Tag Archives: in_conversation

We’re failing “the COVID test”

The three opinion columns below are must-reads to understand Canadians and the country we live in, as it is, today. Collectively (due to the vast majority), we are miserably failing “the COVID test.” 

Your expectations are a problem

We are not owed any particular future, and are not guaranteed more of what we’ve already had.

Matt Gurney / The Line / December 3, 2021

https://theline.substack.com/p/matt-gurney-your-expectations-are

Your expectations are a problem, my friends.

Let’s get a few caveats out of the way: I don’t mean you, personally and exclusively (though someone will undoubtedly take this as a direct insult). This is very much a comment on Canada and the Western world broadly. And I also don’t mean expectations in the sense of what you, as a person, are owed by anyone else, like an employer or a partner — aim for the stars, my friends!

But your expectations are still a problem, as are mine, in this critical and broadly shared way: our understanding of the facts on the ground, the world we live in — how we expect it to be — may be wrong, or at least increasingly outdated. And the longer it takes us to realize this, the more danger we will face.

Some version of this column has been rattling around in my skull for some time, and the overall thesis is certainly in line with much of my work over the years, where I’ve warned of the costs of our complacency, often in the area of national defence. But this one is different — it’s not about a specific problem, per se, so much as it is an attempt to understand a series of problems at their roots. It has not proven an easy one to write. The thesis — that Canadians’ fundamental expectations are increasingly out of step with the current reality — is hard to prove or even investigate. There’s no poll or survey, no collection of data sets, that will make this case.

But there is no shortage of anecdotal evidence, and it simply, on a gut level, feels right. Canadians and the citizens of other comparable countries alive today are, in the main, products of an economic, military, political and public-health winning streak that has continued unabated since the end of the Second World War.

There have been periods of time or incidents that would seem to contradict it — the U.S. lost in Vietnam, for instance, and we’ve had economic slumps and epidemics along the way. But overall, a typical Canadian and many others across the West, born after 1945 or so, has lived in an era where their country was militarily secure, economically prosperous, politically stable and nestled comfortably inside a confident, triumphant liberal-democratic international consensus.

Along the way, we have experienced medical breakthroughs that have continuously both lengthened and improved our time on this earth. Consider my late grandfather as a representative example of the progress contained in a single lifetime: in his youth, he nearly perished of an infection because antibiotics were not yet available; when he did die in his early 80s, stricken by Alzheimer’s, he had two separate forms of cancer, both of which were manageable, chronic conditions due to new drugs and laser surgeries. It’s remarkable. From near-death-from-sepsis-in-childhood to blasting tumours with light in one man’s lifespan.

This is true for all of us, in some way or another. Entire lives have been lived, and entire generations raised, during this multi-generational winning streak — and even though the benefits of it haven’t been shared equally by all our citizens (a sad understatement, alas), it’s been true enough for so many for so long that we have come to accept as normal — to expect — something that is actually quite rare. We are living in the best moment of history, in terms of our security, health and prosperity — or at least we were until early 2020. This winning streak lasted, I fear, just long enough for a critical mass of us to lose perspective on how rare and precious the last few generations have been in the West. We’ve lost the ability to realize that, maybe, we had not embarked on a brave new era of exponential human progress. Rather, perhaps we’ve taken for granted a historical fluke.

What finally brought this column forth was two incidents that, though unrelated, happened within moments of each other earlier in the week. The first was simply a chat with a friend; we were catching up on life when she mentioned that the news about Omicron had hit her hard, because it felt like yet another delay to the return to “normal.” The second was some typically overheated Twitter reaction my Line colleague Jen Gerson received when she noted — entirely correctly — that COVID-19, though devastating, wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, nor as nasty as some plagues throughout history.

Consider my friend’s dread about a delayed return to normal. I expect a return to something functionally comparable to our old normal; my own life is basically there already (with the irritating but tolerable exception of wearing of a mask in many indoor settings). But I have never taken a return to normal as a given. A functional return to a pre-pandemic normal still strikes me as the most likely outcome by a wide margin, but there are a lot of plausible scenarios where our lives remain permanently, negatively changed. This isn’t a prediction. But if you don’t at least grant the possibility that it could be otherwise, you’re kidding yourself. Your expectations of a return to the comfortable old familiar are blinding you to the reality that life can change in ways that are never undone. This has happened to people before, and there is absolutely nothing stopping it from happening to you, or all of us.

And the reaction to Jen’s tweet (which she expanded into a full column on Thursday) was awfully revealing of just how far removed from some harsh realities Canadians have become. COVID-19 might have been the worst shared global experience you’ve ever experienced. That’s true of me, too. But there’s a massive gulf between “worst thing I’ve lived through” and “the worst thing that could plausibly happen.” We don’t even need to ponder hypotheticals. Read about 1918, which, as Jen noted in her column, was vastly more deadly in terms of overall deaths — and it’s not even close.

Don’t believe me? Canada’s COVID-19 death toll is currently a bit under 30,000. We lost 50,000 to Spanish Flu, out of a population of eight million. An equally deadly pandemic this time would have killed almost a quarter million of us. That’s every COVID death, plus 200,000-some-odd more.

