OPENING NOTES

Kevin Costner upstages a princess, Stevie Cameron tells capital tales, and western Canadians show their wit

August 14 1989

OPENING NOTES

Kevin Costner upstages a princess, Stevie Cameron tells capital tales, and western Canadians show their wit

August 14 1989

OPENING NOTES

Kevin Costner upstages a princess, Stevie Cameron tells capital tales, and western Canadians show their wit

ESPIONAGE ON THE HILL

Stevie Cameron studied Russian and code-breaking for the federal government in 1964, but she says that because she was “no good at either," she switched to journalism. She also set out to investigate the secrets of the very government that had trained her to spy. And now the political reporter for The Globe and Mail has decided to parlay her years of investigative legwork into a telltale book about Ottawa's political elite. In Ottawa Inside Out: Power', Prestige and Scandal, scheduled to be released in October, Cameron says that she uncovers a national capi-

tal rife with bloated expense accounts

and even bigger egos. She says that she will include revelations about late-night poker games in the Commons, where stakes have included wharves and airplane hangars in the constituencies of the MPS involved. Cameron also interviewed Ottawa-based consultant Carol Reesor, who told her that several federal politicians—including five former cabinet ministers—have paid her a set fee of $3,000 for advice on personal appearance, table manners, and even hygiene. Reesor also provides her clients with a fresh shirt and tie when they are forced to appear unexpectedly in public. And because Reesor's company, Savoir Vivre, is registered with the Ontario ministry of education, her parliamentary clients are legally allowed to pay her out of their publicly funded expense accounts. All in all, required fall reading—especially in Ottawa.

Lights, camera, lawsuit

It began as a foray into home moviemaking.

But a videotape made by actor Rob Lowe last July—depicting Lowe and three women, one of whom was 16, engaged in sexual antics—has become a bootleg hit across the United States.

And just as sales were reportedly slowing, a sequel emerged. According to Jake Steinfeld, a Los Angeles-based exercise trainer, employees at Cable News Network in Atlanta spliced scenes from Lowe’s tape with segments from one of Steinfeld’s exercise videos. Among the resulting segments: Steinfeld saying “Tighten that butt”—with a cut to Lowe’s sexual exercising. Lowe has remained silent about the affair, but Steinfeld sought $7.2 million in damages from CNN for libel and

invasion of privacy, before agreeing last week to settle out of court. A man has to exercise his right to an unsullied reputation.

CLEVER WITS IN THE WEST

Members must have an intelligence quotient in the top two per cent of the population, but Mensa Canada has always asserted that socalled Mensans come from all walks of life. Still, figures released last week indicate that proximity to the Pacific Ocean provides an edge in gaining entry into the elite club. While British Columbians and Albertans were most likely to have joined Mensa, Canada's four Atlantic provinces had the fewest members per capita, with New Brunswick finishing last. But perhaps regional disparities are just a state of mind.

Environmental

turnaround

Since the giant tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground last March 24, officials at oil giant Exxon Corp. have made strenuous efforts to cleanse the nearly 1,600 km of Alaskan coastline soiled by the spill. And even as the damaged ship was towed into port at San Diego last week, Exxon officials in Alaska were distributing 1,008 bottles of PreSun Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin to protect a 3,000-member cleanup crew. Indeed, the lotion itself appeared to testify to Exxon's newfound commitment to environmentally friendly practices: PreSun's label declares the product not only waterproof but “oil free."

PROBLEMS WITH AN EPIC TALE

It is an epic tale about a doctor from Gravenhurst, Ont., who travelled to China in 1938 to treat soldiers wounded in the fighting against a Japanese invasion. But making a movie of the life of Norman Bethune has been a monumental undertaking in itself. Bethune: The Making of a Hero, which stars Canadian Donald Sutherland, was originally scheduled for release in May, 1988. And problems continue to trouble its production. According to Bethune's Vancouver-based director, Phillip Borsos, rounding up a far-flung

cast—with actors from Canada, England, France, Spain and China—delayed final dubbing of the sound track until early this month. And French composer Phillippe Sarde only recently completed the movie's score, just as the British orchestra, that will record the music, broke for its annual month-long summer holiday. As a result, the movie will not be released until October—too late for the Toronto and Montreal film festivals. Creating Bethune, the movie, appears to have spawned an epic story all its own.

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR CANADIAN GOLF

Many Canadian golf fans expressed dismay last month when the PGA Tour announced that it would move the 1990 Canadian Open from its prime television time slot in July to a less enviable one in September, PGA Tour officials said that the move would allow players to practise for the British Open, set to take place one week after the original Canadian date. But tournament insiders have given Maclean's a different reason for the move: CBS TV, which would have carried the event in the United States, had demanded that the Open's sponsor, Montreal-based du Maurier Ltd., buy $1 million in commercials. And because du Maurier does not sell its products widely in the United States—and cannot advertise on television—it refused to meet the network's condition. Green is the color of golf.

Jitters in the Orient

It was the last piece of prime, undeveloped land in Hong Kong’s crowded business district. But last week, a 95,000-square-foot lot in the city’s downtown core sold for about one-half of its estimated value when bidding opened last May 26. The reason, according to financial and real estate analysts: uncertainty over the future of the colony, which reverts to the control of China in 1997. Investor concern increased dramatically after the massacre of members of China’s pro-democracy movement on June 4. Indeed, despite intense bidding by five major Hong Kong developers—including Li Ka-shing, whose Canadian holdings include the former Expo 86 lands on Vancouver’s waterfront—The Great Eagle Co. Ltd., a property developer, secured the lot for only $407 million. That represented a good deal—but a risky venture— in an increasingly uncertain investment haven.

Uncommon appeal

Her radiant smile and royal bearing make Diana, Princess of Wales, a popular cover subject of magazines and tab-

loids. But the princess appears to have been upstaged recently by Hollywood heartthrob Kevin Costner. When Costner graced New York City-based Vanity Fair magazine last May, sales of the glossy monthly jumped to 708,000—16,000 more copies than its 1988 best-selling issue, whose cover featured Diana. Some faces have the common touch.