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Justin Trudeau

Few countries in the world have a younger and better educated Prime Minister than the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. This well educated young man is the second youngest Prime Minister of Canada, second only to Joe Clark. And he is the first elected Prime Minister who is the child of a previous elected Prime Minister. He is the son of Pierre Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada. He has performed some amazing feats, one of which was to lead his Liberal party from third place (by the number of seats) to first place, thus winning a landslide victory. He had the largest increment in number of seats of any party in Canadian history. It is not surprising, then, that Forbes Magazine ranks him among the most powerful persons in the world. He stands 69th in that list.

Justin Trudeau was born Christmas eve in 1971, while his father was still in office. Despite repeated protests from his wife, Pierre Trudeau was permitted into the delivery room. Little did they know that their son would follow in his father’s footsteps. In fact, in April 1972, American President Nixon raised a toast “Tonight, we’ll dispense with formalities. I’d like to toast the future prime minister of Canada — to Justin Pierre Trudeau.” The Prime Minister noted that should this come true, he would want his son to have “the grace and skill of the President” (Nixon). In April 1972, Nixon gave a champagne toast during a buffet meal. His remarks have become known as the Nixon prophecy. “Tonight, we’ll dispense with formalities. I’d like to toast the future prime minister of Canada — to Justin Pierre Trudeau.”

 

In 2009, Trudeau spoke of his parent’s marriage. “They loved each other incredibly, passionately, completely. But there was 30 years between them and my Mom never was an equal partner in what encompassed my father’s life, his duty, his country.”

Since childhood, Justin was given the “normal” treatment, to make sure that he was raised without any unreasonable privileges. He was sent to a public school, and used the school bus (as opposed to a limousine) to his school.

Later in life, Justin Trudeau has used his public status to promote various causes. For instance, he and his family, started the Kokanee Glacier Alpine Campaign for winter sports safety in 2000, two years after his brother, Michel Trudeau, died in an avalanche during a ski trip.

In 2002, Trudeau criticized the British Columbia’s decision to suspend its funding for a public avalanche warning system.

In 2005, Trudeau fought against a proposed $100 million zinc mine that he argued would poison the Nahanni River, a United Nations World Heritage Site in the Northwest Territories.

He became involved with the Liberal Party from a young age, and that involvement progressed over the years. He won the party’s nomination in 2007, and in 2015, he led his party to win the elections in one of the biggest upsets in the Canadian political history. The rest, so far, is history.
For a good laugh, just watch the short video below. Some Americans’ thought on who Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is.

 

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Building Canada, Why Confederation?

In the 1860s, the British colonies were facing various issues. One resolution for each one of these was that the colonies come together to form one country. These are the problems that brought about Confederation:

The Province of Canada was made of a lot of people and was later made into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The government of the Province of Canada did not run smoothly because the English-speaking and French-speaking halves each had different ideas about how things should be run. Leaders from both areas of the province decided that joining other colonies might help solve their own political problems.

In order for their economies to do well, the colonies needed to be able to sell their goods to other markets. One solution was to bring all the colonies together.

Since America had fought Britain to gain its independence, the relationship between British North America and the United States had never been stable. Many Americans wanted to take over all of what is now Canada.

Britain didn’t want to have to pay for the cost of defending its colonies. Hence, it decided to encourage the colonies to amalgamate, because the United States would be less likely to attack Canada if it were a self-governing country in lieu of separate colonies of Britain. This fear of the U.S. helped to strengthen the decision for Confederation.

Leaders from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had actually already begun discussing the idea of signing up for a Marine union and had also planned for a meeting.  The political leaders from the Province of Canada asked if they could come to their conference to recommend a bigger union of all the British North American colonies.  The Maritime colonies were given invitations and so started the quest of Confederation.

