It is astonishing that a single-minded preoccupation with the government’s deficit should have dictated the direction of Finance Minister Michael Wilson’s budget last week. The critical core of the document is a set of policies and tax increases designed to cut the deficit to $29.5 billion next year from the current $34.3 billion.
Oh, Allan Fotheringham, I read your “Politics of a different kind” (Column, Feb. 17) and tears of laughter ran down my face. Long ago we learned to laugh at our B.C. politicians; it’s a defence against tears of frustration and disappointment which, if allowed to flow freely, would double the precipitation of our dear land.
DIED: Former federal NDP leader T.C. (Tommy) Douglas, 81, of cancer, in Ottawa (page 24). ASSASSINATED: Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, 59, while he was walking on a Stockholm street last Friday evening (page 28). DIED: Legendary goaltender Jacques Plante, 57, who introduced the face mask into widespread use in the National Hockey League and was the first netminder to venture from his crease to clear loose pucks; of stomach cancer, in Geneva.
She is the daughter of one of South Africa’s best-known opponents of apartheid—Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu. Following in her father’s footsteps, Naomi Tutu-Seavers, 25, is emerging as a vocal foe of the white government of Pretoria in her own right.
To many Canadians, the Annapolis Valley is known for its annual Apple Blossom Festival held each June. The week-long event celebrates wholesome country living, the Valley’s spectacular beauty and the richness of its $120-million-a-year farm industry.
The attention focused on last week’s budget, including the seemingly endless comment and criticism by the media and the opposition that followed Finance Minister Michael Wilson’s address to Parliament, will likely continue for weeks.
The critical misunderstanding arose on a February evening over after-dinner cigars and cognac at Stornoway, the official residence of Liberal Leader John Turner. After dinner, Turner and Jean Chrétien—his former rival for the Liberal leadership, who served as external affairs critic on the party’s front bench—retired to the book-lined study.
After Jean Chretien formally resigned his seat in the House of Commons last week, he slipped out a side door of Parliament’s Centre Block and into a borrowed car with his wife, Aline. After the four-hour drive to the couple's hometown of Shawinigan, Que., Chretien spoke privately to workers in his constituency office, then held a press conference.
The press wants to get you. The opposition wants to get you. Even some of the bureaucrats want to get you. The art of politics is learning to walk with your back to the wall, your elbows high and a smile on your face. If you don’t learn that, you're quickly finished.
For Liberal finance critic Raymond Garneau, the resignation of Jean Chrétien last week stirred unhappy memories—and perhaps a sense of anticipation. In 1978 Garneau suffered an ordeal remarkably similar to that of his Liberal colleague after losing the leadership of the Quebec Liberals to newspaper publisher Claude Ryan.
On the face of it, the optimism seemed misplaced. In the Nova Scotia legislature, Lt.-Gov. Alan Abraham last week delivered a throne speech from the province’s Conservative government that promised economic expansion. But that upbeat message came just a week after the Conference Board of Canada issued a sharply reduced growth forecast for the provincial economy.
It was the autumn of 1935 and Thomas Clement Douglas, better known as just plain Tommy, was delivering a tub-thumping political speech to an audience at Weyburn, Sask. Suddenly, a gang of menacing thugs approached the stage. Douglas, only five foot six inches tall and 140 lb.—but a former lightweight boxing champion of Manitoba—quickly grabbed a water jug, smashed it and waved the broken shards.
The slight, rumpled 59-yearold prime minister left the Grand Theatre after seeing the new Swedish film comedy The Brothers Mozart with his wife late last Friday and they began walking home along Sveavagan St. in central Stockholm. Fifteen minutes later, at the intersection of Sveavagan and Tunnelgaten, between a paint store and subway station entrance, a short man of about 35 wearing a long dark-blue overcoat and a hat with earflaps approached the couple from behind.
The frail man in the floppy sunhat and beige windbreaker who disembarked from the C-141 transport plane at Honolulu’s Hickam Air Force Base looked more like a tourist than the former president of the Philippines. After U.S. Air Force officials helped him down the steps, 68-year-old Ferdinand Marcos stepped tentatively onto 50 feet of red carpet.
