OPENING NOTES

Mulroney leads a poll, giants foster unity, and farmers push sexy exports

May 11 1992

OPENING NOTES

Mulroney leads a poll, giants foster unity, and farmers push sexy exports

May 11 1992

OPENING NOTES

Mulroney leads a poll, giants foster unity, and farmers push sexy exports

A big Swede’s goal for Upper Canada

When big Borje Salming moved back to Sweden two years ago, he carried home more than the scars from 17 years as an NHL defenceman, his six all-star honors and memories of 16 seasons as a Toronto Maple Leaf, one as a Detroit Red Wing. Salming, now 41, took home a powerful thirst for a Toronto-brewed beer that he had favored during his later years as a Leaf. Setting himself up as an importer, he has marketed the micro-brewery’s Upper Canada lager to about 60 bars and restaurants since December. But the local hero—he plays for the Stockholm AIK and was on Sweden’s Olympic hockey team at the Winter Games in February—ran afoul of sports establishment critics who frown on mixing sport and alcohol. Then, Swedish authorities convinced him, on pain of a $20,000 penalty, to abandon an ad that linked the no-additives beer with the great outdoors. Media fans raced to Salming’s defence, and now he aims to stickhandle his import into the state-run liquor stores. Another fan: Stockholm’s Canadian Embassy, which, at “A Taste of Canada” promotion of consumables on May 13, is featuring his favorite brew as the only beverage on show.

And the winners are...

Brian Tories Mulroney will bounce often back insists from that their he abysmal and his rating in national opinion polls and hold power in the election due within 18 months. And last week, the Prime Minister indeed finished on top in a poll—twice. Parliamentary assistants, in an April survey by the weekly Hill Times House organ, ranked Mulroney best-dressed male

MP. The 147 staffers also picked Mulroney—in a tie with Finance Minister Don Mazankowski and another Albertan, Tory Walter Van De Walle—as biggest tightwad. Sheila Copps, the Hamilton MP who went haute couture for her 1990 run at the Liberal leadership, beat

External Affairs Minister Barbara McDougall as the best-dressed female MP.

McDougall also came second in the worst-dressed race, behind Halifax liberal Mary Clancy. Worst-dressed male: tweedy Toronto NDPer Dan Heap. The “sexiest” MPs:

MonfrealToiy Carole Jacques and Cape Breton Liberal Francis LeBlanc. Rollicking

Newfoundland Liberal George Baker was voted both best jokester and “most fun to work with.” Second-best joke-teller was Newfoundlander John Crosbie, fisheries minister. But Crosbie won, with Mulroney second, in a related contest—as the MP who tells the worst jokes.

LOCAL ICONS

Against a backdrop of interregional tensions, National Tourism Awareness Week (May 11 to 15), announced in Ottawa last week, aims to encourage Canadians to visit communities across the land. And Vancouver artist-photographer Henri

Robideau says that travellers can gain a better understanding of all of Canada’s regions by viewing any one of scores of “world’s biggest” attractions towering coast to coast. Robideau, 46, a self-described gianthropologist, has photographed more than 150 such monuments and published 70 of them in his 1988 book, Canada’s Gigantic!, including:

• Killer ant (Bonshaw, P.E.I.)

• Lobster trap (Cheticamp, N.S.)

• Potato person

(Maugerville, N.B.)

• Rosary

(Cap-de-la-Madelaine, Que.)

• Symons oilcan

(Rocanville, Sask.)

• Ukrainian Easter egg

(Vegreville, Alta.)

• Hockey stick & puck

(Cowichan Bay, B.C.)

New giant things erected recently: a massive mosquito in Komamo (Ukrainian for “full of mosquitoes”), Man., and a “World’s Largest Pyrogy” in Glendon, Alta.

Robideau says that, whereas U.S. businesses build such monuments to lure customers, Canada’s giants are usually publicly funded symbols of community pride.

