star defenceman in the National Hockey League for a number of years. But our past relationship - my experience with him in Houston in the lockout prior to this one - allowed for a little bit of experience between the two of us at the position, so I felt good about him having the ability to do it.
"The risk was whether he'd accept that. He's a team guy. He's accepted it - and it's worked out well for us."
In some ways, the Sharks' current plight closely resembles that mid-season swoon, when they were in the depths of a 6-11-6 wheeze. They are down 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings in their Western Conference semi-final playoff series, after a difficult-to-swallow 4-3 loss Thursday night at the Staples Center, in which they gave up a pair of power-play goals in the second-last minute of play to turn imminent victory into unexpected defeat.
The Sharks were especially vexed at a delay-of-game penalty called against defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic because it looked as though Vlasic's clearing attempt might have deflected off the Kings' Jeff Carter on the way over the glass. Vlasic's penalty put them two men down and the Kings converted on both the five-on-three and the five-on-four advantages to turn a one-goal disadvantage into a one-goal lead with 81 seconds left on the clock.
But McLellan suggested that this year's version of the Sharks may be more resilient than previous editions.
"Maybe in the past, this would have bothered our team a little more, but the guys we have, I think we can recover from this," McLellan said. "I think we can get out and play hard again.
"Guys played their hearts out, but as I said after Game 1, that doesn't get you wins in the playoffs. Scoring more than the other team does - and we're going to have to do that."
As for Burns, not many players can move as seamlessly back and forth between positions. Sometimes, a No.7 defenceman might fill in as a fourth-line winger, but this is a different strategy, a deliberate tactic to balance the attack and create three lines that pose a threat.
"People talk about hockey sense, and that you either have it or you don't," McLellan said. "I think you can teach it, you can learn it. You watch some of the better players in the league, at times we coach too many systems. Brent Burns is a prime example. Brent Burns isn't always following our system, I can tell you that. It's frustrating at times, but he's a pretty good offensive player because he's reacting and reading and jumping here and making things happen - but it's not always how we drew it up on the board. We have to give him that freedom - knowing he's not always going to be in the right spot."
Thornton, for one, is enjoying the partnership.
"We have so much fun together," Thornton said. "We're talking the whole time on the bench during games - and even practices and optional skates. We're always laughing and enjoying each other's company. But he's a big force. I've been playing with him a couple of months now and still I sometimes don't know what he's going to do. He's wild out there. It makes it fun - and real enjoyable to play with."
The good news, for the Sharks, is that they have lost just twice in regulation in 26 outings, regular-season and playoffs, at the HP Pavilion this season, a trend that will need to continue in Game 3. In the Sharks' opener against the Kings, Burns was their most dangerous forward - and had three clear-cut chances in the third period, as San Jose pushed hard for the tie. In all, they managed a 16-4 edge in shots, but were foiled at every turn by Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick.
They did get three goals past Quick in Game 2, which only happened to the Kings once in the six-game, first-round series victory over the St. Louis Blues.
"In all of the games after that, it's been goose eggs, or one, or two," McLellan said. "When you get three, you better beat this team."Breaking down the meltdown: What went wrong?
By JAMES MIRTLE
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
Boston -- They thought it was over.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had just scored a backbreaking goal - with youngster Nazem Kadri swatting in a rebound for his first of the series - to make it 4-1 after converting on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 play.
So, with just 14 minutes and 31 seconds to play in Game 7 on Monday night, Boston Bruins fans were already streaming for the exits by the hundreds, looking to beat traffic and assuming their team's season was over.
What came next was unprecedented.
What follows is a blow-by-blow account of how the Leafs became the first NHL team to ever give up a three-goal lead in the third period of a Game 7, a historic meltdown that ended with a 5-4 Bruins win early in overtime:
13 minutes to play in regulation
Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul misses the net from 30 feet out in what becomes Toronto's only attempt at a shot on goal in a long stretch of play as the Bruins began to dominate the zone.
With time running out, however, the chances of a Boston comeback are at this point incredibly slim.
9 Score: 4-1 Leafs
10:42 to play in regulation
With Leafs defencemen Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner retreating quickly and the Bruins' deadliest line on the ice, big Bruins forward Milan Lucic powers into the offensive zone and swings around behind the net to create confusion, time and space.