 
 

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♫ They Did It Their Way! ♫

Canadian music. It’s actually interesting.  Here are just a few highlights:

Canadian Pop Music Highlights

  • “American Woman” by the Guess Who (based in Winnipeg, Manitoba) hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list for three weeks in May 1970.
  • Musician Burton Cummings was born on December 31, 1947 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was a member of The Guess Who and was the first Canadian to have a quadruple platinum-selling album in the U.S. for his 1978 album Dream Of A Child.
  • Bryan Adams, Singer/songwriter, was born in Kingston, Ontario on November 5,1959.  He was the first Canadian musician to sell one million alburms in Canada with his 1984 album Reckless.
  • Anne Murray was born in Springhill, Nova Scotia on June 20, 1945.  She was the first solo Canadian female artist to be awarded an American Gold album (500,000 sales) in 1970 with her second album This Way Is My Way.  It featured the well-known hit “Snowbird.”
  • Shania Twain, Canadian country music star, was born Windsor, Ontario on August 28, 1965.  Her second album (1995) The Woman in Me, holds the record for most weeks at Number One on Billboards’s country album chart.  It resided there for 29 weeks at the top and has sold more than 7.7 million copies.
  • Alanis Morissette, musician, was born in Ottawa on June 1, 1974.  She still holds the record for the best-selling American début for a female solo artist, for her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill.  The album won four Grammys and has sold more than 33 Million copies.
  • The band April Wine (from Halifax, Nova Scotia) became the first Canadian group to make a Platinum album (100,000 sales) in Canada just for advance sales, for The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy which was released in September 1976.  They also hold the record as the first tour to gross $1 million.
  • Céline Dion was born on March 30, 1968, in Charlemagne, Quebec.  She was the first Canadian to receive a Gold Record in France.  She did this in 1983 at just 15 years old.
  • Justin Bieber was born in Stratford, Ontario, on March 1, 1994.  He is the first Canadian musician with five Number One albums on the Billboard 200 chart before turning 19 years old.  He achieved this for his  album My World 2.0 (2010),  Under the Mistletoe (2011), The Remixes (2011), Believe (2012), Believe Acoustic album (2013).

I hope you enjoyed the post.  Who are your favourite Canadian musicians?

 

 

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“Why I’m Not Allowed my Book Title”

The Book of Negroes 6-part miniseries premieres on CBC Television on January 7, 2015 at 9 p.m. (9:30 in Newfoundland) and continues on consecutive Wednesdays; in February, it will air in the United States on BET (Black Entertainment Television). The novel it was based on was authored by Lawrence Hill.  Allow me to introduce him to you.

Photo of Canadian author Lawrence Hill from 2008

Canadian author Lawrence Hill, 2008. Uploaded to Wikipedia.org by user Sherurcij (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sherurcij)

Hill was born in Newmarket, Ontario. He is the son of American immigrants to Canada — a black father and a white mother. Hill has written in his bestselling memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice of how his parents — social activist Donna Hill and social scientist/public servant Daniel G. Hill — met, married, left the United States the day after they married in 1953 in Washington, D.C., and raised a family in Toronto. Growing up in the 1960s in Don Mills, a predominantly white suburb of Toronto, Hill was very influenced by his parents’ human rights work and would go on to explore in his writing themes related to identity and belonging.

Hill has lived and worked in Baltimore, Spain and France, and now lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife and five children. His brother is singer-songwriter Dan Hill.

The $10-million miniseries chronicles the dramatic journey and life of Aminata Diallo, a young West African girl, abducted from her village and sold into slavery in America. Eventually, she registers her name in the Book of Negroes, the British ledger of 3,000 Black Loyalists who declared their allegiance to the King and were allowed to leave America for Nova Scotia – and what they believed was the promised land.

Books by Hill includes novels, such as:

Among his non-fiction books, there is:

 

To learn more about Lawrence Hill, I suggest going to the official Lawrence Hill website; and a .pdf called A tribute: “Dad will always ‘live within us’ – A son remembers Daniel Hill III, Activist, storyteller, champion, inspirer”; and finally a Guardian newspaper article Why I’m Not Allowed my Book Title.

