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  1. Launch of a love affair Ratings for Lévesque’s TV program sometimes hit an amazing 100 per cent by Daniel Poliquin on Thursday, September 24, 2009 10:20am - 0 Comments macleans.ca By the mid-1950s, Quebecers, like most other Canadians, had fallen in love with television. So overwhelming was the coup de foudre that although in some regions near the U.S. border only American broadcasts would come in, unilingual French Quebecers lapped it up anyway. Kids could be seen in the streets of small towns re-enacting their favourite show, The Adventures of Kit Carson, speaking in a made-up mumbo-jumbo language they believed was English. That was how it sounded to them anyway. Four out of five households in the province had a television set. And when the French-speaking people of Canada were all able to view locally made, francophone productions, they became a tight-knit virtual family, discussing at length the ending of the last sitcom or drama millions of others had watched, adopting as their own actors and actresses they had grown fond of, or, conversely, expressing unanimous hate for TV villains like Séraphin, the miser in the seemingly endless Les Belles Histoires des Pays d’En-Haut, which everybody watched. For good reason, too: there was only one French-language TV station; Radio-Canada’s monopoly ensured that all, and I mean all, francophones growing up in Quebec in the 1950s and 1960s shared a single TV culture. Lévesque was a regular commentator on current events programs, but he was mainly heard on the radio—until someone at Radio-Canada had the good sense to give him his own television show in October 1957. Here begins the legend of René Lévesque. The show was called Point de mire (Focal Point) and it was a 30-minute live broadcast first airing on Sundays at 11:15 p.m., and later, due to the show’s growing popularity, on Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. For many, it was another coup de foudre. Here was this little man with the funny voice, equipped with a blackboard, a pointer, and maps, explaining the outside world to French-speaking Canadians, talking very fast but using only intelligible words. Let me paraphrase him: “Good evening. Thank you for joining me. Tonight, we are off to the Suez. It’s in Egypt, the land of the pharaohs that became mummies, you know, the land of the pyramids and the Sphinx. Here on the map is a canal, called Suez, built by French and British engineers in the last century. You can see here that it links up the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. So a very important route for international trade, because, thanks to the canal, ships stopped having to go all around the African continent to take their goods to the Orient, or the other way around. See?” (He would circle Africa with his pointer.) “Without Suez, the cup of tea from India you just had would cost you more because it would have to travel much farther. You follow me? Now, the Egyptians no longer have pharaohs. Egypt is now a republic, led by a man they call the Raïs—which means ‘president’ in Arabic—a man by the name of Nasser. So . . .” And on he would go. For many Quebecers with little schooling, Point de mire became their first window on the world. Not everybody watched, but those who did were enthralled, especially news junkies and all those hungry for knowledge. And in Duplessis’ Quebec, there were a lot of them. Thanks to the Radio-Canada monopoly, Lévesque’s ratings sometimes reached 100 per cent: a dream for any broadcaster and now an impossible feat, even on a day such as Sept. 11, 2001. To take the helm of Point de mire, Lévesque had had to give up his comfortable job as a broadcaster, with the guaranteed income, pension, and other benefits. But he was now earning $20,000 a year—more than any cabinet minister, provincial or federal. The real payoff, however, was instant celebrity. René Lévesque was now the star journalist who could explain the school desegregation in Little Rock, Ark.; the violent decolonization of Algeria; or the partition of Berlin and Cyprus. He could not walk the streets of Quebec without being accosted by adoring fans who would stop him to shake his hand and thank him. And he was more than loved; he was respected. In the words of novelist and social commentator Jacques Godbout, Lévesque was Quebec’s “first lay teacher.” Of course, the viewers did not see the man who never read his fan mail and never returned phone calls. Undisciplined but hard-working, incessantly feasting on magazines and newspapers in his smoke-filled office or at McGill’s nearby library to prepare for his weekly rendezvous with live television. Stressed out, as we would say today, but always focused. The badly dressed and unsuspected Lothario with doubtful hygiene who ate, talked, and smoked all at once, leaving a mess behind him all the time, driving like a madman in the streets in Montreal. Famous for his all-night poker playing, his chain-smoking; fond of sleeping late and seldom on time for appointments. Never at home, never where he was supposed to be. It was as though he was living three lives at the same time. During those years that he met Pierre Trudeau. The meeting took place in the Radio-Canada cafeteria, where artists and journalists congregated between assignments to talk and reshape the world in keeping with the fantasies and ideals in vogue. Trudeau was then a law professor and sometime TV commentator known for his scathing wit and erudition. He was well travelled, one of the few men in Canada who had visited China and reported on it. His Cité Libre was one of the very rare publications that dared to criticize Duplessis and public policy. Its circulation was of confidential proportions, but it was influential within the small, thinking elite of the era. The person who introduced them was journalist Gérard Pelletier, who was a friend of both Trudeau and Lévesque. For once, as Pelletier said later, Lévesque was not running, slowed down by the overflowing cup of coffee in his one hand and the stack of newspapers under his other arm. Pelletier motioned to him to come and sit down with him and the slightly balding man with the piercing blue eyes. He had wanted the two to meet for a long time. For the occasion, Trudeau put on his best snotty-nosed behaviour, complete with the French mid-Atlantic accent he had acquired at Montreal’s Jesuit-run Brébeuf College. Lévesque played the nonchalant TV star. This is how Pelletier remembers their conversation. I’ve added what I imagine must have been their internal dialogue in square brackets. Trudeau: Ah, the famous René Lévesque! How do you do? [Your Point de mire celebrity does not impress me at all, you should know that.] You speak well, sir, very well, but tell me something: can you write, too? Lévesque: Yes, but you know, writing takes time . . . [Don’t even think for a minute I would waste a second reading your Cité Libre . . .] Trudeau: Yes, you are right. You need time, and you also need to have ideas of your own, things to say, you know . . . [Watch out, buddy, I bite too.] The two were chalk and cheese from the get-go. They would meet again. From Extraordinary Canadians: René Lévesque by Daniel Poliquin. Copyright © Daniel Poliquin, 2009. Reprinted with permission of Penguin Group (Canada).
