ONE COLD, cloudy Monday morning last year, Esther and Tom Olfert woke up as usual to the 6:30 news. The voice on the radio was saying that in 2001, only 216 of 4,700 permanent wards in Alberta had been adopted. It also announced that Alberta Children’s Services had launched a Web site featuring pictures, information and, in some cases, video clips of 90 kids waiting to be adopted.
Not only was the campaign nasty, as your cover states, it also resulted in the lowest voter turnout in recent memory (“The inside story of Canada’s nastiest campaign,” Election 2004, July 12). I am 67 years old and always believed that unless I voted, I didn’t have reason to complain.
THIS COULD GET interesting, I thought. I was standing outside the unfinished Olympic Stadium in Athens, talking with two Australian tourists, when three cop cars pulled up and blocked the road. It was mid-morning, but Athens was already uncomfortably hot.
STEPHANIE LEWIS, a Toronto insurance broker, remembers the panicked call. The elderly woman on the other end of the line told her she’d owned her home for three years and had never made a claim. Yet suddenly she received a letter from her insurance company informing her that her policy wouldn’t be renewed because her oil tank had turned 15 years old, making her a high-risk client.By CYNTHIA REYNOLDS
EMMA SANDS was just 21/2 weeks old when her father decided that he and her mom needed help. “I was scared about how Carrie was handling the baby—she wasn’t herself,” says Gary Sands (to protect Emma’s privacy, all the names have been changed).By SUE FERGUSON
IT’S OFFICIAL: this is China’s century. That’s the proclamation in a splendidly researched cover story in the New York Times Sunday magazine issue published—so no one could miss the significance—on the Fourth ofjuly. By coincidence, the article, the best I have read on the subject, appeared at a time investors were scrambling to shift their bets on the global economy from the United States to China.By DONALD COXE
I HAVE NO HOUSE NUMBER or street name. But that doesn’t make me homeless—just unconventional. I do, in fact, have a place to store my stuff and lay my head. I even have a mailing address—a post office box number. And most of all, I have a certain degree of satisfaction in not being part of the status quo.By PEGGY BILLINGSLEY
THE DOOR to Jaymie Matthews’ office at the University of British Columbia is covered by a thicket of posters and newspaper clippings. The latest article offers disturbing news: “Hole in ozone layer is sucking world’s penguins into space, say scientists!” Matthews, 46, is quick to reassure me that the clipping—complete with a photo of bewildered-looking penguins spiralling into the sky—was from the tabloid Weekly World News, and therefore perhaps not entirely reliable.By PAUL WELLS
NOTHING IN LIFE, Winston Churchill said, is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result. Last week, many of the 135 Liberal candidates who won their ridings in the nasty June 28 election convened in Ottawa, and reminded one another that they, at least, had survived, and permitted themselves to feel a little giddy.By PAUL WELLS
INSIDE MILAN’S magnificent Duomo, a building that makes massive towers of stone look positively lacy, you can see the symbol of the powerful Medici clan—a shield decorated with six balls, set in stained glass. Then, if you turn and look out through the cathedral doorway, you can see two large M’s just across the sunlit square.
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