Tag Archives: Canadian

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.”

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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.

Hockey is the glue that binds our Nation

In order to be a dynamic, sustainable national entity, a country’s people must have shared values, perspectives, and experiences. A country’s peoples must know and understand certain common things – whether they be moments in time, or iconic images that stir a common passion. In Canada our sense of national identity has become blurred through the past two to three decades largely because we are losing our national common identifiers. And we are losing our sense of being because we no longer collectively share special moments or recognize and appreciate meaningful symbols.

So, one needs to ask “What do we have in Canada to unite us? What will provide that sense of nationalism that can pull us together and have us share moments in time – that can become our peoples’ common memories and source of pride?”

By George offers that our national game of hockey is the glue that binds our nation.

Hockey is a shared experience that transcends pucks and ice surfaces. Hockey envelops everything from pre-dawn breakfasts and cold car rides to the smell of locker rooms and those smiles and arena exchanges with your children. There are tens of thousands of Canadian children who love the game and dream of being the next Gretzky or Crosby. There is a legend of parents who come together to converse and share moments in the rinks and the parking lots. And there is Saturday night. Imagine how many households have the HNIC ritual of cheering the opening face-off and needing to hear Don Cherry bark through another Coach’s Corner.

Hockey is the reference point for Canada. Quite simply, it is what defines us.

Hockey defines us in a way that other things do not – or can no longer. For example, Canada is beyond being defined by its two founding Nations. This has given way to multiculturalism and, today, we have our three most populous urban centres as, literally, cultural mosaics. What of bilingualism? A native heritage? Our historic memberships in the commonwealth or NATO? None of these strike a resounding chord with our current society.

Canadians no longer rally around historic icons like our founding father Sir John A, the Mounties, the mighty moose or maple syrup? Many Canadians have never seen a canoe or an inukshuk – so these symbols simply cannot provide a common reference point. Perhaps there is a case for the maple leaf icon and our ensign – but Canadians differ greatly on what our red-and-white flag represents and the maple leaf is less a shared symbol of national passion than it is a default icon representing the notion of our country.

So, the contention is hockey is the glue that binds…. and in the months ahead the By George Journal will celebrate hockey and explore the idea of this glorious game is “the defining element” of Canada – our peoples’ source of “being Canadian.”

(ed. – This column originally appeared in By George Journal in December 2009.)

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.

 

 

The Sad Reality regarding The End of the Season

The 2010-2011 hockey season for the George boys has officially ended. And admittedly, this week we have all been living in denial… we still hold out hope that, just maybe, in the days ahead we’ll see the inside of a rink again. Maybe the boys will get a chance to lace up…

The photo is of my eldest, moments before he took to the ice for the championship game of tournament play in Buffalo last weekend. The game was invigorating – the players on both teams laying it all out on the ice, every shift, every play. The contest ended with a sinking wrist shot that eluded the goalie’s glove hand, 5 minutes into an overtime period. Though the St. Catherines Stars were on the losing end of the 3-2 score, everyone in that arena that afternoon left fulfilled. It was ahelluva game – some fine hockey.

It wasn’t so bad to be defeated, as it was us knowing that this game was to be the last of the season.

Somewhere I remember reading that life imitates sport. Sunday, we experienced life again with the rushes, passes, and exciting plays in front of the nets. There were many tense moments (who’s kidding who – it was all tense!!) and we yelled at the poor refereeing, cheered on our boys and clapped for the energy and skill displayed by both teams. This game was the best of the sport we all have become so intimate with.  For 90 minutes on Sunday, nothing else really mattered once the whistle blew and the puck dropped.

As we were driving home, Alexander said, over and over, “I can’t believe hockey is over. It was such an awesome year, why does it have to end?” Of course, our parental instincts told us to say – “All good things must come to an end.” Yet, in attempting to respond to his moans from the backseat, my wife and I could only offer a few unconvincing words of comfort. It was all too recent and hard to put into perspective and, yes, we were thinking what Alexander was voicing.

