By Blog of Lists - Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 0 Comments
The music and French lyrics for Canada’s national anthem were originally written to celebrate St. Jean-Baptiste Day in 1880, but by 1939 the country had settled on O Canada as the de facto national anthem (though not officially until 1980). In the early years of the last century it still wasn’t clear what the English lyrics should be, and a flurry of competitors soon emerged:
1. Version by Toronto doctor Thomas Bedford Richardson, 1906
O Canada! Our fathers’ land of old
Thy brow is crown’d with leaves of red and gold
Beneath the shade of the Holy Cross
Thy children own their birth
No stains thy glorious annals gloss
Since valour shield thy hearth
Almighty God! On thee we call
Defend our rights, forfend this nation’s thrall
Defend our rights, forfend this nation’s thrall
2. Version by Mercy E. Powell McCulloch, winner of Collier’s Weekly competition, 1909
O Canada! in praise of thee we sing
From echoing hills our anthems proudly ring
With fertile plains and mountains grand
With lakes and rivers clear
Eternal beauty, thou dost stand
Throughout the changing year
Lord God of Hosts! We now implore
Bless our dear land this day and evermore
Bless our dear land this day and evermore
3. Version by Ewing Buchan, manager of the Bank of Hamilton in Vancouver and vice-president of the Vancouver Canadian Club, 1908.
This version seemed like it had a lock when prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s secretary, after hearing it sung at the Vancouver Board of Trade, wrote a letter saying King “was struck with the singing of O Canada at the Board of Trade meeting. I shall be much obliged if you will let me have a copy of the words used. We have listened to a great many versions of O Canada during the present tour and I know of none which sounded so fine.”
O Canada, our heritage, our love
Thy worth we praise all other lands above
From sea to sea throughout their length
From Pole to borderland
At Britain’s side, whate’er betide
Unflinchingly we’ll stand
With hearts we sing, “God save the King”
Guide then one Empire wide, do we implore
And prosper Canada from shore to shore
In the end, after some 14 bills dealing with adopting O Canada as the national anthem were unsuccessfully introduced between 1962 and 1980, Parliament voted to formally adopt the version that had been written by Montreal judge and poet Robert Stanley Weir for the diamond jubilee of Confederation in 1927.
Well, almost. The government changed three lines from the original, in part replacing “O Canada, glorious and free” with “God keep our land, glorious and free,” much to the chagrin of Weir’s descendents, who had owned the copyright for the lyrics until only a decade earlier. They handed over the rights on condition they have a say on any amendments. “We gave up the copyright because we did not wish to appear to obstruct or delay parliamentary action,” said Robert Weir Simpson, an advertising executive in Montreal in 1980. “We believe it has a moral obligation to honour the agreement.”
See and hear a unique rendition of O Canada in an extraordinary setting, from the Canadian Moments project.
Have you ever wondered which cities have the most bars, smokers, absentee workers and people searching for love? What about how Canada compares to the world in terms of the size of its military, the size of our houses and the number of cars we own? The nswers to all those questions, and many more, can be found in the first ever Maclean’s Book of Lists, hitting stands in time for Canada Day.
Buy your copy of the Maclean’s Book of Lists at the newsstand or order online now.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 9:55 AM - 37 Comments
Just before the House officially begins business each Wednesday, the MPs in the chamber sing O Canada. The dulcet tones of honourable members are carried on CPAC and so yesterday this scene was broadcast.
The NDP says the two MPs, Lise St. Denis and Djaouida Sellah, a francophone and an allophone respectively, are trying to learn the English lyrics of the anthem and should be “applauded, not derided,” for doing so.
CTV is conducting an online plebiscite to determine the exact level of consternation that should be applied here.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 2:33 PM - 0 Comments
Last night inside a wedding hall in Edwards, Ontario—standing at a lectern in front of decorative vegetables and two Canadian flags—Stephen Harper addressed the faithful. He seemed eager and loose, perhaps more so than one would expect for a man who is, by his own account, beset on all sides. When he was done, someone in the crowd struck up a round of O Canada, which would seem likely to replace that Collective Soul song as the next Conservative campaign theme.
The audio here is not studio quality—I wasn’t plugged in to the soundboard—but should be good enough to give you an idea of what the next election is going to sound like.
By Steven Galloway - Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM - 2 Comments
The Games didn’t change Vancouver and Canada—rather, they reﬂected a change that had already occurred in us
First, this admission: I was wrong.
