Tag Archives: Canadian

Hockey is Canada’s game

In their best-selling book Home Game, writer Roy MacGregor and goaltender great Ken Dryden comment on the bonds of our quintessentially Canadian game. It’s a superb introspective of what is central in our Nation’s pysche!

 

Here are a few snippets from the introduction and the book’s first chapter entitled, “The Common Passon”:  

 

“Hockey is part of life in Canada. Thousands play it. Millions follow it, and millions more surely try their best to ignore it altogether…. Hockey is pat sport and recreation, part entertainment, part business, part-community builder, social connector, and fantasy-maker….

“It is is Canada’s game. It may also be Canada’s national theatre. On its frozen stage, each night the stuff of life is played out: ambition, hope, pride, fear, love and friendship, the fight for honour for city, team, each other, and themselves. The puck flips one way, bounces another, and the players set out to control and direct it. It takes them where they never planned to go. It tests them. And in struggling to get it back, with the millions who watch it in the arena or by television, the players find out who they really are. Like the bear pits in Shakespeare’s time, we attend hockey games as our national theatre. It is a place where the monumental themes of Canadian life are played out – English and French, East and West, Canada and the U.S., Canada and the world, the timeless tensions of commerce and culture, our struggle to survive and civilize winter….

“Hockey makes Canada feel more Canadian.”

 

Home Game is a must-read book for anyone wanting to understand the inextricable links between Canadians and our National game. 

 

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.

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.

It’s the Ides of March – Enjoy

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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.

On Politics: More Canadian Musings

“Politics in its more primitive and vigorous manifestations is not a game or a sport, but a form of civil war, with only lethal weapons barred.” – John W. Dafoe

 

“The public is moved by mood more than logic, by instinct more than reason, and that is something that every politician must make use of or guard against.” – Jean Chretien

 

“Canada effectively created a political ethos of official pandering and a society of addicts to government largesse.” – Conrad Black

 

“Accountability of public servants to government, of government to Parliament, and of Parliament to taxpayers can be achieved only if the MPs of all parties support these goals. Parliamentarians must never lose sight of the fact that in a democracy, accountability is the price exacted for the gift of power.” – James MacDonnell

 

“Does our economic system work? My answer is that the market system, based on free decisions and fair rules, does work better than any other system yet devised. And the job of government must be to provide the rules and the climate that will let the system work.” – Joe Clark

 

“‘Caring and compassion’ really meant socialism, wealth confiscation and redistribution, taking money from people who had earned it and giving it to people who had not earned it in exchange for their votes and in the name of fairness. Here, truly, Canada has vastly exceeded the United States… ‘Caring and compassion,’ however well-intentioned, would more accurately be called plundering and bribery.” – Conrad Black

 

“For decades, too many of our business leaders mouthed self-reliant and ruggedly individualistic platitudes while lining up for government preferments like the locusts of feminism and multiculturalism, and the kleptocracy of organized labor.” – Conrad Black

 

“You’re considered to have a rare kind of social disease if you espouse neo-conservative ideas in Canada.” – Barbara Amiel

 

“Elections are like dictionaries: They’re all about definitions. The candidate who succeeds in defining the contest — and the contestants — wins; the candidate who gets defined, loses.” – David Frum

 

“The danger of democracy has always been the danger of an electorate seized by passivity.” – Dalton Camp

 

“Canada has remained a timid democracy. The establishment that has run our country has proceeded comfortably – not always in the interests of the people, nor indeed of the country itself – supported by Canadians’ deference to authority and a strange willingness to be passive spectators in our own land. We have become what anthropologists call ‘participant observers’.” – Patrick Boyer

 

“With this run-away growth of the federal bureaucracy (which really now could be called the “civil self-service” because it grows by feeding upon itself), our society is both witness and victim of an escalating invasion of government into every facet of our lives.” – Richard Rohmer

 

“The Liberals are the party of big government. Under their patron saint, Pierre Trudeau, the federal government went from consuming 30% of national income to 53%. When government devours more than half of a nation’s economic output, government no longer serves taxpayers, taxpayers serve government. Other countries call this socialism. In Canada, it’s termed ‘justice and compassion.'” – Eric Margolis

 

“Canadians… [may] have the kind of government, and as much freedom, as they want. What is absent here is not just the conditions of liberty, but the desire for it. Liberty may be… a controlled substance in Canada; but its street value is damned low.” – Edgar J. Friedenberg

 

“As long as our leaders are unwilling to take on totems and taboos, they will continue to obfuscate the moral choices before us and make even more difficult the determination of how governments might actually rise to the challenges. It will take courage to set out these choices, and to propose complex, sometimes difficult solutions.” – Alex Himelfarb

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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.

Our most beloved national symbol

After a month of deliberation on the symbols held dearest by Canadians, By George has determined “the most beloved national symbol.”  Through the last few days we have sought feedback from followers and had direct input from our own By George network and the remaining four top symbols have been ranked. So, here they are — in reverse order — with the last being our # 1.

