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Mom, Tarts, and Life Lessons

Jessica Outram is a very creative school educator. Jessica is a playwright, director, actor, singer, publisher, as well as a poet. She is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. In June 2019, she was appointed the Poet Laureate for Cobourg Ontario.

Jessica writes a delightful blog called Sunshine in a Jar and a few years ago wrote a wonderful piece: Meet Mom and Her Homemade Butter Tarts. Here is an exceptional extract from Jessica’s post about her Mother.

Five Things I’ve Learned from Mom and Her Tarts

  1. Heart: Mom makes tarts to show her love. (She doesn’t even eat the tarts!) The butter tarts are a sign of her generosity, talent, and kindness. She enjoys making the people around her happy. Mom teaches me the importance of putting heart at the centre, of giving our best to others, of creating something excellent to spread joy and express gratitude.
  2. Attention to Detail: Mom attends to perfecting each step in the tart making process. She inspects everything along the way, reflecting on how to make it better. By attending to every small detail, her tarts are absolute perfection each and every time she bakes them. Mom teaches me the importance of being methodical, following a plan, adjusting the plan when needed, and learning from the plan as time passes.
  3. Community: Mom uses tarts to bring people together. From family and friends to community groups to passersby, mom creates a sense of belonging by giving away butter tarts. Mom teaches me how to connect with others through generosity and to give the most to the people who are closest and part of our every day. It’s important to use our skills and talents in the service of building community and belonging.
  4. Practice: Mom worked hard to become an amazing cook and baker. She asked for help when she needed it. She utilized the lessons from her teachers. Mom teaches me that if we practice something, we will improve. If we practice it long enough, we can become experts. She chose to perfect her butter tart making not because it was her favourite thing to bake, but because of the joy the tarts brought others. Every year Mom and Dad continue to adjust the butter tart baking process to improve efficiency and excellence.
  5. Embrace the Crown: Mom has earned her crown as Queen of Tarts and she wears it with pride. It’s important to celebrate our achievements and to accept the compliments of others. Mom teaches me to take pride in my creations, to make space for others to celebrate, and to happily wear a crown when it’s been earned.

(BTW – For the record, Mom Outram uses raisins!) 

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

A Dozen Delectable Photos

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.”

Today we present a dozen of the most delicious photos of mouthwatering butter tarts. If this post does not make you run out and buy a tart today, nothing will.

 

Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Canadian Living’s Butter Tart Recipe

“THE BEST BUTTER TARTS”

INGREDIENTS

Shell:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold butter cubed

1/4 cup lard cubed

1/4 cup butter cubed

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vinegar

ice water

 

Filling:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 egg

2 tablespoons butter softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 pinch salt

1/4 cup currants

1/4 cup raisin

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup shredded coconut

 

DIRECTIONS

In large bowl, whisk flour with salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter and lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces.

In liquid measure, whisk egg yolk with vinegar; add enough ice water to make 1/3 cup (75 mL). Sprinkle over flour mixture, stirring briskly with fork until pastry holds together. Press into disc; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Filling: In bowl, whisk together brown sugar, corn syrup, egg, butter, vanilla, vinegar and salt until blended; set aside.

On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Using 4-inch (10 cm) round cookie cutter (or empty 28 oz/796 mL can), cut out 12 circles, rerolling scraps once if necessary. Fit into 2-3/4- x 1-1/4-inch (7 x 3 cm) muffin cups. Divide currants among shells. Spoon in filling until three-quarters full.

Bake in bottom third of 450 F (230 C) oven until filling is puffed and bubbly and pastry is golden, about 12 minutes. Let stand on rack for 1 minute. Run metal spatula around tarts to loosen; carefully slide spatula under tarts and transfer to rack to let cool.

12 servings

SOURCE:  https://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking-and-desserts/recipe/best-butter-tarts

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The staggering costs of the Government’s response to the pandemic

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will provide an “economic update” July 8.

The Niagara Independent, July 3, 2020 – It has been referred to as Canadians’ “second war” – what will be our collective efforts to survive the ensuing national economic crisis brought about by government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The federal and provincial governments have been spending seemingly limitless amounts of money to support individuals and businesses through a staged shutdown of the economy. Today, as the shutters are being removed across the country, Canadians are left to assess the costs.

