John DeMont,John Geddes March 12 2001


John DeMont,John Geddes March 12 2001


@ macleans.ca

Anthony Wilson-Smith

Shanda Deziel

Vancouver really rocks!

The news, both wild and wacky! Pizza all-dressed—hold the khaki! The Libs: their behaviour is tacky ! Nurses: they’re nobody’s lackeys!

Vancouver: Sure, we always knew the city rocks 'n' rolls, but really...

The Libs: Stage sneak midnight vote, then invoke closure to pass bill severely limiting debate in House of Commons. You can always tell a Liberal—but now, you can't tell ’em anything...

dit John Cleghorn: The Big Guy at Royal Bank goes out on a high note, home to family and beloved golden retrievers. Corporate Canada will miss one of its most distinguished—-and likable—citizens.

Our military: Finally, a raise for men and women in uniform means they can hopefully drop those part-time jobs. It would be nice if your next pizza delivery person’s uniform isn’t khaki.

-■ILNurses: Now were trying to woo them back from the U.S. Treat ’em right, and maybe they wouldn’t leave in the first place.

^Curling: C’mon now, enough with those jokes.

Lots of people watch—and admit it, you’re one of them.

Not a Day-dream believer

How far is Stockwell Day willing to go to make a breakthrough in Adantic Canada? Pretty far indeed, if the Canadian Alliance leader’s latest swing through the Maritimes is any indication. Touring the region last month, Day, whose party won not a single seat east of Ontario in the last federal election, tried to drum up support the usual way—appearing on radio shows, visiting farmer’s markets and shmoozing with ordinary folk on snowbound Maritime streets. But he revealed a more surefire plan for getting closer to easterners while on a Sunday drive with his wife and son. The Alliance pulled the car up to a log house on the East Shore, about an hour’s drive from Halifax, that offers a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean. Day, whose son attends Dalhousie Unijyay> Stornoway versity in Halifax, asked the homes (top): he wont be owner, who does not want to be trading houses identified, if he was interested in selling the home where he lives with his wife and two children. When the owner said no, the politician responded, tongue firmly in cheek: “How about a straight swap: Stornoway for here.” Replied the owner, who says he’s not an exclusive supporter of any political party: “No thanks. I might have nowhere to go in four years.”

John DeMont

Bungle through the TV jungle

Robert Mills is embarrassed by his past. After all, he was a mime. “I was bothering tourists on street corners for change in white face,” he admits. But the physical training he learned from miming paid off when Mills turned to puppetry. In 1982, he joined the puppeteering cast of Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock. Henson shot many of his TV shows in Toronto, and when he died, Mills says, “he left quite a talent base of performers, writers and production people.”

In 1985, Mills brought this group together, starting Radical Sheep Productions. Their first effort was the preschooler’s TV show The Big Comfy Couch, which still pulls in a huge audience in Canada, Australia and the United States. They also created Rufiis the Dog, Amigo and Me and Panda Bear Daycare. Their new effort, Land O’ Hands—fourminute segments run on YTV’s

Treehouse Television—is about a little boy, Bungle, and his family living in prehistoric times. The environment and all the animals are made out of various human body parts. Arms are used for tree trunks and hands for leaves, an ear becomes a tunnel and Bungle lives in a nostrilshaped rock.

Mills says the secret to capturing the preschool age audience is to use a simple and clean graphic style and, of course, puppets. “Kids will look at a puppet and they’ll be like, ‘What’s that, I don’t get it,’ ” he says. What they would think of mimes, Mills prefers not to know.


“The average five-year-old boy is performing at a level of verbal skill that is, on average, at least one year behind the average five-year-old girl.” -Dr. Leonard Sax, an American physician and psychologist, explains why he thinks boys should start kindergarten a year later than girls

“I don’t want the message to be that cardiovascular disease is less serious in women than men.”

-Dr. Beth Abramson of the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation responds to new data that show men are twice as likely to be hospitalized with heart attacks or strokes as women

“a) You are sexy, b) you are hot, c) you have sexy biceps... I love you ...

I miss you ... I need you ... good night, sweetie ... I’ll be thinking and dreaming of you as always.”

-Excerpts from e-mails sent by Toronto schoolteacher Annie Mary Markson, 33, to a 14-year-old male student. She was found to have “behaved inappropriately” last week by a disciplinary panel of the Ontario College of Teachers. A penalty will be imposed in May



Spring is around the corner, but don’t pack away the winter jackets. Most of the country will find “spring a reluctant visitor,” according to David Phillips of Environment Canada. The colder-than-normal weather will extend in a swath from Alberta to Montreal from March to May. Since spring has been warmer than normal in recent years, the colder temperatures may be even harder to bear. Ironically, if you want warmer-than-usual weather, Nunavut and the Yukon are the places to be.

New rules, PM ? Uh, no

AATThile Jean Chrétien continues to come under fire in W the House of Commons for helping a hotel owner in his riding get a government loan, a confidential review of the episode by federal ethics counsellor Howard Wilson awaits action by the Prime Minister. Wilson has already made public his finding that Chrétien did nothing wrong in lobbying the federal Business Development Bank on behalf of a constituent. But Macleans has learned that the watchdog has also recommended new guidelines that would in at least some circumstances restrict cabinet ministers—perhaps including the prime minister—from trying to influence the decisions of federal agencies over which they have direct authority. Neither Wilson nor officials in the Prime Minister’s Office would comment. But Liberal sources said there is stiff resistance in the PMO to putting limits on the ability of ministers to go to bat for their constituents. That’s no surprise: Chrétien has made it a point of pride that he views getting their ridings a share of what flows from Ottawa as an inviolable job of every MP. Which suggests there will be no rush to make Wilson’s views public anytime soon.

John Geddes