  2. Canadian smog costs $1 billion, 2,700 lives: CMA Canwest News Service Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 The Canadian Medical Association estimates that by 2031, more than 4,900 Canadians, mostly seniors, will die prematurely each year from the effects of polluted air.Dean Bicknell/Canwest News ServiceThe Canadian Medical Association estimates that by 2031, more than 4,900 Canadians, mostly seniors, will die prematurely each year from the effects of polluted air. OTTAWA -- Smog this year will contribute to the premature deaths of 2,700 Canadians and put 11,000 in hospitals, costing the economy and health-care system $1 billion, Canada's doctors say. A report by the Canadian Medical Association calculates that deaths linked to air pollution will rise over the next two decades, claiming nearly twice as many lives each year and costing $1.3 billion annually in health care and lost productivity. The study estimates that by 2031, more than 4,900 Canadians, mostly seniors, will die prematurely each year from the effects of polluted air. Ontario and Quebec will bear the brunt, with smog-related deaths soaring among aging baby-boomers and the chronically ill. In Ontario, the number of premature deaths could double, to 2,200, from 1,200 per year, while hospital admissions over the same period could jump by as much as 70%. The annual health-care and economic costs could rise by as much as 30%, to $740 million, from $570 million. Quebec's mortality rate could rise by 70%, from 700 a year to 1,200, while hospital admissions could spike by 50% annually, costing the province 10% more, or up to $290 million a year. While smog can trigger lung problems, accounting for up to 40% of hospital visits, heart attack and stroke are the real problems, responsible for more than 60% of all air-pollution-related hospital admissions, the study found. Pollutants such as nitrous oxide damage the heart by harming blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis, a disease that makes people susceptible to heart attack and stroke. Besides the direct costs to the economy and the health system, the study tries to put a price on the poor quality of life and loss of life caused by smog-related deaths. With those estimated costs included, this year's total bill -- in addition to the $1 billion estimate for economic and health-care costs - would amount to more than $10 billion. That figure would rise to $18 billion a year by 2031, with nearly $16 billion of that the price the doctors' association puts on lost lives. But Gordon McBean, a renowned climatologist at the University of Western Ontario, questioned the accuracy of such estimates. While he praised the report and called most of its data sound, he said the attempt to put a price tag on lost life is problematic. "Health-care costs you can do a reasonably good job quantifying, but quality of life and the actual value of life is a bit difficult," said Mr. McBean, co-author of a recently published Health Canada report on the impact of climate change on human health. As a Canadian representative to the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Mr. McBean said the world's top experts have tried unsuccessfully to come up with similar estimates for the human cost of climate change. "That became very controversial because the people who did it said, 'Well, a North American is worth so many thousand dollars and an African is worth a small fraction of that.' And people like me didn't think that was acceptable," he said. Given that climate change likely will lead to more smoggy days, the report does not exaggerate the level of anticipated deaths caused by air pollution, said Mr. McBean. "They're not overstating the problem. If anything, these are lowball estimates."
  3. Quebec destined to stay Canadian: poll Only one-third of Quebec residents believe province will become a country RANDY BOSWELL, Canwest News Service Published: 4 hours ago A new nationwide poll suggests that a strong majority of Canadians - including most of the country's French-speaking population - believes Quebec is "destined" to remain part of Canada. The survey, commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies, also revealed that barely one-third of Quebec residents believe the province is "destined to become a country" of its own. Conducted in May by Léger Marketing, the survey of 1,500 Canadians probed their "gut feelings" about Quebec's ultimate fate as a political entity, says ACS executive director Jack Jedwab. He also says the results suggest the limited appeal of the historical narrative long promoted by Quebec separatists - that "accidents of history," such as the British victory in the Seven Years' War, have merely delayed Quebec's inevitable emergence as an independent state. Instead, Jedwab says, most Canadians, including Quebecers, appear to find the classic federalist storyline - which emphasizes inexorable progress toward reconciliation of the French-English conflict at the heart of Canadian history - more compelling. A persuasive narrative that predicts a nation's destiny can exert a powerful influence on people's perceptions of history, contemporary politics and the future direction of a country, Jedwab says. He points to the influence of the "Manifest Destiny" doctrine in shaping the 19th-century expansion of the United States and certain strongly held views about its place in the world. Similarly, he says, views in Canada about whether Quebec's future is "pre-determined" by history play a significant role in the long-running debate about its place in the federation, with separatists and federalists alike claiming that "history is on their side." Jedwab notes that in the latest poll, the percentage of Quebec residents who envision a separate Quebec in the near or distant future "closely corresponds" to the proportion of the population that supports Quebec's separation. The findings, he says, may therefore represent "what people are wishing for" as much as what they expect to happen to Quebec one day. The poll was conducted from May 21 to 25. Just over 1,500 Canadians 18 years of age and over were surveyed, with a margin of error of 2.9 per cent 19 times out of 20. Those questioned were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statements "Quebec is destined to remain part of Canada" and "Quebec is destined to become a country." Seventy-one per cent of English-speaking respondents and 78 per cent of allophones - those whose first language is neither French nor English - agreed that Quebec will remain part of Confederation. Fifty-four per cent of French-Canadian respondents agreed. Regionally, respondents from Ontario (79 per cent) and Alberta (76 per cent) were most likely to agree that Quebec's destiny is within a united Canada. Majorities from the Maritimes (65 per cent), B.C. (64 per cent), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (62 per cent) and Quebec itself (54 per cent) also agreed. Asked more directly if Quebec is "destined to become a country," just 38 per cent of French Canadians, 12 per cent of English-Canadian respondents and three per cent of allophones agreed that it would. Regionally, a minority of respondents from Quebec (35 per cent), the Maritimes (17 per cent), B.C. (13 per cent), Ontario (8 per cent), Alberta (7 per cent) and Manitoba/Saskatchewan (4 per cent) agreed that Quebec is destined to become a country. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=5395da71-1e74-4242-ba29-a647cc45a477 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Souveraineté - Le Québec est toujours aussi divisé Alexandre Shields Édition du lundi 23 juin 2008 Mots clés : Confédération, Souveraineté, Sondage, Canada (Pays), Québec (province) À la veille de la Fête nationale des Québécois, un coup de sonde réalisé pour le compte de l'Association des études canadiennes vient confirmer qu'ils sont toujours aussi divisés sur la question de la souveraineté. En effet, si le tiers d'entre eux estiment que leur province deviendra un jour un pays, à peine plus de la moitié croient que le Québec restera au sein de la Confédération, selon le document obtenu par Le Devoir. Les résultats de ce sondage effectué dans tout le pays montrent que 38 % des francophones sont convaincus que «le Québec est destiné à devenir un pays», dont 35 % de Québécois. Chez les anglophones, ce chiffre chute à 12 %, puis à 3 % chez les allophones. À l'inverse, 69 % des Canadiens sont d'avis que «le Québec est destiné à demeurer au sein du Canada», dont 54 % des francophones. Les répondants de toutes les catégories d'âges jugent que le Québec est «destiné» à demeurer au sein de la Confédération, exception faite des 18-24 ans, qui adhèrent à cette idée dans une proportion de 46 %. Malgré cela, à peine 19 % de ces derniers croient que la province accédera un jour à l'indépendance. Il faut toutefois souligner qu'il s'agit là de l'opinion des jeunes de l'ensemble du pays, et non seulement de celle des Québécois. Plus on avance en âge, plus les citoyens sont d'avis que la seule région francophone demeurera partie prenante de l'État canadien. Par ailleurs, la moitié des répondants québécois ont jugé que «sans le Québec, il n'y aurait pas de Canada», ce qui représente la plus forte proportion au pays. Albertains et Ontariens suivent, adhérant à cette idée respectivement à 45 % et 41 %. La moyenne nationale se situe à 42 %. Les jeunes semblent plus fortement préoccupés par cet aspect de la question de la souveraineté, puisque que 53 % des répondants de 25 à 34 ans croient que le Canada ne pourrait continuer d'exister sans le Québec. «Les réponses sont particulièrement intéressantes à la lumière de l'argument avancé par les souverainistes voulant que le Canada continuerait d'exister si le Québec le quittait, une idée défendue par les autres Canadiens, mais non par les Québécois», souligne d'ailleurs le directeur exécutif de l'Association des études canadiennes, Jack Jedwab, dans le document qui sera rendu public aujourd'hui. Le coup de sonde a été mené par la firme Léger Marketing auprès de 1507 Canadiens de 18 ans et plus, entre le 21 et le 25 mai 2008. La marge d'erreur est de 2,9 %, 19 fois sur 20. http://www.ledevoir.com/2008/06/23/195107.html
  4. The Canadian government is changing the rules on foreign ownership of airlines in Canada. They can now own up to 49% of an airline up from 25%. So it is a possibility that Porter will be bought. The other new small discount players could also be bought and give more access to Canadians. Also I saw a few days ago that Southwest Airlines is looking to fly into Canada in the future. Time will tell how things turn out. It would be nice to have a carrier similar to Ryanair operate within Canada.
  5. https://www.onf.ca/film/helicopter_canada Il y a quelques belles vues de Montréal (29:10) Quelques captures:
  6. Pearson prevails over de Gaulle Jul 25, 2007 04:30 AM Forty years ago, Charles de Gaulle electrified many Quebecers, and infuriated many other Canadians, by proclaiming from a balcony at Montreal city hall the freighted phrase "Vive le Québec libre!" De Gaulle had been invited to help celebrate the centennial of Confederation (une vrai blague ça, il est venu pour l'expo 67, il voulait tellement rien savoir du canada, qu'il ne voulait pas passer par les douanes et est donc venu par bateau). Instead, he told the large and rapturous crowd that greeted his arrival in Montreal that his reception reminded him of the atmosphere at the liberation of Paris in 1944. His bombshell followed. Did de Gaulle know the Rassemblement pour l'independance nationale, a forerunner of the Parti Québécois, used "vive le Québec libre" as its slogan? He surely knew his mischief would infuriate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who called those four words "unacceptable to the Canadian people" and added: "Canadians do not need to be liberated." (Je suis sur que c'est déclaration à aidé les Canadiens à ce débarasser de se mot là et devenir des Québecois, merci Lester.) Today, 40 years later, what's notable about de Gaulle's remark is how little echo it arouses. Even Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois steered well clear of commenting on the anniversary. The bloom is well and truly off the rose of independantiste utopianism. (C'est parceque les indépendentiste n'existent que depuis et à cause de Gaule, avec tout le respect que j'ai pour lui, sa déclaration n'as faite qu'internationaliser la cause, rien de plus. Elle existait depuis longtemps.) It must be admitted, however, de Gaulle's declaration does now seem to have been prescient. Like a rain squall at a picnic, his meddlesome remark changed the tone of the summer of '67. Detroit was burning the day of de Gaulle's Montreal pronouncement, and Vietnam was bleeding, but Canada was exulting in the sunny summer of Expo. (hm c'est quoi le rapport de cette comparaison boiteuse) Despite the crowd's roars of approval for what de Gaulle said, few Canadians could have foreseen the tumult that the notion of "Québec libre" would sow here for decades. Nor are we foolish enough to argue the tempest is over. The independence genie will not be stuffed back into the bottle; it can be countered only by continued goodwill and common sense from the rest of Canada. (des mots sages, mais qui tomberont sur des oreilles de sourds) Ultimately, however, the real wisdom of the diplomatic incident of 1967 rested with Pearson. Quebecers truly did not need "liberation" then, and do not need it today. (who says so ?) The Canadian state, and Canadian society, have updated themselves mightily in matters of linguistic duality and biculturalism (and the independence movement has played a part in that). Today, we like to say, no one needs to choose between Quebec and Canada. Our system works admirably. Our success in managing tension and adjusting our institutions demonstrates that Canadians are free to work together and share the benefits of union while enjoying the flexibility of federalism. "Vive," we might even say, "le Canada libre!" (L'auteur ne dit toujours pas comment Pearson "prevails" sur De Gaule? Le mouvement independentiste n'avait que quelques pourcentages de support dans les années 60 (environ 5%), et là on est dans les 40% a 55% selon l'humeur de gens... Pearson prevails big time... ).
