O Canada

Buy Canadian

CanadaFor the life of me, I can't remember who sent me the "Buy Canadian" email this morning. I think it was Mike from Lowville, please correct me if I'm wrong... I got the instant message while balancing four burning issues.

I thought it was a valid point and worthy of repeating here, so here's Mike from Lowville's "Buy Canadian" message to us all. I'll admit, I haven't been reading labels, but maybe I should start. What do you guys think?


You may want to check those labels when you do the grocery shopping, you will be shocked at were some of the items are coming from, I was for sure....spend more time shopping and it may help our fellow CANADIANS KEEP THEIR JOBS.

Check this out. I can verify this because I was in Lowe's the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments . They were all made in China . The next day I was in Home Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in Canada. Start looking.

In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else - even their job. So, after reading this email, I think this lady is on the right track . Let's get behind her!

My grandson likes Hershey's candy . I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more . My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico now. I have switched to Crest .. You have to read the labels on everything.

This past weekend I was at Wal-mart . I needed 60W light bulbs . I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this -in Canada in a company in Ontario.

So throw out the myth that you can not find products you use every day that are made right here .

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in Canada - the job you save may be your own or your neighbors!

If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying Canadian, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying from overseas companies!

(We should have awakened a decade ago . . . . . . )

Let's get with the program . . . . help our fellow Canadians keep their jobs and create more jobs here in Canada.

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Daniel Nestor and Canada's Male Singles Tennis Failure

TennisAs a teen, I played a lot of tennis. I used to follow tennis pretty closely, rooting for John McEnroe then Boris Becker. I always held out hope Canada could develop a top notch mens singles player. We never did.

Canada's inability to produce a single excellent men's singles tennis player is mind boggling. There have been a few decent female players, and at least a couple of excellent doubles players, but not one male player who could even upset their way into a semi-final match. The highest ranking Canadian male in singles play was Andrew Sznajder who somehow got ranked #46 in September 1989. You're forgiven if you've forgotten about Andrew Sznajder.

We've done okay with doubles, however. Grant Connell reached #1 back in 1995 and Daniel Nestor won Wimbledon earlier today with Nenad Zimonjić. Nestor has had a great career, winning 5 Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. Still, a decent singles competitor eludes us, although we came close...

I seem to recall a young Montreal-born player with promise. His name was Greg Rusedski, as I recall, but in 1995 he decided he could make more money as a Brit. He actually got to the US Open final in 1997, but he was wearing the wrong flag on his backpack.

Will there ever be an elite male singles tennis player from this country?

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I Am Canadian

I am CanadianIn 2000, a certain beer company launched an ad entitled "The Rant". You may have seen it. It starred Jeff Douglas as Joe, a proud Canadian with something to say. Here's the ad.

On July 1, 2000, I was at Molson Park for an Edgefest when Jeff Douglas actually delivered this rant live. That's how popular this ad was.

It didn't inspire me to buy beer, but nine years later, it's still a great ad. I am Canadian.

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Canada Turns 142, I Look Back in Time

canadaHappy Birthday, Canada, you're 142 years young today.

Over the past 6.5 years I've written quite a bit about you. All of those posts can be found at https://www.torontomike.com/o_canada/. But here are a few of my favourites, in the order I wrote them.

  1. Vimy Ridge
  2. O Canada! (2003 Version)
  3. A Distinct Identity
  4. Blame Canada
  5. Reason Number 32
  6. Our Other Anthem
  7. The Maple Music Revolution
  8. My Ten Favourite Song References to A Canadian Place
  9. Best Canadian Movies
  10. Top 100 Canadian Songs: The Definitive List
  11. D'oh Canada!
  12. My Ten Favourite Canadian Albums
  13. Helping Fukuoka, Japan Celebrate Canada Day
  14. 117,000 Reasons to Remember

Happy Canada Day!

O Canada

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Canadian War Posters

canada war postersMcGill University has a great collection of Canadian war posters online.

The holdings of the Print Collection in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division include some 250 Canadian posters from the two World Wars. The posters are accessible to researchers who visit the Division's Lande Reading Room; a printed finding aid is available from the Reading Room Supervisor.

This website contains basic descriptions and images of each poster, an artist index, a search facility, and an essay about Canadian War Posters. The search facility enables you to search by World War, by Category, by Artist, or by keyword. The results of your search are displayed as thumbnail images. Click on a thumbnail to obtain a larger image and a full description. Each description includes the following information: the poster ID number and title or lead text; the date, artist, and publisher, when known; size, and appropriate notes.

I dig this sort of thing. Here's one of my favourites from WWI.


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Cancon for Barack Obama's iPod

iPodCBC has unveiled their 49 Canadian Songs for Obama's iPod. These 49 won out over their top 100.