Later that night, my younger boy – a spirited player himself – asked about the next time he would get onto the ice. He talked about looking forward to power skating in September and the try outs for the Select team. He wondered about the new equipment he was going to need and how much he would grow in the summer. He spoke of how much he loved the game and how he wanted to improve his play. Then David questioned me on the number of weeks he’d have to wait before the start of the 2011-12 house league season – and we worked it out to be 20 weeks. Somehow, counting through those weeks in our heads made us realize that the new season is really not too far off.

I find that, by talking about next season, it is helping us to re-focus on other thoughts of spring, summer and family vacations. With that last game in Buffalo so freshly imprinted in our memory, anticipation for “the next time” may be paining, yet it is beginning to feel bearable. It’s 20 weeks; it’s just 20 weeks. What are we suppose to do? It’s life! And we take comfort in knowing that the puck will drop again (in 20 weeks and counting).

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(ed. – This column originally appeared in the By George Journal in April 2011.)

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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.

Canadians’ Musings on Politics

“[Canadians] … we are content to elect a prime minister with the appointment powers of an autocrat for the duration of his term. It is a curious anomaly of an otherwise sensible people in accepting such an archaic governance system. Louis himself couldn’t have asked for anything more.” – Richard Finlay

“Political parties in Canada and beyond have increasingly become machines designed to win. Democracies benefit when active citizens are working to grab their attention and to force them to address the tough policy issues. All it takes are some citizens who have done the work, a few Canadians with knowledge, passion, eloquence, and persistence – and maybe more women in politics.” – Alex Himelfarb

“Parliament Hill is de-energizing and demoralizing, where people imagine the worst, see the worst and bring out the worst. It is a place that members of Parliament need to get away from as often as they can, to rediscover the country, to rediscover why they are doing what they are doing.” – former MP Ken Dryden

“An MP has a choice. He or she sits at a fork in the road. One road is downhill, smooth sailing and leads to a cabinet or shadow cabinet post. You just have to keep your mouth shut and be rabidly partisan and don’t question what you’re given. The other road is uphill, rocky, full of potholes and doesn’t lead to any personal advantage… that road is where you’re using your knowledge and objectivity to independently assess what’s given you. It’s also the road where you’re trying to advance ideas that may not be sanctioned by your party.” – former MP Keith Martin

“The dysfunction in Parliament is much more a lack of democracy by successive prime ministers.” – former MP Joe Comartin

“There is a growing divide between a body politic that is becoming increasingly apolitical and a Parliament that is becoming more and more partisan.” – MP Michael Chong

“The current climate in Parliament is interested in slinging mud on the other side, and simply trying to destroy your political opponents as opposed to beating them at the ballot box because you have better, more innovative ideas to deal with the big challenges that face us as citizens.” – MP Michael Chong on the previous Parliament

“What’s happened to politics is that it becomes a career for too many. And the idea of moving up through the ranks, of getting into cabinet and becoming a minister, often overshadows the concept of serving the people who elected you.”  – former Ontario MPP Kim Craitor

“Politics is a business that inverts all the normal rules of human conduct. In most walks of life, it is thought dishonourable – personally shaming – to lie, or even to shade the truth; to boast of one’s own achievements, and sneer at others’; to flatter and connive in private, to mock and rage in public. Yet these and worse are the daily work of those we elect.” – Andrew Coyne

“As long as there has been politicians, they have been mistrusted. Only ignorance of history and a factitious nostalgia could make anyone think otherwise.” – John Pepall

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

Whither Canada, a True North Strong and Free?

The Niagara Independent, February 28, 2020 — “This is a serious existential crisis for this country.”

Harrie Vredenburg, Professor of Global Energy at the University of Calgary’s School of Business, assesses the state of Canadian politics and summarizes by calling it an “existential crisis.” What else might any Canadian think in reflecting on the events of the past week: Teck Resources walking away from its Alberta mine, the Wet’suwet’en territory standoff over the Coastal GasLink pipeline unresolved, an escalation of demonstrations and blockades that have halted trains and businesses across the country, and a Prime Minister and federal government demonstrating time and again their reluctance to restore order.

