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Early Canadians shed light on barbaric cultural practices in the present

Photo: Yousuf Karsh/Library and Archives Canada/Wikimedia Commons

Consider this a pre-Canada Day column on pre-Canadians and what became of them. One effect of solemn national origin days is often to obscure any downsides that might've existed then or since. On the U.S.'s first Independence Day, only about a third of colonists were supportive. At Confederation, P.E.I. opted out and support elsewhere was shaky. A stark example is Palestine-Israel. On the Israeli side it's Independence Day; among Palestinians, Catastrophe Day.

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Photo: Crowd gathered outside old City Hall, during the Winnipeg General Strike.
| May 26, 2015
Columnists

Kathleen Wynne sells one public asset to create another

Photo: Premier of Ontario Photography/flickr

"What does Kathleen Wynne think you do with a majority?" moped a friend. "What does she have a majority for? Harper knows what to do with one. He even knew what to do with a minority."

When she ran, Wynne seemed committed to new tolls or taxes -- to expand public transit. Then she backtracked, and decided to sell off parts of Hydro One instead. Why would it matter if you sell one public asset to create another? You're just robbing Peter to pay Paul. To understand why, stroll with me down to the newly "revitalized" Union Station on Front Street.

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Columnists

The loss of public values at CBC begins with management

Photo: Paul Gorbould/flickr

Amanda Lang had her Leslie Roberts moment this week, as Roberts had his Peter Mansbridge moment a week before. Lang is CBC's "senior business correspondent" (titles matter to these people, Lang lovingly repeats hers). She was found taking money for speeches from banks she reports on.

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Occupation, resistance and the roots of national character

Photo: Duncan Rawlinson/flickr

Canadians obsess, non-neurotically in my view, about the influence of the U.S. on our reality. We're less aware of the American sense of Canada's impact there. In particular, they've often shown a kind of Canuckophilia. Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore's 1995 Canadian Bacon was a love letter. He'd have clearly welcomed annexation -- though he's since been dismayed by the Harper era. The Rob Ford fascination in the U.S. isn't just another wacko mayor story; it's because he's Canadian. It has a man-bites-dog, Canadian-isn't-nice element.

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A page from Rosemary Sexton's book shows diaries get closest to lived life

Home Before Dark book jacket

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I hardly know what to say about Rosemary Sexton's book, Home Before Dark, and that's a rare gift from an author. It's a rambling, riveting, often trivial diary of her life between 1998 and 2002. Why that span? No particular reason.

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With Rogers in control, CBC lies bleeding

Photo: flickr/Banff Lake Louise
With Rogers now firmly in control in the Canadian telecom world and its grasp on Hockey Night in Canada, CBC lies bleeding. Canadian media now teeters perilously on the brink of a dark new dawn.

Related rabble.ca story:

Canada's game commodified. CBC suffers.

Photo: flickr/Banff Lake Louise

Ice is in our blood. 

Through the years, hockey has helped define this nation. Like the countless lakes and rivers that carve the land just begging to be skated upon once frozen, the collective love for hockey connects Canadians.

As the country has evolved, hockey has endured, seeping into the very core of the culture. The game is treasured. The countless Stanley Cups. The '72 Summit Series. The gold medals in Vancouver and Sochi. What happens on the ice is a point of national pride, along with names like Gretzky and Messier and Henderson and Crosby.

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Columnists

CBC television and the 'public' in public broadcasting

Photo: Dave Shea/flickr

The "debate" about CBC resonates less and less. It's probably time for the super-verbalizing to end and for CBC to either produce or get off the pot. Consider the despoliation of language in just this recent round. (This doesn't apply, by the way, to CBC Radio, which has an audience that actually cares.)

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Observing Yom Ashura in a multicultural Canada

Photo: Naseer Najwa/flickr

When I came to Canada nearly 15 years ago, I could not have imagined that the place which is now my new home would be so accepting, accommodating and tolerant of other cultures. Here we learn how to earn respect by giving respect to others. This is the beauty of Canadian society, which allows hundreds of cultures to co-exist peacefully.

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