Canada’s Excellence at Sports – not!

For the last two weeks we have had to endure a wave of noise about Canadian athletes drive for excellence.   The usual clichés have been spouted about our country "punching above our weight".   We have even had the unseemly sight of an executive for a PR company telling us that all this good feeling around the Olympics was the result of the Stephen Harper government. The problem is that it is not true. It is not true that...

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Two Crises, One Continent

It was a bizarre accident that started the investigation. On a road in northern Italy a driver fell asleep. No big deal. Except the driver was a soccer player from the local team who could not stay awake, no matter how hard he tried. When the police tested him, they discovered he was not suffering from narcolepsy; but a gambler had drugged him and some of his team-mates to ensure that they played so badly they lost the game,...

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Our Founding Fathers

During the upcoming summer there will be lots of commemorative events about the War of 1812. Throughout the celebrations the usual clichés will be spouted about ‘our two democracies’, ‘the longest undefended border in the world’, ‘similar values’, etc. The dreary patina of government sponsored history lessons will hide any real discussions of why the two countries fought so hard against each other for so long. The truth is that there have been profound and significant differences in our...

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Boxing and the Canadian Soul

“The wait in the dressing room before a fight – that last hour – could strip a man who never fought before of whatever heart, courage and desire he thought he had…” (John ‘Iceman’ Scully) When you fight in a boxing match, the whole world goes grey. I realized that about fifteen seconds into the fight. I was boxing in the white-collar bout just before the Brazeau-Trudeau match last Saturday. There were hundreds of people watching but the only thing that...

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So We Lost

So we lost. We know now that more than ten-years after the invasion of Afghanistan - it will all end in failure. Like much connected with this odd war, there was no formal announcement, no hauling down of flags, rather the news came last month in a secret report written by NATO officials and leaked to the BBC which says that the Taliban will probably take over once western forces leave the country. The report was, in part, corroborated by the...

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