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AUGUST 11, 2014

GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER Vladimir Putin’s ambitions have now claimed the lives of 298 civilians. Why no one will stop him. P.30


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Rock the vote: Pro-independence activists demonstrate in Edinburgh. Scotland is letting voters as young as 16 cast ballots in the referendum. p.39

A U G U S T 4 & 11 , 2 0 1 4 • V O L U M E 1 2 7 • N U M B E R S 3 0 & 3 1 The Editorial 5 | Letters 6 | Good News/Bad News 8 | Newsmakers 10 | Interview Frontline physician Tim Jagatic on the Ebola outbreak 14 Columns Colby Cosh on our outer-space ambitions; Emma Teitel on the problem with photographing your food 12 The Quiz 72 | The End Jillian Nathalie Lynn Sears, 1978-2014 74 Déjà vu: Despite the rhetoric, it’s a familiar scene in Israel ............... 36


Homecoming: When young jihadists return from training abroad ..... 38 Naval gazing: Outdated priorities are crippling Canada’s Navy ....... 16 A new chapter in Duffy vs. Duffy: Mike Duffy has reached out

A new age in politics: Scotland is letting 16-year-olds vote on its independence referendum. Everyone’s a wee bit nervous........ 39

to the Peruvian woman who claims to be his daughter...................... 18

The drain in Spain: The country faces an exodus of young people ..... 41

Divide and conquer: A move inside the AFN to give local and

regional chiefs more autonomy promises to complicate talks ........... 20


An end to hepatitis C: Can an affordable cure be had?.................... 21 Could we do it again? One hundred years ago, Canada answered a call to duty with sacrifice that seems unfathomable today .............. 22

The renovation trap: Our expensive love affair with renos has put both households and the economy at risk .................................. 42

The ‘Great War’: The phrase was first used in Maclean’s in 1914 ....... 27

Tough job: Behind Harper’s crumbling economic platform ............. 46

Lessons of war: Why we will always fight someone else’s battle ....... 28 Society



Summer reading list: A preview of the beloved Blog of Lists ........... 48

ON THE COVER: Getting away with murder: Putin’s ambitions have now claimed the lives of 298 civilians. Why no one will stop him ...... 30

We are all Neanderthal: Ancient DNA lives on in our genes ............. 52

Unsafe airspace: Will commercial planes get anti-missile tech?....... 34

Check-up: Unwanted pregnancies are rising among older women...... 54

Loss of a giant: What Jope Lange’s death means for AIDS research .... 35

The invisible man: Artist Liu Bolin blends into the background....... 56

Milos Raonic’s next serve: How he plans to beat the world’s best.... 53

MACLEAN’S BACK PAGES ■ TV Can John Mulaney save the traditional sitcom? 60 ■ Books Ikea’s cultural footprint grows larger 63 ■ Film How Chris Pratt went from

sitcom sidekick to superhero star 64 ■ Music Why South Korean pop culture is all the rage 65 ■ Book reviews A bottle worthy of blackmail; a friendly guide to math 66 ■ Help CSI: Summer Camp 70 ■ Taste A little butter in your coffee? 71 ■ Feschuk Pulling Harper’s strings 73 MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

3 PUBLISHER Sandra Parente · EDITOR Mark Stevenson SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR Peeter Kopvillem (on leave) MANAGING EDITORS Sue Allan,

Sarmishta Subramanian, Dianna Symonds EDITOR, SPECIAL ISSUES Kim Honey POLITICAL EDITOR Paul Wells SENIOR EDITORS Colin Campbell (World), Mary Dwyer (University Rankings), Jason Kirby (Economy) NATIONAL CORRESPONDENTS Jonathon Gatehouse, Charlie Gillis SENIOR WRITERS Brian Bethune, Michael Friscolanti, Anne Kingston, Michael Petrou, Chris Sorensen ASSOCIATE EDITORS Cathy Gulli (on leave), Kate Lunau, Nancy Macdonald (on leave), Tamsin McMahon, Jaime J. Weinman, Aaron Wherry, Lindsey Wiebe ASSISTANT EDITOR Emily Senger, Emma Teitel CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Barbara Amiel, Josh Dehaas, Scott Feschuk, Brian D. Johnson, Adnan R. Khan, Peter C. Newman EDITOR-AT-LARGE Peter Shawn Taylor


Maclean’s presents the next instalment in our patriotic video series, designed to hone your skills, add to your already encyclopedic knowledge of this great country and generally make you a super-Canadian. This week: Go into the heart of the National Gallery with Maclean’s Ottawa Bureau Chief John Geddes, who offers a new perspective on how to appreciate the country’s artistic legacy.

BUREAUS OTTAWA: John Geddes (EDITOR) · QUEBEC: Martin Patriquin (BUREAU CHIEF) ALBERTA: Colby Cosh · BRITISH COLUMBIA: Ken MacQueen WASHINGTON: Luiza Ch. Savage COPY EDITORS Michael Barclay, Larissa Liepins RESEARCHER-REPORTER Nick Taylor-Vaisey, Patricia Treble INTERNS Rachel Browne, Genna Buck, Adrian Lee DESIGN



DESIGNERS Lauren Cattermole, Corey Lewis, Sarah MacKinnon PHOTO DEPARTMENT



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AVAILABLE NOW: WINE IN CANADA The second edition of Maclean’s Wine in Canada has its roots in the soil of the country, exploring the terroir of wine and food. Guest editor and Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson drinks in the local bounty and contributes an essay about how Canadian wines have found their sense of place. Buy it on newsstands and in the Special Issues section of the Maclean’s app. 4



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Maclean’s, established 1905, is published weekly, except for occasional combined, expanded or premium issues, which count as two subscription issues, by Rogers Publishing Limited, a division of Rogers Media Inc. Rogers Publishing Limited, One Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ont. M4Y 2Y5. Montreal office: 1200 avenue McGill College, Bureau 800, Montreal, Que. H3B 4G7. Contents Copyright © 2014 by Rogers Publishing Limited, may not be reprinted without permission. Maclean’s receives unsolicited materials (including letters to the editor, press releases, promotional items and images) from time to time. Maclean’s, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, re-publish, distribute, store and archive such unsolicited submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensation of any sort. This statement does not apply to materials/pitches submitted by freelance writers, photographers or illustrators in accordance with known industry practices. OUR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IS AVAILABLE AT: Maclean’s ISSN 0024-9262. Full subscription price for one year is $80.06 plus applicable taxes; U.S.A., $99.00 surface; all other countries, $229.00 airmail. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40070230 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. AUGUST 11, 2014




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EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Julia De Laurentiis Johnson This Week

THE EDITORIAL There is no better index of racial and cultural integration than mixed unions—and Canada is leading the pack


anada has always been something of a mash-up. Whether by necessity or choice, our history is marked by the coming together of different groups and races to produce something new: European and Aboriginal, English and French, old stock and immigrant. Our country, it is often observed, is a Metis nation—and getting more so. Last month, Statistics Canada released its latest numbers on couples who cross racial or ethnic lines, revealing surprising and continued growth. Mixed unions are no longer unusual, nor an excuse for cultural conflict or bigotry; today, they’ve become a commonplace feature of life as it is lived in Canada. As such, we’re setting the global standard for multicultural acceptance and integration. According to the most recent National Household Survey, there were more than 360,000 mixed-race couples, either married or common-law, in Canada in 2011. This comprises 4.6 per cent of all couples in private households. While still a small share of the country’s nearly eight million couples, the rate of growth for mixed unions is accelerating—having leapt from 3.1 per cent in the 2001 census and 2.6 percent in 1991. In the past five years alone, the number of mixed unions is up by nearly onequarter, far outpacing the 5.1 per cent growth for all legal couples over the same time period. All this suggests Canadians are no longer bound by outdated cultural mores or strictures when picking a partner. Love is colour-blind. A mixed union is defined by Statistics Canada as a conjugal relationship between two people who belong to different visible minority groups, or between one visible minority and one white. Within such groupings, however, there’s considerable diversity. Nearly 80 per cent of Japanese “marry out,” as sociologists put it. Latin Americans and blacks are also proportionately overrepresented within mixed unions. Groups least likely to marry out include Chinese and South Asians. A couple of trends suggest the overall growth rate will move up in future, regardless of ethnicities involved. First, mixed unions tend to track the percentage of visible minorities in the greater Canadian populace. With visible minorities predicted to account for up to a third of the population by 2031, further growth will no doubt occur as the dating pool changes. Mixed unions are more common within younger age groups, as well, suggesting a gradual

progression through society. Higher education is also correlated with mixed unions, as is urban living. Vancouver boasts the highest percentage of mixed unions, at nearly 10 per cent, followed by Toronto, Victoria, Ottawa and Calgary. As the number of mixed unions grows, so, too, will the offspring from these relationships. Whatever taboos may have existed for these children in the past, they’re being erased by sheer numbers. Putting Canada’s record in global context is complicated by different definitions and the availability of data, but we appear to stand out for several reasons. European figures define mixed unions as between two people with different citizenship, a far lower standard of tolerance. Even so, the figures show no strong trend, with most countries no higher than Canada, despite a much broader definition of what “mixed” means. American research tends to focus solely on marriages, ignoring the prevalence of common-law relationships. When all couples are considered, Canadian figures are substantially above those in the U.S. As for public attitudes, last year, a Gallup Poll announced that American approval of black-white marriage hit an all-time high of 87 per cent, up from four per cent in 1958. Yet Canadian sociologist Reginald Bibby points out that Canadian acceptance rates have long outstripped those in the U.S. A 2007 poll, for example, showed 92 per cent of Canadians approved of mixed marriages at a time when U.S. figures were 77 per cent. “There is probably no better index of racial and cultural integration than intermarriage,” Bibby writes. And Canada leads the pack in both performance and perspective. It is, of course, going too far to claim Canada has completely transcended all forms of prejudice or bigotry. In a major poll noted in Maclean’s in 2009, Angus Reid Strategies found surprisingly low rates of acceptance for religious differences. Yet this animosity was softened when couples came into the picture. For example, only 28 per cent of respondents said they had a generally favourable view of Islam, while 39 per cent said they would find it acceptable for one of their children to marry a Muslim. This suggests religion remains a bigger fault line in Canadian society that skin colour or ethnicity. But it also implies an underlying respect for choice in personal relationships that transcends other prejudices. In other words, love may one day conquer all. We can hope.

In the past five years, the number of mixed couples is up by nearly onequarter. Canadians are no longer bound by outdated cultural mores. MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

5 This Week

LETTERS Kids these days It was heartening to read some positive words for Generation Z (“Get ready for Generation Z,” Society, July 21), which is usually belittled as lazy, selfish, entitled, overprotected and over-parented. As a music teacher raising two “Zedders” of my own, I find these kids to be smart, insightful, kind, creative, politically aware, global-minded, justiceseeking and, above all, fun to be around. I happily learn from them every day and look forward to leaving the world in their hands. Jacqueline Anderson, Mississauga, Ont.

‘Productivity comes with the motivation that comes with adversity, something the spoonfed Generation Z know little about’ Gyl Midroni, Toronto

Quebec, it will mean many will simply drive at 140 km/h instead. As for fluctuating speed limits, most Quebec drivers won’t even slow down in construction zones; they are simply not likely to pay any attention to signs urging them to reduce their speed. These changes will only work in places where there is a culture of obeying the rules of the road. In a province where the stop sign is seen as a suggestion and the first three seconds of a red light is the new yellow, I’m not optimistic this would be successful chez nous. Karen Schell, Pointe-Claire, Que.

Golf is growing I can’t say that Anne Kingston’s article presented a reality with which I am familiar. Picking a few elite kids and quoting the opinion of “experts” (i.e., someone who has written a book on a subject and wishes to promote it) does not create that reality. There have always been smart kids, kids who lead from a young age and evolve into adults who change the world. Productivity and accomplishment derive more from moral conviction and sustained effort—and mostly from the motivation that comes with adversity, something that the government-guidelinetaught, helicopter-parented and spoonfed “Generation Z” probably knows less about than any generation in history. Gyl Midroni, Toronto

To bee or not to bee Maclean’s dismisses calls for a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides as “mindless sloganeering” by “impatient” and “emotional” environmental groups (The Editorial, July 14). Similar critiques were directed at Rachel Carson when she sounded the alarm 6

about DDT in the 1960s. Science proved her right in the end. Now, an international team of 29 independent scientists has released an analysis of more than 800 peer-reviewed studies detailing the widespread and devastating environmental impacts of neonicotinoids. Looks like the emotional environmentalists have science on their side—again. Anne Bell, Ontario Nature, Toronto

Get your motor runnin’

The current maximum of 100 km/h in Ontario matches very well most people’s reaction time. It’s a crying shame that the police forces seem quite content with the “new normal” of 130-140 km/h. We currently have about two per cent of motorists obeying the law, with 98 per cent causing dangerous situations by driving way too fast. Some morons are now advocating that faster is safer—which is simply a truckload of bovine excretion. If the legal limit were raised, we would have the same two per cent sticking to the legal limit and the same 98 per cent driving even faster than before—and causing untold carnage on the highways. One can only hope that politicians outside of B.C. don’t fall for this nonsense. Hank Bangild, Port Colborne, Ont.

Bravo for your July 21 editorial advocating for raised speed limits. Now, if we could enshrine into law the principle of “slower vehicles keep right” on multi-lane highways, I’m convinced we would be making a further major contribution to road safety. A glaring example is the semi-trailer rigs “owning” the centre lane (when there are three), often with the outside lane empty. A 120 km/h speed limit might Ted Youngs, Kitchener, Ont. work in other provinces, but in AUGUST 11, 2014

Like all recreational activities, golf is dealing with a “new normal” in how consumers spend their recreational dollars (“The end of golf,” Economy, July 14). Golf remains the most popular sport in Canada, with more participants than any other sport. The sport will return to the Olympic stage in 2016—with Canada as defending champion from 1904— and is poised to see another growth cycle. A Canadian golf economic impact study released in June measured our sport’s worth to the Canadian economy at more than $14 billion. Direct revenues generated by golf courses and their facilities, as well as stand-alone practice ranges ($5 billion) are more than the revenues generated by all other participation sports and recreation facilities combined ($4.8 billion) in Canada. The study reinforces the massive financial, charitable, tourism and positive environmental impact our sport has in communities across Canada. These facts certainly do not support the writer’s “sky is falling” narrative, and they hardly

depict an industry in its demise. budget for the Olympics was Bad faith Scott Simmons, CEO, Golf Canada, $1.9 billion. But revenues? Sadly, Maclean’s wrote, “It’s students Mississauga, Ont. just $269 million for ticket sales who ultimately pay the highest and $54 million for licences and price,” when commenting that Your statement about York Downs merchandise, a total of only B.C. teachers may still be on strike (“In Ontario, the private York $323 million. Various Canadian in September (“School’s out,” This Downs Golf & Country Club north governments contributed a higher Week, July 14). If the teachers are of Toronto put itself up for sale figure: $363 million of taxpayer not successful in their fight with to developers”) is misleading. The monies, generously termed “rev- the B.C. Liberal government, the club recently received an enues” by the organizing com- whole nation will suffer. The Libunsolicited offer to purchase its mittee. The IOC chipped in eral propaganda machine is focusproperty, and the board and mem- $659 million, most of this money ing on wage increases and signing bership are in the midst of exe- coming from governments by bonuses to detract attention from cuting a structured process, estab- way of their taxpayers. Less than the heart of the issue: their unlawlished several years ago, for the one-quarter of the $1.9 billion was ful actions. In 2002, Christy Clark, express purpose of dealing with covered by direct sales, and no then education minister, illegally such unsolicited offers. The club financial contribution whatever stripped class size and composis, in fact, in very good health financially and is nearing completion of a significant golf course improvement initiative. Don Matheson, President, The age-old Canadian solution to problems—spend York Downs Golf & Country more money—won’t work any better now that it Club, Unionville, Ont.


Adding it up This is to protest your facile dismissal of Alberta’s balanced budget as “easy enough for a province with oil”(“Paid in full,” This Week, July 21). That is grossly unfair. Other provinces who choose to keep their resources locked up in deference to anti-development bullies, and then demand equalization payments, have a lot of nerve. Alberta is prosperous because it has the courage and entrepreneurship to stand up to the bullies and develop its resources. Ontario has vast resources in the northern 80 per cent of the province, all securely locked up by provincial policy. Indeed, the geology of the Hudson’s Bay lowlands is similar to Alberta’s oil fields, and might contain more oil than all of Western Canada. Nobody has ever been allowed to look. Mel Fisher, Dryden, Ont. The supposed good news on the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics breaking even (“Paid in full,” This Week, July 21) reminds us again of the enormous flexibility in meaning for words in the English language. The operating

has in the past with regard to Native education (“Second-class citizens,” National, July 21). The negative statistics are much higher on reserves in isolated communities, so how about closing those and integrating these people? There would certainly be growing pains, but really, how much worse can it be? Unemployment leads to a sedentary life style and much higher abuse of people and substances; study after study bears this out, yet no one seems willing to face this truth. So we should just throw more money at the problems and then complain about bands’ embezzlement and lack of democratic distribution of money within the bands themselves? Jeff Brisbois, Port Williams, N.S.

toward the more than $4 billion funnelled into related capital costs: the Vancouver Airport SkyTrain, the expanded Convention Centre, and the new Seato-Sky Highway. These, of course, provide some benefit on their own, but the expenses at that time were a direct result of hosting the Olympics. Perhaps it was a worthwhile venture, but it cost taxpayers a bundle, and the good news is that it did not cost more than it did. Jay Miller, Meaford, Ont.

ition limits from the teachers’ collective agreement. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation took the issue to court and the Liberals lost at the B.C. Supreme Court. They also lost two appeals, and are currently appealing the decision for a third time. If a government is allowed to illegally strip contracts and defy supreme court rulings without consequence, a dangerous precedent will be set. As unfortunate as it is for the students who are affected by this, it is very important that the public MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

education system, collective agreements and, ultimately, the laws are protected. Christie Jago, Trail, B.C.

The other side of neonics Your July 14 editorial supporting the continued use of neonicotinoid insecticides failed to mention a number of relevant facts. These chemicals are not exclusively applied as coatings on seeds, but increasingly as dust into the soil at planting, and as sprays, particularly in orchards. Some neonics are persistent in soils, and have built up substantial concentrations. Neonics appear in surface waters at planting time, resulting in disturbance of that ecosystem. Neonics also appear at low, but increasing, concentrations in ground water. Recent solid scientific evidence exists for the presence of neonics in significant amounts in various fruits. K.G. Davey, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, York University, Toronto

Ahead by a century In reading Paul Wells’s July 21 column (“Maybe Harper has slain the separatists”), I was struck by the obvious existence of a time machine. According to the column, Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier’s birth centenary is marked in 2014, suggesting he was born in 1914. Another interesting note about him is his involvement as a key father of Confederation in 1867–some 47 years earlier. Stephen Belcourt, Toronto CORRECTION The review of Marja Mills’s book The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee (Books, July 21) said that Lee is suing Mills. Lee has denied participation in the book, but is not pursuing legal action. We welcome readers to submit letters to either or to Maclean’s, 11th floor, One Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ont. M4Y 2Y5. Please supply your name, address and daytime telephone number. Letters should be less than 300 words, and may be edited for space, style and clarity. 7 This Week

Game on: Susan Nattrass, the world’s most decorated trap shooter at age 63, was the flag-bearer at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland

GOOD NEWS A self-proclaimed jihadist blogger posted an open letter to a grieving Calgary mother, urging her to “die as a Muslim” like her son, Damian Clairmont, a convert to Islam who was recently killed after leaving Canada to fight with terrorists in Syria. “I pray that Allah opens your heart to Islam so that you may live a life of honour and dignity” and join “Damian in paradise,” the blogger wrote. Chris Boudreau responded in the most courageous way possible, saying she is now dedicating her life to combatting the type of homegrown radicalization that brainwashed her 22-year-old son. The letter, she says, only proves that “I must be getting to somebody.” Indeed.

an end to capital punishment in California. Delays of 25 years or more in deciding appeals, and carrying out occasional executions, have created an arbitrary system that is unconstitutional, the judge ruled. Carney’s decision applies only to the case before him, and America’s most populous state had already halted executions because of problems with lethal injection procedures. But if the ruling holds up under appeal, it could bring California to its senses on this issue for good.

Somewhere out there

Three weeks after a setback in the hunt for alien life, NASA scientists are once again offering hope. We may discover some extraterrestrial form of life within 20 years, says Charles Death penalty offside Bolden, the agency’s administrator—despite Props to Cormac Carney, a U.S. District Court recent revelations that two supposed planets judge whose landmark decision could bring around the dwarf star Gliese 581, thought to 8

be potentially life-supporting, are not planets at all. “Do we believe there is life beyond Earth?” Bolden asked at a panel discussion. “It is improbable that in the limitless vastness of the universe we humans stand alone.” Which is NASA-speak for stay tuned.

Safe bet Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy captured the 143rd British Open golf tournament, leading the rest of the field from opening tee to final putt. But McIlroy’s dad was a big winner, too. Ten years ago, when his son was a talented but relatively unknown teenager, Gerry McIlroy placed a £200 wager ($367) with a London betting firm—at 500 to 1 odds— that his boy would win the Open championship sometime over the next decade. When Rory hoisted the coveted Claret Jug, his proud papa collected $171,000. AUGUST 11, 2014


A mother’s resolve

Evacuate: A forest fire burns in West Kelowna, B.C. About 2,400 people were forced to flee the blaze, which hit dead forests killed by mountain pine beetles.



House poor A troubling new survey from CIBC says Canadians, on average, expect to be mortgagefree by age 58, one year later than the results of a similar poll conducted last year. Homeowners in British Columbia are the least optimistic, saying they won’t make their final mortgage payment until their golden years (66, on average). Even more concerning, the number of Canadians taking advantage of record-low interest rates by paying more than the minimum instalment has also plummeted—to 55 per cent from 68 per cent. It’s frightening to think what would happen to some of those homeowners if interest rates ever rise, even just a little.

mullah at a mosque in northern Afghanistan has been reportedly targeted for “honour killing” because she brought shame to her family. According to an official indictment, the rape was so vicious that the young victim, who weighs just 40 lb., nearly died. The 10-year-old did find refuge at a local women’s shelter, but police eventually brought her back home—despite the family’s stated plans to murder her. The mullah, of course, proclaimed his innocence, insisting he thought the girl was 17, not 10.

Whole lotta shakin’

If you thought a series of recent minor earthquakes along California’s San Andreas fault is easing the pressure within the Earth, you The opposite of honourable were wrong. In fact, says Lucy Jones, Los Try to imagine a more horrifying scene: A Angeles’s newly appointed “earthquake czar,” 10-year-old Afghan girl who was raped by a they presage a dreaded megaquake of 7.5-plus

magnitude, for which the city is more than a century overdue. As luck (and Hollywood) would have it, Americans will flock to cinemas next year to see a blockbuster called San Andreas, in which L.A. is wiped out by an apocalyptic shaker. We pray that, by then, they won’t mistake it for a documentary.

The ‘perfect’ employee This may help curb worker abuse in China, but it’s a tad unnerving: Hon Hai, the parent company of the Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn, announced that it will deploy 10,000 assembly line robots to help meet the overwhelming demand for the new iPhone 6. Apple will be the first customer to rely on the new fleet of robots, which leads to the inevitable question: As technology rapidly advances toward Terminator levels, when will the iPhone be capable of building itself ? MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE


Small wonder: Prince George visits London’s Natural History Museum with parents Catherine and Prince William ahead of his first birthday

NEWSMAKERS It’s an irresistible fairy-tale story: A forklift driver for a varnish factory in Liverpool winds up qualifying for the British Open. Singleton, a talented amateur who never went on the professional circuit due to injuries, borrowed a couple of clubs from a friend and won a sudden-death playoff to become one of the chosen 156 players in the world-renowned tournament. While Singleton didn’t end up getting close to holding the Claret Jug—that honour belonged to Rory McIlroy—the 30-year-old already has a nice consolation prize lined up: His fiancée is about to have their first child.

Silvio Berlusconi One of the former Italian prime minister’s convictions in court was for soliciting sex from a 17-year-old showgirl, Karima el-Mahroug, at what was referred to as a “bunga bunga” party at his home. But in a surprising victory for Berlusconi—and for the honour of 10

Jean allegedly defied a restraining order preventing her from cremating or removing her late husband’s remains from Washington state, delivering them instead to Montreal, according to a funeral home in Tacoma, Wash. Yet the Montreal parlour says it has received no such remains, making the location of Kasem’s body a mystery. bunga bunga—a Milan appeals court overturned the conviction, which carried a seven-year prison sentence and a lifetime ban on holding political office. Berlusconi was so moved that he took time off from lambasting the court system to praise the “admirable impartiality and rigour” of Italian magistrates—or at least the ones who helped him.

Jean Kasem The widow of famed DJ Casey Kasem has been rising to the top of the tabloid charts ever since her husband died in June. Currently feuding with Kasem’s first wife and his three adult children,

Maarten De Jonge The tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17—shot down over Ukraine last week—is only compounded by the March disappear-

Liam McKnight Under the care of his doctors, the six-year-old Ottawa boy has been using cannabis oil to successfully control his rare form of epilepsy. But Health Canada would prefer it if the boy smoked up, as taking marijuana in an extracted oil form or in foods violates the new Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, which came into effect this spring. “Health Canada says Liam has to smoke it or he has to vaporize it,” Liam’s mother, Mandy McKnight, told the Ottawa Citizen. “So although they give him a licence, the form of delivery is ridiculous.” AUGUST 11, 2014

ance of the airline’s Flight MH370. Yet fate intervened in the case of the 29-year-old Dutch cyclist, who reportedly evaded death after making a last-minute decision to fly home via Frankfurt instead of hopping on MH17 to Kuala Lumpur—a late switch he also made in March, avoiding MH370. “It’s inconceivable,” De Jonge told Dutch media, though he’s since refused to comment on the incident after Slate published a report questioning whether he actually purchased tickets for both flights.


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Š2014 P&G This Week



WHO WILL BE THE MOONWALKERS OF TOMORROW? It sometimes feels as though it took the world a generation to absorb humanity’s conquest of the moon. July 20 was the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s landing on the Sea of Tranquility. The date was, on this occasion, celebrated much more widely than I remember it being as a child space buff in the 1970s. But, then, the story of spacefaring had not yet been interrupted. NASA had the Skylab space station in orbit and was readying the shuttle; Apollo 11 was just one step in a continuing outward journey. It was natural to expect that the dozen men who had walked on the moon would be joined by hundreds soon enough—and that eventually, as popular culture had been assuring us for 30 years, Luna would become a commercial colony of the United States, with pressurized underground hotels for tourists. When Neil Armstrong died in 2012, we were suddenly made aware that the 12 moonwalkers—of whom eight remain—are an endangered species whose numbers have little hope of augmentation. It’s not just that nobody else is going to the moon any time soon: The very type of person we sent seems to be extinct. Today’s astronauts all have impressive academic and flying credentials, but the energy their predecessors put into war and deadly test piloting has been consumed with public12

relations drills, and they come off more like obviously, possible, since we actually did it, schoolteachers than warriors. but how? It is like having a past life as a conThis is part of what lets us regard the moon quistador or a phrenologist. landing and the space dramas that bracketed The social and psychological explosiveness it with something like the awe they deserve. of the networked thinking machine can be Another factor, strangely enough, is the ubi- seen in the ways in which we commemorate quity of the electronic computer. The more the moon landing. The 45th anniversary of dependent we become on devices, the harder Apollo 11 has features that were not present it is for us to understand how men were sent for, say, the 30th. One is the growth of conto the moon using computers of inconceiv- spiracy theories—not just their popularity, but able crudity—no more sophisticated than the their multiplicity. Poor Buzz Aldrin was told pocket calculators of 1976. to his face so often that he was lying about The gulf that separates us from the near going to the moon, he had to punch a guy to past is now so great that we cannot really make it stop, and even that probably didn’t imagine how one could design a spacecraft, work. But others believe he did go—and that or learn engineering in the first place, or he saw aliens there. Or an Illuminati mooneven just look something base. Or the face of Satan. up, without a computer The various moon madIT’S NOT JUST THAT and a network. Journalists nesses are a model of the way my age will understand how NOBODY ELSE IS GOING the Internet democratizes profound and disturbing TO THE MOON: THE TYPE truth, whether in the form this break in history is: Do history or news or scholOF PERSON WE SENT of arship or civics. Billions of you remember doing your SEEMS TO BE EXTINCT ants, gnawing at the trunks job before Google? It was, of established narrative. Complete customized realities, set to electronic music and uploaded to YouTube. But there is something else you’ll find on YouTube if you search for “moon landing”: clips of virtual-reality moon landings from a video game called Kerbal Space Program. I use “video game” as verbal shorthand, but “ballistics simulator” might be better. Kerbal Space Program allows you to build and man spacecraft and explore a fictional solar system with features like our own. Players have to deal with realistic gravitation, materials and pressures, and atmospheric effects. The AUGUST 11, 2014


Colby Cosh on the future of our outer-space ambitions; Emma Teitel on why you should put down your camera and just eat

“game” is not kidding around: Its complexity has made it popular at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and private rocketry outfits. Which is to say that the line between a highly technical job and a pastime is becoming blurry. If you know (or are) a young person who plays Minecraft, Kerbal should remind you of it: an open-ended “game” that is really more of a toy universe. It is hard to escape the suspicion that people being raised on such recreations will be cognitively stronger than those of us who fumbled with Meccano sets. During the Cold War, a frightened America practically had to impress an army of young people into the discipline of physics. Now, tens of thousands train themselves on Newtonian orbital mechanics as a source of idle pleasure. If we ever do form a desire to return to the moon, we will have people who know the way. Have a comment to share?



