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Happy Canada Day: Five celebratory moments for Canadians

As we begin our Canada Day celebrations, I thought I would comment on five moments where Canadians united together. We’re a pretty modest bunch and it takes a lot for us to embrace our nation. I thought of tipping my hat off to the people from our history books and especially to the indigenous, but thought I would save that for another day. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these five moments where came together:


Americans may have Obamania, but we did it first with Trudeau. Joseph Phillippe Pierre Yves Elliot Trudeau mostly known as Pierre Trudeau stormed the political and social scene as the leader of the Liberal Party in 20 April 1968. He was young, charming, smart, good looking, laid back and appealed to the young people of the nation who were looking for energetic nonconformist leaders.

We wouldn’t be celebrating Pride this weekend if it weren’t for him. He legalized homosexuality. It’s hard to imagine a time when simply being you would be illegal but he saw it long before other countries did.

Not only was the first world leader to meet John Lennon and Yoko Ono, he also dated celebrities. He introduced bilingualism and multiculturalism, united against Quebec separatists, suppressed a violent revolt and established the Charter of Rights and Freedom.

His most defining moment came on 13 October 1970. The Front de Liberation du Quebec kidnapped the British Trade Consul, James Cross, on 5 October 1970 and five days later they kidnapped Quebec Labour Minister, Pierre Laporte. As events began to escalate, a reporter asked the Prime Minister how far he would go to stop the terrorists. He replied, “Just watch me” and three days later invoked the War Measures Act and four days after that Laporte was murdered. Although you could argue that things did not go exactly as planned, the phrase evoked a huge emotional response from the nation and is still regarded as one of Canada’s defining moments.



 It’s hard to imagine a Canadian stereotype without someone holding a hockey stick or shooting a puck and no one knew it better than Father David Bauer. He founded Hockey Canada in 1963 as part of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association.  It wasn’t christened, Team Canada, until 1972 when our team won against Soviet Union during the Summit Series. Although not everyone likes watching hockey regularly or even has an interest in the Olympics, we all do come together during the Winter Olympics to support our team. We’re happy to say we’ve won twice in 2002 and 2010.


 People currently in their twenties to forties probably recall this Molson Canadian ad campaign quite clearly. Joe’s “The Rant” debuted during the Academy Awards in March 2000, which happens to be the same year Robin Williams sang Blame Canada from the South Park soundtrack. We can thank Maclaren Lintas ad agency for putting together one of the best commercials of all time. A round of applause has to go to Canadian writer, Glen Hunt; Canadian actor, Jeff Douglas and American director, Kevin Donovan for creating something quite special. The commercial won the Gold Quill award in 2001 and subsequently had many parodies made including one by William Shatner.


 We’ve been singing our national anthem for years, but people have a hard time resonating with the lyrics. It only seems appropriate that Luke “Classified” Boyd would create a song that we could sing along to with pride. The rapper and producer is from Enfield, Nova Scotia and received three Juno award nominations for the song.




Photo taken from George’s Instagram/Facebook page.

George was ten years old when he finally was able to spell his last name Stroumboulopoulos correctly. You have to tip your hat off to the little guy as most adults still struggle with spelling it. After his aspirations to be an architect were pushed aside, he continued with his passion for sports and music. After casually filling out an application for Humber College’s Radio Broadcasting program, he was accepted and began a 20 year career in radio and television.  The short stint at radio rock station in Kelowna, B.C and time in Toronto with Fan590 sports radio would eventually lead to his time on Much Music. It was here that he became fed up with reporting on celebrity gossip and made a quip about him being Canada’s boyfriend. The phrase seemed to hit a chord with the audience and it continues to be part of his opening monologue on the George Stroumboloulopoulos Tonight show.

 Here is an older clip from when the show was called The Hour where George discusses Canada with an American journalist.




Here are a few clips of Canadians talking about Canada


Here’s Russell Peter’s talking about what how to become a Canadian citizen



Here he discusses the Canadian accent



Here’s Jim Carrey talking about Canada


Saying goodbye to the “world’s oldest teenager”, Dick Clark

Dick Clark backstage during the Grammy Awards ...

Dick Clark backstage during the Grammy Awards telecast 2/21/90 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although we all knew Dick Clark has been sick since 2004, it doesn’t make his death any less surprising when you first hear the news.

Richard Wagstaff Clark was born on 30 November 1929 in Mount Vernon, New York to Sales Manager in radio. His older brother, Bradley, who he idolized died in World War II. As a way of dealing with the loss of his only brother, Clark found solace in radio to ease his loneliness. He began working at his uncle and father’s radio station during high school and later ventured out on his own while at university working at a country music station.