One variable is Canada’s lost economic activity. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has calculated losses incurred by Canadian businesses and projected estimates for the coming years. The IMF projects Canada’s GDP this year will be 6.5 percent below that of 2019, which was pegged at $1.7 trillion. Therefore, the value of reduced output in 2020 is $113 billion. By the time we account for all economic losses through the duration of the multi-year pandemic, economists are expecting costs for Canada to be at least double this amount — $226 billion lost to our economy.

While the Canadian business community will carry forward its diminished financial standing, governments will be managing their unwieldy deficits and weighty debt loads. Consider the challenging fiscal situation Canada was in before the coronavirus scare. Last year total federal government spending was $346 billion and revenues were $332 billion, leaving an operational deficit of $14 billion. Provincial and territorial spending totalled $449 billion and revenues $440 billion, leaving an operational deficit of $9 billion. Total federal and provincial government net debt totalled $1.4 trillion – a sum that was 61 per cent of GDP. And when one factors in promised pension and health liabilities over the next 30 years for all levels of government, the debt is projected to be $2.3 trillion or 104 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Now, consider the federal government’s unprecedented spending spree which will result in Canada’s federal debt reaching an astonishing $1 trillion. Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) Yves Giroux recently estimated this year’s federal deficit to reach $256 billion and he parsed numbers relating to the government’s pandemic spending for Members of Parliament. In part, the PBO reported:

  • the government is spending a total of $169 billion on income support programs with statistics indicating that, by the end of April, three million Canadians had loss their job with the closure of non-essential businesses;
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is providing $2,000 monthly to more than 8.4 million Canadians and will cost a total of $71.3 billion – more than the allotted $60 billion budget;
  • extending the CERB by an additional eight weeks through the summer (as the government just did ) will cost $17.9 billion; and,
  • the federal wage subsidy program is currently being underused by businesses – originally provided with a $45 billion budget, as of June 15 the government has approved only $13.28 billion in payroll to 223,918 companies.

These numbers indicate businesses are simply closing rather than attempting to manage through the shutdown period; millions of Canadians will not have their pre-pandemic job to go back to in the weeks ahead.

Buckling to the pressure applied by Opposition MPs and business groups, the federal government will provide a fiscal “snapshot” of our country’s finances to be delivered by Finance Minister Bill Morneau July 8.  PM Justin Trudeau explains, “This will give Canadians a picture of where our economy is right now, how our response compares to that of other countries, and what we can expect for the months to come.”  PM Trudeau stated his Government could not provide any more than a snapshot at this time. “I’ve consistently said that an economic and fiscal update would be unrealistic right now because it automatically includes projections for a year, three years, five years ahead of time, which quite frankly we simply couldn’t make any responsible predictions about.”

Though the PM does not wish to share his Government’s current thinking on the country’s fiscal course, there are certain realities that foreshadow what the “second war” will mean for Canadians. The increased debt must be financed and this signals the need to raise taxes – either immediately or for future generations (or both). Former NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair states the Trudeau Government has created $10,000 of new debt for every man, woman and child. “This generation of leaders is putting everything on the maxed-out credit card of our grandchildren. One of the greatest inequalities in our society is that which exists between generations and it’s getting more and more unfair.”

Paying for this mountain of new debt has the potential to sink Canadians’ fortunes. It is also expected to burden the next generation of taxpayers through the whole of their working lives (hence the defining term “Generation Screwed”). Today, one and two Canadians are within $200 of insolvency at the end of each month. Before the pandemic, Canadian households owed $176 for every $100 of disposable income – and now this situation has worsened. If the government attempts to spare today’s overburdened Canadian household, the debt does not go away and will still need to be paid. In a National Post column reporting the prognosis of various financial analysts, John Ivison concludes: “Ottawa’s COVID-19 debt binge runs the very real risk of ruining the next generation.”

Professor Don Savoie, Canada Research Chair in public administration and governance at the Université de Moncton, in an interview with the Hill Times this week, commented: “…there’s going to have to be some realignment between revenues and spending and that’s going to require an incredible amount of political will. It doesn’t require much political will when you’re spending every day. It requires political will, when you deal with the hangover and that hangover is going to be very, very, very difficult to manage… It takes an incredible jolt at the wheel to turn off spending. So when people get accustomed to receiving benefits from the government, it’s very difficult to cut it back…”

When the Prime Minister announced the July 8 fiscal snapshot, the Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet quipped, “I fear that the government will try to make it happen in the middle of summer in order to have people not watch it, while they will be having a beer around the barbecue.” Yet, considering what is at stake for Canadians and their pocketbooks, it is best if Canadians put down the beer, put off mealtime, and pay attention to what is said about this country’s economic predicament.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-staggering-costs-of-the-governments-response-to-the-pandemic/

 

The humble origins of the butter tart

Butter tarts were common in pioneer Canadian cooking and the recipe is of genuinely Canadian origin.