He quickly spots linemate Nathan Horton alone near the far faceoff dot and hits him with a perfect pass through traffic, teeing up Boston's first goal since the first period as he deftly shoots it high blocker side on Leafs goalie James Reimer.
It is Boston's third shot on goal and seventh attempt since the Leafs went ahead by three goals.
"They took it to us and we sat back," Leafs winger Phil Kessel said.
9 Score: 4-2 Leafs
3:29 to play in regulation
Leafs winger Matt Frattin gets a breakaway late that would almost certainly put the game away at 5-2 if he converts, but his shot misses the net and the Bruins quickly turn the puck the other way for another shot on goal.
Toronto has now been outshot 8-0 in the more than 11 minutes since Kadri's goal.
9 Score: 4-2 Leafs
2:00 to play in regulation
Bruins coach Claude Julien pulls his goaltender to bring out the extra attacker, doing so fairly early due to the fact his team is down two goals and desperate to finally break through.
Thirty seconds later, captain Zdeno Chara gets two quick shots on goal as the Bruins cycle the puck quickly around the zone and both blasts rebound off Reimer and onto the stick of Boston players.
The second one ends up in the back of Toronto's net when Lucic is the recipient on the doorstep, uncontested by the Leafs top defence pair of Dion Phaneuf and Carl Gunnarsson.
"[Expletive] let's go," Lucic barks at his teammates as they celebrate around him. While the Leafs are reeling, there is now only 1 minute, 22 seconds to play.
9 Score: 4-3 Leafs
51 seconds to play in regulation
Julien calls a timeout immediately after Lucic's goal to formulate a game plan, and faceoff ace Patrice Bergeron wins the draw shortly thereafter against Toronto's Jay McClement.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask again charges off the ice, bringing 41-year-old wonder Jaromir Jagr on as the extra attacker, and he sets up high in the offensive zone.
Julien, meanwhile, has instructed the 6-foot-9 Chara to park himself in front of the net.
The Bruins win a battle behind the goal and cycle the puck around as it comes out to the point - Jagr to Bergeron to David Krejci back to Bergeron - with the sixth skater giving them an easy outlet at every opportunity.
Bergeron then unloads a quick wrist shot from dead centre of the blueline - making sure he gets the puck through - and with Reimer unable to see anything but Chara's backside, it deflects off a body in front and finds the back of the net.
The Bruins ultimately outshoot the Leafs 17-6 in the third period and 13-1 after Kadri's goal, with 19 shot attempts to just three for Toronto in that span of less than 15 minutes.
"We sat back a little bit too much and let them come through the neutral zone way too easily," said Franson, who had scored the Leafs' first two goals. "For the last ten minutes of the period, we just received."
The period ends at 9:39 p.m. local time - exactly two and a half hours after the game's opening faceoff - and the underdog Leafs have managed to survive until overtime.
But they're in big trouble.
"We were saying to ourselves, we would have taken overtime coming in this morning," Reimer said of the Leafs conversation during the break between periods. "It's no big deal how it got there; you can't worry about that. It's just next shot, next shot, and win the game."
9 Score: 4-4 tie
Five minutes into overtime and with Boston still pressing, Bruins winger Brad Marchand picks up the puck along the end boards and finds Bergeron at the top of the circle to generate another seemingly harmless shot on goal.
The puck, however, rebounds off Reimer and sits just outside the crease, bobbling around as Bruins winger Tyler Seguin kicks at it with his skate while battling for position with the Leafs defence.
Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner hastily tries to clear the puck to his winger on the half boards, but it ends up directly on Bergeron's stick and then right back into the Leafs net.
The red light goes off, the horn sounds and the building erupts.
Reimer lays on the ice, face down and motionless, as the Bruins spill out onto the ice in celebration.
"They are a relentless group, they have championship potential and we knew they weren't going to give up," Kadri says quietly in the dressing room after the game. "They got a couple quick ones and next thing you know we are on our heels. We couldn't recover."
9 Final score: Bruins win the game 5-4 and the series 4-3 despite leading for only 21.5 per cent of the seven gamesWhat to do with the Sedins?
By DAVID EBNER
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
VANCOUVER -- Amid the four games in which the San Jose Sharks swept the Vancouver Canucks out of their NHL Western Conference quarter-final, in a series where two Sharks - Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski - scored as many goals, eight, as the entire Vancouver roster, two moments stood out.
