Video: Remembering Ebert
Our film critic explains why Roger Ebert was No. 1
Sinkhole swallows two cars in parking lot near Montreal airport
MONTREAL – Two cars fell into a sinkhole that opened up Friday in a…
MONTREAL – Two cars fell into a sinkhole that opened up Friday in a parking lot near Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
The cars didn’t completely disappear — the nose of one of the cars slipped into the hole while the side of the other car was partially submerged.
A spokesman for Montreal’s airport authority says the hole is just under a metre deep and covers an area of about five metres long and three metres wide.
Francois Asselin says it’s located in an outdoor employee parking lot and stressed it won’t disrupt business at the airport.
No one has been injured and the cars were pulled out by mid-afternoon.
Police and firefighters have cordoned off the area in case the hole widens.
What now for Jim Flaherty … and other questions of the day
John Geddes, Stephen Gordon, Nick Taylor-Vaisey, Paul Wells and Aaron Wherry consider the issues at play around Parliament Hill. This week’s questions? They’re (almost) all about the budget:
Touring the Vatican’s inner sanctum, the Sistine Chapel
Where 115 cardinals considered their choice for pope—and perhaps a lot more
Every day, some 20,000 tourists are corralled like cattle through the hallowed halls of the Vatican palace. Most breeze past artifacts that collectively form what is the most impressive collection of Western art in the world to reach the main attraction: the Sistine Chapel, whose 40-m-long vaulted ceiling Michelangelo, along with five assistants, toiled from 1508 to 1512 to paint. Once visitors squeeze through a set of wooden doors, they crane their necks and gaze 21 m up. No photos are allowed—and there is no talking, which apathetic guards enforce by way of bellowing, “Silenzio!”
For the 115 cardinals who gathered over two days in March to elect the 266th pope, though, the experience was decidedly different. They didn’t enter as the public does from the right of the altar, but from the original entrance, at the back of the papal chapel, which was finished in 1481 under Pope Sixtus IV’s watch. What’s more, this group had the splendid space—doors locked and the 12 windows sealed—all to themselves. Over the course of two days, they must have paused to cast not just their ballots but their eyes around the room. Did they overlook, as most tourists do, the series of wall frescoes painted by Renaissance artists such as Botticelli and Ghirlandaio, who taught Michelangelo to paint when he was just 13? Did they take notice of the 28 portraits of the first popes just above those and consider the weight of history? Maybe. But cardinals are, after all, human, and their gaze must have gravitated to the ceiling that stands as one of the most enduring pieces of art ever created: nine panels depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis set out in an elaborate architectural framework complete with prophets, sibyls, the ancestors of Christ and nameless nude figures.
Budget talk: how much does the federal deficit matter?
In conversation with Brock Carlton and David Macdonald
John Geddes sat down with the CEO of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to find out why he thinks this budget is a watershed moment for infrastructure
And here, he asks David Macdonald, senior economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, if the federal deficit matters a lot, or a little.
Maclean’s Video: Preston Manning on big ideas and inspirational politics
Preston Manning in conversation with Colby Cosh
In November 2012, Preston Manning received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Maclean’s Parliamentarian of the Year gala celebration. At that time, he sat down with Alberta correspondent Colby Cosh to discuss his life and legacy.
Manning, of course, is in Ottawa this weekend for the 2013 Manning Networking Conference. Watch our site for full coverage from Paul Wells, Aaron Wherry and the Maclean’s Ottawa bureau.
Chris Hadfield learns to fly
Video: Canada’s man in space takes our questions
What’s surprised you the most since arriving on the International Space Station? And what’s something you never could have trained for? These are the two questions we put to astronaut Chris Hadfield, who has been living aboard the Space Station since December, and as of March 13, will become its first-ever Canadian commander. Hadfield, who has been inspiring many as he documents his adventures orbiting Earth via Twitter and other social media, gave us some insight into life in space in these exclusive videos.
Video: Remembering the Iranian hostage crisis
Acclaimed photographer Peter Bregg recalls covering the 1979 crisis
Life after Canadian Idol for Zack Werner
If you can’t judge the new generation of divas, teach them
Photography by Cole Garside
“I started because I needed to make a living,” says Zack Werner of his “Idol school,” the two-hour group singing classes he offers to young singers who come to him, mostly through word of mouth. Fans of Canadian Idol will know Werner from his days as a judge on the show; he was our version of Simon Cowell. These days, five years after CTV cancelled the singing competition, a still suave but now grey-haired Werner spends his nights in the basement of a downtown Toronto restaurant, running his school for singers who want to be stars, most of whom were babies or toddlers when Idol was on air. “I want them to learn to be artists as opposed to someone who just sings,” he says.
Werner admits it was tough when Idol ended. “My notoriety got in the way of running my music business,” he says. And the industry had changed. “People thought I was a multi-millionaire because I was on television, which was definitely not the case. It was a bit of a shock from signing autographs every day to being virtually unemployable.” But now he has a plan. “There’s no better way of not making money than teaching kids to sing,” he laughs. “I don’t want to be a singing teacher for the rest of my life. I want to find the elite of the elite, the who’s who of the best eight- to 20-year-olds. I’m only attracted to the real deal.”
And the real deal is attracted to him. One dad drives two and a half hours each way to take his daughter to Werner’s Thursday-night lessons. “I love his way with kids,” says Becky Isenberg, whose daughter, Lauren, 10, has been attending the school once a week for a year. “It’s sort of like a co-op music program,” she says. “He’ll make them get real experience, like taking them into the middle of a street and making them sing.”
Video: In the kitchen with Nigella Lawson
The cookbook star on food, travel and the virtues of vermouth
Maclean’s View from the Hill: Have we reached a tipping point on the Senate?
