The PROBUS Club of Applewood
in Mississauga

August 2021 - Robert Sandford

Title: The New Climate War: In the Trenches Over Climate Intervention

Robert Sandford, a noted climate change expert, delivered a talk on “The New Climate War: In the Trenches Over Climate Intervention” to our Probus Club on August 12,2021. Introduced by Bob Weese and thanked by myself, Sandford spoke to us as Canada was consumed by raging forest fires in British Columbia and Northern Ontario, part of a global pattern, with nearly 7000 communities in North America in June 2021 recording record temperatures. Sandford told us that his own community of Canmore, Alberta was so dry that it was only a lightening strike away from an evacuation alert.
The theme of the talk was “learning from the burning". The general dimensions of the Climate change crisis are probably  well known to the Club as we have had several speakers on the topic but Sandford stressed a particular Canadian aspect that is not widely recognized: as the permafrost  melts in the Arctic - and next to Russia we have the most permafrost in the world - vast amounts of methane are released and methane heats the atmosphere  even more than CO2. The Arctic has been a carbon sink, now it is a carbon multiplier.
As humankind has not had the will to make the necessary changes, many hope for technological breakthroughs like Solar GeoEngineering , but Sandford warned there may be many unintended consequences of such interventions. Sandford recognized, as he told the Club, that such doom and gloom scenarios turn off many, but he felt it was his responsibility  to tell the truth about the science even if it was so difficult to comprehend.

He said not to give up on the fight against Climate change but his talk showed how long the odds are in winning the battle.

Tom Axworthy

June 2021 - The Honourable Frank Iacobucci C.C. Q.C.

Title: Canada and Indigenous People:  Toward a New Relationship

Our speaker this month was The Honourable Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci. Justice Iacobucci lead a distinguished career as a legal academic, member and chair of several commissions and enquiries and as a member of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1991 to 2004.

In these roles he was known for his concern over disadvantaged persons and civil rights with a particular emphasis on Indigenous matters. He was the Federal government’s key representative in negotiating the landmark Residential School Settlement and in establishing and selecting the commissioners to lead the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission.

He started by stating that resolving our society’s relationship with its indigenous peoples is the most important social issue our country faces. Until we can address the third world conditions and widespread injustices our indigenous peoples continue to face, we will never be able to hold ourselves up as a moral society. His very interesting presentation provided the historical and legal background as a means to “diagnose the past in order to develop a better prescription for the future”.

He identified six principles we need to follow in order to reach a true partnership with our indigenous people based on trust and mutual respect. While not able to pick a date when this might be achieved, he is encouraged by the progress we have made and believes that with continued effort and good will on all sides, we will reach this mutually beneficial partnership in coming generations.

Following his address, he stayed with us to answer a broad range of good questions and was thanked on behalf go the Club by Lloyd Posno.

July 2021 - Tom Flanagan

Title: The Wealth of First Nations

Tom Flanagan is a professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary, and is a conservative activist having worked with Preston Manning and Stephen Harper. He is widely regarded as a spokesman for the interests of Western Canada in Confederation.

He spoke about the contents in his recent book, the WEALTH OF First Nations published in 2019. It is available free online. The book examines the factors which may explain the ‘success’ of some First Nations in terms of the ‘community wellbeing index’ (CWB) as compiled from Stats Canada census data for the past 35 years. It discusses only those who live on Reserves, which is roughly half of the aboriginal people.

There is a significant gap between First Nations communities (i.e. Reserves) and other communities in Canada. This gap has remained fairly constant over the past 35 years. However, some First Nation communities are doing much better than others as measured by the CWB. The book focuses on discovering the differentiating factors.

Tom concluded with a reference to Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations), in that “First Nations are subject to the same principles of economics and government as all human beings are”. He observed that “active participation in the Canadian economy in whatever way fits the location of that first nation people” is key to the benefits of an improved standard of living.

September 2021 - Hugh Segal

Title: Guaranteed Annual Income - Yes or No?

Hugh Segal, noted political adviser, former Senator, and former head of Massey  College , University  of Toronto,  gave a wide- ranging talk to our Applewood Probus Club on September on September  9, 2021. Introduced by Lloyd Posno, and thanked by Tom Axworthy,  Segal discussed both the recent Afghanistan  calamity and the state of poverty  in Canada, making  connections between the two topics. Poverty, he stated, is the underlying condition of Afghanistan (which he visited during his Senate years) and it is a condition that  the Taliban exploited to return to power.