In the first game, on a power play in the second period, Henrik Sedin received a cross-ice pass in the faceoff circle to the left of San Jose goalie Antti Niemi. Sedin had acres of room and time. He later admitted to being surprised how much time. He stood, he stared. The moment evaporated. The game remained 0-0.
In the last game, in the third period, the Canucks against the wall and down by one, a rebound bounced to Daniel Sedin. He had an open net and was within two metres. He one-timed a slap shot and hit the post. In the blur of it, his brother hoisted his hands in celebration, briefly.
A year from now, the Sedins - the two highest scorers in the club's history - will be unrestricted free agents. Each has a season left at $6.1-million (all currency U.S.). While they perform well in the regular season, a primary reason why the Canucks did not lift the Stanley Cup two years ago, or compete with the Sharks this week, was the Sedins' inability to lead their team when it mattered.
General manager Mike Gillis, in his season postmortem, preached the need to get bigger and younger if the Canucks are to battle in future playoffs - citing two things the soon-to-be 33-year-old twins are not. His tenure as GM has been marked by loyalty to his coach and to players such as Mason Raymond and Manny Malhotra. What Gillis decides to do about the Sedins is likely the biggest challenge he faces as he tries to retool his team to keep it in contention for the Stanley Cup.
The Canucks, still feeling relatively close to a Cup run, eschew the bloodletting the Edmonton Oilers suffered through. The Oilers have been lucky with three consecutive No. 1 overall draft picks, but have missed the playoffs seven consecutive years. Instead, the Canucks choose something of a Calgary Flames route: keep the core, try (again) to complement it, and put the head down for another season. It did not work in Calgary, where the team held on to Jarome Iginla too long, believing he and Miikka Kiprusoff could carry the Flames. The situation is not precisely the same in Vancouver, but it is a danger that the Canucks will fork off on Calgary's road to nowhere.
When asked about the core of the team on Thursday, Gillis rattled off a list of names from Cory Schneider to Ryan Kesler - even Jannik Hansen - before saying: "When we get to Daniel and Henrik, they've played an awful lot of hockey, but I still feel they're competitive, they want to play, they're excellent players, they're top players in the league. We have to support them better."
It is unclear whether support means a beefier, younger squad that complements the Sedins for one more season, or whether the Sedins are central for several more years in Vancouver. They are past their scoring-title wins. Moving them seems tough. It is hard to imagine other teams want a pair that make $12.2-million a year and can't score in the playoffs, in a straight-up trade, or even at next year's trade deadline. So, then, a contract extension, at lesser, cap-friendly rates?
Asked about re-signing the Sedins this summer to a contract extension, Gillis said, "We're going to formulate a plan," a slight dodge, speaking about the plan for the roster and club as a whole.
When team captain Henrik Sedin was asked if he and his brother would sign an extension this summer, he was unequivocal: "Yes, absolutely."
Ron Bremner was president of the Calgary Flames from 1996 through 2001, dark years when the team missed the playoffs five times. That hard slog is part of the reason that the Flames, after finally cracking through to near-glory in the 2004 Stanley Cup final, kept at it, feeling that going for it year after year was wise, pushing until it was too late.
"I don't think there is one blue pill, so to speak, that answers all the questions," Bremner said. "There's different roads to get to Rome."
When asked how close Vancouver is to competing for the Stanley Cup, Henrik Sedin pointed to the Sharks, who have faced many questions about their ability to win a championship.
"If you look at the team that beat us, that swept us, they've had these questions for the past eight years," Sedin said. "I'd rather be changing a few things, trying to get better, losing out in the first round, than other teams being at the bottom, trying to fix everything. With a few tweaks, we have the team to be a contender."He's No. 2, and loving it
Bautista hits two of Toronto's five home runs in rout of Red Sox
By MATTHEW CARROLL
The Associated Press
Monday, May 13, 2013 Print Edition, Page S3
BOSTON -- Jose Bautista looks comfortable in the No. 2 slot in the Toronto Blue Jays' batting order.
Bautista hit two of Toronto's five home runs, and the Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 12-4 Sunday to take two of three in the weekend series.
"You get three or four runs ahead," Bautista said, "that's when some guys come out and are able to take some big hacks and we get the types of results we got today."
Bautista batted second for the second consecutive day after hitting in his usual cleanup slot through his first 31 games. He went two for three with a walk Sunday and is four for seven with two homers and a pair of walks batting second.
Different spot. Same approach.
