By Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press - Friday, April 26, 2013 - 0 Comments
CALGARY – Rock band Motley Crue’s drummer, Tommy Lee, has written a letter to…
CALGARY – Rock band Motley Crue’s drummer, Tommy Lee, has written a letter to Alberta’s premier urging her to “use her influence” to cancel the chuckwagon races at this year’s Calgary Stampede.
Lee says in the letter to Alison Redford that horses are injured or killed in the races every year.
“I love touring Canada, and our Calgary fans are among the roughest and toughest. But I’ve heard about some unwilling participants in an annual local event much harsher than a Motley Crue show — the horses killed year after year in the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede,” Lee writes to Redford, who is also a Calgary MLA.
“The only way to make these races safe is to cancel them. There was a time when cowboys respected their horses, instead of riding them to death just to show off for a crowd.”
There was no immediate comment from the premier’s office or from Calgary Stampede officials.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM - 0 Comments
The Calgary Stampede sets a new attendance record, while Canada’s killer colonel is the subject of a movie on Lifetime
The Greatest, indeed
The centennial Calgary Stampede, blessed with sunny weather for most of its 10-day duration, set a new attendance record with an estimated 1,409,371 visitors. (The previous mark of 1,262,518 was established in 2006.) The “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” continued to attract criticism after a spill in the chuckwagon race killed three horses, but veterinary pathologists reported that the lead horse in the devastated team had a heart aneurysm and could have died anytime. New fitness standards for horses, introduced last year, will be reviewed. But as confirmed by the huge crowds, one freak accident is hardly enough to tarnish the entire show.
Yahoo!’s decision to hire as CEO Marissa Mayer, 37, a soon-to-be mother, is a refreshing step forward for male-dominated Silicon Valley. The former Google executive publicly revealed she was pregnant just a few hours after her appointment. Equality in the workplace has long been a goal, but the reality is many women still lag behind men when it comes to pay, promotions and career advancement opportunities. Yahoo! should be applauded for its willingness to hire Mayer based on her talents, not her immediate availability.
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, July 13, 2012 at 1:16 PM - 0 Comments
What we can glean from Stephen Harper’s Calgary Stampede speech
Stephen Harper gave a speech this past weekend at the Calgary Stampede. The Prime Minister’s words are in bold. Mine are not.
The Stampede! The greatest outdoor show on Earth! Hosted in the greatest city of the greatest country in the world!
You heard him—Calgary is the GREATEST CITY in the world. Apparently, that title is now conferred based on largest number of Earls restaurants.
We remember when the new Conservative party was just a concept and some smirked and said Canada’s right would never unite.
That’s not true. Many of us chose to snigger.
You, and people like you, got to work—[people] who loved this country and loathed what the other parties were doing to it.
For instance, who among us didn’t loathe those consecutive balanced budgets? Having to tally so many billions in surplus—those Liberals made us do math, dammit.
And so we built a party—a party to carry conservative ideas to Ottawa.
And, once in Ottawa, a party to drop conservative ideas, jack up spending and make sure Peter MacKay has a lift home.
But my friends, tonight is not about the past.
[A tear rolls down the past’s left cheek.]
It’s about the work we still have to do if Canada is going to be all that Canada can be.
Remain steadfast, friends—the task of coaxing John Baird to use his inside voice continues.
By macleans.ca - Monday, July 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM - 0 Comments
Poverty down in Canada, Brodeur re-signs with Devils, and drownings mar Canada Day
Taking care of ourselves
Add another star to Canada’s exceptional economic performance during the Great Recession: poverty ﬁgures have actually improved. According to recent income data released by Statistics Canada, the percentage of Canadians living in poverty continues to fall—despite a global financial crisis—hitting an all-time low of nine per cent in 2010. That’s down from 12.5 per cent a decade ago. Single mothers, typically the most prone to poverty, actually reported a slight increase in after-tax income in 2010 compared to the previous year, thanks to generous government transfers and higher employment earnings.
