OPENING NOTES

G. Gordon Liddy plays the heavy, Boris Yeltsin is in good spirits, and the Liberals decline a northern treat

September 25 1989

OPENING NOTES

G. Gordon Liddy plays the heavy, Boris Yeltsin is in good spirits, and the Liberals decline a northern treat

September 25 1989

OPENING NOTES

G. Gordon Liddy plays the heavy, Boris Yeltsin is in good spirits, and the Liberals decline a northern treat

A TOAST TO DETENTE

Boris Yeltsin, the silver-haired Soviet politician who wants to quicken reform of his country's stagnant economy, impressed many Americans with his candor—and stamina—during a recent eight-day visit to the United States. For one thing, officials at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University said that Yeltsin and an aide were seen strolling the school grounds at 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 12, three hours after the Soviet parliament member had checked into his residence after a busy day in New York City. Yeltsin later attended a 7:30 a.m. breakfast meeting on campus. But after shaking hands with the assembled guests, Yeltsin asked his aide to address the meeting and excused himself for one hour, saying that he was suffering from jet lag and needed to rest. After his departure from campus, several university officials expressed their admiration for another Yeltsin trait: his capacity. According to the officials, their Soviet guest consumed 1 Vi 26-ounce bottles of Jim Beam whisky during his night on campus.

Capturing a fish story on film

In Vancouver, B.C. Packers has recruited some heavyweight talent in an attempt to keep its command of the canned-tuna market over archrival Star-Kist. That New Brunswick-based cannery has re-entered the market four years after the firm distributed rancid tuna. To ward off Star-Kist’s challenge, the J. Walter Thompson ad agency spent four months devising two TV ads that show a killer whale surging out of the water and choosing Clover Leaf tuna over fresh tuna. One reason for the long lead time: many Pacific Rim sea-life parks would not permit use of their killer-whale pools during the summer tourist season, forcing the agency to turn to Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont. Then, Junior, the 21/2-ton star of the ad, de-

voured six cases of canned tuna during a onemonth training period. Making a splash on TV can take time.

SAFE, CLEAN TAX PROTESTS

Vancouver realtor Brian Calder is also the leader of Spend Less or Go, a 300member protest movement against Ottawa's proposed goods and services tax. Indeed, SLOG members plan to re-enact the 1773 Boston Tea Party and dump 10 cases of tea overa ship's side on Oct. 1. But the tax protesters have to grapple with issues that were not a concern for the revolutionaries. Said Calder: “We are checking with environmentalists to see if the tea would cause any damage. If so, we will dip a huge, symbolic cloth tea bag over the side. "

Big jumps for frogs’legs

Canadian and U.S. gourmets are paying more for a favorite delicacy, as the price of frogs’ legs has risen by approximately 40 per cent during the past two years. A major reason for that increase: such major suppliers of frogs’ legs as China, India and Bangladesh are reducing exports because frogs are valuable consumers of Hies and other pest insects. Still, Toronto restaurateur John Arena said that other suppliers, including Japan and the Philippines, were filling the demand—at a retail price of about $7 per pound. On Arena’s forthcoming menu at Winston’s restaurant, that price will jump to about $25 per serving.

AN INVESTMENT WITH NO RETURN

Dennis Mills displayed his vaunted organizational skills by helping to organize a massive environmental conference in Toronto last week—inviting such celebrity environmentalists as folksinger John Denver to attend the event. Still, the rookie Toronto MP—who advisers say will soon enter the race for the leadership of the federal Liberal party—has received no political return from another recent organizational success. In an attempt to strengthen Liberal roots in the West, Mills arranged for summer employ-

ment in Ottawa for 40 young westerners. But the youthful Liberals displayed no gratitude after Mills convinced his caucus colleagues to hire the students to work in their offices, largely as researchers. Indeed, when Mills’s aides recently polled the students, almost all of them said that if they were delegates to the party’s June leadership convention in Calgary they would vote for two other likely candidates: former cabinet minister Jean Chrétien and Montreal MP Paul Martin.

CASTING BALLOTS WITH A HAPPY FACE

Canadians can now mark their ballots with such distinctive signs as cartoon-like drawings, without electoral officials declaring that such signs are invalid. That is because Ontario Supreme Court Judge Judith Bell recently ruled that a so-called happy-face drawing was a valid mark in a hotly contested aldermanic contest in Ottawa last November. Still, chief electoral officer Jean-Marc Hamel told Maclean's that he would be concerned if large numbers of happy faces or any similar highly distinctive mark, began appearing on ballots cast during a federal election. One reason: the marks could be an agreed-upon signal to indicate that vote-buying had in fact been successful. In that event, another judge would then have to rule on the validity of happy-face ballots.

Saying no to tradition in the North

Opposition Leader John Turner, 60 Liberal MPs and several senators travelled to the Inuit community of Iqaluit—1,944 km north of Montreal—last month for the first

meeting of the party caucus in the Northwest Territories. But there was little north-south accord during a traditional food ceremony, which holds that anyone who eats still-warm seal organs will retain that heat through the winter. To that end, an Inuit elder slit open a freshly killed seal, consumed half the liver—and then offered the remaining portion to such guests as Toronto-area MP John Nunziata. Senator Joyce Fairbairn was the only Liberal who accepted the raw meat offering. Clearly, a strong stomach is sometimes needed to meet the demands of party politics.

Perfect for the part

G. Gordon Liddy, the Richard Nixon aide who directed the 1972 burglary of Democratic headquarters in

Washington’s Watergate complex, has a thriving new career—as a movie villain. The 58-year-old Liddy recently finished his ninth film, playing a drug dealer who fakes his own death in a feature film with the working title Nowhere Man. Said Liddy: “There is a real demand for credible villains and not so much demand for the fellow with capped teeth who gets the girl.” Art can sometimes imitate life.