"Pitchers know who I am, and I know who they are, and I know how they're going to try to get me out," he said. "If they execute, they get me out, and if I execute, I'm probably going to hit a ball hard somewhere."
Bautista hit 54 homers in 2010 and 43 a year later, then dropped to 27 last season as a wrist injury caused him to miss 70 of the final 72 games. He entered Sunday's game hitting just .236 with seven home runs.
"He'll get on his rolls," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "When it's all said and done, he's going to have a great year for us. Maybe this is the start of something? We'll find out."
Emilio Bonifacio, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie also homered for the Blue Jays, who have won just seven of their last 20 and are last in the AL East at 15-24. They finished a 4-3 trip.
"It's a great way to bounce back because we were playing pretty bad," Bautista said. "It's good to just be playing good baseball. We're playing way better baseball than when we were struggling and that's a bright spot for sure."
Chad Jenkins (1-0) got his second major-league win and first since Oct. 2, allowing two runs and seven hits in five innings-plus. It was just the fourth big-league start and 14th appearance for Jenkins, who missed most of spring training and the start of the season with shoulder inflammation.
"To see the guys come out and put up that kind of run support, it really makes it easier on me, knowing I've got a little bit of wiggle room to work with," Jenkins said. "Last night we got clutch hits, and then today they were just pounding balls left and right, and that was awesome to watch."
Mike Napoli and Pedro Ciriaco homered for Boston, which has lost eight of 10 following a 20-8 start under new manager John Farrell.
"I know it's a cliche, but things are evening out," Farrell said.
Ryan Dempster (2-4) gave up six runs and seven hits, including three homers, in five innings, his shortest start this season. The British Columbia native had been 6-0 against Toronto and Montreal in his big-league career.
Boston's Shane Victorino crashed into the right-field wall in the fourth while catching Colby Rasmus's drive and fell to the ground, writhing in pain. After being attended to by team personnel, Victorino remained in the game but left after the sixth inning and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
"Oh man," said Toronto reliever Darren Oliver, who was in the bullpen at the time. "He hit that wall hard."
Munenori Kawasaki hit a two-run single in the second, and Bautista sent Dempster's first pitch of the third into the seats above the Green Monster in left.
"I'm sure he didn't want to throw it in that spot," Bautista said of Dempster's fastball. "He was painting away on me all game long, and that ball crept up to where I like it more, over the heart of the plate, middle in, and I was able to connect."
Bonifacio hit a two-run homer in the fourth for a 5-0 lead, his first home run since last July 23 for Miami.
Napoli led off the fourth with his seventh homer, and Encarnacion homered in the fifth to make it 6-1. Lawrie homered off Andrew Miller leading off the sixth and Bautista hit a two-run drive off Clayton Mortensen later in the inning for a 10-1 lead, Bautista's ninth homer this year. He has 18 career multihomer games.
"He left it up in the zone where off-speed pitches get punished," Bautista said, "and I was able to connect on that as well."Blue Jays sweep the champs
It was only two games, but Toronto cashes in against error-prone San Francisco to win a series at home for first time this season
By ROBERT MACLEOD
Thursday, May 16, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
TORONTO -- With one out in the first inning, San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro drifted to his left to settle under a flare knocked into shallow right field off the bat of Jose Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays slugger.
The ball hit Scurato right where he wanted - in his glove - and then popped out and onto the artificial turf for an embarrassing error.
Scutaro would soon have company in which to commiserate.
After Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong issued a walk to Edwin Encarnacion, up stepped J.P. Arencibia to the plate and he lashed a line drive to centre field that Angel Pagan appeared to have a bead on.
Appearances can be deceiving for the Giants these days.
The ball glanced off Pagan's glove for another San Francisco fielding gaffe that allowed the first two Toronto runs to score.
Adam Lind then followed with a two-run home run and this laugher was in full bloom for the 32,863 fans who turned up and celebrated with the roof wide open on a glorious spring night.
For the second consecutive game the defending World Series champion Giants (23-17) resembled the gang that couldn't see straight.
Their errant ways made things ridiculously easy for the Blue Jays, who rolled to an 11-3 victory at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night.
With the victory the Blue Jays have won a series at home for the first time this year after going 0-5-1.
After a disastrous start to the major-league baseball season, the Blue Jays (17-24) have finally started to swing some mean sticks of late, their lopsided win over the Giants representing their fourth in a row, the first time they have reached that plateau this year.