Moving right along
The U.S. Supreme Court’s approval of so-called “Obamacare” is a crucial step forward in America’s ceaseless battle over health care. Lack of basic medical coverage for 30 million Americans has fed into the country’s overall sense of economic insecurity and, flawed though this plan may be, it is time for the U.S. to join the rest of the developed world in ensuring basic health care for all of its citizens. If Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, chooses to make it a ballot question in this fall’s presidential campaign, so much the better: elections are precisely the venue for issues of this magnitude.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, July 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Justin Trudeau appears in public and so again is asked about his leadership intentions.
“I’m aware that there’s a certain popularity factor out there, but that’s not the centre of any decision I have to make,” he said.
“The centre I have to make is a very personal one: Can I manage to be a good father while being a good leader and eventually a good prime minister first and foremost, and also am I the right person for the job? Do I have the capacity to lead in the way that people seem to think I do?”
For the anthology of Justin Trudeau trying to explain the extent and shape of his ambitions, I submit the 760-word response I received in 2009 when I asked him if he wanted to be Prime Minister someday (the resulting profile is here).
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:29 PM - 0 Comments
Merci beaucoup. Thank you very much for that kind introduction. And I want to thank all of you for that warm Stampede welcome.
Cent ans à célébrer le Stampede de Calgary. One hundred years of the Calgary Stampede. Yesterday morning I said, If only the founders could see what they have built: The greatest outdoor show on Earth! Hosted in the greatest city of the greatest country in the world! An incredible achievement. And please, all my parliamentary colleagues, stand up … They’ve come from all over Alberta, all over Canada … So friends, give them one more big Calgary Stampede welcome! Look at those hats. Doesn’t take long to become a cowboy! Wherever you’ve come from, tonight we say, “Bienvenue a Calgary, welcome to Calgary, welcome to our home, it’s great to see you here.”
And of course, I want to greet all members of the Calgary Southwest Conservative Electoral District Association. I especially want to congratulate Connie [McRae] on being re-elected President. Thank you, Connie, for all your hard work, and for stepping up to the plate, once again! And thank you to all members of the Board for all that you do. You know, the best cause in the world is only an idea until people who believe in it, get to work. And this board has worked! I say this every year, but it needs to be said every year: We depend on you. If you don’t do what you do here in Calgary, Laureen and I can’t do what we do in Ottawa, across the country, and around the world.
It’s really that simple. And you also do this: You remind us that this is home. You know, it’s been 10 years since you in Calgary Southwest first sent me to Ottawa as your Member of Parliament. And we still remember those days … when the Liberal Party looked so strong that we were told it would govern forever … when the new Conservative Party of Canada was just a concept, and some smirked and said Canada’s right would never unite. Well, you, and people like you, in every corner of Canada, got to work. Volunteers, taxpayers, citizens, who loved this country and loathed what the other parties were doing to it. And we built a party, a party to carry conservative ideas to Ottawa.
By Colby Cosh - Friday, July 6, 2012 at 6:59 AM - 0 Comments
It may be over-the-top and at times dangerous, but Calgary’s Wild West show is the best party in Canada
How did Calgary become the world capital of rodeo, the annual home of the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” the place most specially consecrated to the spirit of the cowboy? It is a rather odd circumstance: Americans must think something went badly awry on the map to have “Cowtown” end up north of the 49th parallel, in the old British Empire. It turns out that the whole thing was thought up by a johnny-come-lately who had nowhere else to turn.
Guy Weadick was born into a New York family of fast-talking Irish-American lawyers in 1885. That’s the year the last spike was driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway and Louis Riel helped the Metis stage their doomed bid for autonomy in the West. Weadick was only eight years old when the historian F.J. Turner blew the game-over whistle on the march of the American frontier. But with a head full of dime novels, young Weadick skipped Rochester to seek out the last cooling embers of the Wild West. The northern edge of the Great Plains is where he found them, spending time on Alberta ranches in 1904 and 1905.
Weadick developed riding and roping skills good enough to earn him a spot in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. Cody’s show and others like it brought the splendour and drama of the West to the world. But unlike Cody, the stylish, audacious Weadick was motivated by a sense of sacred mission: he thought the frontier should be commemorated in the West, for the West, with the world as invited guests.