TURNING THE DINNER TABLE ON INSTAGRAM Last year, American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain opened up to a tabloid about one of modern life’s most common social practices, or—depending on whom you’re talking to—one of its biggest transgressions. When asked what he thought about “food instagramming”—photographing your meal at a restaurant and uploading the pictures onto social media—he explained that while he does this “all the time,” he isn’t particularly fond of the practice. “It’s a dysfunctional, even aggressive practice,” he said. “Why do we instagram pictures of our food? To make people feel really bad. You don’t want people eating dinner with you when you instagram a picture of your food. You want them to be eating a bag of Cheetos on their couch in their underpants. It’s a passive-aggressive act.” In other words, much like other popular online pastimes—posting jealousy-inducing travel photos to your Facebook page or pictures of the diamond ring your fiancée just gave you— instagramming your food is an easy, detached way of saying, “My life is better than yours.” Bourdain’s philosophy on this subject may be

highly cynical, and a bit snooty, especially for a possibility that their annoyance with amaa man who has the luxury of being around teur Internet food photography had suddenly photo-worthy culinary masterpieces all the been validated by cold, hard facts. So, of course, they did what any mature social mediatime. But he’s not alone. Last week, an anonymous poster claiming wary people would do in the year 2014: They to be a Manhattan restaurateur argued in the shared the story on social media. “Rants and Raves” section of New York’s CraigInstagramming your food and digitally slist page that photographing food at restau- documenting the finer things in life may be rants is not only rude and self-indulgent, but passive-aggressive, as Bourdain claims, but so a blight on customer service. The poster, who is modern Internet life in general. The truth has since deleted his now-viral rant (it racked is that we’ve all turned inward—not just those up more than 750,000 shares of us who ignore our dates on Distractify in one weekwhile we photograph food, RARELY DO WE end), claimed to have studied but those of us who have a TELL FRIENDS security footage at his midproblem with the ubiquity town restaurant from the last of public smartphone use, THEIR INCESSANT 10 years, and concluded that too. Some of us may believe INSTAGRAMMING IS smartphone use at the table social media is inherently RUDE AND ANNOYING anti-social and destructive, has drastically increased wait times in his restaurant, to the point where some customers were so busy looking at their phones and photographing their food that when they were finally ready to take a bite, their food was cold and the server had to reheat it. According to his survey, “26 out of 45 customers spend an average of three minutes taking photos of food,” and “14 out of 45 customers take pictures of each other with the food in front of them. This takes, on average, another four minutes, as they yet it appears that the only forum where we must review and sometimes retake the photo. feel truly comfortable expressing this disNine out of 45 customers sent their food back content is on social media itself. (There is no to reheat.” The whole food-photo ordeal, he greater proof of this irony than the huge sucalleged, can add, on average, up to five wasted cess of British writer Gary Turk’s short film minutes of a server’s time. Look Up, about the dangers of excessive social Whether any of this is true we will likely media use. It now has more than 44 million views on YouTube and 44,000 comments.) never know. Matty Matheson, the executive chef at Rarely do any of us, ballsy enough to take Toronto’s popular Parts and Labour restau- on the habits of the young, tell a friend or a rant, acknowledges that smartphone and stranger that his incessant instagramming— Instagram use sometimes delays service in his at the dinner table or anywhere—is a rude, restaurant. “I see customers tell servers to annoying waste of time. A more interesting ‘come back to us’ because they’re on the phone,” and prudent study might be one that deterhe says. But he argues that the positives gen- mines how many customers actually say erally outweigh the negatives. Instagram is, something—in real life—when the practice after all, free publicity for any business. annoys them. Whether we like it or not, etiquette has What’s most interesting, however, in this extremely low-stakes debate isn’t the dubi- undergone a radical makeover in the last five ous data presented by an anonymous Craig- years. However, the biggest loss we’ve sufslist poster, but the enormous popularity of fered as a social civilization may not be manthe post and the speed at which it was shared. ners or the art of conversation, but the art of Clearly, fictitious or not, people were excited public confrontation. by the notion that public smartphone use Have a comment to share? had disrupted life as they knew it. There was MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE


THE INTERVIEW Few diseases inspire more terror than Ebola. The deadly virus causes rapidly worsening fever and pain, internal hemorrhages and, usually, death. Most patients spend their last days in isolation, sometimes bleeding from their eyes and nose, surrounded by people in Hazmat-style suits and goggles. Some suspect the current outbreak originated among bat hunters near Guéckédougou, Guinea. Since February, it has spread to 964 people and killed 603 in the West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Family doctor and native of Windsor, Ont., Tim Jagatic is on the ground in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, helping Doctors Without Borders fight the worst Ebola outbreak in history. BY GENNA BUCK ·

Q: How does this illness present? What is actually happening? A: When the virus enters the body, it attacks the immune system and the blood vessels. It releases an immune cascade at the same time as your blood vessels are being weakened. On the outside, you see fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain, muscle 14

pain—a lot of things people associate with the common cold. With the progression of the disease, you might see the hemorrhagic signs. We see that in fewer than 50 per cent of cases. Q: What are the hemorrhagic signs? A: We see people with nosebleeds. They have bloody vomit, bloody diarrhea, internal bleeding and conjunctivitis [bloodshot eyes]. Q: What’s the usual cause of death? A: There are many, and because it’s such a large outbreak, we’re starting to see some signs that we didn’t associate with Ebola before. We saw some patients with elevated blood sugar. We’ve seen people dying from what seemed to be a heart attack. We’ve seen people dying from blood loss. We’ve seen people just being overwhelmed by the disease. We don’t have much diagnostic material to work with, so we’re not able to do an EKG to see if it was a heart attack or not. Q: You were in the outbreak zone back in March and April, in Guinea. What has changed? A: I was there for about three weeks. I saw an epidemiologist, and he said, “We’re seeing the tip of the iceberg.” Plain and simple: The

virus has gotten to a point where it’s able to spread itself, just because it’s a capital city, and within a population with a cultural practice that lets this virus spread around. Q: How is it spreading within communities? A: Funerals are the biggest point of infection. When one person dies, people from all over will come and practise their behaviour rituals [touching and kissing the unembalmed body without washing their hands after]. A dead body is the most infectious thing, and that’s when the majority of people come into contact with it. Another one is being exposed to sick people. The whole family is taking care of them, being exposed constantly. Q: What would you be doing in an ideal situation to respond to Ebola? A: We need twice as many people. We simply don’t have the numbers to delegate all the things that have to be done when we’re in the isolation ward. Because we’re wearing personal protective equipment, it limits the amount of time that we spend inside the isolation unit. We would like to keep a visit between 45 minutes and one hour, but now, AUGUST 11, 2014


Frontline physician Tim Jagatic on the worst Ebola outbreak in history, the disease’s stigma and whether or not it could spread beyond West Africa This Week

we’re stretching it to almost two hours. We put ourselves through a very strong physiological stress when we’re using personal protection gear, because it’s impermeable. So we sweat, we’re losing water, we’re getting hotter and it wreaks havoc on the body. Our own endurance starts to wear down. Q: What treatment can you provide? A: The treatment is supportive therapy. Someone has a fever; we give them Tylenol. If someone has diarrhea, we give fluids. We provide high-quality nutrition. We also provide a round of antibiotics for any side bacterial infections. We do a whole bunch of things to push away any distraction the immune system might have from fighting the disease. Q: It’s suspected the strain is Zaire ebolavirus. The mortality rate is as much as 90 per cent. What levels of mortality are you seeing? A: I don’t have the numbers in Sierra Leone. Patients are coming in with much later disease progression. Back in Guinea, we were running at about 50 per cent survival. There’s a little town just about an hour and a half north of Conakry, and there was immediate organization of the community and [Doctors Without Borders] together. It was explained to them how the virus was spread, what to do to prevent the spread, what the symptoms look like and how it’s important to come to treatment. In this little village, we had a survival rate of 75 per cent. Because people were coming in early, the outbreak was shut down in one month. The 90 per cent mortality is associated with when nothing is done. Q: There have been some erroneous local beliefs

and some negative practices in response this outbreak. How are you responding? A: Yeah, it’s really important for us to understand why it’s happening. In Guéckédougou [in Guinea], the people had a person die in their village. That happens. The next day, [health workers] show up in space suits and start spraying everything [with disinfectant]. And then more people started dying. So it seems [to them] like after we showed up with the spray, more people died. And they say, “Oh, so you’re spraying Ebola in our village.” This was the line of reasoning. It’s difficult to explain that there’s something so small, you can’t see it with your own eyes, but it’s one of the deadliest things. We take for granted our basic level of education in the West. Q: Can you give me an idea of the panic? What about you? You could get it, too. A: In the community, the biggest point of fear is the unknown. They know something bad called Ebola is in their community, and it’s killing people they know and love, and they don’t know how to stop it. On a personal level, when I’m dressed up in my full personal protection equipment, I know I am not exposed to the virus. When we’re back in our compound, we’ve gone through multiple decontaminations. There are all these checkpoints to make sure we’re washing our hands. Also, we know how the virus is spread, so we know how to avoid being contaminated. There is a very strong sense of safety. Q: But it is killing health care workers: at least one Ugandan doctor, at least one nurse. A: Potentially they weren’t aware of what they were dealing with, so they might have been more relaxed. They might not have worn gloves. They might have got body fluids with high viral loads on their skin, then made contact with their mucous membranes. The virus is not that contagious: I can have a conversation with someone who is infected, with no more than three feet between us and no mask, because we’re separated. The virus is not aerosolized. So if they cough and sneeze in our general direction, we’re not going to get infected. When we’re in closer vicinity, when we’re being exposed to bodily fluids, we take more precautions. Q: Putting someone in isolation is not a normal cultural practice. Is it having an effect on well-being? A: We do address this. Today, we had two or three family members of different patients come in. They got dressed up in personal

protective equipment. We went in there with them, and we explained what to do. We also have other areas set up. Because the isolation unit is in tents and we just have fencing as our barriers, we have chairs family members can sit on outside. The patients sit inside, and they’re able to talk normally with each other. Also, social bonding is forming among many of the patients. I’d say there’s a good 10 to 15 patients in there who will survive. This group of women are sitting there during lunchtime, and because it’s kind of boring, sitting in these isolation units, they become friends, they’re gossiping, they’re having a good time, almost. Q: It’s interesting that’s happening in the hospital, because there’s some stigma in communities. Have you seen that? A: Oh, yes. There was a group of seven people dropped off at our hospital yesterday, because they were believed to have been in contact with somebody who had Ebola. They were shunned. Rocks were being thrown in their direction. When our ambulance showed up to deal with the dead body, the leader of that community forced our ambulance to take those people. Two of them ended up being feverish, so we kept them in our ward for suspected cases. But we had to have a long discussion with community leaders. Q: Can you see Ebola spreading beyond West Africa? A: I find that highly unlikely, simply because the world is on high alert about West Africa right now. We have such strong public health measures and such strong infrastructure in the West. It wouldn’t allow the virus to spread. Q: What’s been the most challenging part for you, personally? A: We saw one of our own staff members test positive, a local staff member [in Guinea]. He showed up with a fever. He was feeling nauseous and he had diarrhea and vomiting. We did blood tests, and then I went back to Brussels. I got a phone call to let me know that he did test positive. It was hitting close to home. He did get infected before he started working with us. Q: You’re taking so many precautions, but the risk is there. Are your loved ones okay with you going into an Ebola zone? A: They’re not the happiest, but they understand why I’m doing it. Q: And why are you doing it? A: There’s a need for it, plain and simple. I have the training to help bring an end to this problem, so I’ll give everything I can.

‘We’re seeing the tip of the iceberg. Plain and simple: the virus has gotten to a point where it’s able to spread itself.’ MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

15 National


Naval gazing BY NICK TAYLOR-VAISEY · A few Canadian sailors took to drinking in San Diego earlier in July and, sufficiently inebriated, allegedly unleashed themselves on the city. Their misbehaviour may include shoplifting and sexual misconduct, actions that forced the commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, ViceAdmiral Mark Norman, to publicly denounce the men and women aboard HMCS Whitehorse, a coastal defence vessel that was in southern California as part of massive international war games. Norman called her back to Canada, having “lost confidence in the ship’s ability to meet its current mission.” Norman also launched a broader review of sailors’ behaviour when they’re ashore, a move that reinforces the stereotype that sailors are prone to booze-fuelled adventures. The acts of the few aboard HMCS Whitehorse delivered days of embarrassing headlines to


a Navy that can’t seem to buy good press. The litany of recent headaches is long. An American fishing trawler hit a Canadian frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, last April. A destroyer, HMCS Algonquin, collided with a supply ship, HMCS Protecteur, during exercises in the Pacific Ocean last August. Algonquin requires expensive repairs. Protecteur later suffered an engine-room fire and spent hours dead at sea off the coast of Hawaii. An East Coast destroyer, HMCS Iroquois, sits unused in Halifax, bruised after many years of service. The other East Coast destroyer, HMCS Athabaskan, also needs repairs after a 2012 collision with a tugboat in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It all adds up to a slow-motion crisis for the Navy. Even when the destroyers are operational, they’re more than 40 years old. The supply ships are about the same age,

and the government’s not sure if it’s worth repairing the hobbled vessels. Canadianmade replacements are years away, mired in the morass of government procurement. Meanwhile, a punishing federal austerity program that has military spending firmly in its crosshairs is only adding to the challenges for a Navy that prides itself on accomplishing any mission asked of its sailors— even when it means doing more with less. It’s leading some, including the man who ran the Navy until last year, to warn that Ottawa’s military priorities are increasingly out of touch. “I believe that we are currently out of balance, and we need to look very hard at ensuring the maritime side of that sea, land, air, special-forces equation is protected,” says Paul Maddison, a vice-admiral when he retired. He says his former colleagues deserve a bigger chunk of funding, certainly more AUGUST 11, 2014


How aging ships, budget cuts and outdated military priorities are crippling Canada’s Navy

Out to sea: The Canadian frigate HMCS

Toronto makes its way out of Halifax’s harbour

than the 12 per cent of DND spending the Navy received when he was at the helm. “I think it’s time for a fundamental re-look at how that pie’s being carved.” Maddison says the Canada First Defence Strategy, a Conservative vision conceived in 2008, is outdated, and insists that Canada’s national interests are “increasingly challenged in the maritime domain.” No longer should the dusty deserts of landlocked Kandahar, where Canadian military priorities lay for more than a decade of brutal fighting, rule the day. Countries on the Pacific Rim are shifting resources to the water and building bigger navies. Meanwhile, other conflicts, including fighting in eastern Ukraine, have the Navy’s attention. HMCS Regina is now patrolling the Mediterranean with NATO’s mission in the region. As well, the lingering threat of climate change has the potential to turn Canada’s Arctic waters into a shipping superhighway and raises issues of Canadian sovereignty. “This is not 2006, this is not Afghanistan,” Maddison says. “This is 2014. The world has changed.” As it stands, the Navy is on the brink of losing its oldest ships for good. The destroyer Algonquin may never sail again, while its counterpart, Iroquois, could also be retired, and the supply ship Protecteur is nearing the end of its usability. The feds could inject millions more into repairs of the decades-old warhorses, but the several months of extended life may not be worth the cost. Destroyers serve as command posts at sea and carry more sophisticated weaponry than any Canadian vessel. Supply ships carry valuable fuel. Not having access to those types of vessels would hamper the Navy’s ability to carry out missions without depending on foreign allies. This hasn’t left Canada’s military entirely landlocked, by any means. Even after Whitehorse’s embarrassing recall in July, a frigate, sub, and another coastal defence vessel took part in a month-long, multinational exercise near Hawaii known as RIMPAC. Rear Admiral J.P.G. Couturier, a Canadian, runs the maritime component of the war games, involving 54 military vessels from 22 countries. The submarine HMCS Victoria is playing the role of an enemy vessel—a job at which it excels, thanks to a relatively quiet diesel-powered engine that regularly eludes powerful American battleships. But, in years past, the Navy would also send a destroyer and a supply ship. These days, it simply doesn’t have the ships available. There’s no clear end in sight for this gap

in operability. The Harper Conservatives tried to provide a fix when they launched a $36.6-billion shipbuilding strategy in October 2011. The program could eventually replace virtually every vessel in today’s Navy. The plan includes new Arctic patrol ships for frigid northern waters, up to 15 warships meant to replace the current destroyers and frigates, a pair of joint support ships that would take over from the existing pair of supply ships, and a gaggle of smaller vessels. The glaring problem in Canadian shipyards is just how unprepared they are for such an urgent and costly job. “There’s not much experience anywhere in government, and even across Canada in the industry,” says David Perry, a senior defence analyst with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. A generation has passed since Canada took on the construction of frigates. All the prep work required at Irving Shipyards in Halifax and Seaspan in Vancouver is costly. The Parliamentary Budget Office has cast doubt on the plan to locate all the construction on home soil, reporting last December that the feds could save $690 million if better-equipped American shipyards built the supply ships. Doing it all in Canada from start to finish is a complex process, says Perry. “When you’re doing a design-and-build project, you need to have a different relationship with your suppliers than you would if you were just buying aircraft off the assembly line,” he says, adding that each ship requires a juggling act with suppliers that requires expert coordination. “It’s a pretty tough call to make. This is much bigger, more costly and more complicated a project than the F-35 [fighter jet] is, in a lot of ways, so I think that’s a big part of the reluctance” to make final decisions quickly. The complexity of the work also means the Navy remains years away from obtaining a single new vessel. The first joint support ship in Vancouver won’t hit the water until 2018 at the earliest. Until then, Canada’s left with a single supply ship, HMCS Preserver, on the east coast. The first Irving-built Arctic patrol ship—a top priority for the military, as Canada and other nations, including Russia and the U.S., grapple for control of the region— could enter service in 2018. Those projections also assume that the new ships remain on schedule and on budget, by no means a certainty, given Canada’s devastatingly poor record on big military procure-

ment projects. When the Tories arrived in office, they planned purchases of new trucks, helicopters, fighter jets and ships. Few arrived on schedule. Last month, the feds finally announced they’d acquired long-planned replacements for the 50-year-old maritime fleet of Sea King helicopters, nearly 30 years after Ottawa first determined the choppers were no longer up to the task. Until any new ships materialize, the Navy is stuck with what it’s got. It didn’t provide an updated list of deployable ships at press time, but we know the operable fleet includes frigates, some of which are stuck in refit; Athabaskan and Preserver in Halifax; a fleet of submarines that are nearly all operational; and a group of coastal defence vessels split between the coasts. It all adds up to a fleet that features “essentially lower availability than they had in roughly 20 years,” says Perry. “The Navy right now is at a pretty fundamental transition point,” he says. “This is going to be the absolute low point right now for the Navy, in terms of having operational output.” Maddison says sailors are looking forward to a point, a decade or more down the line, when that fresh fleet is at their disposal. “A decision to introduce a new class of ship like the Canadian surface combatants is a . . . decision that will outlive a series of governments on both sides of the House. It’s a long game,” says Maddison. “There will be challenges, and you have to manage the end of life of a couple of fleets. But we are moving smartly forward here in introducing the future fleet, and that’s what’s got sailors energized.” If anything defuses that energy, it’s the painful effect of the Harper government’s budget cuts that Perry outlined in a June report. Defence spending now sits below 2007 levels, thanks to cuts that have accounted for a quarter of the government’s overall spending reductions. “The funding for training, routine operations and maintenance has been cut, significantly reducing operational readiness,” wrote Perry. “At the same time, a sizeable proportion of the funding to acquire the military of the future is going unused.” All those ships going through modernization have actually masked the Navy’s budget woes, because dry-docked ships don’t need to draw from even a slashed operations budget. “If there isn’t an ability to increase the amount of money going to the fleet overall, then the capability gap is probably going to keep persisting,” says Perry.

The feds could inject millions into repairs of old warhorses, but the extended life may not be worth the cost MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE



a former Navy captain who serves as the Naval Association of Canada’s national president, says the Navy’s accomplishments in faraway seas are tough to sell to governments and voters. “It’s hard to describe to people that a ship over in the Indian Ocean is delivering value to Canada. It’s a very complex story,” he says. “It’s not like the Army guys putting sandbags in Winnipeg. That’s a direct connection; you can see it.” Maddison understands that his former colleagues will never have all the money they require. “There are never enough resources to make each and every commander absolutely comfortable, nor should there be,” he says. “Governments are faced with extraordinarily difficult decisions each and every day about where to spend the coin of the realm.” As for Carruthers, he says he is determined to look at the bright side. “I would argue that the Canadian Navy has nothing but a success story going back to the 1950s,” he says. “Every group of ships we’ve built have been the leaders in the world, and they’ve stood us in stead for decades.” But the country’s seamen remain overshadowed, not only by their battle-worn army comrades and precision-guided fighter pilots, but also a government bent on fiscal restraint. As the Navy waits for a new fleet and copes with the shackles of austerity, its struggles remain largely outside an indifferent public’s consciousness. Small wonder it’s the odd drunken sailor who makes his way into the news.

‘This is going to be the absolute low point right now for the Navy, in terms of having operational output’


‘WE’RE NOW IN COMMUNICATION’ Mike Duffy has reached out to the Peruvian woman who claims to be his daughter. One week after Maclean’s first published news of Karen Duffy’s lawsuit seeking to have the disgraced senator legally recognized as her father, her three-decade-old dream came true. She received a Facebook message from the former television journalist that was later followed by an online chat. “He wrote to me. We’re now in communication, and I’m very happy about it,” the 32-year-old Lima resident said in a brief phone interview. She declined to go into detail, or say whether or not Duffy is open to her claim. “He doesn’t want to talk to journalists about it,” she said. Karen Duffy’s lawsuit in the Corte Superior de Justicia de Lima claims that she is the product of an unlikely affair between a man who was one of the most famous journalists in Canada, and her mother, a convicted drug mule then serving time in an Ottawa halfway house. Seven months after being deported back to Peru, Karen’s mother, Yvette Benites, gave birth to a baby girl and entered Duffy’s name as the father in Lima’s central registry. Both mother and daughter say they made many attempts to contact Duffy over the years, but he never responded. The lawsuit does not seek money, and Karen says she is not interested in Canadian citizenship. Mike Duffy has been aware of the court action since December, but had yet to respond. When first contacted by Maclean’s, he said its allegations were “untrue.” He did not immediately respond to an inquiry about his online communications with Karen and her lawyer, Jorge Alejandro Rázuri. In a brief statement, Rázuri said he received a message from Duffy on July 21, but waited for confirmation of the suspended senator’s identity before putting him in touch with his client. “Out of respect for the parties, we will not be making any other statement,” he wrote. Karen’s Facebook timeline shows a couple of brief exchanges with a “Dennis Duffy.” (Dennis is Mike Duffy’s middle name.) Shortly afterward, she posted the following message for her friends: “It’s impossible, said pride. It’s risky, said experience. No use, said the brain. Just try, whispered the heart.”

