November 12

Trudeau-mania continues to envelop the Liberal party across swaths of the nation, bringing with it a cornucopia of unbridled enthusiasm from sanguine loyal Grits. Justin Trudeau is seeking to pull the once mighty national party out of a deep, smoldering abyss and put the pieces back together. I once met his famous father at The Toronto Zoo of all places. He was there enjoying time with his then very young daughter Sarah Elisabeth Coyne. Pierre Trudeau was incognito that day, wearing an old fishing hat covering much of his face, a summery shirt, shorts and sandals, looking very unlike a former prime minister – which was the intent. Clearly, he did not want to be recognized and I never let on that I knew. Our brief encounter consisted of his saying it was a nice day and asking if I knew where the White Lions were. Then, he and his daughter were on their way, going completely unnoticed by others in the park.

If his son is the new anointed Liberal king, he and his team have a major undertaking on their hands. What remains to be seen is whether there’s any steak to go with all the sizzle. That’s one of the reasons it would be advantageous if a robust, seasoned opponent were in the leadership race if for no other reason than to test Trudeau’s political mettle. In this era of social media, greater trending emphasis seems to be placed on what shampoo he uses for his oft-talked about freestyle coiffure. The surname gets him through the door, but substance will ultimately be the determining factor as to whether or not he remains. The next Trudeau may indeed have what it takes, but has yet to prove it.

The CRTC, under new boss Jean-Pierre Blais, has quickly shown an aggressive resolve in baring its teeth with the shocking denial of BCE’s planned purchase of Astral Media in a deal valued at $3.4 billion. Convergence has been such a regular staple within the broadcasting industry over the past decade that it was widely assumed Bell would be rubber-stamped to forge ahead with its agenda unfettered, building upon its massively increasing conglomerate of multimedia holdings while competitors fall by the wayside. This is a long overdue victory for the frazzled and largely unappreciated consumer and promotes a competitionbased business model.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has tightened the clamps of regulation on prepaid credit cards, which was sorely overdue. Financial institutions were railroading the public with a number of abhorrent hidden fees and felt no shame whatsoever in doing so. Expiry dates and fees associated with unused cards have been abolished.

As promised, we have a feature story on Canada Post and its transformation process. I’m still not convinced it’s a winning formula, but do remain hopeful. Otherwise, while not an immediate direct burden to taxpayers – yet – it has definite potential to be just that, in the event this comprehensive turnaround goes bust.

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