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 10:50 AM - 0 Comments
Belated congratulations to Stephen Harper on the successful defence at the Calgary Stampede of his Least Intimidating Cowboy championship.
You’d think the Prime Minister would get a little cocky, a little complacent, after capturing four straight titles – but no. This year, the hat/glasses combination would alone have been enough to Continue…
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
At the Calgary Stampede, the two-step between contemporary animal-welfare sensitivities and rodeo tradition continues.
At the Calgary Stampede, the two-step between contemporary animal-welfare sensitivities and hootin’-and-hollerin’ rodeo tradition continues in 2010. The Stampede is adopting a new animal-safety rule for this year’s competition in steer wrestling—the timed event in which a cowboy chases a castrated young bull double his own mass on horseback, leans over to get leverage on its horns, slips out of the saddle, and, in a struggle that can vary in elegance from ballet to barroom brawl, twists the beast’s neck until it topples on its side.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
And the Playboy playmate who sat in Harper’s chair
Jason Kenney moonlights as a hockey coach
Nothing says Calgary Stampede like a lively game of hockey. While the big summer festival was in full steam, Alberta Conservative MP Blake Richards organized the Wild Rose Hockey Challenge charity match between MPs and Alberta MLAs. Environment Minister Jim Prentice played centre. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was one of the coaches. “He was a good motivator,” quips Richards, “not so good on the strategic plays.” The game included NHL pros Dana Tyrell, Zach Boychuk and Jay Rosehill, who just signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Richards says Rosehill was traded from the MPs’ team to the MLAs during the game because the MLAs were doing so poorly. In the end, the MPs won 17 to 13. The event raised $10,000 for victims-of-crime funds in Richards’ riding of Wild Rose. Richards is helping keep up the athletic reputation of the MP he replaced in the last election, Conservative Myron Thompson. “He was quite a ball player,” notes Richards of Thompson’s younger days. “He tried out for the New York Yankees. He could really hit.” Richards, who used to work for Thompson when he was an MP, says his old boss is now selling steel buildings for use in the oil patch and on farms.
Shannon Tweed’s parliamentary tour guide
When celebrity couple Kiss rocker Gene Simmons and former Playboy playmate/actress Shannon Tweed needed a tour of the Parliament Buildings, they were put in touch with Ottawa MP Pierre Poilievre, a 30-year-old conservative Conservative not exactly known for moving in rock-star circles. Tweed, a former Newfoundlander, had contacted Tory supporter and former Ottawa city councillor Linda Davis, a friend from the days when the actress was living in Ottawa. Davis hooked her and Simmons up with Poilievre, who took the couple to the library of Parliament and the House of Commons, where Tweed sat in Stephen Harper’s seat and Simmons sat in Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon’s seat. Later Senator Hugh Segal joined the group and gave them a tour of the Senate. The couple, who were being followed by video cameras for their reality TV show Gene Simmons Family Jewels, were also taken to Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella’s ofﬁce. When Tweed saw the gilded mace, she quipped: “Oh, that’s where I left that.” Simmons thought it looked like “an old club.” Poilievre replied: “The Senate itself is an old club.” Poilievre says he was happy to help boost Ottawa’s tourism appeal by getting the sights of Parliament Hill onto a popular TV show. “I like Gene Simmons,” he says. “He’s a great entrepreneur.” Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, July 6, 2009 at 3:18 PM - 32 Comments
Adam Radwanski debunks one complaint about Michael Ignatieff and substitutes a better one.
Consistency, then, is not the issue. The issue is that Ignatieff is still mouthing the same platitudes he was mouthing back in January, when his leadership was barely a month old. That may change in the fall, or whenever an election campaign beckons … For now, though, one gets the sense that Ignatieff still thinks it’s enough to simply promise not to do what Stephane Dion would have done. That should concern everyone – not just Albertans – much more than where he happens to be when he makes his comments, because not doing anything means leaving the decision to others.
In the meantime, someone’s uploaded a couple bits from Ignatieff’s emphatically enunciated stumping at the Stampede this weekend. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 8:34 PM - 40 Comments
May 26, 2006. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he plans to introduce a bill to set fixed dates for federal elections, as part of a wider movement towards democratic reform. ”Fixed election dates stop leaders from trying to manipulate the calendar,” Harper told reporters in Victoria, B.C. on Friday. “They level the playing field for all parties.”