Underwater: HMCS Victoria arrives in Pearl Harbor this month for a naval exercise 18 AUGUST 11, 2014



Slashed budgets already have some ships resting in their jetties. Perry told Maclean’s earlier this year that a pair of coastal defence vessels, which take the lead on counter-narcotics missions in the Caribbean, are tied to the docks in favour of the submarine fleet and the refurbished frigates re-entering service. Maddison admits that the fiscal pressure—and the lack of available ships—has an impact. “We go through these cycles,” he says. “It has placed a lot of pressure on commanders at all levels to generate technical personnel and operational readiness.” There is good news, hidden though it may be. The Navy’s multi-billiondollar, mid-life refit of its dozen frigates—the fleet’s workhorses—is by all accounts on schedule, due to wrap up in 2017, and on budget. The modernization stripped the frigates of outdated technology and produced a rare successful procurement under Tory auspices. And the Navy and its supporters trumpet its ability to keep three destroyers and two supply ships, all of which entered service before 1975, afloat for so many decades— a boast few navies can make. But those morsels of success have done little to raise the Navy’s profile in the eyes of Canadians and officials in Ottawa, especially against the backdrop—until the last troops pulled out earlier this year—of land operations in Afghanistan. The Navy’s anti-smuggling missions in the Arabian Sea or Caribbean regularly took a back seat to that land war. Jim Carruthers,


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compared to the national framework agreed to by Atleo. Jody Wilson-Raybould, the AFN’s regional chief for B.C., said any new round of talks with the federal government must “engage all of our nations and respect regional diversity that exists across the country on educational initiatives.” A move inside the AFN to give local and regional The notion of the feds negotiating with chiefs more autonomy promises to complicate talks the AFN leadership, but somehow allowing side deals and exceptions for regional First BY JOHN GEDDES · This should have been a stick, and he quit over the issue, the govern- Nations groups, or even for individual comsummer of rising confidence among First ment put Bill C-33 on hold—and announced munities, seems, at best, unwieldy. “It’s not Nations leaders. After all, Native economic that $1.9 billion in planned new funding for possible for the Aboriginal affairs minister clout in Canada has recently received a couple Native schools wouldn’t flow in the face of to engage with 633 First Nations—we underof big boosts. It was clearly acknowledged in the AFN’s rejection of the reforms. stand that,” said Chief Joe Miskokomon, an the way the federal cabinet granted only tenThat left the AFN facing hard questions AFN veteran from southwestern Ontario. tative approval on June 17 to Enbridge Inc.’s at its mid-July annual confab in Halifax. The Miskokomon suggested that the key to any proposed pipeline across northern British chiefs who gathered there passed a motion future talks succeeding is for the national AFN Columbia, when Natural Resources Minister calling for the AFN executive, along with leadership to establish better “communicaGreg Rickford stressed the need tions lines” to keep regional and for the company to do more work local chiefs informed as negotiato “engage with Aboriginal groups,” tions progress. This concept of along with other communities, on a more decentralized AFN, with the Northern Gateway route. Less regional and local chiefs retaining than two weeks later came a landmore authority, isn’t limited to the mark Supreme Court of Canada education file. After their Halifax decision that clarified important meeting, the chiefs declared they First Nations economic rights over would “fully review the way the territories that are the subject of AFN is structured and operates to ensure it evolves and adapts, as unresolved land claims. But these affirmations of Native First Nations rebuild their nations power—especially over resource and assert their sovereignty and projects near their communities— jurisdiction.” come at a time when the country’s As the AFN tries to change its most prominent First Nations ways, the real action on Aborginal organization is in no position to affairs appears to be shifting to the assert itself. In fact, the Assembly actions of determined local comof First Nations, the Ottawa-based munities. That June 26 Supreme advocacy group representing the Court decision on Aboriginal title was won, after a long legal strugchiefs of some 633 reserves across Canada, has rarely seemed less gle, by the six Tsilhqot’in bands certain of its precise role. This sumnear Williams Lake, B.C., whose mer, the AFN is preoccupied with total population is only around trying to heal internal rifts and 3,000. Meanwhile, court chalchange the way it operates after a lenges to the Northern Gateway crisis that came to a head back in pipeline have been launched by early May with the unexpected several small First Nations. “The resignation of Shawn Atleo as its feds are going to have to figure out a new approach to consulnational chief. Atleo, a hereditary chief from tation on the local community Vancouver Island, was twice elected Exit: Shawn Atleo left the AFN over his deal with Harper on Bill C-33 level,” says Christopher Devlin, to the AFN’s top job in hotly cona Victoria lawyer who specializes tested races. But he never really silenced education and political specialists, to meet in Aboriginal law. Indeed, with national internal opposition, and his rivals finally again soon, likely in early August in Ottawa, negotiations stalled as the AFN reorganizes forced his exit over the way he negotiated an to decide on how to proceed on the thorny and prepares for a five-month campaign to agreement for the AFN to support Prime education file. Several chiefs told Maclean’s elect a new national chief, the Harper govMinister Stephen Harper’s reform of on- the main goal is to hammer out a way for ernment may have little choice but to turn reserve schools under Bill C-33, the First the AFN to bargain with Ottawa that leaves its attention to building relationships with Nations Control of First Nations Education much more room for local and regional dif- newly confident First Nations leaders in Act. After Atleo was unable to make the deal ferences on how First Nations run schools, their own communities. FIRST NATIONS

20 AUGUST 11, 2014


Divide and conquer H E A LT H

A CURE FOR HEPATITIS C It kills more Canadians than any other virus. Now there’s a cure, but few can afford it. Linda Zimmerman was at the end of her rope when she went into a health food store in 2008 searching for something to soothe her strange symptoms. Her doctor said her blood platelets were low. She bruised easily. Leg cramps and an unscratchable itch kept her up every night. Then a store employee suggested something might be amiss with her liver. The retired nurse from Winkler, Man., turned to Dr. Google for help. “I put in ‘allergies’ and ‘low platelets’ and ‘liver,’ I think it was,” the 66-year-old says. “Things started to come together.” Her family doctor found Zimmerman’s liver enzymes had been out of whack since 2004, and a test revealed she had hepatitis C, a blood-borne viral disease that attacks the liver. It affects an estimated 300,000 Canadians and kills around 500 every year, more than any other single virus, including HIV/ AIDS and seasonal flu. Snorting or injecting drugs even once, patronizing a less-than-sanitary tattoo joint, receiving immunizations during military service or getting a blood transfusion or a transplant before July 1990 are just a few of the ways people get it. Zimmerman had been walking around with the virus since July 31, 1976, the day her youngest son was born and she received tainted blood. A liver biopsy showed Zimmerman’s symptoms were caused by advanced cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. Along with liver failure and liver cancer, that’s a common outcome for people with hepatitis C. Rarely, the virus can cause acute flu-like symptoms and jaundice, and a lucky few people fight it off on their own. But most have no symptoms for 20 years or more. By the time they know they have it, they may already have liver damage. A transplant can be lifesaving, but without other treatment, the virus will attack the new liver, starting the process again. The old drug regimen of ribavirin and interferon, which Zimmerman had to stop after suffering retinal bleeding and blurred



Hidden virus: In 2008, Linda Zimmerman discovered she’d had hepatitis C since 1976

vision, took a year; there was only a 50-50 chance of a cure, and the side effects meant a lot of people couldn’t tolerate it. Newer treatments, which came out in 2011 and 2012, upped the cure rate, but meant taking new drugs on top of the old ones and, in some cases, added up to 18 pills day. Now, a multi-billion-dollar investment and better understanding of all viruses, thanks to HIV/AIDS research, have transformed hepatitis C from a chronic disease to something that can be cured. All the necessary tools, including new drugs with even higher cure rates, will soon be available to wipe the disease from the planet. “It’s clinically a solved problem,” says Dr. Harry Janssen, head of the liver units at Toronto Western and Toronto General hospitals. “We could compare it to diseases like polio.” Since hep C is common in the Western world, “Big Pharma jumped on it,” he says. The result is a nearly guaranteed cure from simple treatments that take 12 weeks with fewer side effects. They’re more suitable for people with advanced liver disease who didn’t tolerate the old regime very well. Combine the new drugs with better screening and hep C could become a thing of the past. The only problem is the price tag: At $39,422 for Galexos (cure rate up to 80 per cent) and $55,000 for Sovaldi (cure rate of 90 per cent), the drugs are out of reach for most people. At the moment, only Quebec covers Sovaldi as part of its provincial drug plan. Giving every hepatitis C-positive Canadian that treatment would cost an estimated $14 billion. The problem is, without a national screening program as they have in the United States, we don’t know how many people have it, given that it takes decades for symptoms to arise. Early treatment can avoid complications entirely. Treating later means there is a risk

of liver cancer, but it’s less than one per cent. “A lot of these patients are not on the highest steps of our social ladder. Many of them are poor, sometimes they don’t speak English very well,” says Janssen. “They have poor access to the health care system.” That’s where Zoe Dodd comes in. As coordinator of the Toronto community hepatitis C program at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, she arranges health care and support for people with hepatitis C, along with other complex health and personal issues. Many are homeless or drug users. Because most of her clients are on social assistance, those with some scarring of the liver may be insured by the Ontario Drug Benefit program for certain antiviral treatments—but not for Galexos or Sovaldi yet. “It would be amazing if people could get access to them. I think we could treat a lot more people,” Dodd says. “Having to swallow a couple of pills versus 18 pills would be such a difference.” She says about 10 per cent of the people in her program eventually die from the disease. “If they’d had access to treatment early on, they’d possibly still be here today. That has a huge impact on the community they’re from, on their own families and their friends,” Dodd says. “It’s astonishing that these cures exist and it’s so hard to get access to them.” Lately, Zimmerman feels herself slowing down. There’s a lesion on her liver doctors are keeping an eye on and, when she hits 70, she won’t be considered a good candidate for a transplant. She’s desperately hoping that Manitoba’s public drug plan will soon cover one of the new treatments. “I’ve heard it takes eight years for a liver to regenerate itself. So if that were the case, I would have many more years. My future without being treated looks kind of bleak.” MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

21 National


Could we do it again?

In 1914, Canada answered a call to duty with sacrifice that seems unfathomable today


Lining up for service: A crowd gathers

outside Toronto’s Town Hall during a military recruitment campaign in September 1915

ever—a haphazard invasion by the Americans in 1812, rebellions in Western Canada and a distant Boer War—this was very different. “It was a total, unlimited war such as the world had never seen before, and it was felt all the way back through Canadian society,” says Tim Cook, historian at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and author of several books on the First World War. At the sharp end of the stick, 620,000 Can- AUGUST 11, 2014


BY PETER SHAWN TAYLOR · Mountsberg, Ont., Like so many individual Canadians, the vilwas once a village with a future. In the early lage of Mountsberg itself made the ultimate 1900s, it boasted a general store, a blacksmith, sacrifice in the Great War. a post office, a steam sawmill, two churches, a The First World War stands as the biggest, public school and perhaps 150 resimost deadly task Canada has ever dents in town and on neighbouring undertaken. More young men died WW I farms. Located between Guelph in the trenches of France and Bel100 YEARS AGO and Hamilton, with a nearby railgium than have been killed in all of way siding offering easy access to Toronto, Canada’s other wars combined. At home, the Mountsberg was on the verge of becoming impact was nearly as profound. Those who a major rural service centre. Then came the didn’t fight found their lives altered in innumerable ways at work and in leisure. Great War. Like most of Canada, Mountsberg Such universal sacrifice was accepted by most responded quickly and eagerly to the call Canadians as both entirely reasonable and of king and country in 1914. And, along absolutely necessary. As a collective underwith the rest of Canada, by 1918, it was for- taking, the totality of the war effort thus demands consideration as one of Canada’s ever changed. Two dozen men from Mountsberg—about greatest triumphs. And yet, by 2014 stanhalf the young male population—went off to dards, it also seems utterly foreign. A century removed from the Great War, war. Four years later, six of them, including 21-year-old Roy Mount of the village’s found- Canadians today expect their politicians to ing family, were dead. Many others, including ensure our lives are made more comfortable the local Methodist minister and Erle Glen- and safe, not threatened by antique obligations nie, the popular schoolteacher who joined the of duty and national honour; we demand proRoyal Flying Corps, survived the conflict but tection from sacrifice, not exhortations that didn’t return. The village never recovered. we give more, work harder or put our lives “Mountsberg lost heavily in the war,” says at obvious risk. Any attempt to put Canada’s Jonathan Vance, a historian at Western Uni- effort in the Great War in modern perspective versity in London, Ont. “Its young, working- runs headlong into the uncomfortable quesage male population was all but wiped out or tion of whether we still retain that apparently never came back.” Robbed of so much of its boundless capacity for suffering and commitsmall workforce, the village lost business to ment we displayed from 1914 to 1918. Would nearby competitors. The post office closed. Canadians today answer a call to duty for a Then the store, mill, blacksmith, school and national project the size, scope and duration one church. The railway no longer stopped of the Great War? Could we do it again? at Mountsberg. Today, the village has largely disappeared from the map; a few acreages, On Aug. 4, 1914, Britain declared war on some heritage buildings and an owl conserva- Germany. Canada, as a member of the British tion area are all that remain. A weathered war Empire and lacking its own independent formemorial standing sentinel in an empty park eign policy, found itself at war, as well. Unlike is the lone reminder of its unmet potential. Canada’s previous experiences with war, how-

adians enlisted or were conscripted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force, about a third of all men aged 18 to 45. Of these, nearly 60,000 died by war’s end; another 6,000 succumbed to their wounds following armistice. “If you put that death toll into the equivalent of today’s population, it comes out to something like 250,000 dead in four years,” says Cook—or the entire population of Saskatoon. “Numbers like that seem unimaginable today.” While Canada put together a proportionately larger force for the Second World War, that conflict’s death toll was a fraction of what was experienced between 1914 and 1918, due

to changes in the mechanics and tactics of war, including such things as air superiority, tanks and better training. At the bloody meatgrinder of Passchendaele in the fall of 1917, for instance, Canada suffered nearly 16,000 dead and wounded. At Vimy, Canada’s most celebrated First World War victory, the toll was 10,000. Together, these two battles comprised just two weeks of fighting, but accounted for as many casualties as the Canadian army suffered during its entire 20-month Italian campaign in the Second World War. Every war is hell, of course. But the Great War was a special kind of agony.

At home, the scale of engagement was equally immense. The Great War precipitated tremendous dislocations across the entire country. The bulk of Canada’s industrial capacity was shifted to munitions production; even cement factories were repurposed to churn out shells. Likewise, the Prairie farming economy was directed to grow wheat almost exclusively. The long-term implications of these moves were only felt after the war, when the global market for shells and wheat collapsed. In fact, Canada suffered the second-most severe postwar recession of all belligerent nations. Only Germany had it worse. MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE


To support the wives and mothers of soldiers at the front, individuals and businesses were instructed to “give until it hurts” to the Canadian Patriotic Fund (CPF), a private charity. As there was no equivalent government welfare program at the time, employees often found CPF contributions deducted from their paycheques as a form of employerimposed tax, and this was largely accepted. “People were much more generous then than they are nowadays,” observes Vance. “The level of generosity was astounding.” Plus, everyone was expected to buy Victory Bonds to fund the war effort itself. Even children had to do their bit. Kids in Brantford, Ont., were encouraged to donate their pennies to the local Children’s Cigarette Fund, which sent smokes to the trenches. Perhaps the most significant change brought on by the war was the dramatic appearance of Ottawa in everyone’s lives. “Before 1914, most people had very little to do with governments at any level,” says Western’s Vance. The federal government’s tiny budget came almost exclusively from customs duties and taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Equally modest were the public’s expectations of what government could and should do. “The war created an interaction between the public and government that seems quite astonishing,” Vance says. The Great War saw the government insert itself directly into the 24

daily lives of Canadians in new and previously unimagined ways. For the first time, Ottawa told Canadian families how they ought to live. The advice was relentless. Folks were told to skip meat on Meatless Mondays, go without heat on Fuel-less Sundays, raise backyard livestock for “Keep a Hog” campaigns and save all their bones, fat, tin and other recyclables. Federally empowered fuel and food controllers searched out and scolded wastage. Five minutes of every school day were spent instructing schoolchildren on how to save time, money and food. And everyone was expected to knit socks in their spare time. Such intrusive public service messaging may seem commonplace today (and proved to be less draconian than the rationing and other strict controls introduced during the Second World War), but it marked a major and irreversible shift in the once laissezfaire relationship between government and citizen in Canada. The right to be left alone was gone forever. Beyond the household, Ottawa imposed numerous other countrywide reforms, including: conscription, daylight savings (to boost production), Prohibition (ditto), women’s

suffrage (a belated thank you for their role in the war effort), mandatory personal identification (for males who’d been exempted from conscription) and anti-loafing laws (to ensure such males were never idle). To keep all these transformations ticking along, the bureaucracy of government also exploded. And, as demands grew in proportion to the casualty list, government gradually accepted more responsibility for supporting war wives and mothers, taking over control of the CPF and establishing what might be considered the origins of the modern welfare state. Of course, all this had to be paid for. An excess-profits tax was collected on businesses beginning in 1916, then personal and corporate income taxes were introduced in 1918. All three were “temporary” revenue measures meant to last just as long as the war did. Only the excess-profits tax actually proved to be.

Sixty thousand died by war’s end. In the equivalent of today’s population, that comes out to 250,000 dead.

Despite all this upheaval and these new demands by government, the Canadian public had surprisingly few objections. One major reason was the deep bond between Canada and Britain. At the outbreak of war, more than half of Canada’s population was of British descent. Of the first contingent of AUGUST 11, 2014


‘Numbers like that seem unimaginable today’: Canada suffered nearly 16,000 dead and wounded in the 1917 Battle of Passchendaele



36,000 Canadian soldiers sent to Europe in 1914, two-thirds were actually British-born, many of whom may have signed on in hopes of a cheap trip home. Once they arrived in England, the soldiers headed to Westminster Abbey, where they ritually laid their battalion flags at the tomb of Gen. James Wolfe, hero of the Battle of Quebec in 1759. In many ways, the Great War was seen by its first participants as a continuation of a long British colonial tradition dating back to the origins of Canada itself. Perhaps surprising, the war also found early support in Quebec as a fight for democracy and freedom, although this evapourated once the conversation turned to conscription. Pre-war Canada was also a society in which military service was considered a rite of manhood. While the full-time Canadian army had just 3,000 troops before the war, Cynthia Comacchio, a historian at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., points out that, since 1909, Canadian schoolboys between the ages of 12 and 14 had been receiving regular militia training, including marching drill and rifle firing, as part of a national program of military preparedness. “In addition to the patriotism of Canadians and our role in the British Empire, this explains why there was so little objection to the whole idea of going off to war,” says Comacchio. “The notion of war as testament to manliness was already socialized into our boys.” If overall support for the war never wavered, as the casualty list grew, it quickly became necessary for everyone to prove their commitment to the cause. Alleged shirkers quickly learned what was expected of them. In 1917, for example, Pierre Van Paassen, a Dutch expatriate studying to be a minister in Toronto, was attacked on a streetcar by a mother who’d lost three sons to the war. “Why aren’t you in khaki?” she screamed at Van Paassen, as recounted in his memoirs. While bystanders fresh from a nearby bar grabbed his arms, “She pinned a white feather through my coat into my flesh: the badge of white-livered cowardice . . . The following day, I enlisted.” While the imposition of conscription following the fractious 1917 election (which permanently turned Quebec voters against Robert Borden’s pro-conscription Conservative party) solved the manpower problem brought on by trench warfare, equally problematic was Canada’s money requirements. The Great War may have begun as an expression of loyalty to the British Empire, but a pragmatic need for cash pushed Ottawa straight into Wall Street’s arms. “The war shifted Canada’s economic focus from Lon-

Pitch in: A selection of pro-enlistment posters,

circa 1916. Military service was considered a rite of manhood in pre-war Canadian society.

don to New York,” says University of Toronto historian John English, a biographer of Borden’s. Along with Quebec’s distrust of the Conservatives, income tax and the origins of the modern welfare state, this connection to the U.S. economy is yet another “temporary” aspect of the war that continues to this day. Ottawa also discovered, to its surprise and delight, that it could borrow from Canadians themselves. In 1915, the federal government attempted to raise $50 million by selling Victory Bonds to its citizenry. It raised twice that, and double again in future campaigns. While Canadians at the front were being bombarded in a very real sense, Canadians at home faced an equivalent, though figurative, bombardment of demands, obligations, intrusions and sacrifices. Everyone was expected to do his or her bit—then do a bit more. Could we repeat such an effort today? Certainly, the prospect that we will ever face another world war is, thankfully, remote, for reasons of technology and strategy. The nuclear option makes prolonged conflict between major powers highly unlikely. And asymmetric warfare, such as the decade-long “war on terror,” asks very little of the general public, other than longer lineups at the airport and more closed-circuit cameras. Yet the relationship between country and citizen has also changed significantly in the past century. Canada no longer exists as an expression of national honour or patriotism to be fulfilled by public effort. Rather, governments are now expected to serve and satisfy the public itself and, most important, protect us all from sacrifice. “Canada today is certainly not the Canada we had then,” observes Darrell Bricker, CEO of polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs. “We have changed quite dramatically and, as a result, the ability to build a national consensus around anything is pretty hard.” Compared to the homogeneous loyalty of English Canada in 1914, our modern polyglot country has lost its instinctive sense of duty to the Crown, or any other cause, for that matter. Plus, boys’ gym classes don’t include rifle training anymore. Beyond demographic and pedagogic changes that have permanently altered our skills and sense of commitment, Ottawa may have also lost its capacity to foot the bill for unlimited wars or other similarly grand national projects. Between the beginning and end of the MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

25 National

Great War, Ottawa quadrupled its spending, while the national debt rose even more: from $434 million in 1913 to $2.5 billion by 1918. Such an expansion is all but impossible today, says Don Drummond, former chief economist at the Toronto-Dominion Bank and federal associate deputy finance minister. “There’s a limit on how much you can tax an economy, and that room is already used quite extensively now,” he says. The opportunity to invent new and lucrative taxes, however temporary, is long gone. It’s true that during the Great Recession of 2008-09, the federal government was able to turn sharply from a balanced budget to a $55-billion deficit, but this was, proportionally, a minor hiccup. “No government in the world could sustain that level of deficit financing for long,” says Drummond. “They all freaked out at the debt buildup after just two years.” And while the wave of austerity that swept across Canadian provinces in the mid-1990s—electing Ralph Klein in Alberta, Roy Romanow in Saskatchewan and Mike Harris in Ontario— may offer something of an analogy for vol-

untary fiscal suffering delivered via the ballot box, “the public’s capacity for sacrifice these days is pretty tepid and fleeting,” Drummond says. Beyond an economic catastrophe, it’s not clear what other modern issue could rally Canadians today to a common cause. Climate change is often suggested as a predicament demanding a similar call to action, yet its track record suggests an underwhelming enthusiasm for any concomitant sacrifices. (Consider Stéphane Dion’s Green Shift platform in the 2008 federal election.) “Global warming is actually a good example of the public’s rejection of what they consider elite opinion,” says Bricker. These days, no one is prepared to make a massive personal sacrifice simply because some politician tells them it’s their duty to do so. Of course, the most obvious and fulsome parallel to the Great War is Canada’s military experience in Afghanistan. And, once again, the evidence suggests that a repetition of Canada’s willingness to accept sacrifice and disruption as occurred in 1914 is highly unlikely.

‘We no longer think in the same way about the necessity of casualties. We are horrified by every single death.’

More than 12 years, 40,000 Canadians served in Afghanistan. Of these, 158 paid the ultimate price, the highest Canadian military death toll since the Korean War. While every death is a tragedy, it can’t be overlooked that 158 fatalities would have been considered a lucky day in the trenches—or a few minutes in the bloody No Man’s Land of Passchendaele. The overall fatality rate during the First World War was nearly 10 per cent. It was four per cent in the Second World War. In Afghanistan, it was less than half a percentage point. Despite the relatively light death toll, however, there’s little question that those 158 deaths loomed large in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to pull Canadian troops out of Afghanistan, a move completed earlier this year. “As the casualties mounted, it shocked all of us. It certainly shocked me,” recalls historian English, who served as a Liberal MP in the Jean Chrétien government in the 1990s. “No one thought our involvement in Afghanistan would ever require that much commitment.” Jack Granatstein, history professor emeritus at York University, notes: “While the public has always supported the troops, those 158 dead soldiers turned public opinion against the war. Harper understood that.” But if 158 deaths in defence of democracy in a foreign land is too much for the public

Mourning: Nuns decorate graves of Canadian soldiers in 1918. The First World War stands as the most deadly task Canada has ever undertaken.


or government to bear, what does that say about our ability to replicate the collective capacity for sacrifice and patriotic enthusiasm on display during the Great War? For Granatstein, author of the 1998 bestseller Who Killed Canadian History? and something of a curmudgeon when it comes to drawing attention to Canada’s military past, the reason for such a change in Canada’s appetite for sacrifice and hardship lies in the twin pillars of modern society: cynicism and social media. “People today are pretty cynical about everything—especially the motives of their politicians—so they’re unwilling to allow themselves to get caught up in any big national projects or patriotic causes,” says Granatstein. In addition, he says televised ramp ceremonies and other media coverage marking the return of each and every body from Afghanistan, such as footage of the spontaneous Highway of Heroes audiences on highway overpasses, provided a highly visual and direct reminder of the cost of war, even though the absolute numbers were dwarfed by the Great War. Western’s Vance agrees that cynicism and new media have become powerful forces in modern life, but sees a broader social context for our rejection of collective suffering. “We’ve become conditioned to believe bad things should never happen,” he says. “And when they do, we look for someone to blame.” Go back a century and people simply accepted that terrible things could happen at any time, he says, pointing to the Great Storm of 1913 that killed more than 200 people on Lake Huron but is little remembered today. The scales of public outrage have tilted so dramatically, Vance observes, that the reaction today to 158 deaths in Afghanistan seems equivalent to the response 10,000 deaths might have garnered 100 years ago. Comacchio agrees: “We no longer think in the same way about sacrifice or the necessity of casualties. We are horrified by every single death, as well we should be.” Another significant factor may be the move from civilian soldiers in the First and Second World Wars to the professional army of today. When a third of the young men in a country go off to war, says the Canadian War Museum’s Cook, it becomes impossible to ignore the importance of victory. “Everyone is automatically patriotic when the entire community is involved,” he says. “If every Canadian had a family member fighting in Afghanistan, it would have been a very different war at home, as well.” For all the media coverage and attention, the vast majority of Canadians never had a personal

stake in the outcome in Afghanistan. There is no Mountsberg of the Afghan war. Then again, perhaps the current ascendancy of cynicism simply reflects a lack of worthy causes, rather than the complete disappearance of concepts such as idealism, duty and self-sacrifice. At least, that’s the perspective of John Manley, former Liberal deputy prime minister, current president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and chairman of a 2008 task force on the future of Canada’s military role in Afghanistan for the Harper government. He’s a rare éminence grise of Canadian politics, business, foreign policy and the military, and also something of a rare optimist regarding human nature and Canadians’ capacity to serve. Manley argues that less has changed since 1914 than is often assumed. “The soldiers I talked to in Afghanistan all spoke of their call to duty in the same way, I’m sure, that you would have heard from young men in 1914. They all took great pride in serving their country.” Like Cook, he figures that the observed collapse in public support for the mission is linked to a lack of personal involvement. “What’s different is the fact that such a small percentage of Canadians had family members in Afghanistan, so we never had that same broad sense of national commitment or sacrifice.” Plus, he says, media, both old and new, now deliver a much broader range of viewpoints, making it harder to demonize opponents or galvanize opinions. Presented with a calamity of sufficient urgency, gravity and clarity, Manley believes Canadians would once again rise to the challenge and willingly bear whatever sacrifices were necessary. “If there was a big earthquake in British Columbia, or some other major disaster that really threatened Canada, I think you would see the same sort of response from all Canadians as we saw in Calgary last year during the floods,” he says. “Everyone would want to help. “People do still love their country. People are still willing to sacrifice and serve, although maybe not in the same proportion or with the same uniformity of dedication as before,” Manley says. “But I wouldn’t say cynicism has entirely replaced patriotism.” Let’s hope we never have to test his theory. See this week’s iPad issue for historian Tim Cook’s conversation with John Geddes, as well as Marc Mayer’s preview of the National Gallery’s First World War photo exhibit


THE START OF THE ‘GREAT WAR’ Turns out the term was first used in Maclean’s, back in October 1914 By the time the First World War ended in November 1918, around 8.5 million soldiers were dead and vast swaths of Europe lay in ruins. It had earned its title, the Great War. The first time that moniker was ever used anywhere in the world was in the October 1914 issue of Maclean’s. It was in a small note near the bottom of page 53. Under a headline, “The Great War,” it listed previous wars that had named themselves— including the Crimean War, the Thirty Years War and the Civil War—and then stated, “This is the Great War. It names itself.” That reference would be lost if not for the Oxford English Dictionary. For more than 125 years, it has exhaustively tracked the origins, evolution and meanings of words and phrases and rightly boasted of being “the definitive record of the English language.” According to Katherine Martin, head of Oxford’s U.S. dictionaries program, the war had previously been described as “great,” but the unsigned Maclean’s “Great War” reference is “the earliest found that is clearly intended to be a name for the war, rather than a description of it. The author had posterity in mind.” While the OED doesn’t know exactly how or when the Maclean’s “Great War” reference was found and made its way to the OED’s offices, it was between its 1933 supplement and 1972 edition, supplanting the previous record holder from 1916. The OED keeps scanning sources, including diaries, books and databases, to refine its entries and update its etymologies. As of this week, Martin says Maclean’s has 59 first-usage titles, everything from the nouns sasquatch (1929), instant replay (1973), allophone (1977) and neo-con (1979) to the verb zap (1968). BY PATRICIA TREBLE · MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE


Lessons of war ‘We will always fight someone else’s war. Canadians have never been the aggressor.’ It is now 115 years since the challenges and opportunities never the Canada first sent troops overseas to fight. same. And yet, some things do stand out Since the Boer War, we have fought in the when we think about Canadians and war. Let Great and Second World Wars; the Korean me point to five maxims that might be conWar; in some warlike peacekeeping strued as lessons of history. operations as in Cyprus on several The first maxim is that we will WW I always fight someone else’s war. Canoccasions; in Somalia; and the for100 YEARS AGO mer Yugoslavia; peripherally in the adians have never been the aggressor, first Gulf War; then in Kosovo and most and we will never start a war. We go into battle recently in Afghanistan. More than 115,000 to be a good, loyal ally. This is not to suggest Canadians have died in service. This country that Canada’s national interests have not been has paid its dues again and again. at stake in our wars, only that they have never But what have we learned from our war been decisive factors in our decision to fight, experience? What lessons can we draw from a and we have never considered what they are century’s conflicts, loss, defeats, and victories? before we go to war. That was certainly true Historians don’t really believe that there in South Africa, and true again in 1914—the are lessons in history. Assad is not Hitler. Dominion was a colony with as much say as Ahmadinejad was not Mussolini, even if he the Gold Coast in determining British policy. was a dangerous buffoon. The times are never It was true again in 1939, notwithstanding the in sync, the people involved always different, Statute of Westminster of 1931, which made BY J. L . GRANATSTEIN ·


