OPENING NOTES

Pierre Trudeau on a shopping spree, Peter Mansbridge in disguise, Ronald Reagan under fire

September 26 1988

OPENING NOTES

Pierre Trudeau on a shopping spree, Peter Mansbridge in disguise, Ronald Reagan under fire

September 26 1988

OPENING NOTES

Pierre Trudeau on a shopping spree, Peter Mansbridge in disguise, Ronald Reagan under fire

CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN

Pierre Elliott Trudeau has always been a bit of a dandy. During his years in the political limelight, the former prime minister was a decidedly unconservative dresser, often stepping out in a black cape and beret. Now, in his new role as leader of occasional expeditions to exotic locales, Trudeau is once again displaying his taste for fashionable clothes. In October, the Montreal lawyer will spend 18 days trekking through remote, mountainous regions of Kashmir and Bhutan with such illustrious companions as explorer Joe Madnnis and Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

To outfit himself for the trip, Trudeau recently visited the warehouse of a Montreal clothing firm. There, he chose $1,015 worth of outdoor wear in the trendy Patagonia line. His purchases included a set of bright red long johns ($90), a set of foul-weather gear with peacock blue trim (jacket: $400, pants: $150), three polo shirts in shades of orange, gold and cornflower blue ($60 each) and one pair of pleated khaki trousers ($70). Informed that there were no changing rooms, Trudeau shrugged, casually unbuckled his trousers and tried on his new gear in the open warehouse. He was wearing blue Jockey shorts. When he proffered his Visa credit card, he was offered a discount that reduced the bill to $507.50.

I Trudeau quickly accepted, confirming that his legendary frugality remains just as strong as his sense of style.

The bald truth at the top

Life at the top is sweet for Peter Mansbridge. At the age of 40, he enjoys status, celebrity and a yearly salary of at least $200,000 as the anchorman for CBC TV’s nightly news program The National. But in a medium that frequently selects onair personnel for their appearance—the so-called hairand-teeth factor—Mansbridge has a problem: his blond hair is rapidly receding. To disguise that fact, Mansbridge has taken matters into his own hands: he applies Pan-Cake makeup to his scalp to reduce the reflection from camera lights. But some viewers have detected the unevenly applied camouflage. Last month, the state of Mansbridge’s hair was the subject of a spirited open-line discussion on a Montreal radio station. CBC TV’s own makeup experts, who say that they would be willing to apply their

skills to his sparse locks and help him appear more natural, are now urging him to consider using makeup that contains less brown and orange. If that fails, he may have to resort to the Burt Reynolds solution: a hairpiece. Stay tuned.

A VOTE FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Treasury Board president Patricia Carney shocked her Conservative colleagues recently when she announced that, because of health problems, she might not run in the next federal election. “Mrs. Moneybags,” as she calls herself, frequently complains about chronic back pain. But both her doctor and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney have suggested that a strict diet might be the solution to the problem. The Tories have persuaded her to run again, but she has still not given them the big campaign promise: a cutback on consumption.

BEHAVING STRICTLY BY THE BOOK

When Greg Weston’s Reign of Error was officially launched in Ottawa last week, few Liberals joined in the festivities. In fact, only one Grit MP attended the celebration: Roland de Corneille, the disgruntled member for Toronto's Eglinton-Lawrence riding. Meanwhile, party loyalists have alleged that Jacques Courtois, chairman of McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., will receive a Senate seat in return for publishing the unflattering biography of Liberal Lead-

er John Turner. But Courtois, a Montreal lawyer and friend of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, dismissed that possibility. He added, “That is not in the cards.” In any event, many Liberals want to reach their own conclusions about the book. Minutes after it arrived at a midtown Toronto store, Liberal strategist Senator Keith Davey rushed in and bought the first copy. Weston may get mixed reviews from the fractious Liberals—but he clearly has their attention.

Fountains of youth

Dr. Morton Shulman has a new crusade: extending the life-span of cats, dogs and other pets. The 63year-old former coroner, author and Ontario MPP is currently a successful investor. But in 1982, he developed Parkinson’s disease, a progressive nerve disorder that he says drove him to contemplate suicide. For Shulman, salvation took the form of Deprenyl. Developed by a Hungarian doctor, the drug prevents such characteristics as uncontrollable muscle tremors and loss of strength. Shulman was so impressed by the drug that he obtained the Canadian rights to distribute it to Canadian physicians. In the meantime, U.S. researchers who administered Deprenyl to laboratory rats found that the drug increased the animals’ life-span, in many cases doubling it to about four years. Recognizing the moneymaking potential of that discovery, Shulman is now about to sign a deal with a pet food company to add Deprenyl to its products. Eventually—after the completion of clinical trials—Shulman says he hopes that Deprenyl will be used to extend human life-spans. Added Shulman: “We might even use the brand name Ponce de Léon.” For the moment, however, humans are restricted from the fountain of youth.

Tmùshing a decent name

The Heritage Hookers are not amused. The group of 25 Charlottetown matrons, who spend their spare time making traditional hooked rugs, feel that another group of women “from away”—or off-island—has caused them some embarrassment. Two so-called escort services have recently opened for business on Prince Edward Island. The rug hookers and other islanders say that blatant sex-for-sale operations on Anne of Green Gables’ home turf could tarnish their province’s wholesome image. Still, the Heritage Hookers are resolute—they refuse to change their name.

POPCORN, MR. PRESIDENT?

In March, 1987, as Ottawa prepared for the April summit between President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, several presidential aides were considering impeaching their boss. The reason: their conviction that the Iran-contra scandal had severely depressed Reagan, making him unfit for office. According to leaked memos, some aides felt that Reagan was lazy and inattentive, only interested in watching television and movies. Eventually, Howard Baker, then White House chief of staff, rejected the impeachment proposal. The President may not have recovered entirely, however, when he reached Ottawa. His comment on acid rain: "I'm not against it. I'd like a total reduction of it.''

A SLIP OF THE TONGUE

Four months after the New Democrats lost the Manitoba election, Howard Pawley is busy planning the relaunch of his political career. The former premier intends to run federally as the NDP candidate in the riding of Selkirk, a constituency that sprawls northeast from the suburbs of Winnipeg. While his supporters welcome his return, many are apprehensive about his upcom-

ing speeches: Pawley’s tendency to mangle metaphors is renowned. Last spring, as he tried to inspire his demoralized troops to fight the election that they would ultimately lose, the leaden-tongued leader declared: “It won’t be a cheese walk.

This will be a tough election. We will have to expose ourselves more and really rub the flesh.” Soon, lapel buttons bearing his mixed-up message—“Cheesewalk became collector’s items among NDP members across Canada. Grating, indeed, for a politician starting over.