On Teck’s abandonment of its $20-billion-7,000-job Frontier mine project,  Professor Vredenburg stated in a CBC interview, “Companies comply with all the regulations and in the end it still comes down to a political decision. There’s a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty in this country for investment in any type of resource.” He observed: “The political morass we’re in, it’s a mess. What you have are investors or directors of a company like Teck who are saying, “This isn’t the kind of place we want to be investing in…. If you’re on the outside looking in, you’re saying, “Whoa, we’ll wait to see if that ever passes.” Canada is all risk, risk, risk.”

The professor’s analysis portrays the underlining circumstances that drove the Teck Resources decision last week. CEO Don Lindsay cited the country’s political uncertainty as the reason for the company’s withdrawal from the Albertan project. Lindsay said Teck did not want to be “at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved … there is no constructive path forward.” Lindsay stated that the company would not consider any further investment in Canada without the government having a framework in place that reconciles resource development and climate change.

Resource development projects must also navigate the politics of Canada’s indigenous communities. With the Teck’s Frontier mine, one might think it is beneficial to have a total of 14 indigenous communities signed onto the project. Yet, like the politics that is disrupting B.C.’s Coastal GasLink project, agreements with indigenous leaders and peoples guarantee nothing. In B.C., even though 20 local First Nation elected councils approved of and are participating in the natural gas project, a handful of Wet’suwet’en territory hereditary chiefs have effectively derailed years of planning with a roadblock.

The Teck decision shone a clearer light on another recent announcement from Alberta — the release of the Buffalo Declaration, a document championed by four irritated Albertan MPs. These western MPs have delivered a plan for their Province, described as their “culturally distinct region” to remain within Canada. The declaration highlights frustration in the handling of the resource sector, equalization payments and it proposes a series of initiatives and political gestures that will go a long way towards easing the tensions in the West.  It states: “Confederation must rectify the critical injustices that prevent Alberta’s equal participation in Canada.” The Buffalo Declaration concludes with “The path forward starts today. One way or another, Albertans will have equality.” (Some have commented that this is no more than an idle threat; but, the declaration’s attempt to work within confederation will be much more constructive than the possible outcomes of the Wexit movement to separate, or Premier Jason Kenney’s announced referendum legislation.)

Compounding these complications are the multiple rail blockages and disruptive demonstrations that have now become commonplace across the country. From Vancouver to Montreal, from Edmonton to the GTA, bands of young militant protestors have jarred the routines of ordinary Canadians with uncompromising demands and seemingly no goal other than to create havoc and unrest. Today we have our political leaders and mainstream media debating on whether to call these people protestors or anarchistic radicals – and this is nothing but a moot argument. Whoever the perpetrators of the blockades and demonstrators are, the lawlessness that has shut down rail service and halted a Nation’s economy must be addressed by our political leaders. Finally, news on Wednesday headlined our Prime Minister stating, “It is extremely concerning to see people endangering their own lives and the lives of others…”

In a Washington Post editorial, our southern neighbours expressed their dismay at Canada’s political response to the current affairs.  “The present crisis is another example of how the Canadian state has embarked upon a remarkable social experiment of gradually devolving its responsibility to uphold the broad national interest — particularly the approval of economically critical natural resource projects — to anyone who claims to speak for Canada’s 1.7 million indigenous residents. This is a risky and radical political idea, and it should be treated with the sort of skepticism all risky and radical ideas deserve… it should never be forgotten that the Canadian state is only as powerless as it chooses to be.” (An ironic aside is the fact the Post’s masthead mantra is “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”)

In another editorial, Canadian political commentator Spencer Fernando laments “time is running out for Canada” and asserts “The Trudeau Experiment is over: a country can’t survive without unity, patriotism and identity.” Indeed, when people stop believing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, when people no longer recognize the wonder of their historic achievements nor the primacy of their existing laws, than the dreams and aspirations of a Nation will die.

The country Canada is dynamic: it has had a remarkable past and there’s potential for a remarkable future. It has thrived as a welcoming and accommodating land for all, prospered with the development of its natural resources, and has become one of the most enviable places in the world to live. Canada’s society was founded on and has been sustained with the principles of peace, order and good government. Herein is the existential crisis: we must have our Canadian political leaders (starting with PM Trudeau himself) begin to act assuredly on our country’s foundational principles.

