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Trudeau’s unscripted responses reveal what to expect with a renewed mandate

The Niagara Independent, September 10, 2021 – Like all politicians, Justin Trudeau reveals more about what he is thinking when he breaks away from his prepared notes and teleprompter and speaks directly to a reporter’s question or citizen’s concern. It is in his unscripted moments that Canadians get a glimpse of his intent in governing the country. There have been two such candid moments on the campaign hustings that provide a window into what a majority Trudeau mandate would mean for Canadians.

The first such moment came as an off-the-cuff admission. At a BC campaign stop, Trudeau entertained reporters’ questions in a scheduled scrum. A question was asked: “You mentioned the Bank of Canada’s mandate. That mandate is actually expiring at the end of this year. If re-elected, it’s probably the review or the extension of the mandate that is probably the first big economic policy decision you’d make after the election. Do you have a position on the mandate? Would you support a slightly higher tolerance for inflation?”

Justin Trudeau responded: “I don’t know. When I think about the biggest, most important economic policy of this government, if re-elected, would move forward. You’ll forgive me if I don’t think about monetary policy.”

No doubt this was an honest reply by Trudeau, who has never shown an aptitude for fiscal issues. However, is it an adequate retort for a leader of a nation that is currently seized with unprecedented economic uncertainties? Statistics Canada had just reported Canada’s economy had contracted in the second quarter this year – a surprise for all financial analysts. It also reported the country’s inflation was 3.7 per cent – the highest it has been in two decades.

With the anxiousness over the oncoming fourth wave and whether it forebodes further shutdowns and disruption of the economy, is it not reasonable to think our prime minister would have given the country’s fiscal health a passing thought?

David Dodge thinks so. In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, the former governor of the Bank of Canada stated Trudeau must be more attentive to the country’s finances. Dodge said, “I think he should take it back…Neither Trudeau One nor Trudeau Two have been terribly interested in monetary policy, very unfortunately. In any event, he’s wrong. The new government has a very important set of decisions to make coming up on monetary policy and in terms of the renewal of the agreement with the Bank of Canada.”

The Bank of Canada’s mandate is reviewed and set every five years. One of the central responsibilities of the Bank is to manage the country’s inflation targets. The rising inflation pressures will have a profound impact on individual’s finances – and yet, evidently, Trudeau does not consider this.

Justin Trudeau’s nonchalant attitude about Canada’s monetary policies is not surprising. He has led a government that has had no concern for budgets, deficits or national debt. The 2021 budget document announced $135.2 billion of new expenditures in the next five years that will result in the country’s federal debt exceeding $1.4 trillion. To put this into perspective, the Trudeau Government has spent more money in six years than all past federal governments in the history of our country combined, and it has done so more than doubling the nation’s debt.

With Trudeau’s gross spending sprees, there appears no regard for fiscal sustainability. In July, prior to the election call, the Trudeau government spewed billions of dollars: $1.3 billion to BC’s SkyTrain, $1.4 billion to climate change, and $5.2 billion to bailout Newfoundland’s Muskrat Falls hydro project. The Liberal election platform contains an additional $78 billion in new spending.

The Liberals’ spending is endless; it is as if the public purse is bottomless. This much we can expect from a renewed Liberal mandate – and Trudeau will not give monetary policy a thought.

The second candid moment for Justin Trudeau comes from a stump speech and follow-up interview alongside deputy prime minister and finance minister Chrystia Freeland. At this campaign stop in London, Ontario, Trudeau and Freeland both expressly linked the government’s pandemic response to their future implementation of the Liberals green agenda. Trudeau stated that what they had learned from managing the pandemic they would use in the fight against climate change.

What exactly should we take from Trudeau and Freeland referencing pandemic emergency measures as a means to achieve their green policy objectives?

Earlier this year Trudeau was a central figure in a United Nations conference that urged all governments to declare a state of “global climate emergency” until the world has reached net zero CO2 emissions. The same conference urged governments to leverage the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.N. message to its member states was clear:  governments “have a major role in setting the conditions under which lifestyle changes can occur, through shaping policy, regulations and infrastructure investments…COVID-19 has provided insight into how rapid lifestyle changes can be brought about by governments…The lockdown period in many countries may be long enough to establish new, lasting routines if supported by longer term measures. In planning the recovery from COVID-19, governments have an opportunity to catalyse low-carbon lifestyle changes by disrupting entrenched practices.”

In other words, the pandemic is the opportunity to implement the U.N.’s “The Great Reset.” Both Trudeau and Freeland know what is in play here. In the past two years, Trudeau has increasingly championed the U.N.’s globalist agenda. Canada’s finance minister Freeland is a board member of the World Economic Forum, a body intent on advancing “The Great Reset” and the objective of resetting capitalism.

When considering what a renewed Trudeau mandate will mean for Canada, is Financial Post columnist Terence Corcoran fearmongering in suggesting Canadians might expect personal carbon passports and travel restrictions tied to decreasing fossil fuel use? Corcoran’s recent column is as disturbing as it is plausible given Trudeau’s and Freeland’s allegiances to the U.N. and W.E.F.

Following this thread, the economic policies that Canadians can expect to see introduced “to fight climate change” are laid out in detail in W.E.F. documents and presentations:

  • steadily increase carbon taxes to prompt behavioural change
  • increase corporate taxes
  • introduce wealth taxes on assets (i.e. holdings and property)
  • withdraw subsidies from fossil-fuel industry
  • create new funding programs for green initiatives
  • enact measures to increase government intervention in corporate boardrooms and the private sector

Given that all these policies have been openly floated by Liberal MPs in this past year, it is reasonable to think that they will be core policies for a future Liberal government.

In the cited examples, Justin Trudeau’s unscripted comments reflect the Liberals’ approach to governing since they assumed power in 2015. Should Trudeau receive his coveted majority mandate we can expect more of the same: four more years of big(ger) government, unbridled in its spending and unabashed in pursuing its set agenda.

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


Photo credit: Reuters/Carlos Osorio / Liberal leader Justin Trudeau reveals his party’s 2021 election platform at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Sept. 1, 2021.

Canadians have been ill-served by Justin Trudeau’s pandemic politics

The Niagara Independent, August 20, 2021 – In a gushing self-congratulatory press statement released the last week of July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exclaimed that the federal government’s hard work has kept Canadians healthy and safe throughout the pandemic. He lauded the work of Health Canada and reported that the country has now received more than 66 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines – enough to fully vaccinate every eligible person in Canada.

The euphoric announcement came just days before the PM called his longed-for late summer election. Indeed, Trudeau is giddy with the thought that the latest public opinion polls show that 72 per cent of Canadians are satisfied with the federal government’s pandemic efforts, up 15 points from the mid-May assessment when the PM stated we would need to manage through a “one-dose summer.”

Apparently public opinion has changed in the last eight weeks since the country began receiving a steady, reliable supply of vaccines. The Liberals expect to ride this wave of optimism to a majority government. The anticipated campaign narrative will in no way resemble the realities of the last 18 months and what Canadians have endured with the federal government’s gaslighting of facts around the spread of COVID-19 or the procurement of ample vaccines.

It is important to recap the unfolding of pandemic events and place into context the government’s actions. In this way, Canadians can properly hold our political masters to account – and appropriately judge whether they deserve our trust with a new majority mandate.

The first case of COVID in Canada was confirmed in Toronto on January 25, 2020; it was a man in his 50s who travelled from Wuhan, China. It is now known that many flights from China and elsewhere would transport the virus to our country. Yet, for weeks through February and March, Canadians were repeatedly told the situation was not serious and it was not originating from China.

