OPENING NOTES

Leslie Jones gets her man, New Brunswick has an identity crisis, and Lucien Bouchard’s coffers swell

July 9 1990

OPENING NOTES

Leslie Jones gets her man, New Brunswick has an identity crisis, and Lucien Bouchard’s coffers swell

July 9 1990

OPENING NOTES

Leslie Jones gets her man, New Brunswick has an identity crisis, and Lucien Bouchard’s coffers swell

OPTIONS FOR QUEBEC

Despite reports to the contrary, Ottawa insiders are speculating that plans are under way for a new Quebec political bloc led by former Tory cabinet minister Lucien Bouchard. Indeed, a member of the Quebec media said that the onetime environment minister is "being received in Quebec like he's the Pope." Already, there are eight defectors in the House of Commons. They are Tories Bouchard, François Gérin, Gilbert Chartrand, Louis Plamondon, Benoît Tremblay and Nie Leblanc, and Liberals Jean Lapierre and Gilles Rocheleau, who said that he will leave but has not made it official. Twelve members are needed for a group to qualify as a political party. Gerin, for one, has identified Bouchard as "a natural leader." And reports suggest that so-called sympathy donations are pouring into Bouchard's riding office. Marjolaine Gaudreau, who is in charge of the office's finances, declined to say how much, but she said that a bank account has been opened and the donations are "continuing in a big way." Is someone saving for a rainy day?

A place by any other name

Recent actions by Canada’s natives have threatened to change the face of the nation in more ways than one. While Elijah Harper and his colleagues were preventing the Manitoba legislature from ratifying the Meech Lake accord, John Joe Sark, a Micmac from Prince Edward Island, was mounting his own energetic campaign to alter the country's geographical names. Sark was concerned about Squaw Point, near the Charlottetown harbor. Said Sark, who urged the provincial government to change the name:

“Squaw is an insulting, non-Indian,

Western word which means ‘whore.’ It is a derogatory term to all women—but it is particularly degrading to Indian women.” Provincial officials have undertaken to

rename the point. Next, Sark wants the offending word removed from school texts. Also a point for consideration.

LORDSHIPS FOR SALE

Britain's cash-strapped peers are selling their birthrights to pay the bills. For up to $200,000, commoners can acquire such titles as “the lord of the manor of the Hundred of Forehoe. " However, purchasers get neither land nor membership in the nobility, just a bill of sale. None of which seems to have made a difference to Manfred Holitzner from Nepean, Ont., near Ottawa, who bought the barony of Carbery in County Cork, Ireland, from the Earl of Shannon. Next on his list is the barony of Wester Kiness in Scotland. What price glory?

Music made for the country

The music coming from Parliament Hill these days is more than just melancholy. According to the spring, 1990, Bureau of Broadcast Measurement figures, for the first time ever, Ottawa's most listened-to radio station is country-and-westem station CKBY FM. Indeed, this is not the first time a seat of government has been subject to some sad songs. The country music station WMZQ AM/FM in Washington topped the ratings in the District two years ago. Said Harold Blackadar, manager of Ottawa's CKBY: “It is a form of music where you can escape from the reality of it all." The times they are a-hurtin'.

A TICKET TO AN INTERVIEW

Enterprise reporting has reached new heights. CTV reporter Leslie Jones wanted to be first in line when Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells arrived in Calgary for the Liberal leadership convention after Wells adjourned the legislature before it could vote on the Meech Lake accord. To that end, Jones bought an airline ticket to Toronto in order to meet Wells in the arrivals area of the Calgary airport while the rest of the media waited outside. Her tenacity paid off. Jones rode to the SaddleDome with Wells’s entou-

rage, and he accompanied her to the CTV broadcast booth. Said Jones: “I was interested in only one thing—getting him to our set.” Wells arrived in time to see a broadcast of Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa commenting on the accord’s failure. CTV broadcast a split screen with Bourassa on one side and Wells reacting on the other. Said CTV vicepresident of news Tim Kotcheff: “It was very, very good television.” As for the rival CBC reporters, they had to settle for the scrum as Wells made his way to his seat.

WINNERS ARE LOSING IN LAS VEGAS

Canadian gamblers who visit the United States have to pay 30 per cent of their winnings to that country's Internal Revenue Service before they leave. And according to Nevada's two senators, that is bad for business in Las Vegas. As a result, Nevada senators Richard Bryan and Harry Reid are urging the treasury secretary to change the law. They say that it encourages Canadian gamblers to travel to nontaxing spots in the Bahamas and Europe. American gamblers, too, are subject to the tax, but they pay it when they file their annual tax return. Some nations, including Britain, France and Italy, have negotiated treaties that exclude their nationals from paying the tax. Said Bryan: "The law is inconsistent with the intent of the Free Trade Agreement." Sounds like a case for bettor relations.

Eastern image problem

There were depressing reports awaiting New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna when he returned from the last Meech Lake talks in Ottawa. A $250,000 study by New York City-based image and identity specialists Lippincott & Margulies showed that Canadians outside New Brunswick “responded negatively” to the province. The study showed that its compatriots view it as backward and disadvantaged. Said McKenna: “It is painfully clear that our problems are greater than we thought.” Penelope Demming, advertising co-ordinator for New Brunswick Tourism, said that the results are not surprising. Added Demming: “What can we expect when the only exposure Canadians have comes through national news items that show people who are unemployed or in some kind of crisis?” And in the United States? Almost no one had heard of the province.

Ado about Meech

Ontario politicians will be “merely players" at a Stratford Festival fund raiser planned for November in To-

ronto. Humorist Don Harron, who is writing a spoof for the event called The Shaming of the True, says that he hopes to include Ontario Premier David Peterson and opposition leader Robert Rae in his cast Said Harron: “I tried to avoid federal politicians because of all the unpleasantness of Meech. " No curtain calls for Brian Mulroney.