Canada is not Afghanistan but Segal made the point that according  to a  Statistics Canada report in 2021,  3.7 million Canadians lived below the poverty  line, but unlike many poor societies in the world , Canada has the resources to alleviate  this critical problem if we deploy these resources  properly. Much of Segal's talk was devoted to the solution he highlights in his recent book "Bootstraps Need Boots, namely a Guaranteed  Basic  Income" . This idea has a long pedigree, starting with the conservative  economist Milton Friedman, running through Richard Nixon who proposed such a plan in 1969, to the Pierre Trudeau  government which partnered with Manitoba to create a pilot  program in Dauphin Manitoba  in the 1970s, to our own time with the Ontario Government  of Kathleen Wynne also starting an experimental  program in Hamilton and Brantford in 2017 (which Segal advised on). These experiments show that basic income support  reduces the uses of emergency  rooms by the poor significantly (among other benefits). Segal therefore argued that the $50 billion cost of a national  income program would help the provinces deal with rising health  costs as provincial welfare costs would fall with the federal government taking on poverty  reduction and health usage by the low income would fall. Thought about broadly enough,  Segal maintained, Guaranteed Basic Income support  is also a contribution  to a better sharing of health  costs.

This thesis prompted  many questions  from Probus members about work incentives  and labour shortages, the lessons from the CERB program to respond to the economic  impacts of Covid and the political will to do such a progam (not much Segal admitted). Hugh Segal is one of the leading public intellectuals in Canada and his talk to Probus showed why he is regarded  so highly.

Tom Axworthy

October 2021 - Adam Shoalts

Title: Exploring the Wilds of Canada

The  Applewood Probus Club was treated to a return visit from Mr.  Adam Shoalts .    Mr. Shoalts has been described by CBC as the “greatest living Canadian explorer”.  He is a professional adventurer and the author of four national best selling books.  His career has included mapping rivers, leading expeditions,  numerous archaeological digs, tracking endangered species and completing a nearly 4,000 mile solo journey across the Canadian Artic.  He grew up in rural Canada with a forest on his doorstep.   Mr Shoalts  graduated from Brock University with an Honours BA, after being named top student in the humanities .  He subsequently completed a Master’s degree and a PhD at McMaster University.  He is a regular guest on TV and radio, and his work has been featured in media around the world.

He has been named a national champion of the Trans Canada Trail  and  the 2018 Explore in Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society

After being ably introduced by our well- know member of the speakers committee Reg Perkin, Mr. Shoalts spoke on his most recent adventures in Labrador, highlighted in his most recent book entitled “The Whisperer on the Night Wind”.  

In the early 1900’s an isolated little settlement  in Labrador was the scene of an extraordinary haunting by  large creatures no one could identify.  The eye -witness accounts were often detailed by highly credible individuals .   Something did emerge from the wilderness to  haunt this little sentiment.  Adam decided to pick up this trail from a century ago and presented his experiences in his presentation.

His speech, (and his latest book), combines folklore, expanding on his experiences during his time in Labrador.

November 2021 - Matthew Wilkinson

Title: WW11 and its effect on Mississauga

Our speaker on Thursday, November 11th, was Matthew Wilkinson, Historian/Lecturer, City of Mississauga.
Matthew told the story of WW11 and its effect on Mississauga and Peel Region.

It  was  a   reflective  and thoughtful presentation and  a tribute  not only  to  our  faithful  veterans  but  to also the dedication of many civilian  citizens  working  in  manufacturing  facilities in Mississauga (then  Toronto Township) contributing to Canada’s  war  effort.

In conclusion Matthew reminded us that freedom should be remembered each and every day and not taken for granted.

Jack Doney
December 2021 - Jerry Amernic

Title: Babe Ruth - A Superstar’s Legacy

This book is more about Babe Ruth as a marketing wonder and as a person than it is about baseball. (Babe Ruth was more than a baseball legend. He was a marketer extra-ordinaire and a collectors’ dream for all his memorability.)

We had a higher number of attendees than usual for this Zoom meeting, an indication of our interest in the topic.

Our expectations for a great presentation were not disappointed in spite of horrendous technical difficulties with Internet and telephone difficulties at the speaker’s end.

These difficulties were doubly disappointing since, at the speaker’s request, our technical team had had a dry run with the speaker on Monday, and a further slide and sound check with him on Wednesday. But who can control local internet and telephone availability?

Thanks to Jerry for persevering with an eventual telephone hook up and subsequently with slides and video clips emailed through to Paul Ferri.

