What is Canada profited if it saves a fist full of dollars and loses its soul?
Peter C. Newman
There’s an uneasy notion abroad these days that the politicians in Ottawa are spending our tax money like a bunch of drunken sailors. This, of course, is nonsense. Drunken sailors spend their own money. Still, it’s a shame that in their confused efforts to trim swollen expenditures the cost-cutters have taken such large bites out of various cultural budgets.
It isn’t easy to get Robert Cooper, CBC’s ombudsman, to stand still. He’s always on the run. Just on Ombudsman business alone he travels 100,000 miles a year. And now it seems, incredibly, there are two of him running. One is “the weird guy with the squeaky voice,” as he refers to himself, who fights for the little man three Sunday nights a month at 10:30.
Synchronized swimmers have always been regarded as fringe performers—rather like lumberjacks who can spell out their names in fallen trees: the effect is striking, but what a strange thing to do. What newspaper coverage there is of synchronized swimming tends to wind up beside the recipes, not on the sports pages.
Is there a Stephen Juba in Winnipeg’s future? Will the news machine move back into the mayor’s office? For the 21 years he was mayor, until his surprising retirement last fall, the flamboyant Juba toyed with the Winnipeg media like a cunning cat with mild-mannered mice.
An obvious non-member may be seen boldly entering the marble halls of the prestigious National Liberal Club on London’s Embankment these days. Tempted as he may be to turn the interloper away, the doorman instead dutifully escorts him to the club’s innermost sanctum where even the club secretary is solicitious to the rank outsider’s needs.
Danny Demers and Fugi Saito, decked out in the top hats and tails of their chimney sweeping trade, were marching through Edmonton in this year’s Klondike Days parade when a toothless old grandmother spotted the pair. “Sonny, you come over here and give me a kiss,” she called to Demers, a blonde, good-looking 18-year-old.
John Keats’s “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” takes on a psychedelic cast in British Columbia during September and October as the autumn rains and fertile pastures propagate thousands of little mushrooms of the psilocybe species, commonly known as magic mushrooms.
Graham A. Martin, the last American ambassador to South Vietnam, has been very careless with his secrets. The justice department, consequently, will be deciding by early next month whether or not to charge him with gross negligence in the handling of classified documents.
In the midst of dense bush 35 miles from Atikokan in northwestern Ontario, there is a castle—a three-storey log castle with a four-storey tower, built by one lone Scot some 65 years ago. The castle is crumbling, its fabled owner, James “Jimmy Hightop” McQuat (some say he built it for a Glasgow fiancée who never arrived) is buried beside it, and the site, on White Otter Lake, now belongs to the Ontario ministry of natural resources.
Quebec’s declining birth rate not only puts an end to francophone “revenge of the cradle,” it also threatens the survival of hospital maternity wards in the province. In 1975, the government ordered Quebec City’s Christ-Roi Hospital to shut down its 24-bed obstetrics department because the 777 deliveries performed there that year were not enough to justify their expense.
In your article, Giving the People What They Want (Sept. 25), you suggest some Liberal candidates might want to put some distance between themselves and Pierre Trudeau in the October byelections. In support of this, you quote Westmount candidate Don Johnston as saying, “I’ve known Pierre Trudeau for 20 years, but it’s troubling me.
Got a rusty switchblade concealed in your attic? Or, a souvenir Luger stashed under your bed, hidden for fear of prosecution? Well, relax. For the first time in Canadian history, the federal government will declare legal amnesty-on Oct. 25 Solicitor-General Jean-Jacques Blais will announce November Amnesty Month— during which time all prohibited weapons can be turned over to police and restricted weapons surrendered, or their owners registered without penalty.
Out there on the byelection stump, in hotels that make strange bedfellows, rival campaigners are literally falling all over each other. One recent night in the dining room of Corner Brook’s Glynmill Inn, Brian Flemming, advance-manning a trip for Pierre Trudeau, stopped by the table of St. John’s Tory MP Jim McGrath, who was in town with Joe Clark.