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/whither-canada-a-true-north-strong-and-free/

Canadian quips on politics

“Here’s a little tip for politicians everywhere: If you find yourselves with more time than issues on your hands, go home.” – Lorne Gunter

“Power is a drug on which the politicians are hooked. They buy it from the voters, using the voters’ own money.” – Richard Needham

“Canada is divided by great mountains, great prairies, Great Lakes, and eleven governments that really grate.” – Hugh W. Arscott

“Power tends to connect; absolute power connects absolutely.” – Peter Newman

“The only farewells that politicians handle well are deaths. You can hear some excellent eulogies in the House of Commons.” – Carol Goar

“Ottawa feels a lot like Hollywood these days.” – Tim Powers

“If America was trying to keep the bubonic plague out of its hemisphere, Canadians would import it just to show their independence of American foreign policy.” – Barbara Amiel

“Canadians live with liberal rhetoric, but we conduct our lives as social conservatives.” – David Crombie

“The political parties of any era have always had groupings or clubbings of people whose raise d’etre has been for that party to win. That’s not new.” – Tim Powers

“Like an episode of Seinfeld, Canadian politics has become a show about nothing.” – Alex Himelfarb

 

This collection originally appeared in By George Journaal in January 2017.

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

 

Canadians On Politics – from Marshall McLuhan to Stephen Harper

  • Politics offers yesterday’s answers to today’s problems. – Marshall McLuhan
  • 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 disconnect between Canadians and those who govern on their behalf is deep, wide, and growing. At a time when people are demanding greater accountability and transparency, they see their government institutions becoming more remote and opaque. – Lynne Slotek
  • In Canada the philosophical differences between the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives are scarcely perceptible. The main motive for joining one of these parties is to acquire power or a lucrative job. So political patronage flourishes. Politics (is) run on ‘jobs for the boys.’ And Canadian ministers arrange for large amounts of federal money to go to their constituencies. – Lord Moran
  • We are the government. I don’t see why we can’t try to get credit for what we do (patronage). I hope we do so. There is nothing to be ashamed in that. – Jean Chretien
  • To be complex does not mean to be fragmented. This is the paradox and the genius of our Canadian civilization.  – Adrienne Clarkson
  • We only need to look at what we are really doing in the world and at home and we’ll know what it is to be Canadian. – Adrienne Clarkson
  • My fellow Canadians, learning from our history, we have discovered is the better way to build our country. It has made us history’s benefactors, instead of its prisoners. – Stephen Harper
  • Let it be a cheerful red and white reminder of a quiet and humble patriotism, that, while making no claims on its neighbours, is ever ready to stand on guard for itself. We will ask the world to forgive us this uncharacteristic outburst of patriotism, of our pride, to be part of a country that is strong, confident, and tall among the nations. – Stephen Harper
  • Canada, our Canada is truly worthy of our pride and our patriotism. – Stephen Harper

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.

Canadians quoted on government

On this, MPs’ first day back in Ottawa, By George offers some classic observations on government from notable Canadians through the ages.

 

“Canada:  a land endowed by heaven with incalculable wealth… a people free and brave and strong with the strength that comes from the mountains and the prairies, the rivers and the sea.” – R.B. Bennett

“Stumbling through darkness and racing through light, we have persisted in the creation of a Canadian civilization.”  – Adrienne Clarkson

“I don’t mind being a symbol but I don’t want to become a monument. There are monuments all over the Parliament Buildings and I’ve seen what the pigeons do to them.” – Tommy Douglas

“The election is not a time to discuss serious issues.” – Kim Campbell

“Politics is hockey. It’s not golf. It’s a team sport.” – Joe Jordan

“As a rule, the Government appoints its friends.” – MP Sir Hector Langevin

“Parliament has become a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money.” – MP Keith Martin

“It is hardly possible to overstate the point that the competition in contemporary politics is now between a choice of personalities rather than between political parties and their policies. The one constant in recent years is that political parties have lost their place to the ‘celebritization’ of party leaders…. They’ve been captured by cronies and lobbyists and in the process they’ve lost their soul.” – Don Savoie

