Opening NOTES

TANYA DAVIES November 9 1998

Opening NOTES

TANYA DAVIES November 9 1998

Opening NOTES



James is getting the royal treatment. The seven-year-old RCMP musical ride horse was presented to Queen Elizabeth last week to celebrate the Mounties’ 125th anniversary.The Queen, who has been the honorary commissioner of the RCMP since 1953, appeared delighted when she checked out the gelding. If he follows in the footsteps of the previous gift horses—Burmese in 1969 and Centenial in 1977—James might actually be blessed with a royal backside on his saddle. Crown equerry Lt.-Col. Seymour Gilbart-Denham says the plan is for Prince Charles to ride James in the next trooping the color ceremony in June.


Percentage of Canadian children who live in a two-parent family: 80

Percentage of children in lower-income families (defined as a family of four with an annual income of $27,500 or less or a single-parent family with an annual income of $19,250 or less) who have a behavioral problem: 15

In higher-income families: 9

Percentage of children, aged 6 to 11, who had a behavioral problem in 1996: 20

In 1994: 10


When 1,400 Canadians were surveyed about certain winter sports, more people were likely to stay home and watch them on television than get out in the cold and participate. By percentage of adults:

Watch on TV Participate in Hockey 41 9 Ice skating 27 13 Downhill skiing DATA COLLECTED IN FEBRUARY. 1998


The scent of a well-funded lobbying campaign around Parliament Hill used to be the cigar smoke and scotch fumes of the back rooms. These days, the whiff of influence speaks of a more innocent, but equally addictive, indulgence: chocolate. It lingers on the breath of MPs and their aides who were recently schmoozed by the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association.

CADA distributes milk-chocolate sports cars to MPs whenever it mounts one of its periodic blitzes of the Hill. The quality of the confectionary product—if not always the policy pitch that goes with it—is well regarded on both sides of the House. In Reform finance critic Monte Solberg’s office, grateful staffers admit to devouring at least one of the cars—the size of a cellular phone—recently. One Liberal MP’s aide, who asked not to be named, says she put in a special request to CADA when she missed out on the most recent distribution. Not to worry. “If somebody does something nice for us,” says Huw Williams,

CADA’s top lobbyist, “we drop off a chocolate car.”

Those inclined to laugh off such minor favors might consider CADA’s track record. On its top priority—keeping the banks out of the auto-leasing business— the association has repeatedly won in head-to-head competition against its rival, the banking lobby. Lately, CADA has shifted into high gear to make sure that if the big banks are denied the right to merge, the government will not toss them auto leasing as a consolation prize. Working to prevent that outcome should keep the auto-assembly lines at CADA’s supplier, On Occasion Chocolates of Orleans, Ont, busy well into 1999.