As the 63 candidates enter the homestretch for the Oct. 16 By-election Cup, Maclean’s herewith presents a schematic look at the 15 ridings. Not all the horses will go the distance and, with apologies, we’ve left them off our chart. The facts and readings on front-runners are based on reports, filed 10 days before the vote, by six staff writers and four regional correspondents who trailed national leaders and candidates in seven provinces and talked to key party strategists.
Embattled Newfoundland Premier Frank Moores is keeping a low profile these days as his government bobs through an uncomfortable calm before the storm. In this case, the squall line building on the horizon is the opening of the Newfoundland legislature Nov. 6.
The prizes may not have been the greatest ($100,000 tops) but the Canadian Championship Dog Derby Sweepstake had a romantic aura unknown to far larger lotteries with their bouncing balls and lucky numbers in lights on national TV.
Back in January, 1976, when 50 smiling supporters of Vancouver’s Gay Alliance Towards Equality (GATE) marched outside the offices of The Vancouver Sun, Canada’s third largest newspaper, they carried victory placards: AS THE SUN SETS IN THE WEST.
October 17 is an anniversary for Pierre Trudeau, but there will be no celebrations in Ottawa. In 1968, four days after the founding of the Parti Québécois, Trudeau rose in the House of Commons to present his blueprint for linguistic justice—the Official Languages Act.
Werner Lamberz, heir to East German leader Erich Honecker and his country's top trouble-stirrer in Africa, was killed in a helicopter crash in Libya last March. Reports at the time spoke of an accident but, for the first time in this exclusive report from Paris, Maclean’s correspondent Peter Lewis reveals that it is now believed Lamberz was murdered, and names three possible killers:
It’s a story that even the fertile imagination of the late Ian Fleming might have boggled at inventing—and Scotland Yard could certainly have used the talents of James Bond these last extraordinary weeks. First, a Bulgarian broadcaster, a 49-year-old political exile working for the BBC named Georgi Markov, is assassinated one autumn day as he strolls across London’s Waterloo Bridge—assassinated, moreover, by a tiny poisoned pellet fired from a gun disguised as an umbrella.
The cardinals had definitely decided: short of a tempest, the funeral mass of Pope John Paul would be held in the open, on the broad marble steps of St. Peter’s Basilica. The short-lived pontiff had belonged to the people, the “final salute” would be theirs.
It was enough to make Mickey Mouse blush. There was President Jimmy Carter, hero of Camp David, head of the mightiest nation on earth, addressing the 26th World Congress of the International Chamber of Commerce, the most august collection of economists and businessmen in the world; and there, right in front of the President as he spoke about giving the poorer nations of the world a better deal, the turrets and spires of Cinderella’s Castle glowed pink, lavender and rose under the floodlights.
They’re white as spun sugar, though sometimes brown, and reached for and held on to by the impatient fingers of two great bodies of water. Ships have been tom apart and tossed upon them. Rockets have left them and climbed toward the moon. Both man and wild pony leave their wayward tracks to melt away upon them.
So often, golfers and tennis players run after the sun season. That’s seldom a worry in the South. For somewhere, it’s always warm. And those sports are as popular — as available — in the midst of winter as they are in the glare of a summer sun. Resorts, generally, are the best places to venture out onto outstanding championship golf courses, or meet the challenge of tennis head on.
Golf’s greatest pro’s leave a trail sprinkled with more dollars than birdies. The also-rans don’t do so badly themselves. Their’s is an elite club that knows the royal and ancient challenge, heartbreak, triumph, and frustrations of the world’s finest courses.
The Acadians fled from the northlands, but leaving was against their will. They had a choice. They could have stayed as they were on that rich Canadian soil. But they were too independent, too stubborn, too loyal to their Catholic faith to ever pledge allegiance to good old King George II and the British Crown.
The romantic personality of an aging South is reflected in the face of its unique cities. Charleston is the regal cornerstone of South Carolina, one that’s been around for 300 years or more. It’s a city of grand old homes, scarred by war, a portrait of the good life.
The land of bluegrass has built white plank fences around its legends. And many of the most noted of these horse farms are still open to the public, with winding driveways that leisurely carry you past millionaires munching on grass. New Orleans, Louisiana, is the god child of France, with graceful iron-lace balconies overlooking the streets of the famed Vieux Carre.