Consider what would have happened if COVID-19 had been even modestly more contagious or deadly, or consider my nightmare scenario: it attacked the young, the very young, not the old. This could have been so much worse. It could still become so.

This seems lost on many, including some very smart people who ought to know better. I have a very clear memory of chatting with a colleague in the summer of 2020, and mentioning that I was glad the first wave hadn’t proven worse. He was aghast — genuinely confused and shocked. “How could it be worse?” he asked. His question left me equally shocked and confused. I had to ask him if he was being serious. He was.

And many would agree with him: they can’t imagine it having been harder. To them, I say only this: if your imagination can’t conceive of anything worse than the last 20 months, and if your grasp of history is so weak that you think that the last 20 months have been some unprecedented catastrophe, that’s a comment on your imagination and historical literacy, not on the last 20 months. It’s not nice to look back on this pandemic and realize that we were lucky to dodge something worse, but if you truly think it couldn’t have been much nastier, I hope you never have the experience of being proven wrong.

Some of these failures in comprehension, understanding and imagination are on the individual level, some are on the institutional level, and I’m not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg. It’s too easy to simply blame government leaders and officials for these problems — I’m afraid that our politics, on this score, is simply downstream of our collective societal cluelessness about just how fragile and precious our way of life has become.

But here’s the rub, folks: we are not owed any particular future, and are not guaranteed more of what we’ve already had. This is not a defeatist declaration — I believe we can continue to thrive. As a father of young children, I am forced to be an optimist — I have to believe the world will be good for them. But we’re going to have to work for that world, and that starts with understanding that none of what we’ve enjoyed is the natural state of human affairs.

This will be hard for Canadians to grasp. For our entire history, we have been under the protection of the preeminent global power — we had the incredible fortune of sliding out from under the British umbrella right into the protective cover of the American one without getting hit by a single drop of rain. Basic assumptions about our physical security are hardwired into our national concept of everything — but is that concept changing? Are the Americans still a reliable ally? Can we take their own political stability for granted? We expect America to be stable and friendly — but should we? Is the Western alliance system and the “rules-based international order” we hear so much about things that actually still exist, or are they slogans?

Or take health care. The long-understood bargain in Canada has been that we’d tolerate substandard service in many areas, such as long wait times for non-essential procedures, because we had faith the system would be there for us if our lives were really on the line. Health systems across Canada have been overwhelmed by the pandemic. We now have massive backlogs of urgently necessary tests and procedures, and these delays are going to cost lives — they have already cost lives. What we expect from the health-care system, it is no longer able to consistently provide.

Take a gander at B.C. Can we expect the same weather patterns we’ve built our infrastructure around, there and elsewhere? How many of you made a big financial decision in recent years on the expectation that, after a 40-year absence, inflation would continue to remain stable and modest? And Putin isn’t going to really invade Ukraine, is he? Is he?

I could go on. The point is not to descend into panic. I’m not panicked. But I am increasingly convinced that you can explain a lot of Canadian dysfunction — the lack of “state capacity” we are increasingly hearing about — by simply understanding that we have built our government, our entire political class and a horrifying degree of our national collective psychology around a series of deeply held and extremely cheerful assumptions about the world, our safety, our prosperity, our health and the ascendancy of our values that no longer hold true. Our tools are not suited to the jobs newly at hand.

Before we can even begin to respond to these challenges, we have to perceive them, truly see them and accept their reality, and that’s going to require a process of overcoming denial that may take longer than we have.

Because we have about 75 years’ worth of “givens” we need to start interrogating anew, and asking if they still hold, and there’s going to be a massive temptation to reassure ourselves that they do, because to admit otherwise is going to compel a lot of action, a lot of spending and some long, sleepless nights. But we don’t have a choice. We need to do this. Because our expectations have become a problem that we need to start solving.

On COVID restrictions, our governments keep firing up the gaslights and shifting the goalposts

If you give the government an inch on your rights, they will go for the mile every time

Allan Richarz / CBC Opinion / December 3, 2021

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-covid-measures-gaslighting-shifting-goalposts-1.6268380

Listen closely and one might be able to discern the unmistakable sounds of our elected and unelected officials frantically firing up the gaslights and moving the goalposts on COVID restrictions and vaccinations.

It was a precipitous but inevitable shift from “two weeks to flatten the curve” to get the jab or lose your job, and unsurprisingly, there is still more to come.

Met the provincial vaccination targets? Great; but now it’s time for a booster. Ready for the “temporary” vaccine passport system to expire? Sorry, we need to extend it through spring; proving once again that if you give the government an inch on your rights, they will go for the mile every time.

Less than a year ago, government and public health officials touted vaccination as a panacea to end the pandemic. It’s safe, effective and will allow the country to put COVID behind us, we were told. To that end, citizens were encouraged, prodded and eventually threatened to get their shots, with holdouts demonized by politicians at all levels. Yet, in Ontario, even as the province exceeded by weeks its vaccination and case number targets of the government’s phased reopening plan, citizens were offered only breadcrumbs in return: moving up Phase 3 reopening by just a few days, with no plans at the time for a complete reopening.

Goalposts shift again

And now, with new case numbers in Ontario essentially split evenly between the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated and questions about waning vaccine efficacy, the goalposts shift again with the rollout of booster shots elsewhere in the country and calls for expanded eligibility.