In sweeping the mini two-game set, the Blue Jays made the Giants look like a Triple-A team on an off night.
In Tuesday's opener, which the Blue Jays won 10-6, the Giants committed two errors as the Blue Jays batted around for six runs in the first inning.
It was almost comical to watch, but Bruce Bochy, the Giants manager, said there was nothing funny about it.
"We try not to laugh about it that night," Bochy said before Wednesday's game. "I was going to take the [pitching] staff out and all of them bailed on me, they were in such a bad mood."
It was deja vu all over again on Wednesday, with the Blue Jays sending nine men to the plate and scoring five runs, all unearned thanks to the fielding follies of Scutaro and Pagan.
For the Blue Jays, it marked the first time they have batted around in the first inning in consecutive games since April, 1994, when they ripped Seattle and then Oakland.
The Blue Jays have now scored 33 runs on 41 hits over their last three games.
Toronto will now enjoy an off day on Thursday before opening up a three-game weekend series in New York against the American League East-leading Yankees.
Everybody in the starting nine for the Blue Jays, save for Munenori Kawasaki, recorded at least a hit.
Melky Cabrera, who has been on a tear of late with the bat, doubled in three official at-bats and has now hit safely in 10 of Toronto's last 12 games.
Before the game, the Jays said that an MRI exam on Cabrera's legs, which have bothered him most of the year, did not reveal any significant issues.
The tests show that Cabrera has a right quadriceps irritation and a left hamstring irritation but won't have to miss any playing time as long as his pain tolerance holds up.
After conceding five runs in the first inning to fall behind 5-1 you would have thought the Giants had put the worst behind them.
That wasn't the case as the Jays tagged on three more in the second, an inning that started when Giants right fielder Hunter Pence butchered a line shot by Lind, allowing the ball to fly over his head for a double.
Bautista then followed with a hard grounder up the middle that Scutaro let slide beneath his glove for another Toronto run.
Arencibia then whacked Toronto's second home run of the game, a two-run skyscraper to the second deck in left, that brought the score to 8-0.
It all made for a rather leisurely night for Ramon Ortiz, making his second spot start for the Blue Jays.
Ortiz did what he had to do - put the ball across the plate - and he worked a solid seven innings, allowing one Giants run off six hits.Eller's skate lifts spirits
Injuries sideline Gionta, Prust, White, maybe Price
By SEAN GORDON
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
BROSSARD, QUE. -- When the seas start washing over the main decks, you reach for something buoyant.
It might just be that the flailing Montreal Canadiens will latch on to a metaphorical life raft in this shred of news: Injured centre Lars Eller skated on his own on Wednesday at the team's practice facility.
There's no timetable for the Dane's return - the impromptu twirl came only six days after a devastating, illegal hit by Ottawa Senators defenceman Eric Gryba - but his mere presence constitutes a boost for a team badly in need of one.
"It's great news," head coach Michel Therrien said. "He's a kid everybody likes."
Otherwise, the tidings from the Habs' camp are grim.
Captain Brian Gionta has been ruled out for the year after tearing his left biceps tendon. He will have surgery Friday. Tough guy Brandon Prust will not play in Thursday's elimination game with the Sens because of an upper-body injury. Ryan White is out for the same reason.
Starting goaltender Carey Price is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body problem, although the fact he couldn't play the overtime period of Ottawa's 3-2 comeback win in Game 4 augurs poorly.
But if the good ship CH is about to slip below the surface, its crew members aren't interested in meekly accepting their fate.
"We have another opportunity [Thursday] to play, and we can beat these guys. We're better," defenceman P.K. Subban said .
Precedent suggests the Habs won't succeed in climbing out of a 3-1 hole (it happens only 8.7 per cent of the time), but several current members of the team - Subban included - remember when they pulled it off in the 2010 playoffs against Washington. Only the Habs are the favourites in this series rather than an unheralded eighth seed, and the Slovak goaltender who looks likely to start Game 5 is Peter Budaj, not Jaroslav Halak.
Though the team is being coy about its choice of starting netminder, Budaj says he's ready should he be called upon to make his first playoff start.
"We'll see what the status is tonight and tomorrow with Carey, and we're going to go from there," said the veteran backup, who copped to misplaying Kyle Turris's overtime winner on Tuesday when he came on in relief of Price. "It's a bad goal, I definitely could have stopped it," Budaj said.