Come back and tell us what your thoughts are about the miniseries if you watch it!

 

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Mr. New Year’s Eve

To remember Guy Lombardo, you have to be of a certain age. To appreciate Guy Lombardo, I’m sure you qualify. Allow me to introduce him to you.

Photo of band leader Guy Lombardo

Photo of band leader Guy Lombardo, 28 June 1944.

Gaetano Alberto Lombardo was born on June 19, 1902 in London, Ontario. He died in November 5, 1977, at the age of 75, in Houston, Texas. He was a Canadian/American bandleader and violinist.

“The Royal Canadians” was formed by Guy Lombardo in 1924 with his brothers Carmen, Lebert, and Victor and other musicians from his hometown, Lombardo led the group to international success.  They billed themselves as creating “The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven.”  The Lombardos are believed to have sold between 100 and 300 million phonograph records during their lifetimes.

Lombardo and his brothers formed their first orchestra while still in grammar school and rehearsed in the back of their father’s tailor shop. They first performed in public with his brother Carmen at a church lawn party in London in 1914.

In 1938, Lombardo became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Although Lombardo’s “sweet” big-band music was viewed by some in the jazz and big-band community of the day as “corny”, trumpeter Louis Armstrong famously enjoyed Lombardo’s music.

Lombardo is best known for almost a half-century of New Year’s Eve big band remotes, first on radio, and then on television. Lombardo’s orchestra played at the Roosevelt Grill in the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City from 1929 to 1959, and from then until 1976 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Live broadcasts (and later telecasts) of their performances were a major part of New Year’s celebrations across North America; millions of people watched the show with friends at house parties. Because of this popularity, Lombardo was called “Mr. New Year’s Eve”.

The Royal Canadians were noted for playing the traditional song Auld Lang Syne as part of the celebrations. Their recording of the song still plays as the first song of the new year in Times Square.

Guy Lombardo has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles (I didn’t know some have more than one!).  There is a bridge named after him in London, Ontario near Wonderland Gardens, as well as Lombardo Avenue in north London near the University of Western Ontario.

I would highly recommend you listen to this New Year audio clip from CBC. You could also listen to an interview in 1959 at Radiotapes.com. And if you would still like to hear more, I suggest listening to Paper Tape Archive: Guy Lombardo at Hotel Roosevelt (1949).

If you would like to learn more about Lombardo, I will suggest the The Guy Lombardo Society, the “Duh! Dick Clark is proof that older people are here to stay. Hey, sick people too!” at the Noir Dame.  And for a very special treat, I recommend reading USA Today‘s article, “For auld lang syne: Guy Lombardo’s history needs a home.”

 

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Gift Tag Reads: From: Nova Scotia To: Boston

I just learned about Nova Scotia giving Boston a big tree every Christmas. Absolutely amazing. Let me tell you about it.

Christmas Tree for Boston from Nova Scotia.

Christmas Gift for Boston from Nova Scotia.

Since 1971, Nova Scotia has given a Christmas tree to the people of the City of Boston in gratitude for their help and support after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. You can read my post on it at https://tkmorin.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/halifaxs-worst-explosions-tsunami-and-snow/

In 1918, Halifax sent a Christmas tree to the City of Boston in thanks and remembrance for the help that the Boston Red Cross and the Massachusetts Public Safety Committee had provided immediately after the disaster. That gift was revived in 1971 by the Lunenburg County Christmas Tree Producers Association, who began an annual donation of a large tree to promote Christmas tree exports as well as to acknowledge Boston’s support after the explosion. The gift was later taken over by the Nova Scotia Government to continue the goodwill gesture as well as to promote trade and tourism.

The tree is Boston’s official Christmas tree and is lit on Boston Common throughout the holiday season. Knowing its symbolic importance to both cities, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has specific guidelines for selecting the tree. It must be an attractive balsam fir, white spruce or red spruce, 12 to 16 metres (40 to 50 ft) tall, healthy with good colour, medium to heavy density, uniform and symmetrical and easy to get access to.

