The Ontario Court of Appeal hearing next week about the ban on media coverage at the sensational trial of Karla Homolka has all the makings of a classic. The seminal issues are the stuff of great legal opinions, Supreme Court decisions and law school textbooks: the right of the accused to a fair trial, public scrutiny of the judicial system and the rights of the press.
Anyone who thinks the United States is not yet a mature nation— that it is too naïve to rate the serious consideration afforded European states—had better listen up, and listen up quickly. As 1993 expired, a sequence of disclosures proved once and forever that American government has acquired in a mere two centuries the knowhow and sophistication critical to running any massive bureaucracy—namely that Washington can prevaricate, dissemble, deceive, withhold and otherwise alter the truth with the most clever of its overseas elders.
NAME-CALLING IS OUT AS LIBERALS PLEDGE TO GIVE MPs A BIGGER ROLE IN PARLIAMENT
Many things were different, but many were just the same as a new Parliament opened last week, 84 days after voters passed harsh judgment on the preceding one. Along with the pomp and the speech from the throne outlining the intentions of the Liberal government came hand-over-heart promises from MPs of all stripes of a new civility, some tough words on national unity and frequent declarations that the country’s muchabused political class has learned its lessons.
If members of Parliament are able to create a unified theory of politics, by which the antimatter of passion can exist alongside the matter of civility, Commons Speaker Gilbert Parent says it will have little to do with him. At first blush, it is a surprising comment from the man elected by his fellow MPS last week to run the House of Commons and keep order.
When it comes to evaluating Lucien Bouchard’s abilities as an orator, there is seldom a need to choose between length and breadth: speeches by the leader of the Bloc Québécois invariably offer both. Bouchard’s first speech to the new session of the House of Commons last week, spoken at brisk pace, ran 55 minutes.
Nova Scotia’s John Savage is trying to end patronage
Only eight months after leading his party to a landslide victory, Nova Scotia’s newest premier is learning a long-established political reality. In most places, what John Savage is accused of doing would be considered a virtue: like many modem political leaders he rode to victory with a promise to end patronage.
A turquoise and white helicopter judders noisily above an earthen dam that restrains the blue waters of nearby Silver Lake reservoir. Back and forth the chopper hovers, and then, with a deafening racket, it roars away over the rooftops. Since dawn on Jan. 17, the peaceful view of lake and mountains visible from my backyard deck has taken on a frightening aura of risk and death.
She escaped with her life, but little else. When Ruth Ellen Riddle leaped from a second-storey rooftop last April 19 to avoid the flames engulfing the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Tex., she had only the clothes she was wearing— a shirt and a pair of pants— and her Bible.
As Bill Clinton began the second year of his presidency on Jan. 20, the U.S. government and much of the rest of Washington, except for essential services, shut down. The reason was a power shortage: unable to withstand record cold temperatures as low as -16° C, the local Potomac Electric Power Co. imposed rolling neighborhood blackouts.
Retailers are preparing for tough competition as Wal-Mart sets out to win Canadian consumers
The question was on everyone’s tips at the meeting. “When is Wal-Mart coming to Canada?” retailers and property developers kept asking at a Toronto conference of the International Council of Shopping Centres. That was nearly two years ago, and Thomas Seay, executive vice-president of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., kept replying that the giant U.S. retailer had no plans to open any of its discount stores north of the border.
Speeches from the throne are about as useless a tradition as the Parliament Hill functionary designated as Black Rod knocking on the doors of the Commons. But as last week’s debate illustrated, they do set the tone for things to come. True to themselves and their radically altered role in this new Parliament, the party leaders obliged by setting out their hidden and not-so-hidden agendas.
A long-awaited report says that it is time to tame one of the world's most notorious stock exchanges
A tall oak display case tucked into the comer of the Visitors’ Centre at the Vancouver Stock Exchange (VSE) holds mementoes of the market’s colorful history. One item attracts particular attention: a rough chunk of dusty yellow rock the size of a child’s head, sitting near a miner’s lamp.
He used to spend his time lifting faces, trimming noses and enlarging breasts. But last November, Dr. Robert Stubbs, 44, became the first certified plastic surgeon in North America to offer men longer penises. Now, he has trouble handling the volume.
Lorena Bobbitt’s acquittal for maiming her husband escalates the larger gender war
Not guilty! Minutes after Lorena Bobbitt’s acquittal—by reason of insanity—for cutting off her husband’s penis, a local television station conducted a street survey in the estranged couple’s old neighborhood in Manassas, Va. Nearly every woman interviewed late last Friday agreed with the jury’s judgment.
Across the country, Canadian men are grappling with the mores of the
Getting in touch Cory Bretz’s wife, who is expecting their first child, will have three socially acceptable options as a mother. “She can stay home and that’s a good thing,” says Bretz, 30, a federal government employee in Vancouver. “Or she can go back to work part time or full time and be a progressive woman.”
Let me give you some idea of the full-figured range of selfdefinitions an ordinary man can encounter on a daily basis at this late stage in the 20th century by telling you about the other day—just a few blissful Los Angeles days before the earth moved.
Figure skater Tonya Harding has always been a tough cookie in a ladies’ sport. The 23-year-old from Portland, Ore., lists drag racing and hunting among her hobbies, and her penchant for bad language is legendary. She overcame an unhappy upbringing and an abusive marriage while somehow winning two U.S. women’s figure skating championships.
The big chill freezes normal activities and sends some people south
Just how cold was it? “I’ve never seen it like this,” said Robert MacLeod, a nurse in the Northern Ontario community of Kapuskasing, where the mercury dove to -40° C. “It’s so cold the tires actually fell off the rims of two of my friends’ cars.”
At the end of Leoš Janáček’s impassioned opera Katya Kabanova, the title character escapes from her troubles by drowning herself in the Volga River. The Canadian Opera Company (COC), which is now presenting its première production of the Czech composer’s highly regarded 1921 work, has had some grave problems of its own recently.
There is a moment of pure farce in Alanis Obomsawin’s film about the Oka crisis. It occurs near the end of Kanehsatake, a two-hour National Film Board documentary about the 1990 Mohawk uprising in the pine forest on the outskirts of the little Quebec town of Oka.
Why doesn’t anything work any more? We are trying to fly from Toronto to Vancouver. The radio tells us that the fuel pipes at Toronto airport are frozen and there will be massive flight delays all day. We phone Air Canada and are assured that nothing is wrong.