Combat, then and now: Canadian soldiers

prepare for battle in the trenches of the First World War circa 1916 (above) and near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2010 (right)

Canada as independent in foreign policy as it was in domestic matters. Canadian loyalty to Britain was our reason for going to war, not fear of Nazi aggression. Canadian interests were not directly at risk until the fall of France in June 1940 or, more likely yet, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941. This was also true in Korea and Kosovo; it was true in Afghanistan, although Canadian national interests are probably more directly involved in the fight against Islamist terrorism than they were in opposing the kaiser and führer in 1914 and 1939. But that is a discussion for another time and place. Secondly, we will always go to war as part of an alliance, but we will never have much say in shaping alliance strategy. Canada is simply too small a player to get a very loud voice. We had almost no say in the Great War, although prime minister Sir Robert Borden used the Canadian Corps’ battlefield performance to win more autonomy within the Empire. We had almost no voice in Allied strategy in World War II, although Mackenzie King used the nation’s huge war effort to AUGUST 11, 2014


HISTORY National

get a role in the combined boards that ran the Allies’s economic war and to establish Canada’s middle power status. We had no say in Korea, none in Kosovo, and none in Afghanistan—except in trying to get other NATO allies to buy into the war and largely failing. The reality is that Canada is a small power, and small powers do not determine the policies of the great. A little realism on the part of our politicians, our media and our people would be useful in assessing our role and responsibilities. A third and more contentious point: Canada is unlikely to be united in war. The sharp antimilitary attitudes of the present have their resonance all through our history. We have never fought a war where Canadians en masse supported the effort. And in truth, in all our wars, one substantial part of the population—with many honourable exceptions—largely opted out, public opinion in French Canada being sharply against participation. This was attributable to a lack of political leadership, not to character. We need to remember that it was a Quebec politician—Louis St. Laurent—who

brought Canada into NATO, into the Korean War, and to spending seven per cent of GDP on defence because he was unafraid to lead. We have not had a political leader since 1957 who has done so, not one who has been willing to talk national interests to Quebec instead of pandering to the nationalistes. Then, preparedness matters. There will be another war. No historian could say otherwise. There has always been war and, barring an extraordinary change in human nature, regrettably, there will always be wars. Thus Canadians either pay for their defence with dollars now or with lives later. The lack of realism, the sense that Canada has only values and no national interests to defend, or at least none we think about, has always meant we are unprepared. We all have fire insurance on our homes against the small chance of a fire, but we refuse to have the national insurance policy that a well-equipped, well-trained military provides. Canadians have never been and are not prepared now. And we will pay in lives yet again. If that doesn’t prove that

The sense that Canada has no national interests to defend has always meant we are unprepared

there are no lessons in history, what could? Finally, Canadians do well fighting wars once we set our mind to the task. At Vimy, Passchendaele, and in the Hundred Days Offensive; at Ortona, the Gothic Line, in Normandy, and at the Scheldt; at Kap’yong and Kandahar, Canadian grit, determination, and military skill shone through. Though the losses were terrible, uncommon courage was the norm. On November 11 each year, some Canadians stop to remember. They all should because we live in freedom and relative peace thanks to those who put their lives on the line for us. We must remember all the men and women who gave their todays for our tomorrows. All Canadians must never forget. J. L. Granatstein, OC is a Canadian historian who specializes in political and military history. He served in the Canadian Army from 1956 to 1966. His latest book is The Greatest Victory: Canada’s One Hundred Days, 1918.This essay first appeared in Lest We Forget, a booklet accompanying an exhibition of First World War paintings by Charles Pachter on view at the Lieutenant-Governor’s Suite at Ontario’s legislature until June 2015, or through the vice-regal website. Copyright 2014, Office of the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. International


Just try to stop him

Why even the horrific downing of an airliner and the international condemnation that’s followed won’t slow Putin’s ambitions. By Michael Petrou Faced with escalating Russian aggression in Ukraine, American Secretary of State John Kerry warned Moscow of a “very serious” response from the United States and Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel similarly told Russia it risked “massive” consequences. Those threats were uttered not following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 last week, almost certainly by Russian-backed separatists using a surface-to-air missile supplied by Moscow, but in March, as Russia prepared to formally annex the Ukrainian region of Crimea, which it had just invaded. The warnings didn’t work. Russia staged a sham referendum and took over the territory, shredding an agreement it had signed in 1994 to uphold Ukraine’s territorial integrity in exchange for Ukraine giving up nuclear weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t stop with Crimea. He sent Russian troops and intelligence agents into eastern Ukraine to stir up unrest there. With help from them and as they pretended—often poorly—to be local Ukrainians, they attacked government buildings and police stations. By April, they had declared a “Donetsk People’s Republic,” which they hoped to join to Russia. A civil war brewed as Ukrainian armed forces fought to regain territory the separatists had seized. In recent weeks, evidence emerged that the separatists, or possibly their allies in Russia, were using sophisticated weaponry, including surface-to-air missiles. Several Ukrainian military planes have been shot down. One, a large transport plane flying near the Russian border, was hit at an altitude above the normal range of the shoulder-fired missiles of separatist fighters. Rebels claimed responsibility, but Ukraine’s defence minister said 30

the missile might have been fired from Russian soil. The United States has alleged that just one convoy of 150 vehicles from Russia to rebels in eastern Ukraine this month contained tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery and rocket launchers. Kerry also said America had information that Russia is training separatist fighters on its soil, including on air defence systems. As for the missile that took down MH17 and killed all 298 people on board, Kerry alleges that the U.S. intercepted conversations about the transfer of a Russian SA-11 radar-guided missile system to rebels in eastern Ukraine, and that the fatal missile was launched from an area controlled by separatists. “We picked up the imagery of this launch. We know its trajectory. We know where it came from,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press. Ukraine has also released what it describes as audio of an intercepted phone call between rebels and Russian officers in which a rebel discusses shooting down the plane. The atrocity was likely an accident, of sorts. Rebel leader Igor Strelkov, believed by Kyiv to be a Russian army intelligence agent, posted a tweet bragging about shooting down the plane, which he thought was an Antonov An-26 transport aircraft of the type that had already been shot down over eastern Ukraine earlier this month. “We warned you—do not fly in our sky,” he said, before removing the tweet when it emerged the rebels had, in fact, killed almost 300 civilians. But America’s rhetorical response to Russia’s alleged complicity in mass murder sounds a lot like it did when faced with Russia’s takeover of Crimea. “This is the moment of truth for Russia,” Kerry said on Sunday. Putin might be forgiven for scoffing. “Words AUGUST 11, 2014

of outrage have never been anything that the Soviet or Russian leadership takes seriously,” says Keir Giles, an associate fellow at Chatham House, a think tank in London. And for months, the West’s response to ever-increasing Russian aggression in Ukraine has been diplomatic isolation and sanctions that are consequential but not crippling. Russian money still fuels London’s financial district. Germany still runs on Russian gas. France still plans to supply Russia with two high-end Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. Italy sells its luxury goods in Russia and has tried to bolster its fragile economy with Russian investment. Russia’s annexation of Crimea didn’t fundamentally change these relationships. And if redrawing the borders of Europe by force drew only absorbable punishment, Putin might wonder why the downing of a commercial airliner should provoke anything more serious. People have been dying for months as a result of Russian aggression in Ukraine. But this latest tragedy has internationalized the conflict, and brought it to the heart of Europe. Of the 298 victims aboard MH17, 193 were from the Netherlands, a member state of the European Union. Forty-three were from Malaysia. Twenty-seven were Australian. One was Canadian: 24-year-old student Andrei Anghel. The dead include some 80 children. It was a spectacular act of mass murder that had refocused attention on Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, and on what the West might do to end it. “The United States and Europe do not have a way to directly affect the calculations of separatists in eastern Ukraine, so the target has to be Moscow,” says Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former American ambassador to Ukraine. “What you want to do is press the Russians, first and foremost, to cut the supply of weapons that is going into eastern Ukraine and is sustaining this conflict, and then get Moscow to press the separatists to stop fighting.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper released a statement on Monday that Canada would be imposing new sanctions on Russia. A government source told Maclean’s that Ottawa is moving toward sanctions that would hit entire sections of the Russian economy. Canada has already targeted 110 individuals and entities. Like the United States, it has sanctioned members of Putin’s inner circle—a tactic Giles describes as effective Blood on his hands: Ukraine, for Putin, is not

an issue on which he will easily cede ground


because it affects the “decision-making cron- ment. “The problem in Washington is they ies” who surround and influence Putin. don’t want to get too far ahead of the EuroCanada and the United States, in part because peans and create a situation in which the Rustheir economies are more sheltered from finan- sians can play the Europeans off of the United cial turmoil in Russia, have taken a generally States”—exposing divisions among countries firmer position against Moscow than have allied against Russia, says Pifer. most European nations. But even America’s The European Union, meanwhile, is trying response to Russian interto build consensus on how vention in Ukraine has been respond to the attack. RUSSIAN MONEY STILL to mild, according to Pifer. EU foreign ministers met FUELS LONDON’S “I would have liked to in Brussels on Tuesday and have seen the administraFINANCIAL DISTRICT. announced they would also tion apply more robust sancexpand sanctions against GERMANY STILL RUNS Russian individuals and tions earlier—and if it was not going to be applying organizations. They didn’t ON RUSSIAN GAS. more robust sanctions, not release details, but said Eurtalk about it so much, because they gave the ope would prepare “proposals for taking impression that they were creating red lines. action, including on access to capital marAnd then, when the Russians crossed the line, kets, defence, dual-use goods, and sensitive not doing anything.” technologies, including in the energy sector.” But already there are signs of splits within Pifer says America’s position is hardening. Earlier this month, before MH17 was shot down, Europe. British Prime Minister David Camit expanded its sanctions to include Gazprom- eron said there is “reluctance” among some bank, the third-largest bank in Russia, as well as European counties to forcefully confront defence and energy firms, including Rosneft, Russia. He is pushing his fellow EU meman oil company owned by the Russian govern- bers to impose restrictions on Russian banks 32

and airlines, and asset freezes on Putin’s backers. He’s also called on Europe to stop arms sales to Russia—a position backed by Lithuania. And Cameron has described France’s planned delivery of the amphibious assault ships as “unthinkable” in light of the attack on MH17. French President François Hollande said the first of the two ships will be delivered by October, and that no sanctions are in place that would compel France to abandon the rest of the contract. “We’ll see if the Russians behave badly,” he said—though what exactly would constitute bad behaviour in French eyes that Russia hasn’t already engaged in is hard to fathom. Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, head of the ruling Socialist party and an ally of Hollande, called Cameron a “hypocrite” with no right to scold France about its military deals with Russia. “When you see how many [Russian] oligarchs have sought refuge in London, David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own backyard,” he said. Cambadélis has a point—or at least, he did. In March, a senior British official was photo- AUGUST 11, 2014


The wreckage: Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is shown smouldering in a field in Grabovo, Ukraine, near the Russian border


Aftermath: (clockwise from top left) An armed man guards debris; workers load body bags; Kerry and his Egyptian counterpart; debris; victims’ friends

graphed carrying a document that said Britain should not, “for now,” close the city of London, Britain’s financial hub, to Russian investors. British Chancellor George Osborne has more recently warned Britain that it may pay a short-term financial price if tougher sanctions are imposed on Russia, but that such measures may be necessary for the stability and security of Europe. The difficulty for the European Union, when it comes to formulating its foreign policy, is that it is not a unified state with common goals and interests. “It’s a 28-member, consensus-based, decision-making [organization],” says Orysia Lutsevych, a research fellow at Chatham House. “All of these counties have different sympathies and affinities and economic links with Russia. We have countries like Italy, which is very much against any kind of sanctions. We have big lobbying companies in Germany trying to say it would be a very negative impact on the German economy. It’s exactly why Putin’s strategy of dividing the European Union is working.” The uncomfortable reality for Europe is that

any measures it might take that are sufficiently be surprised next week about what kind of powerful to have a chance of influencing Putin neighbour they have,” says Pifer. are likely to damage Europe, as well. “My concern is, if the Europeans aren’t The French deal to supply Russia with the prepared to crank up pressure, then Mr. Putin amphibious assault ships is a telling example. concludes that he can get away with business The contract is worth more than $1.5 billion, and as usual, and you’re going to see a lot more cancelling or delaying it would likely jeop- weapons flow into eastern Ukraine. The dead ardize future weapons deals. may not be Dutch or AusOf course, France is relucbut there’s going ‘IF THE EUROPEANS tralians, tant to do so. But the Euroto be a lot more dead.” AREN’T PREPARED TO pean Union has also signed an association agreement CRANK UP PRESSURE, A Russia, in other words, with Ukraine. It is bound to is unlikely to stop fuelling LOT MORE WEAPONS conflict in eastern Ukraine it—not in the same way that NATO or EU member states FLOW INTO UKRAINE’ unless Putin feels the costs are bound to each other— of doing so are more than but, nevertheless, an EU member state can- he can bear. Already this year, capital worth not credibly arm a country that is invading more than $75 billion has left Russia. This one of Europe’s economic partners without does not appear to have weakened Putin’s cheapening the values for which Europe sup- defiance. But, short of more powerful sancposedly stands. tions, the West doesn’t have a lot of options. There are also practical reasons to pressure Markos Kounalakis, a visiting fellow at the Russia to rein in Ukraine’s separatists. Ukraine Hoover Institution, argues that the U.S. should exists on the borders of the European Union. designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror“If Europe is just about money, then they will ism. He says it would politically isolate Putin, turn their eyes from this. But then, they may but he doesn’t think it’s likely to happen. And MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

33 International


Unsafe airspace Why technology protecting commercial jets from rocket attacks hasn’t become more widespread As the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 made painfully clear, commercial aircraft like the Boeing 777, slow and lumbering, are a poor match for sophisticated military weaponry. Yet, despite an estimated 40 civilian planes that have been hit with groundbased missiles in conflict zones over the past 40 years, causing 28 crashes and some 800 deaths, devising cost-effective systems that will protect them from such attacks remains elusive. By far, the biggest threat to commercial pilots is from small, shoulder-mounted missile launchers, or MANPADS (man-portable air-defense systems). What these weapons lack in range—most can only hit targets up to an altitude of 15,000 feet—they more than make up for in cost, accessibility and ease of use, making them ideal for terrorists or paramilitary groups. The U.S. State Department has said stopping the proliferation of such systems is a “top national security priority.” (It isn’t just anti-aircraft missiles: This week, several airlines, including Air Canada, temporarily scrapped flights into Tel Aviv after rockets fired from Gaza landed near the airport.) Given the long-standing security threats in Israel, it’s little surprise, then, that the country’s flag carrier was among the first to adopt anti-missile systems back in 2004. Following an attempted attack on an Israeli charter plane in Kenya, El Al spent about $1 million a plane to equip its fleet with a countermeasure system that automatically detects incoming missiles and fires flares to confuse their infrared tracking. Global shipping giant FedEx has also invested in a laser-based jamming system (designed to thwart a missile’s infrared guidance) for planes flying into more dangerous airports. Both technologies have BY CHRIS SORENSEN ·

seen wide use on military aircraft for years. So why hasn’t the practice become more widespread? A 2005 study by Rand Corp., a defence think tank, estimated it would cost $11 billion to install laser jammers on all commercial airplanes in the U.S., and over $2 billion a year to maintain the systems—a tall order for a perennially cash-strapped industry. Moreover, the report deemed that “well-financed terrorists will likely always be able to devise [an] attack scenario that will defeat whatever countermeasures have been installed,” making the systems unreliable. Protecting commercial jets from radarguided systems like the one that shot down Flight MH17 from 33,000 feet represents another magnitude of difficulty. Allen Sens, a professor of international relations at the University of British Columbia, describes the Russian-made Buk missile launcher fingered in the attack as a weapon designed for enforcing no-fly zones during major military operations. And while jet fighters are equipped with countermeasures to defeat such systems—small canisters packed full of reflective metal strips, or chaff, are fired into the missile’s path in an attempt to confuse the onboard radar—they offer little more than a window of opportunity to escape. “They’re just one part of a larger package of defence measures that military aircraft possess, including speed, manoeuvrability and extensive pilot training,” says Sens. None of which describes your average Airbus or Boeing. Hence, Sens says the best countermeasure for most commercial airlines may be simple common sense: “Don’t fly over territories where there are ongoing hostilities and where you know people are using surface-to-air missiles.”

Evasive manoeuvres: Countermeasures are used to create a small window to escape an attack


according to Pifer, any pressure the West applies on Putin should also leave him with the opportunity to change course. Designating Russia as a sponsor of terrorism, or even sanctioning Putin as an individual, may leave Putin feeling cornered. It’s also unlikely that Putin will feel any push to change from the broader Russian population. Among most Russians, the accepted narrative is that Putin has stood up to Russia’s enemies and won, reclaiming Crimea from the fascists who had taken power in Kyiv, and now defying NATO and Europe on Russia’s Ukrainian doorstep. “It boosts his popularity, because he’s giving the evil terrorist Ukrainians a hard time,” says Giles, speaking of the dispute between Ukraine and Russia over who is responsible for the attack on MH17. “By all appearances, Putin’s popularity seems to be sky-high,” adds Pifer. “A lot of this is because Russian public opinion is shaped by Russian media.” Most Russian media, especially television, are controlled by the state or by individuals close to Russia’s leadership. Coverage of MH17’s downing has featured a variety of theories to explain the crash—including that Ukraine was trying to assassinate Putin, who was supposedly flying nearby, but missed; and that a Ukrainian military fighter shot the jetliner down with the help of an American spy satellite. “The domestic media picture that you get in Russia is just so utterly alien to what we know to be the facts on the ground,” says Giles. “You just have to reverse every assumption.” Ukraine, for Putin, is not a minor geopolitical issue on which he will easily cede ground. He risked war by invading Crimea. He’s shown little inclination to back down in eastern Ukraine. If Ukraine insists on tilting westward, toward Europe, Putin wants to make sure it is weak and unstable, and he’ll keep a war burning in Ukraine to accomplish that. Convincing him to reverse this policy may not be possible. But if it is, it will probably require the sort of sanctions and financial pressure that will take a toll on those targeting Russia, as well. Kerry was only half right when he said this is a moment of truth for Russia. It’s also a moment of truth for Europe.

For an extended photo gallery of the crash site and debris from Flight MH17, see this week’s iPad issue of Maclean’s


Tributes: Flowers for those killed on MH17 are laid by the International AIDS conference sign


Loss of a giant of HIV In the shadow of the deaths of conference delegates, new strategies for combatting AIDS are debated Dr. Julio Montaner, a top of all people with HIV aware of their status. AIDS researcher and professor at the Uni- Further, 90 per cent of those diagnosed will versity of British Columbia, last saw his long- receive regular antiretroviral therapy. And time friend and collaborator Dr. Joep Lange 90 per cent of people being treated will have earlier this month. As special adviser to the lasting viral suppression. “This will open the United Nations on HIV/AIDS, Montaner had door to an AIDS- and HIV-free generation,” convened a high-level meeting to go over a says Montaner, who, like Lange, is a past new strategy for combatting AIDS world- president of the International AIDS Society wide—one being presented (IAS). The UNAIDS paper and discussed at the Interoutlining the strategy states national AIDS Conference, in bluntly: “[O]ur aim in the Melbourne, Australia, this post-2015 era is nothing less week. “That is why I am here. than the end of the AIDS epiIt is why Joep was travelling demic by 2030.” to Melbourne,” says MonDespite this hopeful mestaner, who was deeply shaken sage, the mood at AIDS 2014, after learning that the Dutch as the conference is called, AIDS researcher was killed on has, of course, been sombre. July 17, when his Malaysia Air- Dr. Joep Lange Held every two years, it attracts lines flight to Kuala Lumpur— participants from around the en route to Melbourne—was shot down over globe. (This year’s number some 12,000.) “I eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 aboard, go to many scientific meetings, but this one including at least six conference delegates. is always remarkable,” Dr. Marina Klein, a The new strategy, called “90-90-90,” sets McGill University associate professor of mediambitious targets for combatting AIDS, and cine, told Maclean’s from Melbourne. “It’s it comes at a critical time. With the UN’s the one where we bring together clinicians, Millennium Development Goals set to expire scientists, activists and people living with HIV, next year, researchers are looking beyond who all learn from one another.” 2015. By 2020, the aim is to have 90 per cent Condolence books have circulated. The



opening, on July 20, was marked by a moment of silence. Carmen Logie of the University of Toronto, who has attended each year since 2008, says she’s received a flood of emails from concerned friends and colleagues. “This has touched every delegate,” Montaner says. He first learned that Lange and his partner, Jacqueline van Tongeren, might be on board the downed Malaysian plane through an email he received while awaiting a taxi to take him to the airport. “I tell you, it’s one of those moments I will remember forever.” The fight against AIDS has seen significant progress since Lange and Montaner first started working together in the early ’90s. Today, HIV is increasingly a condition people live with, rather than die from. The UNAIDS discussion paper on 90-90-90 outlines how far we’ve come. Someone who acquired HIV in the “pre-treatment era,” it says, could expect to live 12½ years. Today, a young person in the developed world who becomes infected can live out a relatively normal lifespan. As of December, almost 12.9 million people worldwide were receiving antiretroviral therapy; at least 15 million should be receiving the same by 2015. Challenges remain. “We have made fantastic progress,” acknowledges Dr. Mark Wainberg, director of the McGill AIDS Centre, and another past IAS president. “There are still many countries where we treat HIV, but we don’t do it with the best drugs. Joep would have argued, as we all do, that we want the best drugs to be available [to all].” As of December, the UNAIDS report notes, more than 60 per cent of all people living with HIV still lacked treatment, with spotty coverage in Africa (in sub-Saharan Africa, coverage is at 37 per cent; it’s 11 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa). Sharing information and other resources will help bring costs of treatment down, the report says; per patient costs decline as those with HIV receive regular treatment and require less intensive interventions. The 90-90-90 targets are realistic, Montaner says. “It’s done, proven, tested. This issue is, do we have the leadership to deliver on it?” As this strategy is presented and debated at AIDS 2014, Lange’s absence is acutely felt. “Time will heal these huge scars,” Montaner says. “But the path is clear. The route has been described.” The end of AIDS is finally in sight, Montaner and others believe. It’s a fitting legacy for Lange, described by so many in Melbourne as a “giant of HIV medicine.” MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE




WAR WITHOUT END, AGAIN An Israel that preserves itself through sporadic conflict, rather than peace, is gaining traction The battles have come and gone. Operations the Israelis have variously dubbed “Summer Rains,” “Autumn Clouds,” “Hot Winter,” “Cast Lead,” and “Pillar of Defence.” Since the government of Ariel Sharon dismantled Jewish settlements and pulled its security forces out of Gaza in the summer of 2005, “disengagement” has proven a hard promise to keep. Continued cross-border raids and rocket and mortar fire from the Hamas-controlled territory have frequently been answered with overwhelming force. But the war seems no closer to an end. As the latest skirmish, Operation Protective Edge, entered its third week, the death toll among Palestinians had already topped 600, more than 400 of them civilians. On the Israeli side, there had been 30 fatalities, including 28 soldiers. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had struck more than 1,700 sites in the 365-sq.-km strip, home to 1.8 million people— a little less than half of the hostile targets identified by its intelligence services. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Hamas of using the Gaza population as human shields for its fighters. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have described the IDF strikes as “massacres” and “war crimes.” Despite the rhetoric, this flare-up, too, will end. The United States, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt and the UN Security Council are all busy trying to broker a ceasefire. And it’s clear the Israelis are already looking for an exit—unwilling to fully reoccupy the territory and try to root out their foe. Speaking to the nation, Netanyahu set out his rather limited goals for the all-out assault: to deal a “harsh blow” to Hamas and restore “quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period.” But is anything likely to really change as a result? Western reaction to the offensive has been mostly tepid, with condemnations of the mounting civilian deaths carefully 36

balanced out by recognition of Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks. (In an unguarded moment, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was caught sarcastically praising the IDF’s “pinpoint” operations, but he quickly reverted to more diplomatic language when pressed on the issue.) And Israel’s traditional allies—Canada chief of among them—seem more preoccupied with the downing of Malaysia Airways Flight MH17 and Russia’s links to that tragedy. Jonathan Rynhold, a foreign policy analyst and director of the Argov Center for the Study of Israel at Bar-Ilan University, says it is hard to detect any sort of diplomatic fallout from the latest round of fighting. “There’s a general fatigue with the Middle East, but that’s neither here nor there, from the Israeli point of view,” he says. “If people are indifferent, that’s okay. We’re worried about being hated.” In fact, Rynhold argues that the crisis has so far proved more damaging for America’s international reputation than for the Jewish state’s. “It doesn’t look like the Americans know what they are doing,” he says, pointing to the Obama administration’s muddled response to competing Egyptian and Qatari ceasefire proposals. “I think the U.S. has been so busy trying

to stay out of things in the region that they are left floundering when action is required. It’s not in their playbook.” That’s an assessment that may not be entirely fair. After all, Kerry, with President Barack Obama’s strong support, spent more than a year engaged in shuttle diplomacy between Netanyahu and Abbas, desperately trying to restart the peace process. And it seems that progress was being made when negotiations collapsed last April, falling victim to the same old frustrations and mistrust. The opportunity may have been slim, but it did exist. Hamas had been at a low ebb as a political force. The Syrian civil war had driven a wedge between the terrorist group and its major patrons—Sunni Hamas supports the rebels, while Shia Hezbollah and the Iranians have sided with the regime of Bashar alAssad. Egypt had gone from being a close ally under the rule of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to openly hostile under former general, now president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. And the formation of a unity government, joining Abbas’s Fatah movement and Hamas, offered at least the prospect of Gaza and the far more moderate West Bank again marching in the same direction. AUGUST 11, 2014



Khalil Shikaki, an analyst and pollster with have become pessimistic. They don’t believe the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey the conflict will be resolved any time soon.” Research in Ramallah, says public optimism Unfortunately, that might be the one place was running high prior to the outbreak of where there truly is common ground between hostilities. “People were excited about the Israelis and Palestinians. In the wake of the reconciliation. There were tremendous expect- collapse of the negotiations this spring, there ations that things would improve,” he says. was widespread public support for Netanyahu’s “And most people didn’t view the new gov- refusal to have anything do with a Palestinian ernment as closing the door to negotiations government that included members of Hamas. with the Israelis.” In his last poll, conducted And when a pollster asked Israelis to identify over the first week of June, support for Fatah what should be the country’s top priority, peace in the upcoming elections, was running about came in dead last at nine per cent, well behind eight points ahead of Hamas, even in the the economy at 47 per cent, and more affordGaza Strip, and there had able housing at 21 per cent. been a slight uptick in those The notion that the Pal‘YOU HAVE TO MOW estinian endorsing a two-state soluproblem is basicTHE GRASS EVERY tion. But Shikaki says he ally unsolvable—at least in expects those trends have the foreseeable future—has ONCE IN A WHILE. now been reversed, based on taken hold not only politwhat has happened after past OTHERWISE, IT GROWS ically, but militarily, as well. Gaza conflicts. “In all those AND COVERS YOU OVER.’ Earlier this year, two noted cases, the immediate reaction defence scholars, Efraim was increased popularity for Hamas, and a Inbar and Eitan Shamir, published a paper in weakened Palestinian Authority and Abbas.” the Journal of Strategic Studies that sought to In the two decades since Yitzhak Rabin and outline the new reality, entitled “Mowing the Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords, sup- Grass, Israel’s Strategy for Protracted Intractposedly putting the Israelis and the Palestin- able Conflict.” Traditional ideas of victory no ians on the road to a permanent peace, there longer apply, they argued. A more realistic have been many more downs than ups. And approach is to settle for brief and intense conthe outlook of average Palestinians has become flicts that inflict maximum damage on Israel’s gloomier with each passing year. Yet Shikaki opponents, costing them much “blood and says the desire for peace among the general treasure” and buying short periods of calm Battle cries: (above) Israeli soldiers shoot mortars populace remains strong. “There is signifi- while they rearm. “It’s better to settle for limited goals,” Shanear the Israeli-Gaza border; (below) Palestinians cant public support for compromise and an opposition to violence,” he says. “But people mir, the former head of the National Securremove a body from a building in Gaza City ity Doctrine Department in the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told Maclean’s. “People say that this is a cycle of violence, but it does have utility. You have to mow the grass every once in a while. Otherwise, it grows and covers you over.” There are costs both domestically, in terms of economic disruption and dead soldiers, and in damage to Israel’s reputation abroad. “The picture of a dead child will always be more shocking than one of a child in a bomb shelter,” says Shamir. But as part of a larger tool kit that includes diplomacy, arms interdiction and even targeted assassinations, he argues that a nation that preserves itself through sporadic conflict is more viable than current Western bias might allow. After all, the English and French survived their Hundred Years War, he notes. And the Romans managed to keep restive German tribes at bay for centuries. Of course, that all came to an end when the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410 CE. “It didn’t go so well for them in the end,” admits Shamir. “But the strategy did work for 500 years. Hopefully, it will work better for us.” MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

