It was a surprise in 1999 when Prime Minister Jean Chrétien chose Adrienne Clarkson, former CBC TV host of Take Thirty and The Fifth Estate and later Ontario agent general in Paris, to be Canada’s 26th governor general. Some thought it even more of a surprise when Clarkson, renowned for her love of the North, and for forging a strong bond with the Canadian Forces, proved to be the most prominent—and in many eyes—successful governor general in a generation.
Ralph Klein—outgoing premier of the money machine that is Alberta—is sitting in his sprawling legislative office this late August afternoon, looking at once bemused, puzzled and disengaged. He has just warmed the seat for the second-tolast Question Period he will ever need to endure, in an Edmonton legislature he’s never much liked.By KEN MACQUEEN
In early October 2004, as I was driving home from church, I received an unexpected phone call from the switchboard at Number 10 Downing Street, asking me to stand by while I was connected to Tony Blair, the Prime Minister. Blair had just announced his decision not to seek a fourth term, and he was calling round Fleet Street editors in an attempt to persuade them that he was not a “lame duck” and that he had both the time and the mandate to see through his domestic reform program.By MARTIN NEWLAND
If I had grown up as a francophone in Quebec, when I would have been old enough to resent, I would have resented. I would have resented the power in my life being in someone else’s hands. I would have been doubly proud of every special deed done by a francophone Quebecer.
Am I right in that this is the first time you’ve played a politician? A: I think so. Q: Does the fact that you’re playing a politician now have something to do with the times we’re in, or where you’re at in your life or career? Or was it just an appealing role?
Major film festivals like Cannes and Toronto have split personalties. They serve as a media circus for the famous faces in the world, yet specialize in smashing taboos, honouring the avant-garde and showing us things we’ve never seen before.By BRIAN D. JOHNSON
I AM WRITING about your back-to-school special (“Homework is killing kids,” Cover, Sept. 11). I would like to speak to the issue of overloading children with homework. I am an educator who has had students who do not, despite the ample time given to them, complete homework in the classroom.
It’s near impossible for me to see director Steven Zaillian’s All the King’s Men and not immediately try to make connections between the movie, a faithful adaptation of Robert Penn Warren’s 1946 classic novel, and what has happened in New Orleans, and indeed Louisiana post-Katrina.
In Gus van Sant’s sentimental 2000 movie Finding Forrester, a kid from the ghetto turns out to have a better grasp of literature and grammar than the English professor at an exclusive private school. I flashed back to the confrontation at the centre of that movie while Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff were facing off on the stage of the Capitole Theatre in Quebec City on Sunday.By PAUL WELLS
This week in Havana, Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator, is welcoming diplomats and heads of state from some 115 nations on a journey back to the Cold War. The Non-Aligned Movement was formed in 1961 as a bloc of mostly developing countries who were not ostensibly aligned with either the United States or the Soviet Union—although in reality the organization almost always opposed America and its allies.By MICHAEL PETROU
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