Connect to share and comment

Where have all the salmon gone?

Last month, I also wrote about how the Humber River was teeming with this year's run. But salmon populations are declining elsewhere in Canada, leading many to question whether that will always be the case: TORONTO, Canada — Few would describe Toronto as a beautiful city. Its most distinctive architectural feature — red brick Victorian townhouses and mansions — have for years been losing the battle against the wrecker’s ball and green glass condo towers.

Welcome to Canada, where the little guy loses

Last month, I wrote about how professional hockey players cut in front of old ladies waiting for flu shots: TORONTO, Canada — Professional hockey players are used to being transformed from heroes to bums depending on their performance in a game. Rarely, however, do they attract the fury of even those who care little about the sport. It happened in Canada last week when news broke that players on two teams — the Calgary Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs — jumped to the front of the line to be vaccinated against swine flu.

Why Stephen Harper prefers US news

A couple months ago, I wrote about questions over Canada’s role in the Afghanistan war and unflattering polls that had the prime minister eyeing the exits: TORONTO, Canada — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t hide his preference for American media. His performance in the past several months made that clear enough — giving interviews to as many U.S. television networks that would have him while practically starving the ones back home.

Canadian health care — it's their right

In late October — during the height of the health care debate in the U.S. — I wrote about how in contrast to their neighbor to the south, where health care is a commodity, Canada has, so far, treated it like a human right: TORONTO, Canada – It’s a bit of a sport in Canada to watch Americans at war with themselves. There’s nothing malicious about it: We’re a generally bored and inward-looking bunch, so when our neighbors unleash another full-blown clash over ideology, we’re grateful for the distraction and the front row seat.

Hockey-crazed Canada can't keep the puck on its own turf

In October, I wrote about how a billionaire's thwarted effort to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Ontario reinforced the troubling trend of NHL teams migrating south: TORONTO, Canada — When acclaimed novelist Mordecai Richler was alive, he could often be found in the middle of the afternoon sipping a glass of Macallan’s single malt whisky — his favorite — in a basement pub in downtown Montreal called Woody’s.

Canada doesn't need Gadhafi to be a political circus

In September, I wrote about how if Libyan leader Gadhafi had pitched his tent in Newfoundland as he had planned to at one point, he and his shenanigans would have fit right in with Canada's nutty politics: TORONTO, Canada – For a brief, surreal moment, it looked like Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi would be pitching his Bedouin tent in the Atlantic province of Newfoundland, of all places.

Old Quebec separatist tensions die hard

In September, I wrote about how the province's motto, "Je me souviens," rang true on the anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham: TORONTO, Canada — There’s a sign on my central Toronto street that has me thinking of my childhood every time I walk by: “Ball and hockey playing prohibited.” That would have had us laughing when I was growing up in a French-speaking neighborhood of Montreal’s east end. City fathers might as well have tried to ban children.

A collision of consequence

In September, I wrote about how, in the poshest part of Toronto, a fatal traffic accident lay bare the power of privilege: TORONTO, Canada — Road rage incidents between cyclists and drivers are usually mismatched affairs. The difference in metal bulk obviously puts cyclists at a disadvantage. But the clash that became the talk of Toronto last week was made uneven by much more. The spectacular confrontation — and resulting death — brought together characters from opposite sides of the tracks in downtown Toronto.

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

In August, I took a break from my coverage of Canada, and chimed in on Italy's infamously sex-crazed Prime Minister and how Italians weren't really in the mood to laugh at his transgressions anymore: ROME, Italy — For many Italians, the annual mid-August vacation exodus known as ferragosto could not have come soon enough. It has been a sweltering, stressful summer.

Taking part in the Iranian protests from afar

At the beginning of July, I wrote about cartoonist Nikahang Kowsar weighing in on the events in his home country from Toronto: TORONTO — In the winter of 2000, when I first met Nikahang Kowsar, he had just been released from jail in Tehran. It was, as it often is in Iran, a tumultuous time. The country was in the middle of parliamentary elections and hard-line conservatives were cracking down. Their accomplices in the judiciary were closing reformist newspapers practically every day. Kowsar, one of Iran’s best-known political cartoonists, became a target.
Syndicate content