37 International


The jihad at home With hundreds of young Brits fighting in Syria, anxiety over what happens when they return grows Early last year, two young men from Birmingham, Mohammed Nahin Ahmed and Yusuf Zubair Sarwar, left Britain for Syria, where police believe they spent eight months fighting with the al Nusra Front, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda. Sarwar, a part-time computer science student, said he was on a class trip to Turkey. Soon after he left, his family found a six-page letter in which he admitted that he had gone “to do jihad” and to “die as a martyr.” His mother alerted detectives. The trip was months in the making. Ahmed and Sarwar chatted online with overseas extremists. They ordered reading material from Amazon: Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. In January, they flew home and were greeted at Heathrow Airport by counterterrorism officials. In early July, both pleaded guilty to terrorism offences. Since the Syrian war began three years ago, some 12,000 foreign fighters have taken part. Most come from the Middle East and North Africa, but several thousand are citizens of Western countries—including about 500 Brits—and some will return home. In June, a 29-year-old Frenchman who allegedly spent a year fighting in Syria was arrested on suspicion that he is the gunman who opened fire at Brussels’ Jewish Museum, killing four. In Britain, the spectre of returning jihadists has gripped popular debate. In June, Prime Minister David Cameron warned that insurgents in Syria and Iraq are planning to “attack us here at home.” A month later, his government unveiled controversial emergency legislation that will allow British security services to continue accessing citizens’ phone and Internet records (a European court had struck down those powers in April on privacy grounds). “As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate,” said Cameron, “now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe.” Civil liberties groups now warn of legislative creep, or an encroachment on the rights of British citizens (particularly Muslims) in the name of thwarting terror. BY KATIE ENGELHART ·

Syrian jihadists are energetic users of social media sites such as Twitter, which they flood with gory photographs and calls for recruits. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) boasts a media centre and an app. One jihadi photo that made the Internet rounds this year was an image of a bloody pistol with the caption: “YODO: YOU ONLY DIE ONCE. WHY NOT MAKE IT MARTYRDOM?” British citizens are heeding calls to join the fight, the majority with rebel groups and “increasingly, with the most extreme among them,” according to the Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence firm. Some want to help with what they perceive to be a larger Islamist struggle. Others just want to bring down the government of President Bashar

al-Assad (which, as early as 2012, Cameron accused of “butchering its own people” with “medieval barbarity”). The foreign fighters are often of little tactical importance. Some recruits could be “17-year-old boy[s] whose only experience in this field is from playing Call of Duty on an Xbox,” says Will Geddes, founder of the ICP Group, a threat-management company. In these cases, he adds, foreigners might be trained in the art of insurgency—or simply “used as potential cannon fodder.” Recent reports, meanwhile, suggest a growing role for women in the conflict, sometimes as “jihadi brides.” Up to a fifth of those travelling to Syria from EU countries are women, the Soufan Group estimates. In June, two Muslim girls—16-year-old twins—snuck away from their home in Manchester and, authorities believe, crossed into Syria to join their brother. They reportedly called home to say they had “no intention” of returning. But do those who return pose a domestic threat? “Not everyone who has joined the Syrian rebels is al-Qaeda,” writes Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Yet, “numerous studies show that

‘You only die once’: Syrian rebels attend a

training session near Idlib 38 AUGUST 11, 2014

individuals with foreign training and/or fight- Richard Barrett, the former head of countering experience have featured prominently terrorism for MI6, says foreigners in Syria who in European-based terror plots.” In July, a have not committed specific crimes should Twitter user believed to be a British jihadist be offered amnesty, and then provided with in Syria published an image of explosive de-radicalization and reintegration treatment devices alongside a warning: “So the U.K. is on their return. afraid I could come back with the skills I’ve Government officials are also considering gained.” a number of legal options, such as blocking There is increasing anxiety that British offi- more jihadist websites. But it is their extracials aren’t up to the task. “The size of the judicial manoeuvring that has proved most phenomenon has grown beyond the capacity contentious. U.K. officials have distributed of European intelligence communities,” says leaflets in Muslim neighbourhoods, urging Edwin Bakker, a research fellow at the Inter- people to out friends and family members who national Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The might be planning to head abroad. In June, Hague. London’s Home Office said that Cameron declared schools should promote between January and March of 2014, it car- “British values” as a bulwark against extremried out 40 “Syria-related arrests,” compared ism. The prime minister has been accused of with a total of 25 in all of 2013. turning Muslims into a “suspect community.” Muslim leaders have Cameron’s administration has also been charged ramped up their own A TWITTER USER POSTED with overplaying its hand. In efforts to counter wouldbe rebels. In July, more than AN IMAGE OF EXPLOSIVE a recent speech, Sir Richard 100 imams signed an open DEVICES, WARNING: Dearlove, the former head of MI6, said the threat of letter begging British Mus‘THE U.K. IS AFRAID lims not to travel to Syria returning rebels was “exagI COULD COME BACK’ gerated,” and fighting in or Iraq. Other experts have proposed creative solutions. Syria was “essentially Muslim-on-Muslim.” He accused the government and media of providing extremists the “oxygen of publicity.” Terrorism, however, has been a real threat in the U.K., with the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland in the latter half of the 20th century and, more recently, the 2005 attack in central London, where suicide bombers killed 52 people. That led to the creation of the 2006 Terrorism Act; a new offence concerned “preparatory acts” of terror. The changes were controversial. Tayab Ali is a solicitor whose clients include a number of British citizens who have been accused of terrorism. He believes the 2006 legislation “has the tendency to prosecute people who might be angry and expressing strong political views, but who don’t have any real ambition of participating or supporting terrorism in any way.” Barrett, the former MI6 officer, understands how bewildering it must be to young men who hear about the humanitarian crisis in Syria and want to act. In June, U.S. President Barack Obama proposed funding “moderate” Syrian rebels at the same time the U.S. and its allies were warning nationals not to join the same groups. “It’s very confusing indeed,” Barrett sighs. But, in the end, “the threat of the returning fighter is a small one, compared to the threat of a complete destabilization and destruction of social cohesion in the Middle East.”


A NEW AGE IN POLITICS Scotland is letting 16-year-olds vote on independence. Everyone’s a wee bit nervous. Last September, Saffron Dickson, then 15 years old (now “16 and three-quarters”), attended a televised BBC debate in Glasgow on the subject of the upcoming Scottish referendum. Partway through the show, the host opened the floor to comments—and Dickson shot for the mike. Smiling saucily for the cameras, in bleached-blond hair and a dark leather jacket, she gave the people of Scotland an earful: “We don’t live in a country where we have equal rights,” she cried, raising a furious hand to the sky. “Westminster bakes the Empire Biscuit and we put the jelly tot on top. And we’re supposed to be completely ecstatic about having that little bit of power. But we won’t be silenced by your ideology!” Within weeks, Dickson had become “a wee bit” of a political celebrity in Scotland, which is now less than two months away from a historic referendum on independence from Britain. Today, Dickson is on the central board of Generation Yes, a large pro-independence youth movement, and a regular media fixture. Asked whether she hopes to run for office one day, she’s emphatic: “Yes!” Dickson spoke recently with Maclean’s in the lobby of a swish hotel in central Glasgow, where she sometimes entertains journalists after school. Over the course of an hour, she spoke rapidly (and sometimes almost tearfully) about a range of issues: tuition fees, nuclear weapons, Palestine, Iraq, government “propaganda,” and the need to protect “our grandchildren’s futures.” But Dickson—who describes herself as “from a working-class background in a socially deprived area”—says she backs independence largely because she’s a socialist. On Sept. 18, the day of the vote, she will put her faith in the big-state promises of the proindependence Scottish National Party (SNP). Dickson is probably just the girl that SNP Leader Alex Salmond had in mind when he cut a controversial deal with British Prime Minister David Cameron to lower the referBY KATIE ENGELHART · MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE


endum voting age from 18 to 16. The Greer, a member of the Scottish voting age for regular U.K. elections Green party, has dropped out of uniremains set at 18—and the Conservaversity to campaign full-time for tive government in London had independence. He supports the Yes initially resisted lowering it in Scotside because of its pledge to pass more land for the referendum. Supporters power to the local level, and its vow of the move said it would be a win to remove British nuclear missiles for democracy, but opponents made from Scotland. “I was born after the the arguments one might expect: Cold War ended,” Greer explains. that teenagers lack sufficient life “It’s not relevant anymore.” experience to make complex politThe Yes side is known for its enerical choices, and that the referendum gized young campaigners. Generawas not the time to test out new election Yes is a self-governing, independtoral systems. ent campaign group. Better Together Not surprisingly, the battle for “youth representatives,” by contrast, Scotland moved into the schools. are selected by campaign headquarLast summer, the pro-Union “Betters, after applying with a CV and a ter Together” campaign announced 300-word essay “explaining why you plans to send “teacher resource believe Scotland should remain in the U.K.” But younger voters are packs” to schools, which would include referendum-themed lesson active on both fronts. Hannah Bettsworth, 19, is a secondplans, research material and mockdebate kits. “Yes Scotland,” the leadyear student at the University of ing pro-independence movement, Edinburgh, where she campaigns accused Unionists of “seeking to for Better Together. Bettsworth is influence schoolchildren,” and urged voting No for economic reasons; the No side to seek guidance from namely, she’s concerned about graduthe electoral commission first—before ating the year that independence announcing it would put together would go through: “I’m not saying its own school materials. A few that Scotland wouldn’t be able to months later, the SNP-run Scottish ‘Indy’ nation: Youth rally in support of Scottish independence establish an independent country in government sent out “independence the long run . . . But I don’t want to packs” to teachers, which Labour Party Mem- the results of university debates and mock be the year going into untested water.” ber of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Drew votes in high schools. James Reekie is similarly swayed by ecoSmith dismissed as taxpayer-funded “governThe SNP’s effort to lower the voting age nomic arguments. “What the SNP wants to ment propaganda.” was perceived by some as a ploy: to capital- do is take what is business’s biggest market Nevertheless, from this fertile ground, new ize on the fact that young voters typically lean [the U.K.] and make it business’s biggest compolitical stalwarts have begun to emerge: left—in a nation already well-known to lean petitors, which is an economic disaster,” scoffs young, slogan-spitting Scots who play active— left. (The ruling SNP is often perceived as left Reekie, who, at the ripe age of 22, is the viceand often, very senior—roles in the Yes Scot- of Labour.) But a recent survey of more than chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party. land and Better Together campaigns. Already, 1,000 teenagers by Carrington Dean shows (He ran for office in a by-election in Dumaround 100,000 teens aged 16 and 17 have that many enfranchised Scottish teenagers fernline last year, but lost.) Over coffee at a registered to vote in the refactually want to stick with busy Starbucks in Glasgow, Reekie explained erendum (known in Scotthat some that he is an atypical Conservative supporter. AROUND 100,000 TEENS England—and land as “Indy” or #indyref), two-thirds are worried about “I’m from a very working-class background: HAVE REGISTERED, an impressive feat in a nation the economic viability of an a mining community in Fife,” he says. In that that has historically suffered independent Scotland. part of the country, joining the Tories (which IMPRESSIVE FOR A from anemic young-voter Ross Greer, 20, isn’t. A Reekie did at age 16) is considered “antiNATION USED TO ANEMIC leading campaigner, Greer establishment” behaviour. turnout. The fevered fight for Scotland will no doubt Anxiety about the 16-24 YOUNG-VOTER TURNOUT serves as “communities youth vote—which both sides coordinator” for the nation- get even hotter in the last final weeks before frequently claim to hold—remains palpable. wide Yes campaign: “facilitating and encour- the vote, and it will be fed by this new genPoliticians make urgent pleas to teenagers. aging all of our grassroots community groups eration of Scottish politicos. The grown-ups Last week, Scottish Tory Leader Ruth David- across the country.” On a recent Monday, he seem to be getting tired. On a recent evenson insisted that independence would create greeted Maclean’s in the lobby of Yes head- ing, the Pot Still—a famous whisky bar on “narrower horizons” for young people. SNP quarters, in central Glasgow. Tall and thin, Glasgow’s Hope Street—was full of silverMSP Michael Russell replied that “it takes a and with bright red hair, he wore a T-shirt with haired Scots, bent over wee drams of drink. breathtaking level of duplicity” for a Con- the words No Pasaráran printed in large let- By the entrance, near a display of warm meat servative member “to lecture young people ters. “It’s an anti-Fascist slogan,” he explained. pies, a chalkboard sign warned patrons: “No on opportunities.” National newspapers report “It goes back to the Spanish Civil War.” indy debates at the bar.” 40 AUGUST 11, 2014




The drain in Spain It survived the worst of the recession, but now it’s struggling with a new crisis: an exodus of young people Ruben Fernandez, 28, is a busboy at a busy café in the centre of Oviedo, a small city in the northern Spanish province of Asturias. He grew up in a coastal village not far from here, and has a business degree from the local university, but when he looks around his home, he does not see much of a future. “I know I will have to leave in the next two years in order to get a job in my field,” he says, filling his tray with tourist-emptied cups of café con leche. “It’s sad, because I love my country, but there’s just nothing for young people here anymore.” Despite its spectacular architecture, bustling cities, gorgeous beaches, fine food and wine, and rich cultural history, Spain is in a deep crisis. Unemployment stands at 25 per cent with no immediate sign of recovery. Since the economic crash of 2008, tens of thousands have been evicted from their homes, and UNICEF recently estimated that one in four Spanish children now live below the poverty line. The prospects for young adults are not much better, with half of those between the ages of 18 and 25 unemployed. When—and if—he emigrates, Fernandez is thinking of either London (his English is passable) or Mexico City, where he understands there are opportunities in the finance sector. If he goes, he will become part of the biggest



emigration movement to affect his country since millions fled Franco’s Fascist dictatorship in the 1950s. According to the latest figures, 79,306 Spanish citizens left the country last year, a 38 per cent rise from the year before. In total, however, more than half a million people registered as permanent residents (including Spaniards and non-Spaniards) left the country. Many were EU citizens returning home to places such as Poland, Morocco and Romania. Paul Thomas, a British expatriate teacher and translator who has lived in Asturias with his Spanish wife and daughter since the 1980s, says his family will not be leaving— though he knows many who are thinking of it (both young people and British expatriate pensioners who have seen their investment incomes fall as the euro has risen against the pound). “It’s a tragedy for the country,” he says, “especially here, where the universities are still very good. Our education system churns out highly skilled professionals who simply take that expertise overseas. It’s a terrible loss for the future of Spain.” As the total population continues to fall (according to the most recent figures, it’s down 310,456 to 46 million since 2011), Spain is doing what it does best: create cultural product from its misfortune. The drain, for instance,

‘It’s a tragedy for the country’: Spaniards

stand outside an employment agency near Madrid

has resulted in a popular new TV show, Españoles en el mundo (or Spaniards in the World), inspired by the country’s burgeoning diaspora. The show is lighthearted, but some critics complain that the program glamourizes life abroad, luring more graduates to leave their homeland for greener economic pastures in Latin America and the rest of Europe. Most experts lament the exodus as a social disaster. El Paìs, the country’s most respected left-leaning newspaper, has called it “a demographic blood drain without precedent.” Thomas, whose wife is a university lecturer, explains that when a drain like this occurs, the entire economic system is affected. “When you talk about universities in business terms, the student is not the client; society is. When those graduates immediately go abroad, the client—society—is not served. Therefore, the whole model fails.” Many economists are beginning to speculate that if Spain’s great drain continues, the country will not be able to pull itself out of recession any time soon. The big winners are emerging economies, such as Mexico and Ecuador (the No. 1 pick for Spanish emigrants last year), which are beginning to benefit from the influx of Spanish graduates. Fernandez adores the Spanish lifestyle, despite the country’s dwindling middle class. He is not leaving out of choice, but sheer economic survival. “You grow up being told to study hard and be ambitious, and then you work hard and get your degree and then what?” He motions around the café where he has worked for the past two years, cleaning tables four days a week. The answer is all too clear. MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE


The renovation trap Canadians spend tens of billions of dollars a year on hardwood oors, cathedral ceilings and soapstone countertops, but our love affair with renos has put both households and the economy at risk Economy

The hit Canadian TV show Property Brothers follows a formula as rigid as a newly sistered floor joist. Real-life twin brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott, the former a real estate agent and the latter a contractor, meet a couple searching for a new home. After listening to their list of “musthaves”—soaker tub, gourmet kitchen, ensuite bathroom—they tease the prospective buyers by wowing them with a swish pad far beyond their price range. Next, it’s off to view a more affordable but dumpier abode that inevitably draws such reality TV-esqe observations as, “When I walked in, I was, like, no.” Unfazed, the winsome brothers, tall, stubbly faced and each capped with a lustrous head of hair, transform the ugly duckling into a magazineworthy swan through an epic renovation (compressed to the show’s 60-minute run time), making sure to encounter a few dramatic surprises and setbacks along the way. Now in its fourth season, Property Brothers airs in Canada on the W Network and on HGTV in the United States, where it’s among the U.S. network’s top-rated programs. Brother vs. Brother, another Scott Brothers show, is also a favourite with U.S. audiences. The same goes for W Network’s Love It or List It program. In fact, three out of every four HGTV Canada shows are picked up in the U.S., according to a HGTV Canada spokeswoman. In other words, after all those years fretting about CanCon, we’re now inundating millions of Americans with our non-flag-flying front porches and chesterfield-harbouring living rooms without even realizing it. The growing universe of made-in-Canada home reno shows, from Deck Wars to Holmes on Homes, is only the most visible example of the country’s preoccupation with redesigns, remodels and wholesale redos. Others include the ubiquitous Dumpster bins dropped on lawns across the country, the decision by U.S. home improvement giant Lowe’s to follow Home Depot into Canada back in 2007, and the seemingly ever-present sound of the neighbour and his trusty circular saw embarking on his latest weekend project. Total spending associated with residential renovations and repairs has more than doubled since the late 1990s to nearly $64 billion last year, or nearly four per cent of Canada’s GDP, according to a recent report from Altus Group, a Toronto-based property consulting firm. And it has almost nothing to do with a growing population or the increase in the number of



Boom and brush: Total spending associated with residental renovations and repairs has more than doubled since the late 1990s

houses over that time. In fact, three-quarters of the gains can be directly attributed to Canadians’ willingness to open their wallets ever wider, if it means getting a cathedral ceiling in the master bedroom or a heated floor in the basement loo. How did we get to be such an indulgent and inward-focused lot? Our white-hot housing market had a lot to do with it. Most new homebuyers contemplate at least a few updates before moving in, while sellers now routinely spruce up their properties before listing them, in the hopes of fetching a higher price. And since money is cheap, thanks to record-low interest rates, it has never been easier for Canadians to borrow to get that new breakfastnook addition or backyard patio. But mostly, it’s driven by the premise that thousands spent on new floors and fixtures is an “investment,” as opposed to mere conspicuous consumption. A 2013 survey by the popular home-remodelling website Houzz found

would no longer be able to convince themselves that splurging for tropical hardwood floors will, magically, net them a huge return. Nor is it clear whether the flurry of spending has improved the country’s aging housing stock, or merely painted it several times over with truckloads of expensive lipstick. It’s the age-old story of wanting to keep up with the Joneses—except that now, the Jones family is a perky young couple armed with a pile of borrowed cash and a pair of grinning TV hosts.

Canadians’ love affair with home renovations is second only to our seemingly insatiable lust for owning real estate—and the two are linked at the hip. A report by TD Economics last year found that renovation spending has increased, on average, at a rate of seven per cent a year since 2003, and that roughly half the growth can be directly attributed to rising numbers of home sales and soaring prices. The reason is simple: In a hot housing market, shelling out $2,000 for a new granite countertop could add another $10,000 or more to the value of a house, providing the buyers fall in love with the kitchen. “In recent years, the idea of staging a house and doing reasonably substantial changes to a house prior to listing has become more the norm in the resale Handymen: Buying and Selling, a reno-based reality TV show hosted world,” says Peter Norman, Altus Group’s chief by twin brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott (left), is a small-screen hit economist. “There’s a lot that 60 per cent of Canadians cited “increas- of revamping of kitchens and bathrooms and ing value” as the key motivation to renovate— other types of projects to get a $900,000 house just as on Love It or list It, when the home- up into the $1.2-million range.” owners learn that $90,000 worth of renos to Norman calls it the “HGTV effect,” and it their tired bungalow just increased its “expected applies equally to buyers. Many young Canvalue” by—wait for it—$120,000. adians shopping for their first home have Yet, while all that flying sawdust juiced found themselves squeezed out of hot marCanada’s economy, some fear that the remark- kets in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and ably resilient sector (unaffected by the 2009 Calgary. So, instead of trying to compete in recession, thanks in part to Ottawa’s home vicious bidding wars for “move-in-ready” renovation tax credit) could prove to be a houses—earlier this year a renovated semihouse of cards. A hike in interest rates or a detached home in Toronto’s west end sold for slump in home prices—or, more likely, both $210,000 over the asking price, after getting together—promises to dramatically curtail 32 offers—many opt to buy older fixer-uppers renovation spending, since homeowners and renovate themselves. Depending on the

It’s unclear if reno spending has improved the country’s housing stock or just applied expensive lipstick MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

43 Economy

meaning that many of those houses are now reaching the age where updates are required— and not just because brass fixtures and billowy window treatments are no longer in vogue. Blaine Swan, a home inspector and the president of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors, says many structures erected in the era are suffering from mould and other moisture-related problems, because builders had begun increasing levels of insulation in, and airtightness of homes, but didn’t always improve ventilation systems. “We started living in a plastic bag,” he says. Even the country’s recent condo boom is a driver. While most of the soaring towers erected in cities such as Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver are still relatively new, the renovation cycle for units tends to be shorter, since part of the appeal of condo living is a swish, contemporary design. And, as new condo construction lures people back down-

‘At the end of the day, most of the stuff we see in the pop culture media is house porn’

Sprucing up the economy’s bottom line Spending on residential renos exploded over the last decade, and barely paused during the financial crisis, thanks to a federal renovation tax credit program


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ends up in renovations.” Though they may not be as noticeable to neighbours, Norman says, most renovations are smaller jobs in the $3,000to-$7,000 range—finishing a basement, knocking down a wall or two. He adds that Canada’s Baby Boomers have contributed to the reno boom because many are opting to stay in their homes, rather than downsize to a condo. “A lot of renovations are aimed at adapting homes for those pre-retirement years,” he says. It seems there’s a never-ending list of things that need attention. The last big building boom in Canada occurred in the mid-1980s, 44

in earnest about three or four years ago—just as Canada’s housing market resumed its skyward climb following a brief lull during the recession. Prior to that, she says, most of the shows on the network were more “decoratorcentric,” focusing on furniture, paint colours and clever ways to spruce up the patio. Those shows that did focus on renovations tended to target DIYers, following the sort of howto format pioneered by PBS’s This Old House back in the 1980s. Even Mike Holmes, whose popular Holmes on Homes show first aired in 2001, was initially liked by audiences mainly because of his expertise and the way he verbally disembowelled the shoddy work of the contractors and developers who had preceded him. These days, by contrast, the renos and the homeowners undertaking them have taken centre stage. “It’s not just the personalities of the hosts,” says Shipton. It’s also about “the people who are renovating their homes, what their stories are, what the stakes are for them and how it changes their lives.” In other words, renos make for good television, with their unexpected surprises, high stakes and big payoff at the end. Which is fine, as long as those contemplating real-life renos realize that most projects featured on TV aren’t simple weekend jobs, and they’re not mortgaging their future in the process. Sadly, however, that appears to be just what Canadians are doing. A Bank of Canada report two years ago found an average of $8 billion in annual renovation spending between 1999 and 2010 was financed through debt, including loans borrowed against the existing value of real estate through home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs. The Houzz survey found that a growing number of Canadians borrow to pay for their renos, with 34 per cent saying they would take out a line of credit in 2013, compared to 14 per cent a year earlier. Call it the dark side of the country’s reno obsession. At a time when Canadians are awash in mortgage and other debt, owing an average $1.63 for every disposable dollar earned, many are gleefully doubling down on a single, relatively illiquid asset class: housing. And they’re doing so at a time when many observers believe it’s hugely overvalued. Debt-rating agency Fitch estimates Canadian home prices are, on average, 20 per cent too high; other forecasts are even more dour. If there’s a significant correction, or a crash,





town, prompting the opening of new restaurants, coffee shops and yoga studios, it is simultaneously raising the value of older inner-city homes—the ones most likely to be in need of the biggest upgrades. With tearing down and rebuilding property now a national pasttime, it’s little wonder TV producers have tapped the reno trend for reality-TV treatment. Christine Shipton, the vice-president of original content at Shaw Communications’ media division, which owns HGTV Canada, says the genre really took off AUGUST 11, 2014


house, fixes can be anywhere from cosmetic updates to complete gut jobs. No wonder Canadians spend, on average, $21,000 more on their homes in the year following the purchase of a house, according to data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Flipping houses has become another lucrative pastime in many cities. Buyers—often contractors—scout out overlooked, rundown homes in otherwise desirable neighbourhoods, and put in a few months’ work before turning around and selling the property for substantially more than they paid for it. Sometimes the renovations are truly spectacular, but, more often than not, it’s a case of throwing up some Ikea cabinetry on the kitchen walls and laying cheap laminate flooring directly over the concrete pad in the basement. It’s not only buying or selling their houses that prompts homeowners to spend. Merely watching house prices inch higher in a hot market is sufficient. Economists call it the “wealth effect,” and TD cites studies that show for “every $1 increase in wealth due to homeprice appreciation, households go out and spend an additional nickel—a chunk of which