On this point, the Trudeau Government failed to restrict air traffic from China for weeks after the first “official” death was reported in Wuhan on January 11, 2020. Travel from China was restricted by Taiwan on January 26, by the U.S. on January 31, and by Australia a day later. Meanwhile, in that same time frame almost 1,800 people flew from Wuhan into Canada. (Trudeau repeated this negligence again in 2021 when he refused to promptly ban flights from two hotspots, Brazil and India, allowing more deadly COVID variants to enter the country.)

Until mid-March 2020, PM Trudeau, Health Minister Patty Hajdu, and Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Theresa Tam all deflected any concern about the spread of the virus. Canadians were told masks were not needed. Dr. Tam told us “the flu-like coronavirus” would not impact Canada for at least a year. And, when anyone raised questions and concerns, they were immediately labelled “racists” and “conspiracy theorists.”

So, how is it that Canadians could be so slow to recognize the danger of this health crisis? A Globe and Mail investigative story has revealed the facts of the matter. In 2018, the Trudeau Government had dismantled the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), which was the organization responsible for the country’s epidemiological intelligence to monitor health threats, track deadly viral outbreaks, and provide global advance warnings. It was used during H1N1, Ebola, and SARS. Yet the Trudeau Government quietly stripped the network of its expertise and resources.

We have also now learned of the chaos behind the scenes at Health Canada in early 2020. The country had a severe shortage of face masks after the government dumped two million N95 masks in December 2019 and shipped tonnes of supplies to China in February 2020. Is it reasonable to question whether there is a connection between the government’s early insistence that masks are not required and the lack of adequate supply?

This gross mismanagement by the Trudeau Government was to be replayed with its procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. Canadians now know that in early 2020, the Trudeau government signed a contract and made a secret non-refundable cash payment to a Chinese pharmaceutical company for a vaccine that was never delivered. On May 16, 2020, PM Trudeau heralded an exciting vaccine deal for Canada (although he chose not to mention the deal was with the Chinese). That very week the deal collapsed. The PM worked to actively hide the facts from Canadians for over three months, until they were finally revealed in late August.

From Spring 2020 through to June 2021, Canadians have been paying the price of this botched Chinese deal. In early 2021 when European countries and the U.S. were awash in vaccine doses, Canada had but a trickle of vaccines. In fact, the inadequate and unreliable supply of vaccines dictated Canada’s health policies and its vaccination roll-out program. How else do you account for the facts?

  • Canada accepted AstraZeneca vaccine shipments that had been rejected by the U.S. health officials.
  • The government signed numerous new contracts with vaccine suppliers in 2021, at a premium cost and without solid delivery schedules.
  • Health Canada approved a four month delay between doses – against WHO expert counsel and the pharmaceutical companies’ medical warnings.
  • Canada was the first country to approve the mixing of vaccines.

Canada’s lack of vaccines has resulted in the country’s vaccination programs resembling one big sociobiological experiment.

Space will not permit detailing the crass politics that has been played by Trudeau and his ministers through the pandemic.

  • The hundreds of millions of dollars flowing to Liberal-friendly companies that, without consequences, failed to produce their contracted services and deliverables.
  • Gross misspending of an average of $1.5 billion per day for a full year by the federal government – the greatest per capita pandemic spending in the world, resulting in the highest pandemic national debt.
  • Overreaching and generous support programs resulting in the highest unemployment rate in the G7 – and these programs are continuing to be extended while retail outlets and hospitality businesses have difficulties finding adequate staff.
  • The active censoring of medical practitioners, media, and individual Canadians who voiced alternate views from the government’s official narrative.
  • Disregarding the authority of Parliament by employing tactics that keep public information from MPs and from Canadians – the details of the Canada-China virus research at the Winnipeg Lab being only the latest travesty.

But, who among us are minding the facts and the details? That’s the key election question.

Justin Trudeau is counting on Canadians being swept up in their relief of being fully vaccinated, hoping that we are thankful for everything his government has done throughout the pandemic. But should we be?

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


Photo credit: Trudeau puts on a mask after speaking at press conference in Ottawa, November 6, 2020. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld

Stephen Harper reappears in CBC headlines – the election is near

The Niagara Independent, August 6, 2021 – Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper made CBC headline news regarding a wide-ranging podcast interview he did earlier in July in Texas for an American production.

During a busy news week, when the federal government announced further extensions and an expansion of a number of pandemic economic support programs for individuals and businesses, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a $5.6 billion deal to bail out Newfoundland and Labrador’s Muskrat Falls hydroelectric boondoggle, the CBC chose to feature the former Conservative PM’s exchange with an American venture capitalist.

Mere mention of Harper’s name served as a flash of a red cape before a bull. Social media platforms immediately lit up with fierce, visceral attacks of the former PM. Liberal and NDP politicos on the airwaves pulled out worn lines against Harper and his conservative perspectives. There were the comparisons between Harper and current Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole – “a Harper-lite.”

This media-contrived tempest of politicos is a sure signal that the election call is imminent.

On the American Optimist podcast, Harper made observations on the pandemic response and fiscal policies in North America, international politics in dealing with China, and the threat the woke left presents for western democracies.

Politics aside, what Harper said deserves broadcasting. It is a clarion voice in a world still gripped in pandemic crises. So, here is Canada’s former PM Stephen Harper, unedited and sans editorial commentary.

On COVID-19 and the recovery: “This crisis really has been unique and very different and more complicated than [any] time before. This is a combination pandemic and an economic crisis, the solutions for one often being contrary to the solutions for the other.”

“[For a post-pandemic economic recovery] run strong market-oriented economic policy…I think it’s actually pretty straightforward, but it’s the opposite of what governments are doing…why can’t we just do this forever? People believe the United States can continue to borrow countless trillions of dollars at zero per cent interest. Not only do I believe that’s not true, I believe that’s actually coming to an end much quicker than people think.”

On Canada’s pandemic spending (which is the most expensive per capita spending in the world): “It’s not a good reaction, it’s been overkill. This is bad macroeconomic policy on an enormous scale.”

“As soon as you have interest rate hikes you have impacts on investment, and more importantly, all of a sudden, all this quote ‘affordable government spending’ is not so affordable.”

On globalization and China: Individual rights in Hong Kong are being “flagrantly violated” by the Chinese Communists and Harper said, “I would have urged our allies to respond more forcefully to that.”

“At the end of the cold war, all common sense on economic interaction related to national security went out the window, and we just assumed everybody…is going to be a friend…so we can trust them with anything. That has to change.”

Harper’s remarks echo comments he made before an audience at the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. In March 2021, he stated: “China is now a competitive rival of the United States across a range of spheres: economic, security, frankly competition of (government) systems as well…China has become more blatantly aggressive and hegemonic.”

On the dangers of woke culture: Much of the American Optimist podcast delved into the consequences of the rise of progressive mob mentality – or the ‘woke’ phenomenon – that has seized the western world. It was Harper’s comments on the woke mindset that were emphasized in CBC reports and other mainstream media. His comments appear to have greatly resonated – both positively and negatively – with Canadians.

Harper contends that the spread of “woke culture” in the West poses a threat to the “Anglo American heritage that Canada is a part of.” He observed:

“The real problem in the West is not that our prospects are not good. It’s elements in our own countries and our own societies that do not want us to succeed. The modern left, called Marxists often, is not really socialist, it’s nihilist. Its ethics are entirely nihilist and it’s all about ripping everything down. …It doesn’t really matter what their explanation for it is, it’s all bad and it needs to be fought and exposed.”

“I am just fascinated by this notion that is just everywhere now – the so-called woke notion that America is fundamentally a racist country. And yet what I see is all these supposedly repressed races trying desperately to become Americans.”

