Prince Charming at the corner table— John Turner awaits his rightful call
Peter C. Newman
They gather each day just after high noon in the burgundy plush of Winston’s Restaurant on Toronto’s Adelaide Street, the high-rollers who conduct, or like to think they order Canada’s economic and political universe. They come here to compare corporate exploits, share fiscal confidences and make the deals that will eventually spread their money and their talent, their arrogance and sense of predestiny across the country and the continent.
In November, 1975, a thin young man from Louisiana stole a folk festival in Montreal with a rendition of an old Acadian folk song, L'Arbre est dans ses feuilles. With his serious demeanor and his strange curling bayou vowels, Zachary Richard seemed like a voice from the past, an exotic reminder of the expulsion of his Acadian ancestors from Eastern Canada two centuries ago.
The people who put out File magazine (in which art imitates Life and lets your fingers do the walking through the avant-garde) are throwing a party. On Friday, Oct. 13, the top of Toronto’s CN Tower will bulge with 800 assorted—very assorted—guests, gathered in their sharkfin hats and wingtip shoes to celebrate the 10th birthday of a trio of performance artists known as General Idea.
It’s not enough, apparently, that the Winnipeg pedestrian has to trudge through blizzards and razor-back winds to cross a downtown street in February. This season, when a new $6-million underground concourse is completed, the pedestrian who ventures across Portage and Main may also get slapped with a ticket.
The adventures of the poor, redhaired orphan Anne Shirley adjusting to her new home and family may well be the only thing some Japanese youngsters know about Prince Edward Island—or Canada for that matter. For in the 70 years since it was first published, Lucy Maude Montgomery’s touching story of Anne of Green Gables has earned a spot among the children’s classics of the world; famous around the globe, positively a cult in Japan.
As pragmatism nudges out hedonism in the laid-forward '70s, marijuana—one of the last totems of socially unredeemed pleasure—is showing signs of an image change. The medical profession is taking a close look at the palliative powers on certain diseases of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient.
From another culture’s point of view, the purveyors of modern medicine must look odd: dressed in white garments, they shine lights in their patients’ ears and make marks in a secret language on a piece of paper. Pass this note over a “drug counter” and it returns, miraculously, as a vial of pellets.
Right now, in his heavily guarded compound at San Clemente, California, Richard Nixon is dusting off his corkscrew character to launch a new, vintage persona. Tired of his four years of self-imposed exile, confident that Watergate has lost its sting, Nixon wants to take his “rightful” place in the power structure, as a kind of elder statesman or perhaps a consultant to the White House.
After reading Barbara Amiel’s article, But How Will They Teach Little Girls . . . (Sept. 18), I can assure her that the issue of sex-role stereotyping is no laughing matter to adolescents. As a psychologist I have conducted a number of studies of personality development as well as having counselled a number of individuals.
What price royalty? Organizers of Winnipeg's St. Boniface General Hospital Research Foundation fund-raising drive are hoping it's high—high enough to attract 3,000 patrons to a $50-a-plate dinner Oct. 15, at which Prince Philip will receive the foundation's international medal.
Ming vases, acrobats and proverbs were once the standard cultural fare exported by China to North America. But with Madame Mao’s merry Gang of Four no longer martialing the arts, the West is in for more substantive stuff . . . such as Walt Disney bamboo-style.
Howard Jarvis, the 76-yearold revolutionary who spearheaded California’s Proposition 13 (the citizen referendum which lowered property tax by over 30 per cent), will bring his antitax bandwagon to Canada. On Oct. 18, Jarvis will be the guest speaker at a Toronto conference on real property taxes in Ontario, but so far his visit hasn’t created much interest.
At half-past midnight on Sept. 27, André Ouellet, acting labor minister, and Bob McGarry, president of the Letter Carriers’ Union of Canada, emerged beaming from a conference room on the top floor of one of the shiny, new office towers the government has built across the river from Parliament Hill in Hull, Quebec.
The timing was felicitous. Just when the Queen’s federal mail service had degenerated to a worse than usual mess, Quebec’s independence-bent government displayed a series of mock-up postage stamps designed for an eventual—and presumably more reliable— Quebec postal service.
Time warps in Lotbinière county, where isolated farmers still use oxen to plow fields incongruously dappled with hydroelectric pylons. In the villages, spires of old stone churches are challenged by ugly drilling rigs manned by Albertans who probe the St. Lawrence valley for natural gas.
The prosecutor could only recall one other case where murder took so long to out, and that was 200 years ago—in Chaucer’s homeland, by the way. But the Crown’s concern in Winnipeg last week was the death of John Down, 25, an RCAF leading aircraftsman whose naked and broken body was found 19 years ago on the sidewalk beneath the second-storey bedroom window of the house he had shared with his wife,Katie.
The Great Komar can lie atop a bed of nails while two men bounce up and down on his belly, but he has to earn his living as a cuckoo-clock salesman in a Wooster, Ohio, cheese factory. “The only ones who make any money out of this are the charlatans,” he laments.
