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Anthony Wilson-Smith,Derek Chezzi July 10 2000
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Anthony Wilson-Smith,Derek Chezzi July 10 2000

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@macleans.ca

Anthony Wilson-Smith

Shanda Deziel

Over and Under Achievers

Canada: we’re No.l—sorry!

Presto: he disappears! Stockwell: he soothes your fear! Molson: the Habs don’t sell our beer! And Yashin: he owes a year!

Preston Manning: Say, sir, didn’t you used to be Jimmy Stewart/King of Stornoway/The Guy Liberals Loved to Hate?

Stockwell Day: The future MP from Holt Renfrew riding tells gays he’s no enemy As proof, they can exchange fashion tips.

Montreal Canadiens: Why

would Molson sell a bad, badly managed, money-losing team playing in a really badly designed rink? Which part needs explaining?

Alexei Yasilin: Arbitrator rules the striking Ottawa Sens’ star must serve full length of his sentence/contract with team. Upside: if he stays out much longer, there won’t be any Canadian teams left he can refuse to play for.

± Lapis the cat: Leaves home in Colorado, turns up 4,600 km away in the Yukon. If Air Canada strikes, that’s farther than any of us will get this summer.

^ Canada (again): UN rates us No. 1 place to live for seventh straight year. Downside: news is greeted with apathy or indignation—by Canadians.

With Tom Long out of the Canadian Alliance leadership race, Queen’s Park is abuzz about his future-and that of Mike Harris. Despite publicity about strong Bay Street support, insiders say Long’s campaign debt could be as high as $1 million.

Now, Long must decide what to do. Although he promised to run for the Alliance in the next election, a friend says “it would be a mistake to presume that’s definite." One reason is his perceived coolness towards likely winner Stockwell Day after Day supporters made disparaging remarks about gay people

The Long Game

working for Long. Earlier this year, Long left his job as an executive headhunter with the Egon Zehnder firm because, he said privately, he wanted a chance to run a I company himself. He could I resume efforts for a CEO’s I job-or there’s always a job 5 as chief of staff to Harris, as incumbent Ron McLaughlin stepped down last week. But Long is unlikely to do that, and the job has a hitch: sources say candidates are being told the position is for 18 monthsmeaning Harris would then step down. So Ottawa or Bay Street? That a friend says, is a decision Long “won’t think about” until after the Alliance vote on July 8.

Over the Shoulder

Ginette Reno, singer:

“I’m reading Et si c’était vrai, (If Only It Were True), about a woman in a coma—Steven Spielberg bought rights to the movie. I buy books about compulsive overeaters, alcoholics, dmg addicts. I’m a freak about everything to do with psychology.”

Evelyn Hart, dancer.

“I go back and forth between something literary and entertaining and something quite philosophical. I just finished Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and a book on Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’m still slogging through Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady, which I read two pages at a time. I hate rushing.”

William Hutt, actor:

“I just finished the brand new book Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas by the

young scholar Douglas Murray. It’s an extraordinary book. I don’t think there was a great deal of new information, but one of the things that was emphasized— and rightly so—was that Lord Alfred Douglas was considered, at the time, one of the premier poets of his day. He never broke through because of the OscarWilde scandal that hovered over his life right till the end.”

Overseen. Overheard

Society’s child: the old and new

Although it may be an outdated notion to some, Rebecca Cannon believes little girls dream of becoming ladies—who dress up for fancy dances. So Cannon, 16, a sea cadet/cheerleader/rugby player, signed up for the Annual Military Ball in Vancouver. For four weekends, she learned etiquette, ballroom dancing and table manners.

The culmination of all that came last month at the ball, when Cannon and 11 other girls donned floorlength dresses and white gloves, and were escorted by junior officers and presented to the lieutenant-governor and their fathers.

The ball began in 1946, when Canadian troops came back from war, as a way to acknowledge that their little girls had grown up. While many have questioned the relevance of this

kind of ceremony—and organizers concede they have thought of cancelling the event—there remains too much support to do so. “Ifs a tradition,” says Cannon. “I don’t think they should change something to suit feminist activists.”

Three provinces over, 30 Manitoban teenage girls who are not as interested in becoming ladies, are signing up for a traditionally feminine celebration—with a twist. At the Miss Teen Manitoba pageant, there are no beauty marks or swimsuit competition: rather, girls are judged on essay writing, a fitness test and onstage interviews. The winners, says organizer Marie Routhier, often don’t fit the traditional beauty queen image. The current Miss Teen Manitoba, Tiffanyjoy Hirniak, has her nose, navel and tongue pierced and is, according to Routhier, “kind of a skateboard chick.” In Manitoba, a tomboy can wear a sash—and a crown and tongue stud aren’t mutually exclusive.

Mothers, Fathers Go Missing in Action

During the Depression, 12 per cent of all families were headed by single parents. Although that figure has only slightly increased-to 15 per cent in 1996—the reasons behind the numbers have changed dramatically. In 1931, more than three-quarters of all single-parent families were headed by a widowed father or mother. Now, according to Statistics Canada, the reasons for single parenthood include the growing economic independence of women combined with the decreased stigma of births outside marriage: never-married parents, in fact, now outnumber widowed ones.

Canadiana for sale, online

On eBay, a piece of our past is going, going ...

How do you sell a Canadian landmark? Jim Gill, owner of a 114-year-old onetime customs house and post office in Brockville, Ont., is using the eBay Internet auction Web site, saying: “It’s instant worldwide exposure.”

Gill says a new owner could qualify for a federal program that allows up to $ 1 million for the purchase and renovation of historic sites: as the existing owner, he isn’t eligible. The structure was built under the direction of Thomas Fuller, the architect responsible for the Parliament buildings. So far, the high bid of $325,300 falls well short of Gill’s “reserve

price”—the lowest amount he will accept. There has been celebrity interest, although Gill won’t name the prospective buyer. But he offered these clues: “It’s a male who loves Victorian properties—and it’s not Dan Aykroyd.” Start guessing— or bidding.

Derek Chezzi