The earliest published recipe for a “butter filling” is from Barrie, Ontario, dating back to 1900. This recipe is found in The Women’s Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook, submitted by Mrs. Mary Ethel MacLeod, a Scottish immigrant to Ontario.

Throughout the early 1900s butter tarts gained popularity and variations were published in Toronto’s Daily News  The first printed recipe of “The Butter Tart” is found in a 1915 Red Roses Cookbook.

Similar tarts are made in Scotland, where they are often referred to as Ecclefechan butter tarts from the town of Ecclefechan. Elizabeth Baird, former food editor at Canadian Living, states that butter tarts were also known in early Ontario as “border tarts” as many of  the Scottish immigrants came from “the border area” of Scotland and England. Like many other Scots living in rural Canada in the late 1800s. Mrs. MacLeod likely adapted a recipe for the old “border tarts” with local ingredients to make her own unique recipe for the tart filling.

In an October 2019 CBC interview, Liz Driver, author of Culinary Landmarks: A Bibliography of Canadian Cookbooks, states she believes it is wholly feasible that butter tarts were invented by ordinary people in rural Ontario. “It’s absolutely completely believable that something did sort of rise up out of the grassroots.”

On the topic of the origins of the butter tart, there is often reference made to the King’s Daughters (or Filles du Roi) of New France. During a ten-year period, from 1663 to 1673, at least 770 young women were sent to Quebec by Louis XIV to help with colonization. The women were resourceful bakers and they created the forerunner of the butter tart, a sugar pie with baking ingredients like maple sugar and dried fruit.

SOURCES: CBC Radio “History of the Butter Tart”, The Food Bloggers of Canada, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Wikipedia

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

First printed recipe of butter tarts

A Five Roses Flour cookbook has the earliest printed reference to “butter tarts” in Canadian food literature.

The Lake of the Woods Milling Company released the first edition of the Five Roses Cookbook in 1913 as a collection of around 600 recipes submitted by women across Canada via a contest the company held.

A later 1915 edition of this same book has an introduction that states it is an all-Canadian publication: “The recipes were supplied by Canadian housewives. The book was printed in a Canadian shop, and the paper, both inside and cover stock, was produced in a Canadian mill.… Already, nearly 950,000 copies are in daily use in Canadian kitchens — practically one copy for every second Canadian home.”

Here is the Five Roses Cookbook recipe.

 

Butter Tarts 

Ingredients:

Pastry:

2½ cup Five Roses® all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter, cold

½ cup water, cold

 

Filling:

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

½ cup maple syrup

1/3 cup butter, melted

¾ cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup currants

½ cup raisins

 

Preparation:

Pastry:

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in enough water until the dough begins to hold together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a disc (do not overwork the dough).

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out three-inch rounds and line 12 muffin cups with dough. Chill.

Filling:

Whisk together eggs and brown sugar. Add the salt, vinegar, maple syrup and melted butter; combine well.

In small bowl mix together walnuts, currants and raisins.

Divide the walnut-fruit mixture between the tart shells.

Fill each tart with approximately ¼-cup filling.

Bake in a preheated 350 F (180 C) oven for 20-25 minutes or until set.

 

SOURCE:  CBC article on recipes in vintage cookbooks

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The All-Important Question: Raisins or No-Raisins?

The butter tart is recognized as the greatest Canadian food – ranked number one in the latest By George Top-10 List of Canadian Foods, So, By George wants to celebrate this distinction and, therefore, we have declared the month of July “Butter Tart Month.”

Let’s kick off this celebration with the pivotal question for all tart lovers:

“Does the ultimate butter tart contain raisins?”

To register your opinion, email us at chrisg.george@gmail.com or visit the By George Facebook page and click onto our cover image to make your comment.

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Butter Tarts are the Quintessential Canadian food

Today By George published its Canada Day newsletter “Our Canadian Top-10 Lists” which included a list of the greatest Canadian foods.