Let’s back up. In 2003, there was a referendum in the city of Vancouver asking, “Do you support or do you oppose the City of Vancouver’s participation in hosting the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games?” Approximately half of the city turned out to vote, and 64 per cent of Vancouverites were in favour. I was one of the people who voted yes. I hoped it would result in an improvement in the transit system, and that it would force the various levels of government to do something lasting and productive in the Downtown Eastside, Canada’s poorest and most addicted neighbourhood. Plus, the idea of a hockey gold on home soil was irresistible.
In the intervening seven years, I slowly became less and less enthusiastic. A magnificent SkyTrain line did get built from the airport to downtown, and a few other much-needed improvements were made, but absolutely nothing was done in the Downtown Eastside, and the cadre responsible for the Games’ organization, VANOC, behaved in a seemingly inept and callous way toward those who disagreed with them, and the citizens of the city in general.
Perhaps the most representative incident was VANOC’s use of a clip from Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl’s film Olympia in its torch-relay promotional video. In the original film, the torch triumphantly enters into a stadium to a crowd of “Heil Hitler” salutes. In VANOC’s version, the salutes have been obscured, as though that solves the problem. It’s hard not to feel deceived when someone’s literally using Nazi propaganda on you.
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 10:01 AM - 355 Comments
MARK STEYN: The niqab deserves no more respect than a Vader mask
The other day, a reader wrote to say that, while en vacances au Québec, he had espied me in a restaurant. With a couple of obvious francophones. And, from the snatches of conversation he caught, I appeared to be speaking French. “Appeared” is right, if you’ve ever heard my French. Nevertheless: “You’re a fraud, Steyn!” he thundered. The cut of his jib was that I was merely pretending to be a pro-Yank right-wing bastard while in reality living la vie en rose lounging on chaises longues snorting poutine with louche Frenchie socialists all day long.
I haven’t felt such a hypocrite since I was caught singing The Man That Got Away in a San Francisco bathhouse two days after my column opposing gay marriage. But yes, you’re right. I cannot tell a lie. I have a soft spot for Quebec. Not because of its risible separatist movement, for which the only rational explanation is that it was never anything but one almighty bluff for shakedown purposes. Yet, putting that aside, I’m not unsympathetic to the province’s broader cultural disposition. I regard neither Trudeaupian Canada nor Quietly Revolutionary Quebec as good long-term bets, or even medium-term bets. But, if I had to pick, I’d give marginally better odds to the latter. And the reasons why can be found in the coverage of Ms. Naema Ahmed and her “illegal” niqab, the head-to-toe Islamic covering that only has eyes for you.
The facts—or, at any rate, fact—of the case is well-known: a niqab-garbed immigrant from Egypt has been twice expelled from her French-language classes at the Saint-Laurent CEGEP and the Centre d’appui aux communautés immigrantes by order of the Quebec government. That much is agreed. Thereafter, the English and French press diverge signiﬁcantly. The ROC reacted reﬂexively, deploring this assault on Canada’s cherished “values” of “multiculturalism.” In the Calgary Herald, Naomi Lakritz compared Quebec’s government to the Taliban. So did the Globe and Mail, in an editorial titled “Intolerant Intrusion.” In La Presse, Patrick Lagacé responded with a column called “The Globe, Reporting From Mars!”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 6:11 PM - 22 Comments
The Scene. On Monday, a minister of state in Stephen Harper’s government addressed the House of Commons and stated for the record that a member of Parliament’s ability to send paper flyers into another member of Parliament’s riding was a matter of free speech. This, he said, was about the “rights of Canadians for a public discourse.” The Liberal party, he suggested, in wanting to ban these mailouts, was threatening to “censor” what Canadians were allowed to see. These mailouts, he asserted, did no less than “improve our democracy.” “The Conservative Party,” he concluded, “is the party that will ensure that Canada remains glorious and free.”
Two days later, Stephen Harper’s spokesman stated that the government would support a ban on these out-of-riding flyers. And so it was this afternoon that the Prime Minister stood in the House, pronounced his government “delighted” to do away with these mailings and then challenged the leader of the NDP, a party that had voted in favour of the Liberal-proposed ban, to follow the Conservative side and do likewise.
So much for our glorious freedom. Continue…
By Jason Kirby - Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM - 3 Comments
Clara Hughes is the only person to win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics. But, for Canada’s role-model athlete, it’s not about gold, silver or bronze.