He completed his degree in Business at Syracuse University and became neighbours with Ed McMahon while acting as a disc jokey at WFIL in Drexelbrook Community, Philadelphia.

Clark was 27 years old on the pivotal day of August 5, 1957. It marked the end of Bob Horn’s Bandstand and ABC’s re-branding, American Bandstand. It also marks Clark’s first day on the show interviewing Elvis Presley. The show would run until 1987 and be responsible for launching many careers including Buddy Holly and Madonna. This 30 year run would inspire many spin offs around the world.  A success that is extremely rare to duplicate. Canada tried its own version, Electric Circus, which ran for 15 years between 1988 and 2003 on MuchMusic and CityTV.

Clark was also known for giving African American artists their due by playing original R & B recordings and not covers performed by Caucasians. His show, The Dick Clark Radio Show, only lasted one year in 1963, but it was one of the earliest attempts at radio syndication. He also might be one of the earliest stars to get over saturation in the public.

During 15 February 1958 to September 10, 1960, Clark hosted the half hour Saturday night program, Dick Clark Show on the radio while also hosting a half hour weekly variety series on television called Dick Clark World of Talent. It only ran between 27 September to 20 December 1959.

The seventies were also a busy time for Clark. He filled in once for Casey Kasem on March 25, 1972 doing the American Top 40. He started the American Music Awards as a competition to the Grammy Awards in 1973 and in the same year created his own version of Soul Train by hosting Soul Unlimited. There was also the short-lived Dick Clark’s Live Wednesday.

He also appears on three major American networks during the eighties. American Bandstand was on ABC, Pyramids was on CBS and TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes was on NBC. The latter ran from 1984-1988. This is also the time when he had his longest running radio show that started on February 14, 1982 – Rock, Roll and Remember, which was a four-hour oldies show named after his 1976 autobiography. The show went on until 2004 when Clark got his stroke.

By the we get to the nineties, we see only one season of The Challengers from 1990-1991 and one season of Scattergories in 1993. After opening several restaurants, theatres, and having a wide success in television and music, we only see Clark from 2001-2003 on The Other Half where he co-hosted a similar show as The View with Mario Lopez, Danny Bonaduce and Dorian Gresent.

Clark was married three times. The first time to Barbara Mallery in 1952-1961. They had one son, Richard. He then married Loreta Martin from 1962-1971 and they have two children, Duane and Cindy. He is now survived by his final wife, Kari Wington, who he married in 1977.

As someone who was born in the late seventies, it is safe to say that I have spent my entire life with Dick Clark in the media somewhere. I remember spending every New Year’s watching his specials and many evenings watching his shows. He will be greatly missed.

Today is National Stalking Awareness Day

Today is National Stalking awareness Day.

According to Section 54 of the Criminal Code of Canada,

Stalking is about wanting to control a particular person, most likely a former partner, and they can have different personality traits. Please note there is no way to profile a stalker, but the following is more of a guideline.

You can have the simple obessional who met the person, however fleeting, and does not want to believe the relationship is over. Most of these incidents do occur with someone who has known the victim for longer periods of time. Then there is the erotomanic. This person loves the other and truly believes they would be together without this external circumstance.

StatsCan believes that three in ten women report stalking and that criminal harassment makes up 5% of all violent crimes in 2009. According to QMI Agency‘s article, “Kingston has highest rates of stalking in Canada: StatsCan” published in The Whig Standard a year ago, the following observations are true.

The lowest rate of criminal harassment in 2009 was in Manitoba, where about 22 stalkers were reported per 100,000 people.

StatsCan said the findings are interesting because Manitoba is the province with the second-highest violent crime rate in Canada.

“In general, overall violent crime tends to be higher in Western Canada than in the eastern part of the country, however, for criminal harassment, the opposite generally holds true,” the study found.

Prince Edward Island reported the highest rate of reported criminal harassment, with 82 stalkers per 100,000 people, according to the figures. It usually has the lowest rate of violent crime in the country.

The Canadian average is 59 reported stalkers per 100,000 people.

Kingston, Ont., was the city with the most reports of stalking with 224, followed by Saint John, N.B. (149).

Winnipeg (16), Regina (21) and Calgary (26) had the lowest rates of reported criminal harassment.

Women account for 76% of the victims. They are more likely to be stalked by a current or former partner, while men are more likely to be stalked by a casual acquaintance.

About 38% of the reported cases involved threats. About 12% involved physical force and only 3% involved weapons, according to the StatsCan figures.

More than 69% of the cases occurred at the victim’s home. Most others occurred in outdoor public places, such as parks, parking lots, schools or streets.

Canada’s courts dealt with about 3,200 cases of criminal harassment in 2009 and about 52% of the perpetrators were found guilty. Probation was the most common sentence, accounting for 63% of the cases.

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