Ranking number one on that list of Canadian foods was the iconic butter tart.

To view the full list of the top ten Canadian foods, click here.

So, to appropriately pay respect to this honour, By George has declared the month of July as “Butter Tart Month.” Each day the By George Journal will post an article on the infamous Canadian butter tart.

Full a full menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert, click here.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

By George 10 most favourite quotes on Canada

  1. Canada was built on dead beavers. — Margaret Atwood
  2. The beaver, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off it’s own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees. — June Callwood
  3. The huge advantage of Canada is its backwardness. – Marshall McLuhan
  4. Canada has never been a melting-pot; more like a tossed salad. — Arnold Edinborough
  5. Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it’s doing in the Maritimes. — Tommy Douglas
  6. Canadians are generally indistinguishable from Americans, and the surest way of telling the two apart is to make the observation to a Canadian. — Richard Staines
  7. A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe. — Pierre Burton
  8. Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. — Sir Winston Churchill
  9. In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. — U.S. President Bill Clinton
  10. When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like. — Jane Fonda

.

(ed. – Here are more quotes on our country and its peoples)

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Quotes on our country Canada

1296310790_fb4505fa48

By George Journal presents some of our favourite quotes on Canada and Canucks – so you might spice up your toasts on Canada Day! Cheers!

 

  • A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe. — Pierre Burton
  • We Canadians live in a blind spot about our identity. We have very strong feelings about who we aren’t but only weak ones about who we are. We’re passionate about what we don’t want to become but oddly passive about what we should be. — John Cruickshank (in McLean’s Magazine)
  • There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its verile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. — U.S. President Bill Clinton
  • Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States. — J. Bartlett Brebner
  • Canada is the essence of not being. Not English, not American, it is the mathematic of not being. And a subtle flavour – we’re more like celery as a flavour. — Mike Myers
  • Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain. — Pierre Trudeau
  • The huge advantage of Canada is its backwardness. – Marshall McLuhan
  • Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen. — P. J. O’Rourke
  • Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it’s doing in the Maritimes. — Tommy Douglas
  • The beaver, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off it’s own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees. — June Callwood
  • If you don’t believe your country should come before yourself, you can better serve your country by livin’ someplace else. — Stompin’ Tom Connors
  • We shall be Canadians first, foremost, and always, and our policies will be decided in Canada and not dictated by any other country. — John G. Diefenbaker
  • In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations, it’s cold, half-French, and difficult to stir. — Stuart Keate
  • Canada has never been a melting-pot; more like a tossed salad. — Arnold Edinborough
  • Canada: A few acres of snow. — Voltaire
  • Canadians, like their historians, have spent too much time remembering conflicts, crises, and failures. They forgot the great, quiet continuity of life in a vast and generous land. A cautious people learns from its past; a sensible people can face its future. Canadians, on the whole, are both. — Desmond Morton
  • Canadians were the first anti-Americans, and the best. Canadian anti-Americanism, just as the country’s French-English duality, has for two centuries been the central buttress of our national identity. — Jack Granetstein
  • Canadians are generally indistinguishable from Americans, and the surest way of telling the two apart is to make the observation to a Canadian. — Richard Staines
  • Here in Canada, in the Western world, we are inside the walls. Outside the walls are the barbarians. — Barbara Amiel
    I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind. — John Diefenbaker (From the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960)
  • When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like. — Jane Fonda
  • Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • There is a Canadian culture that is in some ways unique to Canada, but I don’t think Canadian culture coincides neatly with borders. — Stephen Harper
  • Canada was built on dead beavers. — Margaret Atwood

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Lament for (what once was) a Nation

The Niagara Independent, June 26, 2020 – Back in October 2015, the newly-elected Justin Trudeau’s seemingly obtuse comments on the country he was about to lead are now understood as a foreshadowing of his debasement of “Canada” as Canadians once knew it. In the now infamous New York Times Magazine interview, Canada’s new PM declared “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada” and he speculated that the country could become the “first postnational state.” At the time nobody thought the advance of postnationalism would be a governing imperative. Now nearly five years later, Canadians have come to recognize it as the hallmark of Justin Trudeau’s time in office.

By definition “postnationalism” is pertaining to a time or mindset in which the identity of a nation is no longer important. Wikipedia concisely describes postnationalism: “the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to cross-nation and self-organized or supranational and global entities as well as local entities.” It continues to list a variety of factors constituting the postnational process: shifting national economies to global ones, increasingly referencing global identities and beliefs, and transferring national authorities to multinational corporations and the United Nations.

