OPENING NOTES

Brian Mulroney says no dice, Canada’s college star heads south, and Colin Powell defends his name

May 13 1991

OPENING NOTES

Brian Mulroney says no dice, Canada’s college star heads south, and Colin Powell defends his name

May 13 1991

OPENING NOTES

Brian Mulroney says no dice, Canada’s college star heads south, and Colin Powell defends his name

BUREAUCRATIC VACANCIES

Sources close to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney say that Paul Tellier, clerk of the Privy Council, is preparing to leave his post as top civil servant after more than five years. Tellier has indicated to the Prime Minister that he intends to leave his post within a year, and Mulroney has agreed in principle. But Tellier's planned departure leaves Mulroney with the thorny problem of finding a qualified replacement for the talented and experienced Tellier. Some insiders say that Derek Burney, Canada's ambassador to the United States and Mulrone/s former chief of staff, wants the job. But conventional wisdom

holds that, given the current national unity situation, the Prime Minister would prefer to name a francophone to the position. The 52-year-old Tellier rose to power in the public service under the Liberals in the mid-1970s as Pierre Trudeau's special adviser on Quebec. In 1979, Prime Minister Joe Clark made him deputy minister of Indian affairs. From there, he moved to Energy, Mines and Resources. Now, there is speculation that Tellier will succeed Ronald Lawless as president and CEO of Canadian National Railways. Last year, Tellier was passed over for the presidency of Petro-Canada. A spokesman at the Prime Minister's Office would not confirm any of the moves, and Tellier could not be reached for comment. Still, at the end of last week, the scent of high-level appointments was in the air.

A lot of bang for a few bucks

Every day for the past 122 years, almost anyone within shooting distance of Parliament Hill could hear the noon-hour cannon. But on April 1, the 184-yearold gun remained silent—and will stay that way. The reason: the National Capital Commission (NCC) wants to save the $26,000-a-year operating costs. A gift to Britain’s Canadian garrison in 1854, the gun helped Ottawans to set • their watches. But over the years, the noon boom has had other uses.

Indeed, for many Ottawa press gallery reporters, the firing was an all-clear to have the first drink of the day. And still others kept real time by it. Said Leslie Roche, a host on CBC’s Radio Noon show: “I used to sit by my desk and wait for the sound of the cannon.” Last week, Canada Post expressed interest in the muzzled gun. But Donald Murphy, the post office’s director of special events, expressed

skepticism. Said Murphy: “This thing was silent for 25 days before anybody realized it wasn’t being fired.” He added: “There never was a ceremony around it. Just some little guy from the NCC shooting it off.” Not with a bang but a whimper.

WEIGHT-

WATCHER

Winnipeg resident James Hanoski is trying to sue a local dating service because, he claims, it failed to find him the woman of his dreams. Hanoski, 26, says that the Single's Club, now closed, frequently paired him up with overweight women and with one woman who was a prostitute. “Not being a rude person and all that, "Hanoski said, “I had to go through with it.” But now, Hanoski wants $290 in fees back. “It was the first time that I ever tried this sort of thing,” he said. “I guess this is just one of those lessons in life.” A case of love and learn.

A STUDY IN CONTRASTS

Raghib (Rocket) Ismail, who was widely expected to be the top NFL draft choice, stunned the U.S. football establishment recently when he signed with the Toronto Argonauts. But last week, Nick Mazzoli, a wide receiver at Simon Fraser University who was the CFL’s No. 1 draft pick this year, went to the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League with far less fanfare. Still, Ismail and Mazzoli have a lot in common. At five feet, 11 inches, and 185 lb., Mazzoli is almost exactly the same size as Ismail (5 feet, 11 inches; 174 lb.). And with his 4.41-second clocking in the 40yard dash, he is only a bat of an eyelash slower than the Rocket’s 4.29. But while Ismail signed a stunning $30.1-million, four-year contract, football insiders reported that Mazzoli signed a one-year deal worth $100,000 (including bonuses). Although the pay is relatively paltry, Mazzoli’s record is impressive indeed. In his final year at Simon Fraser, he caught 57 passes for 1,052 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in just 11 games. Said Seahawks spokesman David Neubert: “Nick is kind of special.” Good things come in small packages, too.

A bad gamble

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and his wife, Mila, appeared to be enjoying themselves at the April 27 annual Press Gallery dinner. But there was a limit to the Prime Minister’s sense of humor. During an hour-long show that followed the dinner, several Ottawa jour-

nalists, among them

Malcolm Bernard, bureau chief of Standard Broadcast News, poked fun at life in the nation’s capital. Impersonating Mulroney, Bernard launched into a takeoff of the hit song The Gambler. The altered lyrics lampooned last summer’s Meech Lake talks and also made light of the Prime Minister’s infamous post-Meech “roll of the dice” remarks. With Mulroney sitting barely 20 feet away, Bernard, who was holding two large, furry white dice, crooned: “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to roll them/Know when to sign away, know when to run/You don’t count your accords when you’re sitting at the table/There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the rollin’s done.” At the end, Bernard walked into the audience and presented Mulroney with the dice. Mulroney graciously accepted them. But after the show, he left them conspicuously behind on his chair. Bernard says that he considered giving them to Mulroney again, but decided against it. He allowed: “I didn’t think he would accept them.” A safe bet.

Canada keeps the peace

Maclean’s has learned that Canada will provide a commanding officer and an infantry battalion of up to 700 members for a new UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara. The force is expected to help supervise an upcoming unity referendum in the long-disputed territory. According to a senior UN official, Canada’s invitation came directly from UN Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. “It’s a real bonus for Canada,” said the official, who requested anonymity. “It is another tangible sign of recognition by the UN that Canada is the premier peacekeeping force in the world. ”

THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW

An Edmonton man is the first person in Canada charged with impaired driving of a motorized wheelchair. Richard Ross was on his way home from a bar at about 2 a.m. when he drove his wheelchair onto the street because the sidewalk was clogged by snow. An RCMP constable stopped him and administered a breathalyser test, which Ross failed. Said Ross, 39, who has multiple sclerosis: "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time." But the RCMP says that Ross was endangering passing motorists as well as himself. If he is convicted, according to the Criminal Code he will not be allowed to operate a motorized vehicle for six months. Said Ross: "The wheelchair is my legs. I will basically be housebound."

NAME THAT GENERAL

Many Britons are clearly bewildered by the way U.S.

Gen. Colin Powell pronounces his first name. Philip Howard, a columnist with The Times of London, recently speculated that Powell calls himself Coe-lin rather than Cawlin because of “the

American wish not to put up with elitist British pronunciations.” But in a letter to the paper, Pow-

ell wrote that the unusual pronunciation of his name is not a way of setting himself apart. Powell wrote that when he was growing up in the South Bronx, his friends called him Coe-lin after a Second World War hero,

Capt. Colin P. Kelly. Wrote Powell: “I met his son 10 years ago when I was a brigadier-general and he was a lieutenant-colonel. I asked him what his name was and when he said ‘Coe-lin Kelly,’ I was instantly re-

lieved. I said, ‘Thank God, you have been mispronouncing your name ah your life also.’ ”