The soul of the South is music, pure and simple. As Kirk McGee remembers, “I never had a music lesson in my life. What I know about music I learned at the singing school we had every winter in the hills of Williamson County, Tennessee, when I was a boy.”
The old leather-faced man looked out from the front porch of his wooden Tennessee cabin and let his eyes climb the high country before him. “Those mountains,” he said, “kept a lot of folks out of here. But those that did make it back here never wanted to leave.
mersed in old-fashioned luxury, and its streets are lined with antique shops, art galleries, and out of the ordinary boutiques. The Ouichita Mountains of Arkansas are not as spectacular as the Ozarks, but they have a splendor all their own.
The Atlanta penitentiary is a bad joke that has gone terrifyingly wrong. The humor is all Kafka, bizarre and macabre. And yet there is something Laurel and Hardy about a prison where the warden is afraid to interfere with the drug smugglers in case the prisoners riot.
While Syria’s President Hafez al-Assad was reportedly seeking and obtaining arms and post-Camp David reassurance in East Germany and the Soviet Union last week, top U.S. officials were worrying about disquieting hints that he may be suffering from an incurable disease.
The old master of British politics seemed to have done it again. Deflecting what could have been a crushing union assault on the Labor government’s five-per-cent pay policy at last week’s annual party conference, Prime Minister James Callaghan at the same time managed to launch an early electoral appeal to curb the inflationary dangers of a workers’ free-for-all.
Canadian C&W songstress Colleen (Sparky) Peterson has shed her blue jeans, made a tablecloth of her red-checkered shirts and is trying to look more like Lauren Hutton than Elly Mae Clampett. All in a good cause. Peterson, who just wound up an American-Canadian tour with friend Gordon Lightfoot, says she’s had it with folk festivals and summer tours in Petawawa and Napanee.
Joseph Segal had just fashioned his next career capstone by convincing his Zeller’s Limited shareholders to sell 57 per cent of their stock to the legendary Hudson’s Bay Co. for about $75 million in stock and cash. It was a buy-out sure to thrust the Zeller’s chairman toward the top of the newly created second largest retailing empire in Canada,* yet all he really wanted to talk about were lemons.
The 44-year-old vice-president was numb with blank-minded disbelief. Summoned by the president after 12 loyal years, in 30 minutes he was fired. Led to a nearby room, he turned his passive, drained face toward a stranger whose words were fogged by emotional noise.
Handcrafters of the all-Canadian vehicle, survivors of both the Depression and altered wartime production, Chestnut Canoe Co. Ltd, is floundering in the worst white water in its 81-year history. Starting with wood-canvas craft and moving to modern Fiberglas, the firm has made more than 100,000 canoes ranging from sleek 11-footers for moonlit lovers to 24-foot freight-luggers.
The investigation began nine years ago; the trial, four. After overturned decisions, a minister found in contempt of court, and leaked stories about pressure on judges, sentence was finally handed down Oct. 6 as Eastern Canada’s three largest sugar companies were each fined $750,000.
He falls asleep over the paperback biography of oil baron H. L. Hunt and wakens the following morning to the sound of his own street-jogging feet on a 20-minute run. It's John P. Gallagher come east to collect his boardroom seat on TransCanada Pipe-Lines Ltd., symbolic final step in Dome Petroleum Ltd.’s $160-million purchase of 22 per cent of TCPL’S shares.
The new smell of Quebec is known by its trade mark: No. 10. The odor may be appropriately described as flowery as it rises this fall out of pre-shave, after-shave, cologne, deodorant and the true savior of Christmas, soap-on-a-rope. The same number can be found pushing automobiles, skates, sticks and yogurt.
Harry Stein, co-founder of Paris’ fledgling English-language feature tabloid, places tongue firmly in cheek and quips: “Hemingway’s novels would have done for the service aspect but they didn’t have enough style." Paris needed the Metro, first “city magazine” ever in the city of 13,000 restaurants, over 300 cinemas and uncountable cafés.
Compared with their ’60s counter-parts, ’70s teen-agers are bored and apathetic and couldn’t care less about changing the world. Right? Not according to four young Toronto law students who’ve designed a unique new method of teaching young people about the laws they live under.
