Trevor Lautens

  • Times taxing poor Scrooge

    VANCOUVER -- Finance Minister Ebenezer Scrooge VI stared from his office window at the unpopulated square below. The building was empty, silent. His face was a study. Reflective? Troubled? Conflicted? Perhaps all. It had been a long road for the Scrooges from the once-considerable 19th-century firm of Scrooge & Marley. Scrooge's uncle several times removed, the first Ebenezer -- so the family oral story went -- had some ghostly experiences on Christmas Eve.
  • Winnie was a rogue

    VANCOUVER -- I'm not as young as I look. So readers will be surprised to learn that I well recall, as a boy, the astonishment in Canada when British voters quickly dumped Prime Minister Winston Churchill in July 1945, before the Pacific War ended, 67 years ago this week. Inexplicable ingratitude toward the man voted the greatest Englishman ever, the leader who rallied Britain in the darkest days of 1940, even cast as saviour of Western civilization? Anglo-Canadians couldn't believe it.
  • Make system carry the can for James

    VANCOUVER -- Anyone in the land who doesn't know who Graham James is? Now try this. Catherine Carlson. Who dat? Carlson is the Manitoba judge who gave pedophile and former coach James two years in prison on concurrent sentences for hundreds of sexual assaults of two then-teenaged hockey players, Theo Fleury and Todd Holt. The Crown stayed charges involving a third, Greg Gilhooly.
  • The greatest gift I ever received

    VANCOUVER -- I sat down to write about the greatest gift I've ever received. But, like a river in flood that carves a new channel, it became about my mother. Here, hard-eyed, I declare a sour disposition toward columns about (a) one's mother and (b) books, the gift my mother began and in death still gives.
  • Of Old Bulls and Young Turks

    VANCOUVER -- Ready for the Parliamentary Channel switching to re-runs of Sesame Street? How about a private member's bill bringing acne into the Canada Health Act?
  • Five days that saved the world

    You would not be reading this, nor I writing it, if it were not for the five most important days of the 20th century -- 70 years ago this week. Those who lived through it, those living today, would have had very different lives in a very different world.
  • An early Christmas schnoodle

    VANCOUVER -- In the household where these words were written, Christmas arrived early this year. To be precise, on May 17.

    You may question whether the following qualifies as a Christmas story. I can only reply that, like the enduring masterpiece by Charles Dickens, it revolves around a tiny cripple who touches many hearts, a gift of priceless proportions.

  • The voters' best defence is to throw out the bums

    VANCOUVER -- I remember Wilkinson. He was one of those square-cut diamond-in-the-rough Midlanders, smoothed by hard experience, who left Britain for Canada in post-war flight from the disaster of victory. An election approached. Wilkinson gave me, a green reporter, a durable political lesson. Wilkinson's advice was simple, unoriginal: Throw the rascals out. Not an infallible premise but always a good starting point.

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