The triumph of so-called “people power” over the 20-year-old regime of President Ferdinand Marcos arose primarily from the determination of once-passive Filipinos to reclaim their land and their rights. Maclean’s Associate Editor Marcus Gee, who covered last month’s presidential election in the Philippines, explored the courage and spirit of the ordinary men and women who created the revolution against tyranny.
The dramatic collapse of the Ferdinand Marcos regime occurred half a world away, but for Tomas Roldan in Toronto the fall of the Philippines strong man was an event close to his heart. It meant that Roldan could return to his native country after a self-imposed, 12-year exile.
It began with a rumor last Tuesday night. The Egyptian government, the story went, was about to extend the required service time for the Central Security Force, a mostly conscript militia that normally guards embassies and controls street demonstrations.
Everywhere there were signs of a new mood in the land—unaccustomed banks of red tulips on sale in state department stores, snowbanks sparkling under newly installed street-lighting, red flags unfurled along Moscow’s wide avenues. And inside the glittering marble-and-glass Kremlin Palace of Congresses the Soviet Union’s new leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, wore a well-cut navy suit and red-striped tie for his first appearance before a full Communist Party Congress since he assumed power last March.
The target was Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista government. The customarily unflappable U.S. secretary of state, George Shultz, was angry and he thumped a table at a meeting of the Senate foreign relations committee. Seeking authorization of $100 million in aid to the anti-Sandinista rebel contra forces, an impassioned Shultz said that the guerrillas “are Ortega: supported the people who are trying to obtain freedom and independence for their country.”
After eight months of hearing evidence from the world’s foremost aviation experts, the 212-page report of an Indian judicial inquiry was almost a foregone conclusion. The Press Trust of India news agency reported last week that the inquiry had reached its conclusion: the June 23 midair explosion of Air-India flight 182 that killed 329 passengers—most of them Canadians of Indian descent—was caused by “a terrorist bomb” concealed in baggage in the Boeing 747’s forward hold.
Even after five years the memory of the the vivid splash of red on Pope John Paul II’s white cassock remains vivid. But the mystery behind the attempted assassination of the pontiff on May 13, 1981, deepened when Mehmet Ali Agca, sentenced to life imprisonment for the shooting, claimed that he had been part of a conspiracy involving the Bulgarian government.
It was, according to the North American Air Defence Command, only one of about 500 man-made objects launched into space to fall back into Earth’s atmosphere. But the Soviet Union’s nine-ton Cosmos 1714 satellite was not just another piece of space junk.
The attempts by the owner of the lakeside luxury hotel to evict him from a suite of rooms he has occupied since Feb. 7 was, at the least, embarrassing for Haitian ex-president JeanClaude Duvalier. And the continuing determination of French officials to get him out of France was even more painful.
For weeks the warnings had been unmistakable. Federal Finance Minister Michael Wilson was determined to attack the deficit and he vowed to deliver a tough budget. Last week he did just that. Outlining his second set of restraint measures to the Commons in nine months, Wilson declared, “My message today is a serious one and in many ways not pleasant.”
Last week's budget bore the unmistakable stamp of Finance Minister Michael Wilson and his restraint philosophy. He spoke with Maclean’s Ottawa bureau chief Paul Gessell and Ottawa correspondent Marc Clark in his Parliament Hill Office.
This week Finance Minister Michael Wilson, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and other high-level Tories will fan out across Canada in a political exercise known as selling the budget. The Conservatives will try to convince Canadian taxpayers that large tax increases are a necessary—and fair—way to reduce the crippling federal deficit.
In Florenceville, N.B., home to McCain Foods Ltd. — one of the world’s largest purveyors of frozen french fries—there is nowhere to go for a discreet business lunch. The only restaurant in the village of 850 is a crowded lunch counter near the racks of overalls and work boots at Buckingham’s Department Store.
Apart from its revolutionary notion of granting civil servants salary increases based strictly on merit, Michael Wilson’s second budget was significant mainly for the variety of messages it delivered. To the business community, the Mulroney government seemed to be saying that now is the time for all good businessmen to come to the aid of the party.