One does not need to look hard to guess what the next step will be across Canada. In Israel and France, the definition of fully vaccinated was changed to include boosters; those six months out from their second dose, or first booster, are now considered unvaccinated, and their vaccine passport privileges suspended.

There is, of course, the popular rebuttal that these goalpost shifts are entirely above-board as the “science evolves.” But that exposes the flaw inherent in governments’ COVID response: for nearly two years, debate and dissent from burdensome COVID restrictions has been short-circuited with demands that citizens “trust the science“; a modern take on debate-defusing exhortations to “support our troops” during the War on Terror. Every infringement on citizens’ privacy, mobility, autonomy and conscience rights has been justified by officials in the name of the infallible technocratic might of “the science.”

But when proven wrong – or more importantly, unpopular at the polls – that formerly rock-solid science on which officials acted is simply dismissed out of hand. Policymakers, however, cannot on one hand demand unyielding adherence to science, and then down the road simply hand-wave away their previous demands on the grounds that their knowledge or political fortunes have evolved.

It is for this precise reason that checks and balances exist in governance: to prevent rule through unaccountable technocratic appeals to authority. Debate and dissent in the age of COVID, however, have become four-letter words.

Our public health officials and elected politicians should not at this point expect any benefit of the doubt. Considering that we are still taking our shoes off and binning bottles of water at airport security 20 years after 9/11, that government officials and their unelected mandarins are unwilling to cede their newfound power in an age of COVID should not come as any surprise.

Indeed, officials have shown they are not above apparent falsehoods to further their aims. Last week, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore justified the immunization of children between the ages of five and 11 by claiming hospitalization and case counts for that age group were increasing. Yet, according to Ontario’s own data, there had been zero hospitalizations in that age group in the past two weeks at the time of Moore’s statement.

Always another threat

As the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) once knew, “There will always be a new disease, always the threat of a new pandemic.” Accordingly, the number of boosters, or the percentage of fully-vaccinated citizens, needed for a return to normal will always be n+1. Meet one metric, and be met with two more. As the ACLU continues, “If [fear of disease] justifies the suspension of liberties and the institution of an emergency state, then freedom and the rule of law will be permanently suspended.”

Already we see public health officials priming the pump for the next goalpost shift. Even if vaccine uptake is high among five to 11-year-olds, it will still not be good enough. According to Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, toddlers under the age of four will be next to need the shots, claiming with an absolute lack of shame that – unlike all the other times we were promised an end to the pandemic – vaccinating that group will be a “turning point.”

The government, of course, will never walk back its emergency powers of its own volition. And why would they? After two years of fomenting terror and division among the population, they have cultivated a solid base of support that combines the post-9/11 see-something-say-something paranoia of a middle-class yuppie with the unctuous 1980s Moral Majority sense of superiority.

Until public opinion turns sharply against government overreach, we will continue to live in an artificially prolonged state of emergency, beholden to the whims of bureaucrats and elected officials.

After 21 months, our leaders are still flying blind through the pandemic

We find ourselves looking towards Christmas 2021, with more imperative edicts as to how we might be allowed to celebrate it

Rex Murphy / The National Post / December 3, 2021

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-after-21-months-our-leaders-are-still-flying-blind-through-the-pandemic

Are governments managing COVID, or is COVID managing governments? I’m going with the latter.

It is almost a feat of memory to recall the early days of the pandemic when the call went out to tolerate restrictions for just “two weeks to flatten the curve.” When two weeks proved insufficient, the lockdowns continued.

Still, in those early days, most people were willing to take the hit, to circumscribe normal interactions, shut their businesses, leave their elderly relatives cloistered and unvisited, and comply with the harsher protocols. Hard it was, but Canadians are sensible and obliging.

Well, a couple of months swelled to several, then to a year, and now here we are 21 months later. What’s changed? More to the point: what’s improved? Well, we now have COVID passports, imperfect vaccines, a flurry of follies on when and where to wear a mask, and absolutely no idea what is next.

We find ourselves looking towards Christmas 2021, with more imperative edicts as to how we might be allowed to celebrate it: how many at the festive table, a face shield on baby Jesus in the creche and double-thick masks if plum pudding is to be served.

Every month brings a new “variant.” Are the variants limitless? Are the variants worse than the original? I sometimes wonder, when they run out of letters from the Greek alphabet, will they jump to Cyrillic? It’s hard to pronounce, but as an emphatic typography, it has the stern look our overseeing managers will appreciate.

Even the most obliging citizens continue to respect the advice of municipal, provincial and federal governments, but in private conversation rattle off doubts and frustrations about the policies and pronouncements of health and political authorities.

They don’t believe COVID is under control, or even understood in any fundamental sense, and they certainly do not believe that those in authority have a handle on it. They go along. But the going along is tepid, unconvinced, resentful and certainly not spined with any belief that the maskings and the mandates, the on and off lockdowns, and the waning vaccines are taming COVID.

I’m not speaking of those who go to protests, who reflexively resist government authority or the even more demented faction who talk to trees and expect a reply. I’m talking about average folks — mothers, clerks, taxi drivers and students — who are going along, but in a deeply subdued way.