Despite the mounting injuries and the fact they have a hammerlock on the series, the Senators profess to be taking nothing for granted.
"We're scared to death, I know that. I know I am," Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean said.
That's a sensible enough stance, even if Gryba seemed a good deal less frightened: "We can smell blood, we can taste blood, and it's time to put them away."
The Habs will surely have something to say about that in front of their home crowd.
That said, there's no miracle recipe to ignite a comeback. Gionta said it boils down to sticking with what works until you get the desired result, and absent the third-period lapses in three of the four first games, the Habs have been the better of the two clubs.
"You draw on the things you've done in the series that have made you successful . . . you try to win one game, and you go from there," said the 34-year-old Gionta, who expects to be ready for training camp (he suffered an identical injury to his right arm last year, which took four months to heal).
Therrien is fond of citing his team's courage. He pointed to Gionta, who tried to play through the injury in Game 3 and "was crying in my arms" after doctors told him his season was over.
Thursday's game will provide an indication of how much courage his team possesses.
Subban said the pressure is on the Senators, and vowed the Habs will give them everything they can handle and more.
"When we come out of the gates and we're flying, guys are going to realize that we're a better team, and there's still life in this series for us," Subban said. "It takes guys in this room to believe that. They want to end this thing. But they've got to beat us first, so good luck to them."
With a report from Roy MacGregorCanada stretches futility string
By DONNA SPENCER
The Canadian Press
Friday, May 17, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
STOCKHOLM -- The quarter-final of the IIHF men's world championship has become a hurdle Canada just can't get over.
Canada was eliminated from medal contention in the round of eight for a fourth consecutive year. This time: a 3-2 shootout quarter-final loss to host Sweden.
Canada last advanced to the semi-finals in 2009, en route to a silver medal. Current head coach Lindy Ruff was behind the bench that year too. Canada last won a world title in 2007.
For all the skill, experience and firepower this Canadian team had at forward, shootouts were not its forte in Stockholm.
Thursday's loss in extra shots was Canada's second of the tournament following a 3-2 shootout loss to Switzerland in the preliminary round.
Fredrik Pettersson scored the winner in the fourth round and Canada's Jordan Eberle was stopped by Jhonas Enroth as the Swedes moved onto a semi-final meeting Saturday with arch-rival Finland. The United States and Switzerland meet in the other semi-final.
In the two shootouts combined, Canada scored twice on 12 chances. Eberle and Matt Duchene were both 1-for-4. Claude Giroux was a combined 0-for-2. Steve Stamkos and Matt Read were also stopped on their single attempts.
"When you look at the numbers of some of our shooters, how good the numbers are, that's the one thing we let slip away," Ruff said.
"Shootouts are strange. You want curse at shootouts sometimes and then you want to second-guess the personnel you use when you don't score and you're happy when you do score.
"You would think you'd be able to put it away, but it's a split second. You've got a chance to be a hero or you end up being a bum."
Goalie Mike Smith was in net for both shootout losses in addition to earning wins of 3-0 and 2-1 over Sweden and the Czech Republic respectively in the round robin.
"It's the worst feeling obviously," Smith said. "Every time we put the Canada sweater on, you are expected to win. This is tough to take."
Stamkos and Giroux scored for Canada on Thursday. Smith, who played in his first world championship, made 30 saves in regulation and overtime.
Enroth stopped 39 before the shootout. Jacob Markstrom made a pair of saves when Enroth left the game briefly in overtime. Sweden coach Par Marts said it was because Enroth needed hydration.
Canada has three practices as a team before playing seven games in 10 days in the round robin. The NHL's lockout-shortened season ended three weeks later than usual, so there was no time for a proper training camp or exhibition games.
Despite their lack of prep, the team won six games, lost two in a shootout and finished second in their pool to the Swiss. Eberle has now been on Canadian teams that have lost those four quarter-finals in a row, and Duchene has experienced it three times.
"It doesn't get any easier," Duchene said. "Third time losing for me losing in this game and the fourth time for a couple of other guys. It hurts. I can't believe we lost. I thought we had the team to do it this year. It just shows you one game, anyone can win. We don't like that penalty shot rule, that's for sure. It sucks we couldn't keep playing overtime."
Despite heaping the pressure on Canada for the quarter-final by declaring itself the underdog, Sweden had its swagger by the end of the preliminary round because of the arrival of forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin and defenceman Alex Edler from the Vancouver Canucks.
