Mac’s Musings: The lazy days of a Canadian summer

Claude McIntosh ~ Mac's Musings
Claude McIntosh.

The late great Canadian newspaper columnist Allan Fotheringham (aka Dr. Foth) once lamented that the trouble with penning a column in the slow, lazy days of a Canadian summer there are days when there is more newsprint than news.

And so, we offering the following:

Svend Robinson, the former NDP rising star who crashed and burned when a $25,000 diamond ring “accidentally” fell into his pocket in one of those the devil made me do it moments, is back on the federal stage.

Well, sort of.

He will seek to unseat a Liberal incumbent in Lotusland (British Columbia, Canada’s answer to California) in the October election derby.

This is Robinson’s second attempt to return to the House. In 2006 he finished far behind Liberal incumbent Hedy Fry who came up with one of the greatest fibs uttered in the House of Commons. She claimed that crosses were being burned on lawns in Prince George, B.C. Later, after news outlets couldn’t find a single person in the city who knew of a cross-burning incident, she admitted it was a made-up story to embarrass the Conservatives.

Aside from that ring thing, Robinson made a name for himself when he heckled Ronald Reagan while the president of the Excited States of America was speaking in the House of Commons.

Class act that Svend.

Seems that climate change is not something that would keep most Canadians awake at night.

In poll carried out by the Broadbent Institute only one in four Canadians listed climate change as a major concern, the kind that could keep them awake at night, while three in four said personal financial issues.

Two months later, in April, in a CBC poll 32 per cent said the cost of living was the biggest worry while 19 per cent said it was climate change.

At the end of the day, it comes down the pocket book.


The first sign of a transit system in financial trouble surfaced in July 1969, just about the time Apollo II was touching down on the moon.

The operators of Cornwall’s transit system, Cornwall Street Railway Light and Power Co., owned by the Sun Life Insurance Co., asked the city for a review of its contract to provide the service.

The company said the service carried 2,212,204 passengers in 1968, a decline of 203,363 from the previous year. This created a $150,000 deficit. There had been a steady decline since the late 1950s.

However, the company assured the city that it had no plans to get out of the transit business (ya, sure), which it eventually did, passing the flickering torch to a small locally-owned company that struggled before the city took over the operation.

ALSO THIS WEEK IN 1969 A coroner’s jury looking into a series of crashes that killed four drivers on Highway 401 just east of the city recommended that the municipal dump in the area be shut down. Evidence given at the inquest by witnesses and police officers indicated that fog in the area was made worse by smoke from the nearby dump. An OPP officer said visibility had been reduced to about 10 feet. A total of 37 vehicles were involved the crashes. Evidence showed that some transport drivers failed to reduce their speed going into the stretch of fog. …. Passer-by Brian MacKenzie and beat patrol officer Const. Marcel Piche were credited with saving the life of a resident. MacKenzie spotted smoke coming from 24-C McConnell Ave. and alerted the officer who was in the area on foot patrol. Together they broke down the door and found the resident unconscious in a smoke-filled room. They dragged him to safety. … Alburn Lashway who retired from the public works department after 41 years was presented with a watch by Mayor Nick Kaneb. … June statistics showed the city building department issued 97 permits with a total value of $2,813,581. There were 20 new housing starts. … A Cornwall Township man was sentenced to seven days for drunk driving. … The body of a 19-year-old male was found in the Riverdale Pool by a parks employee. … Rev. Gerald Poirier was named pastor of Holy Cross parish. … The YM-YMCA on Fourth Street East announced that it was closing its doors after a Save-the-Y campaign came up short. … Rev. Kent Doe, a Trinity Anglican Church priest, continued his silent lunch-hour protest of conditions at Cornwall Jail. … Cornwall high school teacher Alex McAllister won his second straight Cornwall Golf and Country Club men’s A class title, his third in eight years. … Robbie Bingley, 15, became the first Cornwall golfer to win the Quebec Golf Association juvenile match play. … Lord’s Drug Store marked the return of the moon astronauts with a “Down to Earth Sale”. … Benoit’s barber shop opened at St. Felix and Montreal Road. … Eastcourt Mall heavily damaged by a fire in October was ready to re-open. … Msgr. R. J. MacDonald was celebrating 40 years in the priesthood, 24 of them at St. Columban’s Parish.

HERE AND THERE First it was Bob McCowan exiting (pushed might be a better term) from Primetime Sports now there is a report that Rogers has cut loose former NHL coach/manager Doug McLean as one of its hockey panelists. The broadcaster was flying McLean in from Florida, where he lives, for appearances. McLean, who taught school before becoming a hockey coach, wouldn’t move to Toronto. … Don Cherry will be back for another season with Coach’s Corner but the smart money is on this being the 86-year-old’s final episode. Don’t be surprised if the broadcast folks expand Brian Burke’s role. … A few years back, when Jack Layton had the NDP on the fast track, the thought of the party finishing behind the Greens in a federal election was unthinkable. Today, some polls are showing the Greens running ahead of the NDP. … The Democrat nomination run is turning into a blood bath as they devour each other which is good news for The Donald.

TRIVIA This hotel, a city landmark, closed its doors in 1978 and was torn down a few days later to make way for a major development.

TRIVIA ANSWER In the 1945 federal election the Liberals were re-elected but Prime Minister Mackenzie King was defeated in his riding of Prince Albert. The get him back in the House, Glengarry MP William MacDiarmid graciously resigned and King was nominated to run in the by-election which he won. King logged 21 years and 154 days as prime minister.

QUOTABLE “Apparently I just can’t pronounce French well while talking. An English-speaking friend joked to me, ‘I love to hear you talk French on television. When you do, every English-speaking person in the audience, who doesn’t know a word of French, can understand every word you say.'” – John Diefenbaker

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