I can't really speak to the French songs or the non-pop songs, but they seem to have hit most of the essential tracks from my definitive Cancon list.

Still, how does The Band's "The Weight" not make this list? Was no Sloan song worthy? Where's the Blue Rodeo? In typical CBC fashion, it seems inclusion was deemed the higher priority.

  • Arcade Fire, "Rebellion (Lies)"
  • Barenaked Ladies, "If I Had $1,000,000"
  • Beau Dommage, "La complainte du phoque en Alaska"
  • Ben Heppner, "We'll Gather Lilacs"
  • Bruce Cockburn, "Wondering Where the Lions Are"
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie, "Universal Soldier"
  • Daniel Bélanger, "Rêver mieux"
  • Daniel Lanois, "Jolie Louise"
  • Daniel Lavoie, "J'ai quitté mon île"
  • Diana Krall, "Departure Bay"
  • Gilles Vigneault, "Mon pays"
  • Glenn Gould, "Goldberg Variations"
  • Gordon Lightfoot, "Canadian Railroad Trilogy"
  • Gordon Lightfoot, "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
  • Great Big Sea, "Ordinary Day"
  • Harmonium, "Pour un Instant"
  • Ian & Sylvia, "Four Strong Winds"
  • James Ehnes, "Barber Violin Concerto"
  • Jesse Cook, "Mario Takes a Walk"
  • Joni Mitchell, "Both Sides Now"
  • Joni Mitchell, "A Case of You"
  • Karkwa, "Oublie pas"
  • k.d. lang, "Hallelujah"
  • Leonard Cohen, "Democracy"
  • Leonard Cohen, "Suzanne"
  • Malajube, "Montréal -40°C"
  • Marie-Jo Thério, "Évangeline"
  • Marjan Mozetich, "Affairs of the Heart"
  • Measha Brueggergosman, "I'm Going Up a Yonder"
  • Mes Aïeux, "Dégénérations"
  • Michael Bublé, "Home"
  • Moe Koffman, "Swingin' Shepherd Blues"
  • Neil Young, "Rockin' in the Free World"
  • Neil Young, "Helpless"
  • Oscar Peterson Trio, "Hymn to Freedom"
  • Oscar Peterson, "Place St. Henri (from Canadiana Suite)"
  • Parachute Club, "Rise Up"
  • Raymond Lévesque, "Quand les hommes vivront d'amour"
  • Rush, "Closer to the Heart"
  • Sam Roberts, "The Canadian Dream"
  • Shad, "Brother (Watching)"
  • Stan Rogers, "Northwest Passage"
  • Stompin' Tom Connors, "The Hockey Song"
  • The Arrogant Worms, "Canada's Really Big"
  • The Guess Who, "American Woman"
  • The Rankin Family, "Rise Again"
  • The Tragically Hip, "Wheat Kings"
  • The Tragically Hip, "Bobcaygeon"
  • The Weakerthans, "One Great City!"

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49 Songs

canadaI'm a sucker for all these Canadian music features the CBC like to throw at us every few years. The latest is from CBC Radio 2. Starting this morning, CBC Radio 2 is inviting us Canadians to help select the top “49 songs from north of the 49th parallel” that would best define our country to the incoming U.S. President Barack Obama.

It wasn't long ago CBC Radio One was choosing 50 Tracks, which inspired my Best Canadian Song Search.

I wanted to compile a list of the 100 definitive Canadian songs. I wonder how CBC's 49 Songs will compare with my list. It'll be fun finding out.