  7. Dana FlavelleBusiness Reporter Dana Flavelle Business Reporter There’s a bill before the U.S. Congress that would allow Americans to bring back $1,000 worth of Canadian goods duty-free after just a few hours of shopping across our border. Meanwhile, Canadians can’t bring back anything from the U.S. duty-free until they’ve been away for 24 hours. Even then the limit is $50. This protectionism is one of the reasons U.S. retailers who open up shop in Canada can charge higher prices here than in their home market, an economics professor says. “There are two reasons prices are higher in Canada,” said Ambarish Chandra, a professor with the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “It is more expensive. Retailers here have to pay higher taxes and have somewhat higher costs. But a larger part of it is because they can get away with it.” Canadians can complain all they like but unless they do more cross-border shopping, retailers here will charge whatever the market will bear, Chandra said. The same barriers exist online: Canadians are charged duty on items shipped across the border. The Consumers Association of Canada says it has lobbied Ottawa to raise the limits, noting the maximum exemption - $750 after a week-long stay - hasn’t changed in more than 15 years. But the consumer group says its efforts are always opposed by Canadian retailers. The Retail Council of Canada denies it has lobbied the government on this issue. “In an age when you can shop around the world, travellers’ exemptions would be the least of our concerns,” said council president and chief executive Diane Brisebois. “We have not had any conversations with the government about exemptions.” Ottawa doubled the exemption for 48-hour trips outside the country to $400 from $200 in 2007, but has no plans to make further changes at this time, said a spokesperson for federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “We continually monitor the adequacies of the travellers’ exemption for Canadians. This includes taking into consideration the impact of any further modifications on the government’s budgetary balance and the impact on Canadian retailers,” the minister’s office said in a written statement. The U.S. currently allows $200 for same-day shopping. The issue of retail price parity arose again this week after some Canadian customers complained U.S. retailer J. Crew is charging higher prices in its new Canadian store and on its Canadian website than in its U.S. stores and on its U.S. website. The difference in the stores averages 15 per cent; the difference online is up to 40 per cent, once taxes and shipping are included. Canadians have been railing about price differences between the two countries ever since the Canadian dollar rose to parity with the U.S. greenback in 2007 after years in the doldrums. “It’s come to the fore again because the Canadian dollar is so strong and so many U.S. retailers are coming here,” said Lynn Bevan, a partner with the consulting firm RSM Richter in Toronto. Bevan said retailers who bring their operations north of the border face a slew of higher costs, from duty and freight to real estate and labour. Overhead costs in Canada are spread across fewer stores, and in some cases the Canadian business is separately owned and must pay royalty and other fees to the U.S. parent. “It’s not like Canadian retailers are making out like bandits,” she said. Prices were on average 20 per cent higher in Canada than in the U.S. on a broad range of goods from DVDs to luxury cars to golf balls, according to a survey last April by Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. The only times the price gap has closed in the past four years are when the Canadian dollar has dropped below the U.S. greenback, Porter said. http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1043928--canadians-need-higher-duty-free-limits-prof-says
  8. 52% oppose Bill C-10 Proposed change targets filmmakers. Don't censor content by refusing tax credits, slim majority of Canadians say in survey TIFFANY CRAWFORD, Canwest News Service Published: 6 hours ago A slim majority of Canadians believe it would be wrong for the government to screen the content of films and deny tax credits to projects it deems offensive, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Canwest News Service and Global TV indicates. The poll, conducted from June 10 to 12, found that 52 per cent of the 1,002 Canadians surveyed disagree with Bill C-10, a proposed change to the Income Tax Act that would deny tax money to filmmakers whose content is "contrary to public policy." At 62 per cent, residents of film-industry-heavy British Columbia are most likely to say the government is "wrong" to interfere in such a way. That's followed by those living in the mostly Conservative province of Alberta at 57 per cent, indicating the reaction of Canadians is largely ideological. "(The bill) has obviously touched a nerve," said John Wright with Ipsos Reid. "If it's not going to pass the sniff test, it's going to be gagged," said the senior vice-president of Ipsos Reid. "It has a good majority in the country that are going to go against this." Although the idea to deny tax credits was raised under the previous Liberal government, Wright suggests people may be concerned about the "slippery slope" of censorship with the Conservative Party. "While it may have been acceptable under the Liberals because they were more flexible on content, this government has the trappings of moral and religious rigour," he said. "So they might wear this more than the last government." According to the poll, 45 per cent of Canadians believe it's right for the government to screen the content of films, because it involves taxpayers' money - and because government has the right to determine what's in the public interest. As the poll was released, the Canadian independent film, Young People F*****g, opened in cinemas on the weekend. The film has become the poster child for the controversial bill that has many Canadian film and TV stars, including actress and director Sarah Polley, lobbying the government to stop the bill. The reason, say opponents of C-10, such as Polley, actor-director Paul Gross and Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, is that Young People is the type of film that would have been denied funding. Young People, a movie about four couples and a threesome trying to find satisfactory sex lives, has been viewed as pornographic by some religious groups, while others say it's just a bit of fun. In any case, the film is not as raunchy as its title suggests. Although there's a lot of nudity, mostly it's just a series of sketches where the characters seek to balance their lives with love and sex. The film's director, Martin Gero, says it's a harmless comedy, but he agreed it may not have got the funding had it been judged by the title. The poll found younger Canadians aged 18 to 34 were more likely to say the government is "wrong" to censor content by refusing tax credits, followed by Canadians age 35 to 54. Those with post-secondary education and those who live in urban areas were also more likely to disagree with the bill, the poll suggests. While the poll suggests a majority of Canadians disagree with the bill, the government argues the proposed change to the federal tax-credit system does not jeopardize the creative freedom of Canadian film and TV production. Heritage Minister Josée Verner says the government is trying to make sure Canadian taxpayers' money won't fund extreme violence or pornography. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=a7f81b30-f97e-4570-84d8-dff373f9f66e
