OPENING NOTES

Sandie Rinaldo gives birth to the news, the tax man catches up with David MacDonald, and Meech Lake goes up in value

August 27 1990

OPENING NOTES

Sandie Rinaldo gives birth to the news, the tax man catches up with David MacDonald, and Meech Lake goes up in value

August 27 1990

OPENING NOTES

Sandie Rinaldo gives birth to the news, the tax man catches up with David MacDonald, and Meech Lake goes up in value

A TALE OF TWO LAKES

The failure of the Meech Lake accord last June strikes many as a reflection of Canadians' dissatisfaction with the proposed agreement. But some of the accord's most strident critics apparently see the proverbial lake itself in quite a different light. According to Frank Macintyre, a local real estate agent, property on Meech Lake, located in the Gatineau Hills in Quebec about a 20-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, is in great demand. But he said that lots rarely become available. Now, Tom Axworthy, former principal secretary to Pierre Trudeau and coeditor, with the former prime minister, of Towards a

Just Society, has apparently bought land on the lake that bears the name of the accord he so strongly opposed. Axworthy, who is now executive director of the ORB Foundation in Montreal, was not available for comment. But a Meech Lake resident who asked not to be identified said that Axworthy has purchased two acres near Planchet Beach. If he builds on the property, Axworthy will be in the company of such Canadians as Minister of National Health and Welfare Perrin Beatty and Peter Connolly, who was principal secretary to former Liberal leader John Turner. Both were supporters of the Meech Lake accord. But Tom's brother Lloyd, MP for 5 Winnipeg South Centre and another I Meech opponent, appears to be stick5 ing closer to home. Said Lloyd: - "I'm happy with my place on Lake Winnipeg."

A debt to the tax department

It was a close shave—and an embarrassing one—as one of Canada’s pre-eminent citizens almost lost his Prince Edward Island home away from home to the tax man. David MacDonald, Conservative MPfor Toronto’s Rosedale riding, former cabinet minister and ambassador to Ethiopia, was riding the ferry to his family home near Stanhope Beach, P.E.I., when he noticed his name in an advertisement in the Charlottetown Guardian under the heading “Province of P.E.I. properties scheduled for tax sale.” Said MacDonald: “I almost fell off the ferryboat. There was my name imposingly printed in the Guardian.” The ad stated that the properties listed were “scheduled to be sold for unpaid taxes under the provisions of the Real Property Tax Act by Sept. 11, 1990.” MacDonald said that he had not received his tax bill for several years. But he lost no time

paying the outstanding $1,400, and the Stanhope home is still in the family. However, the stigma remains. Said a family friend: “Those bureaucrats just don’t give a damn who they humiliate.” It is a taxing job, but someone has to do it.

BORDERING ON BAD RELATIONS

A controversial new 550,000-square-foot shopping mall has opened in the village of Massena, N.Y., across the border from Cornwall, Ont. And Canadian bargain hunters from as far away as Ottawa are rushing to shop at lower U.S. prices. Said Cornwall Mayor Philippe Poirier: “There is no way Massena could support a mall that size. It is built in the middle of nowhere." A spokesman for the mall developer said: “Of course we were trying to draw Canadian shoppers. That's why we chose this location." Bargains know no borders.

FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE

For nearly a year, the Vancouver-based Media Foundation has been trying to convince U.S. and Canadian television networks to air its controversial “Tubehead” commercials. The 15-second spots feature people with TV sets stuck on their heads and such messages as “TV addiction—North America’s number 1 mental health problem?” and “Dad, Dad, talk to me, Dad!” In Canada, only the CBC has agreed to run the ads. ABC has refused. Said vicepresident Harvey Dzodin: “Showing that ad

would be like shooting ourselves in the foot.” Now, the foundation is launching a new campaign

aimed at what it calls “American excess.” The commercials show a pig on a map of North America while an angry voice says: “Five per cent of the people in the world gobble up one-third of the planet’s resources and produce almost half the nonorganic waste. Those people are us.” The pig swells with delight and then burps. The commercials are still in production, but Media Foundation director Kalle Lasn said that, if they make it onto television, it will be the first time that TV commercials have been used to urge people not to buy.

A seat in the family

Other than a brief stint as a member of a Conservative student organization while he was a student at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., Canada's ambassador to the United States, Derek Burney, has been careful to keep his political stripes a matter of conjecture. But he may be showing his true colors at last. Burney's son Alexander is running as the Tory candidate for the Ottawa Centre riding in the upcoming Ontario election. Said Burney: He always told me he wanted to be PM some day, so I guess this is how he plans to start. " Not exactly following in his father's footsteps, but close.

NO HOCKEY NIGHT IN SASKATOON

It would have made the long Prairie winters a little more bearable, but hockey promoter Bill Hunter says his dream of an NHL franchise for Saskatchewan is dead. And the former ge.-ieral manager of the Edmonton Oilers blames Premier Grant Devine. Hunter, who has been trying for 10 years to bring hockey to the province, said that the government would not provide a $20-million loan guarantee to buy an expansion franchise. Insiders speculate that Devine is reluctant to risk taxpayers' money—especially with an election imminent. But, in 1983, money was not the object. A plan to buy the St. Louis Blues fell through when Hunter tried to move that team to Saskatoon. It would have been easier to move Saskatoon to Missouri.

A news baby girl

Sandie Rinaldo, senior editor and coanchor of Toronto’s CFTO TV’s World Beat News, knows a story when she sees one. But the CFTO publicity department’s grip on what is news is a lot less firm. Early in August, as the Mohawks manned the barricades in Oka,

Que., and an Arab dictator plotted the

takeover of Kuwait, publicist Bentley Steers was composing a news release that grandly announced, “CFTO TV’S SANDIE RINALDO BEGINS MATERNITY LEAVE THIS FRIDAY!” The release, which went to Toronto’s major media, described how Rinaldo coped with pregnancy on a trip to the Soviet Union in January. Steers quoted her: “I had morning sickness all the time I was in Moscow, not a pleasant experience.” Steers continued: “In 1980, Sandie became Canada’s first full-time news anchor to be visibly pregnant on the air. Amanda [Rinaldo’s eldest daughter] was born Saturday, Dec. 27. Only one day earlier, Sandie was co-hosting CTV’s Canada AMW” Rinaldo, who on Aug. 13 gave birth to a healthy daughter, Maggie Felice, told Maclean’s that she does not feel she has accomplished anything extraordinary. Said Rinaldo: “I hope they didn’t make too much of the superwoman thing.” Faster than a speeding news release.

PORNOGRAPHIC PRIORITIES

Members of a conservative U.S. group called the Reli-

gious Alliance Against Pornography say that they are upset. On a recent visit to the White House,

George Bush didn’t meet them because of what a White House

spokesman called a

“scheduling thing.” But when alliance spokesman Nancy Clausen learned that Bush later found

time to meet with magazine editors including Playboÿs Christie Hefner, her anger flared. Said Clausen: “We were invited to the White House, but the President didn't see us. No senior officials gave us any time at all. We were

given a briefing on art by some guy whose name I forget. Now, I have just learned that the President did talk with Christie Hefner. Isn’t that interesting?” However, the White House

spokesman said

that, as far as he knows, Bush does not read—or look at— Playboy.