There’s home-ice advantage, and then there’s having your home just metres from the ice. A year and a half ago, Clara Hughes, one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians, rented an apartment with her husband a short walk from the Richmond speed skating oval. The move let her train on the very ice she would race on during the Olympics, while providing her with all the creature comforts of home—her own bed, her own kitchen, and more importantly, her own espresso machine. It worked. In the final race of her long and shining career, a beaming Hughes took home the bronze in the 5,000-m race.
But living in the Vancouver area all this time did something else for the 37-year-old skater. Last summer, while out for a drive downtown, Hughes took a wrong turn and found herself in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, the gritty neighbourhood that’s home to thousands of souls who’ve taken their own wrong turn in life. The sight shocked her. “I couldn’t believe I was in Canada, that this reality exists in our country,” she said the day after her race. “People were just shells of themselves. It was surreal.” So Hughes, who suffered her own problems with alcohol and drugs as a teen, announced she will give her $10,000 winner’s bonus to the Take a Hike Foundation, a sport group that helps troubled youth. “I feel like I can leave town now, that I didn’t just come and skate in circles, because it always meant more to me than that.”
Only Hughes could win an Olympic medal on home soil and chalk it up to skating around in circles. But that’s Hughes. She is someone who can say “I don’t focus on medals” and truly mean it, yet at the same time channel all her energy to push her body to the limit in competition. As role models go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one, a quality she strives for. There’s a reason Canadian Olympic organizers selected her to carry the flag during the opening ceremonies.
By Ken MacQueen and Jonathon Gatehouse with Jason Kirby - Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM - 2 Comments
The Vancouver Games started as a ‘crazy’ dream and ended up a wondrous spectacle that transﬁxed and, just maybe, transformed a nation
There are tides and rhythms to an event that spans 17 days and includes 82 countries—an event so large it is capable of altering the emotional climate of a city, a province, a nation; indeed, the moods of many nations. Rather like the weather at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, which flip-flopped time and time again from monsoon to shorts and sunshine.
From a Canadian perspective, the run of these Games—from early stumbles to triumphant conclusion—went a bit like speed skater Christine Nesbitt’s 1,000-m race on the first Thursday at the Richmond Oval. At the start gun, 24-year-old Nesbitt later said, “Instead of skating I kind of panicked. I had a slip after two or three steps.” Sometimes when that happens it’s hard to regain control. Just 200 m into the race Nesbitt was in a dismal 15th place. At 600 m she had clawed back to ninth, and the podium seemed an impossible reach. But she prepared mentally and physically for such things. The only way forward is to draw on your training, stick to your plan and to make sure no one can accuse you of giving up. And so she raged through the last lap, throwing herself across the line to win Canada’s third gold medal by two one-hundredths of a second—still scowling at herself for not having run a perfect race.
It was later that night, after the medal presentation ceremony at BC Place, that Nesbitt finally unclenched. Yes, she allowed to a couple of Maclean’s reporters, she was feeling better now. It’s just that she thought she could do better, she said. “I don’t want to regret anything, right?” Then the smile grew bigger. “But if you don’t have the race of your life and you still win gold, it’s pretty sweet.”
Writ large, these Games followed a similar path to a “pretty sweet” conclusion. The organizational and emotional equivalent of those first 200 m were indeed the worst: struggling through the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili hours before the opening ceremonies; warring against the elements for control of Cypress Mountain; fighting premature claims the Games were hell-bent for disaster; staring down international rants that we were too hungry for medals, and domestic bleats that we weren’t hungry enough.
By Michael Friscolanti - Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
It took eight years, but Kevin Martin has ﬁnally avenged the sting of a last-shot loss in the ﬁnal at Salt Lake City. Canada’s best curler is now an Olympic champion.
The crowd didn’t bother waiting for the podium ceremony. Halfway through the final end, with Kevin Martin’s rink up by three in the gold-medal match, a few fans started singing O Canada. It spread slowly at first, section by section, but by “God keep our land glorious and free,” the entire place was belting out the anthem. Even Martin—Mr. Serious—couldn’t keep from smiling.