  9. Beth Nauss: In Montreal on spring break, mom and daughter chill out In a blinding display of “what was she thinking?” brilliance, I went to Montreal for spring break. The first problem was that I went with my oldest daughter. I love my daughter. She is an excellent traveling companion. But no one with a body my age should ever try to keep up with someone who is more than a decade younger and actually runs for a hobby. The second problem was that it was in Canada. For anyone who hasn’t been there, Canada is the huge mass of ice between the United States and the North Pole. In addition to ice, it is occupied primarily by Canadians, many of whom speak fluent Canadian. For reasons that seemed perfectly logical at the time, my daughter and I decided spring break was the perfect time to go to there. After all, it would be spring. Spring is warm. Therefore, Montreal would be warm. I’m sure people in Montreal get a hearty laugh at that thought. This was the first time I’d ever traveled to Canada as a destination. I’d flown over it a few times, looking down at the snow and thinking it was probably pretty cold there in the winter. After I landed, I realized it’s pretty cold in the springtime, too. In fact, based on the 10 feet of snow still on the ground at the end of March, Canada is probably pretty cold most of the time. When we checked the forecast and learned what the actual weather would be, I told my daughter not to worry, the locals must have adapted by now. I was sure that because Montreal is a major metropolitan area and tourist destination, the attractions would be open year round and would be readily accessible, clear of snow and ice. I’m sure people in Montreal get a hearty laugh at that thought as well. What I didn’t know was that their way of adapting to the snow was packing it down and walking over it, possibly because they have no choice. After a certain point, clearing snow becomes futile because you have no more places to put it. The result is that the streets are clean and dry, while balconies, vacant lots, parks, playgrounds and parking lots are buried under large mounds of snow that, in many parts of the U.S., would support multiple ski resorts. [url=http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=87135#][/url]Fortunately, Montreal has an excellent underground public transportation system called the “Metro” (Canadian for “excellent underground public transportation system”). We found that many of the snow-covered attractions were readily visible from a Metro station so we could at least take scenic photographs before retreating back underground into an area that was warm and dry. Unfortunately, we couldn’t live in the Metro, so occasionally we had to brave the elements. One of those times involved a trip up Mont Royal, the snow-covered mountain in the middle of Montreal. The pedestrian walkway up the mountain was (of course) covered with snow, ice and numerous hardy Canadians who were walking, running, skiing and biking their way to and from the top. One even drove by, oblivious to the wrong turn that took her off the pedestrian-free road a mile behind her. These hardy Canadians were probably fortified by the local dish called “Poutine,” a pile of french fries and cheese drowning in a lake of thick brown gravy. I felt that in the interest of Canada-U.S. relations, I should try some. When I did, I found that it would have been better if I hadn’t. We did, however, make it up Mont Royal without falling. If any Canadians are reading this, before you accuse me of exaggerating, let me say that I love Canada. We had a great time there. Montreal is a beautiful city even if it is always covered with snow. Let me also say that I know that sometimes Montreal has a warm season and, at least once a century, all the snow melts. And when that happens, I hope to return. Even if you’re still serving Poutine. http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=87135
  10. [video=youtube;7chpllnU-To] Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Bank+Canada+unveils+secure+plastic+bank+notes/4976595/story.html#ixzz1Pr2CMMca
  11. Gun registry favoured only by Quebecers: poll Last Updated: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | 4:06 PM ET CBC News A poll suggests Quebecers are alone in wanting to save the long-gun registry, with most Canadians outside the province appearing content to abolish it. The findings in the latest survey by The Canadian Press/Harris-Decima come a week after the House of Commons gave approval in principle to a private member's bill aimed at killing the controversial registry. In Quebec, a majority of respondents say they're opposed to abolishing the registry, which was created after 14 women were killed at École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. Fifty-six per cent of Quebecers polled said they oppose abolishing the registry, in contrast to the majority of people questioned in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba-Saskatchewan, who support cancelling the registry. Residents in Ontario who participated in the poll were split on the issue, according to Harris-Decima's results. Quebecers also held distinctive views about the registry's role in public security, with more than half of respondents believing it has helped fight and prevent crime. That's about 19 per cent more respondents than the national average of the other provinces. The poll comes as the debate over the long-gun registry slowly inches forward in the House of Commons. Last week a key vote was held on a private member's bill that would wipe out the registry. Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner tabled the bill on the contentious registry. The Bloc Québécois caucus voted against it, while 12 NDP and eight Liberal MPs backed the Conservative caucus in voting for the bill. On the same day as the vote, Quebec's legislature, the national assembly, unanimously adopted a motion reiterating Quebecers' reliance and belief in the registry. The Conservative government has wanted to abolish the registry on the basis that it is expensive and inefficient. The Harris-Decima poll surveyed about 1,000 Canadians by telephone between Nov. 5 and 8. The poll's margin of error is 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
  12. L`article est un peu facultatif, je veux porter votre attention aux nombreux commentaires en relation avec celui-ci. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071204.wcensusmain1204/CommentStory/census2006/home/ Canada's tenuous French connection BRODIE FENLON Globe and Mail Update December 4, 2007 at 4:12 PM EST Just a day after the Prime Minister appointed Bernard Lord to head a committee on bilingualism, newly released census figures suggest that Canada's official-languages policy and the vitality of the French language are under increasing pressure outside Quebec. There are nearly as many Canadians with a non-official language as their mother tongue as there are francophones, while the peak rate of bilingualism for anglophones living outside Quebec has dropped again. The new figures on immigration, language and mobility, gleaned from the 2006 census, paint a dramatic picture of Canada's changing demographics. Among the highlights: • One in five Canadians – 19.8 per cent of the total population – was born outside the country, a rate not matched since 1931, when the percentage of foreign-born citizens peaked at 22.2 per cent. Only Australia has more foreign-born residents. • More than 60 per cent of immigrants live in the large urban centres of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver; only about 5 per cent live in rural parts of Canada. • Most of the recent newcomers to Canada are from Asia – 58 per cent when those from the Middle East are included. Europeans, the dominant immigrant group for most of the 20th century, represented only 16 per cent of those who moved to Canada between 2001 and 2006. • Canada's foreign-born population increased by 13.6 per cent, four times