By macleans.ca - Monday, December 31, 2012 - 0 Comments
A look back in memoriam of 25 notable names who left us in 2012
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM - 0 Comments
Former Progressive Conservative MP Lincoln Alexander, the first black MP in Canadian history, has passed away at the age of 90.
Discrimination isn’t good for anybody – the abusers or the victims – but Lincoln Alexander was one of those stalwart souls who could turn rejections and despicable slurs into a personal challenge to excel. As a boy he learned to “walk tall,” as a young man he chose a career where he could be self-employed, as a law student he spoke out when a dean casually used the racist example of “a nigger in the woodpile” to make a point in class, and when mainstream law firms ignored him, he joined forces with another member of a minority to make his independent way.
And always he followed his mother’s advice about the advantages of education. Consequently, this son of a hotel maid and a railway porter, became the first member of his family to go to university, the first black Member of Parliament, the first black federal Cabinet Minister, the first black Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Board, the first black Lieutenant-Governor, and the first person to serve five terms as Chancellor of the University of Guelph.
By Cathy Gulli - Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 6:00 AM - 0 Comments
From Shania Twain and Frédéric Thiébaud to the Huffington Post and AOL–this year’s best love stories
It’s the stuff of classic country songs: a two-timing man cheats on his wife with her best friend. The wife finds out, confronts them both, and finds comfort in the arms of the equally heartbroken best friend’s husband. That’s how Shania Twain and Frédéric Thiébaud fell in love and came to be married on a beach in Puerto Rico last New Year’s Day. Now that’s a new beginning.
Lincoln Alexander and Marni Beal
Yes, he’s nearly 90, and she’s in her 60s. But Lincoln Alexander, the first black lieutenant-governor of Ontario, and Marni Beal, a sales rep at the Hamilton Spectator, are as in love as two high-school kids. Still, Alexander was nervous to propose: “An old codger like me marrying a girl 30 years his junior?” He asked her anyway, and she accepted. “I became his driver, caregiver, administrator … bodyguard with first aid/CPR training and life partner,” says Beal. “And he became mine.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM - 2 Comments
On the occasion of his winning the prize for parliamentarian of the year, I sat down last Thursday with Bob Rae in his corner office on the fifth floor of Centre Block. Here’s a transcript of our conversation (only slightly abridged).
How do you now look back on the parliamentarian you were at that point when you first showed up?
I had a kind of a very lucky start because I was elected in a by-election and it was sort of the last six months of the Trudeau government and the NDP caucus was very small, it was like 15 or 16 people, and there were lots of opportunities for me to speak, to kind of get in and do stuff. I got to ask a question my first day and I did a late night debate.
The House was a much more congenial place. There were a number of Conservatives who were there who were very friendly—Ray Hnatyshyn, Lincoln Alexander and Steve Paproski. They all stayed for my maiden speech and they all heckled during the speech. You could tell it was a kind of very modest kind of hazing process—Well, we’ll see how this kid does.
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 5:21 PM - 0 Comments
Why Ruby’s not the first and an MP’s wedding
Finger puppet goes after Stockwell Day’s tan
When Toronto textile artist Gabe Thirlwall and her partner moved to Ottawa three years ago, she discovered “you’re hard up for excitement in this town.” Then inspiration hit as she began spotting the city’s political “celebrities.” She decided to combine her textile skills with political theatre. The result is a growing collection of handmade MP finger puppets. While she likes to poke fun at all the politicians she has made so far, some get worse treatment than others. “I purposely made Stephen Harper look on the fatter side. I feel you can attack a man on his policies, but he probably stands by his policies. But we know he is sensitive about his weight.” Harper and a few of the other puppets have an apple-motif fabric backing “because I thought they were keeners.” NDP Leader Jack Layton has tight orange pants “because he is very fit. Riding his bike to Parliament Hill and all.” There is also an Olivia Chow puppet; most people buy her with Layton so as not to separate the MP couple, says Thirlwall. Trade Minister Stockwell Day “is on a brown fabric because he always has questionable tans—I don’t know if he goes to the tanning salon or uses creams. But every time I see that guy, he’s a different colour.” Green Leader Elizabeth May is made out of a hand-dyed organic cotton. “I gave one to her in exchange for her new book [Losing Confidence].” Each puppet comes with a card saying the head is filled with polyester stuffing and that the puppet “is not intended for small children.” Thirlwall always asks people which puppets they’d like to see and says “there is a big demand for Stéphane Dion.” Puppets made so far include Bob Rae, Michael Ignatieff, Justin Trudeau, John Baird (her most popular seller) and Peter MacKay. The puppets are available at fishonfridays.ca and Ottawa’s Workshop Studio & Boutique, where staff say there is a rush on Ruby Dhalla.