“It’s not that there aren’t problems, both historic and present, that aren’t real, but the core of our countries are great, they have great futures – and there is no alternative.”

“What’s so threatening about…this kind of far woke left is that it’s trying to end the democratic system. It’s not just trying to pass big deficits and modern monetary theory and a new education system – it’s trying to snuff out any opposition to those things. Its goal is authoritarian.

If it plays out, our societies fail…the adolescent egos of the woke university crowd is not an alternative governing philosophy for any society.”

The former PM’s frank assessment and critical observations of the woke phenomenon are certainly perspectives Canadians are not accustomed to hearing today from the country’s political elites.

So, with a few catchy headlines, CBC and other mainstream media succeeded in agitating their loyal listeners with fresh Harper quotes to be used in the not-so-distant election battle. Our state-supported news agencies have provided rich fodder for Liberals and the progressive-left crowd to remind their followers of the dark, distressing days that predated 2015.

Yes, conjuring up a boogeyman in this manner is a sure sign Canadians will soon be heading to the polls.

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


Photo credit: Harper speaks to podcast host Joe Lonsdale, July 27, 2021. Photo credit: YouTube/American Optimist

Justin Trudeau is systematically dismembering Canada

“Dismembering Canada” – Justin Trudeau and the making of his post-national state – was a five-part series looking at Canada’s current finances, justice system, democratic institutions, resource economy and traditional alliances. The series written by Chris George was published in The Niagara Independent through the month of July 2021.

From day one, Justin Trudeau has had designs to evolve Canada into a post-national state. On November 10, 2015, when Trudeau was sworn in as prime minister, he said to a New York Times interviewer that he envisioned a new kind of state: “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.” Canada was to be remodeled into his utopian vision: “There are shared values – openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice.”

Since those heady days in 2015, PM Trudeau set about to dismember the country’s finances, justice system, democratic institutions, resource economy, and its traditional alliances. Now six years in the Prime Minister’s Office, Trudeau is well on his way to achieving his objective.

By definition “post-nationalism” pertains to a time or mindset in which the identity of a nation is no longer important. Wikipedia concisely describes post-nationalism thus: “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 lists a variety of factors constituting the post-national process: shifting national economies to global ones, increasingly referencing global identities and beliefs, and transferring national authorities to multinational corporations and the United Nations.

Bankrupting the country

One of the most alarming aspects of Trudeau’s designs has been his government’s spending and the fiscal straight-jacket this has placed on future governments. In that same 2015 New York Times interview, Trudeau said he knew that Canada would run annual deficits: “Confident countries are willing to invest in the future, and not always follow the conservative orthodoxy of balanced budgets at all costs.”

This echoed his 2015 election refrain that “budgets balance themselves.” With Trudeau economics, Canada could run $10 billion deficits when the country’s economic growth outpaces government expenses. However, government spending was to balloon under Trudeau and his finance minister Bill Morneau and the country’s fiscal balance sheet was never to balance.

In five years, the government ran $89.1 billion in accumulated deficits under Morneau’s stewardship. Spending on federal government programs increased every year and, in total, by nearly $70 billion, or at a striking 27.2 per cent rate. This outstrips all past federal government spending, including those governments that had to respond to world wars and global recessions. It is by far the worst financial statement in Canada’s history — and that is before the COVID-19-impacted recession.

The Fraser Institute assessed Trudeau’s pre-COVID economic record: “The Liberal mix of higher taxes, more government spending and deeper indebtedness did not result in a robust economy as promised…GDP and income growth have slowed and business investment has collapsed.”

All indicators and opinion surveys point to the fact that Canadians will feel increased pressures with the Trudeau government’s fiscal plans. Consider that today:

  • One out of every four dollars Canadians earn goes directly to the federal government (and this does not account for indirect tax payments like the carbon tax on fuel).
  • The average Canadian family now spends more of its income on taxes (nearly half) than it does on basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing combined.
  • The Trudeau government has added $10,000 of new debt for every man, woman and child in Canada during his time in office.
  • Prior to the pandemic, one in two Canadians were living pay-cheque to pay-cheque, within $200 of insolvency at the end of each month (and this situation has worsened in the last year).
  • A recent survey revealed half of Canadians are stressed out and lose sleep over their finances.

To a United Nations conference, the Canadian PM explained what he was thinking, “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change…Building back better means getting support to the most vulnerable while maintaining our momentum on reaching the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

U.N. documents for its 2030 agenda outline what Canadians can expect to see introduced with this policy direction:

  • amended tax regulations for greater government control over business and individuals
  • wealth taxes
  • withdrawal of subsidies from fossil-fuel industry
  • creation of new funding programs for green initiatives
  • enactment of greater government intervention and social planning measures to tie the country’s policies to U.N. policies

Participating governments will be coached through international bodies to “future-proofing capitalism” by tightly tethering their private sector to government regulatory control.

Combine this U.N. agenda with the global corporate tax regime recently approved at the G7 conference and it is clear Canada is establishing a tax structure tied to global objectives that will tax more and increase government control.

The fiscal reality of PM Justin Trudeau’s pursuit of a post-national dream has limited future Canadian government’s policy options. Trudeau is both “emptying the cupboards” and he is turning over our cupboard keys to global bankers.

Undermining the judiciary

The Trudeau government’s scandalous record with respect to our country’s courts and rule of law has greatly undermined both the independence and impartiality of the Canadian judiciary.

The prime minister and his political operatives – including ministers of the Crown – have governed as if they are above the law. From manhandling the attorney general of Canada to politicizing the selection of judges, Justin Trudeau’s purposeful manipulation of the country’s rule of law has diminished Canada’s respected courts and legal traditions. His government’s flagrant miscarriages of justice are, in fact, eroding one of the fundamental underpinnings of our nation.

The Trudeau government’s most egregious affront to justice was its pressure applied on Jody Wilson Raybould when she served as Canada’s most-senior judicial officer. As the country’s attorney general and minister of justice, Wilson-Raybould was callously harassed and ultimately shuffled from her position when she refused the PMO directives to politically interfere in criminal proceedings against a Liberal-friendly multinational engineering firm.

As substantiated in a federal ethics commission report on the affair, the PMO wanted Canada’s attorney general to direct prosecutors to make a “deferred prosecution agreement” so that SNC-Lavalin could avoid trial on $130 million bribery and fraud charges in relation to contracts in Libya. In short, Minister Wilson-Raybould was told to deal a “get out of jail free” card.

When Wilson-Raybould would not follow the PMO instructions, she was shuffled and then slurred by PMO staffers. When she complained about being pushed out, Trudeau dropped her from cabinet and then had Liberal MPs exile her from their caucus. The parliamentary fireworks prompted a MP inquiry, an ethics commission inquiry, and the resignations of both PM Trudeau’s BFF and loyal lieutenant Gerald Butts, and Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick.

SNC-Lavalin ultimately had its day in court – and was found guilty as charged of bribery, fraud, and laundering the proceeds of crime. Even though this conviction was to have resulted in a 10-year ban from federal contracts, the Trudeau government gave SNC-Lavalin a special plea-bargain and continued to contract its favoured Quebec firm. In the 18 months following its conviction, SNC-Lavalin was awarded 142 government contracts with a combined worth of about $25 million. Then last year it was awarded a sole-sourced $150 million pandemic contract to design and deliver mobile health units.