We must ask some questions. Do our authorities really have an understanding of the problem? Or are they continuing to improvise as they go? If such is the case, governments should say so. Do not give false hope. Will any authority, in health or politics, make a definitive statement about when or how this COVID crisis will end?

What is the end game? Is there one? Will politicians declare the set of conditions that must be present for life to return to normal? What is the current projected timeline? Are we looking at another year? Two? Is this a permanent state of affairs? Is the extremely imperfect COVID “cure” worse than the disease? That is the question.

The normal rhythms of daily life are shot; commerce is desperately ailing; industries are failing; inflation is back and it will cut very deeply in the months ahead; energy supplies are in jeopardy; the supply chain is broken; the health of a multitude of citizens is not being attended to, doctors are on phone lines, surgeries delayed, emergencies rooms have turned into vast waiting halls; young people have lost out on their education; loved ones have been separated; travel is either a pain or a joke; the psychological injuries imposed by COVID regimes are not, and perhaps cannot, be measured. But they are massive and extreme.

And most emphatically: the civil liberties of citizens have been pushed aside, abandoned, violated with scarcely a whimper from parliamentarians and the news media. Our once-celebrated Charter of Rights and Freedoms is shown to be a platitudinous vapour, a shield of fog and foam, most insouciantly violated when it is most needed.

We may accede to the conditions and regulations being laid down for us. But I would ask readers these questions: Do you think our various authorities, medical and political, are competently managing COVID and have a clear plan for a return to normalcy? Do you believe that our politicians — municipal, provincial and federal — really know what they are doing?

And the last one: are you feeling better now, more confident today, than you felt two years ago, when our leaders, so solicitously, asked for your help, just for two weeks mind you, to “flatten the curve?”

 

Have an opinion on where we find ourselves in Canada today? Write and share it: chrisg.goerge@gmail.com

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

Visualizing Global Per Capita CO2 Emissions

This amazing graphic is from the Visual Capitalist website — www.visualcapitalist.com. It clearly illustrates the amounts of carbon emissions Canadians are responsible for globally. Green advocates wish to make the point that per capita Canadians are the second worst polluters on the plant. But that statistic is moot when considering the actual amount of CO2 pollutants Canadians are responsible for — especially comparing the country to China, U.S., Russia, and India.

SOURCE:  https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-global-per-capita-co2-emissions/

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

Top 10 Christmas Record Breakers

Here is an interesting list of some pretty amazing Christmas records.

  1. Biggest selling Christmas song is Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The song was written by Sir Bob Geldof, and sold fifty million copies and continues to be a holiday favorite today!
  2. The world’s largest gift was the Statue of Liberty. The people of France gave it to the US in 1886. It’s 151 feet, 1 inch high and weighs 225 tonnes.
  3. The most valuable Christmas card was sold at an auction in Devizes, Wiltshire, UK in 2001 for £20,000 (approx. $40.000). The card was originally sent by Sir Henry Cole of Bath to his grandmother in 1843!
  4. The largest Christmas angel ornament is over 18 feet (5.57 meters) high and over 8 feet wide at the bottom. It’s made out of 2946 beer bottles. The angel was displayed on Alfonso Reyes Avenue, Nuevo Leon, Mexico in January 2000.
  5. World’s largest working Christmas cracker is 181 foot, 11 inch long and 11 foot, 9 inch high. It was made in Australia. It was pulled at a shopping center in Sydney, Australia on December 16, 1998.
  6. The world’s largest Christmas goat made from straw is built every year by the citizens of Gävle Sweden. It is an 13-metre tall, 7-metre long, 3 tonne goat. Unfortunately almost every year the poor goat gets burned down.
  7. The “World’s Largest Christmas Store” is Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a retail store in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The store has grown to the size of five-and-a-half football fields and is home to over 50000 gifts.
  8. The largest carol service was five-hundred-and-nineteen Christmas carolers, who braved the New York cold to sing themselves into the Guinness World Records Book. The singers gathered on the steps of Manhattan’s General Post Office across the street from Madison Square Garden.
  9. The best-selling book every year is the Bible. The Bible was the first book and is the all-time best selling book with 1 billion copies having been sold.
  10. The tallest-ever Christmas tree in the world was recorded 1999 in Tasmania. This towering Eucalyptus regnans was 80 meters (262 ft) tall and had 3,000 Christmas lights. Later The Guinness Book of Records has rejected The Wilderness Society’s claim for the world’s tallest Christmas Tree on the grounds that the tree was a eucalypt and not a spruce.

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.

 

Conversations over the (virtual) eggnog bowl

As we enter Christmas and New Year’s festivities, inevitably, we will find ourselves at cocktail parties or dinner settings where we will be reaching for a topic of discussion. To help us through this season, By George Journal provides observations and questions that will serve as perfect conversation starters. Here are a dozen questions to start us off – enjoy your talks!

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
  3. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
  4. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  6. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  7. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  8. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  9. What are you most grateful for?
  10. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  11. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  12. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? What can you do tomorrow that you’ll remember in 5 years? Are you going to do it?

More questions for your musings over the eggnog bowl can be found on past By George Journal posts:

Here

Here

Here

And Here

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.