greater than the growth rate of 3.3 per cent for the Canadian-born population. But it is the language numbers released Tuesday that will likely make headlines, following as they do on the heels of Mr. Lord's appointment by Stephen Harper to head a high-profile committee on bilingualism in Canada. The former premier of New Brunswick will travel to seven cities across the country during the first two weeks of December to speak to members of English and French minority communities and provide advice and guidance to the federal government. Mr. Lord will then report to Official Languages Minister Josée Verner in January. What Mr. Lord will find outside Quebec and New Brunswick, Canada's only officially bilingual province, is increasingly isolated French-language communities, the census suggests. One indicator is mother tongue, defined as the first language learned at home and still understood at the time of the census. For the first time, allophones – those who speak neither English nor French as their first language – represent fully one-fifth of the population. The numbers jumped to 20.1 per cent from 18 per cent in the last census, driven primarily by immigration. Conversely, the proportion of francophones and anglophones decreased slightly after population growth is taken into account. This will be no surprise for Canadians in many parts of the country. For several years, Chinese has topped French as a first language in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. The 2006 census reaffirmed the position of Chinese languages as Canada's third most common mother tongue group. More than one million Canadians reported one of the Chinese languages as their first language, a jump of 18.5 per cent. Experts are quick to note that allophones speak about 200 languages and are not a homogeneous group. Francophones still represent about one-quarter of the population; people who report Chinese as their mother tongue represent 3.3 per cent of the total population. Moreover, the census showed that nine out of 10 Canadians speak English or French most often at home: Just over one-fifth spoke French, 67.7 per cent spoke English, and 11.9 per cent spoke a non-official language at home. It is important to note, however, that the English and French numbers dropped from the previous census, while the non-official language numbers increased by 1.5 per cent. Even in Quebec, the percentage of people who spoke French most often at home dropped to 81.8 per cent from 83.1 per cent. The bilingualism rate is another indicator of the tenuous French connection. Outside Quebec, only 5.6 per cent of allophones in 2006 reported knowing both official languages. While there was a slight increase – 7.4 per cent from 7.1 per cent – in the number of anglophones outside Quebec who said they could carry on a conversation in both official languages, the number dropped for a key demographic: young Canadians. Because most anglophones learn French at school, the peak bilingualism rate for Canadians outside Quebec occurs in the 15-19 age range. That rate has slipped over the past decade, to 13 per cent in 2006 from 16.3 per cent in 1996. The ability of young anglophones to maintain their knowledge of French as a second language appears to decline with time. In 2001, 14.7 per cent of anglophones aged 15 to 19 were bilingual. Five years later, only 12.2 per cent of that same cohort reported being bilingual. The numbers are disappointing, considering that one of the chief objectives of Ottawa's $787-million plan on official languages – launched by the previous Liberal government in 2003 – is to double by 2013 the percentage of young bilingual Canadians to 50 per cent. Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies and advocate of official bilingualism, warned against an “ethno-local” reading of the numbers, which he said could foster tensions and challenge public support for French in areas where other languages dominate. “When you start breaking things down locally, then you risk tearing away at the fabric of national unity. ... That's the Canada of multiple parts, not the Canada with a national vision both of its demographic reality and its history,” he said. “Bilingualism is the fundamental feature of a strong Canadian identity to the extent that more than a quarter of the country, nationally, consists of people who are French speakers.” Others suggest, however, that such sentiments are antiquated in a multicultural Canada and ignore the demographic reality of much of the country, especially urban areas such as Toronto or Vancouver. “Nobody's asked any longer what is the place of French. Now I walk on hot coals to even say that out loud,” said Heather Lotherington, associate professor of multilingual education at York University. “We're living in a global society. We have this influx of people who speak the languages of the world, and we're not doing a damn thing with these languages. We're just letting them go to waste.” Ms. Lotherington, whose research is focused on Toronto-area schools, advocates for the inclusion of students' mother tongues in the curriculum. She said decades of research shows that if you maintain the languages children know, they learn other languages better, fast and more easily. “French immersion needs to be looked at critically,” she said. “I do not want to throw it out. Canada is a world leader in immersion education. But you have to think about the way we learn languages and the possibility of learning more. "It's a very colonial stance to say that English and French are the languages of Canada.” Concerns about official bilingualism and the impact of immigration on the French language inside and outside Quebec are not new. In September's Throne Speech, the Prime Minister pledged to extend official bilingualism programs for minority communities. The appointment of Mr. Lord is seen as the first step in that commitment and a response to the critical report by Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser, who accused the Harper government of having “directly undermined” the official languages plan with budget cuts and by eliminating the Court Challenges program, which financed minority-rights court cases against the government. Citizenship and Immigration recently set targets through 2011 to attract between 8,000 and 10,000 French-speaking immigrants a year to francophone communities outside of Quebec. Driving these targets are demographic data showing that for every new immigrant whose mother tongue is French, there are 10 whose mother tongue is English, and that the vast majority of newcomers adopt English upon arrival in Canada. Meanwhile, the debate over immigration and language continues in Quebec, where the Bouchard-Taylor commission on reasonable accommodation of minorities heard last week from a prominent Parti Québécois strategist that only an independent Quebec could protect the French language. The commission also heard from French-speaking immigrants to Quebec who said their lack of English was impeding their ability to get jobs. And in October, PQ Leader Pauline Marois caused a small furor when she proposed the Quebec Identity Act, which would require all new immigrants to the province to learn French within three years. Those who failed a language test would not be permitted to hold public office, raise money for a political party or petition the National Assembly. The bill was widely condemned. The Official Languages Act, first passed in 1969 and updated twice since, stipulates Canadians' right to receive federal government services in either English or French where numbers warrant, the right of public servants to work in either language in certain areas, the right of either English or French speakers to advance in the public service, and that the government must promote bilingualism.