  1. The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking
  2. Neil Young - Helpless
  3. The Band - The Weight
  4. Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi
  5. Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy
  6. Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage
  7. Sloan - Underwhelmed
  8. The Guess Who - American Woman
  9. Leonard Cohen - Suzanne
  10. Neil Young - Heart of Gold
  11. Blue Rodeo - Try
  12. Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
  13. The Tragically Hip - Courage
  14. Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson
  15. Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel
  16. Arcade Fire - Wake Up
  17. Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain
  18. Neil Young - Rockin' In The Free World
  19. Rush - The Spirit of Radio
  20. The Guess Who - Share the Land
  21. Blue Rodeo - Lost Together
  22. Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights
  23. Our Lady Peace - Naveed
  24. Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
  25. Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine
  26. Bruce Cockburn - Lovers in a Dangerous Time
  27. Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
  28. Five Man Electical Band - Signs
  29. Bachman Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care Of Business
  30. Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown
  31. The Guess Who - These Eyes
  32. Blood, Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel
  33. Hayden - Bad As They Seem
  34. Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl
  35. Ian and Sylvia - Four Strong Winds
  36. Joni Mitchell - Woodstock
  37. Rush - Closer to the Heart
  38. Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now
  39. Our Lady Peace - 4am
  40. Maestro Fresh-Wes - Let Your Backbone Slide
  41. k.d. lang - Constant Craving
  42. The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
  43. Neil Young - Old Man
  44. Dream Warriors - My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style
  45. Sarah Harmer - Silver Road
  46. Jeff Healey - Angel Eyes
  47. The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
  48. I Mother Earth - So Gently We Go
  49. Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
  50. Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game
  51. The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now
  52. The Lowest of the Low - Henry Needs A New Pair of Shoes
  53. Ashley MacIsaac - Sleepy Maggie
  54. Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down the Crazy River
  55. Tom Cochrane - Big League
  56. Rush - Tom Sawyer
  57. Moist - Push
  58. Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose
  59. Rusty - Wake Me
  60. The Northern Pikes - Teenland
  61. Sarah Harmer - Basement Apartment
  62. Sarah McLachlan - Hold On
  63. The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings
  64. Sloan - Coax Me
  65. Spirit of the West - Home For A Rest
  66. Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
  67. Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song
  68. Stars - Ageless Beauty
  69. The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century
  70. The Demics - New York City
  71. Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1,000,000
  72. 54-40 - I Go Blind
  73. Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
  74. The New Pornographers - Use It
  75. The Watchmen - All Uncovered
  76. Treble Charger - Red
  77. Sam Roberts - Brother Down
  78. Randy Bachman - Prairie Town
  79. Sarah McLachlan - Angel
  80. Tom Cochrane - Boy Inside The Man
  81. Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
  82. Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything
  83. Men Without Hats - Safety Dance
  84. Rough Trade - High School Confidential
  85. Hot Hot Heat - Bandages
  86. Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night
  87. Loverboy - Working For The Weekend
  88. Metric - Combat Baby
  89. Rusty - Misogyny
  90. k-os - Heaven Only Knows
  91. Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
  92. Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
  93. Rheostatics - Record Body Count
  94. Odds - Heterosexual Man
  95. The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring
  96. The Diodes - Tired of Waking Up Tired
  97. Feist - Mushaboom
  98. Gowan - A Criminal Mind
  99. Grapes Of Wrath - All The Things I Wasn't
  100. Max Webster - A Million Vacations


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A Figurehead With Power

OttawaWhen they taught us in primary school about our Governor General, they always referred to the position as symbolic and merely a figurehead with no actual power. Canada is, after all, a democratic nation, and the Governor General is merely a tip of the hat to the Queen of England... a bow to our nation's royal roots.

This crazy coalition government proposal is gaining steam, and it's looking like Governor General Michaëlle Jean is now a figurehead with actual power. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc have reached a deal that would make Stephane Dion our Prime Minister and put members of the NDP in cabinet positions. The Bloc won't vote against this coalition for at least 18 months. This means Dion will become PM without an election, even though he himself is stepping down in May as the Liberals appoint a new leader, who would then become our new Prime Minister.

Of course, it's all going to be up to Michaëlle Jean. She has the power to agree to this proposal or deny it, sending us back to the polls for yet another election. It's her call, this symbolic nod to our old British ties has teeth.

And if this coalition chatter has you feeling dizzy, don't feel bad. We're in unchartered waters here. We have a parliamentary system that's quite a bit more malleable than that cut and dry electoral-college-vote-for-president thingy down south.

You won't find me joining Facebook protest groups or rallying against it with others who feel it's undemocratic. It's parliamentary pandemonium and it's crazy enough to work.

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The Highway of Heroes

CanadaHumble posted this today. It's a piece by NBC News on our Highway of Heroes.

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117,000 Reasons to Remember

PoppyVeteran's Affairs Canada provides general statistics about Canada's participation in war, including numbers of casualties. It doesn't include our recent losses in Afghanistan, but the figures are still staggering for a country our size.

South Africa War (1899-1902)
Approximately 7,000 Canadians served; 267 of them gave their lives.

First World War (1914-1918)
Approximately 650,000 Canadians served, including members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served with British forces (Newfoundland was a colony of Great Britain until 1949) and merchant mariners. Of this number, nearly 69,000 gave their lives.

Second World War (1939-1945)
More than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in Canada's Armed Forces, in Allied forces or in the merchant navy; over 47,000 of them gave their lives.

Korean War (1950-1953)
26,791 Canadians served in the Canadian Army Special Force; 516 of them gave their lives.

Peacekeeping/Foreign Military Operations (as of March 2006)
Approximately 150,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping missions/foreign military operations since 1947; more than 160 Canadians have given their lives in this service.

If you include the 97 Canadian soldiers who have died at war in Afghanistan, the number exceeds 117,000. That's 117,000 reasons to observe two minutes of silence at 11:00 this morning.


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