While the assault on Canada’s Attorney General Office was being publicly revealed, behind closed doors another explosive judicial scandal was detonating – Canadians were about to learn more about the wrongful and politically vindicative prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

As second-in-command of the Canadian Forces, in fall 2015 Mark Norman was charged by the Trudeau government with breach of trust for leaking cabinet defence secrets on shipbuilding contracts. Norman’s defense claimed political interference by the PM and his inner circle and the Department of National Defence.

For years Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was stuck in a legal quagmire that sullied his reputation, dishonouring his career and character. It was the same cast of PMO operatives involved in the SNC-Lavalin scandal – Butts and Wernick – who were managing the legal fight against Norman.

As it was, at every turn, the federal Department of Justice played games that stonewalled Norman’s defence lawyers. Then, at the eleventh hour, as the courtroom showdown was about to commence, the Crown prosecutors folded their case and the charges against the vice-admiral were stayed. Norman was given an undisclosed sum of money to keep his mouth shut.

When news of the non-disclosure settlement deal broke, Liberal backroom strategist Warren Kinsella stated: “As in the LavScam case (SNC-Lavalin), criminal prosecutions must always be independent of politics. If the likes of Trudeau can use the criminal justice system to reward friends (like SNC-Lavalin) and punish enemies (like Norman), we will have fully become a totalitarian regime. We are no longer a true democracy.”

Jocelyn Bamford, founder of the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada, framed the issue this way, “After Norman, we need to ask what’s happening to our country. Is it just me, or does the whole thing suggest to others that we are becoming something of a banana republic?”

It’s a good question. Both the SNC-Lavalin and Norman scandals raise serious concerns about a person’s expectation for fair treatment in our Canadian legal system. Most disturbing is the fact that to this day our federal government (from the PM and PMO staff through to ministers, MPs, Crown prosecutors and senior government mandarins) has refused to explain, justify or otherwise account for what has happened. It is Kafkaesque.

On another disturbing judicial matter, this week news broke that justice minister David Lametti had appointed four more Liberal Party donors to positions of federal judges. This news is, in fact, an on-going saga for the Trudeau government.

In early 2020, the Globe and Mail uncovered a partisan federal Liberal network that vetted and selected judicial appointments, with weighted consideration given to their Liberal Party pedigree. Ministers, PMO staff, MPs (including St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle) and party operatives were all caught up in this clandestine operation that was established shortly after Justin Trudeau took office.

By appointing capital “L” Liberal-minded judges, this Trudeau government intends to impose in the courts its progressive mindset for years into the future. It is remarkable that since November 2015, more than 475 judges have been appointed with the Trudeau government’s judicial application process – and very few have had any type of public scrutiny.

In a recent Hill Times opinion piece, Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Wagner reminded Canadians that it is important to maintain a clear separation of the PM and Cabinet, its legislators, and the country’s judiciary. “The equilibrium of all three branches of government is what gives us our vibrant democracy, strong rule of law, and robust protections for people’s rights and freedoms. Judicial independence is critical to the balance,” wrote Chief Justice Wagner.

Clearly, continuing to politicize the selection of judges is sure to test Canadians’ trust in an independent and impartial judiciary. And as witnessed in the Jody Wilson-Raybould-SNC-Lavalin scandal and the mock-prosecution of Mark Norman, this government’s blatant disregard for the country’s justice system has the potential to shatter Canadians’ confidence in it.

Given Justin Trudeau’s abstraction of our country’s judiciary, Canadians may wish to reflect on English statesman Sir Francis Bacon’s insight: “If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.”

Debasing Parliament

Justin Trudeau’s flagrant disrespect for Parliament and Canada’s parliamentary traditions is purposefully creating a constitutional fog in the country. His government’s repeated abuses of power are undermining the authority of our parliamentary institutions, eroding the very foundation of the country’s democratic principles and practices. As MP Jody Wilson-Raybould assessed when she announced that she would not run again for Parliament, much has changed for the worst in the six years Justin Trudeau has been in office.

The government’s recent unprecedented move to take the Speaker of the House of Commons to court to challenge the supremacy of Parliament’s legislative authority is an indication of the extent to which PM Trudeau desires unfettered authority. In the history of our country, never has there been a government that has blatantly defied Parliament – and attempted to overturn it. Yet, in the case of the Trudeau government’s desire to conceal the coronavirus activities in the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, parliamentarian principles and MPs democratic rights are being trampled.

Last month the House of Commons ordered the Trudeau government to hand over unredacted documents from the Winnipeg lab that related to the research and firing of two scientists with Communist China ties. When the government declined to forward the requested files to MPs, it was held in contempt of Parliament. Then Public Health Agency of Canada president, Iain Stewart, defied MPs and he too was found in contempt. The government followed this by launching a lawsuit against the Speaker to have a court of law block any parliamentarian order to produce the documents.

Aside from leaving many unanswered questions about the joint Canada-China coronavirus research, the government’s extraordinary step to sue the head officer of the House of Commons raises multiple issues about elected representatives’ rights to hold to account a prime minister and his cabinet.

Steve Chaplin, former senior parliamentary counsel for the House of Commons, explained in a CBC interview the very crux of the matter, “Parliamentary privilege is constitutional and the privileges and the whole Westminster system of government, where the government is accountable to Parliament for everything that it does, is part of that system…It’s not the court’s business to step into it, and for the government to ask the courts to do it violates the Bill of Rights of 1689.”

As it stands today, the Trudeau government will continue to defy and delay and when the prime minister calls the election all demands for documents will be considered dissolved, requiring MPs to reintroduce the motions in the next Parliament. And should this all unfold as suggested, Trudeau’s subversive tactics will have thwarted Canadian democratic rights.

One of the primary functions of Parliament – its fiduciary duties to oversee government spending – has been disrupted in the last six years. The rights of parliamentarians to oversee government spending dates back to 1215 and the signing of the Magna Carta. However, the Trudeau government has found ways around the budgetary process to take at will from the public purse.

In June 2018, ignoring due process, a majority Trudeau government voted itself $7 billion to spend as it saw fit, without any necessary report to parliament until sometime after the 2019 federal election. Through the pandemic, the Trudeau cabinet was given free rein to spend what was needed to respond to the health crisis (resulting in the largest per-capita spending spree in the world). This government also went two years between federal budgets, without reporting its expenditures or it fiscal plans to parliamentarians.

Following its 2021 federal budget, the government found ways to sidestep expenditure reviews. Remarkably, more than $41.4 billion in spending occurred without MPs’ review – and this included an additional $17.1 billion of supplementary spending estimates.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux was very concerned about the lack of review, “The power of the purse resides with the House of Commons…It’s a lot of money. Those are big-spending departments. And the fact that they (MPs) are not even showing up on a principal duty, it’s got to be symbolic of something that the system is completely broken.”

This disfunction has allowed the Liberals to operate without repercussions. The recent Ottawa mischief that Liberal MPs are attempting to sweep under the rug has Justin Trudeau’s childhood friend Tom Pitfield being siphoned millions of taxpayers’ dollars to assist Liberal MPs with their voter databases. Pitfield is a senior Liberal campaign strategist who is being paid by the Liberal Party of Canada – but he is also providing database management services for MPs’ constituency work.

Much like the We Charity scandal, the Liberals have employed procedural tactics to avoid closer scrutiny of their misdeeds in pilfering the public purse for their own benefit. So, the failure of MPs to conduct traditional parliamentary reviews of government expenditures has essentially amounted to giving Justin Trudeau and his ministers a blank cheque.

Another cherished cornerstone in our country’s democracy is being dislodged by Justin Trudeau and his careless regard for the sanctity of the Canadian Charter of Rights. In May, Quebec premier Francois Legault introduced legislation that will bring sweeping measures to reinforce the French language within the province. He also pronounced his intention to rewrite certain sections of the Canadian Constitution that would assert La Belle Province as a sovereign “nation.” The premier will guarantee his measures with the use of the notwithstanding clause.