  13. (Courtesy of Public Mobile) Thing is they are going to use CDMA G-Band. They are targeting the 38% of Canadians who do not have mobile phones. Seems interesting. Only way this can work if their plans are like $10/month or something.
  14. My cousin in Boston sent me this. I thought it was damn good! Maybe it'll make some people rethink their way of life!?!? In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative: Dear Dr. Laura: Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them. 1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians? 2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? 3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense. 4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? 5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it? 6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination? 7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here? 8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die? 9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? 10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging. Your adoring fan. James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian)
  15. Goodbye, Canada As Canada Day approaches, a self-described 'Connecticut Yankee' reminisces about living and working north of the border Dave Burwick, National Post Published: Monday, June 30, 2008 Last U. S. Independence Day, I was listening to CBC Radio One and heard U. S. ambassador David Wilkins offer his views on life in Canada. As an American in Canada (at the time, I had been living and working in Toronto for about 18 months), I was curious to hear what he had to say. When asked what Americans can learn from Canadians, Wilkins responded with a resounding thud of an answer: "Canadians really know how to dress for the cold weather." I think I can do better than that. Now, I won't get political, other than to say that I grew up in Boston and my political loyalties clearly lie outside of Mr. Wilkins' sphere. But the shock I felt hearing his answer had nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with the passion I felt for what Americans can learn from their northern neighbours (besides how not to freeze to death in their own driveways). As I reluctantly prepare to move back to the U. S. with my family, I'd like to build on the ambassador's answer with my own. Having had another full year to reflect on the differences of our two seemingly similar cultures, I feel qualified to answer the question of what Americans can learn from Canadians. To me, it's simple: Our differences are embedded in our genetic codes. While the U. S. Declaration of Independence promotes "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," the British North America Act talks about "Peace, order and good government." One led directly to "manifest destiny" and aggressive individualism, the other to "manifest tolerance" and one of the most accepting societies the world has known. It's easy to be open when you live in a homogeneous society like Denmark (no offence to the Danes). It's far tougher in immigrant-rich, multicultural Canada, where diverse cultures must learn to live harmoniously. And Canada's successful cultural connectiveness has produced many wonderful things: A global perspective, a willingness to compromise and social benefits like universal health care (yes, even though it's not perfect). Some Americans would say, "That's all very nice, but the result is that Canada is a bland society with little edge." I say they are wrong. There's plenty of edge here -- just look to the ice. It took me a while to figure this out, but one day, as I watched my 8-year-old, skating with his Leaside Flames teammates, I had an epiphany: Hockey is not just the national pastime and passion, it's the embodiment of Canadian values. It's about work ethic, team play, physical conditioning and mental toughness. It's also about knowing when to leave all of that on the ice and move on. Which leads me to the most important thing Americans can learn from Canadians: How to know when enough is enough, when it's time to just be content with your life. Family and personal passions are more important to Canadians than work. People seem to know when the balance of life is just right. Their moral compass seems to always point to "true north." So, I thank my Canadian friends for teaching this Connecticut Yankee how to better appreciate others, my family and my co-workers. You have made me a better person, and hopefully, a better American. As I head south, I will miss many things beyond the lessons I've learned and the friendships I've made. Here is my top-10 list of irreplaceable Canadiana that I'll have to find a way to smuggle past customs: 1 Tim's: What more can I say? It's 110% Canadian (even if it's owned by Americans now). Real coffee for real people, started by a real hockey player. 2 The sheer beauty and diverse geography of the country. From St. John's to Vancouver, with a long stopover in Banff. 3 Sweeter ketchup -- and sweeter Diet Pepsi. 4 Terminal one at Pearson International Airport in Toronto: Nothing's more civilized. 5 The National Anthem: How can you beat the lyrics, "The true north strong and free"? 6 Hockey Night in Canada: One of the last communal TV events left anywhere. 7 Eating a peameal sandwich every Saturday at 7 a. m. during my son's hockey practice. That ritual became Pavlovian. 8 Raising a family right in the middle of the city, and knowing they're safe. 9 Surviving a minus-30-degree day in downtown Winnipeg, and how it made me feel more alive. 10 CBC's coverage of international news. You just can't get that in the U. S. And the list could go on and on. I'd like to close with one last thought. This might seem crazy, but I think Canada as a country should do away with those cheesy provincially unique license plate tag lines -- like "Yours to Discover" or "Je me souviens" -- and replace them with one thought that sums up this great country: Live and let live. [email protected] - Dave Burwick is the former president of Pepsi-QTG Canada.
