Overture

Overture

Anthony Wilson-Smith,Shanda Deziel,John Geddes,2 more... March 26 2001
Overture

Overture

Anthony Wilson-Smith,Shanda Deziel,John Geddes,2 more... March 26 2001

Overture

@ macleans.ca

Edited by Anthony Wilson-Smith with Shanda Deziel

OVER AND UNDER ACHIEVERS

Victory, thy name is Ralph

Roth to shareholders: ‘Where'syour $135 million?'

The EX-tremely bad Football League! Trading words with Bernard Landry! And dot-con madness!

John Roth: For $135 million—what he made on stock options last year— Nortel CEO should be cornering the stock market, not sinking it.

Ralph Klein: Never mind movie of the same name—he wrote the book on How the West Was Won.

The Nasdaq: Tech stocks continue yearlong free fall, with only brief interruptions. Will investors recall the late ’90s as the era of the dot-coni

^ The XFL: Rock-bottom ratings put the lie to old P. T. Bamum line—turns out you can go broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

^ Bobble-head dolls: Those nodding 1960s staples of sports memorabilia are back—and hot. You can stick one in the back of your car—or send it off to Parliament to fill in for your local Liberal MP.

^ Bernard Landry: “Knock, knock!” “Who’s there?” “Ihate @%$#A&*h %$@ Canada!” “Oh, hello Mr. Landry!”

Score one for Paul

Pickings are slim these days for political carnivores hungering for a meaty piece of Liberal leadership news to chew over. Last years endlessly entertaining clashes between the Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin camps are a nostalgic memory. Martinites have learned that open signs of impatience with the PM s extended tenure at the top just seem to keep him there longer. But it would be a mistake to think the party’s leadership dogfighting has ended; the duelling has merely dipped below the national media radar. In the latest signif-

icant skirmish, Martin forces squared off with Allan Rock supporters at the annual meeting of the federal Liberal party’s Manitoba branch earlier this month. The result: Team Martin captured both the executive and youth wings. Bad outcome for Rock, right? Maybe not. At least the health minister’s backers were a factor. The third undeclared Grit leadership hopeful, Brian Tobin, had no organization in sight at all. And Tobin, who had been slated to attend the Winnipeg gathering, was a no-show. Handicappers take note: Martin, win; Rock, place; Tobin, scratch.

John Geddes

Sweet as Chocolat

Oscar may love director Lasse Hallström ( The Cider House Rules and Chocolat), but Hallström, in turn, seems to hold a special place in his heart for two young girls from Navan, Ont. Sisters Emma and Sally Taylor-Isherwood, 13 and 11, are actresses with a bright future. Last fall, Sally was given an unconventional role in Hallström’s Oscar-nominated film Chocolat. The filmmakers weren’t happy with the voice of the young actress who played Anouk, the daughter of Juliette Binoche’s character—so Sally dubbed the part using a French accent. “It was hard,” says Sally, who originally auditioned for the role of Anouk, which went to French actress Victoire Thivisol, “but I got help from my mom, and the director would tell me when I needed more expression.”

Six months later, Emma was in Halifax taking cues from Hallström in The Shipping News. In the director’s adaptation of Annie Proulx’s Pulitzer Prizewinning novel, which is set in Newfoundland, Emma plays young Agnis—Judi Dench plays Agnis as an adult. The film also stars Kevin Spacey and Cate Blanche«. “He made me feel very comfortable on the set,” Emma says of Hallsfföm. Although the sisters’ careers are soaring—they’re now shooting a Canadian TV series in Montreal— the girls lead a normal life. Both attend public school; Sally plays soccer and Emma does gymnastics. And they say they aren’t ready to give up their childhood or their dreams. “Everybody asks if I want to be a movie star,” says Sally. “Sometimes, I think that sounds good, but what I really want to be is a mountain climber. I really like adventures.”

Overbites

“Nelly goes a long way in making up for the taste genocide inflicted on us by her Canadian compatriots.

Five stars.”

-The Daily Express in the U.K. bestows a rave on Victoria native Nelly Furtado’s debut album

“Nelly Furtado may be the girl to kick-start the Canadian music hall of fame glory days!” -Maxim magazine does likewise

“What Canada has known since September, the rest of the world is about to find out.” -The U.K.’s Daily Mail makes Furtado’s CD its album of the week

“People can come by and say her ears or nose are too big or small.... [The wall would] honour and forever stand proudly as a symbol of love and devotion from fans of Shania Twain.”

-Artist John Korycki of Twain’s home town of Timmins, Ont., announces plans to build a Wall of Fame in honour of the country singer

Less play, more grey

If Statistics Canada’s estimates hold true, the next slogan of a group seeking further recognition of its place in society will be “Grey pride.”

By 2051, the agency reports, Canada will have nearly 37 million citizens, and more than a quarter of them will be aged 65 or over-double the present ratio of senior citizens. StatsCan attributes the demographic shift to a combination of low birth rates, baby boomers reaching retirement age and people living longer.

Our wartime history relived—online

Stephen Davies is rewriting history—through the words of those who lived it. The 42-year-old history professor at Malaspina UniversityCollege in Nanaimo,

B.C., is also project director of The Canadian Letters and Images Project (www.mala.bc.ca/ history/letters), a Web site committed to depicting the personal side of war. Davies does this by publishing letters, diaries and photographs written by Canadians during wartime. “The letters show that the impact of war goes far beyond the battlefront,” he says. “It goes back to the home front, back to the families.”

Davies launched the project last September by sending letters to Canadian historical groups, in search of unpublished firsthand accounts from the two world wars. He has since received more than 2,500 letters and hundreds of photographs, including a collection of 50 pictures taken by a participant in D-Day, and a diary from a member of the Siberian

Expeditionary Force of 1918-1919. But so far, only about a fifth of the materials have been posted since Davies is running the site alone on a small budget with funding from Malaspina.

All collections are picked up and returned by courier at no cost to the owner. But as his mailbox continues to fill on a daily basis, Davies knows he cant expea his small school to remain committed to the projea forever. About $7,000 is needed to fund an upgrade, which would include a redesign of the Web site, the addition of a user-friendly search engine and the hiring of a student to transcribe letters. Davies has approached numerous government organizations for funding, including Heritage Canada and Veterans Affairs, with no success. “I’m surprised, baffled and disappointed,” Davies says. “These materials tell the national story.”

John Intini

What did you learn in école today?

Just in case Quebecers haven’t heard enough about sovereignty in recent years, now its die-hard supporters have a chance to go to a special school to brush up on the subject. The Parti Québécois recently allocated $50,000 to create a sovereignty training school, to be known as the Ecole Nationale de Formation. Instructors at the school, which will hold provincewide workshops, aim to teach loyalists new ways of winning over skeptical voters, as well as offer advice on how to debate the topic. PQ vice-president Marie Malavoy acknowledges that Péquistes need to re-examine the

way they try to appeal to voters. “If I arrive with all sorts of arguments and say, ‘Here’s why sovereignty is good for you,’ I won’t reach them,” Malavoy told Macleans. “It’s not a question of adding arguments.” Sovereigntists, she says, need to work on how they approach people and listen better to what they say. Malavoy says members won’t go door to door “like Jehovah’s Witnesses saying, ‘Read the Bible and everything is there,’ ” adds Malavoy. With that in mind, it’s back to school—and no heckling the teacher out of class.

Brenda Branswell