Mr. Fix It: The growing number of made-in-Canada reno shows, including Holmes on Homes, highlights our preoccupation with wholesale re-dos

homeowners will not only be faced with both the declining value of their homes, but paying back tens of thousands to the bank on top of it—potentially leaving them on the hook for more than their homes are worth. It’s not just a risk to those renovating, but the economy as a whole. The debt-fuelled reno trend has played a major role in artificially inflating the price of houses in Canada, as eager buyers take advantage of cheap mortgage rates to compete in bidding wars for showpiece homes, each offering tens of thousands more than the next. Nor is it just people who plan on living in the homes who are responsible for soaring prices. In cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, buyers often find themselves competing head-to-head with contractors or other real estate professionals keen to buy cheaper properties that can be renovated and flipped at a huge profit. Add it all together and it’s akin to throwing gasoline on a raging brush fire—an inferno Ottawa has tried to cool four times by tightening restrictions on government-backed mortgage insurance, albeit with little effect. The concern is what happens to consumer spending, and the economy it supports, if the housing bubble pops. “Household spending on consumption and home renovation can become vulnerable to house-price shocks,” concluded the Bank of Canada, noting that countries that had the biggest increases in home prices and debt-to-income ratios in the run-up to the 2008 crash experienced the biggest hit to spending during the recession that followed. Put another way, Canadians will suddenly feel poorer and more indebted,

prompting them to snap their wallets shut. Even a modest correction could have a significant impact, given housing and the various industries that support it make up a quarter of Canada’s GDP, by some estimates. “The psychology would change, such that a new kitchen won’t so easily be justified as an ‘investment’ when property values are falling,” says Ben Rabidoux, the president of North Cove Advisors, a research firm. He adds that spending would be further affected by the challenge of borrowing money, since “HELOC and cash-out refinancing lending would tighten,” as the assets securing the loans—people’s homes—fall in value. At least Canadians could comfortably wait out the carnage in their well-appointed castles, right? Maybe not. Though rarely talked about, there’s mounting evidence to suggest Canadians are mostly loading up on cosmetic improvements (the type most often depicted on TV shows) and ignoring more important fixes that would make their homes more comfortable and energy-efficient in the long term. Russell Richman is a professor of building science at Toronto’s Ryerson University. A few years ago, he bought a dilapidated century-old home in Toronto’s east end and made his $300,000 reno a real-world experiment in sustainable building practices. “We did really easy things, like high insulation levels, really good windows, tight air-leakage ratings, an efficient [radiant in-floor heating] system and LED lighting,” he says, adding that the energy-efficient extras contributed between $40,000 to $60,000 to the final price tag. “We operate the house in a tree-hugger,

nuts-and-berries fashion. I have the windows open most of the summer while my neighbours close the windows on June 1st and put on the AC.” The result? A recent test comparing his house to his neighbour’s showed he used a fraction of the air conditioning in the summer and about half the energy to heat the house during the winter. “Five to 10 years and beyond, you will actually start to make money on this type of investment.” Unique among his renovation-happy neighbours, Richman fears we’re collectively missing an opportunity to upgrade the country’s aging housing stock, just as many predict energy costs are poised to spike. “At the end of the day, most of the stuff we see in the pop culture media is house porn,” he says. “But, to me, everything you don’t see in a house is equally as important as what you do see. If you spend $5,000 on the floors, it should be in our psyche to spend $5,000 behind the drywall. We need to move toward that.” Canadians also need to move away from the idea that renovations are an easy way to make money. Those who’d balk at borrowing thousands to bet on stocks think nothing of doing so to gamble on home improvements, reasoning they’ll recoup the cost or even earn a profit. But earning a return on your renos only works if you undertake the right ones, then sell immediately in a rising market. (Those brand-new floors will be a lot less valuable after being subjected to the family dog for a few years.) Even then, there are no guarantees—other than laying the groundwork for some future TV-show makeover, of course. MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE




its jobs-a-plenty message. At a speech in Calgary in early July, Harper told party loyalists the 1.1 million new jobs added since the recession ended have been “overwhelmingly fulltime, high-paying, private sector jobs.” But even that’s debatable. The quality of new jobs has been on the decline; half of all new employment gains over the last year were in parttime positions, and the bulk of new jobs since May 2009 have been in occupations that paid wages on the mid-to-low end of the scale. It wasn’t a surprise Harper chose Calgary for that speech. Aside from his party’s deep roots in Alberta, the province has been the one true place where his message resonates. With a population just one-third that of Ontario’s, Alberta created nearly 60 per cent as many jobs as Ontario has since the recession. In fact, Alberta was Canada’s job engine long before Harper came along. Without it, employment growth would be appalling. And yet the weakening national job market remains an issue squarely on the back burner. Indeed, Canadians seem largely indifferent to it, so far. Two bits of data landed recently that shed some light on how people see the economy, and both show job worries are far from top of mind. A Nanos Research Group poll for Bloomberg News asked Canadians if they feel secure about their jobs, and

When it comes to Stephen Harper’s track record on job creation, and what it might mean for his re-election bid next year, it helps to know which employment legacy we’re referring to: his boast that the economy has created 1.1 million jobs since the recession, or the three Senate jobs he doled out in 2008 that haunt him still? The consensus is that the latter poses the greatest risk to the Prime Minister. The Mike Duffy Senate expense scandal will almost certainly continue to deliver manna to journalists right through the rest of the year, with the possibility of a trial underway next fall, just as the campaign gets going. Patrick Brazeau’s fraud case will probably bubble up somewhere in there and Pamela Wallin’s might, too, if the RCMP follow through on their fraud allegations with charAlberta has been the only saving grace ges. All three cases threaten for Canada’s increasingly moribund labour market to cast a long shadow over the campaign. 150 But there’s been remarkALBERTA ably little attention paid to BRITISH COLUMBIA 140 MANITOBA & SASKATCHEWAN just how much Canada’s ONTARIO 130 job market, the cornerstone QUEBEC of Harper’s economic mesATLANTIC PROVINCES 120 saging, is crumbling, and 110 what danger that could pose to the Tories. It’s getting 100 hard to find any good news among the monthly jobs 2000 2004 2008 2012 figures. In June, Canada created a mere 72,000 net new positions more than 68 per cent of respondents reported from the year before, just one-third the aver- a sunny outlook. At the same time, results age level of job creation for any 12-month from a series of focus groups conducted by period going back to the 1970s. In fact, that the federal Finance Department in January 72,000 annual jobs figure was much closer have been released, showing that issues such to the 45,000 level Canada endured when as education, health care, pensions and vetthe job market briefly cratered after the 9/11 erans were all seen as priorities above the terrorist attacks. That marked Canada’s slow- economy. In other words, now that Canadians est pace of employment growth outside of no longer have to panic about their next paya recession in 40 years, and we’re now just cheques, they feel liberated to worry about a notch above that. Might we reach that low other squishier, albeit important, issues. again? It’s entirely possible. Part of that is likely due to the nature of Undeterred, the government has clung to this slowdown. Compared to the global recesEmployment growth index (100=January 2000)

Canada’s leader in job growth


sion, which hit employment levels like a sledgehammer, this made-in-Canada jobs crisis is unfolding at a glacial pace. But it’s also the case that Canadians have spent the better part of the last five years being told, and telling themselves, that Canada’s economy is somehow exceptional. We’ve heard it so many times, we actually believe it. This might seem as though it would play to Harper’s favour. And, to reinforce that notion, we’ll no doubt be inundated with new mutations of Action Plan ads touting measures Ottawa has undertaken to promote “jobs, growth and long-term economic prosperity.” But there’s a danger for Harper in this complacency. Canada isn’t special. We do not have a Teflon job market. And, unless things begin to turn around, at some point it will dawn on a great many people that the shine has come off Canada’s economic miracle—at which point, voters are going to ask: So, Mr. Prime Minister, what have you done for us lately? What are Harper’s options? Well, you can be sure that if his government was wary in the past of instituting policies that might rock Alberta’s oil patch—carbon tax anyone?—those considerations are now completely off the table. And for a Prime Minister whose relations with his counterpart in the U.S. have been among the most strained in history, Harper has to hope beyond hope that the American recovery is not just sound, but a real humdinger. There are limits to what any Prime Minister can do to juice the job market when so much depends on the policies of provincial governments. In the case of Ontario and Quebec, simultaneously the two biggest job markets and biggest job laggards in the country, the trend has been toward more intrusive government, bigger deficits and higher taxes—none of which has resulted in a lick of success at boosting employment. At least in Quebec, Premier Philippe Couillard has embarked on a plan to tackle the province’s fiscal shortfall. But that necessary belt-tightening will itself weigh on a job market where the majority of employment gains in recent years have been in the public sector. Come to think of it, maybe Harper might welcome a bout of Senate scandal headlines come next year. It would be easier to fend off than the jobs crisis that threatens to gut his track record on the economy. AUGUST 11, 2014


Economy Society


SUMMER LIST BONANZA Grab a lawn chair and sit back for some summer reading. The beloved Blog of Lists returns to next week. Here’s a preview.

10 athletes you’ve probably never heard of, but should have A few athletes whose achievements, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame says, are worthy of being remembered 5. CHARLES “SANDY” SOMERVILLE—GOLF:

At a competition in Russia in 1890, he was crowned “Champion of the Universe.”

He was the first Canadian to win the U.S. amateur championship in 1932 and was named athlete of the year.



record in the early 1900s and occasionally challenged opponents to races in which he’d skate backward.

times called “the strongest man in history,” in 1895, Cyr carried a platform with 18 men weighing 1,967 kg on his back.



He is recognized as the “father of modern lacrosse” and, in the late 1800s, elevated it to a national sport.

as the greatest black hockey player of his time in the 1940s and ’50s, he was never allowed to play in the NHL.


8. GEORGE WOOLF—JOCKEY: He rode the champion thoroughbred Seabiscuit to victory against War Admiral in 1938.

He was a star kicker in the Canadian Football League in the 1920s and ’30s.

9. CATHY TOWNSEND—BOWLING: She was the first Canadian woman to win the Bowling World Cup in 1975 in Manila, Philippines.

5 INCREDIBLE HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS STOLEN BY CANADA’S MOST PROLIFIC THIEF It’s amazing what a routine traffic stop can lead to. When police pulled over Nova Scotia native John Mark Tillmann and noticed a letter written by British Gen. James Wolfe sitting on the passenger seat, it led them to his home, where they found more than 1,600 illegally obtained artifacts. Here’s a quick glance at Tillmann’s former collection: 48


6 AUGUST 11, 2014


She became world champion in the sport after her win at the allEngland tournament in 1939.

1. Letter written by British Gen. James Wolfe in May 1758, one year before he won the Battle of Quebec 2. Letter written by Gen. George Washing-

ton in November 1775, before he became the first president of the United States 3. First-edition copy of Charles Darwin’s

famous book On the Origin of Species 4. 1819 painting of Province House, home of the Nova Scotia Legislature 5. Marriage documents from the 1800s





10 reasons why ‘Dief the Chief’ and JFK hated each other


John Diefenbaker had a famously toxic relationship with John F. Kennedy. John Boyko, author of the upcoming book Kennedy and the Canadians, explains why: 1. THE DIFFERENCE: Diefenbaker was an anti-estab-

6. THE TREE: Diefenbaker escorted Kennedy to the

lishment populist. As a lawyer and a politician, he devoted himself to defending the powerless against those whose family, wealth and connections afforded unearned advantages. Kennedy represented everything Diefenbaker despised. Before they even met, Diefenbaker dismissed him as shallow and over-privileged.

governor general’s residence for a ceremonial tree planting. Inspired by Diefenbaker’s enthusiastic shovel work, Kennedy dug in and promptly reinjured his back. It led to his being distracted by intense pain during a summit with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev shortly afterward, and to enduring a brace for the rest of his life.

2. THE DELAY: With the razor-close presidential elec-

7. THE DOCUMENT: Kennedy inadvertently dropped a

tion decided, Diefenbaker sent Kennedy a congratulatory letter. He then waited for a response— and waited. He eventually had his ambassador in Washington ask whether the letter had been received. Only then did Kennedy reply. Diefenbaker believed he and Canada had been slighted.

secret memo in Diefenbaker’s office. It listed areas where Canada should be “pushed,” and in the margin he had apparently scribbled “SOB.” Diefenbaker threatened to release it. The protocol breach angered Kennedy. He denied the doodle, saying he didn’t know Diefenbaker was an SOB—at that point.

3. THE NAME: While seeking political office in the

8. THE NUKES: The U.S. wanted to station nuclear

shadow of two world wars, Diefenbaker’s German name often invited derision. He remained sensitive to slurs regarding it, so he was insulted when, at their first meeting, Kennedy called him Diefenbawker. Upon his arrival for a visit to Ottawa, Kennedy repeated his error.

weapons in Canada. Diefenbaker said he would acquire them if Canadian sovereignty and civilian control were guaranteed, and then only after exhausting attempts at global disarmament. Kennedy was frustrated by what he and many Canadians interpreted as indecisiveness.

4. THE FRENCH: The unilingual Diefenbaker always

9. THE BOREDOM: The worst punishment one could

attempted a little French, and did so when welcoming Kennedy to Ottawa. Kennedy told the crowd he had not intended to attempt French, but, after hearing the prime minister, thought he’d try. Having been schooled by his bilingual wife, Kennedy spoke surprisingly well. Diefenbaker felt humiliated.

inflict on Kennedy was boredom. After their first meeting, he told aides that Diefenbaker was tiresome. British prime minister Harold Macmillan arranged a lunch in Bermuda and kept Kennedy from fleeing only with the promise that he never be left alone with Diefenbaker.

5. THE OAS: At a private meeting, Kennedy said

10. THE ELECTION: Kennedy liked Liberal leader Lester

he wanted Canada to join the Organization of American States. Diefenbaker said no, as it would restrict Canada’s interactions in the hemisphere. Later, in his speech to Parliament, Kennedy broke protocol by urging publicly what the prime minister had already declined privately. Diefenbaker sat steaming.

B. Pearson. At an Ottawa reception, Kennedy ignored Diefenbaker to speak at length with Pearson. Diefenbaker was insulted. Later, Kennedy liked that Pearson changed Liberal party policy to support Canada’s acquiring of nuclear weapons. Kennedy’s administration helped to elect Pearson in the 1963 election. Diefenbaker was embittered. MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

It’s impossible to imagine what it feels like to be kidnapped and held for ransom in a foreign country. Here are four Canadians who offered written accounts of their experiences:



Kidnapped in Niger and held from December 2008 to April 2009


Kidnapped in Somalia and held from August 2008 to November 2009


Kidnapped in Afghanistan and held from October to November 2008



Kidnapped in Iraq and held from November 2005 to March 2006 49

14 WEIRD PLATFORM PROMISES FROM THE NOW-DEFUNCT RHINOCEROS PARTY If all politicians lie, at least the Rhino party did it with style 1. Take Canada off the

gold standard, opting instead to use a snow standard to boost the economy. (And then, when summer comes . . . not sure yet.)


10 weird things you can only do in Canada

2. Repeal the law of gravity. 3. Provide higher education

Robin Esrock, author of The Great Canadian Bucket List: One-of-a-Kind Travel Experiences, shares his picks of some unique undertakings across the country:

by building taller schools. 4. Pave the Bay of Fundy

to make more parking for the Maritimes.


6. SPEND A NIGHT IN JAIL (OTTAWA): Canada’s hotel options

fermented horse milk in Mongolia or rocket-fuel raki in Albania, but only in Canada can you drink a cocktail served with a human toe. Sixty-thousand people have joined the Sour Toe Cocktail Club. The toes occasionally get swallowed, despite a hefty fine.

are vast, but only one is a former prison, haunted by ghosts of the condemned. When the Nicholas Street jail closed in the 1970s due to inhumane conditions, it reopened as a backpacker hostel. Guests lock themselves in cells for the night.


7. GO FOR AN ICE RAFT (QUEBEC CITY): Each February, Que-

unique view of the Pacific West Coast’s annual salmon run, grab a wetsuit and let the current carry you downriver. You’ll float past tens of thousands of salmon migrating upriver to spawn and die.

bec hosts the world’s largest winter carnival, where you can ice-raft, dance in ice palaces and watch paddlers race across the cracked-ice soup of the Saint Lawrence River for the annual ice canoe race.

3. FIRE A GUN IN A MALL (EDMONTON): The West Edmonton

Mall is the largest on the continent, attracting 30 million visitors a year. It’s also the only mall where you can fire a .44 Magnum, and other weapons, in the Wild West Shooting Centre.

8. RAFT A TIDAL WAVE (URBANIA, N.S.): When the world’s largest tides back into rivers that feed them, it creates a true tidal wave. Hopping on a raft with an on-board motor to slam into this natural water park is distinctly fun, and uniquely Canadian.

both kill.


9. GET SCREECHED (ST. JOHN’S, N.L.): To become an honor-

12. Reform Loto-Canada, replacing cash prizes with Senate appointments.

the world’s largest concentration of snakes, up to 150,000 red garters, slither into rock dens for their annual mating ritual. Visitors can pick them up, so long as they’re gentle.

ary Newfoundlander, visitors kiss a petrified cod (or a toy puffin’s behind), listen to ribald banter and shoot strong rum, known as screech. Only the brave pucker for the fish; screech has that effect on people.

5. CROOKED BUSH (HAFFORD, SASK.): Wild aspen forests

10. FLY IN A DC-3 (YELLOWKNIFE): Buffalo Airways is the

in the prairies grow straight and tall, unless you visit this mysterious grove, which bend, twist and knot like a Tim Burton movie prop. Blamed on an unexplained genetic mutation.

world’s only DC-3 airline, serving remote communities on the 1935 aircraft, and providing fodder for the TV series, Ice Pilots NWT. Aviation enthusiasts visit from around the world for a ride.

5. Change Montreal’s rue Ste-Catherine into the world’s longest bowling alley. 6. Count the Thousand Islands

to make sure the Americans didn’t steal any. 7. Ban crappy Canadian winters. 8. Abolish all laws to end crime. 9. Tear down the Rockies

so Albertans can see the Pacific sunset. 10. Abolish lawn mowing

in Outremont, Que. 11. Ban guns and butter—

13. Forget having two official languages; replace with having two official ears. 14. The Queen would

now be seated in Buckingham, Que.

10 OF THE GOLD-MEDALWINNING BEERS AT THE WORLD BEER CUP We all know Canadian beer is the best, but how great are we in the eyes of the world? From the looks of it, we’re golden. 50











Specialty honey beer, 2012

Gluten-free beer, 2012

Extra special bitter, 2012

Belgian-style pale strong ale, 2008

English-style mild ale, 2006 AUGUST 11, 2014 Society

8 canoe and kayak patents from where Canadian innovation meets the lake There are roughly 150 patents related to canoes and kayaks in Canada. Here are a few of them: 1. HEATED CANOE PADDLE SHAFT (2009): “The pads are powered by a 12.8-14.4 Vdc 3200 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery source.”


2. OUTBOARD SEAT (2002): “The outboard seat allows an operator to sit


outboard of the river craft with feet on the bottom of a river or lake.”

“The carrier supports an inverted canoe on a person’s back and is also capable of being converted to a folding camp chair”

3. SLAMMING-RESISTANT SONAR DOME CANOE (1979): “A sonar dome canoe

which is both lightweight and robust to resist slamming damage.” 4. PACKSACK CANOE (2001): “This canoe can be made different sizes.” 5. PEDAL PROPULSION SYSTEM (2010): “This invention relates to a pedal propulsion system for powering a transportation conveyance . . . such as a canoe.” 6. FOLDING KAYAK (2003): “A collapsible boat comprising forward

and aft hull sections.” 7. PADDLEBOW (2009): “This invention allows its user to integrate archery or hunting with recreational kayaking.”

8 TOP-SELLING ANIMAL ARTISTS Here’s how much these works by animals have fetched: 1. CONGO THE CHIMPANZEE

London ($26,352) 2. RUBY THE ELEPHANT


Phoenix ($25,000)



Krefeld, Germany ($4,100) 4. METRO THE PAINTING HORSE

Rocky Ridge, Md. ($2,000) 5. MINI THE KITTEN

New Zealand ($1,000) 6. ARBOR THE DOG

Las Vegas ($440) 7. BIG CATS OF TAMPA

Tampa, Fla. ($400)

4 6


Sunderland, Ont. ($370)




American-style lager, 2004

Fruit beer, 2000




American-style specialty lager, 2002

5 10



Belgian-style dark strong ale, 2002

American lager/ ale or cream ale, 2000 MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

THERE ARE MORE LISTS AT MACLEANS.CA Check out our website starting August 1 when we’ll publish a list a day about all things Canadian




We are all Neanderthal At least partly, as testing on ancient bones and modern humans is now revealing On the Tibetan plateau, where altitudes reach 4,000 m and up, most people would get sick from lack of oxygen. But, because of a unique adaptation, Tibetans produce less oxygen-carrying hemoglobin (the majority of us do the opposite), protecting them from hypertension, increased risk of stroke, and other common side effects of life at high altitude. It turns out they have an ancient relative to thank for this: Denisovans, who, like Neanderthals, went extinct tens of thousands of years ago. In a recent study in Nature, a team of scientists describes how modern Tibetans inherited this genetic variant from ancestors who mated with Denisovans. About 87 per cent of Tibetans have the high-altitude version of the gene, the scientists found, compared to just nine per cent of Han Chinese. Better genome sequencing technology is giving new insight into early humans. In December 2013, scientists unveiled the most complete sequence yet of the Neanderthal genome, using DNA from a woman’s 50,000-year-old toe bone recovered from a cave in southern Siberia. That same cave has yielded a small piece of a finger bone from a Denisovan, from which the Denisovan genome was sequenced. One of the most surprising revelations so far is just how much of their genetic legacy we carry with us, even today. About 20 per cent of the Neanderthal genome lives on in modern people, influBY KATE LUNAU ·


encing our health, and risk for disease, in ways scientists are now starting to unravel. Just how much Neanderthal DNA we carry, if any, depends partly on where we come from. Indigenous Africans have little or none, because their ancestors didn’t mate with the Neanderthals of Europe and Asia; the DNA of people descended from Europeans, Asians, and other non-Africans is, on average, two per cent Neanderthal. (Melanesians, on the other hand, carry Denisovan DNA, as do Eastern Asians, to a lesser extent.) Scientists are now busily trying to find areas of our modern genomes that are rich in ancient humans’ DNA, suggesting it conferred some kind of advantage, and other areas that are devoid of it, where natural selection knocked out mutations that hurt chances of survival. In January, a team of Harvard medical school geneticists published a paper in Nature. Neanderthal DNA, they found, is associated with genes that influence our skin and hair, and conditions as various as lupus, Crohn’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, and the ability to quit smoking. Although it’s tempting to blame Neanderthal ancestry for a bad smoking habit, for example, the implications have yet to be teased out: In many cases, scientists can’t say for sure whether a genetic variant causes a condition, or even if an association exists. Still, the link was clearest in genes that influence keratin filaments, which give toughness to our hair, skin and nails. “We don’t know

why,” says author Sriram Sankararaman. But it seems possible that, when humans migrated out of Africa, mating with Neanderthals who were already adapted to other environments endowed their offspring with this genetic benefit. (A separate paper, published at the same time in Science by a team led by population geneticist Joshua Akey of the University of Washington school of medicine, reached a similar conclusion; it pinpointed Neanderthal DNA sequences in parts of the human genome linked to skin pigmentation.) Other regions in our genome, Sankararaman and his co-authors found, were wiped of Neanderthal ancestry. The regions lacking in Neanderthal DNA are especially compelling, says Akey, “as they tell us a lot about what it means to be human.” These regions included the genes involved in making sperm, which suggests that male offspring of humans and Neanderthals—two groups separated by half a million years of evolution—might have had lower fertility, or been infertile. The research raises a set of questions about why modern-day ailments, such as Crohn’s disease or Type 2 diabetes, might have something to do with genes from our ancestors. “I think there will be a few diseases where Neanderthals disproportionately contributed,” Akey predicts, although we can’t yet say which ones. Drawing on genetic data from half a million people in the U.K., Sankararaman and international collaborators are testing how Neanderthal mutations affect certain characteristics, “like risk for disease, or height, or body mass,” he says. Using the same techniques, they’re trying to understand better the effects of Denisovan ancestry. Denisovans are barely understood. “There’s no culture [yet] associated with them,” says Rasmus Nielsen, a computational biologist at the University of California at Berkeley, and lead author of the Tibetan study. “What they looked like, how they lived; we know absolutely nothing about that.” Nielsen’s study suggests that, like modern Tibetans, Denisovans might have been adapted to high altitudes, although we still don’t know where they lived. Even with a shortage of physical samples to study, “we can learn about ancient humans from the modern genome,” he says. Like archaeologists at a dig site, he and others are sifting through our present-day genomes for clues into the lives of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and other early humans—disappeared now for tens of thousands of years, but living on deep within our DNA. AUGUST 11, 2014


Ancient genes: Just how much Neanderthal DNA we carry depends on where we come from FIRST PERSON

‘THE TOP PLAYERS ARE VULNERABLE’ Milos Raonic on his loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon, and how he plans to beat the world’s best Tall, soft-spoken and armed with a howitzer of a serve, Milos Raonic is making Canadian tennis history everywhere he goes. Born in Montenegro, but raised in a Toronto suburb, Raonic sat down with Maclean’s ahead of his appearances at the Rogers Cup and U.S. Open to talk about his Wimbledon experience and his strategy for climbing to the top. Stepping into Wimbledon and getting to the semifinal, it was the first time in a grand slam where I felt like I could really win. That was one thing that really stood out for me. I felt like, if I can get through this, there’s a good chance I can get through the final and own my first slam. I think that feeling—that it’s finally within reach—got the most of me. I have to give credit because Roger [Federer] played well, but, in a lot of ways, I prevented or blocked or caused myself to lose the match because I got caught up in the moment a little too much. I feel like the top players in the game are vulnerable right now—more so than they have been in the past. There’s that chance of things going your way if you’re doing the right things. I know that, in any situation, when I go out there I can win the match. That wasn’t necessarily the case before. Of course, I’ve got to learn how to deal with different situations. But if things go my way, I can win every match. It doesn’t matter which surface, situation or opponent. I know I can give myself that opportunity. Lower-ranked guys are now gunning for me, too. And when you do face those guys, it’s difficult because I have a lot to lose, but they have nothing to lose. They can play very freely and it can be their day. So you have to understand that they might be playing a bit above their level. You try to stick with them



‘If things go my way, I can win every match’: In 2012, Raonic was No. 25. Now he’s No. 7.

and hopefully they can’t keep it going—especially in grand slams when you need three sets to win. Playing your extreme best for that long is difficult. So the attitude and approach are the most important part of getting through those difficult situations. It’s discipline. It’s also experience. It’s about handling the situation and not letting it get ahead of you. When I’m playing well, it’s because of my serve and because I’m keeping points short. That way I don’t need to worry so much about my opponent. All I need to do is focus on myself and have them adjust to me, rather than me adjust to them. That’s when I play

my best tennis. Everyone has to find their own way to win. Not everyone can run around the baseline for five hours. I can’t. I weigh 220lb. I don’t really want to be carrying that around from side to side for five sets. I have my own way of going about things. It makes me the player I am. MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

To watch videos of Chris Sorensen’s interview with Milos Raonic, see this week’s iPad edition of Maclean’s




A NEW KIND OF MID-LIFE CRISIS No longer a teen problem, unwanted pregnancies are rising among women in their 30s and 40s When Carrie (not her real name) was 33, she discovered she was pregnant for the fourth time. For the married Ottawa-area mother of three, the pregnancy was the product of an affair. They had used condoms all but once and, while she knew the risks of getting pregnant, they seemed small, given her age and the fact that she’d struggled with serious health complications in her last two pregnancies. “I had a hard time getting pregnant when I tried,” she says, “so I thought, because I was older, it wouldn’t happen.” The father balked at having another child. Unwilling to risk breaking up her 15-year marriage to raise four children on her own, she had an abortion. Her first son, at age 18, had also been a surprise. But dealing with an unplanned pregnancy at 33 turned out to be a vastly different world. “I had more people to think about,” she says. “I couldn’t just make a selfish, rash decision, which is what you do as a teen.” Abortion remains among the most politically and emotionally divisive topics, and yet, much of the debate over women’s reproductive rights is underpinned by the notion that unplanned pregnancies are primarily a young woman’s issue. In fact, there has been a slow but profound shift in the demographics of both pregnancy and abortion. Between 1997 and 2005, the last year Statistics Canada reported on the subject, the abortion rate among teen girls fell nearly 30 per cent. It fell less dramatically among BY TAMSIN M C MAHON ·

Information gap: Many women assume it’s

difficult to get pregnant after 35


women in their 20s, who still represent the majority of abortions. But when it comes to women in their 30s and 40s, the abortion rate—while still comparatively low—appears to be on the rise. By 2011, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, there were more abortions performed on women in their 30s and 40s than on teens. “Most people, including many women themselves, mistake the notion that unplanned pregnancy is something that happens when you’re a teenager, that abortion is something teenagers deal with,” says Bill Albert, chief program officer for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in the U.S., which is experiencing similar trends. “We have seen an extraordinary decline in teen pregnancies. We have not seen anywhere near the decline in unplanned pregnancies among women in their 20s and 30s.” The shift in abortion demographics reflects the broader trend toward women delaying pregnancy. The average Canadian woman now has her first child at age 29, while the birth rate among women in their 40s has more than doubled in the past 20 years. Meanwhile, fewer teen girls are having abortions because fewer are getting pregnant in the first place. Researchers are still struggling to understand what is behind the trend in unplanned pregnancies and abortions among older women. In the U.K., where the abortion rate among women over 30 has risen six per cent since 2001, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service points to the fact that many older women have stopped using contraception, because they assume they’re infertile after hearing stories of couples struggling to conceive through IVF and fertility experts warning of the risks to women who delay pregnancy. “We know from speaking to women that stories and campaigns suggesting it’s hard to get pregnant after 35 are having a real impact on women’s perception of their own fertility and, therefore, their use of contraception,” said chief executive Ann Furedi. Nearly half the women having an abortion in their 40s that the agency has surveyed weren’t using any contraception, a rate much higher than teens and young women. American studies have found that among older women, those who are divorced or never married are less likely to use contraception, largely because some stop taking birth control pills when they’re not regularly sexually active, only to be unprepared when they start a new relationship.