Eight long years after a heartbreaking silver medal in Salt Lake City, the best curler in the world had his Olympic gold, beating Norway and their diamond-checkered pants in the men’s final. The 6-3 win capped off Canada’s best day at the Vancouver Games (three gold and one bronze) and marked a raucous return to glory for the country’s other national sport. “Finally,” Martin said, the invisible monkey gone from his back. “It’s been a lot of work and a lot of years, and it feels really good. I said to the guys when we were coming to the podium: ‘It’s like we’re walking through a dream.’ ”
It was certainly a dream tournament for the Martin rink, which didn’t lose a single match on the way to gold. Their play in the finale was equally dominant. Third John Morris had the game of his life, landing one double takeout after another, and the skip sealed the deal in the seventh end with a perfect freeze in the circle that set up two points and a commanding lead. After both sides exchanged singles in the eighth and ninth, it was anthem time. “You get tingles and jitters up the spine,” said Marc Kennedy, Martin’s second. “You’re up three, you have a home crowd in the Olympic Games, and they’re singing the anthem. It just doesn’t get any better.” Thomas Ulsrud, the Norwegian skip, actually leaned over to Martin and said: “You’ve got to love this crowd, don’t you?’ ”
By Andrew Coyne - Monday, March 15, 2010 at 6:00 AM - 187 Comments
ANDREW COYNE: No wonder nothing gets done in Ottawa. Everyone is scared.
This Parliament began, a little more than a year ago, with a short-lived attempt at forming a coalition government. In its place has emerged something much more enduring: a coalition non-government. The government pretends to govern, and the opposition pretends to oppose it, and both sides seem quite content with their appointed roles. Because everyone’s too afraid to do anything else. Fear is the order of the day in today’s Parliament, and it has paralyzed the place.
I had thought, and written, that the return of Parliament, after all the controversy over prorogation, would see “a ferocious battle of narratives” between a government determined to use the dual occasion of the Throne Speech and budget to shift the agenda on to its preferred ground of the economy, and an opposition equally determined to keep the heat on the government over its handling of the Afghan detainees file, and its refusal to hand over the documents Parliament had demanded in this regard.
Boy, was I wrong. When the proposal to change the wording of O Canada first excited controversy, conspiracy theorists saw it as an attempt to distract public attention from the rest of the government’s agenda. There are several flaws with this theory, but chief among them is the notion that there exists some sort of “agenda” to be distracted from. It’s difficult to say, of course: Throne Speeches are notoriously enigmatic documents. But what had appeared at first blush to be signs of a revival of economic conservatism has not survived closer scrutiny.
'Our humble wish that your Excellency is not burdened in future with frivolous requests for prorogation'
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 12:59 PM - 31 Comments
The prepared text of Michael Ignatieff’s speech in reply to the Speech from the Throne.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The Prime Minister shut down Parliament, he said, to “recalibrate” the government’s agenda. We were told to expect vision, ambition, great plans in the Speech from the Throne.
There is none of that here.
“Recalibration” was a fiction. A flimsy excuse from a Prime Minister who gambled on cynicism and lost.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 3:12 PM - 28 Comments
WoodworthMP demonstrating nimble political responsiveness once again, the PM pivots on a dime responding to Cdn support for our existing national anthem
WildRoseMPBlake Canadians spoke loud and clear and our govt listened – the National Anthem’s staying the way it is
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, March 5, 2010 at 4:08 PM - 48 Comments
Don Martin says you can stop worrying about the national anthem. Or, put another way, Don Martin says the government would prefer you stop worrying about what it might want to do to the national anthem.
After facing a blitzkrieg of backlash to a minor Throne Speech afterthought, which proposed a single line change to eliminate a gender reference in the anthem’s lyrics, a senior cabinet minister confides the notion will be quickly and quietly dusty-shelved, never to see the light of actual committee study … influential officials are reassuring Conservative MPs that the kerfuffle will be allowed to fade away — and never to return to the agenda, even as a suggestion for further study.
And now the Prime Minister’s Office officially calls the whole thing off. The time expired between the Governor General committing this promise to the record and the arrival of this note from Mr. Harper’s press secretary would seem to be approximately 49 hours in total.
And now Senator Nancy Ruth, with whom this idea is said to have originated, says that ”if there’s been such backlash, then this is another example, for me, of hatred against women.”
By Philippe Gohier - Friday, March 5, 2010 at 2:47 PM - 28 Comments
There are many reasonable arguments against changing the lyrics to ‘O Canada’ to make…
There are many reasonable arguments against changing the lyrics to ‘O Canada’ to make them gender-neutral. This, from today’s editorial in the Globe, isn’t one of them:
But what of the sexism in the first line of the French version, a version that dates from 1880 and has never been changed? O Canada! Land of our forefathers.” Were there no foremothers? Forebears doesn’t really work, because it sounds like four bears.
