O Canada

O Canada

Home On The Range

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines cowboy as a "boy in charge of cows; a man in charge of grazing cattle on a ranch; one who is boisterous or undisciplined, or recklessly unscrupulous in business." You can take your pick, but if you want a different view of the working cowboy read what Kathy Leslie says about her father-in-law, a cowboy who ranched near Maple Creek, Sask., until his death in 1995. "Jim Leslie was not a man to waste words. He understood the language of the heart. At one time or another he touched family and friends with his quiet ways and deep insight. His life was a reflection of the good, solid values that he stood for, whether he was riding out to check the cows during calving, or reading a bedtime story to an adoring granddaughter......
O Canada

A Point Worth Protecting

A solitary red-winged blackbird hops expectantly around a gravel parking lot next to the takeout lunch trailer. The small bird isn’t at all shy, or wary of humans milling nearby. Pausing in front of a sign that warns "Please do not feed the fish," our guide notices the bird and a quick frown crosses his face. "That’s not something we like to see," he mutters, then shakes his head and moves on. Such scrounging is troubling, he explains, because this is Point Pelee National Park–a place that is meant to remain wild, and feeding of creatures in the wild is discouraged. It is the bird’s natural habitat, and if the blackbird is growing accustomed to eating human hand-outs it may ingest something that will make it sick. At this southernmost tip of mainland Canada near Leamington, Ont.,...
O Canada

The Birth Of Basketball

On a brilliant Indian summer day in 1995, a slim, nattily-dressed black man from the United States headed out into a stiff wind to make his way across a rolling field outside Almonte, Ont. John B. McLendon Jr., then 80 years of age, did not even notice the wind as it tried to push him back toward the vehicle that had carried him from the airport to this spot in the Ottawa Valley. He had, after all, just travelled 1,700 kilometres to keep a promise he had made to himself 56 years earlier and never expected to break. McLendon’s own name, he liked to say, rhymed with "de-pend on," just as the name of the man he had come to Canada to honor, James Naismith, always went with "basketball." McLendon had come here to see the rock that had inspired the game that had...
O Canada

Bridging Confederation

It has torn at the psyche of Islanders for more than a decade. On the one side there have been those afraid of environmental risk who also fear a loss of the Island way of life. On the other, those looking for convenience, cheaper transportation and the potential benefits that both will bring. Now, as the mammoth Confederation Bridge–the so-called fixed link that connects Prince Edward Island to mainland Canada–gears up to open June 1, debate has been replaced by rising excitement, although apprehension and uncertainty remain. At 12.9 kilometres, it’s one of the longest continuous multispan bridges in the world. Multispan means it’s a repetition of the same structure over and over, from shore to shore. It’s been a feat, if not of technology, of sheer size. It has been an immense ...
O Canada

The Arid Years

For Saskatchewan the beginning of the 20th century was a time of optimism. The land was free and there was money to be made by anyone willing to work. Hundreds of thousands of settlers poured into the province and there seemed no bounds to the growth. Even the Palliser Triangle, the west’s most arid region, filled up with farmers. The elaborate celebrations in Regina on Sept. 4, 1905, inaugurating Saskatchewan as a province and attended by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, reflected the confidence of the era. However, people quickly were confronted by reality. The pioneer experience on the prairies was incredibly difficult. There were success stories, but also many failures. Later, after WW I, the prairie economy experienced a serious recession. Drought in s...
O Canada

The New National Dream

Pierre Camu, 73, of Ottawa, had no problem deciding what to buy his two youngest grandchildren last Christmas. The gifts were personal and affordable; for each he donated $36 towards building a new national dream known as the Trans Canada Trail. In return, both grandchildren will have their names permanently inscribed in a pavilion located somewhere along the trail because each $36 donation builds one metre of trail. Earlier, Camu donated a total of $252 for his other seven grandchildren. And so together, Camu’s nine grandchildren, who live in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, will have their names attached to nine metres of a 15,000-kilometre trail that will wind its way through every province and territory in Canada. By the time the Trans Canada Trail is officially opened on July 1,...

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