Aaron Wherry, John Geddes, Michael Petrou and Nick Taylor-Vaisey consider the issues at play around Parliament Hill.
This week’s questions:
Have we reached a tipping point on the Senate?
What could break the Senate debate open?
Is it time to intervene in Syria?
Is there any reason not to call an inquiry into missing and murdered First Nations women?
Maclean’s Video: What challenges does the NDP’s Tom Mulcair face?
Maclean’s View from the Hill: A preview of the week ahead
Three questions for the Ottawa bureau as the House returns:
- What challenges does the NDP’s Tom Mulcair face as the House returns?
- Why should the Conservatives move soon to name a new Parliamentary Budget Officer?
- What did Chief Theresa Spence accomplish with her fast?
Video: The rehabilitation of Brian Mulroney
It’s been 20 years since Brian Mulroney retired from politics. You might have thought he’d disappeared from the scene, but not so — as Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes explains:
Brian Mulroney is back
Brian Mulroney is out of political purgatory and only too happy to tell Canadians (and Stephen Harper) what real leadership is about
His large, impressive head swims into view, as he makes his unhurried way through the luncheon crowd assembling outside the hall of a Fredericton conference centre. That jaw line, which once seemed cut from granite, now looks more moulded from clay. Even with its edges softened by age, though, you would know the profile anywhere. His silver-grey hair is immaculate. The rich hue and perfect drape of his blue suit set him apart—no offence to the menswear purveyors of the New Brunswick capital—from the local businessmen and provincial politicians pressing in to shake his hand, share an old campaign anecdote, and maybe pose for a photo. But what really triggers the memories, good and bad, is his voice. Its bass notes don’t so much cut through as rumble beneath the conversational din. The plummy laugh penetrates to every corner.
And Brian Mulroney has been laughing a lot lately. His one-day, mid-November visit to Fredericton—where he delivered a speech at the lunch, met privately with the provincial government’s cabinet, and spoke to students at St. Thomas University before a reception at its Brian Mulroney Hall—was typical of his extraordinary 2012. At 73, Mulroney spent the year being feted on the 25th anniversary of his Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, consulted on Quebec by the Prime Minister, who once shunned him, and even being called “a classy individual” by Justin Trudeau. Can it really be less than three years since Justice Jeffrey J. Oliphant’s commission of inquiry found that Mulroney behaved “inappropriately” in taking envelopes containing hundreds of thousands in secret cash payments from a certain German-Canadian arms lobbyist? (more…)
This Corvette will save Detroit
The U.S. auto industry once again turns to a sports car for salvation. But with sales on the rise and new technologies, this time there’s reason for optimism
If the American auto industry were to write its own Hollywood-style comeback story—from the depths of its 2008 crash to its improbable return to the top of the world—the ending might look a lot like the 2013 Detroit auto show. And cast in the starring role would be General Motors’ 2014 Corvette Stingray.
The company unveiled its cherry-red sports car to eager journalists on the eve of the world’s most important auto show this week, almost 60 years to the day after it first introduced the revered American nameplate. By the next morning the brightly lit and packed Cobo Center was buzzing about one car above all others, as cameramen and their tripods crowded around the ’Vette to get a closer look at its race-car-influenced aluminum body and luxe interior. GM’s marketers gushed that it is faster than a Ferrari, more nimble than a Porsche and $30,000 cheaper than either. America had, for the first time in memory, unveiled the kind of car that kids might hang a poster of on their wall. High-tech, even fuel-efficient, it left no question: America is back. A “technological tour de force,” said GM’s North American president Mark Reuss.
Video: Four films, one critic
Brian D. Johnson on what to see — and what to rent
Maclean’s video: Who won the NHL lockout and why?
Jonathon Gatehouse on Gary Bettman and the NHL
So despite the howls from fans and media for Gary Bettman’s head, Jonathon Gatehouse says the commissioner of the NHL remains as secure as he’s ever been. His current contract—worth $7.98 million this past year—runs through 2015. From there it’s just a short two-year skip to the league’s centennial. How long will Bettman, already the most powerful figure the game has ever known, stick around?
For more, read Gary Bettman is here to stay.
Men who love to loaf around
What’s not to like about a man who bakes his own bread?
Jetta Productions/Dana Neely/Getty Images
Near the back of the Cookbook Store in Toronto on a November evening, two men lingered in the bread-making section. Shane Carruthers, a cook who’s started to experiment with baking bread, carried How to Make Bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou in an Indigo bag. And Matt Harris, who doesn’t bake, left with a copy of Nick Malgieri’s Bread—for his wife.
That gave store manager Alison Fryer pause, considering that in the past 30 years, she and her staff have observed that roughly 90 per cent of their bread-making books have been bought by men. “When you point it out to people, they’re not really aware of it,” she explains. “But then the penny drops and they go, ‘Oh, that’s right. It is all males.’ ”
What exactly fascinates men about mixing flour, water and yeast is debatable. It could have something to do with the fact that the most prominent European bakers of the past 200 years have been male, explains food historian Heather Evans of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. And although she notes that “cookery-book purchasing patterns don’t necessarily bespeak patterns of cooking,” the only bread-making cookbook Evans and her partner own in their vast collection was bought by him. “Perhaps,” she suggests, “all these bread-making books are being purchased with a view to integrating bread-making into the courtship process. What’s not to like about a man who bakes his own bread?”
Maclean’s video: Brian D. Johnson on this year’s Oscar nominees
Our critic weighs in on omissions, surprises and shoe-ins
Read Brian D. Johnson’s thoughts on this year’s nominees here.
More related links:
Video: Brian D. Johnson on The Hobbit and Hyde Park on the Hudson
Both Bilbo Baggins and FDR are portrayed with panache, but the movies? Not so much.