Canada added defenceman P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Dan Hamhuis from the Canucks after the tournament started.
Edler played less than a period Thursday. He was tossed after a knee-on-knee hit with Canada's Eric Staal. The captain writhed on the ice in pain and did not return to the game.
Ruff didn't have a postgame update on the Carolina Hurricanes captain, but Staal was on crutches and wearing a brace on his right knee following the loss.
Trailing 1-0 in the third, both Sedins assisted on a pair of power-play goals by Nicklas Danielsson, although Giroux pulled Canada even.Detroit's reward: Date with top-seeded Chicago
The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Print Edition, Page S2
DETROIT -- Detroit needed to win each of its last four games of the regular season just to get into the NHL playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season.
After rallying from a 3-2 series deficit against the Anaheim Ducks, the seventh-seeded Red Wings refused to be knocked out and credited that regular-season streak for getting them to the second round.
"Those last four games really helped our team," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "We almost had a series before the postseason started."
The Red Wings' reward isn't much of a prize.
The league's top-seeded team, the Chicago Blackhawks, will play host to Game 1 on Wednesday to start a best-of-seven series in which they'll be heavily favoured. During the regular season, Chicago beat Detroit in overtime once, twice in shootouts and added a 7-1 rout March 31 at Joe Louis Arena.
"They had our number the regular season," Zetterberg said. "It's a great team. They're stacked with forwards. They're stacked in the back line. And they have a good goalie. It's going to be a tough series for us, but it's going to be a fun one."
It's also might be the last time the two Original Six teams play each other in the postseason for a long time. After this year, the next time they would meet in the playoffs, it would be for the Stanley Cup.
The Western Conference rivals, who have split a dozen seven-game series, will be interconference foes next year, because Detroit is headed to the East as part of the league's realignment.
The Red Wings might be able to play loose with nothing to lose because few outside of their dressing room will expect them to reach the conference final for the first time since 2009. That year, Detroit eliminated Chicago in five games and was a win away from repeating as Stanley Cup champions.
"In the league right now, any team can beat any team," Red Wings defenceman Kyle Quincey said. "We said from Day 1, we knew it would be tough to get into playoffs and we battled all the way to the end. We just said to try to get in and see what happens. We saw what L.A. did last year and, hopefully, we can keep going and give Chicago a run."
Goaltender Jimmy Howard has validated the team's decision to sign him to a six-year contract extension last month, by making 70 saves over the last two games against Anaheim. While Howard insisted the Red Wings believe they can play with anybody, he's also not striking a cocky tone .
"We're going to have our hands full, let's be honest," he said. "They're a very deep team at every position."Suddenly on the outside
After decades at the centre of Parliament Hill, first as a journalist, then as a senator, Mike Duffy retreats far away from the action
By BILL CURRY, JANE TABER AND JAMES ADAMS
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Print Edition, Page A4
OTTAWA and CAVENDISH, PEI and TORONTO -- Mike Duffy was the nerve centre of Parliament Hill.
In the years before his appointment to the Senate, the CTV journalist was the first to host a daily political supper-hour show from the House of Commons foyer. It is the heart of the action where politicians scrum and is just one floor down from the Prime Minister's Office. Cabinet ministers would stop by on their way in and out of the House of Commons, and his early-generation BlackBerry was constantly buzzing.
"What are you hearing?" was Mr. Duffy's go-to line to anyone walking by his set. The Mike Duffy of the mid-2000s would have enjoyed covering a good Senate scandal.
Now the former journalist finds himself as far away from the action as possible, announcing his resignation from the Conservative caucus while staying at the Prince Edward Island cottage that is at the core of his current troubles.
On Friday, Mr. Duffy's troubles deepened as the Conservative majority said it plans to send his expenses back for more study by a committee in light of allegations he may have billed the Senate while doing both personal and political work. To make matters worse for the Tories, Senator Pamela Wallin said Friday she will resign from the Conservative caucus and sit as an independent until an audit of her travel expenses is complete.
The government's plan is clearly to distance itself from Mr. Duffy and deflect questions regarding the $90,000 gift from the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Nigel Wright, that Mr. Duffy used to repay expenses that were improperly claimed. Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson is looking into the issue, the government points out.