 

Conversing over the eggnog bowl

This is the season of Christmas socials, year-end parties, and gatherings of colleagues, friends and family. Like no other time of year, we enjoy cocktails, plenty of delicious foods, and endless conversations.

So, By George Journal asks, ‘What makes a good conversationalist?’  Here are three pointers to be that ‘gracious host’ or that ‘guest you must remember to invite again next year.’

#1.  A good conversationalist is a great listener. When people engage in conversation, most feel that what they have to say is important. Nothing signals more to a person that you are interested in them than to give undivided attention to what they are saying. Listen intently, ask questions and provide comments; don’t mindlessly nod and continually glance over the person’s shoulder to see what is happening across the room.

#2.  What you say will not likely be remembered,  but how you make people feel will not be forgottened. It’s most important to smile when you greet and depart an individual or group. Make and keep eye contact with those you are speaking with. Use appropriate body language and facial gestures to demonstrate your engagement and enjoyment in the conversation(s).

#3.  Be ever-ready to share a great story or series of anecdotes. Enliven conversations with personal observations, remarkable sayings, and a provocative question or two.  Through the next few days, By George Journal will provided a series of conversation-starters. Here are our five favourite from the “Over the Eggnog Bowl” posts for your holiday exchanges.

  1. Is Santa coming to your family this Christmas? You do believe in Santa, right!?
  2. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  3. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  4. Joy is found with simple awareness.  What does your joy look like today?
  5. It used to be that at a party one should never discuss religion, sex and politics. Does this still stand? Are there other subjects that need to be added to this list of avoidable conversations?

Cheers!

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.

A Working Canadian’s Breakfast (in Glace Bay NS)

While surfing through your daily feeds of social media, sometimes you find a remarkable comment that strikes a chord for its authentic, insightful message. Today a self-described “Conservative politico” – Mitch Heimpel – provided that ha-ha moment for me.

Here’s the necessary background:  The federal Conservative Party spent last night and today responding to the Trudeau Government’s Throne Speech by accusing the Liberals of being out of touch with the priorities of working Canadians. The Conservatives are making the argument that most Canadians today are worried about inflation and the rising costs of everything, which is making living unaffordable.

To underline this point, in social media, Conservatives Leader Erin O’Toole stated:

“Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, but it’s also getting more expensive. The rising cost of living under the Trudeau Liberals means you’re paying more for the same meal this year than you were last year.”

And he posted this image…

O’Toole’s salvo elicited an immediate reply from non-other-than Gerald Butts, Justin Trudeau’s BFF and his former Principal Secretary (before he had to resign in the Jody Wilson-Raybould scandal). Butts tweeted the following:

“Does this breakfast come with a defibrillator on the side?”

And with that the Twitter-verse was sent into a tizzy with conservative partisans and TruAnons swapping insults; Butts was trending for most of the morning.

Then late in the morning, Mitch Heimpel waded into the exchange with a full series of tweets that replied directly to Gerald Butts. Here is Heimpel’s response:

There’s something about this tweet that’s been bugging me all day, and it’s not the author. What follows will be a slight exercise of the blue collar chip on my shoulder. 1/11

I used to work the line at a factory on one week turnarounds . That means nights one week, days the next and afternoons were the final week of the cycle. The final night shift of the week started at 11pm Thursday and would end at 7am Friday 2/11

At the end of that last shift, the lines would go out for breakfast together. Your production crew was probably 6-10 people. You usually worked with the same people, though temp agencies screwed this up a bit 3/11

This meal looks like what we all ate on those Friday mornings (not me, because of the egg allergy). But look down the table you would see plates like this. It was everyone else. Why? 4/11

Because it was a filling meal, and wherever you went, it was usually inexpensive. You could get a plate like this usually for less than $10. Never more than $12. The places that served it range from a Denny’s to community staple greasy spoons and 50s theme diners. 5/11

Why did it matter that it was cheap? Everyone at that table made between $11 and $17 an hour (it was 2010). That meal was an hour’s wages. I bet you for most people now doing that Friday ritual, it’s more expensive than that and climbing. 6/11

that’s why I hate that tweet. It’s not the “you don’t understand inflation”, it’s the eye-rolling derision directed at the meal itself. Do a week of nights on the factory floor, know that you have a weekend to reset your entire sleep schedule, and then look down on that meal.7/11

For most of us, even me (and remember, I couldn’t actually eat it, allergies suck), it was one of the only restaurant meals we could afford and the only real sense of community we got. 8/11

More than half of my coworkers were temps, many of them we didn’t know would be there at the end of our next Friday night shift. That’s still true in way too many workplaces. Some of them we had worked with for months. 9/11

So, no, that meal doesn’t come with a defibrillator. Any more than condescending elitism comes with a cravate. But thousands of workers eat it every Friday morning. After a week of nights making your chocolates or your HVAC system. 10/11

It might be the only reward they get. They earned it. But your derision? They didn’t earn that. 11/11

Ha-ha. In reading this Butts must have choked on his uncaring “let them eat cake” sideswipe.

Heimpel’s comments exposed the reality that Butts has indeed forgotten what a blue collar worker enjoys as the sun rises on a Glace Bay diner. But perhaps with his jet-setting life Butts never knew the simple pleasures of his mining relatives? And, does it surprise anyone that Butts’ BFF also would not have a clue what inflation and rising living costs mean for working Canadians who have no trust fund to dip into for their food, gas, heat — and family vacations?