And Canadians often are more monumentally literal, as in New Brunswick’s giant magnet on Magnetic Hill;

Ontario’s wild goose at Wawa (Cree for wild goose) and

Saskatchewan’s moose in Moose Jaw, turtle in Turtleford and Indian head in Indian Head. Robideau says that the icons can be a unifying influence. Declared Robideau: “Instead of having ethnic groups fighting with one another, we should be competing creatively by making things.”

A ready-made mission

While he awaits formal White House nomination to replace Edward Ney as U.S. ambassador to Ottawa, President George Bush’s longtime pal and former campaign press aide Peter Teeley, 52, is already deep in briefings on the nitty-gritty of Canada-U.S. affairs. Not that the communications consultant lacks familiarity with one issue that members of Canada’s cultural community are determined to keep off the table in current continental free trade talks: the movie business. A major Teeley client is the Motion Picture Association of America, whose outspoken president, Jack Valenti—despite the already powerful role of U.S. film distributors in Canada—has taken frequent swipes at the “coarse regulations” and “artificial barriers” of Ottawa’s film policy.

fumed on by all that jazz

^rom the late 1960s, including P the years 1971 to 1985 as host I of The All-Night Jazz Show at /ancouver’s CHQM and QMFM ralio and a spell as an independent :BC producer, Gary Barclay, now 15, amassed a formidable 240 inerviews with top jazz musicians, lis 340 taped hours of off-air sessions—“behind the scenes, backstage, in hotel rooms”—range hrough trumpet greats Miles Oavis and Dizzy Gillespie to ^assist Charles Mingus and pimists Jay McShann and Mary Lou Williams. Two years ago, he ievised a program series mixing the talk with music, and made a filot with a $2,000 CAPS (Canadian Artists and Programs on Satellite) grant from Toronto-based Maclean Hunter Ltd. After offers to the CBC and Canadian commercial radio fell on deaf ears, 3arclay’s pitch turned on the U.S. Public Radio Satellite System. It vill launch a 13-part series in January to affiliated stations. Now, 3arclay hopes to make his collection permanent in a book and on lises—’with help from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

0 Canada: land and Veau

On facing pages of the annual Canadian Parliamentary Guide (1992, Globe and Mail Publishing, Toronto), articles headed “Canada” and “Le Canada” offer readers markedly different dories. First, the English version dwells on landmass—second argest after the Soviet Union (sic), for one thing. In French, liquid akes pride of place—“each year, 8,000,000,000,000 tonnes of water :alls on Canada in the form of rain and snow.” Then, outlined in English, is Canada’s “union” and territorial growth. The French version sketches the division of powers in Confederation—“in realty, more a federation within which 10 entities, called provinces, jossess a definite sovereignty” under “the theoretical chief of state, the lieutenant-governor.” Also in French only: although the sovereign is British, “it is insisted that, as a result of the Crown’s divisibility, Elizabeth II is designated Queen of Canada.” Both endngs are statistical—although, by then, Canada’s freshwater area ras expanded, in both languages, to 755,169 square kilometres rom 754,877 square kilometres at the top of the French page.

FAR-OUT FARMING

With markets for Prince Edward Island potatoes just recovering from infection that provoked a U.S. ban, tobacco sales out of puff and the fur trade flagging, some Island farmers are turning to crops with far-out appeal. MLA Lynwood MacPherson grows ginseng and other herbs on his Eldon tobacco farm with an eye on Far East demand for sex-and-health elixirs. And Agriculture Minister Keith Milligan has seized the problem by the horns, in a sense. He runs elk on his Tyne Valley fox ranch, mainly for the meat but also with designs on the Orient, where antler velvet is prized as an aphrodisiac. Milligan, 42, a father of three, acknowledges sampling the venison, and MacPherson, 44, with four, has tried his herbs. But the two politicians agree in one voice that, as for aphrodisiacs, “Islanders don’t need them.”