Winners & Losers: Who's up, who's down

Bombardier, Moya Greene, James Cameron and more.

?Brian Mulroney

Justice Jeffrey Oliphant released his long-awaited report on the relationship between former prime minister Brian Mulroney and businessman Karlheinz Schreiber, delivering a blow to Mulroney’s reputation and slamming him for “inappropriate” practices. Mulroney accepted cash-stuffed envelopes from Schreiber three times after he left office, totalling at least $225,000. Mulroney failed to disclose the transactions and downplayed his relationship with Schreiber for years, later admitting his dealings were an error in judgment. Oliphant wrote it’s “virtually impossible” he made the same error “on three separate occasions.” The report stems from allegations made years ago that Mulroney took kickbacks involving Schreiber while in office. Mulroney later won $2.1 million from the government to cover legal costs in a libel suit he filed in 1995, after an RCMP letter detailing the allegations became public. Mulroney never disclosed his relationship with Schreiber during the course of the trial. He later said the lawyer did not ask him the correct question, which Oliphant dismissed as “patently absurd.” Opposition MPs want the government to recoup the money from Mulroney.


Apple is officially the world’s largest tech company, with a market cap of $222 billion, versus Microsoft’s $219 billion and falling. Apple’s recently released iPad already has sold more than two million units worldwide. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s shares are down 18% from a decade ago, and two of its chief Xbox team members are leaving the company.


The athletic company spent a reported ?’350,000 to ?’500,000 to launch its Write the Future campaign during the Champions League Cup soccer final, only to have the last six seconds of its three-minute commercial (which contained the company’s logo and web address) accidentally cut off by Britain’s ITV. If that wasn’t enough, Nike also erected a Mount Rushmore-style billboard in London featuring four English football stars, including Theo Walcott, who has since been dropped from England’s World Cup team.

?Dick Wolf

He may have made several fortunes in syndication rights — not to mention three successful spinoffs still on air, with a fourth on the way — but television producer Dick Wolf still fell one year shy of his long-held dream when NBC cancelled the flagship of his Law & Order franchise after 20 seasons, leaving it tied with Gunsmoke as TV’s longest-running drama.


The Montreal-based train manufacturer won a $241-million contract to build a new monorail in Saudi Arabia. Scheduled for completion in 2012, the 3.6-kilometre-long transit system will be located in the financial district of Riyadh, the country’s capital, and will feature six driverless trains.

?Kenneth Starr

New York investment adviser to the rich and famous Kenneth Starr was arrested for allegedly operating a US$30-million Ponzi scheme. Past clients include Wesley Snipes and Goldie Hawn. This is not the first legal action against Starr. In 2008, a client sued him for bilking her out of millions. The case was settled this year.

?Moya Greene
Postal services

The Canada Post boss heads overseas in July to become chief executive of the U.K.’s Royal Mail, which the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government has tabbed for partial privatization. Greene’s experience battling unions at Canada Post should have steeled her for the challenge, and when the going gets tough, she can take solace in a reported half-million-pound annual pay packet.

?Michael Bryant

Seeing “no reasonable prospect of conviction,” prosecutors withdrew their case against the former Ontario cabinet minister and CEO of Invest Toronto, setting the stage for a possible return to politics or to another private-sector job. Bryant had faced criminal negligence charges for being behind the wheel during a controversial incident last fall that resulted in the death of cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard.


Upstart Toronto airline Porter Aviation Holdings has nixed its initial public offering. Porter’s planned IPO generated lots of buzz, and analysts were bullish about the prospects, but the company killed the idea, citing poor market conditions. Porter’s $4.6-million loss last year likely didn’t help investor confidence.

?Boreal forest

Greenpeace and nine other environmental groups have made a pact with 21 pulp-and-paper companies to help conserve Canada’s boreal forest. The agreement means companies in the Forest Products Association of Canada will protect 72 million hectares of boreal forest (twice the size of Germany), and stop logging immediately in 28 million hectares where threatened woodland caribou live.

?Village Roadshow

In a sure sign that Hollywood is finally experiencing its own economic recovery, Village Roadshow Pictures Group announced it had secured a $1-billion credit facility. The company is among the industry’s top financiers, having bankrolled films such as The Matrix and the Sex and the City franchise. Among its upcoming releases are Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Legend of the Guardians, a film about warrior owls.


After three decades of studies and hesitation, the Canadian government finally introduced draft legislation for a national securities regulator. A single regulator is the norm in developed countries, but Canada remains stuck with a complicated patchwork of provincial bodies. The legislation, introduced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, still has a long way to go, however.

?Stone Cold

Stone Cold Creamery’s 24-ounce peanut-butter-and-chocolate ice-cream shake has been named the year’s “worst beverage in America” by Men’s Health magazine. The shake has the same saturated-fat content as 68 strips of bacon — more than a whole day’s recommended intake. Coincidentally, it also packs 2,010 calories.

?James Cameron

Avatar and Titanic film director James Cameron offered to loan BP some of his privately owned submarines to help stop the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. BP turned him down, but Cameron was then invited to “brainstorm” spill solutions with more than 20 other scientists and engineers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington. Cameron said he’d been watching the spill with horror, thinking, “Those morons don’t know what they’re doing,” but didn’t specify exactly to whom he was referring.