This direct affront to Canada’s Charter of Rights and established principles of bilingualism was met with approval by the PM. Trudeau stated it is “perfectly legitimate” for Quebec to unilaterally rewrite the section of the Canadian Constitution pertaining to its province.

The PM’s cavalier approach has been criticized from all sides – including by former PM Jean Chretien’s chief of staff Eddie Goldstein, who fears Trudeau is prying open a pandora’s box. Goldstein penned a scathing Globe and Mail editorial of PM Trudeau’s constitutional gambit, opening with, “Institutional memory is a fundamental prerequisite to good government.” (This sentence exposes the core issue with our PM: Trudeau has no regard for the country’s institutions and, therefore, is proving a wholly inadequate steward of the Canadian state.)

The PM’s disrespect displayed for Parliament, MPs’ rights, the Charter, and our constitution are all too regular. Justin Trudeau repeatedly debases Canada’s democratic institutions suggesting we are a country built on “a system of colonialism, discrimination, of systemic racism in all our institutions.” His actions and narrative have emboldened those who wish to question the legitimacy of Canada’s seat of government, and of the country itself.

As a final word, consider a widely respected MP’s recent observation on the current condition of Canada’s Parliament. Last week former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced she will not seek re-election and she was specific on her reasons for departing the Ottawa scene: “From my seat in the last six years, I have noticed a change in Parliament, a regression…It has become more and more toxic and ineffective while simultaneously marginalizing individuals from certain backgrounds. Federal politics is, in my view, increasingly a disgraceful triumph of harmful partisanship over substantive action.”

Devastating Canada’s resource economy 

The globalists and environmental activists in the government of Justin Trudeau have been methodically deconstructing Canada’s natural resources sector and establishing a state-interventionist economy. PM Trudeau himself is intent on redesigning capitalism and advancing an international green agenda. He has quickened the country’s pace towards these end goals under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

On many occasions Justin Trudeau has publicly tied the country’s pandemic recovery to the World Economic Forum’s The Great Reset and the United Nations 2030 objectives. In his U.N. appearance last September, Trudeau gave a clear indication that the path he was leading Canadians down was one that his government had embarked on prior to COVID-19. Trudeau stated: “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems…”

As the prime minister and his Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland have often mused, the pandemic is “an opportunity” to further their government’s agenda.

The Trudeau government agenda is anti-resource development and, expressly, anti-oil and gas sector. Its natural resource development approach has had a dramatic, negative impact on both large and small resource companies. Calgary-based news agency, Second Street, factors that $213 billion in resource development projects have been lost to Canadians since 2014. The Enbridge Northern Gateway and TC Energy East projects were scrapped due to uncertain regulatory delays and there has been a mass exodus of drilling companies from western Canada.

Just prior to the pandemic, the country’s resource economy was rocked with the announcements of the cancellation of the $20.6 billion Teck Frontier mine project and the collapse of financing for the $9 billion Energie Saguenay pipeline and liquified natural gas project.

Despite the facts that there are one million jobs and nearly a quarter of all Canadian exports dependent on a healthy oil and gas industry, the Trudeau government has pursued an energy policy course that is intent on curtailing future development. In June 2019, prior to the last federal election, the Trudeau government passed into law two controversial and damaging measures: first, Bill C-69 established an unparalleled, onerous federal environmental assessment process for major resource projects in Canada; and second, Bill C-48 placed a moratorium on Canadian oil tanker activity along the BC coast – effectively cutting off the Asian market to Canadian energy producers.

Since Trudeau took office, his government’s statements and actions have delivered irreparable blows to investor confidence in Canadian energy projects. Recent Statistics Canada data reveals that, since 2015, investment in 10 of our 15 major business sectors has dropped by 17 per cent, as both Canadian and foreign investors have headed elsewhere.

In place of Canada’s attractive resource sectors, PM Trudeau and a cadre of his senior ministers have designed a green energy plan to drive the country’s future prosperity. Canadians are being told that the government will “build back better” the country’s economic fortunes with a bold, progressive environmental agenda. With $109 billion of government investment in the next decade, the Liberal plan will create in excess of six million green jobs and support $790 billion worth of “green” initiatives.

This green energy plan that is to revive – and reset – the Canadian economy is illusory on multiple levels. Here are four obvious ones:

#1 — The plan requires considerable private sector investment of nearly $700 billion that is just not there. For every one dollar the government is to invest, the Trudeau government is looking to encourage the private sector to invest six dollars. As it has discovered with its failed Canada Infrastructure Bank, the private sector is reluctant to partner with government, especially one that is increasingly interventionist and unattractive to foreign investors.

#2 — The Liberals’ plan is tied to unrealistic carbon emission reduction targets. Canada missed its Copenhagen 2020 targets and, according to a recent U.N. Emissions Gap Report, the country is set to miss its next emissions target in 2030 by 15 per cent. The fact is, under this Trudeau government stewardship, Canada’s emissions have actually risen.

Yet, this government has pledged that the country will meet net zero emissions by 2050 and it has further set interim targets without any details on how they will be achieved. For example, a report released this week by the C.D. Howe Institute states that in order for Canada to meet its targets, the government will have to ensure there will be three electric cars for every four cars sold by 2030. Is this realistic given current vehicle sales and the existing electric-charge station network?

#3 — One of the key components of the green energy plan is a mounting carbon tax that will alter Canadians’ energy consumption behaviours. The tax is to raise gas prices for commuters and personal travel. It will raise fuel prices to heat homes. It increases costs for our farmers, manufacturers, and truckers – and, as a result, the carbon tax will raise the price of all groceries and consumer goods. So, by design, the carbon tax will significantly increase the cost of living for all Canadians – and this will bring about the change in behaviour.

In a June 2021 report, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) provided an analysis of the economic impact of the government’s plan to reach net zero carbon emissions targets in 2050 and, unsurprisingly, this plan is certain to negatively impact the economy. More significantly, the PBO found the government targets can only realistically be reached by raising the carbon tax five times greater than it is currently scheduled through 2030 (this would result in approximately $160 of additional carbon taxes every time Canadians filled up their vehicle).

#4 — This green energy plan will only be sustainable with continuous government subsidies. The Trudeau government’s green initiatives neither factor their costs nor their return on investment – there is an assumption that the budget will balance itself. In an internal memo, Department of Natural Resources reviewed the “market failure” of current Canada’s solar, wind, and geothermal industries and it concluded that “most projects would not have been financially viable” without the support of more than $1.4 billion of government subsidies.

In attempting to understand the underlining rationale with the Trudeau Liberals’ green energy plan, consider the recent announcement by senior cabinet minister Catherine McKenna that she would not be running in the upcoming election. In a fawning media interview, the former environment minister made a lucid observation that government does not have the financial means to underwrite the Liberals’ green energy plan; however, there is ample private sector cash that must be invested. Much like Chyrstia Freeland’s expressed desire to access the savings accounts of individual Canadians, McKenna posits the government use regulatory control to shake lose the needed cash from private sector businesses to pay for the country’s green initiatives.

In a Financial Post editorial, Matthew Lau seized on McKenna’s suggestion: “McKenna speaks of spending money to build the future Canadians want, but she is doing no such thing. Instead of letting Canadians spend their own money to build the future they want, she is spending their money to build the future she thinks they ought to want, which is really just the future she wants. It is a future in which Canadians are less prosperous and free.”

In Lau’s summary he captures the sad ironies of the Liberals’ green energy plan. Indeed, this is the devastating course Justin Trudeau is pursuing in gutting Canada’s natural resources sector and imposing his “reset” on the country’s economy.