It gives us great pride to announce the most beloved national symbol here this morning…

# 4 – The Beaver

beaverphoto

# 3 – Niagara Falls

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# 2 – Our maple leaf flag

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# 1 – Our national game – hockey

hockey_net_and_puck_2428

For those interested in reviewing the By George contest and the Canadiana choices made through June, here are our posts:

Our search for “The Beloved Symbol of Canada”

Have your say on Canadiana

with a link to “The sweet 16” newsletter

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Happy Canada and have a great holiday weekend!

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

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With every drop of a puck, a Canadian’s heart skips a beat! Is there any doubt that it’s our national pride?!

hockeydavid01

 

 

Choose from our top 4 Canadiana

The By George month-long search for the greatest Canadiana symbol has come to a choice of four iconic symbols Canucks are all familiar with. You are encouraged to click into our By George Journal Facebook page to provide your opinion on the order of the following….

beaverphoto

The Beaver

canuck_25

The Canadian Flag

hockey

Hockey

Canuck_28

Niagara Falls

 

Click in here to have your say: By George Journal on Facebook

Our recent newsletter featured “the sweet 16” and you can read the newsletter here.

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

Have your say on Canadiana

canuck_30This month By George is in search of the greatest Canadiana symbol.  We have been presiding over head-to-head choices of 64 different symbols of national pride and, currently, we have narrowed the field to “the sweet 16” of Canada.  On our By George Facebook page, we invite our followers to comment on the selections. Certainly, we have had some lively debate; for example, when the Calgary Stampede was selected over the Bluenose. (Should there be a compelling argument or overwhelming outcry about the choice of one of the symbols, or the other, By George will reserve the right to reverse the decision and go with our readership’s favourite.)

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Our objective is to identify the single-most important symbol of national pride, the most beloved symbol of Canadiana.

Click in here to have your say: By George Journal on Facebook

Our recent newsletter featured “the sweet 16” and you can read the newsletter here.

canuck_43   canuck_29   canuck_20   canuck_03

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

Our search for “The Beloved Symbol of Canada”

green-maple-leaves-wallpapersThrough the month of June, By George will be conducting a Canadiana contest to select the most-Canadian of symbols. It will be a head-to-head choice of 64 different items that are celebrated and treasured by Canucks.

 

On our By George Facebook page, we will be announcing the individual contests and allowing for our followers to comment on the selections. Should there be a compelling argument or overwhelming outcry about the choice of one of the symbols, or the other, By George will reserve the right to reverse the decision and go with our readership’s favourite. For example, in this week’s contest, there was the head-to-head decision of “Peace Tower” or “Northern Lights”. The winner: “Northern Lights” (as being a more significant symbol of Canadiana). Agree? Disagree? Let us know on our Facebook page – here.

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Another of the early examples has “The Loon” going head-to-head against “Pamela Anderson”. The winner: “the Loon.” Agree or disagree? Let us know – click here to make a comment.

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Canadiana Abound

 

Here are the 64 items to be contested in By George‘s search for “The Beloved Symbol of Canada”

Alex Trebek

Ann Murray

Beaver

Bluenose

Bobby Orr’s iconic goal

Bryan Adams

Donair

Calgary Stampede

Cape Breton

Canadarm

Canadian Goose

Canadian lakes

Canoeing

CBC

Celine Dion

Chris Hatfield

CN Tower

Flag of Canada

Group of Seven

Grey Cup

Hockey

Inuksuk

John A. Macdonald

Justin Beiber

Leonard Cohen

Loon

Loonie

Lucy Maude Montgomery

Maritime Coast

Maple Syrup

Margaret Atwood

Mike Myers

Montreal

Moose

Niagara Falls

Northern Lights

Ottawa Canal

Pamela Anderson

Parliament Hill

Peace Tower

Peggy’s Cove

PEI field of potatoes

Pierre Elliot Trudeau

Pine

Polar bear

Quebec City

RCMP

RCMP musical ride

Red Maple

Rockie Mountains

Shania Twain

Skydome

Snow-covered forests

Stompin Tom Connors

Terry Fox

Tim Horton’s

Tommy Douglas

Toronto

Toronto Maple Leafs

Totem Poles

Vancouver

Wayne Gretzky

Wheat fields of the Prairies

William Shatner

 

Follow along on the By George Facebook page to see us pare down this list to “The Beloved Symbol of Canada”

 

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

It starts with the sound of the blades…

Sitting in a frigid arena at 7:30 this morning, watching my oldest son streak down the open, pristine sheet of ice and circling back, smiling all the time, I realized that the love of hockey begins with the sound of blades on a hard sheet… it is effortlessly gliding past the blue line, ragging the puck in to snap it into the top of the net. Then digging the puck out while easing backward, swinging around and starting up towards the opposite end.