In the end, it was a wonderful and entertaining, as well as an informative, presentation with most of the original attendees staying to the end at 11:30 am.

Thank you, Jerry!

I believe many members will want to read your book.”

Paul Moore

If you are interested in group ordering a signed copy of Gift of the Bambino or BABE RUTH: A Superstar’s Legacy, let Ross Amos know by clicking here or emailing him at
January 2022 - Dr. Denis Crawford

Title: The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett
Dr. Crawford provided us with great insight into the creativeness, persistence, the accomplishments and challenges faced by Bassett as he tried to influence the sports fans of the Greater Toronto Area. One could conclude Bassett was ahead of his time as fans, City politicians or the federal government seemed to only react negatively to his initiatives not recognizing what he trying to do. In many ways, he paved the way for other teams, namely the Blue Jays, the Raptors and the Indy, to follow and enjoy much success in Toronto with considerable support and interest from Ontarians and Canadians alike. He provided us with many details of his initiatives into football, tennis, hockey and Formula One racing in Toronto. The author clearly has done much research into Bassett’s adventures but also to be effective, he needed to understand market and the fans. The presentation was well done, was interesting and captured the attention of the audience throughout. Without this book, the history of Toronto sports teams would not be complete.

David Irwin

February 10, 2022 - Mark Fisher, BSc.,ICD.D  President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region
Title: Encouraging Sustainable Economic Growth in the Great Lakes

Speaker introduced by Lloyd Posno and thanked by Reg Perkin
     The Council brings together an equal number of Canadian and USA representatives from the provinces and states bordering the Great Lakes.  The five lakes constitute the largest fresh water system in the world, and the area has a population of 100 million and total annual GDP of 6.0 trillion USD.
     The presentation was conducted in a Q&A format with Lloyd Posno directing questions to Mark Fisher.  Many topics were covered including climate change and contamination (global warming, water levels, oil pipelines, plastic waste); the relationship with our U.S. neighbour (their GDP mostly internal, ours mostly external; political and trade issues); and the challenges of staffing and funding the Council.
      Mark provided the following link to an Economic Forum his group is hosting this June This would be worth attending.
     The question period following the presentation was one of the busiest in recent memory and lasted about 20 minutes.  Clear indication that our members found Mark Fisher’s presentation interesting and informative.
Reg Perkin

March 10, 2022 – Gary Mar. President and CEO of the Canada West Foundation.

 Canada’s Trade and Security relationships with China – where are we headed?

Speaker introduced by Lloyd Posno and thanked by Alan Lytle

The Canada West Foundation has been active for 50 years.  Its focus is on:
Natural Resources - Forestry, Mining, Oil and Gas. For more information see

Human Resources – How to prepare children with workforce competencies.

Trade, Investment, Infrastructure – Move from “shovel ready” to “shovel worthy”

Gary began his conversation with a brief trade history of China over the last couple of centuries.  For most of its history China was the largest economy in the world.  The British Empire took over in the 19th Century, the US in the 20th Century, and it is possible China will reassume that role in the 21st Century.

He looked at world politics through the lens of international trade and made the point that it is businesses, not countries, that trade. 

A key business in the west is oil and gas.  The current situation in Ukraine has highlighted the need for fuel availability until renewable energy can actually replace fossil fuels.  His point is that emissions are the key issue, not the fossil fuel itself.  Focus on technology solutions to eliminate emissions is important to combat climate change.

These solutions will help overcome emission issues and by working with our trading partners, including China, can enable Canada to be a bridge to clean technology.

On the security issue as regards trade he advises universities and companies to be wise to the possibilities of intellectual property theft and manage their business appropriately.

A very thoughtful and timely presentation which prompted a good discussion.

Alan Lytle

April 14, 2022 -  Bill Robson CEO C.D. Howe Institute
Title: Macro Mischief: Debt, Inflation, and Canada’s Economic Challenges

Bill Robson was introduced by Bob Weese and went on to discuss the economic state of Canada. Bill gave us the latest perspective on key issues Canada faces, including the latest Budget both missing and included items, upcoming Liberal spending plans vs the Bank of Canada strategy to combat inflation through raising interest rates, and the fiscal legacy of the pandemic, plus the real and perceived impact of inflation.

About the C.D. Howe Institute:  Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review. The Institute's research is national in scope, and they host policy events across the country.

The Applewood Probus meeting had the new hybrid structure with half the attendees at PCYC and the other half at home on Zoom. The meeting ran very smoothly with questions fielded seamlessly from either audience.

Bill was thanked by Marcus Miller

Past Speakers