"Obviously there's some outstanding questions and our office is in contact with the Office of the Ethics Commissioner for one angle and Senator Duffy has some questions to answer, but he'll answer those as an independent senator now," said the Prime Minister's spokesperson, Andrew MacDougall.
In other words, Mr. Duffy, 66, is suddenly on the outside looking in.
A prominent Chrétien-era Liberal strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was "always an open secret that Mike was lobbying for the Senate," even back in the Mulroney era. But it was the Tories, not the Liberals, who appointed him to the Senate in 2008. And Mr. Duffy instantly became a high-profile fundraiser for the Harper Tories. In June, 2009, he hosted a town hall event featuring Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his "Economic Action Plan," and he's been appearing at partisan fundraisers ever since.
The consummate Ottawa insider got his start in broadcasting as a DJ at CKDH, a radio station in Amherst, N.S., and called himself the "Round Mound of Sound." He worked at CHNS in Halifax and broke stories covering Halifax city hall and the legislature. In 1969, he joined a CTV affiliate in Montreal and then went to Ottawa and Parliament Hill with the CHUM group. In 1974, he joined CBC radio and then The National. In 1988, he returned to CTV and became the host of Sunday Edition.
It was in 1999 that Mr. Duffy was named Ottawa Editor at CTV Newsnet and began appearing daily from Parliament Hill. A year after his appointment, in October, 2000, he was charged and pleaded guilty to driving with more than the legal limit of alcohol in his bloodstream. He was fined $600 and his driver's licence was suspended.
Mr. Duffy told The Globe in 2007 that as a youngster he participated in "a lot of sports and wasn't fat." But his girth expanded as his career did, fuelled by "constant insecurity" and bad habits. Ann Medina, a CBC correspondent from 1975 to 1988, recalled that Mr. Duffy was not what she termed "a gentleman journalist" content to sit in the office watching a federal-provincial conference on the monitor. "He was out there, up until midnight or 1:00 in the morning, calling, drinking, whatever, with any of the premier's aides he could get a hold of, digging, digging, digging. The next morning ... he'd pigeonhole anybody going into [the building where the meeting was held] that he could get information from and freeze his ass in the frigid Ottawa winter."
Mr. Duffy has never given any indication of financial trouble, though the PMO has suggested that one of the reasons Mr. Wright stepped in to help him is because the senator was facing financial difficulties.
During his time as a political journalist at CTV, Mr. Duffy earned more than $200,000 a year, plus a clothing allowance, sources said. He was also known for butting heads with bosses over high expense claims.
As a senator, Mr. Duffy receives an annual salary of $135,200. He will not qualify for any Senate pension unless he stays in the position until Jan. 2, 2015, his six-year anniversary. Should he remain in the Senate until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75, he will qualify for an indexed pension of $58,264, according to calculations by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
While some senators sit on corporate boards, Mr. Duffy does not, but he does work in "media consulting and public speaking" as the director and president of Mike Duffy Media Services, according to Senate records. One long-time associate said: "Mike can't possibly be broke. ... He was always pretty smart about where he put his money."
The release of the Duffy audit created a stir among Conservative MPs and senators. And the revelation of Mr. Wright's generous cheque came as a surprise, given that Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy were not known to be close friends. It also came at a time when some in the Conservative caucus are pushing back at the powers of the PMO.
"When the executive - and PMO is the head of the executive - gets involved in matters of legislators, that's a problem and to me that's a concern," said Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber, who is among a group of MPs pushing for Parliament to be more independent of the PMO.
Meanwhile, Mr. Duffy remains holed up in his Cavendish cottage. When asked via e-mail on Friday whether he would speak to The Globe, he replied: "No." The one-storey building is modest, but the view is breathtaking - looking across the the Gulf of St. Lawrence over an expanse of Cavendish Beach, filled with grasses and sand dunes. On Friday, police checked the identification of a CTV News crew there and asked them to stay off the Duffy property.
On the streets of PEI, where islanders once stuck up for one of their own, the tide appears to be shifting.
Islanders interviewed this week say they are embarrassed and disgusted with Mr. Duffy's behaviour. The widely held view is that Mr. Duffy is not from the island, something that the senator denies. In an unscientific poll in the Charlottetown Guardian this week, 93 per cent of readers said Mr. Duffy should resign.
"He's not from here," said John Houston, a retired Islander, adding that Mr. Duffy should quit the Senate entirely. "It was disappointing that he would do something like that."