Brian James MacKenzie Caldwell drove 100 miles from Brampton to attend. Another man arrived from Flesherton—160 miles away. And some 300 citizens of Peterborough, Ontario— stout monarchists all—braved a light drizzle to appear at the first meeting of C.O.W. (Crown or What), a local pressure group convinced that the Liberal government’s constitutional proposals are “a diabolical plot” to scuttle Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Dirty work north: how the CIA keeps tabs on Canada
In Washington circles, William Schapp is known as military-law expert by day and spy-writer by night, composing, in those appropriately dark hours, articles dedicated to exposing Central Intelligence agents and other people he calls "thugs of imperialism.”
When Conservative leader Joe Clark announced his plan to make mortgage-interest payments tax deductible last month, even his own advisers were taken aback by the gobs of good publicity he got. Housing developers, construction unions and homeowners—all people with a vested interest in the scheme—joined in their praise.
To many Roman Catholics it seemed like a sudden, awesome sign: the “little wren” had perished. Just when their humble, beloved new pontiff had started to calm the turbulent forces of change within the church with the warmth of his smile, Pope John Paul I was dead of a heart attack.
On the morning of the day he died, Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul, was up as usual at 5:30. After washing and shaving with his electric razor, he spent about an hour in prayer and solitary reflection in the private chambers of the Apostolic Palace.
After six years of intense negotiations, the United States and the Soviet Union are closer than ever this week to reaching a new strategic arms treaty and President Jimmy Carter to achieving a second major international breakthrough after Camp David.
Not long ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua told a Western contact that his country needed 20 years of peace to modernize its economy and bring its society up to date. Last week that hope began to seem a shade optimistic. Peking reported that on its southern border the Vietnamese were systematically "preparing for war” — clearing houses to create fields of fire, plowing dugouts and setting up new barbed-wire fortifications—and for the second time in a month broke off talks with Hanoi about mutual problems.
The United Nations and South Africa moved a step nearer confrontation last week over Namibia. After days of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring and some tough talking from Canadian External Affairs Minister Don Jamieson and other critics, the Security Council came down off the fence and gave the Pretoria government three weeks in which to rethink its opposition to the UN’s plans for Namibian independence.
One judge called it “the worst crime of its kind since the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” But with the conviction last week of the second of four young Chinese Americans, San Francisco police were well on the way to wrapping up the gruesome Golden Dragon case and making Chinatown—the city’s major tourist area—safe again.
They came as the rusty freighter Southern Cross drifted, her engines broken down, in the South China Sea—four small wooden fishing boats crammed to bursting with mothers, babies and their menfolk. As the captain of the 850-ton tramp radioed later, “They just came aboard.
The three terrorists at Sunday target practice in the wood near Dortmund, West Germany, may have thought they were safe. But their shots scared local residents who, in turn, alerted police. Within minutes, after a real-life shootout, a young policeman lay dead and two of the terrorists, a man and woman, both wounded, were in police hands.
King Hassan II of Morocco is unlikely to have been amused. After defying attempts by his armed forces to crush them for the past three years, Polisario Front guerrillas seeking the independence of the desolate Western Sahara have recently stepped up their attacks; and last week, as their fourth congress opened "somewhere in the liberated zone," they had the temerity to parade four captured Moroccan soldiers and a fighter pilot whose aircraft had been shot down.
Once voted the world’s most beautiful woman, Ava Gardner is now 56, looking slightly doughy around the middle, and during the Montreal filming of her latest disaster flick City on Fire (she did Earthquake in ’74) she was so near-sighted she couldn’t read the cue cards without her glasses.
Drooping downward through months of worldwide contempt, unresponsive to central-bank market intervention, growing more sickly through four interest-rate increases, Canada’s dollar has become the invalid among international currencies. Amid mollifying phrases from Ottawa mandarins which mystified money traders the dollar tumbled another 2½ cents during the month of September and was hovering below 85 cents last week.
The reflecting walls of the Bank of Canada’s glistening new $67-million Ottawa headquarters are a stroke of architectural genius, a touch that explains the institution’s image and intention. Panels of glass and discreetly oxidized copper overwhelm the onlooker with solidity while imparting the illusion of openness.
It might just become a Zurich without the mountains. Winnipeg’s ever-innovative Commodity Exchange, home to grain trading and pork-belly futures, is about to hang out another shingle: The world's first trading post for options of gold futures contracts.
A pitcher’s mound is only a slight elevation above the rest of the field, but when Ronald Ames Guidry stands upon it he is shrouded in rarefied air. Besides the usual pitcher’s paraphernalia of the rubber and rosin, present are the legendary limbs that hurled the hieroglyphics that etched history.
There were no signs saying Welcome to Tomorrowland, but officials of Ontario’s Urban Transportation Development Corporation—watching the “lift-off” of their new $l-million prototype “people mover” in Kingston late last month—might have been kids at a science-fiction fantasy show.