By looking at Canada through Justin Trudeau’s postnational lens, Canadians can better understand what is happening in the country. For example, Canadians learned this week that Canada has lost its AAA credit rating. Canada’s indebtedness has risen from 88 to 115 percent of the country’s GDP. This is being explained away as a result of necessary government spending to support Canadians through the pandemic. However, Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre critiques the country’s financial state: “The Liberal government has destabilized our finances and downgraded our debt, through over four years of reckless deficit spending. The United States, the European Union, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have all retained AAA debt ratings with Fitch. All of these countries have had to contend with COVID-19, but Fitch has downgraded none.”

MP Poilievre assesses the Trudeau Government’s fiscal record: “Going into the pandemic Trudeau gave us $80 billion in debt, growth of 0.3%, half of Canadians $200 from insolvency, higher unemployment than the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Germany and the second highest total public and private debt/GDP in the G7. All of this occurred before the first COVID-19 case.”

With the additional pandemic spending, Canada’s national debt is now nearly $1 trillion. The country’s weakened economic state and loss of credit rating puts Canadians in a more vulnerable position in international markets, increasing the cost of borrowing and our burden of debt payments for years.

Across the land, the Nation seems to be splintering. Saskatchewan news columnist and former federal MP John Gormley this week surmised “In Trudeau-land, maybe this really is post-national Canada.” Gormley is very critical of PM Trudeau’s devaluing of a core Canadian identity – particularly in Western Canada and states that now there is “nothing that anchors us — from longtime to new Canadians — to a common purpose or strives to unify us behind an ideal.” He cities the PM as being responsible for the rising civil disobedience that has resulted in growing activism, barricades and contempt for the law. Gorley writes: “His non-stop campaign of piety, virtue signalling, grandstanding and lecturing us on the holy troika of Indigenous reconciliation and “balancing the economy with the environment,” has been a green light for many activists to stop all oil and gas.”

National Post columnist Jonathan Kay went further to suggest the PM has desecrated the country’s history, its builders and past leaders. Kay argues that Canada’s identity has transformed to a country convinced that we are “a genocide state.” Canadian media, academic and political elites are obsessed with the narrative that we are “an ugly scar on traditional Indigenous lands,” and the “whole vocabulary — settler, neo-colonial, appropriation — declares that Canada is garbage, hoping that an attitude of self-abasement would somehow lead us to “reconciliation.””

Donna Kennedy-Glans, former Albertan MLA, and former CBC broadcaster Don Hill coauthored an editorial that also voiced frustration with Trudeau’s vision of the country. “Our prime minister is focused on a global agenda. Meanwhile, he and his team are setting Canada against itself…. Our prime minister’s neglect, even callousness, is driving a wedge between regions and igniting Western alienation. He’s playing with fire. Trudeau and his cabinet have been preoccupied with their global vision of how things ought to be at the expense of how things are in the country.”

The Trudeau Liberals’ disregard for the country’s diverse national interests has resulted in a new separatist Party to take western Provinces from Confederation. This week Wexit Canada Party leader Jay Hill stated, “…in the end, [federal] governments have to cater to the golden triangle of Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa and the West will never get a fair deal.” In previous interview, Hill pulls no punches: “I’m saying that this is an illegitimate government. It was elected by Ontario. Ontarians decided to re-elect Mr. Dressup despite his clear disdain for Western Canada and for our resource industries. And we just simply cannot take it anymore.”

In a 2019 Sun Media editorial Candice Malcolm dissected the PM’s rejection of Canadian nationalism arguing he has devalued Canada’s racially diverse and pluralistic society for undefined globalism. Malcolm states, “Trudeau has engineered these changes and created a toxic brew in Canada: lax integration policies juxtaposed with a forced multiculturalism that downplays Canadian values and divisive identity politics that demonizes Canadian heritage and identity.”

So if Malcolm, Kay, Gormley and others are correct with their assessments of what is left of our country, it is a vast land devoid of national identifiers. Justin Trudeau’s Canada defies unifying definitions: with our embarrassing history, there are no acceptable norms or politically correct culture, no respected traditions, no legitimate mythos. We are but a mass of cosmopolitan people, gasping at some notion of globalism, without a grounding in a Nation’s past or its peoples’ efforts to get us to where we enjoy one of the best standards of living on the planet.