“In the bowels of the Canadian bureaucracy are a bunch of guys who want to pluck a feather from the American Eagle. When they get out of hand, we whack them hard and they run for cover.” – James Blanchard

“We cannot work or eat or drink; we cannot buy or sell or own anything; we cannot go to a ball game or a hockey game or watch TV without feeling the effects of government. We cannot marry or educate our children, cannot be sick, born or buried without the hand of government somewhere intervening. Government gives us railways, roads and airlines; sets the conditions that affect farms and industries; manages or mismanages the life and growth of the cities. Government is held responsible for social problems, and for pollution and sick environments. Government is our creature. We make it, we are ultimately responsible for it, and, taking the broad view, in Canada weave considerable reason to be proud of it. Pride, however, like patriotism, can never be a static thing; there are always new problems posing new challenges. The closer we are to government, and the more we know about it, the more we can do to help meet these challenges.” – Senator Eugene Forsey

 

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

Happy Birthday Sir John A. Macdonald

Happy birthday to the Father of Confederation, our country’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

Take a look at the By George Journal archive of posts on this storied man.

 

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.

10 Favourite Quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald

January 11th (Saturday) marks the birth date of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and a Father of Confederation. Here are 10 of By George’s favourite quotes.

  • Politics is a game requiring great coolness and an utter abnegation of prejudice and personal feeling.
  • There were, unfortunately, no great principles on which parties were divided – politics became a mere struggle for office.
  • Anybody may support me when I am right. What I want is someone that will support me when I am wrong.
  • There may be obstructions, local differences may intervene, but it matters not — the wheel is now revolving, and we are only the fly on the wheel, we cannot delay it. The union of the colonies of British America under one sovereign is a fixed fact.
  • I don’t care for office for the sake of money, but for the sake of power, and for the sake of carrying out my own views of what is best for the country.
  • When fortune empties her chamber pot on your head, smile and say, ‘We are going to have a summer shower.’
  • If you would know the depth of meanness of human nature, you have got to be a Prime Minister running a general election.
  •  [Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his love of drink. He is known to have been drunk for many of his debates in Parliament. Here is a story from an election debate in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out.]  The opposing candidate said: “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!” Collecting himself, Macdonald replied “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”
  • My sins of omission and commission I do not deny; but I trust that it may be said of me in the ultimate issue, ‘Much is forgiven because he loved much,’ for I have loved my country with a passionate love.
  • If I had influence over the minds of the people of Canada, any power over their intellect, I would leave them this legacy: ‘Whatever you do, adhere to the Union. We are a great country, and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken.’

On Saturday, let’s all celebrate our country’s first Prime Minister’s birthday! Cheers to John A. Macdonald!

(Photo Credit:  National Archive)

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.

Facts about Canada Day

Here is a compilation of some interesting facts about our country’s national celebration – Canada Day.

  • 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.

 

Canada’s #1 Symbol

Through the past few weeks, the By George Journal conducted a Canadiana contest to select the most-Canadian of symbols.  Based on the feedback of our followers, here are the top-three, most-beloved symbols of Canadiana.

 

In reverse order, the top-three selected symbols are:

#3 The RCMP

 

#2 The Game of Hockey

 

#1 The Beaver

 

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

So, who is our most famous Canuck today?

Who is the Canuck most recognized around the world today?

Let us know who you think it is…

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Or, perhaps, you have someone else in mind who is the most recognized Canadian around the world these days??

 

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

 

As Canadian as…

It is as Canadian as sitting lakeside in an Adirondack

and hearing the song of the loon.

A few years back, the By George Journal held a contest to find the greatest simile that “best describes being Canadian.” In the end, our favourite Canada Day simile was one of our own.

So, we are thinking of opening up this challenge again…. any suggestions?

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(The photo was taken this June, while island camping on Crotch Lake, northeast of Tweed, Ontario.)

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

 

What is Canada’s greatest symbol?

The By George Journal is conducting a Canadiana contest to select the most-Canadian of symbols. Essentially, what national item is most treasured by Canucks from coast-to-coast-to-coast?