Aging can also wreak havoc on women fessor of family medicine at the University who primarily rely on natural birth control of British Columbia. (Not all provinces methods—such as timing intercourse around report detailed data on abortions, and the “safe periods” in their menstrual cycle— Public Health Agency of Canada’s survey since cycles often become unpredictable of sexual health has so far only been given after the age of 40. “They can have had a to those under the age of 25.) Norman’s perfectly regular cycle and not had a single research has found that roughly 31 per cent unplanned pregnancy in 15 years of mar- of Canadian women over 45 have had an riage and then they hit 40 and their cycles abortion at some point in their lives. But change without them realizing it,” says Dr. researchers don’t know, for instance, how Ellen Wiebe, medical director of Vancou- many unplanned pregnancies in women ver’s Willow Women’s Clinic, who co-auth- over 30 were because they were using conored a 2012 study on women having abor- traceptive methods that have higher failtions over the age of 33. “They’re always ure rates, such as the rhythm method, or really surprised, because they thought they because they have stopped using contraknew their body well, and that they were ception altogether. The rising abortion old enough that it shouldn’t matter.” rate may also be driven by women who are Older women’s confusion over their own terminating planned pregnancies for medfertility is resulting in two seemingly con- ical reasons, such as fetal abnormalities, tradictory trends when it comes to abor- which are more common among older tion: Some face the choice because they women. thought they were too old to get pregnant All of which make it difficult for health easily, while others make the choice because care workers to try to address the underthey are still struggling with the idea of lying causes. “It’s very hard for us to underbecoming mothers at all. One 38-year-old stand what is happening with women in told Wiebe and her colleagues that she was their 30s and 40s, who are seeking aborhaving an abortion, in part, because she tion at higher rates than previously, because didn’t want to start having children for at we don’t have any national data collection least two or three more years. “What I find on the factors that are going into the pregso amazing is these women are ambivalent nancies,” Norman says. in their late 30s,” says That’s led to what Wiebe. “It was like, wait some see as significant NEARLY HALF THE a minute, you’re getting gaps in support services WOMEN HAVING AN close to your best-before for older women who are date.” ABORTION IN THEIR 40S dealing with unplanned Many know their ferpregnancies. For Carrie, WEREN’T USING ANY tility window is closing, the fact that she already CONTRACEPTION but can’t see themselves knew the joys of motherraising children if they’re hood made the decision not in a stable relationship or financially to have an abortion particularly difficult. independent, says Holly Yager, a Vancouver “I knew exactly what I was giving up,” reproductive health and fertility counsellor she says. “I knew I was never going to get and co-author of Wiebe’s study. “That comes another chance.” up a lot, whether women have decided to She also felt the staff at the abortion clinic get pregnant or to end a pregnancy: that assumed that because she was in her 30s at this age, I should be ready and my life and already had three children, she didn’t should look like this,” says Yager. “There require counselling to help make the deciis just more pressure that they’re feeling, sion to end her pregnancy. Clinic staff told the expectation that they should be ready. her abortion was likely her best option And yet they’re not.” Even as close to a fifth because of the complications with her past of women go childless, that can make the pregnancies. decision to abort an unplanned pregnancy Four years later, now 37, she’s still strugmore fraught than for teens and younger gling with the emotional fallout. “[They] women, who still have years to decide on assumed I was old enough, mature enough motherhood. to deal with it,” she says. “They were wrong. But while it’s clear that women are choos- I very much needed help and was not given ing to start their families later, there is it. I think they focus on young girls and little hard data on what is driving the making sure they are okay with their deciincrease in abortions among older women sion. No one is doing the same for older in Canada, says Dr. Wendy Norman, a pro- women.” MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE




THE INVISIBLE MAN How artist Liu Bolin disappears into the background In late 2005, Liu Bolin’s art studio in the small village of Suojiacun, China, was bulldozed to make way for Beijing Olympic development. Frustrated, but feeling very much David to big industry’s Goliath, Bolin covered himself with paint and climbed onto the ruins to snap a picture of himself hiding in plain sight. He began to focus on protests. He made pieces like Laid Off, showing workers painted to blend in against the factory that fired them, or Made in China, where he camouflaged himself against a shelf of Disney toys. He’s since become more interested in how an individual relates to environments, painting himself into landmarks, street art and a store’s produce aisle. It’s earned him the nickname “The Invisible Man.” “In my world of art, people exist as individuals; they are quite weak,” he says from Beijing. When starting a new piece, Bolin gets his photo taken in front of his chosen backdrop and painstakingly maps out perspective and angle for the perfect disappearing act. He will stand still for hours as assistants paint his clothes, skin and hair, taking constant photos of the progress. He’s tried different methods to make sure he doesn’t absorb too many toxins from the paint, such as saturating himself in oil first. Still, after painting himself into nearly 200 pieces, his skin gets inflamed. But he accepts that he chose this fate, saying it’s like “death in the snow for a mountain climber.” BY JULIA DE LAURENTIIS JOHNSON ·

Blending in: Liu Bolin camouflages himself in one of the seats at La Scala opera house in Milan Society


In plain sight: Bolin stands in front of an enormous sculpture (above) and a tree (below) in Beijing’s Beihai Park, part of the artist’s Dragon Series, which took more than three months to complete. Bolin will stand still for hours on end while colleagues help paint his clothes, skin and hair.

58 AUGUST 11, 2014

Now you see him: (above) Bolin masks himself in front of a shelf full of stuffed panda toys; (below) the Beijing-based artist blends into a pile of coal near the city’s Beihai Park. ‘In my world of art, people exist as individuals; they are quite weak,’ Bolin says of his painstaking craft.

To explore more of artist Liu Bolin’s mind-bending work, see this week’s iPad edition of Maclean’s

60 AUGUST 11, 2014


‘The new Seinfeld’ Can John Mulaney save the traditional, studio-audience sitcom? (Can anyone?) John Mulaney is a likable young comedian with a seemingly charmed life. At only 31, he’s been a successful standup, a major writer on Saturday Night Live, and he has a new sitcom on Fox this fall, Mulaney, produced by SNL’s Lorne Michaels and costarring Martin Short. He has also wound up somehow with the hopes of a whole generation of TV fans riding on his shoulders: Even before the outgoing network president, Kevin Reilly, tempted fate by calling the sitcom “the new Seinfeld,” Mulaney has come to be seen as the last hope of the traditional sitcom shot with multiple cameras in front of an audience, the test case for whether the format can still produce quality work. “Comedy fans see the names attached to the series,” explains Sean McCarthy, who edits the comedy site The Comic’s Comic, “and imagine Mulaney becoming their generation’s Seinfeld on the small screen, as Mulaney the standup comedian already has become for them onstage.” That may be more pressure than any one show can bear. It wasn’t so long ago that “there were a bunch of shows like Seinfeld and Friends that were smart and popular,” says Mike Royce, a TV writer who worked on shows such as the multi-camera Everybody Loves Raymond and the single-camera Enlisted. Now, he says, there’s a sense “that you don’t do smart comedy on multi-cams. That seems to be the received wisdom post-2000.” There are some traditional sitcom success stories: The U.K. comedy Vicious received attention for its casting of Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a gay couple, and CTV’s Spun Out recently became

one of the few Canadian multi-camera sitcoms to be renewed for a second season. But in terms of quality, there’s no contest; all the most acclaimed, imitated and studied comedies on TV are in the single-camera format with no audience. A studio- audience sitcom hasn’t won the Emmy award for best comedy since Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005, and Saul Austerlitz’s recent book Sitcom, which tells the history of the form through 50 years’ worth of great episodes, doesn’t find any studio sitcoms worth analyzing after an episode of Friends from the 1990s. “There’s still a certain love on CBS for these laugh-track comedies, for want of a better term,” Austerlitz says, “but to me, personally, I find they’re increasingly threadbare.” In announcing NBC’s only major new studio-audience project, a new sitcom for the 77-year-old Bill Cosby, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke admitted there are few younger creators interested in doing this type of show: “Nine out of 10 writers,” she told a gathering of critics, “come in wanting to do single-camera.” That’s why Megh Wright, a writer for the comedy website Splitsider, says “it’s weird to see someone like Mulaney starring in a multi-cam show,” especially since about half of comedy fans, his target audience, seem to be “people who can’t stand new multi-cam shows.” So why would a cool comic pick such an uncool format? Part of it may be childhood nostalgia: “I wanted to do the type of liveaudience multi-camera sitcoms that I grew up on,” Mulaney told Entertainment Weekly. And he’s not the only person who’s been feeling a pang of longing for the era when almost Enter laughing: ‘I wanted to do the type of every sitcom was shot in front of an audience. live-audience multi-camera sitcoms that I grew Recent U.K. sitcoms such as Miranda and Mrs. Brown’s Boys have been conscious throwup on,’ says John Mulaney (centre) BY JAIME J. WEINMAN · MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

61 TV

backs to the BBC audience sitcoms of the There are also artistic reasons some people “shot the original pilot they pitched us on a ’70s, and websites such as Buzzfeed have might have for wanting to get into the audi- camcorder. They made it for basically $200.” helped a cottage industry of tributes to the ence sitcom business. Not only are shows The boom in independently produced web multi-camera sitcom boom of the ’90s. The such as All in the Family revered among TV comedy has pushed most young comics Atlantic recently published a long tribute to writers, but the studio-audience format still toward the single-camera location shooting the wacky workplace sitcom Just Shoot Me. commands respect for being what Mulaney of shows such as Always Sunny, or Louie, or If nostalgia isn’t enough of an incentive, has called “a pure comedy.” Royce explains Broad City; you can’t shoot the new Seinfeld there’s the fact that successful multi-camera that one of the things that makes an audience in the basement. All of which puts an almost unfathomsitcoms are still bigger than any other kind sitcom so hard to do well is you can’t fix it of TV show. The most popular comedy in the after it’s shot, and the actors can’t fake their able amount of pressure on Mulaney; if he world, The Big Bang Theory, is shot before a performances: “You need the chemistry there, can’t make it, it will push young comedians raucous studio audience. Seinfeld, celebrating in the live experience on a multi-cam, and it even further away from the format. Royce its 25th anniversary this year, is still incred- needs to be right there in the moment. You knows what it’s like to have the hopes of an entire genre on your ibly profitable in reruns, while Malcolm in the Midshoulders; he co-created dle—the 2001 single-camand co-ran Louis CK’s era comedy that Royce Lucky Louie, HBO’s only said “turned everybody’s audience sitcom and an head” and made writattempt to revive the ers want to stop writing gritty style of shows like Roseanne. Though multi-camera—is mostly forgotten. Royce says a he’s proud of the work traditional comedy does they did on the show’s well in repeats because one and only season, a it’s “one of the few things first-year sitcom could you can throw on; you never live up to that kind can do something else, of pressure: “Expectaand you can really enjoy tions were that this was it because there are some going to be the next big funny people doing funny HBO show, and Louie stuff up there.” Which wasn’t trying to do anymeans that if someone thing besides the thing can make a new multihe wanted to do. I’ve camera hit, he or she always maintained that will have a greater and if they put it on Saturday more enduring success. night at midnight and That could be why Lorne said, ‘Hey, it’s Louis CK’s Michaels, whose biggest thing, hope you like it,’ previous venture into sitit would have benefited coms was with the niche from low expectations.” Even if Mulaney evenappeal of 30 Rock, is try- Everybody loves John: Produced by Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels and cotually lives up to its proming for a broader success starring Martin Short, Mulaney is already saddled with hefty promise to live up to ise, no one knows if it will with Mulaney. But the appeal of the multi-camera sitcom can’t really help that in editing, whereas you last, especially in a TV environment where can’t be just financial, especially now that kind of can in single-cam.” Furthermore, what there aren’t many places to schedule a sitcom: the market for this type of show is shrink- irritates some people about audience com- In Canada, the Global television network has ing. Netflix and Amazon are among the edy—the sound of laughter after every joke— scheduled the show for Sundays at 7 p.m., streaming outlets investing heavily in new may intrigue some performers, since every not the most promising place for a new sersitcoms, but only single-camera shows. Yahoo! joke on a multi-camera sitcom has to be able ies to find viewers. In the meantime, Royce recently got into the original comedy busi- to pass the test of whether a crowd will laugh thinks it’s good to have at least one traditional ness by picking up the laugh-track-free Com- at it. “I was used to writing for and judging sitcom getting people’s expectations up. “I munity. “We don’t do four-camera comed- stuff by a live audience,” Mulaney said in his hope people are pinning their hopes on him, ies,” says John Solberg, senior vice-president Entertainment Weekly interview, “and I love in a way,” he says, “not because I want him of media relations for the FX network, a the energy of it.” to be the subject of unfair pressure, but because producer of shows such as Louie and Maron The trouble is that even if a young writer I want people to be saying, ‘We want a multi(though it does air some very cheap trad- wants to make a studio-audience comedy, cam that we love!’ ” If the producers of itional sitcoms from an outside producer, he or she can’t just go out and make one. Mulaney’s show don’t end up making the with aging stars such as Charlie Sheen and Single-camera has fewer barriers to entry: next Seinfeld, they can at least take heart in George Lopez). “It’s just something we’ve Solberg says the creators of FX’s first com- knowing that a lot of people really, really want never done. It’s an artistic choice.” edy hit, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the next Seinfeld to happen. 62 AUGUST 11, 2014


The studio-audience format commands respect for being ‘a pure comedy.’ You can’t fix it after it’s shot. Actors can’t fake their performances. Books

Överallt: Ikea’s cultural footprint is getting larger, including the release of a catalogue-shaped novel detailing one night in the lives of five employees

Swedish for ‘bloody everywhere’ What other retailer has inspired a horror novel, a French bestseller and a museum? There’s retail and then there’s Ikea. From its bright blue-and-yellow colour scheme to the iconic (if that’s the word) meatballs—not to mention a monkey in a shearling coat—the world-spanning Swedish home-furnishing giant holds a place in contemporary Canadian imagination scarcely eclipsed by Eaton’s in its days of glory. All around the world, Ikea’s cultural footprint is only getting larger. For possibly the first time in history, a department store plans to open a museum of its own wares, to meet popular demand. There has been an 8,600-sq.-foot historical exhibition of key product lines for two decades now, meant to inspire new generations of Ikea designers, explains its California-born manager, Michele Acuna. The 20 furnished rooms are in the basement of the Ikea Hotel and Restaurant in Almhuit, the small—9,000 people—Swedish town where founder Ingvar Kamprad opened his first store in 1958. “Ten years ago,” says Acuna, “we had to start limited public opening because of all the people who wanted to see it—other employees, outside designers, seniors tours, school groups. That grew to the point where we’re open all the time. We get 12,000 visitors a year.” Hence the new, 75,000-sq.-foot permanent museum, slated to open in Almhuit in 2015, in advance of which Ikea has issued a call to Swedes, who are more likely than foreigners to have the oldest items, to “raid your attic, your shed or your parents’ house for products.” A lineup of nostalgic tourists in Almhuit



is not the only sign that the flat packs of yesteryear are embedded in the culture. The chain is starting to emerge in pop literature. French author Romain Puértolas, in need of a brand-name closet to launch his hero on an inadvertent European tour, opted for the inescapable in The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe. A massive bestseller in France, the novel will be released in English on Aug. 5. Puértolas’s lighter-than-air fable about an Indian con man who finds love and goodness doesn’t spend much time in a Paris Ikea. But, like everyone who introduces Ikea into their stories, he has a lot of fun with faux-Swedish product names and the company’s some-assemblyrequired concept. The fakir, professionally suspicious, wonders why the 15,000-nail deluxe version (in puma red) of the Hertsyörbak bed of nails is cheaper than the 200-nail version. “When you have spent a whole week hammering in the 15,000 nails, sir,” an employee explains, “you will no longer be asking that question.” Ikea is more of a presence in the wonderfully named Horrorstör, Grady Hendrix’s blackly funny and creepy tale of a very bad night in the lives of five Orsk employees. (Orsk is an fictional American knock-off of the Swedish retailer, one that ignores the latter’s good points and magnifies its drawbacks—

“like a Wal-Mart that’s decided to ape Ikea,” Hendrix helpfully explains.) The physical book is shaped like an Ikea catalogue, with chapters headed by illustrations for products that seem vaguely sinister until they are unambiguously so—by Chapter 16, the Ingalutt hydrotherapy chair allows users to “submit to the panic, fear and helplessness of drowning, with the hope of death a distant dream.” Anyone frustrated by the difficulty of exiting an Ikea can empathize with beaten-down employees who can no longer find the yellow stripe—here called “the Bright and Shining Path,” a name usually associated with Maoist guerrillas in Peru—that would take them safely out. That leaves them vulnerable when the ghost inmates of the prison that once occupied the site rise up, led by their mad warden, who sees profound similarities between his brutal jail and certain current retail environments. “It had to be Ikea,” laughs Hendrix, 41, “because what else do you think of ? I look around my house and about a third of the stuff in it is Ikea. You think, when you buy there, it’s some transient phase, but it’s there through your life.” And it had to be a poor imitation, he adds. “I interviewed a ton of Ikea employees for this, and not one of them had a bad word to say about working there. Not like Wal-Mart or Home Depot at all.”

Anyone frustrated by trying to exit an Ikea will feel for the beaten-down employees of ‘Horrorstör’ MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

63 Film

Space cadet: Marvel is banking on billions from potential sequels and spinoffs of Guardians of the Galaxy, with Pratt as Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill

Hey, it’s that guy—the action hero How did sitcom sidekick Chris Pratt suddenly find himself as the next big thing?


says Paul Dergarabedian, the senior boxoffice analyst for media-tracking firm Rentrak. “But Marvel knows how to design the perfect DNA for their movies; casting these franchises is a process they take very seriously. And while it may appear like Pratt is an overnight success, from out of nowhere, he’s not. He’s paid his dues.” Although the 35-yearold never trained as an actor, he has indeed been producing occasionally stellar work on the TV and film sidelines for 15 years. “Chris was not at all what we had in mind for the character of Andy, but he was so compelling in his audition that we pivoted and grabbed him, and changed the character,” says Greg Daniels, co-creator of Parks and Recreation. “We kept saying, ‘Where did he come from?’ He didn’t have any of the traditional comedy backgrounds, but was funnier than everyone who did.” That easy and natural sense of humour is key to Pratt’s ascendency. The studio is hoping Pratt’s wisecracks and Everyman charm will help ease audiences into Guardians of the Galaxy, a little-known property overshadowed by the likes of Wolverine and Captain America—not unlike what Downey did for Iron Man. (It’s easy to forget that Iron Man, too, was once considered a thirdtier character unfit for cinematic adaptation.) “The physical part is important, sure, but the attitude and relatability are just as integral,”

says Drew McWeeny, a film writer for the entertainment website HitFix. “Pratt’s character is introducing us to a very weird corner of the Marvel universe. We need a funny, accessible guy to make that introduction gentle.” Adds producer Greg Berlanti, who gave Pratt his start on TV in the series Everwood: “In any major film, you need the heart and soul in the centre, someone the audience can look to and imprint themselves on. That’s Chris.” (Pratt, while not muscled out to Dwayne Johnsonlevel extremes, did put in the physical effort to look as though he might be able to save the world, if he really wanted to.) Pratt will likely succeed in the lucrative world of comic-book cinema; he has already locked himself into a multi-picture deal with Marvel. Yet it’s hard not to mourn the career that could have been. After delivering small but winning performances in Zero Dark Thirty, Moneyball and Her, Pratt may be giving up dramatic legitimacy and creative exploration for the financial security of a blockbuster world. “He was counselled very well by his agents to cash in now, but I just hope he doesn’t overdo the franchise crap,” says film writer Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere. “But he’s got a good batting average and, more important, good taste in directors.” In the meantime, there are Star-Lord action figures to sell.

‘He was counselled very well by his agents to cash in now, but I just hope he doesn’t overdo the crap’ AUGUST 11, 2014


Chris Pratt doesn’t look like an action hero—at least, not when he’s co-starring on television’s Parks and Recreation as Andy, a scruffy doofus with a heart of gold and a hunger for butter. Yet Pratt has headlined The Lego Movie, the upcoming Marvel superhero epic Guardians of the Galaxy and next year’s highly anticipated sequel Jurassic World. For 11-year-old boys—Hollywood’s target audience—Pratt will be a fully posable action-figure god for years to come. But how did a slightly pudgy character actor suddenly find himself as the movie world’s next big thing? Hollywood, in fact, has a long and successful history of turning the most unusual of suspects into stars, with the superhero genre especially rife with oddball icons. Michael Keaton was a wiry weirdo best known for his dark comic sensibilities before he donned Batman’s cowl. Both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were sensitive young things more prone to shedding tears onscreen than slugging Green Goblins until they donned Spider-Man’s Lycra. And then there’s Robert Downey Jr., a smart-aleck Oscar nominee whose best years were behind him in 2007 by the time Marvel Studios saw the potential in his wise-ass Iron Man, launching a cinematic franchise with his mug. Marvel is also behind Pratt’s CV upgrade as Peter “StarLord” Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy; it’s banking billions in potential sequels and spinoffs on the back of a “hey, it’s that guy.” “On the surface, it seems like a risky move,” BY BARRY HERTZ · Music

Big in America: K-pop stars 2NE1 have worked with, appeared on The Bachelor and been covered on So You Think You Can Dance

Sex sells, but no sex is even better


The surprising reason South Korean pop culture is suddenly all the rage BY EMMA TEITEL · Unless you were in a coma in the year 2012 or out of contact with the outside world ever since, it is unlikely that you have not heard of PSY, the South Korean pop star whose electro-pop song Gangnam Style (and accompanying equestrian-themed dance) went epically viral two years ago. The song, a mockery of the nouveau riche lifestyle in Seoul’s upper-class Gangnam neighbourhood, marked two firsts: Its music video became the first YouTube clip in history to reach one billion hits, and its massive success was proof, according to American-Korean journalist Euny Hong, that South Koreans had finally embraced irony. This wasn’t just an artistic milestone, she argues, but an economic one. “Irony is a mockery of excess,” says Hong, alluding to well-heeled satirists of the past, Aristophanes and Oscar Wilde, who ridiculed the social elite they belonged to. And excess is relatively new to South Korea. Hong’s new book, The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture, chronicles South Korea’s decades-long transformation from a poor post-Communist country where kids never smiled in their yearbook photos to a wealthy cultural leader. Korean pop music, or K-pop, has surpassed Japanese pop music (J-pop) as the most popular genre in east Asia, and tech giant Samsung, once known colloquially as “Samsuck,” is producing one of the bestselling smartphones on the market. South Korean soap operas are the world’s third most popular (after American and Latin soaps), a feat

for a product with no built-in audience outside Korea’s borders. In a sign of change, a meme of outlandish South Korean high school yearbook photos—kids there now try to make the silliest faces possible—went viral this year, shocking Hong, who lives in the United States but came of age in Gangnam in the ’80s. So cool is South Korea that the country’s arch-nemesis Japan is ramping up the soft war with an $883-million government-sponsored campaign called “Cool Japan,” aimed at reclaiming its cool factor internationally. Plans include a Japan-themed mall in southern China, and an effort to translate Japanese TV shows into other languages, something South Korea has done for years. (In March, China’s political advisory body discussed the popularity in China of My Love from the Star, a Korean soap, at an official meeting in Beijing.) Hong argues that South Korea’s pop culture takeover is, like Cool Japan, “completely manufactured and deliberate.” The campaign began in the late ’90s, she says, after the Asian financial crisis bankrupted the region. What followed were 15 years of cultural exporting that would see South Korean video games make up a quarter of the world’s market. The government even made sure to translate its now wildly popular soaps into Amazonian dialects. In Toronto, party promoter and DJ Gerald Belanger sees very few partygoers of

Korean descent at the K-Pop-themed events (some sponsored by the Korean government) he hosts through his agency Pop Goes the World. Instead, he says, it’s mostly “Chinese kids, Jamaican kids, girls from Dubai.” But if the hand of the state is pushing South Korean culture on the world, no one is forcing us to consume it. So why do we? From a Western perspective, perhaps it’s the idea that less is more. American and Latin soaps are full of lasciviousness, and Western pop is full of unbridled sex. Korean pop culture, on the other hand, is in many ways Victorian. In My Love from the Star, the male lead is shown showering with a towel on (even the implication that someone is naked is too much for a country still mired in Confucian thought). Characters on Korean soaps seldom kiss. “It’s very Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth,” says Hong. “People must be yearning for this 19th-century doomed love—the ‘will they or won’t they?’ effect.” K-pop, says Belanger, is “sexy, but not hypersexual.” The culture around it reflects that. At K-Pop events, he “gets nothing but trouble from club owners because nobody is drinking. K-pop fans are kind of straight edge,” he says. “Mayor Ford would hate our parties.” Korean culture is naturally puritanical, writes Hong, and, apparently, the rest of the world can’t get enough of that.

In one soap that’s popular outside Korea, the male lead is even shown showering with a towel on MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

65 Books

‘Shadows in the Vineyard’: Potter’s whodunit focuses on French aristocrat Aubert de Villaine, whose rare wine was the focus of an extortion plot


The Prince of Conti had once owned the vineyard. When it went up for sale after his death, the auction ad in 1794 read: “We cannot disguise the fact that the wine of La Romanée is the most excellent . . . It is the balm for the elderly, the feeble and the disabled, and will restore life to the dying.” From the language in the 2010 ransom note, it was clear that whoever was behind it knew about wine production and knew the vineyard well. Potter spins the tale like a whodunit mystery, lining up possible motives and suspects, such as the Leona Helmsley-esque disgruntled family member who had been ousted from management a decade earlier. The French national police are summoned, a sting operation ensnares the criminal; all’s well that end’s well for the vineyard, but not before the reader has taken a fascinating tour of the history of French viticulture.