Realigning international alliances

In Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first appearance on the international stage, he blurted out, “We’re back.” This exclamation was to suggest Canada was about to resume its traditional roles with its trusted allies in furthering democratic and western values around the world. Yet, the government’s actions over the last six years indicate this PM has done the exact opposite of expectations and has upset Canada’s reliable position in global affairs.

During the post-world war era Canada emerged as a steady middle-power that was consummate in its soft diplomacy and adept at leveraging its alliances with the United States, the Commonwealth, and western European countries. After six years of Justin Trudeau’s foreign diplomacy, this profile is soiled. The global community seems uncertain of Canada, evident by losing bids for council seats at the United Nations. At home, an Angus Reid survey taken last summer revealed that two-in-five Canadians believe our reputation on the world stage has worsened in recent years.

Of great concern is the eroded confidence and trust that Canada’s closest ally and largest partner, the United States, has for its “friendly neighbour” to the north. Remarkably, the election of President Joe Biden resulted in a widening gap between the countries’ governing politicians. The divergence can be traced in part to U.S. protectionism, and in part to suspicions in Washington of Canada’s growing relationship with China.

As the world begins to shake free of the COVID-19 crisis, the thrust of America’s economic policies are seemingly becoming more parochial. Unlike the special trade relationships forged during the Mulroney-Reagan and Chretien-Bush eras, the Trudeau government cannot depend on its friendship with the Biden Democrats.

Justin Trudeau may speak highly of Joe Biden, yet this presidency has already seriously impacted the Canadian economy. The first act of the new president was the cancellation of Keystone XL pipeline which dealt a serious blow to western Canadians. Today, President Biden will not step up to guarantee uninterrupted oil supply to Canada through Line 5. Moreover, the countries have multiple trade irritants: softwood lumber, aluminum, dairy supply management, and grain grading. In Congress, the Democrats are working with the president to pass “Buy American” provisions and a new infrastructure package that will not offer exemptions to Canadian companies and workers.

These troublesome trade matters are unfolding as American politicians debate U.S.-China relations. The two issues intersect with the special congressional hearings on China and the committee’s investigation of Canada’s economic and diplomatic relations with the Chinese Communist Party. This has led to both Republican and Democrat politicians questioning the trustworthiness of a Canadian alliance. There is concern about the Canadian government’s unwillingness to reveal the facts behind the two Communist Chinese scientists’ virus research at the federal laboratory in Winnipeg; Canada’s hold-out as the only country in the five-eyes intelligence group not to ban or restrict Huawei 5G technology; and, its repeated delays and apparent hesitancy in fulfilling its security and defence obligations.

It is a point of contention that Canada no longer pulls its weight with NATO or NORAD and it has failed to invest in the country’s self-defence. With respect to NATO, Canada has abandoned its commitment to spend two per cent of the national GDP target for defence spending. It is avoiding the start of talks about NORAD, the first line of North American defence from an arctic attack, which is in immediate need of an upgrade from the existing 1980s radars. In Canada, there are open calls for our withdrawal from both defence alliances – and this been noted by our allies.

The Trudeau government is consistently vacillated on all matters of the country’s military. An overdue decision has just been further delayed on the purchase of 88 new fighter jets to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet. Final decisions have long been pending to acquire 15 ships to replace aged destroyers and frigates as well as new submarines for Canada’s perpetually drydocked fleet. Comically, the government is waffling to replace Second World War-era pistols for the Canadian Forces.

As PM Trudeau neglects the country’s historic strategic partners, his government is forging new working relations with Communist China. Trade between the two countries is increasing – gaining more than eight per cent through the pandemic. Chinese are buying up Canadian companies, natural resources and land at record pace. Meanwhile, Canada’s investment in China is increasing, providing millions of dollars to Chinese research and foreign aid. Also, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) has now invested more than 11 per cent of Canadians’ savings in China.

PM Trudeau has also been careful to nurture the countries’ diplomatic ties. One recent example is the Trudeau government payment in advance to China for a vaccine that the China government reneged on without repayment. Despite the fact the two Michaels have languished in China prisons for almost 1,000 days, PM Trudeau has been near silent. He has also been uncomfortably quiet on Communist China’s human rights abuses from Uyghur Muslims to Hong Kong democrat leaders.

During Trudeau’s term in office, Canada’s realignment from trusted U.S. neighbour and western ally to Communist China chum has occurred with little notice or concern by Canadians. Likewise, the Canadian government’s ratification of U.N. agreements has left many unaware of how Trudeau is relinquishing our national authority to international bodies and their agendas.

In this last Parliament, the Trudeau government announced Canada’s new immigration and refugee targets that reflect the U.N.’s “open borders” and migration policies. It just aligned federal laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which will obligate the country to international courts of law. Most recently, Canada signed onto a plan to internationally regulate the taxing of corporations. Trudeau has been active on the world stage donating Canadian money to U.N. feminist and abortion programs in the third world – and tying further development aid to the acceptance of those U.N. programs.

PM Trudeau has also taken centre stage at recent U.N. meetings to cheerlead The Great Reset – the U.N.’s World Economic Forum plan to refashion capitalism and advance a new green agenda. Though the PM will suggest to Canadians that any talk of The Great Reset is a conspiracy theory, it is now coming to light that the PM, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Liberal celebrity Mark Carney are all playing central roles in the World Economic Forum. Pivotal to achieving the U.N.’s work is to cede nations’ sovereign interests and authority to internationally binding commitments.

The Trudeau government has offered up Canada as an example for all governments to advance towards a post-national state. According to the master plan, the Canada of tomorrow is not a nation with strategic allies and trade partners, it is a group of people adhering to international interests.

The upcoming federal election will allow for Canadians to pass judgement on Justin’s Trudeau’s vision of Canada. Whether it is Canada’s international position, justice system, economy, or the authority of Parliament, on multiple fronts Trudeau continues to dismember the country. With each of the PM’s activities, it is as if he is picking and unravelling the threads of a twined rope – to eventually work loose the tethers to our country’s foundations.  

It is essential for Canadians to realize that this next election is a vote for our country as a nation, or Justin Trudeau’s post-national design. 


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

Cycling and Butter Tarts

On June 12 and 13 this summer, there was exciting news from Simcoe County (the very heart of butter tart country) that the Butter Tart Festival Cycling Tour had attracted cyclists from across Ontario. This festival serves cyclists butter tarts from 15 businesses along the North Simcoe trail that runs through the communities of Lafontaine, Perkinsfield, Penetanguishene, Midland, Victoria Harbour, Port McNicoll and Waubaushene.

Here is the Orillia Times news article: A perfect combination: a bike ride and delicious local butter tarts

Of course, Ontario has other butter tart festivals that cater to hungry cyclists. In fact, the By George Journal has featured a few:

Kawartha Lakes Butter Tart Tour

Wellington County Butter Tarts and Buggies Tour

At By George, we have always been partial to cycling the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail to visit both the bakeries in Almonte and Pakenham.

Here is an important update for the summer of 2021.

Rumour had it that when the General Store in Pakenham changed ownership recently that you could no longer get baked goods in the store. Not true!

The General Store is still a must-stop in Pakenham. It still has all the favourite bakery goods: pies, cookies, the infamous Pakenham Sticky Buns -– and butter tarts!

Seriously, what could possibly be a better combination? Cycling, 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.


REDUX: A Dozen Delectable Photos

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

These photos first appear in the By George Journal on July 6, 2020. For all of last year’s posts,  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.