SOURCE: Tweets of @MitchHeimpel

July is “Butter Tart Month”

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

Cycling and Butter Tarts

REDUX: A Dozen Delectable Photos

Bake My Day in St Jacobs Farmers Market

The Butter Tart Ice Cream Sandwich

Farm Boy’s classic butter tarts

Here is the full menu of delectable articles from 2020!

Butter Tarts are the Quintessential Canadian Food

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

First Printed Recipe of Butter Tarts

The humble origins of the butter tart

Canadian Living‘s Butter Tart Recipe

A Dozen Delectable Photos 

Mom, Tarts, and Life Lessons

2020 Title Holder for Best Tart is From the Ottawa Valley

An artist’s rendering… delicious!

Kids and Butter Tarts – a very happy combination 

Butter Tart Daydreams

Elizabeth Baird’s Butter Tart Recipe 

An Award-Winning Butter Tart Recipe

An apology for adding raisins

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

Butter Tart Recipes from The Great Canadian Cookbook

Bacon Butter Tarts

The Bee Hive Corn Syrup Recipe

Butter Tart Daydreams II

The Best Butter Tart Festival 

The (Infamous) Butter Tart Tour

Wellington County Butter Tarts

Almonte and Pakenham Bakeries are “Must-Stops”

Maple Butter Tart Liqueur

Maple Butter Tart Pie Recipe

Butter Tarts – Plus

7 “Of Ontario’s Best” Butter Tarts

Torontonians’ Top 10 List of Best Butter Tarts

A Definitive List of Ontario’s Best Butter Tarts

By George’s “Best Butter Tarts – Ever”

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

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

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

Posting hashtag #bikealmonte — and enjoy the ride

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

Nothing but contentment near Blakeney

Almonte’s Rail Trail – heading out

Storm clouds forming over the Indian River

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

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

Share your cycling experiences with #bikealmonte.

Enjoy the ride!

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

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

 

 

15 Amazing Hockey Facts

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

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

40 Fun Hockey Facts

30 Kickass and Interesting Facts About Ice Hockey

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hockey

10 fun hockey facts to share with your kids

Ice Hockey Facts

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

By George Top-10 Canadian Icons

A few years ago AskMen.com listed the top 10 Canadian icons “that have been branded as our global symbols and that define our Canadian identity.” In ascending order, they picked: maple syrup, Canada goose, beaver, Tim Horton’s, the loon, totem poles, Mounties, the CBC, the maple leaf and their number #1 icon is hockey.

In our own circles, we asked around and have prepared this list:

The By George Top 10 Canadian Icons

10. Newfie jokes, eh! Canadian humour at its best…

9. The beauty of our country’s nature captured in a Group of Seven shoreline painting or with a lone canoeist gliding through the early-morning mist of a fresh water lake

8. A mounted RCMP with Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower serving as his backdrop

7. A Bryan Adams ballad or Margaret Atwood novel – or our country’s next generation of talent – crooner Justin Bieber and renowned Yann Martel

6. Paul Henderson’s ’72 Team Canada sweater – the hopes and dream of a nation immortalized with this $1 million icon

5. The Canada Space Arm reaching out with the globe in the background – a poignant symbol of our remarkable contribution to science and to tomorrow’s dreams

4. A Tim Horton’s double-double and a maple-iced donut (hey, believe it or not in the Maritimes, they’re now ordering 4 x 4s – a coffee with four creams and four sugars!)

3. HNIC’s Coach’s Corner highlighting Bobby Orr soaring through the goal crease, Wayne Gretzky scoring from behind the net, and/or Sydney Crosby skating backward and raising his arms in victory.

2. Terry Fox and his drive and will to make a difference – our memories of Terry’s smile, his curly hair, the lean of his body as he makes his way through the Canadian Shield landscape.

1. The red maple leaf – Through the past forty years, the red leaf in the middle of our nation’s flag has become a definitive icon for Canucks and for the world. From a fluttering flag to the patch on a serviceman’s shoulder, the red maple leaf represents all that is good in our country.

canadiana_03

 

The By George Top-10 Summertime Tunes Playlist

Here are links to the YouTube recordings of the By George Top Ten ( in reverse order to build the suspense)!

But first, here are a few songs that did not make the top ten, but deserve to be mentioned for consideration on everyone’s summertime playlist:

Fishin in the Dark – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Summer Breeze – Seals and Crofts

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

School’s Out – Alice Cooper

Old Town Road – Lil Nas X

California Girls – David Lee Roth

Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran

The Dock of the Bay  – Otis Redding

Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen  

#10 – Summer in the City – The Lovin Spoonful

#9 – Chattahoochee – Alan Jackson

#8 – Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams (our Canadian content)

#7 – Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters

#6 – Summertime – Kenny Chesney (and this is a great video)

#5 – Here’s a bolt of energy courtesy of Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine

#4 – Everybody’s favourite fun tune, In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry

#3 Dancing in the Streets – sizzlin’ Martha Reeves and The Vandellas – and here’s the dynamic duo of Mike Jagger and David Bowie performing Dancing in the Streets

#2 – Classic Beach Boys mix:  Surfin’ USA  /   Barbara Ann  /   Good Vibrations

#1 – The all-time favourite anthem of lazy, beachside fun: Margaritaville  – Jimmy Buffet

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

15 more bicycle facts and stats

First cyclist that drove his bicycle around the world was Fred A. Birchmore. He pedaled for 25,000 miles and traveled other 15,000 miles by boat. He wore out 7 sets of tires.