Undefeated as a professional with a 10-0 record, Toronto welterweight Shawn O’Sullivan, 23, is causing growing excitement among boxing fans who feel that he is Canada’s best hope for a world title. O’Sullivan is currently training with former welterweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard, 29, for his next bout in Reno, Nev., on Mar. 15 with an as-yetunnamed top-20 contender.
On the walls of the spartan, uncarpeted waiting room are four photocopied signs reading, “Fight For Your Doctor’s Freedom.” Inside his cramped office, Dr. Michael Soboloff quietly defends the right of doctors to bill patients more than the fees set by the province—a practice known in Ontario as extra billing.
He was a skinny 14-year-old when his family moved to Toronto from Jamaica in 1976. Since then, fleet-footed Ben Johnson has developed into one of the world’s fastest humans. Competing in a sport where hundredths of a second separate winners from also-rans, the 24-year-old sprinter has amassed an impressive string of victories in meets since he won two bronze medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Among the buildings surrounding Washington’s stately rectangular Mall stands the National Air and Space Museum, a concrete and glass monument to the exploits of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The massive museum, part of the capital’s famed Smithsonian Institution, houses an astronauts’ hall of fame and displays of voyage-scarred space capsules.
THE FLAMINGO’S SMILE: REFLECTIONS IN NATURAL HISTORY By Stephen Jay Gould
The stunning variety of creatures to which human beings are linked is “an endless source of delight, not to mention essays,” writes Stephen Jay Gould. A Harvard professor of geology, biology and the history of science, Gould is an ideal popularizer: in The Flamingo's Smile, the fourth collection of his columns from Natural History Magazine, lay readers will repeatedly encounter creatures they have never heard of—and never lose that sense of kinship.
The smouldering secret war waged by American-supported contras against Nicaragua’s leftwing Sandinista regime shows every sign of intensifying. President Ronald Reagan is now urging Congress to add another $100 million to fuel the contras’ sputtering counterrevolution.
The first words the audience hears in 9½ Weeks are, “Don’t hit me!” Spoken playfully, they foreshadow the film’s chronicle of a doomed, sadomasochistic love affair between John (Mickey Rourke) and Elizabeth (Kim Basinger). He is a mystery man who lives and dresses elegantly but simply.
While delivering a car to California, teenager Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) crosses the Texas Panhandle and begins to fall asleep at the wheel. It is four o’clock in the morning and raining hard. In need of conversation to stay awake, Halsey picks up a hitchhiker (Rutger Hauer).
More than 20,000 Americans die each year from handgun-related incidents—murders, suicides and accidents—and concerned gun-control lobbyists estimate that one in every four U.S. families possesses a handgun. Now, the importation of an Austrian pistol, authorized by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, has touched off a new firearms controversy.
In an archeological dig, months of painstaking excavation usually precede even minor discoveries. But an unexpected turn in an underground passage led archeologists Geoffrey Martin and Jacobus van Dijk to the discovery of a lifetime last Feb. 8.
Residents of Ottawa’s exclusive Rockcliffe Park and neighboring Manor Park are resisting a federal proposal to locate a new United States Embassy in their district. They offer two reasons: the need to preserve valuable parkland and the fear that the proximity of U.S. diplomats, prime targets for attack in the world, could bring trouble to the affluent neighborhoods.
The guests included former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, the menu featured filet de boeuf and Blanc Foussy, and the event, a glittering dinner and dance affair at Montreal’s Four Season’s Hotel to raise money for the Eddy Toussaint ballet company, was unapologetically exclusive.
Oliver Goldsmith wrote a witty prologue to his rollicking 18thcentury courtship comedy She Stoops to Conquer. But it was not in evidence at the National Theatre School of Canada’s 25th-anniversary alumni production at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre last week.
Zowie, Dr. Foth, it certainly is great to bump into you. Elucidate the specificity of the parameters of your phantasmagorical ignorance. Well, gee, I'm really surprised at Jean Chretien getting out of politics. Jean Chrétien is not getting out.