Based on the popular finalists of our Canada Day countdown last year, we have chosen a dozen of the most-beloved items of Canadiana and ask our followers to select their top 3.  Submit your choices to chrisg.george@gmail.com before midnight June 29.

Then on Friday, June 30 By George will announce the top Canadiana symbol as selected most by our followers – just in time for our Nation’s 150 birthday bash!

Here are the dozen symbols to select from:

The canoe

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The polar bear

Terry Fox

Niagara Falls

The Canada Goose

The game of hockey.

The beaver

Tim Horton’s

The rockie mountains

Wayne Gretzky

The northern lights

Please pick 3 and submit them to chrisg.george@gmail.com

(You likely noticed that the Canadian flag was not offered in this selection. Nor was the red maple leaf. By George is looking for a symbol other than our country’s flag. The maple leaf flag is, admittedly, the most recognizable symbol of Canada around the world and, argumentatively, the last wholly-accepted, national symbol Canadians share. But we wish to go beyond this single symbol and celebrate with other remarkable Canadiana. So, humour us by selecting three symbols from the dozen selected.)

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

Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Trudeauisms

  • My life is one long curve, full of turning points.
  • Luck, that’s when preparation and opportunity meet.
  • The essential ingredient of politics is timing.
  • In academic life you seek to state absolute truths; in politics you seek to accommodate truth to the facts around you.
  • We wish nothing more, but we will accept nothing less. Masters in our own house we must be, but our house is the whole of Canada.
  • I am trying to put Quebec in its place — and the place of Quebec is in Canada.
  • Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.
  • Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.
  • I believe a constitution can permit the co-existence of several cultures and ethnic groups with a single state.
  • I believe that Canada cannot, indeed, that Canada must not survive by force. The country will only remain united – it should only remain united – if its citizens want to live together in one civil society.
  • The die is cast in Canada: there are two ethnic and linguistic groups; each is too strong and too deeply rooted in the past, too firmly bound to a mother culture, to be able to swamp the other. But if the two will collaborate inside of a truly pluralist state, Canada could become a privileged place where the federalist form of government, which is the government of tomorrow’s world, will be perfected.
  • Bilingualism is not an imposition on the citizens. The citizens can go on speaking one language or six languages, or no languages if they so choose. Bilingualism is an imposition on the state and not the citizens.
  • We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we Canadians are standing on the mountaintop of human wealth, freedom and privilege.
  • Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them
  • If there is anything that puzzles me in this game, it is that the longer that you are in the job of prime minister, the harder you have to work to do your job. With anything else ….you get to know the ropes pretty well and it becomes easy.  I feel the more you know, the more you have to know and  the more problems come at you.  It is certainly not because I do not delegate.
  • Power only tires those who don’t exercise it.
  • The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.
  • Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent.
  • The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness.
  • Liberalism is the philosophy for our time, because it does not try to conserve every tradition of the past, because it does not apply to new problems the old doctrinaire solutions, because it is prepared to experiment and innovate and because it knows that the past is less important than the future.
  • Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die.
  • There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. What could be more absurd than the concept of an “all Canadian” boy or girl? A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.
  • I walked until midnight in the storm, then I went home and took a sauna for an hour and a half. It was all clear. I listened to my heart and saw if there were any signs of my destiny in the sky, and there were none — there were just snowflakes.
  • Some things I never learned to like. I didn’t like to kiss babies, though I didn’t mind kissing their mothers. I didn’t like to slap backs or other parts of the anatomy. I liked hecklers, because they brought my speeches alive. I liked supporters, because they looked happy. And I really enjoyed mingling with people, if there wasn’t too much of it.
  • What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.