Oh (what once was) Canada! Enjoy your postnational Wednesday.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK:  https://niagaraindependent.ca/lament-for-what-once-was-a-nation/

Facts about Canada Day

1296310790_fb4505fa48Here is a compilation of some interesting facts about Canada Day, our country’s national celebration.

  • A proclamation signed by the Governor General on June 20, 1868, asked all Canadians to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the uniting of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia as the dominion of Canada on July 1st, 1867.
  • The British North America Act proclaimed “one Dominion under the name of Canada,” hence the original title of the holiday, “Dominion Day”, which was established by statute in 1879.
  • After the original declaration, there is no record of organized ceremonies until 1917. This was the 50th anniversary of Confederation.
  • In 1917, the new Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings was dedicated as a memorial to the Fathers of Confederation and to the bravery of Canadians fighting in World War I.
  • On July 1st, 1923, the Canadian government enacted the Chinese Immigration Act, stopping all immigration from China. Chinese-Canadians began to refer to July 1 as Humiliation Day and refused to participate in Dominion Day celebrations, until the act was repealed in 1947.
  • A celebration was held on Canada Day in 1927 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. The celebration featured the Governor General laying the cornerstone of the Confederation Building, and the inauguration of the Carillon in the Peace Tower.
  • Since 1958, the Canadian government has arranged for an annual observance of Canada’s national day with the Secretary of State of Canada in charge of the coordination. There is a Trooping the Colours ceremony on the lawn of Parliament Hill in the afternoon, a sunset ceremony in the evening followed by a mass band concert and fireworks display.
  • On Canada’s Centennial in 1967, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attended the celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
  • In 1980, the National Committee (the federal government organization charged with planning Canada’s Birthday celebrations) sponsored the development of local Canada Day celebrations all across the country. “Seed money” was distributed to promote activities organized by volunteer groups.
  • On October 27, 1982, July 1st which was known as “Dominion Day” became “Canada Day”.
  • There is a Celebrate Canada Committee in each province and territory. They provide Canadians the opportunity to share their pride in their country, especially on Canada Day.
  • The province of Newfoundland and Labrador recognises July 1 as Memorial Day, to commemorate the Newfoundland Regiment’s heavy losses during the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
  • Since the 1950’s, the cross-border cousin-cities of Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, have celebrated Canada Day and the United States’ Independence Day with the International Freedom Festival. A massive fireworks display is held each year, with fireworks exploding over the Detroit River, the strait that separates the two cities by less than one mile.
  • Under the federal Holidays Act, Canada Day is observed on July 1 unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case July 2 is the statutory holiday. If it falls on a Saturday, the following Monday is generally also a day off for those businesses ordinarily closed on Saturdays. Festivals and celebrations generally take place on July 1 even though it is not the legal holiday.
  • July 1 is the 182nd day of the year, and there are 183 days left until the end of the year, making it very close to the halfway point.
  • Some famous people born on Canada day: Pamela Anderson, Dan Akroyd, Lady Diana the Princess of Wales, Missy Elliott, Jamie Farr, Rod Gilbert, Debbie Harry, Olivia de Havilland, Estee Lauder, Carl Lewis, Sydney Pollack, Alan Ruck, Liv Tyler.

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Our Canada Day Quiz

This quiz is different in that there will not be any wrong answers… your goal is to get the most Canadian of answers to the question “What best defines Canada?”

We have taken the responses from a national poll of Canadians conducted by the Dominion Institute within the past few years. We have then weighted those findings with two other Top-Ten Canadiana Lists (of askmen.ca and By George Journal). Our final list of symbols/icons is graded and a point system will be used to score your top ten mentions.  (So, you will want to mention as many of the most popular Canadian symbols as other Canadians have in the survey and found on the top ten lists.)

The Canada Day quiz question is, “Name 10 symbols of Canada that best define this country?”

Your list of ten Canadiana can include symbols, icons, people, places, events, accomplishments and/or inventions. What best defines our country and being Canadian…

TOP TEN CANADIANA THAT DEFINE THIS COUNTRY

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Once you (and your family and friends) have completed the list(s) of ten Canadiana, mark the answers with our point system and compare how you have done in capturing the best symbols that define our country. (The top possible score is 56.)