Finding beauty in these simple motions is what makes hockey such a passion for Canadians. It’s all the time we spend with the game. It seems each week brings such wonderful scenes that will forever be etched in our memories… like my son’s morning skate. There are also collective memories we share with others; watching ‘your team’ play a hard-fought Saturday night game to notch another needed victory. And then there are the magical times every so often when Team Canada takes to the ice to defend our living history of hockey supremacy.

Of course there is more…. As kids you watch certain professional players and become emotionally attached to their near-demi-god status as a Canadian-boy-turn-NHL-star. As “that boy” in you ages, you’ll fondly remember those childhood dreams and always feel connected to something much larger than your daily existence. It starts with the blades and the fun of the game and, for many, it transcends to something grander.

I suppose those passions were what stirred last week when the storied Montreal Canadians celebrated their 100th anniversary. The December 4 ceremony was something very special for those who lived through a truly golden era of hockey. All the demi-gods turned out for the millennium ceremony – Beliveau, Lafleur, Roy, ‘Pocket’ Richard, Robinson, Gainey…. . The franchise has posted some of the highlights.

The game means so much to all of us – on many different levels. In the months ahead, By George will be collecting statements of ‘What hockey means to us’ to add to our discussion of this great Canadian experience.

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

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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.

10 remarkable facts on Canada

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  1. “Canada” is an Iroquoian language word meaning “village”.
  2. Canada has the largest coastline in the world and has more lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined.
  3. Canada has the third largest oil reserves of any country in the world after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
  4. Canada’s lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees fahrenheit (-63 celsius) in 1947.
  5. Canada has fewer people than Tokyo’s metropolitan area.
  6. Canada is the world’s most educated country by percentage: over half its residents have college degrees.
  7. Canada consumes more macaroni and cheese than any other nation in the world.
  8. Sometimes in Newfoundland the Atlantic Ocean freezes so people play hockey on it.
  9. Residents of Churchill, Manitoba leave their cars unlocked to offer escape for pedestrians who might encounter polar bears.
  10. Until 1999, the Guinness Book of World Records considered Yonge Street in Ontario as the longest street in the world at 1,896 km (1,178 mi).

(ed. – A selection of these facts were collected by content writer Laura McCallum for the website Knowable – and originally found on RidiculousWeb.)

 

Canada’s Most Influential Brands

In a survey conducted by ICA Canada and Ipsos, Canadians selected Internet-related firms for 7 of the 10 most influential brands in the country. The survey looked at more than 100 companies with the largest ad budgets in Canada, and ranked them according to an influence index. It asked Canadians to rate brands on categories like trustworthiness, presence, corporate citizenship, engagement and “leading edge.”

Of the most influential brands in Canada, 7 of 10 were Internet related. Only one of the top ten was Canadian.

The survey found some notable demographic differences. Millennials scored tech brands highest: Netflix, PayPal and Instagram made their top 10 list. Gen-Xers are big fans of Walmart, while Baby Boomers consider Microsoft more influential than Apple. Baby Boomers also included two iconic Canadian brands among their top selections; yet, CBC and Canadian Tire did not make the overall top ten in the survey.

The top 10 brands in Canada for 2016 are:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Microsoft
  4. Facebook
  5. YouTube
  6. Visa
  7. Walmart
  8. Tim Hortons
  9. Amazon
  10. Samsung

This Ipsos poll surveyed 6,006 Canadians, and is considered accurate to within 1.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The poll was published by Huffington Post.

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25 Most Influence Canadian Companies

In a related survey, Canadian Business (with Rogers) identified the 25 most influential brands in the country, ranked by “respect” of average Canadians. This is a list of the companies that best connect with their customers. The poll seeks opinions on five key aspects of a company’s reputation (the quality of its products and/or services; its customer service; its commitment to innovation; community involvement; and also, the person’s overall view of the brand).
The results of this Canadian-centric survey have a number of surprises in the top 25…

1 MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op)
2 Cirque du Soleil
3 West Jet
4 Tim Hortons
5 Roots
6 Shoppers Drug Mart
7 Videotron
8 BRP (Bombardier)
9 Loblaws
10 Canada Goose
11 Gildan Activeware
12 Home Hardware
13 Canadian Tire
14 Lululemon Athletics
15 Saputo
16 Metro
17 TD Bank
18 Rona
19 McCains Food
20 Jean Coutu
21 Telus
22 Sun Life Financial
23 RBC
24 Molson Coors
25 IMAX

So, where is Rogers (ed. – this exercise must have been embarrassing for the company’s market research team)? Where’s the beloved CBC – or any other news media companies in this list? Is it any surprise Air Canada or more banks didn’t make the list? No gas companies? This list of most “respected” Canadian brands is insightful indeed. Read all the background and commentary in the Canadian Business article.

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