The fastest measured speed of riding a bicycle on a flat surface is 133.75 km/h.

In 2011, Austrian racing cyclist Markus Stöckl drove an ordinary bicycle down the hill of a volcano. He attained the speed of 164.95 km/h.

The slow cycling record was set by Tsugunobu Mitsuishi of Japan in 1965 when he stayed stationary for 5 hours, 25 minutes.

Smallest bicycle ever made has wheels of the size of silver dollars.

The longest tandem bicycle seated 35 people, it was more than 20 meters long.

The Wright brothers who built the first flying airplane, operated a small bike repair shop in Dayton, Ohio. They used their workshop to build the 1903 Wright Flyer.

Popular bicycle type BMX was created in 1970s as a cheaper alternative to motocross races.

The prototype of the mountain bike was not developed until 1977.

E-Bikes are very popular because they make daily commutes much easier.

Half of all the parts of a typical bicycle are in the chain.

Bicycles are more efficient in transforming energy to travel than cars, trains, airplanes, boats, and motorcycles. Worldwatch Institute compared energy used per passenger-mile (calories) to find that a bicycle needed only 35 calories, whereas a car expended 1,860. Bus and trains fell about midway between.

The same energy that is expended for walking can be used when cycling to go three times faster.

Energy and resources that are used for the creation of one single car can be used for the creation of up to 100 bicycles.

Most famous bicycle race in the world is the Tour de France which was established in 1903 and is still driven each year when cyclist from all over the world take part in 3 week event that is finished in Paris. It’s considered to be the biggest test of endurance out of all sports.

SOURCES:

https://www.worldcycletours.com/blog/2019/22-interesting-facts-about-cycling

http://www.bicyclehistory.net/bicycle-facts/interesting-facts-about-bicycles/

https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/biking/weird-bicycle-facts-green.htm

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/ten-fun-facts-about-bikes

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

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

15 bicycle facts and stats

The world manufactures about 100 million bikes each year.

There are over 1 billion bicycles currently being used all around the world.

China boasts more than a half billion bicycles.

The UK is home to over 20 million bicycles.

A total of 5% of all trips in United Kingdom are made with a bicycle. In the US this number is lower than 1%.

10% of New York City’s workforce–approximately 65,000 humans–commute daily on bicycles.

There are at least 400 bicycle clubs in America, with membership from 10 to 4,000 members.

In the Netherlands a total of 30% of all trips are made with a bicycle. 40% of all Amsterdam’s commutes are made on a bike. Seven out of eight people in the Netherlands that are older than 15 have a bicycle.

36% of Copenhagen’s workforce commute daily on bicycles, and only 27% drive cars.

Over 90% of all bicycle trips are shorter than 15 kilometers.

Cycling is one of the best pastimes for people who want to reduce the risk of having heart disease or a stroke.

It is 20 times cheaper to maintain a bicycle than a car.

Bicycles save over 238 million gallons of fuel every year.

Daily 16 kilometer ride (10 miles) burns 360 calories, saves up to 10 euros of budget and saves the environment from 5 kilos of carbon dioxide emissions that are produced by cars.

There are twice as many bicycles in the world than cars.

SOURCES:

https://www.worldcycletours.com/blog/2019/22-interesting-facts-about-cycling

http://www.bicyclehistory.net/bicycle-facts/interesting-facts-about-bicycles/

https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/biking/weird-bicycle-facts-green.htm

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/ten-fun-facts-about-bikes

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

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

#TinFoilHatBrigade

Here are a few humourous memes we have compiled under the title of the By George Journal’s #TinFoilHatBrigade. This collection and more will be shared on By George social media platforms through this up-coming week.

(For a sideways glance and background on this matter, click: On Conspiracy Theories and Tin Foil Hats.)

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

 

 

On Conspiracy Theories and Tin Foil Hats

A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that has been realized by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation. A conspiracy theory is not simply a conspiracy; instead, it refers to a hypothesized result that is opposed to the mainstream consensus among those people (such as scientists, historians, politicians, etc.) who are professionally qualified to substantiate the event or situation. The term has a negative connotation, implying that the appeal to a conspiracy is based on prejudice or insufficient evidence.

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines conspiracy theory in this way: “Conspiracy theory, an attempt to explain harmful or tragic events as the result of the actions of a small powerful group. Such explanations reject the accepted narrative surrounding those events; indeed, the official version may be seen as further proof of the conspiracy.”

Conspiracy theories once limited to fringe audiences have become commonplace in mass media, emerging as a cultural phenomenon. Today, they are widespread around the world. Among the longest-standing and most widely recognized conspiracy theories are notions concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 1969 Apollo moon landings, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, and numerous theories pertaining to plots for world domination. Today, there are many conspiracy theories surrounding the Wuhan coronavirus and the global vaccination program.