For years, Quebec’s pulp press has stretched along the bottom rack of the newsstands, racy tabloids that dwell on crime, or the lives of the stars of Quebec show business. With names like Allô Police, Echos’-Vedettes, and Gala des Artistes, they have thrived on gossip, sensationalism, and a shockedbut-fascinated dollop of sex.
One of the strong suspicions about oral contraceptives is that they’ve been responsible for birth defects. Studies had shown that babies born to women who were on the Pill suffered a slightly higher incidence of heart defects as well as a greater number of improperly formed limbs.
The patient was a blonde 10-yearold, pigtailed, freckled and blueeyed like a girl in a Norman Rockwell painting. The sunniness ended there. She was so severely disabled by epilepsy that she was considered unmanageable and retarded. She was given to violent temper tantrums.
This autumn, as the faculty returned to the quiet campus of McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, members were met with a special Thanksgiving harvest: the largest number of students in the history of the 90year-old Baptist college.
In the struggle to pump coal-black petroleum up from oceans’ depths, the shock troops are the divers. There are 1,500 of these young men ministering to giant offshore oil rigs, some in fins and face masks diving just below the surface, others in hard hats laying pipeline or welding in inky darkness 600 feet down—where if their life-support systems failed they’d be instantly compacted into something resembling strawberry jam.
You may never live to see another movie as overpoweringly beautiful as this one; and if you don’t, you might consider yourself lucky. Set in the Texas of 1916 where migrant workers slave for a wheat king’s harvest (it was shot in Alberta), it’s breathtaking—an almost biblical condemnation of materialism woven with a longing for an earlier time.
Hugh MacLennan’s Two Solitudes tackled a grand theme—the relationship between French and English in Canada during the early years of this century and the whole question of national identity—and tackled it grandly. If his novel occasionally teetered on the platitudinous and the portentous MacLennan, a master storyteller, never went over the edge.
WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Someone is bumping off the giants of continental gastronomy in the manner their best dishes are executed: a Swiss chef is baked, an Italian boiled alive, and so on. Jacqueline Bisset, half the animal population hanging from her person, is “the finest dessert chef in the world”; George Segal is her shrill ex-husband with a fetish for fast foods; and Robert Morley the rotund gourmet-magazine publisher, who does get off a few good ones.
As the sexy little murderess whose patricide and attempted matricide caused a sensation in France in the '30s, Isabelle Huppert shared the best actress award this year at Cannes. In cloche hat and curls that serve as a corona for her dirty-cherub face, she’s the only point of interest in this discursive Franco-Canadian co-production directed by Claude Chabrol (La Femme infidèle), who sometimes thinks he’s the French Hitchcock.
"How come you’re in such a good mood?” The question, in Girl Friends, is more an interrogation, and laced with insinuation: And what gives you the right to feel so good when I feel like yesterday’s salad? Too bad that life is a continual conflict of moods, say director Weill and screenwriter Vicki Polon in their hip, jagged and likable movie.
Mr. Cooke? Mr. Alistair Cooke?” The doorman fairly bursts with pride. It isn’t everyone, after all, who stands guard on a national institution. Ever since he hosted the widely acclaimed Omnibus series some 25 years ago, Cooke has been a television fixture.
When last spotted, on the pages of the 1976 Governor-General’s award-winning novel Bear, author Marian Engel’s heroine was locked in rebellious embrace with a large smelly bear, thumbing her nose and worse at small-town Canada mores and the sexual exploitation of women by that other unmentionable sex.
He was according to everyone who knew him a warm, decent and civilized man. People for whom this was a term of approbation called him “a gentleman.” When he died in August, just before this first volume of his memoirs was to go to press, John Morgan Gray had been with Macmillan of Canada since 1930, heading the company from 1946 to 1973, a keen and astute player in the gamesmanship of Canadian publishing.
THE PENCOURT FILE by Barrie Penrose and Roger Courtiour
Woodward and Bernstein can stand down: Barrie Penrose, 33, and Roger Courtiour, 36, two British free-lancers with a long string of BBC news credits behind them, have produced a 423-page dossier on Whitehall naughtiness that makes all the Watergate stories sound like Sunday-school parables.
Where are the males of yesteryear? TV’s Day Of The Wimp is at hand
In two new fall TV series, Kaz and Paper Chase, there is a male lead who is physically and sexually a hapless schnook. Both these highly touted programs need a closer look. What we find would—as my old granny used to say— gag a maggot on a gut wagon.
Honest Ed Mirvish, the Toronto discount millionaire, had a great idea; his best and boldest since he salvaged the beautiful, 54-year-old Royal Alexandra Theatre in 1963 and made Toronto one of the last, busiest tryout towns in North America.
We have met the enemy and it is us-unless we learn to become our own watchdog
In 1940, before he joined the Canadian Army, my father worked for a time in a munitions plant outside Montreal where many of the workers were afflicted with TNT poisoning by vapors from the “cooking” explosives. Symptoms were especially acute among women who suffered severe menstrual disorders.