Er, the word they’re referring to and translating as “forefathers” is aïeux. Had they run this line of argument by a Francophone, they would have quickly discovered aïeux is a gender-neutral word—think “ancestors” rather than “forefathers.”
And “forebears” only sounds like “four bears” in English, which, inconveniently for the Globe, is not the language in which the French version of the anthem is usually sung. In French, “forebears” sounds like, well, like aïeux.
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Canada’s women speed skaters demand perfection. Even winning medals wasn’t quite enough.
The chant was sandwiched between a rousing, singalong of O Canada with the house oom-pah-pah band, and an even lustier rendition of Queen’s We Are the Champions (extra emphasis on “No time for losers”). It lasted maybe 30 seconds, starting out in the grandstands by the backstretch, then spreading quickly around the smooth curves of the Richmond Oval. Christine Nesbitt had just delivered Canada’s third gold medal of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, topping the podium by 0.02 seconds in the women’s 1,000-m speed skating race, and the delirious home crowd was already looking ahead. “We want more! We want more!” they screamed.
Nesbitt didn’t need to be told. Fulfilling the prophecies and clinching the event she was touted to win—the 24-year-old from London, Ont., hadn’t lost a 1,000-m all season long—wasn’t much of a relief, or a release. There were some Kodak moments, as her mother Judith, an elementary school teacher, came to the trackside for a quick hug and to show off the “Go for gold Christine” banner her students at Lord Roberts French Immersion had drawn up on a white bedsheet. Nesbitt also entered into a lingering lip-lock with her boyfriend, Dutch long-tracker Simon Kuipers. But that was about it for passion.
At the flower ceremony—the medals would come later that night at BC Place—silver winner Annette Gerritsen of the Netherlands leapt onto the podium and thrust both arms in the air. The best Nesbitt could muster was a tight smile and a wave. If you had just arrived at the rink, you might have thought they were standing on the wrong spots.
By Nicholas Köhler - Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 7:00 AM - 0 Comments
From Prairie boy auctioneer to Canada’s most lovable hero
Is it his name—Jon Montgomery—which sounds ever so slightly old-fashioned, something you’d see etched in a memorial somewhere in the Canadian heartland? Or his clipped no-nonsense speech and compact frame, which are oddly anachronistic, as though he’s stepped from a First World War portrait, sepia and fading? Or is it his beer-drinking? That spontaneous moment when the 30-year-old Montgomery, who’d surprised us all by striking gold in men’s skeleton, stepped from a gondola in Whistler, into a throng of waiting thousands, and lustily accepted a pitcher of brew thrust at him from some anonymous woman—watching him gulp back that liquid the colour of his triumph seemed so perfect, primal and clean.
The Whistler crowds were ecstatic over the mountain resort’s first Canadian medal, and Montgomery, with his red hair and scrub of red beard, was just the man to channel their ferocious Olympic enthusiasms, and those of Canadians everywhere: a delighted everyman who started off the evening’s festivities by striking his ta-dah! pose—after jumping, both feet in the air, atop the podium—then led an impromptu parade through the gabled pedestrian streets of this tourist town. The next day, receiving his medal, Montgomery unabashedly belted out a bad O Canada from the stage, living the dream for armchair competitors across the land.
It was as much a celebration of good times as of heroic athleticism, and a timely balm for a Canadian soul in tatters after some disappointing performances in the first week of the Olympics. That very night, 29-year-old Mellisa Hollingsworth, favoured to win a medal in the women’s skeleton, had clunked in at fifth, while Montgomery’s teammate, 38-year-old Mike Douglas, was disqualified over the technical snafu of failing to remove the covers from his runners.
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 6:20 AM - 43 Comments
Memo from The Prime Minister of Canada
I’m pandering, okay? Pandering to seniors. To women. Pandering to any group that might be able to put me over the top next time. As you all saw in the Throne Speech, I’ve given up any pretense of ideological purity, cohesive thinking or brevity.
That’s what motivated the anthem thing. But there’s a problem. Once you start fiddling with this damn song, you see how its words can be perceived to offend others: Immigrants, agnostics, atheists, pacifists, paraplegics, people who think “True patriot love” sounds kind of swishy (ie. Kenney), etc. etc.
What I need is a national anthem that doesn’t offend anybody. I’ve been up all night. Here’s what I came up with. Looking for suggestions…
Country called Canada
Place where Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 9:35 PM - 35 Comments
Fiddling with the national anthem is such a terrible idea that it’s not even worth mocking. So we’re going to go and change “in all thy sons command” to “thou dost in us command,” are we? What are we – knights of olde? It’s never going to happen.
