Geographically, Canada is a big country, the second biggest in the world after Russia, then closely followed in size by the United States, China and Brazil.
However, Canada is not a big country in terms of its population, far from it: on a list of the 50 most populous countries in the world it stands 38th, with a population of 35,362,905. That’s a little more than Morocco, but less than Sudan.
Canada is also widely regarded as one of the most developed and richest countries in the world, a member of the G7 group of the world’s most industrialized countries.
It is also, I think it’s fair to say, regarded as one of the most civilized countries in the world, in the best sense of that word. It has become in the last 50 years especially, one of the most culturally diverse countries where people of virtually every nationality, religion – or none – live together in peace. Continue reading
“This too shall pass,” says the old adage, reflecting since ancient times on the changing nature of human existence.
I offer it up here as an expression of hope in the deeply troubled times of crisis ahead.
We’re heading toward such a moment, here in Canada, as we celebrate the 151st anniversary of this good and worthy country. Continue reading
Something called the incel movement has been in he news lately, in connection with the horrific murder of 10 people in Toronto, and the serious injury of 14 others, when a man deliberately drove a rented van down several blocks of sidewalk.
The suspect now in custody and at last count now facing 10 charges of first-degree murder, may have been radicalized by the hateful, tantrum language toward women often used on websites frequented by unhappy, angry men.
Their complaint is their state of “involuntary celibacy,” hence the “incel” name of their movement.
But I’m confused. I find it hard to understand how a man, or woman, for that matter, could be celibate for an extended period of time and not at some point discover the good side of it. Better than good. I went through a period of celibacy when I was a young man, starting when I was 20 and lasting for a couple of years. Continue reading
April 14, 2018, Hope Ness, Ontario, Canada
The local store where I buy my Big Beautiful Boy’s dog food was fairly busy one morning earlier this week. Housed in an older building, the décor steeped in Canadian, farm-store heritage, it’s staffed and operated by folks who call you by name – or soon will, if you’re new. If they say, “have a nice day,” they really mean it.
Toronto Raptor, All-Star player DeMar DeRozan did himself and all of us who also suffer from depression a big favour when he reached on Twitter one night in mid-February about what he was going through.
“This depression get the best of me.” was DeRozan’s brief tweet, late on the night of Feb. 17 during the All-Star break in the regular NBA schedule. Continue reading
A mountain lake in the interior of British Columbia, Canada
It was a moment that lasted all night. At some point though I fell asleep in the passenger seat of his car. I awoke, as usual even then, at dawn. He was gone. Last I knew he was in the driver’s seat where he had been talking his way through the night. He was on his way home to Calgary. He had been away working on a construction project in the British Columbia interior. But a couple of days earlier he had gotten a letter from his wife, telling him she wanted a divorce. She didn’t say so, but he thought maybe she had met somebody else. He was going home to find out what was going on and try to talk to her about it. Continue reading
The view from Lion’s Head Harbour
I left a well-attended public meeting this week in nearby Lion’s Head confident the future of sustainable tourism on the Bruce Peninsula is in good hands, and that the challenges it is currently facing as a result of booming numbers in the last few years will be dealt with wisely.
My reason for feeling that way is largely because of the continuing strong involvement of the local community in that effort. Continue reading
(Note: This story is mostly based on actual events, to the extent that they are known. The rest is speculative.)
Toronto, 1935, looking north on downtown Yonge Street. A City of Toronto Archives photo
The boy was 12 years old in the summer of 1935 during the depths of the Great Depression when a big, black car with unusual licence plates pulled up in front of a rooming house on Brock Avenue in the west-end of Toronto.
It was one of the city’s poorest streets, dubbed “bedbug row” at the time, in the midst of the Great Depression. A tall, slender, impeccably-dressed man slowly emerged from the driver’s door. With one hand resting on the roof of the car he paused for a few moments to stretch his neck, before opening another door to reach in for a briefcase, of the fine, leather style a barrister might carry or, as in his case, a special kind of private secretary. He locked the car carefully and, with the briefcase in his right hand, walked the few steps onto the sidewalk, and then turned up a concrete walkway leading to the rooming house. He walked rather slowly, seeming to put each foot down with an odd tentativeness, as if a visitor from another world. There was some kind of emblem on his jacket, over his heart. A coat of arms, perhaps? Hard to tell from a distance. Continue reading
The popularity of the Bruce Peninsula National Park has taken off in recent years, as this Parks Canada photo taken at one location shows
It was another busy day at Grey County Provincial Offences Court, which also acts as the court for such offences for Bruce County. Most of the dozens of people waiting for their turn in court that day in early December were charged with Highway Traffic Act offenses and had decided to plead “not guilty.” A brief consultation with the Prosecutor before court might lead to a resolution; otherwise they were heading for a trial, time permitting, or adjournment to a later date if not.
Several people in the crowded waiting area were charged with excessive speeding, also referred to as “stunt driving,” on Provincial Highway 6. Those charges involved a long stretch of that highway on the Bruce Peninsula leading to Tobermory that has suddenly become especially infamous after five people died in collisions last year.
Only in recent years has traffic on that section of highway become such an urgent problem. It coincides with a tremendous increase in tourist traffic heading to the two national parks in the Tobermory area. Continue reading