May 30, 2006. The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform today introduced in the House of Commons a bill providing for fixed election dates every four years … “Fixed election dates will improve the fairness of Canada’s electoral system by eliminating the ability of governing parties to manipulate the timing of elections for partisan advantage,” stated Minister Nicholson.
May 2, 2007. The Senate has passed a bill that will require federal elections to be held every four years. The proposed legislation, Bill C-16, which is scheduled to receive royal assent on Thursday, would mean Oct. 19, 2009, is the date of the next general election.
May 18, 2007. A secret guidebook that details how to unleash chaos while chairing parliamentary committees has been given to select Tory MPs. Running some 200 pages including background material, the document — given only to Conservative chairmen — tells them how to favour government agendas, select party-friendly witnesses, coach favourable testimony, set in motion debate-obstructing delays and, if necessary, storm out of meetings to grind parliamentary business to a halt.
Oct. 3, 2007. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper challenged the three opposition parties on Wednesday to either give the minority Conservative government a broad mandate for its policies or force a general election. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 4:51 PM - 26 Comments
More from the Prime Minister’s Stampede speech.
“Let the opposition parties threaten to get together to defeat us and replace us,” Harper told about 800 Conservative supporters during a barbecue at Heritage Park. “Canadians have been clear that they do not want another election.”
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 1:20 AM - 7 Comments
Jason Kenney, David Akin and Olivia Chow trade twits.
MinJKMy favourite line from PM’s speech: “we don’t determine our foreign policy by doing a poll of the UN General Assembly.”
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 11:55 PM - 24 Comments
The Prime Minister gets into the Stampede spirit.
Mr. Harper also portrayed his government as trying to get tough on crime but being shackled to the actions of “the three parties of the left.”
Mr. Ignatieff will raise taxes if brought to power, Mr. Harper said, adding past Liberal promises would have led to “bloated bureaucracy” and “timid and trendy foreign policies.”
More from CP.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 9:44 PM - 35 Comments
Michael Ignatieff has a few things to say at the Stampede.
“I’m in politics to defeat the Bloc Quebecois with real arguments, rather than slurs and vicious . . . personal attacks. This is unworthy … I will never descend to that level of attack because when we do this, we fragment our country, we divide our country. We create suspicion and fear and hurt, where there has to be healing.”
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 11:31 AM - 7 Comments
Jack Layton charms the crowd at the Calgary Stampede.
“Not bad,” said Jack Layton, savouring a prairie oyster. “I think I’ll have another one.”
He did, so I ate one too, the first I’ve ever managed to choke down. It was kind of embarrassing– a queasy Herald columnist being introduced to the Stampede delicacy by a federal NDP leader originally from Montreal.
By Brian Banks - Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 8:05 AM - 0 Comments
Cowboy country comes alive
Dinosaur Provincial Park Canada’s largest tract of badlands are eerily beautiful, a worthy attraction in their own right. But in Dinosaur Provincial Park, they are also just a prelude to the main event—an encounter with one of the world’s greatest dinosaur fossil beds. To date, 39 different species and more than 150 complete skeletons have been unearthed here. The digging goes on, and visitors seeking a close-up look can choose from numerous hikes and guided excavations. Book early and allow for a minimum two-day stay. Also factor in another day for the Royal Tyrrell Museum in nearby Drumheller, a world-class facility where many of the fossils excavated here are on display.
Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival/Edmonton (Aug. 13-23) If it’s the largest of its kind in North America, it’s in Edmonton, and it isn’t the West Edmonton Mall, it must be the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. Now in its 28th year, the Edmonton Fringe takes over the theatres, halls, streets and alleys of the city’s Old Strathcona district for 11 days. Its 1,200 shows and 1,500 performers offer an array of theatre presentations and other artistic entertainment. More than 500,000 people visit the festival site, which is filled with street performers and actors in costume. This year’s program has yet to be announced, but the tag line is “Stage a Revolution?!” Indeed.