The province of British Columbia is conducting a useful pilot project to determine if a health information hotline in Victoria will cut down on unnecessary visits to the emergency ward. The cost of the study is $600,000. What that means is that more than 25 such projects could have been funded around the country for the amount of money that the federal government was prepared to dole out to the NHL’s fat cats last week.
Since Maclean’s began ranking mutual funds three years ago, the number of funds available in Canada has almost doubled, to 2,721, from 1,447 at the end of 1996. Little wonder that many people are confused when it comes time to invest. No single method of rating funds can possibly suit every investor, so right from the start Macleans has used a variety of tools, taking into account a fund’s volatility, its consistency and its performance over several time periods rather than a single year.
I found the information in the Jan. 17 cover story (“All in the family”) all too familiar, having gone through finding a longterm-care bed for my 87year-old mother this past summer. I read with horror and disgust about the effects that long-term care has had on some residents.
Dr. John Girvin at the University of Western Ontario in London is leery of reporters. He thinks they get a little too excited by scientific breakthroughs—like the one he is involved in. In 1978, Girvin, a professor of neurological sciences, travelled to New York City, where he operated on the brain of a blind American veteran known only as Jerry.
1. NO GREAT MISCHIEF, Alistair MacLeod (12)...................1 2. BLUE AT THE MIZZEN, Patrick 0'Brian (4).....................4 3. TIMELINE, Michael Crichton (7)...........7 4. PILGRIM, Timothy Findley (21)............2 5. A GOOD HOUSE, Bonnie Burnard (9)........8
Give people what they want, isn’t that what business is all about? Not always, it seems. In Indianapolis, Thomson Consumer Electronics, holder of the RCA brand name, is mulling over what to do with its wired version of the old noon-hour standard—the lunchbox.
1. The Hurricane (112/4) ...............$1,393,350 2. Girl, Interrupted (119/5)..............$1,204,820 3. The Green Mile (188/6)................$952,120 4. Stuart Little (189/5) ..................$941,710 5. The Talented Mr. Ripley (141/4) .........$810,280
Died: Silver screen goddess Hedy Lamarr, 86; at her home, in Orlando, Fla. Born in Austria, Lamarr first turned heads in the provocative 1932 Czech film Ecstasy. She made her American film debut in 1938 in Algiers. Glamorous and sexy, Lamarr appeared in numerous hit movies with such leading men as Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable.
In politics, the measure of a really bad idea is how far our leaders go to duck responsibility. Consider Industry Minister John Manleys announced plan last week to spend up to $20 million per year propping up Canadas six National Hockey League teams.
MOST DOMESTIC STOCK FUNDS DID WELL, BUT TECHNOLOGY WAS THE REAL WINNER
<p>For as long as most investors can remember, making moneyin the stock market has meant following three simple rules. First, stay diversified, avoiding the temptation to put all your eggs in one basket. Second, look for stocks that are undervalued relative to their revenues and earnings potential.</p>
<em></em><p>Maclean's: The economy is growing, unemployment is falling, and the stock market is near record highs. Are things really as good as they seem? Croft: The big picture is extremely bright, but I’m always worried when there’s a consensus because it’s probably wrong.</p>
Out of the more than 2,700 mutual funds in Canada, the 84 funds listed alphabetically below were judged the best in their respective categories over the past three years, based on ratings prepared for Maclean's by BellCharts Inc., a fund research firm.
Lemmings do not deserve their reputations for running off cliffs and into the ocean in a panic-stricken herd. Humans, on the other hand, are well-known to suffer from sudden irrational behaviour—especially around RRSP time, when they catch the scent of an exciting new kind of mutual fund.
Preston Manning, a keen Civil War buff, uses a classic battlefield analogy to describe his current position. He sees himself as an intrepid commander dug in at the base of a hill, about to charge up, wondering who is willing to follow. Is it only his loyal Reform soldiers, or a bigger United Alternative battalion reinforced by, say, a lot of fresh Ontario provincial Tory troops?
In hockey, it is often the unexpected change of direction, with a rasp of blades and a spray of ice shavings, that turns a routine play into a split second of genius. In politics, however, a sudden reversal rarely looks like a finesse move. So it was last week when Industry Minister John Manley proposed and then withdrew a multimillion-dollar aid package for Canadian NHL teams in just three days.
A grief-stricken community says its final goodbyes to a homegrown star
They lined up four abreast in the numbing cold outside the old family homestead in Mabou—waiting for hours to say a final goodbye to John Morris Rankin. Inside the Red Shoe Pub, 100 m from the wake, old friends embraced and a doleful woman heading for the bar blurted, “He would have wanted us to have a pint.”
Police arrested Muhammad Arsal Khan, 36, and his wife, Kaneez Fatima, 45, for the murder of Khans five-yearold daughter, Farah, in Toronto. The shocking case first came to light in early December when a woman walking her dog along the lakeshore in west Toronto saw a couple burying something under rocks.
