Editorial: May 17

CBJ May 2017

The Canadian Open golf tournament is without a doubt one of this country’s most beloved national sporting events. It started from very humble beginnings in 1904 and has seen many great players compete for the title including the likes of Jack Nicklaus, the late Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Mike Weir, Tiger Woods, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson. What most people likely don’t realize is the incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make the tournament a success. I recently spoke with Canadian Open Tournament Director Brent McLaughlin about the business side of the event, which largely goes unseen by the general public. It’s our cover story this month.

There’s a lot of huffing and puffing going on south of the border but nobody’s going to blow Canada’s economic house down. The vociferous bluster coming from U.S. President Donald Trump is his negotiating style, albeit an abrasive one. The aggressive ‘bull in the China shop’ approach is the way he’s done it his entire business career and that persona is now firmly instilled into his political agenda. Donald Trump is not about to kill trade deals with Canada but his administration is going to re-calibrate a number of them, including NAFTA. It’s up to our federal government to have the stones to negotiate the best deal possible.

Here in Canada the latest polls indicate that the love-in with Justin Trudeau is fading fast. A Forum Research poll released at the end of last month found Trudeau’s approval rating has fallen to 42%, down from 58% last November. While those numbers should be of serious concern, he’s also still got some wiggle room because interim Conservative leader Ronna Ambrose only has a 32% approval rating.

Another bleak sign of the times for print media came when Montreal-based Transcontinental announced it is putting 92 local and regional newspapers in Quebec up for sale. With the sale of its media assets in Saskatchewan last year and its holdings in Atlantic Canada in early April, the company has divested itself of most of its provincial holdings. Despite the massive selloff, Transcontinental says it plans to remain engaged in the newspaper business and is, at least for now, committed to the continued publishing of any paper that remains unsold.

Did you know?… The Royal Montreal Golf Club served as host to the first Canadian Open championship in 1904 and it most recently hosted the event in 2014.

Angus Gillespie

CBJ April 2017