This year, John and Ethel Ann MacPherson of Purlbrook, Antigonish Co., are donating the tree for Nova Scotia to give to the city of Boston.

The 13-metre (43-foot) white spruce is about 55 years old. It was cut during a festive public ceremony Monday, Nov. 17. Each year, the Nova Scotia tree for Boston stands proudly in Boston Common throughout the holidays. The annual event attracts more than 30,000 people each year and 300,000 more tune in to watch the live televised event on ABC.

The Nova Scotian government is always looking for the best tree to send to Boston. If you think you have what they want, here are the criteria and ways to get in touch: If you have or know of a white or red spruce or balsam fir with the following characteristics we want to hear from you.

Here’s some of the criteria we look for:

Twelve to fifteen meters (40-50 feet) in height
Healthy with good colour
Medium to heavy density
Uniform and symmetrical
Easy to access.

Please take a photo to the nearest Department of Natural Resources Office or send one to Tim Whynot at whynottw@gov.ns.ca Tim can also be reached at 424-3615.

To read more about this special Christmas gift and its origin, I highly recommend clicking your way to Nova Scotia Government information pages; you can follow the tree’s transport via twitter and facebook. A few media site that have covered it this year are the CTV News Atlantic, the CBC News and the Bostinno.

 

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Today we celebrate Maple Syrup!

Did you know that December 17 is Maple Syrup Day?  How well do you know of this golden liquid? Allow me to present you with a few tidbits of information.

Picture of a bottle of maple syrup from Quebec, Canada

Bottle of maple syrup from Quebec, Canada.

  • Though it can vary depending on the weather, the sap is collected between February and April.
  • Quebec produces 91% of Canada’s pure maple syrup.  With Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, that makes up 71% of the world’s supply.  New York and New England states also produce a large measure of maple syrup.
  • There are more than 8,600 maple syrup businesses in Canada. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup (FPAQ) ensures the economic, social and ethical interests for the more than 7,400 maple businesses in Quebec.
  • Collecting sap from maple trees is regulated, in part, by the International Maple Syrup Institute (to promote the use of pure maple syrup and protect the integrity of the product).
  • The maple is the symbol depicted on Canada’s flag and is a state tree in New York and Vermont.
  • Most “maple flavoured” syrups contain corn syrup and has little or no maple syrup.
  • Maple Syrup has more calcium than milk (per unit volume) and more potassium than bananas (per weight volume).  It also has Manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron, not to mention vitamins.  Compared to processed white sugar, maple syrup can be a healthier sweetener. For more information about this, see the Maple Syrup Nutritional Information.
  • Choosing a tree to sap, it must be 25 cm (10 inches) in diameter, and it must be at least 40 years old.
  • The tree has a healing process called walling-off, which prevents the same hole from being used a second time.  However, a single tree can be tapped for more than a century.
  • Each mature tree can produce about 40 litres (10 gallons) of sap per season.
  • In order to create 1 litre of maple syrup, 40 litres of sap is needed.
  • Sap is 95% water.  The process for making maple syrup is to boil the sap at 4° Celsius (7 ° Fahrenheit).  After this stage it is about 66% sugar and is classified as sugar.  Pure maple syrup is sap that has been condensed further by evaporating the excess water.

There are many sites on the internet dedicated to maple syrup.  A few are Eat North which has a “10 things you didn’t know about maple syrup” page; the CBC Digital Archives which has a lot of videos and links; you can find a lot more at Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association, including lists of maple syrup festivals; Coombs Family Farm has a nice collection of maple syrup recipes;

The National Post as an article, Maple syrup ‘fraud’ could be a thing of the past under new joint Canada-U.S. rules which is interesting. And if you remember, recently there was the $30 million theft of maple syrup – CBC News has a great article about it.

 
 

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