They are the kind of people who can afford to cultivate year-long tans and a taste for Château Mouton Roths-child. They play aggressive games of squash at private racket clubs; they race horses, yachts, or whatever is the current fashion. Procreation is an investment in the family dynasty.
It’s a hoary question: which has more influence—heredity or environment? Over several generations, fruit flies, for instance, will produce a wide variety of offspring through the genetic effects of crossbreeding and mutation, even though all have been raised in the same laboratory-controlled habitat.
Item: One night last May, director John Wood headed for the wings of the National Arts Centre theatre to catch a few bars of his musical, William Schwenk and Arthur Who? “John who?” demanded an officious usher, promptly barring his way. But Wood had no reason to believe that he would be recognized, even after a year at the centre: hadn’t a security guard already refused to allow him into one of his own rehearsals?
For the medical profession, what happened may have become a pain in the neck, but it was also a measure of how many people have a pain in the back. In early September at the Second World Congress on Pain in Montreal an American neurosurgeon presented a paper describing what one newspaper headline heralded next day as “a new operation to cure slipped discs fast.”
Ulysses, Robinson Crusoe, Dr. Livingstone ... and you
In 1841 a former Baptist missionary named Thomas Cook founded a travel firm devoted to satisfying the Victorian gentleman’s desire to visit faraway places with strange-sounding names. In the process his name became synonymous with the grand tour to exotic lands, whether it be safaris in Africa in search of the source of the Nile, or Sherpa-led treks through the Himalayas.
At a dance conference in Winnipeg last August, a faction from small contemporary dance groups savagely attacked the multimillion dollar Ottawa handouts to larger companies such as the National Ballet. With implacable cool, the National’s Artistic Director Alexander Grant reminded them of an immutable show-business fact: his company could fill virtually any cultural emporium in the world.
How to live with cuts in the arts: cut the bureaucrat, not the artist
Last week I talked with a couple who had spent time in Nazi concentration camps, he at Dachau and she at Auschwitz. The one tragedy that remains with them in Canada is the wife’s loss of hearing. The beatings she received caused a degenerative condition and now, despite the best hearing aids and surgery, she is stone deaf.
In 1954 Françoise Sagan,48, published her first novel, Bonjour Tristesse. She hit the best-seller lists and made every 20-year-old unpublished author feel over the hill. Some would-be writers comforted themselves by not reading her, a task made increasingly difficult as Sagan began to turn out novels (A Certain Smile, Aimez-vous Brahms?) with the regularity of a French Joyce Carol Oates.
THE RAILROAD'S NOT ENOUGH: CANADA NOW by Heather Menzies
Bill Mac Vicar
On June 1, 1977, Heather Menzies, a young Winnipeg-based journalist, packed her car and set off to see Canada. The question she asked was: What is Canada? And to get that answer she played Barry Broadfoot/Studs Terkel, talking to the folks from the Yukon to Newfoundland’s outports. No consensus (no surprise) emerged, but in the asking Menzies has produced a bleak and disturbing portrait of the country in its 111th year of confederation.
With its Egyptian locations, Nino Rota’s rousing neo-Wagnerian music, a collection of actors who are established scene-stealers, and an Agatha Christie plot, Death on the Nile has a kind of corny, clunky grandeur. The camera technique of the director (John Guillermin, who did the grossly underrated remake of King Kong), is easeful, and it feeds off expanse: the camera is a gliding Cook’s tour of the Nile and Egypt’s ruins.
THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL Directed by Franklin Schaffner
A dolf Hitler is alive and well and living in Argentina: the suggestion is at once unsettling and faintly risible. In his best-selling novel, Ira Levin (Rosemary's Baby) actually went one better. Harnessing a public’s morbid fascination with Naziana to more recent speculation about advances in genetic engineering—specifically, cloning—he added a fresh twist to the catchphrase “father to his people.”
Who says government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation?
There was a most peculiar happening on the television screen the other day when the prime minister of the land was being questioned by Peter Desbarats of the Global Network. Desbarats warily and politely nudged up to the legitimate point that is the subject of some speculation in Ottawa with the election now definitely set for the spring: the possibility of a reconciliation with Margaret.