Canadian Current Events

October 25, 2009

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News Items of the Week

Toronto Maple Leafs winless in first seven games, panic ensues

It’s likely no secret that the Leafs are Canada’s most popular hockey team.  They sell out most arenas all over North America, and often times draw louder cheers than the home team.  But it has been a rough few years, no playoffs lately and no championships since 1967.  Well there was hope heading into this season that GM Brian Burke had made the moves necessary to at least get this team back into the playoffs.  Well an 0-6-1 start and last place in the league have raised many issues, and the fans who pay the most expensive prices for seats have ripped the team with jeers in the last few games.  I guess the question is, only 7 games into an 82 game season, should everyone be panicing like this?  I just don’t understand the attention.  If the team was 6-0-1, I am sure everyone would be planning the Stanley Cup parade.  I am a Leafs fan myself as I was born and raised in Ontario, but even I have to say enough already.  Give the team with a few new faces more of a chance to bond, get the top two goalies off the injured reserve, and then you can get upset…it is inevitable.

Tim Horton’s hires support for parking lot

I have gone on in the past about the popularity and craziness surrounding Tim Horton’s here in Canada.  Well a perfect example of this I think comes from a store on Portage Avenue here in Winnipeg this week.  The store there does not have a particularly big parking lot, and during the morning rush this causes some issues for the drive thru, with cars backed onto the curb lane of Portage.  Well to help with this, the restaurant has hired someone to man the parking lot in the mornings.  He helps sort the cars into two lanes, and also directs cars where to park if people want to dare go inside and fight the line.  Hey, don’t get me wrong the breakfast sandwiches definitely outdo McDonald’s, but really this is crazy.

Gary Doer begins job as ambassador to the USA

After ten years as premier of Manitoba for the New Democrat party, Gary Doer unexpectedly announces his resignation a few weeks ago.  The next day, it was announced he would become Canada’s first ever ambassador to the United States.  He began his job this week meeting up with USA’s official ambassador to Canada (what exactly does that guy do anyways?) for a train trip around the province.  Greg Selinger won the party vote and has replaced Doer, and has two more years until the next election to carve a niche for himself.  Doer I think is a good man for this job.  He was often voted as most popular/well-liked premier and politician in Canada, and just has a way with people.  In the last election two years ago, he led the NDPs to an easy win, forming another majority government.  I think he will be missed here, but he is definitely going to represent us well in his future endeavors.

3 Things

August 16, 2009

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So three things caught my attention this week that I feel are worth sharing. They range from comical to serious, so enjoy!

The Pursuit of Knowledge

So it often works out that when I am eating lunch, my television is tuned to Trivial Pursuit: America Plays hosted by Christopher Knight. I have always enjoyed Trivial Pursuit, so I find watching it on television to still be entertaining but also educational. I have seen before on other shows such as Jeopardy questions asked of Americans about basic Canadian facts only to see them completely mess up the answer. Well today’s question was “What province is Halifax the capital of?” Well only one of the participants had the bravery to provide an answer. His answer was “Ontarrrio”. Notice that his answer wasn’t Ontario (pronounced On-tear-e-o) but On-tar-e-o. Of course this is incorrect. I was actually surprised he chose this province, as the capital of Ontario is Canada’s biggest and most famous city, Toronto. I know it’s funny, but at the same time I do admit that I do not know all of the State capitals, so perhaps I should shut my mouth. I did end up feeling smarter than the contestants of the show though, as I knew the state capital of Ohio was Columbus while both of them did not (first guess Cleveland, second guess Cincinnati). Oh and by the way, Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia.

Michael Vick Soars Again

Many people have heard of Michael Vick, whether they are a fan of the NFL or not. Well Michael is now officially back in the NFL, having signed a two year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. When it comes to strictly improving your football team, this is a good move. He will have to shake off a fair bit of rust, but can slide comfortably into the backup role behind Donovan McNabb while he gets back into game shape. The only question is how this will affect the team in terms of its image. As a pet owner, I was as disgusted as anyone for what he did. While he did serve his time and pay his debt to society, I still really find myself despising him. I work with people with intellectual disabilities and even they know better than Vick when it came to what he did with those dogs. I personally hope his career is over and that he is heckled thoroughly everywhere he goes. This is one I just can’t get my head past.

Tim Horton’s

I don’t know what there is in the States to match this franchise. Dunkin Donuts perhaps? Tim Horton’s is a symbol of Canada like no other. It is our favourite place to have a coffee and donut. The franchise has actually expanding into a few northern States as well. Every morning drive-thru lines are packed, and lineups go out the doors as people will do anything to “get their Timmies”. Many people have bumper stickers to this effect. This week though, Tim’s got some publicity it didn’t want, as it was apparently a sponsor of a big anti-gay festival in Rhode Island. After news of this got out, they pulled out their support, claiming it was just one specific franchise owner in the area. This was definitely the right move, as many Canadians are open to gay marriage and full gay rights and the backlash up here would have been strong. I give kudos to the franchise for acting quickly to get this mess straightened out. On another note, I don’t see myself visiting Providence anytime soon.