A “tin foil hat” is a hat made from one or more sheets of aluminum foil applied overtop conventional headgear, often worn in the belief or hope that it shields the brain from threats such as mind control, mind reading, and electromagnetic fields. The notion of wearing homemade headgear for such protection has become a popular stereotype and insulting byword for paranoia, persecutory delusions, and the belief in conspiracy theories.

For example, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attempted to discredit Conservative MPs in their questioning about legislation that will censor the Internet by stating they are wearers of “tin foil hats.” He made similar claims about his policy objectives to implement The Great Reset in Canada.

Wikipedia explains the origin of the term “tin foil hat”: “Some people have a belief that such hats prevent mind control by government, spies, or paranormal beings that employ ESP or the microwave auditory effect. People in many countries who believe they are “targeted individuals”, subject to government spying or harassment, have developed websites, conference calls, and support meetings to discuss their concerns, including the idea of protective headgear. Vice Magazine claimed that the tinfoil hat in popular culture “can be traced back in a very weird and prescient short story written in 1927 by Julian Huxley, brother of the better-known author Aldous and half-brother to Nobel laureate Andrew” titled The Tissue-Culture King, wherein the main character uses a metal hat to prevent being mind controlled by the villain scientist.”

For illustrative examples of the mumbling that can be heard by modern day conspiracy theorists, check out the memes in the By George Journal’s #TinFoilHatBrigade

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

The Muppets! Offensive?

The Disney Channel has just released five seasons of “The Muppet Show” but they have done so with a warning to the next generation of viewers. The disclaimers read: 

“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,”

“Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together. Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe,”

So, the Muppets are “offensive” — according to Disney (as are those dangerous classics “Peter Pan” and “Dumbo” — according to Disney).  Offensive?! 

Given this disheartening news about the fragile psychic state of our youth today, By George honours this classic puppet troupe for the older generations who remember the joy and laughter (and how to laugh) watching this show.

 

Offensive…. 

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

Did you know these St. Valentine’s Day Facts?

How many of these 10 St. Valentine Day Facts did you know?

  1. Men spend twice as much as women on gifts. The average man spends $130 on Valentine’s Day, while women spend about $70.
  2. Every year, more than 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold across the country.
  3. Every year, around 9 million people buy their pets a Valentine’s Day gift.
  4. February 14th is the second largest card giving day of the year, just after Christmas.
  5. In 1913, Hallmark was one of the first to mass produce a Valentine’s Day card and today it’s expected that 1 billion cards will be exchanged around the world.
  6. Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by kids, mothers, wives and girlfriends.
  7. It’s estimated that Americans will spend $3.3 billion on flowers for loved ones. The only other day that beats Valentine’s Day in floral sales is Mother’s Day.
  8. The most likely flower to be purchased? Red roses of course!
  9. In 2015, 18% of women sent themselves flowers.
  10. More than one-third of men are comfortable not receiving anything from a lover on Valentine’s Day.

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. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

Here’s the impact on a brain “in love”

Here is a most fascinating lecture: Helen Fisher studies the brain in love

Anthropologist Helen Fisher studies gender differences and the evolution of human emotions. She’s best known as an expert on romantic love, and her beautifully penned books — including Anatomy of Love and Why We Love — lay bare the mysteries of our most treasured emotion.

So, why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped.

Here’s a summary of her talk:

Helen Fisher’s courageous investigations of romantic love — its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its vital importance to human society — are informing and transforming the way we understand ourselves. Fisher describes love as a universal human drive (stronger than the sex drive; stronger than thirst or hunger; stronger perhaps than the will to live), and her many areas of inquiry shed light on timeless human mysteries, like why we choose one partner over another. Almost unique among scientists, Fisher explores the science of love without losing a sense of romance: Her work frequently invokes poetry, literature and art — along with scientific findings — helping us appreciate our love affair with love itself.

Have some fun this St. Valentine’s Day.  Pour some wine and view this most intriguing and entertaining 15-minute video with your loved one:

Helen Fisher studies the brain in love

… it’s a need, it’s an urge, it’s a homeostatic imbalance; like hunger and thirst, it is almost impossible to stamp out… one of the most powerful sensations on earth.

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. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. (You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read the piece straight through, and you’ll get the point.)

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five World Cup trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of Miss World .
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of FA Cup winners.

How did you do?

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and
special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Is this second quiz easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. None of us remember the headliners of yesterday, even though these are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. However, when applause dies, achievements are forgotten and accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Simply put, the people who make a difference is your life are the ones who care the most.

 

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

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

To conclude the By George celebration of “Butter Tart Month” let us share with you the results of our survey and that all-important question for all butter tart lovers:

“Does the ultimate butter tart contain raisins – or no raisins?”

Given the responses this month from our By George tart lovers, it appears the answer to this controversial question is…. raisins! 

Raisin 56 %

No-Raisins 33%

Other 11%

(“Other” responses include “both” or “neither,” and some answered with other ingredients like pecans or currants.)

RAISINS IT IS. Although, with one-in-three tart lovers not wanting those plump pieces of goodness in their fillings, we’re sure this debate will continue.  

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

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