O'Leary to pay visit to Postmedia

It could be the first time we host a Dragon!


Billed as an evening with Kevin O’Leary, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey is holding a special gathering of invited guests in our 11th floor Collaboration Lounge at 5 p.m. next Thursday so they can meet the man known as Mr. Wonderful.

When business mogul Kevin O’Leary, of Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den fame, walks into Postmedia Place on Bloor St., the author and TV star will definitely be asked if he’s still considering a run at federal politics.

And he will answer: “Absolutely.”

But, more important for O’Leary will be a discussion about Canada’s present and future.

“What is going to take to make Canada competitive?” asks O’Leary. “Selling Canada internationally.”

O’Leary has talked about the Canadian “dollarette” and how governments go into debt and impose taxes instead of letting free enterprise rule the market place.

While he has generally kept his focus on business since hinting about joining the world of politics, he says he’ll talk at this session about how “education and health policy is very broken. How do we fix it?

“Pipeline politics and how to end the stalemate” is another topic he will address.

O’Leary will explain “why political brands don’t mean anything anymore.”

Being nice and throwing around platitudes is not Mr. Wonderful’s style so there is likely going to be some very interesting straight talk when the Shark/Dragon enters our tank/den next week.


Speaking of showbiz greats, the good news to come out of a bad story is that the serious fall guitar virtuoso Liona Boyd suffered in Florida won’t stop her from playing in the future.

“Luckily my guitar playing hands were not at all affected,” the legendary performer told me this week.

She had a serious fall.

“I slipped on a loose piece of cardboard in my garage which sent me suddenly crashing to the ground,” she told The Canadian Press. “I was panicked lying there thinking that I might faint at any minute, my body trembling with adrenaline. I knew I had broken my shoulder and my knee was in excruciating pain and panicked that no one would find me as I live alone.”

A person from a block away got her help.

Turns out she is now on the mend in a rehabilitation hospital in Toronto where she has even in the past performed at special events.

“I am making progress every day but, the physiotherapy is torture.”

Get well soon.


He never stopped dreaming — or fighting.

In the end, 27-year-old Ryan Stevenson did not beat the oesophageal cancer he found out about the very day (Nov. 9, 2015) he got a job with the city’s bylaw enforcement department.

But his quest to push for more research into cancer treatments may help somebody else.

It’s bittersweet for his family who lost the terrific young man May 11. But they are proud of him.

Ryan told me his dream was to be a Toronto cop just like his grandfather, former detective-sergeant Gerry Stevenson, who solved the Shoe Shine boy case.

“He was probably the kindest most inspiring person I know,” said his step-dad Wayne Proulx, who described Ryan as an “an old soul who left more good in his short 27 years than most will leave in a full lifetime.”

A great hockey player, Wayne added, “God has added a great centre to his team of angels.”

His girlfriend Carley Duggan was with him when he died, as was his wonderful family — mother, Cathy, father, Brad Stevenson and sisters, Alexandra and Katie Proulx. With Ryan, they rallied to search for a cure.

Photographer Jack Boland and I had the pleasure of getting to know these wonderful people in March when we did a story on Ryan. Our condolences. R.I.P. Ryan.


It was good to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travel to Fort McMurray to give a pat on the back to the courageous first responders who battled the blazing beast.

So many stepped up to help. And hats off to Toronto’s own Bryan Green and Cindy and Don Cherry for reaching out to the dogs and cats, too.

Through the Don Cherry Pet Rescue Foundation, PetSmart, Bulk Barn and Home Hardware, Green is packaging 4,000 packages of Simply Pets treats. They’ll be sent to Fort McMurray and Edmonton where pet reunification resettlement stories are plentiful.

Also, just a reminder to the government to not forget about hostage Robert Hall in the Philippines, the 45 former interpreters to the Canadian troops still in limbo in Afghanistan and Mississauga Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim, still imprisoned for no good reason in North Korea.

Like we have seen with the response to Fort McMurray. Canada does not leave it’s own behind.

Have a super weekend everybody. Scrawler out.

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