Bake My Day in St. Jacobs Farmers Market

Bake My Day is a new booth in the corner of the market tent of the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market,

What is most enticing is that these bakers make butter tarts the old fashion way. The Waterloo Chronicle has reported that the tarts are a “flaky crust delicately covering the chewy top, all surrounding the buried sticky-sweet treasure in the middle.”

“My recipe is my grandma’s recipe, who I used to bake with growing up,” owner Tabetha Cundick. “My grandma taught me how to bake with love, and the secret to pastry is you don’t touch it very much because the more you handle and knead it, the tougher it becomes.”

Bake My Day has all those classics, along with some that Grandma didn’t pioneer, like butter tarts made with root beer, Nutella and Bailey’s. “I’ve modernized them and offer 22 flavours of butter tarts that include Oh Henry, Caramilk, Bounty, maple walnut, chocolate chip and our two April flavours of the month, Easter egg and maple bacon,” says Cundick.

Good news for those in Kitchener and Waterloo! You can order on-line for delivery in the K-W area!

WEBSITE:  Bake My Day

And check out the Facebook page for the latest news from this bakery: Bake My Day Facebook

Here is the Waterloo Chronicle news feature: “Go ahead, Bake My Day!: The butter tart is an art at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market booth”

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.

July is “Butter Tart Month”

By George declared July “Butter Tart Month.” Bite into these new posts this month:

Cycling and Butter Tarts

REDUX: A Dozen Delectable Photos

Bake My Day in St Jacobs Farmers Market

The Butter Tart Ice Cream Sandwich

Farm Boy’s classic butter tarts

Here is the full menu of delectable articles from 2020!

Butter Tarts are the Quintessential Canadian Food

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

First Printed Recipe of Butter Tarts

The humble origins of the butter tart

Canadian Living‘s Butter Tart Recipe

A Dozen Delectable Photos 

Mom, Tarts, and Life Lessons

2020 Title Holder for Best Tart is From the Ottawa Valley

An artist’s rendering… delicious!

Kids and Butter Tarts – a very happy combination 

Butter Tart Daydreams

Elizabeth Baird’s Butter Tart Recipe 

An Award-Winning Butter Tart Recipe

An apology for adding raisins

It’s the all important question: raisins or no-raisins (a mid-month update)

Butter Tart Recipes from The Great Canadian Cookbook

Bacon Butter Tarts

The Bee Hive Corn Syrup Recipe

Butter Tart Daydreams II

The Best Butter Tart Festival 

The (Infamous) Butter Tart Tour

Wellington County Butter Tarts

Almonte and Pakenham Bakeries are “Must-Stops”

Maple Butter Tart Liqueur

Maple Butter Tart Pie Recipe

Butter Tarts – Plus

7 “Of Ontario’s Best” Butter Tarts

Torontonians’ Top 10 List of Best Butter Tarts

A Definitive List of Ontario’s Best Butter Tarts

By George’s “Best Butter Tarts – Ever”

The answer to the all-important butter tart question is….

Follow By George Journal on Facebook and on Twitter for the sweetest kinds of diversions. 

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

The Butter Tart Ice Cream Sandwich

The latest bakery news coming from Toronto is that Gerrard Street Bakery has just introduced the “outrageously delicious butter tart ice cream sandwich.”

This dessert is exactly as sounds: two fresh, house-made butter tarts with a middle of gelato.

The bakery has teamed up with Toronto’s House of Scoops – home of specialty gelato.

Bakery owner Paul Clementi was quoted in media: “We do a lot of butter tart incorporated things. A lot of recipes stem from the butter tart itself. We have a butter tart cake, butter tart cookie, butter tart gelato and now a butter tart gelato sandwich.”

The feature dessert costs between $10 – $12 a piece.

The bakery also has a Nanaimo bar hybrid treat – The eh bar ($5) which is a Nanaimo bar with a butter tart filling.

Gerrard Street Bakery is located at 635 Gerrard St East in East Chinatown.

News Sources:

Here’s Where You Can Get A Butter Tart Ice Cream Sandwich

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.

Celebrating Cycling

June is bike month in Almonte and By George celebrated by producing a daily post on cycling.

Pedal your way through this menu! And #bikealmonte !

Posting hashtag #bikealmonte – and enjoy the ride

6 Remarkable Desktop Wallpapers

Bike Art

Cycle MORE (182 km)

Of Shadows and Spokes (12 photos)

Go-To Websites for Cycling in Ontario

Biking the rail trail from Arnprior to Sand Point (19 km return)

Stewiacke-Pictou Town NS Ride (110 km)

The Top Canadian Cycle Dream Trips

The ultimate bicycle song: Queen’s “Bicycle Race”

The Tour de Mississippi Mills Route (100 km)

The delicious Almonte-Pakenham Loop (34 km) 

Almonte’s winding Old Perth Road route (a 20 km gem)

The Almonte – Ashton – Stittsville – Carp Loop (106 km)

PSA: Wear your helmet (you’ll enjoy this!)

The picturesque back roads of Lanark

To bike these days (a poem)

The Biking Poem

25 Cycle Jokes

15 more bicycle facts and stats

15 bicycle facts and stats

The Origins of the Bike

50 km Almonte-Appleton-Mill of Kintail Loop

Biking along the Mississippi River

A Ride at Dawn (a poem) 

Life is a beautiful ride (and more)

A Dozen Funny Cycling Memes

Cycling Quotes to Inspire & Motivate

A Dozen Fav Bicycle Quotes

Hurray for Bike Month

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


Farm Boy’s classic butter tarts

Here is the recipe for Farm Boy’s classic butter tart

The Tart pastry

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb (454 grams) shortening
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Combine flour and shortening in the bowl or a food processor and pulse to until the largest pieces are the size of peas and other pieces are even smaller.

Whisk the yolk, water and vinegar together and mix into dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough just comes together. 

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness, cut out rounds and place them in two 12-cup muffin tins and chill for 30 minutes.

While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 400°F and prepare filling.

Butter tart filling

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/5 cups corn syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Using a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar first.

Next, add the eggs, syrup, vanilla and salt and mix until combined.


Pour filling into each tart shell only 3/4 full. Do not be tempted to fill them to the top, as they’ll bubble over and stick to the pan.

(Note: before putting them into the oven, this is where you can add any nuts or dried fruits of your choice.)

Bake for 13–15 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and puffy and pastry is golden. 

Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around each tart and carefully remove. You must remove them while they’re warm, otherwise they’ll weld themselves to the pan. 

Enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature.

  • Yield:  24 tarts  |  Prep Time:  1 hour  |  Cook Time:  15 minutes

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.

Posting hashtag #bikealmonte — and enjoy the ride

This summer I plan on capturing as many of the beautiful viewscapes while cycling in and around Almonte. Here are three photos taken just this month…

Nothing but contentment near Blakeney

Almonte’s Rail Trail – heading out

Storm clouds forming over the Indian River

I will be posting regularly on the By George Journal Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts. And you can follow along by searching for #bikealmonte.

I encourage everyone to cycle the backroads around this pastoral community of Almonte – enjoy the small town charm and the open spaces of farmland, forests and winding rivers.

Share your cycling experiences with #bikealmonte.

Enjoy the ride!

To see more on cycling, pedal through the By George Journal menu.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. And yes, Chris also would rather be cycling… #bikealmonte



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.

