Time to go

From the penny to Premier McGuinty to the Wiggles, see who moved on in 2012
Le general David Petraeus commandant en chef americain des forces internationales en Afghanistan
Camera Press/Redux

Washington bombshell

David Petraeus was the epitome of an officer and a gentleman, one of the most respected generals of his generation before being appointed director of the CIA. But a secret, steamy affair with his biographer has left his legacy, and his marriage, in tatters.

Up in smoke

When she was still the minister of international co-operation, Bev Oda had a hard time co-operating with Ottawa’s expense guidelines. Orange juice at $16 a glass. Taxpayer-funded limo rides to the Juno Awards. An air purifier so she could smoke in her office. We can only hope her MP pension—more than $52,000 a year—is enough to maintain her extravagant tastes.

Long live the nickel

Here’s a penny for your thoughts: when you add up the tab for production, transportation and storage, the penny actually costs Canada’s economy more than $100 million a year. Which is why, after 154 years, the Royal Canadian Mint has produced its last one.

Premier timing

Selfish or not, the timing was right. After two majority victories, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was slogging through his first stint as a minority leader—sparring with teachers, sagging in the polls, and under attack for cancelling two gas-fired power plants in Liberal ridings (a decision that will cost the public purse $230 million). His successor will have to deal with the fallout.

Not quite another

In the end, I’ll Have Another didn’t have another one in him. The prized thoroughbred, owned by Canadian businessman J. Paul Reddam, won the first two legs of horse racing’s elusive Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. But on the day before his history-making attempt at the Belmont, I’ll Have Another was diagnosed with tendonitis and forced into retirement.

Downward motion

Jim Balsillie was the engine of Canada’s tech darling, Research in Motion, transforming the BlackBerry into a global phenomenon—and himself into a billionaire. But hungrier competitors (i.e. Apple) and plummeting stock prices forced Balsillie and his co-chairman, Mike Lazaridis, to step aside.

Without a paddle

Love him or hate him, rowing coach Mike Spracklen boasts the one thing that matters most in elite sports: results. Athletes under his tutelage have captured a dozen Olympic medals, including four golds, and many consider him the greatest ever in his field. But after a row of a different kind erupted inside the offices of Rowing Canada, the 75-year-old was unceremoniously relieved of his duties.

Resounding resignation

Greg Smith didn’t just quit his job at Goldman Sachs. He wrote a stinging op-ed piece in the New York Times, accusing the Wall Street investment firm of losing its “moral fiber” and referring to customers as “muppets.” Smith, who earned US$500,000 a year, urged the company to “get the culture right again.”

Au revoir

After his victory speech in 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy celebrated at one of the ritziest restaurants in Paris—then continued the party on a friend’s yacht. It was all downhill from there. The flashy Frenchman, with his supermodel wife and super-wealthy friends, was knocked out of office after one term.

All grown up

The Wiggles have entertained children for two decades, but you can’t drive around in a Big Red Car forever. Three founding members (Greg Page, Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook) have called it a career. Three replacements have been hired to join Anthony Field.