OPENING NOTES

Confusion among Liberal insiders, Joe Clark’s delicate problem, Eddie Edwards’s overwhelming urge for exposure

September 19 1988

OPENING NOTES

Confusion among Liberal insiders, Joe Clark’s delicate problem, Eddie Edwards’s overwhelming urge for exposure

September 19 1988

OPENING NOTES

Confusion among Liberal insiders, Joe Clark’s delicate problem, Eddie Edwards’s overwhelming urge for exposure

MARITIME MOONS

Seven months after the Calgary Winter Olympics, Britain's only ski jumper is still soaring. Eddie (The Eagle) Edwards, who won celebrity status for his last-place finishes, now has a thriving new career as a personality for hire. The bespectacled Edwards has announced that he is willing to appear nude in Playglrl magazine for the right price—$1 million. In the meantime, Halifax residents have received a glimpse of Edwards's centrefold potential. Last July, a group of 20 sponsors paid him $15,000 to appear at celebrations marking that city's 1749 founding. Edwards even provided his hosts with an unexpected bonus. During a boat cruise through Halifax harbor, he dropped his trousers twice, blithely mooning everyone aboard. As he returned to ski jumping last month, Edwards remained unrepentant about his summer flashes. "What you see is what you get," he said. While Plcygirl might be considering an Eagle centrefold, some Halifax residents have already seen too much.

Edwards and friend: willing to bare it all

An embarrassment of riches

Congressional wives have nicknamed it “the Bentsen rock”—a huge diamond ring that Beryl Ann Bentsen was in the habit

of flashing at gala events. B.A., as she is known to her friends, can afford expensive jewelry: she and her husband, Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen, have a personal fortune of at least $12 million. In fact, the couple's income tax returns show that they have grossed close to $1 million in yearly income since 1983 alone. But when Michael kakis chose Bentsen as his running mate in July, B.A. joined the Democrats’ fight for poorer voters. Until the election is over in November, the stylish former model has discreetly set aside her ring. As the wife of the vice-presidential candidate, she sports an appropriately

modest engagement ring and a wedding band. But if the Democrats win, the Bentsen rock will glitter again at the Inaugural Ball,

A TABLOID SOLUTION

Media consultants have been descending on newspaper offices across the country recently as Canada’s largest newspaper publisher, Southam Inc. of Toronto, looks for ways to tighten its belt. But when the American experts delivered their diagnosis to the staid Edmonton Journal, they called for radical surgery. The media doctors’ advice: shrink the Journal to the same tabloid size as its rival, The Edmonton Sun. Now Journal executives are trying to decide if they can stomach paying the Sun the sincerest form of ñattery: imitation.

Monsters in the basement

Federal Environment Minister Thomas McMillan has vigorously defended Ottawa’s regulations on the care and handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)— highly toxic chemicals that could cause cancer. But last month, he learned that there were three old PCB-filled transformers uncomfortably close to home—humming beneath the House of Commons, in fact. Despite his discovery, however, there is no relief in sight. The public works department has no immediate plans to remove the basement monsters— even though they may be as potentially lethal as the debates upstairs.

THE SHIFTING SANDS OF DIPLOMACY

Joe Clark has a history as a poor traveller. The former prime minister's expeditions abroad have been marred by numerous mishaps, including leaving luggage behind during a hectic 1979 world trip. As a result, officials were anxious to avoid any embarrassment when the external affairs minister participated in a Canada Day ceremony initiating construction of a new Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. At the time, Clark was still recovering from an intestinal illness that he had contracted during a February visit to Africa. With that in mind, Canadian diplomats quietly warned their Japanese counterparts that their man was not up to driving a spade into the hard ground of the 4.3-acre site in central Tokyo. The Japanese swiftly found a solution—a one-metre-long rectangle of sand that would easily accept the gentlest plunge of Clark's gold-painted ceremonial shovel. The shaky but game Clark wrested a spadeful of sand from the special square without incident—a quiet success for the Japanese soft-soil approach.

A maverick abroad

A Canadian wearing an earring may have a major influence on the outcome of the Israeli election on Nov. 1. For

Austin (left); MacNaughton: a tale of crossed signals and a power lunch

A SURPLUS OF LIBERAL LEADERS

They met at The Fifty-Four, an elegant restaurant on the top floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre. There, high above Toronto’s financial district, the two powerful Liberals savored the prospect of victory in the next federal election. But when Vancouver Senator Jack Austin confided that he was going to head the team overseeing the transfer of power, Toronto megaconsultant David MacNaughton almost choked. He said nothing at the time—but he had thought that he was going to head the

team. In fact, they were both right. Peter Connolly, principal secretary to Liberal Leader John Turner, had inexplicably offered the post to both men. Now, party officials have come up with a face-saving device: former Ontario MP Jean-Luc Pepin will join the two luncheon companions and, publicly, all three will act as co-chairmen of the transition team. But privately, highranking Liberals say that MacNaughton will be the first among equals. Watch who picks up the first check.

Close encounters

Standing six-feet, eight-inches and weighing more than 200 lb., Zheng Haixia could power the Chinese national squad to an Olympic medal in women’s basketball. But the mighty Zheng has a weakness: she has trouble changing direction. Last April, when the Canadian women’s team met the Chinese in an exhibition tournament in Toronto, the coaches focused on Zheng’s one-track drives. Her smaller, more agile opponents played Zheng extremely close, avoiding contact, but forcing her to turn abruptly. The tactic worked: Zheng crashed into her defenders repeatedly, committing five fouls before halftime, and had to leave the game. In her absence, the Canadians narrowly won by an 86-83 score. But their sense of superiority was short-lived. Italy upset Canada in pre-Olympic play—and the Canadians will have no chance to replay those close encounters in Seoul.

10 months, Decima Research pollster Allan Gregg has made regular visits to Israel, advising his Labor party clients. The politically aware are studying Gregg’s polling techniques. But for many Israelis, the greatest curiosity centred on his jewelry, especially after a newspaper in Tel Aviv reported—erroneously—that Gregg liked to wear a ring in his nose.