On Hockey – from the Greats of the Game

Forget about style; worry about results. – Bobby Orr

  • Every day is a great day for hockey. – Mario Lemieux
  • Hockey is a tough game. – Bobby Orr
  • You’ve got to love what you’re doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time. – Gordie Howe
  • When you’re on the ice, you have very little time, you see very little, and everything happens really quick. – Steve Yzerman
  • We take the shortest route to the puck and arrive in ill humor. – Bobby Clarke
  • Hockey is a game of one-on-one battles. – Mark Messier
  • In Canada, you’re not a hockey player until you’ve lost some teeth. – Andy Bathgate
  • I played with a lot of great players before. They’re all the same. They take a lot of responsibility for their own play, put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform and to play well. – Mark Messier
  • The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it. – Wayne Gretzky
  • My father used to tell me the game is not privileged to have you, you’re privileged to have hockey. – Paul Coffey
  • Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire. – Fred Shero
  • How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo? – Jacques Plante
  • I’m not dumb enough to be a goalie. – Brett Hull
  • I always tell Bobby he was up in the air so long that I had had time to shower and change before he hit the ice. – Glen Hall (on letting in The Goal by Bobby Orr)

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.

Quotes on our country Canada


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.

10 Hockey Quotes (shareable memes)

By George is passing 10 memes to your way so that you might score with these memorable quotes in your next sports post. Share the memes by right-clicking on the images; save them to your computer or copy them right into your email or social media post. Enjoy.

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.



15 Amazing Hockey Facts

  1. Before 1914, referees used to place the puck on the ice between the players’ sticks for faceoffs. This led to many cuts, bruises and even broken hands for the referees. Starting in 1914, the referees were allowed to drop the puck between the players’ sticks.
  2. The first NHL goal was scored on December 19, 1917 by Dave Ritchie of the Montreal Wanderers against the Toronto Arenas.
  3. Prior to the 1927-28 season, forward passes were not allowed in hockey.
  4. Maple Leaf Gardens — former home of the Toronto Maple Leafs — became the first arena to have a four-sided game clock, in 1932.
  5. Frank Zamboni invented the first self-propelled ice-clearing machine, in 1949.
  6. Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Famer Stan Mikita is most often credited with the creation of the curved stick blade in the 1960s — all blades were previously straight.
  7. Head Games: Andy Brown was the last goaltender to play a game without a mask, doing so with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1974. The last player in the NHL to play without a helmet was Craig MacTavish, who retired in 1997.
  8. The fastest slapshot on record is Bobby Hull’s, which registered 118 miles per hour.
  9. Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins was the first NHL player to record 100 points in a season, in 1969. Wayne Gretzky was first (and is the only) player to record 200 points in a season.
  10. Darryl Sittler holds the NHL record for most points in a single game, with 10. He scored five goals and had five assists on February 6, 1976, helping his Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Boston Bruins.
  11. Paul Coffey of the Edmonton Oilers set an NHL record for defencemen with 37 points in the 1985 playoffs.
  12. In 1971, the Boston Bruins signed Bobby Orr to a five-year deal worth $200,000 per season —the first million dollar contract in NHL history.images
  13. Wayne Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One”, is almost unanimously accepted as the greatest hockey player to every play the game. He holds 61 NHL records, the most by far of any player and finished playing with a total of 2,857 points. Amazingly, even if all of the nearly 900 goals Wayne scored throughout his career were removed from his statistics, he would still hold first place for most points.
  14. Some pro players call their mothers for a few words of encouragement, but not Sidney Crosby; Sid the Kid has a strict rule about not speaking with his mom on game days. He has broken this rule three times, and each time has been injured during the game.
  15. Cup Mishaps: The Stanley Cup is named after a former Canadian Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, who donated the trophy in 1893. The Cup has been used as a cereal bowl, accidentally left by the side of the road, tossed into a swimming pool and even lost, like luggage, on a 2010 flight from New Jersey to Vancouver. After the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1962, they accidentally threw the Cup into a celebratory bonfire. In 1905, players from Ottawa Silver Seven, while drunk, kicked the Stanley Cup into the frozen Rideau Canal and had to retrieve it the next morning.

There are plenty of websites with great hockey facts to stump your trivia puckhound. Here are a few good one:

40 Fun Hockey Facts

30 Kickass and Interesting Facts About Ice Hockey

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hockey

10 fun hockey facts to share with your kids

Ice Hockey Facts

20 Fun, Random Facts about Hockey
Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Ahelluva Hockey Commercial!

Unquestionably, here is the best hockey commercial on the air. It’s “Hockey in Sidney Crosby’s own words”


“Hockey’s our game. But really it’s much more than just a game. It’s a passion that brings us all together on frozen ponds, at the community rink, and in our living rooms. It’s the feeling you got the first time you stepped on the ice. The feeling you had when you scored your first goal. Hockey is in our driveways, it’s in our dreams, in every post-game celebration. It’s in the street every time your friend yells, “Car!”; in every rink across the country; it’s in our hearts. Hockey is the thought inside you head saying, “Wouldn’t it be amazing, getting up everyday and playing, doing something that you love to do.” [Tim Hortons celebrates hockey as it brings together all Canadians.]

Now I admit to being a huge fan of Sid the Kid. Here are links to a couple priceless pieces that feature our Canadian idol:

Where Crosby Happens

Timbits Hockey Commercial (2009)

Share with us your favourite Crosby commercial!

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

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.


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

Hockey Quotes – from The Great One

Perhaps the most remarkable comment about Wayne Gretzky came from Lowell Cohn. This American sportswriter once said of “The Great One”:  “Some guys play hockey. Gretzky plays 40 mph chess.”

For hockey enthusiasts, there should be no need to celebrate the mastery of this superb hockey player. Wayne Gretzky is hockey’s all-time leading point scorer – and has been for more than 30 years. On October 15th 1989, The Great One got an assist and then a goal to notch points 1,850 and 1,851 and surpass “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe’s point total.

Let’s remember Wayne Gretzky’s many achievements with ten of his memorable quotes:

  • Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.
  • I had to play the same style all the way through. I couldn’t beat people with my strength. I don’t have a hard shot. I’m not the quickest skater in the league. My eyes and my mind had to do most of the work.
  • You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
  • You’ll never catch me bragging about goals, but I’ll talk all you want about my assists.
  • Hockey is the only sport in the world that actually encourages fighting. I have no idea why we let it go on. The game itself is so fast, so exciting, so much fun to watch, why do we have to turn ice red so often? Why do the best shots in a game have to be on somebody’s nose instead of somebody’s net?
  • It really wasn’t practice, it was fun. I enjoyed myself. If I had considered it practice, I would not have done it. (on playing 6-8 hours a day as a kid)
  • I don’t like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don’t like them crossing one another; and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it’s essentially a matter of taking care of what take care of you.
  • I’ve held women and babies and jewels and money, but nothing will ever feel as good as holding that Cup.
  • The hardest thing about hockey is that the older you get, the more you love it.
  • To play so well and for so long is simply incredible. No player will ever do the things in hockey that Gordie (Howe) did.

The last words on The Great One must go to Canadian radio personality Peter Gzowski, who poetically described Wayne Gretzky’s magic in his 2004 piece “The game of our lives.”:

“There is an unhurried grace to everything Gretzky does on the ice. Winding up for the slapshot, he will stop for an almost imperceptible moment at the top of his arc, like a golfer with a rhythmic swing. He has more room in the flow of time and Gretzky uses this room to insert an extra beat into his actions. In front of the net, eyeball to eyeball with the goaltender . . . he will . . . hold the puck one . . . extra instant, upsetting the anticipated rhythm of the game, extending the moment. . . He distorts time, and not only by slowing it down. Sometimes he will release the puck before he appears to be ready, threading the pass through a maze of players precisely to the blade of a teammate’s stick, or finding a chink in a goaltender’s armour and slipping the puck into it . . . before the goaltender is ready to react.”


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.