John McCain breaks all the rules as the U.S. campaign intensifies
John McCain’s campaign bus is rolling through New Hampshire, from Laconia to Nashua and half a dozen places in between. In the back, the candidate is ensconced in his redleather swivel chair, nibbling on cheese and holding forth on everything from whether he has used illicit drugs (“never”) to his personal failings (“I’m a very flawed man”) and the horrors of the Canadian health-care system (“it’s in a state of collapse”).
An ex-backer writes a searing biography of the Iraqi dictator
Even now, more than 20 years later, Said Aburish can vividly remember Paul Martins naked dismay at the nature of the request. The two were only vaguely acquainted at the time, having had mutual friends in the same university fraternity.
Tourists come to Washington to gawk at the impressive buildings where the important people work, shaping the lives of lesser folk. The White House, Congress, the Supreme Court—places like that. But the new millennium is barely out of bed and it’s already clear they may be looking in the wrong direction.
Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl resigned his post as honorary chairman of the Christian Democratic Union amid a widening scandal involving bribes and secret cash transfers during his 16 years in power. Kohl’s resignation was followed by the suicide of the party’s senior accountant, who was being investigated by police over charges that he helped hide some of the illegal donations.
Anti-corporate activists take issue with the ubiquitous use of logos
Naomi Klein does not exacdy look like the stereotype of the counterculture radical. In her neat grey jacket and black skirt, the 29-year-old freelance journalist could easily be applying for a job at the most conservative of blue-chip firms.
It’s the plot of a classic western—with a twist. A small band of scofflaws stir up some noisy trouble, with the result that the good name of the entire town is tarnished. All the worthy citizens suffer under that taint, but no one is able to do anything about it—until a new sheriff rides into town, determined to toughen and enforce the rules.
William Craig, head of iCraveTV in Toronto, better have deep pockets. Last November, the owner of the Internet upstart began plucking Canadian and U.S. television broadcast signals off the airwaves and retransmitting them over the Web without permission from copyright holders.
The kids are in the backseat, fidgeting and demanding to be fed. You and your spouse could use a bite, too. The only question is where to stop: up ahead there’s a Pizza Hut, across the road is Taco Bell and just beyond that is the familiar red roof of KFC.
After years at home with their sagging loons, millions of Canadians have caught the winter travel bug
It was a case of divine intervention. For the past five years, Fleather Jones and Carolyn Harrisson have attended the 11 o’clock service at Calvary Church in St. Catharines, Ont., with their children and husbands. After a recent service, Harrisson sidled up to Jones and said: “I’ve got to get out of here.
Florida battles a stale image, aggressive rivals and a dollar difference
It was no contest for 29-year-old Laura Smith. When she and a girlfriend were contemplating a winter vacation, they quickly dismissed Florida as a contender. “It’s “soooooo old and expensive,” said Smith, a Hamilton bartender. “All the seniors go there.”
Tough packaging regulations give smokers a blunt reminder
Arthur Kaznowski takes a long drag on the cigarette burning beneath his wispy teenage moustache and considers the picture of two human lungs. One is healthy and pink; the other, which once belonged to a smoker, is black and tumour-ridden after years of inhaling noxious tobacco smoke.
Many physicians say their current fees discourage them from doing their best
The winds of change are blowing through the Brentwood Family Practice Clinic in Langley, B.C., about 40 km southeast of Vancouver. As part of a federally backed program promoting alternative forms of health-care delivery, the clinic is about to hire two new nurses and a dietician to help serve some 7,000 patients living in a mix of suburban sprawl and farmland.
British actor Emily Watson likes tackling tough dramatic roles that other actresses tend to shy away from—and it has certainly worked to her advantage. Watson was nominated for an Oscar for her role as a pious heroine who sacrifices everything for love in the 1996 film Breaking the Waves.
Mike Tyson was at it again last week, assaulting people’s ears. Iron Mike was in England this time, there to knock over an English tomato can named Julius Francis, and he was getting pretty peeved about a women’s group that wanted him banned from Britain because he’d once been convicted of rape.
Thanks to Shirley Cheechoo, Robert Redford now understands the Cree practice of “bear-walking.” In 1998, the 45-year-old Cree filmmaker from Manitoulin Island, Ont., had to explain the concept to Redford and other instructors—including actress Kathy Bates—when she spent two weeks at a directing workshop at Utah’s Sundance Institute, founded by Redford.
Sisters Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill created literary classics out of pioneer hell
The names Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill conjure up dusty images of doughty pioneer wives, bravely carving out a place in the wilderness of 19th-century Upper Canada, writing about it, and living happily ever after in cozy log cabins.
There has perhaps never been a more fitting time to reflect on Tommy Douglas, the feisty prairie leader who spearheaded the fight for medicare in Canada. Today, the system he helped shape is under assault from all sides. Defenders can only dream that a leader with Douglas’s vision will one day come along.
All my friends are appalled when I tell them I’m to have lunch with Jan Wong. I tell them not to worry, I’m wearing not only a flak jacket but a hockey goalie’s protective cup. Jan Wong has become instantly famous for her brilliant weekly Globe and Mail feature known as Lunch with Jan Wong.