 

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

More political musings from “The Chief”

  • I don’t campaign. I just visit with the people.
  • Nothing I ever do is political.
  • I never say anything provocative.
  • I do not say that everything I did was right, but what I do say, Mr. Speaker, is that what I did was honest.
  • I was criticized for being too much concerned with the average Canadians. I can’t help that; I am one of them!
  • The Liberals are the flying saucers of politics. No one can make head nor tail of them and they never are seen twice in the same place.
  • Everyone is against me – except the people!
  • I’ve lived history. I’ve made history, and I know I’ll have my place in history. That’s not egoism.
  • For an average Canadian, being chosen as leader of a nation gives one a feeling impossible to describe. You feel a sense of loneliness.
  • I would never have been Prime Minister if the Gallup poll were right.
  • My friends, you say, ‘Give ’em hell, John!’ I never do that. I tell the truth and it sounds like hell. It simply sounds that way to the Grits.
  • Sir John A. Macdonald gave his life to this party. He opened the West. he saw Canada from east to west. I see a new Canada – a Canada of the North!
  • The Conservative party will be the national party; it is the party which founded Confederation and the party that will save Confederation…. It is my intention to unite all Canadians from the Atlantic to the Pacific, under the banner of patriotism.
  • Never in Canadian history has there been a government so prone to be prone.
  • Criticism is sometimes necessary to create public opinion, but use discretion.

 

John George Diefenbaker on politics and Parliament

  • 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.
  • Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.”
  • As long as there is a drop of blood in my body they won’t stop me from talking about freedom.
  • Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent… The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words.
  • I am the first Prime Minister of this country of neither altogether English nor French origin. So I determined to bring about a Canadian citizenship that knew no hyphenated consideration.
  • I have one love – Canada; one purpose – Canada’s greatness; one aim – Canadian unity from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
  • The object of Confederation was not to produce Siamese twins in this nation.
  • We shall never build the nation which our potential resources make possible by dividing ourselves into Anglophones, Francophones, multiculturalphones, or whatever kind of phoneys you choose. I say: Canadians, first, last, and always!
  • I believe there must not be, as has been developing in this nation, first and second class citizens. That has been the trend as a result of all the discussion about associated states and a nation within a nation.
  • I am the first prime minister of this country of neither altogether English or French origin. So I determined to bring about a Canadian citizenship that knew no hyphenated consideration….I’m very happy to be able to say that in the House of Commons today in my party we have members of Italian, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Chinese and Ukrainian origin — and they are all Canadians.
  • I am not anti-American. But I am strongly pro-Canadian.
  • We shall be Canadians first, foremost, and always, and our policies will be decided in Canada and not dictated by any other country.
  • Some say to me: ‘History? What does it mean? What are you concerned about the past for?’ And my answer to that is a simple one – he who does not know the past can never understand the present, and he certainly can do nothing for the future.
  • There can be no dedication to Canada’s future without a knowledge of its past.
  • Macdonald is as vital a personality today, as if he were alive. He has been able to transmit his natural vision for this country to all Canadian leaders who followed him, regardless of their party.
  • I have always been a House of Commons man.
  • Governments propose, and oppositions dispose.
  • The duty of the Opposition is to turn out the government.
  • Our paramount consideration as members of the opposition must be to refrain from obstructive criticism and fearlessly to offer constructive criticism.
  • Without an Opposition, it is not too much to say, the parliamentary system of government would fail in its primary task of protecting the rights of individuals and minorities, and of ensuring freedom and democracy.
  • Oppositions cleanse and purify those in office and we in the opposition are in fact the “detergents of democracy.”
  • Parliament is more than procedure – it is the custodian of the nation’s freedom.
  • A question which can be answered without prejudice to the government is not a fit question to ask.
  • Parliament is a place where gentlemen meet and what passed between them is not made public.
  • The quality of debate in the House is deplorable. You watch today and count how many read from prepared texts.

It’s the Ides of March – Enjoy

ides_of_march

For your morning smile today, here’s Canadian content that will help to celebrate the Ides of March.

Our infamous comedy team of Canucks, John Wayne and Frank Shuster, did a memorable skit of the assassination of Julius Caesar, in which Caesar’s wife keeps screeching “I told him, Julie, don’t go!” Even dated some three decades and more, “Rinse the Blood Off My Toga” is priceless.

If you take the Ides of March seriously, you might rather view the classic encounter between Julius Caesar and the fateful seer on the day Caesar was betrayed. Here is the timeless scene as re-created in a recent film version of the Shakespearean play.

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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.