  16. Rich Canadians have bigger carbon footprint Size matters. Study links national income, consumption JOHN MORRISSY, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago When it comes to ecological footprints, wealthy Canadians are a confirmed size 12, creating a global warming impact 66 per cent greater than the average household, according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The study is the first to link national income and consumption patterns with global warming, and it showed that the richest 10 per cent of Canadians create an environmental footprint that's 2.5 times the size of those created by the lowest 10 per cent on an income scale. "When we look at where the environmental impact of human activity comes from, we see that size really does matter," said Hugh Mackenzie, a research associate for the Ottawa-based think-tank and co-author of the study. "Higher-income Canadians create a much bigger footprint than poorer Canadians." The study revealed a gradual progression of environmental impact going up the income scale, but a marked jump with the richest 10 per cent. In fact, the highest 10 per cent has an environmental impact that's one third larger than the next lower 10 per cent, Mackenzie said. The differences stem largely from the homes wealthy people own and the way they get around, Mackenzie said. The top 10 per cent own homes that are larger, cost more to build and to heat, and they are more likely to own more than one vehicle and travel more frequently by air, Mackenzie said. The impact of food consumption, on the other hand, hardly varies from one income group to another. The study measures environmental impact in terms of the amount of hectares it would take to sustain a certain level of consumption. When it comes to the wealthiest Canadians, their environmental footprint requires 12.4 hectares per capita, compared with the average Canadian's 7.5-hectare footprint. Globally, the average Canadian's footprint is still several times the average of those in poorer nations. What the study highlights, Mackenzie said, is the need for policy-makers to realize how activities related to global warming concentrate themselves in the upper income groups. Failing to recognize that could lead to policies that penalize lower-income Canadians yet fail to achieve their objectives, he said. "All Canadians share responsibility for global warming," said co-author Rick Smith. "But wealthier Canadians are leaving behind a disproportionately larger footprint - and should be expected to make a disproportionate contribution to its reduction." http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=57768cfb-8144-4ae2-b235-3a045d045065
  17. Has Canada slipped into recession without anyone noticing? July 16, 2008 - 6:35 pm By: Julian Beltrame, THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA - Canada is within a hair's breadth of slipping into a technical recession, economists said Wednesday, a day after the outlook for the North American economy soured sharply. But they add that it won't seem like recessions of the past. In fact, says University of Toronto economist Peter Dungan, Canadians may already have lived through a technical recession - two quarters in a row of a shrinking economy - and not noticed. "Our forecast is there's a recession now," Dungan said. "There may be a slight revision to the first quarter, but the second (which ended June 30) is almost certainly negative. "This is nothing like the recessions we had in the early '90s and early '80s, however, when we had serious recessions and serious unemployment," he added. The early '80s recession came after two major oil price shocks in the 1970s that battered the North American economy and led to a restructuring of heavy industry, especially steel and autos, with the loss of millions of jobs. The early 1990s recession produced widespread bankruptcies in real estate and retail before growth resumed a few years earlier. Speaking in Calgary, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressed confidence that the economy would stay on the positive side of the ledger and insisted Ottawa won't fall into a deficit as a result of the slowdown. "We are on track in terms of our budget in Canada, that we will continue to run a surplus," he said, adding that the country's "strong fundamentals" and status as an emerging energy superpower will keep it in better shape than the United States, although not immune to a global economic slowdown. "Canada is not an island," Flaherty said earlier in a speech to a Calgary Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Following a first quarter contraction that saw gross domestic product fall 0.3 per cent and continuing signs of stress, economists and policy makers have been routinely revising their growth projections for the year, all trending downward. In the last week, Canadians have been hit by a series of bad news announcements. Employment fell in June for the first time this year and full-time employment tumbled for the second straight month. Average home sale prices edged down during the month, the first year-over year price decline in nearly a decade. And General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) announced plans to lay off 20 per cent of its white collar staff in North America, a further cut of thousands of jobs. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada warned of rising inflation Tuesday while lowering its 2008 growth forecast from 1.4 per cent in April to one per cent. On Wednesday, the Conference Board of Canada downgraded its projection from 2.2 per cent this spring to 1.7 per cent. For both, it was the second downward revision so far this year. Both are overly optimistic, says David Wolf, chief economist with Merrill Lynch Canada, who says gross domestic product increase will likely come in at a tepid 0.5 per cent this year, a statistical blip from recessionary times. "Absolutely, by the informal definition of recession we could be in recession," agrees Global Insight economist Dale Orr, noting that nobody will know for sure until late in August, when Statistics Canada releases the second quarter growth tally. But Orr also points out that the Canadian economy still has some legs, particularly in the resource and oil and sector, consumer spending, and employment and housing that while slowing, are coming off record-setting years. Even manufacturing showed signs of life in May. Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that manufacturing sales rose 2.7 per cent from April, the fourth increase in five months. The details behind the aggregate number were weaker as sales remain below last year's levels and most of the gain was due to higher prices, not increased production. The strongest pillar remains high-priced commodities, particularly Alberta oil, which is bringing tremendous wealth into the country and helping grease the general economy through corporate profits, job creation, and higher government revenues that get passed along in lower taxes and higher spending. "Perhaps the volume of what we produce is going down, but the wealth effect (from commodity exports) is very much there," said Pedro Antunes of the Conference Board. "We often think that's beneficial for some regions and sectors, but there have been redistributive effects. The federal government has collected dividends that's been fanned out to all Canadians in the form of tax cuts, and the effect on stock prices, wages, employment have been distributed all over the country." That has kept nominal gross domestic product growth - which measures the actual worth of what Canadians produce - above four per cent, as opposed to the flat performance in real growth, which measures the amount produced. "The hurt in Canada is narrowly focused in the trade sector," Orr says. "If you are in Windsor, Ont., where unemployment is near 10 per cent and the value of your home is falling, or in the auto sector, or if you are in a forestry one-industry town in northern Ontario or Quebec or B.C., then you are really hurting." But for most Canadians the slump has yet to register and likely won't if forecasts of a second-half improvement prove accurate. And for those who live off the resource sector, this is boom times, says Orr. Dungan says another difference between today and recessions of the previous two decades is that inflation, while rising, remains relatively tame, and governments now have the wherewithal to stimulate the economy or at least not inflict further harm. "The Bank of Canada is trying to keep inflation from rising, not reduce it, and generally speaking prevention is not as costly and not as unpleasant as cure," he explained. "And our government balances are basically OK. It's not like 1991 when we had huge deficits and therefore you couldn't do anything, if anything you were trying to raise taxes to make those better, which only makes the downturn worse."