The wine that is the subject of this book is so rare and expensive that it’s beyond the reach of the ordinary millionaire. Romanée-Conti is the drink of a select group of people with the right connections, writes Potter. “It’s the rarest wine on the planet.” In January 2010, the French aristocrat who makes the wine, Aubert de Villaine, received an anonymous note. If he did not pay a ransom of a million euros in cash, the grapes in his precious vineyard would be poisoned and destroyed. The culprit had already snuck into the vineyard—a plot of land only 1.8 hectares in size in France’s fabled Côte-d’Or region— and drilled holes into the roots of 700 vines JULIA M C KINNELL in preparation for injecting poison. Who would do such a thing? Whoever it was appreciated the vineyard’s value. As CALIFORNIA Edan Lepucki Potter explains, its history dates back centuries, to the time of monks who selected it In the not-too-distant future, for wine production by tasting the soil. In when soaring oil prices, civil the first century CE, a Roman farmer, Coluunrest and a series of natural mella, determined that the pinot noir grape disasters have decimated the was best suited to the soil and climate (as population of the United opposed to the lesser gamay grape, which, States, a young married couple named Frida in 1395, was banned by the duke of Burgundy and Cal abandon the ruins of Los Angeles for its horrible harshness). and head for the wilderness. They move into 66

an empty shack, living off foraged mushrooms and a few measly crops, until everything changes: Frida realizes she’s pregnant. The couple takes off to the nearest human settlement—one that poses its own dangers, to them and to their child. This is the premise of the debut from Edan Lepucki, who—despite her own publisher’s modest expectations—looks to have penned a blockbuster. California’s early success comes in large part thanks to Stephen Colbert, who’s used it as a wedge against Amazon. In a feud over ebook pricing, the online retailer discouraged customers from buying titles published by Hachette (both Colbert and Lepucki are Hachette authors). Colbert contends that these tactics hurt firsttime novelists like Lepucki the most; he’s repeatedly urged viewers to buy Lepucki’s book at independent stores. But, Amazon vs. Hachette aside, does this novel warrant the attention? In California, Lepucki has created some memorable characters: Frida, a city girl who thinks longingly back on her days in L.A., spent smoking joints and baking cakes (when the ingredients, now an impossible luxury, were available), and Cal, a perennially useful type. Their relationship is shaped by the man who introduced them, Frida’s brother, Micah. A student-activist-turned-suicidebomber, Micah blew himself up in a shopping mall, sparking a series of attacks across AUGUST 11, 2014


Plus a fresh take on the post-apocalyptic genre, an accessible guide to everyone’s least-favourite subject and Dave Eggers’s latest novel about angry young men

‘How Not to Be Wrong’: Ellenberg positions himself as the Malcolm Gladwell of math with this digestible book, complete with charming drawings

the U.S. At the opening of the novel, Frida is consumed with pain over his death, whereas Cal wants to leave it behind. But Micah still exerts a strong influence on them both, as Frida’s and Cal’s allegiances—to Micah, and to each other—shift in surprising ways. Lepucki falls into a common trap of science fiction. She explains too much of the dystopian world she’s creating (character monologues, which give background on how everything fell apart, become particularly grating), and doesn’t leave enough to our imagination. Her writing is suspenseful, although she’s prone to drop the thread too early, delivering a punchline before it’s necessary. Yet she does bring something fresh to the (increasingly popular) post-apocalyptic genre. With Frida and Cal’s unborn child as a constant and unseen presence, their fear of the future—their need for community, and for each other, at almost any cost—becomes incredibly stark, and that’s what ultimately drives the novel forward. KATE LUNAU HOW NOT TO BE WRONG: THE POWER OF MATHEMATICAL THINKING


Jordan Ellenberg

There’s little objectively sexy about math. With its flummoxing sine curves and its formulae written as if in ancient cuneiform, the subject has driven countless people to such frivolous pursuits as writing and journalism. Even the stand-up comedian Louis C.K. recently took to Twitter to rail at the way public schools were dryly meting the subject out: “My kids used to love math,” he wrote. “Now it makes them cry.” But Jordan Ellenberg, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, has positioned himself as math’s

Malcolm Gladwell with this crystalline, eminently digestible book. (It doesn’t hurt that the drawings therein are charmingly amateurish, as if scribbled on a napkin during animated repartee over cocktails.) “Mathematics is the extension of common sense by other means,” Ellenberg writes by way of opening thesis, and the book becomes a wide-ranging treatise in how math is about the choices we make, and how it relates to our political and cultural lives. In one breathtaking, arcing riff, he begins by asking a simple question—should you play the lottery?—and then passes through debates over the existence of God, the Pentagon Papers, train tracks, Winston Churchill and satellite error codes, before settling back to the suddenly profane-feeling question of whether or not Powerball is a worthwhile venture. Context, not calculus, is his cathexis. But what of its titular promise that with math, you will never be wrong? Well, this is less an instruction book on opening one’s mind to infallible logic, and more a guide to picking the right kind. But even this he illustrates with aplomb, noting that Francis Galton, a pioneer of so many major statistical theories, also just so happened to have inspired the Nazis by founding the field of eugenics. The biggest takeaway of the book, then, isn’t that math is always right—but that good math is in the choosing of the right kind of math. Math isn’t one and one making two, it’s in the whys and wherefores of that. “Wrongness is like original sin,” Ellenberg writes. “We are born to it and it remains always with us, and constant vigilance is necessary if we mean to restrict its sphere of influence over our actions.” Books like Freakonomics or Gladwell’s Outliers became phenomena not simply by

articulating tough conceits in accessible ways, but through tours-de-force of intellectual breadth that made the reader feel smart for coming along for the ride. Through its asides and cameos—a pinch of Pynchon, a nip of Nader—math’s curvy graphs start to look a little more attractive. ADRIAN LEE LUCKY US Amy Bloom

A lot happens in this gorgeously written, funny, picaresque novel set in America in the 1940s. There’s so much treachery and scandal, and so many richly drawn characters, in fact, that at times it reads as though several first-rate short stories (the literary form for which Bloom is acclaimed) have been pulsed in a Vitamix. One page in, it’s clear the title is ironic; the only luck the novel’s caustic, sharp-eyed narrator, Eva, has familiarity with is bad luck. She’s 12, newly dumped by her grifter mother at her father’s front door in small-town Ohio after his wife dies. “My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us,” Eva explains. After her father is found to be the sort who would steal from his children, Eva and her newly discovered older half-sister, Iris, hit the road for Hollywood. Iris becomes a rising starlet and habitué of lesbian orgies until scandal derails those ambitions. The duo decamp to Brooklyn with a colourful makeup-artist father figure in tow; Iris finds work as a governess for a wealthy family and falls passionately in love with their married female cook; Eva befriends the cook’s husband, whom she likens to “a big, wise animal, the kind that saw you before you saw it” and becomes a tarot card reader wise to MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

67 Books

‘Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?’ Eggers’s latest novel returns to familiar themes of male frustration


Eggers’s latest novel returns to a theme from his earlier work: frustrated young men seeking meaning but mostly succeeding at being pissed off. The plot, such as it is, follows Thomas as he kidnaps a group of people and interrogates them, one by one, seeking answers to misguided questions. The short novel is composed exclusively of dialogue, which means Eggers sacrifices much of his narrative and descriptive prowess in exchange for a jagged dialogic skeleton. Raw deal, I say. Still, he is gesturing toward a source of (usually) latent rage that warrants our attention. What to do with today’s young men aimless enough to lament a lack of purpose but entitled enough to demand gratification? 68

Thomas, a disaffected failure in his thirties, purports to articulate a polemic about frustrated young people craving inspiration, but mostly he comes across as an incoherent fool. Eggers lets him vent, because there must be someone to blame, there just must be, when a young man doesn’t get the job, girl or recognition he thinks he deserves. Thomas asks: “Do you realize what a strange race of people we are? No one else expects to get their way the way we do. Do you know the madness that this unleashes upon the world?” At some point, Thomas spies a beautiful lady—the babe of his dreams, no less—and vows to make her his, to possess her, before even getting around to saying hi. When such a woman says no to such a man, when reality proves less obliging than an on-screen porn star to be clicked, there should be no cause for indignation. And yet, above all, Thomas needs people to account for the failure of his delusions. He drags in his mother to blame her rearing. He asks a congressman why it is easier for the United States government to invade Iraq and Afghanistan rather than do “something that would inspire us in some goddamned way.” He wants his former teacher, a borderline pedophile, to take responsibility for Thomas’s adult alienation. Thomas never succeeds at introspection, only flame-throwing. He takes as his hero an astronaut who did everything right in a dedicated and purposeful life until NASA decided it wasn’t economically feasible to keep sending humans into space. Thomas cannot cope with a universe in which a life dedicated to a worthy ambition isn’t fulfilled. Naturally, Thomas kidnaps the astronaut too, and asks him how he dealt with this grave injustice. That’s life, you madman, says the astronaut. ANDREW STOBO SNIDERMAN



Compiled by Brian Bethune FICTION 1. THE SILKWORM Robert Galbraith

2 (5)

2. THE GOLDFINCH Donna Tartt

5 (36)

3. MR. MERCEDES Stephen King

4 (6)


1 (6)

5. CALIFORNIA Edan Lepucki


6. INVISIBLE James Patterson and David Ellis

3 (3)


7 (7)

8. THE ONE & ONLY Emily Giffin

6 (8)

9. THE MATCHMAKER Elin Hilderbrand

8 (2)


9 (4)

NON-FICTION 1. HARD CHOICES Hillary Rodham Clinton

2 (6)


1 (12)

3. BLOOD FEUD Edward Klein

3 (2)

4. THINK LIKE A FREAK Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

4 (9)

5. I AM MALALA Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

7 (40)

6. FLASH BOYS Michael Lewis

8 (16)

7. FINDING ME Michelle Knight and Michelle Burford

9 (2)

8. DIARY OF A MAD DIVA Joan Rivers

6 (3)



10. THRIVE Arianna Huffington


ON THE WEB: For book reviews, feature articles, interviews and recommended reading by celebrities, check out our books page at AUGUST 11, 2014


her customers: “They run to my tiny table to have me say that what they see will not happen.” While she’s scripting fortunes, her own life unfurls in unpredictable ways. For one, a new family comes to surround her that includes their bounder father, his blackpassing-as-white singer girlfriend and a boy they stole along the way from an orphanage. And that’s not the half of it. “Whatever the opposite of miraculous is, that’s the word I’m looking for,” is how Eva wryly describes another downturn in her life at one point. When one character tells her, “People, they can’t be underestimated,” readers know it’s not a compliment. Yet amid all of the bad luck and tragedy also exist acts of outsized human kindness and unlikely salvation—so much so that by the end of Lucky Us, its title actually rings true. ANNE KINGSTON

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What was that noise? Dusting for fingerprints, evidence collection, bullet identification: No subject is too serious for the kids at forensics camp

Watch out for the bodies Canada’s best-known forensics expert has a lot to teach kids at CSI summer camp


grandparents’ home in Mississauga was robbed two years ago. “The robber left a muddy boot print on the rug,” says D’Onofrio, 9. Not surprisingly, he was keen to learn about footprint evidence. The campers all knew that no two people have the same fingerprints. Footprints, they discovered, can also provide important evidence. They learned to identify wear marks and to look for signs a person might have stepped on gum or a nail. Except for being quieted down occasionally—Stoewner calling out “Whodunit?” and the kids answering in unison, “The butler!”— the campers were like forensic scientists in training. “Documenting the scene is essential. Once you move something, it never goes back to the way it was,” Stoewner told the group. Berezowksi warned that if they crossed anything out in their notes about the crime scene, they had to initial the change. “Otherwise, a judge might dismiss it,” she explained. Mid-week the campers were assigned a fictitious case at a crime-scene house used by forensics students and Toronto police, involving the disappearance of a mutt. They met suspects on video, but when they remarked that a suspect looked guilty, Stoewner cautioned them. “Forensic scientists do not make assumptions. They analyze evidence,” she said. Every camper had a responsibility. Anthony Marchetta, 10, was evidence officer. “What the other kids have to do and sometimes don’t do is bag the evidence, seal it and write down the placard number. I expect more,” he said. Marchetta used to dream about

becoming a neurosurgeon. “Now, for sure, I want to be a pathologist,” he said. At one point, Rogers took the campers to her laboratory in the university’s new Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex, where they saw human bones, X-rays of skulls and a structured-light 3D scanner, a device for identifying object shapes. At another, the kids spread out in a line in the yard of the crime-scene house and used prods to test the ground to locate a clandestine gravesite. Growing up in Dundas, Ont., in the ’70s, Rogers had never heard of forensics. She discovered the field when, as an undergrad, she developed a fascination with the human skeleton. Out in the field, she tries not to think about what might have happened to the people whose graves she excavates. “I can’t do anything for those people now. What I can do is bring closure for the families,” she says. Working with university students—and, in summer, the young campers—is the joyful part of her job. “Kids learn like sponges,” she says, “if you explain it in a way they can understand.” Anthony Marchetta hopes that when he starts Grade 6 in the fall, his teacher will ask what he did this summer. “This is the first thing I’ll mention.” AUGUST 11, 2014

To see a video of Canada’s most famous forensic anthropologist and her happy campers, see this week’s iPad edition of Maclean’s


BY MONIQUE POLAK · Since she was nine, Monica Lamacchia has wanted to be a detective. “It started when I watched the TV show Forensic Files with my mom. I like how they get all these clues and figure out the scenario,” says Lamacchia, now 11, and going into Grade 6 at St. Francis of Assisi school in Mississauga, Ont. “My mom’s a bookkeeper, but she secretly wants to be a detective, too.” So when Lamacchia read online that the University of Toronto was offering a one-week forensics day camp for kids her age, she talked her parents into letting her go. She was one of 21 kids who turned up at the Mississauga site last week for their initiation into the forensics world. Over the week, counsellors Tori Berezowski and Daniella Stoewner, both forensic anthropology students at the U of T, covered everything from bullet identification to DNA extraction. Campers learned to dust for fingerprints and collect evidence, and they worked to solve a case. Forensics camp started in 2008, with only one session. There are now four, with camps for kids age nine to 11, and 10 to 13. It’s a sign of what some people call the CSI effect—“a huge peak in enrolments, the development of courses, and forensic science programs,” says Tracy Rogers, director of the U of T’s forensic science program, who helped develop and now oversees the summer camp. She was also the head forensic anthropologist on the Robert Pickton and Tim Bosma cases. Some of the kids last week had a personal interest in solving crimes. Michael D’Onofrio’s Taste

Breakfast of champions: For a different sort of coffee, brew one strong cup in a French press, transfer to a blender, add grass-fed butter and blend

A suspiciously creamy cuppa Something far odder than taste is driving demand for glorious grass-fed butter Whenever the craving strikes for a ripe and runny époisses or a wilting valençay, its core liquefied beneath the mouldy rind, I head post-haste for Toronto’s most trusted affineur, the Cheese Boutique. But, as it turns out, other customers have been besieging the place for something else entirely. “In the last three days alone, I probably got 15 emails about grass-fed butter,” confided Afrim Pristine, who manages cheese and dairy there. “In all my years doing this, I haven’t ever seen people fixated on a product like this one. The questions! What was the cow fed? When was it milked? What was her name?” If you must know, the Cheese Boutique’s grass-fed butter came from some pur laine cows of Laiterie Chagnon, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. Should that not be available in a store near you, keep an eye out for a new grass-fed butter from Grandview Farm, of Collingwood, Ont., scheduled for national launch close to Labour Day. And grab it when you see it—because customers are loading their shopping carts with this stuff, and keeping huge stashes in their home freezers. Part of the reason is flavour. As you will know if you travel regularly to Europe, where most large-volume grass-fed butters are made, or the U.S., which, unlike us, allows unimpeded legal trade in foreign-made butter, there is life beyond Gay Lea and President’s Choice organic. And the grass is definitely greener on the other side of the fence. Or dairy cows think so, and are eating much more of it. I think of Ireland’s sweet, rich, dark yellow



Kerrygold—a product of a steady bovine diet of lush, green Irish grass. Or the lovely floral notes that find their way from the wildflowers in the Loire into the spring butter from Échiré. Or from the seaside pastures of Normandy into a tub of Isigny-Ste-Mère. Hereabouts, meanwhile, even “organic” butter can be legally made from milk sourced from cows who have never seen a blade of grass, as long as the soy, corn and other grain they ate was sprayed only with “organic” pesticides. That brings us to the second reason: health. When compared to conventional butter, grass-fed butter boasts more conjugated linoleic acid and a superior ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid. It is a healthy fat. But something else bigger than taste and health is driving demand for grass-fed butter: that quixotically evolving, $100-billion, trend-driving blimp known as the American diet industry; more particularly, a concept promoted by American entrepreneur Dave Asprey on his website Bulletproof: The State of High Performance. According to the Bulletproof diet, you can drop 100 lb. with no exercise and only five hours of sleep (Asprey did)—and simultaneously upgrade your IQ by 12 points. It all hinges on a rather peculiar morning cuppa, for which the inspiration struck Asprey in a Tibetan monastery, some 6,000 m up the flank of Mount Kailash, where

he was once served a fantastically invigorative cup of tea enhanced with yak butter. Surely you get where this is going? Never mind, I shall spell it out. Brew one fiendishly strong cup of coffee—combining 2½ tablespoons of coffee and a single cup of water in a French press. Now, transfer coffee to a blender, add one to two tables of grass-fed butter, blend, and drink. This was the destiny of about three-quarters of Cheese Boutique’s grass-fed butter. So I had to try it, of course, using 240 millilitres of espresso, a hand wand and some Stirling brand butter. It tastes very odd. The blending renders the mix surprisingly creamy, but the taste is all butter fat—as if you were sipping a café au lait made with whipping cream. That’s about how much milk fat you are taking in—because two tablespoons of grass-fed butter (say, 84 per cent milk fat) come out to about a halfcup of whipping cream. I drink my coffee black, so I could not finish the cup. It made me nauseated. That said, I respect Asprey’s principal idea of starting the day with a good, strong coffee, a generous dose of healthy fat, and little else. So I have come up with a palatable new spin on the theme. Keep the double espresso. Save the butter. But take it out of the brew, and apply it instead to a crisp, fresh croissant. I don’t call it bulletproof—just civilized.

The taste is all butter fat, as if you were sipping a café au lait made with whipping cream MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

71 Challenge

The Quiz This week, we test your trivia skills on everything from astronomy to cinematic comedy Round 1: Honour roll 1. Oxford bags are what type of clothing?

The first issue of Captain America, dated March 1941, had the superhero punching whom in the jaw? 3. Where in your body are your adenoids? 4. Where will the 2018 FIFA World Cup be held? 5. The name of what occupation comes from the Latin word meaning “beard”? 6. What 1960 horror movie was the first film to ever show a toilet flush? 7. Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) was the captial of what German kingdom from 1525 to 1701? 8. Who directed the movie Wall Street? 9. Which English author coined the term “utopia” in 1516? 10. What is the Japanese name for edible seaweed? 2.

actively support the decolonization of the African continent? 2. Arianna and Craig were the names of which characters on Saturday Night Live? 3. A sentence described as a pangram contains what? 4. The 1972 court case Flood v. Kuhn led to what in Major League Baseball and other pro sports in North America?

In May 1971, CBC Saskatoon completed the largest lump sum purchase of a television show ever when it purchased 1,144 episodes of what popular TV show? 6. The 1980 video game Phoenix was the first to feature what now-standard video game challenge? 7. What was the last name of the U.S. astronomer who first suggested that the universe was expanding, and not just made up of the Milky Way? 8. The name of which group of elements on the periodic table means “to produce salt” in Greek? 9. Who is known as His Royal Highness the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland? 10. What theatrical convention do the following films share: Annie Hall, Fight Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? TERRANCE BALAZO 5.

Round 4: Quote, unquote Match the correct sound bite to the correct newsmaker:

Round 2: Prodigy 1. What organization was founded in 1984 by

Round 3: Rhodes Scholar 1. During the 20th century, which two coun-

tries were the only ones to officially and

Lindsay Lohan Joe Fontana

Hillary Clinton

Rupert Murdoch

ROUND 1: 1. Pants 2. Hitler 3. Nose 4. Russia 5. Barber 6. Psycho 7. Prussia 8. Oliver Stone 9. Sir Thomas More 10. Nori ROUND 2: 1. Interac 2. Mark Twain 3. Completion of the Statue of Liberty 4. Seattle Metropolitans 5. Euro 6. The Karate Kid 7. Brazil 8. Harry Potter 9. Whistler, B.C. 10. Occam’s razor ROUND 3: 1. U.S.S.R. and China 2. Spartan cheerleaders 3. Every letter of the alphabet 4. Free agency 5. Coronation Street 6. End-level boss 7. Edwin Hubble 8. Halogen 9. Prince William 10. Breaking the fourth wall (addressing the camera) ROUND 4: 1. Rupert Murdoch 2. Lindsay Lohan 3. Joe Fontana 4. Hillary Clinton

72 AUGUST 11, 2014


the Royal Bank of Canada, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Desjardins? 2. Who wrote The Prince and the Pauper and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court? 3. The first ticker-tape parade in New York City occurred in 1886 to commemorate what? 4. In 1917, which U.S.-based team became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup? 5. The U.S. dollar is the largest reserve currency and the most traded currency in the world. What currency is second? 6. Actress Elisabeth Shue made her film debut in what 1980s film? 7. Praia do Cassino is the longest beach in the world, and is found in which country? 8. What is the highest-grossing film series of all time? 9. What Canadian resort town used to be known as Alpha Lake? 10. What two-word term is used to describe a situation where the easiest explanation or solution to a problem is the correct one? Feschuk

‘My people tell me I have to do this’: After attacking Justin Trudeau in a speech in Calgary, our PM moved on to a more exciting subject: himself

This Harper fellow is quite something, eh?


Oh, the things Stephen Harper’s powerful backroom masters make him say It’s a bit early to declare a winner for the Most Inadvertently Hilarious Moment of the Summer in Canadian Politics, but I’m making the call anyway: Come fetch your prize, Stephen Harper! The Prime Minister set the bar impossibly high when he took time out from his new hobby—distancing himself from Mike Duffy— to appear before party faithful in Calgary. During his speech, the PM prefaced an attack on Justin Trudeau by saying: “My people tell me I have to do this. We’re getting close enough to the next [election].” Did you catch that? My people tell me I have to do this. Voters of Canada, I ask you: Who among us has not grown weary of our notoriously weak-willed PM being manipulated by his backroom masters into saying mean things about his rivals? If only Harper had the gumption to exert some control over his government! Alas, the poor man is but a puppet of the 37 different communications directors he’s summarily fired. Interestingly, despite this whole “going negative” thing being forced upon him in place of his unfailingly sunny disposition, Harper somehow managed to get into it. The attack reached its zenith when the PM painted a picture of what life would be like under a Trudeau government. It made The Purge seem like a romantic comedy. Economic collapse! Criminals running rampant across the

land! Mandatory weed smoking by babies! To be fair, much of the rest of Harper’s speech offered praise for those he deemed deserving. Here is an alphabetical list of those so deemed: Harper, Stephen. It would appear the PM’s opinion of himself is higher than ever. Let’s take a moment and examine some of his claims in ascending order of egomaniacal delusion: “All your contributions in time, money and prayers—all the sacrifices you’ve made to put and keep a Conservative government in Ottawa—have been worth it.” Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to appear to compliment you by, in fact, complimenting myself—what fine taste you have in legendary prime ministers! “Never in Canada’s history have the goals of hard-working families been so central to the agenda of the federal government.” That’s right: Never. Not even once. Why, until Stephen Harper came along, foolhardy federal governments had for 140 years habitually tailored their policies to help only deadbeats, parrots and ghosts. “Our economy is rock-solid . . . it is the model for the world’s most advanced nations.” This has become a theme of Harper’s oratory. It’s not enough for Canada to be doing okay. Others must be made to marvel at and learn from our brilliance. Do you have a pen, other nations? You’re going to want to write this down. Lately, the PM has been coming across like the Alec Baldwin character in the Glengarry Glen Ross movie: You

have the nerve to call yourselves post-industrial economies? Put that coffee down, other nations. Coffee is for fiscally stable democracies! “From what I see as [I] look around the world, Canada has no choice but to be strong.” BURN! Our man Steve totally burned you, global community! You are all so weak and useless that we literally have no choice but to be extra awesome. Would Canada like to kick back, relax a little and maybe be just half-decent for a few decades? You’re damn right we would. But there’s no time, what with your bumbling incompetence and general, all-round dickwhackery. Countries of Earth: Can one of you please be strong for, like, five minutes, so Steve can take a break? “The best country and the best government in the world is right here, Canada.” The “best country” line is boilerplate stuff. But the best government? In the world?? That’s high self-praise, indeed. Clearly, our PM believes that late at night, far across the ocean, Angela Merkel is tossing and turning in bed, thinking: “If only I had someone of the calibre of Pierre Poilievre to manage my democratic reform agenda—then my administration would really be cooking!” So to sum up the world according to Stephen Harper: former federal governments here at home? Hopeless. All other governments on the planet? Inferior. Every other advanced economy? Feeble. Then again, maybe that’s just what the PM’s “people” are forcing him to say. Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE

73 The End


Jillian Nathalie Lynn Sears Jillian Nathalie Lynn Sears was born on April 19, 1978, in Yarmouth, N.S., the youngest of three daughters, to Shawn, a fisherman, and Sherry, a stay-at-home mom. Growing up in Woods Harbour, N.S., Jillian was a happy-go-lucky child, often displaying her perfect cartwheels to her sisters, Jennifer and Jacqueline. She was outgoing, and in Grade Primary, as kindergarten is called in Nova Scotia, her classmates voted her “Queen of Hearts” for Valentine’s Day. Jillian particularly enjoyed learning to write in cursive. Once when she was in elementary school, she went to her mother to show off a piece of paper on which she had written Sherry’s full name. Jillian asked her mom if the writing looked like hers. Her mom agreed and said she was impressed. A few days later, however, Sherry was surprised to receive a phone call from a teacher about her signature on one of Jillian’s tests. When Jillian was about nine, Sherry took her girls on a boat trip to Portland, Maine, for back-toschool shopping. While her sisters were excited about the excursion, Jillian had no interest in trying on clothes. She put up a bit of a fuss, but then her mom told her she could pick out one doll from Toys “R” Us. Jillian chose a lifelike baby doll. For the rest of the trip, she never made a peep, but rather played with her doll inside every store Sherry wanted to visit. Cradling her new toy close on the boat ride back to Nova Scotia, “Everybody thought she had a real baby,” her mother says. “She was totally content holding this baby.” Dolls became her passion as a child, and the family rarely got a photo of her without one in her hands. “I always knew which Barbie or doll to ask for at Christmas, because she was asking for it, too,” Jacqueline remembers. After graduating from high school, Jillian went to the Scotia Career Academy in Sackville to become a personal care worker, helping the elderly and mentally challenged. But she didn’t stay in that career for long. “She wanted to be around babies and kids,” Jennifer says. Jillian started working odd jobs in the service industry, but her new passion was babysitting. She would drive half an hour to someone’s home if they needed her, even if the pay wasn’t worth 74

the time on the road. The luxuries of life weren’t important to her, says Jennifer. “She could have survived back in the ’20s.” Every car Jillian bought was used, and if someone else needed to borrow a vehicle, she was quick to lend it. Jillian wed in 2004, but the marriage lasted only a few years. It was during that time that Jillian met Afton Ross at a campground on Horseshoe Lake, near Shelburne, N.S. “She came out squirting me with a squirt gun,” Afton says with a laugh. “I thought, ‘Oh my dear, who is this crazy lady?’ ” The two women quickly became close friends, and Jillian would eventually babysit both of Afton’s kids. Jillian’s home was filled with toys for youngsters, from an inflatable swimming pool to a sandbox table. She wanted to have children of her own, but with the medication she was taking, she thought she likely couldn’t conceive. She fell in love again a few years later and moved in with Kenneth Crowell, a local fisherman, and the two often went camping at Bear Point. To her surprise, Jillian became pregnant with twins in 2011. At her 18-week ultrasound, she was told she lost one. Two weeks later, she miscarried the second child. “We went from there, thinking her body wasn’t going to ever let her have a baby,” Jennifer says. Jillian kept babysitting, and was always up for going out to events, such as an exhibition or a parade. During the summer, if she wasn’t at the beach with friends, she’d often be out camping. “She liked her water balloons,” says her friend Lee Ann Malone. And, for every holiday—from Valentine’s Day to Christmas—Jillian would be the first to text her friends in the morning. “Like little kids got excited, Jillian got excited,” Lee Ann adds. The night of Saturday, July 5, Jillian went to bed early with a headache. She woke up throughout the night, but at 2 a.m., she started screaming. An ambulance brought her to the Yarmouth hospital, where Jillian lost consciousness. Soon after, doctors found out that she was, in fact, several months pregnant. They airlifted her to Halifax, where Jillian died of an aneurysm. She was 36. Jillian donated her kidneys, lungs, liver and pancreas. The baby Jillian never knew she was carrying died with her. AARON HUTCHINS AUGUST 11, 2014


Dolls were her passion growing up. She loved camping and babysitting, but didn’t think she would have a child of her own.



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