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Posts Tagged ‘canadians’

Inspiring Words From an Inspiring Man

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ll begin this post with the obligatory apology for the lack of posts recently.

The truth is I just got a promotion at work so I’m quite busy with new responsibilities. I’ve also gotten engaged! Hooray! (read more at my girlfriend’s fiancee’s blog here)

But the main reason I’m writing today is to share the sad news that one of Canada’s top politicians, Jack Layton, has passed away.

 

File:Jack Layton-cr bl.jpg

Jack Layton in 2008. Photo: Matt Jiggins

For my non-Canadian readers, Layton was the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, a left-leaning political party.

Layton was charismatic, funny, and very likable. Even those who did not agree with his politics could not argue with his enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, Layton passed away last night after a battle with cancer. He did, however, leave a final note to Canadians, written just 2 days ago, when it became clear that he may not be around much longer.

The full text is available here, but I wanted to share an excerpt with all of you.

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change…

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,
Jack Layton

It is unfortunate that people need to die before such words garner much attention, but hopefully Layton’s fight for better lives for working Canadians will not have been in vain.

 

Bruins Win, Vancouver Riots, Rest of Canada Vomits

June 16, 2011 5 comments

Vancouver riots from June 15, 2011. Via Mashable.

It was a sad scene in Vancouver last night.

After a disappointing loss to the Bruins, the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Boston Bruins took home the most awesome of sports trophies, and y’know what? They deserved it.

The Canucks showed throughout the series that they lacked the grit, determination and heart required to be NHL Champions.

Boston, on the other hand, fought back from a 2 game deficit to win in Game 7. Good for them.

But the Bruins excellent play was overshadowed by the embarrassing display of some Canucks fans after the game.

As the rest of Canada watched, all we could do was shake our heads.

It is unfair to blame the entire city of Vancouver for the behaviour of a small number of ass-holes, but the blemish to Canada’s pride will not go away soon.

I’m ashamed that the people in these videos call themselves “Canadian”. The Stanley Cup Finals is when Canada is supposed to shine. It is when our nation and our game gets attention on a world-wide stage.

Instead, drunken losers have stolen the spotlight by acting like overgrown children playing with fire.

The situation is made worse by the fact many people have been hurt. Lacerations and even stabbings have been reported at the local hospital, further making these events a giant hit to our national pride.

But as I said, it is important not to blame an entire city for the actions of a relative few. In fact, a Facebook group called ‘Post-Riot Cleanup – Let’s Help Vancouver‘ currently has over 14,000 members.

So it is a dark day for Canadians. We try so hard to live up to our reputations of polite, mild-mannered yet fun-loving people. And although we do love beer and hijinx as much as the next guy, we rarely act like total morons like those rioters in Vancouver.

But on the bright side, the next hockey season is less than 4 months away :)

 

My Favourite Blog Right Now

April 5, 2011 Leave a comment

It is election time in Canada (again), which means a plethora of poll data is just waiting to be analyzed by journalists, pundits and, well me.

So since I like numbers and statistics, my favourite blog for the rest of the month will be TheeHundredEight.com

ThreeHundredEight.com

This site amalgamates poll data and gives a projection of the next parliament. It is also updated every day so you can obsess over stats every single morning!

Now, I know Canadian politics does not have the animosity, craziness, stupidity or entertainment value of American politics, but that is something we Canadians should be proud of; even if its less fun to watch on TV.

While this site may only be interesting to my readers who occupy the intersection of this Venn diagram:

which should be what? Like, 8 people? 12? Meh, whatever. The site also gives poll data by province and even by riding, so even if you don’t like stats you may be interested in seeing which way the wind is blowing in your area.

Since I live in Alberta, and I am a bleeding heart left-wing hippy (which is how conservatives try to paint anyone who is not conservative), my vote will pretty much be useless. But I will still vote for poops and giggles.

Actually, The Globe and Mail also has a nice summary of the party platforms on its website. It is being continually updated as well, so keep an eye on that if you want a nice summary of the different platforms.

Hurray for democracy! And statistics!

Why It Pains Me to Watch the World Cup

July 3, 2010 Leave a comment

This is usually a science blog. But with the World Cup on, I think I’ll digress…

I’m from Canada, but my grandparents come from Holland. So you’ll find me walking the streets in my Oranje jersey during the World Cup (take THAT Brazil!).

Football (or ‘Soccer’, as it is called in my homeland) is a physically intense, strategic sport.

It requires teamwork, thoughtful planning and well-timed execution. I have the utmost respect for the endurance and pressure faced by soccer players from all nations.

Between World Cups though, I don’t watch a lot of soccer. Its not a very popular sport here, and by the time the World Cup runs  around, I start to wonder why.

Unfortunately, it only takes about 10 minutes of watching the first game in the group stage to remember exactly why.

Sit around a pub table with a group of Canadians while watching soccer, and this is what you’ll hear:

“Ugh, what a baby!”

“He called THAT a foul!?!”

“Get the hell up! He barely touched you!”

“What the hell is he crying for?”

Canadians are tough. Thats not me being arrogant, its a fact. Look at Steve Nash in the NBA. How many other basketball players would play when their face looks like this?

And how about hockey? That just speaks for itself.

So we can’t stand it to see people diving, falling, and crying. Its a sport. Grow up and be a sportsman.

Whats even more frustrating is FIFA, which doesn’t want to do a damn thing to fix the sport. How bout 2 referees? Nope.

And now with those two really controversial goals for England and Mexico, people are screaming for video replay. But what is FIFA’s response?

They say it will interfere with the “flow” of the game, because soccer is a game that “never stops”. Bullshit!

Maybe the clock doesn’t stop, but the action stops probably just as often, if not more so, than in hockey. The ball goes out of bounds, some moron decides to showcase his diving skills, players ignore the play and throw up their arms at the referee trying to get a phantom handball called. All this interferes with the “flow” of the game, and no one seems to care.

The play stops all the time, so your game is no better than anyone else’s. And for a game like soccer, it would only take 15-20 seconds to check the replay and see if the ball crossed the goal line, or if the attacking player was offside. These are obvious calls on a TV monitor, but are very difficult for a single referee and his assistants.

So FIFA, please do what you can to improve your game. Because we in Canada are huge sports fans, and we appreciate the good things about your sport. But my god, quit diving and play the freakin’ game!