The point system is found in comments below. (When printing this off for your Canada Day party, be sure not to include the answers below).

 

Happy Efisga Day, er, Canada Day

Have you wondered where the name ‘Canada’ comes from?

It’s the Huron-Iroquois word ‘kanata’ which means ‘settlement’ or ‘village.’

Jacques Cartier first heard it in reference to Quebec City, but soon it was used to describe the whole region. Upper Canada Parliamentarian Thomas D’Arcy McGee argued the adoption of Canada as the name for the country in 1865. And the name was officially adopted on July 1, 1867.

So, have you ever wondered what other names were being considered for this country?

Here are some of the names that were bested by the moniker ‘Canada.’

Acadia – Albertland – Albionara

Albona – Alexandrina – Aquilonia

Borealia – British North America – Brittanica

Cabotia – Canadensia – Colonia

Efisga – Hochelaga – Laurentia

Mesopelagia – New Albion – Niagarentia

Norland – Superior – Transatlantia

Transatlantica – Transylvania – Tuponia

Ursulia – Vesperia – Victorialand or Victorialia

Say, how does “Happy Efisga Day” sound?

Or “Happy Hochelaga Day!”

Of course, I like many of my friends still like to say “Happy Dominion Day,” but that’s an argument for another time….

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

The Maple Leaf Forever!

Here are the words of the chorus and first couple of verses of the song that first united our land – the song that our soldiers marched to in WWI – establishing forever the maple leaf as an enduring symbol of all that is Canadian.

Chorus:

The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear,
The Maple Leaf forever!
God save our Queen and Heaven bless
The Maple Leaf forever!

In days of yore, from Britain’s shore,

Wolfe, the dauntless hero, came
And planted firm Britannia’s flag
On Canada’s fair domain.
Here may it wave, our boast our pride
And, joined in love together,
The thistle, shamrock, rose entwine
The Maple Leaf forever!

Chorus

At Queenston Heights and Lundy’s Lane,
Our brave fathers, side by side,
For freedom, homes and loved ones dear,
Firmly stood and nobly died;
And those dear rights which they maintained,
We swear to yield them never!
Our watchword evermore shall be
“The Maple Leaf forever!”

Chorus

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 Fascinating Facts about Beavers

1. Giant beavers roamed Eurasia and North America in the Pleistocene era, rubbing shoulders with mastodons and mammoths. They were 10 feet in length, including tail just smaller than a MINI Cooper and weighed up to 800 pounds.

2. The modern beaver is the second-largest rodent in the world (the capybara of South America is the first). An average adult beaver weighs 35 to 70 pounds and measures 4 feet long, including a 12-inch tail.

3. A large adult beaver skin yielded enough fur for 18 beaver hats. The beaver was hunted and trapped almost to the point of extinction. They are firmly established once more, thanks to a conversation movement championed by Grey Owl, the infamous English immigrant who posed as a Metis in the 1930s.

4. Grey Owl claimed to have compiled a beaver dictionary by listening to the utterings of his two pet beavers, Rawhide and Jellyroll. He stated that he could recognize 49 words and expressions that were intelligible to all beavers, but the manuscript of this dictionary is now missing and presumed lost forever.

5. Beavers are well adapted to working underwater. A secondary transparent eyelid allows them to see, and specialized ducts allow them to close off their ears, nostrils and lips so they can chew without drowning.

6. The two chisel-like upper front teeth of the beaver grow continuously and are sharpened by the act of gnawing on trees. They are not buck teeth, but rather point inwards to facilitate chewing wood.

7. Beavers groom themselves constantly to keep their pelt waterproof with the oil (castoreum) they produce in two glands near their anus. Castoreum also keeps their soft, fine under-fur from matting. Moisture never penetrates their skin, even after a long time swimming underwater.

8. The urge to build dams stems from an instinctive aversion to the sound of running water. Beavers will try desperately to stem the flow, thereby flooding their surroundings to create a pond deep enough that the water wont freeze in winter. They eat sticks in these lean months, so they spend the entire fall submerging twigs in the pond and poking them into the muddy bottom to store them.

9. Contrary to popular legend, beavers do not know how to fell trees so that they fall in a certain direction. Beaver remains have been found that show that the trees they were chewing fell towards them, pinching and crushing their skulls. With their work, it is the female beavers that do most of the engineering and lodge planning, while the male beavers inspect the structure and patch the leaks.