There are, however, at least two questions of interest that arise. There’s a simple answer to the first. The second one is a stumper.
The first question: where did this eighth-baked idea come from?
When governments are up against it financially, but eager to put shiny new “achievements” on display in the window, the call goes out to staffers: We need ideas that don’t cost any money – something that looks real and feels real, but doesn’t set us back. In Paul Martin’s government, for instance, the idea was hatched in 2004 to make tax-free the pay of any member of the Canadian Forces on active duty in most overseas deployments. It was well-received and cost very little. (The out-of-the-blue idea to prevent the notwithstanding clause from ever being invoked by Ottawa also cost nothing, assuming you don’t tally losses to credibility.)
In yesterday’s Speech from the Throne, we got a special day to celebrate seniors – I do not want to see the lineup at Swiss Chalet on that night – and we got Continue…
By John Geddes - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 7:12 PM - 69 Comments
The government tells us in the Speech from the Throne that it’s open to changing the line in the O Canada that goes “True patriot love in all thy sons command” back to the original ”True patriot love thou dost in us command.”
Apparently, the thou-dost line was used from 1908 to 1914. There’s a fascinating history of the anthem here, which shows how often we’ve tinkered with the English lyrics. So I guess traditionalists among us can’t object to another change on grounds that this is sacrosanct poetry.
Still, I don’t like the notion of this reversion. It’s one thing to sing the word “thy,” the archaism of which we barely notice because we’re so used to it. But “thou dost,” I’m afraid, sounds like in belongs in Ye Olde Anthem. Worse, there’s an unpleasing siblilance in “dost in us.” It’s hissy.
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, February 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 19 Comments
Mitchel Raphael on senator Frum, princess Di’s lawyer and new lyrics for ‘o canada’
A Senator’s busy retirement
Tory Sen. Linda Frum held a book launch in her home for Anthony Julius’s new book Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. Julius, a lawyer and professor, famously represented Diana, Princess of Wales in her divorce from Prince Charles. Diana knew Julius because he had helped her sue a newspaper after its photographer invaded her privacy by snapping photos of her working out.
When Diana asked Julius to represent her for her divorce, he had never done that kind of legal work: “This would be my first divorce,” he told her. Diana quickly said, “It will be mine, too,” and said they would figure it out together. Attendees at the book launch included Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and recently retired senator Jerry Grafstein, who is part of a group of investors interested in buying the National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette, and who will soon launch the Wellington Street Post, an online paper named after the famous street that runs in front of Parliament Hill. The website plans to cover politics from a federal perspective.
Bev Oda’s hair fascinates
Three years ago, Liberal MP Glen Pearson, known for his humanitarian work in Sudan, asked the government for aid for Sudan, and $3 million was approved. The money went to such projects as women’s centres that helped on the educational and micro-enterprise front. When Pearson was in Sudan this year, he took with him pictures of International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda to show the Sudanese the minister who had approved the funds. They were surprised to learn it was a woman who had approved the money, and also that she was not white. But the most fascinating thing for them was Oda’s short blunt haircut. Sudanese women are known for their elaborate hairstyles.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:51 PM - 47 Comments
Canadian Press looks back on the outrage concerning that principal who didn’t play the national anthem each morning.
Conservative MPs on the floor of the House of Commons, bloggers and media pundits provoked a raging national debate this spring over the decision by a single school in rural New Brunswick to curtail the morning ritual of O Canada. The furor drove Erik Millett, principal of tiny Belleisle Elementary, from his job and resulted in death threats against him. New Brunswick subsequently made it mandatory to sing O Canada daily in the province’s schools, starting this autumn. No fewer than five federal Tory New Brunswick MPs – including two cabinet members – publicly pounced on the anthem issue. No other party’s MPs in Parliament intervened.
Contrast that with a national study this month by the Dominion Institute that found the teaching of Canadian history is woefully inadequate in high schools from coast to coast … Alberta and Saskatchewan, home to 40 federal Conservative MPs, both received Fs from the institute for failing to require a single history course to graduate.
Yet not one Tory MP raised the issue in Parliament. Their silence was doubly perplexing because the absence of history education dovetails with a push by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to improve what he calls “civic literacy” among Canadians – essentially the understanding of our national history and symbols.
And you’ll never guess what Mr. Millett’s teaching now.