Because we love anything that allows us to experience some shred of what the country’s business, scientific, cultural, and political leaders were like back in the day, you can imagine my glee when I discovered this amazing clip of vintage David Suzuki from 1972. Suzuki was too busy to participate in our book, but this clip, originally airing on the CBC, gives a very clear idea of who he was back in his early days as a popular zoology prof at UBC. Not only is his fruitfly/maggot analogy hilarious, but his reflection on the year he left scientific study to wrestle with the ethics of the discipline is remarkably interesting.

Best of all though is the image of a blissed out Suzuki reclining in his office hammock. I gotta get me one a those.

The CBC Digital Archives allow you to map Suzuki’s career through his TV appearances – an interesting vantage point on the professional development of the man leading the charge for a greener Canada.


Alex and Paul were guests on CBC Montreal’s Radio Noon, FM 88.5, between 1:00 and 2:00 pm on Monday, April 21. The phone-in show took calls from people talking about their own early careers. Hosted by Anne LagacĂ© Dowson.

To listen click here:

Kickstart on CBC Radio Noon, Part 1

Kickstart on CBC Radio Noon, Part 2

National Post editor-at-large Diane Francis was on CBC Radio’s The Current with Anna-Maria Tremonti today, talking about her exciting new book, Who Owns Canada Now?

In the book, Francis exposes the extent to which the Canadian Establishment contrinues to morph and change. The reigning plutocracy that owned so much of the country twenty years ago (when Francis wrote Controlling Interest: Who Owns Canada) has given way to a multitude of self-made billionaires (more than the Forbes list acknowledges, Francis claims). And this new group doesn’t look anything like their predecessors at the top. To a large extent, they are of the Gates and Buffett school – the type of international entrepreneurs who aren’t likely to hand over their businesses to soft-headed children.

A business writing vet with a mind like a steel trap, Francis seems to have convinced a large number of otherwise reclusive billionaires on to her conversation couch. We haven’t read the book yet, but based on the interview (Tremonti’s are always good) it sounds like an intriguing look at money and influence in today’s Canada.

You can listen to the show here.

There’s a problem. CBC has just announced its fall line-up and – to the horror of fans of good TV – there is one notable omission. Little Mosque on the Prairie is there. So is Sophie. The Border made it too. But the one show that gave us all faith in original Canadian programming is now gone.

Intelligence, an hour-long crime thriller set on the hard-knox streets of Vancouver, has been dropped after two seasons. Why? Well – surprise, surprise – ratings were too low. The Chris Haddock-created show could not bring in the audience of his previous hit, Da Vinci’s Inquest. Even that show’s spin-off (yes, Canadian television can have spin-offs), Da Vinci’s City Hall was yanked after a single – I would say – spectacular season.


Intelligence creator Chris Haddock with actor Matt Frewer (photo: TV, Eh?)

Inquest, which ran for nearly a decade, was actually based on one of the personalities we interviewed for Kickstart. Larry Campbell, now a Senator in Ottawa (you know, the real kind of senator), was a Coronor in Vancouver for most of his career, investigating that city’s unsolved and unusual deaths. A strange job, perhaps. But not as far-fetched as what he would do next: run for mayor of Vancouver.

He won. In 2002, he mastered a landslide victory and, for three solid years, took care of the two major issues facing the city: creating a safe injection site to counteract a serious needle problem and holding a plebiscite on the 2010 Olympics. And after that… he quit. Someone who can join the political scene to reach clear objectives, uninterested in mere power and glad-handing, deserves our utmost respect.

So, back to Intelligence. Even though a petition of nearly two thousand devoted fans was sent to the CBC offices in Toronto, it didn’t seem to shake the fortress.

Not to worry. Though the show will not be airing, its first season will soon be available on DVD. Order it now! Seriously. It was a good show because the writing was sharp and clever, the pace was fast and non-gratuitous, the acting was compelling and the backdrop was intriguing.

You never know, the CBC may develop some cajones and bring it back. Cult support helped bring Family Guy back. It failed, tragically, for Arrested Development. Whoever’s bright idea it was to cut Intelligence will hopefully learn this lesson: that the mandate of promoting Canadian culture means, first and foremost, to promote good quality Canadian culture. If you have a strong product, the viewers will do the rest. Only sometimes, it unfortunately takes a while.