10. Beavers are monogamous and mate for life. And a word to dispel the myth about male beavers biting off their own testicles if provoked. This dates back to Aesops fables when the beaver was hunted for its castoreum, which people believed was produced in the testicles. A story popular at the time held that beavers would see a hunter coming and would bite off their testicles and toss them to the hunter to avoid being killed. If they were chased again, they would flash the hunter to show that they already made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Lester B. Pearson unveiling the Canadian Flag

    

“And so the new Flag, joining and rising above the milestones of our history, today takes for the first time its proud place as the emblem of Canada, “The Maple Leaf Our Emblem Dear.”  May the land over which this new Flag flies remain united in freedom and justice; a land of decent God-fearing people; fair and generous in all its dealings; sensitive, tolerant and compassionate towards all men; industrious, energetic, resolute; wise, and just in the giving of security and opportunity equally to all its cultures; and strong in its adherence to those moral principles which are the only sure guide to greatness. Under this Flag may our youth find new inspiration for loyalty to Canada; for a patriotism based not on any mean or narrow nationalism, but on the deep and equal pride that all Canadians will feel for every part of this good land. God bless our Flag! And God bless Canada!” 

 

– Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson

Top-10 List of Canadian Inventions

In celebrating Canada Day in 2020, By George is producing a Top-10 List of Canadian Inventions.

For this list By George consulted the following: CBC’s Greatest Canadian Invention, CBC survey, Yahoo and Thought Company. Ultimately, however the By George braintrust selected and ranked the top ten list.

Here are Honourable Mentions:

Canoe, jetliner, the pager, garbage bag, peanut butter, road lines, Archie (the first internet search engine), basketball, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, instant mashed potatoes, snowblower, snowmobile, Robertson Screw, paint roller, wireless radio, and the Wonderbra.

The By George Top-10 List of Canadian Inventions 

10. IMAX

9. Jet Liner

8. Game of Hockey

7. The Canadarm

6. Electric Wheelchair

5. Zipper

4. Artificial Pacemaker

3. Light Bulb

2. Insulin

1. Telephone

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Top-10 List of Canadian Symbols

In celebrating Canada Day in 2020, By George is producing a Top-10 List of Canadian Symbols.

For this list By George consulted the following:  WatchMojo.com, Yahoo Answers, The Canadian Guide and Canada.com. Ultimately, however the By George braintrust selected and ranked the top ten list.

Here are Honourable Mentions:

The Bluenose, totem poles, toque, ice sculptures, soapstone carvings, plate of poutine, maple sap bucket and the RCMP

The By George Top-10 List of Canadian Symbols

10. Wilderness (mountains, wheat fields, shoreline, forests, etc.)

9. The Loon

8. Maple Syrup

7. The Moose

6. The Canoe

5. Niagara Falls

4. Tim Hortons

3. The Beaver

2. Hockey

1. The Maple Leaf

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Top-10 List of Canadian Songs

In celebrating Canada Day in 2020, By George is producing a Top-10 List of Canadian Songs through the modern times.

For this list By George consulted the following:  CBC Music, Strong Words, Billboard’s 100 Canadian #1s, Zoomer Magazine and Indie 8.  Ultimately, however the By George braintrust selected and ranked the top ten list.

Here are Honourable Mentions:

Stompin’ Tom Connors – The Hockey Song, Paul Anka – Diana, Ian Tyson – Four Strong Winds, Rita MacNeil – She’s Called Nova Scotia, The Band – The Weight, Gordon Lightfoot – The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown, The Guess Who – These Eyes, Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now, Anne Murray – Could I Have This Dance, Sarah McLachlan – Angel, Jann Arden – Insensitive, Jann Arden – Good Mother, Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69, Tom Cochrane – Life is a Highway, The Tragically Hip – Bobcaygeon, Alanis Morissette – Ironic, Justin Bieber – Despacito, Drake –God’s Plan, and Bill Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road.

The By George Top-10 List of Canadian Songs

10. Bryan Adams – Everything I Do I Do It For You

9. Avril Lavigne – Complicated

8. Blue Rodeo – Try

7. Celine Dion – Because You Loved Me

6. Paul Anka – My Way

5. Neil Young – Heart of Gold

4. Bachman Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care of Business

3. The Guess Who – American Woman

2. Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah

1. Anne Murray – Snowbird

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.