When French president Charles de Gaulle uttered his now famous “Vive le Québec libre” in Montreal in 1967, he set off a storm of controversy that still reverberates. Now, the one-year-old Quebec City national capital commission has announced that it will erect a bronze statue of de Gaulle. It will be unveiled next year on a square near the Plains of Abraham and statues of French Gen. Marquis de Montcalm and of Jeanne d’Arc. But officials for the Quebec City commission—which maintains the capital’s many squares, parks and historical monuments—insist there is nothing provocative about the $215,000 project. “De Gaulle was one of the great figures of the 20th century and the Sec-
Honoring de Gaulle in Quebec's capital
ond World War, and he was the one person who has done the most to put Quebec City on the map internationally,” says Denis Angers, a special adviser to the commission. The city’s links with the late general date back to 1944, when, on his way home from Washington, de Gaulle stopped off in Quebec City to thank Quebecers for their support during the war. “I can understand how some people might react to the statue, given the present political situation,” says Angers, “but this project has been in the works for years.”
Trying to please the home town
Quebec City’s newest professional hockey franchise is not taking any chances. Just a year after the Quebec Nordiques and the NHL left town, the new Quebec Rafales of the International Hockey League—a professional league one notch below the NHL—are trying to stir up local interest by having as many Quebec players as possible on the roster. One way to do that is to hold a training camp for Quebec natives only. To be eligible to attend, players must have been born in Quebec, live in the province, and have played junior, college or university hockey within the past two years. “We want to show some respect for the community by giving young local francophone players a chance to make the team,” says Rafales general manager Joe Bucchino, who held the same position with the Atlanta Knights before the team moved to Quebec from Georgia earlier this year. Bucchino says he has received about 100 applications for the 80 openings for the two-day session in August. He adds that he will also consider players from other provinces. “Hey,” says Bucchino, a Boston native who speaks no French, “this is hockey—the goal is to win.” And to make sure there are fans in the seats.
The high cost of AIDS
The 15,000 scientists, doctors, support workers and others attending an international conference on AIDS in Vancouver this week are exchanging information on a wide variety of topics related to the deadly disease. Among them, the economic impact of AIDS. Excerpts from a speech to a related forum on the economics of AIDS by John McCallum, chief economist for the Royal Bank of Canada:
Human capital is economist talk for the value of the education, training, skills and entrepreneurial talents that are embod-
ied in people. AIDS strikes at our stock of human capital just as surely as it strikes at the immune system. People who die from this disease would otherwise have a good number of decades as productive workers, taxpayers, consumers and savers. We can put numbers to these ideas. As of 1995, Canadian human capital destroyed by AIDS amounted to $8 billion. The cumulative incidence of AIDS will almost double between now and the turn of the century. It will double again between 2000 and 2010. So the destruction of human capital will climb from $8 billion in 1995 to $15 billion in 2000 and $30 billion in 2010. And even these numbers are too low. They should be seen as minimum estimates.
From Wedding Bells to Divorce
Dan Couvrette knows from personal experience how wrenching a divorce can be. When his 10-year marriage ended in 1994, he looked around for literature to help him over the rough patch, but found none. That set the Toronto publisher—ironically a former partner in Wedding Bells magazine—on the path to developing Divorce magazine. With its second issue now on Toronto newsstands, and in some clergy and social services offices, Divorce is doing so well that Couvrette, 41, is launching a Chicago edition next month and a New York City edition in October. Other cities could follow, along with more generic national editions for Canada and the United States. Couvrette, now happily living with a woman, says that advertisers, notably lawyers, mediators and real estate agents, seem eager to reach his market. “A divorcing couple needs two homes, two cars, two lawyers, two sets of Nintendo games for the kids,” he notes. Not to mention two copies of Divorce.
Memories of Vancouver's Expo 86
Collecting pins or buttons might be more efficient, spacewise, but that is not a concern for Rose and Ed Zalesky of Surrey, B.C. The couple have three barns on their son’s 40-acre property that accommodate their accumulation of collectibles—one devoted entirely to souvenirs of Vancouver’s Expo 86. They include three camel statues, a fire truck, a Highway 86 road sign and a short stretch of Highway 86, a road sculpture that ran through the fair from May to October, 1986. They attended Expo 86, about 35 km from their home, almost every day of the world’s fair, but they did not see much of it because they were working as volunteers for the Canadian Museum of Flight’s exhibit. “We were so busy with our noses in the middle of it, that we kind of missed a lot,” says Rose Zalesky. Buying g
the artifacts in an auction after the fair closed helped them to catch up on what they missed. “We got these pieces because we thought they were kind of interesting,” says Rose, 65. “If something makes me think ‘Gee, that’s pretty neat,’ then I’m going to try to buy it.” Even if she needs a barn to house it.
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