Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Fight For and Against Edward Cornwallis in Halifax

Peace Trail - Neil Young

Canada's 150th birthday celebrations has raised the ire of a number of people, but most especially (it seems) with the First Nations people of this land. The land was inhabited for a millennia before the people from across the pond came to claim the land as their own. Canada became a nation and the white man's country by confiscating land and removing indigenous people who stood in the way. Victory at all costs.

Success in business comes at the cost of another. Two coffee shops in one block doesn't increase the number of coffee drinkers but spreads the consumer dollar over two locations. This concept includes the business of increasing the landholding of a nation. In the case of the formation of Canada, the First Nations already surviving on the land needed to move over and make room. By choice or by force. According to history, more often than not it was by force. Sadly, to some degree that dominance over the First Nations people seems to be continuing today.

Canada became a country at the expense of the First Nations people. But the country I call Canada, still and always did include First Nations people. Maybe it was always a nation and we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of its official naming rather than its' birthday? 


In Halifax, Nova Scotia, there is a sense of anger and frustration boiling under the surface and waiting to erupt on the streets and especially in the parks. And the topic of frustration is not just the sesquicentennial celebrations but a specific individual, Edward Cornwallis.  

A symbolically removed Cornwallis statue
at Halifax park on 7.15-17 : my photo
It wasn't that long ago that I started to hear rumblings about the founder of the city, Edward Cornwallis and the honouring of his name and memory that many felt was unjustified. But apparently it has been going on since at least 1995 when Cornwallis Place on the waterfront was renamed Summit Place due to his controversial treatment of the native Mi'kmaq population. Then in 2011 a motion was brought forth, approved and completed to rename Cornwallis Junior High School to Halifax Citadel Junior High. Shortly thereafter signs for the Cornwallis River were removed - although it was not renamed. 

I thought it would be wise to educate myself and what I found was enlightening. People questioned why a biography was never written about Edward Cornwallis if he was such a significant character in the building of a nation if not the founding of the biggest city on the Eastern seaboard. Well, it turns out that it would not be a flattering read. 

The consensus in all that I researched seemed to indicate that prior being sent to establish a British colony in what is now known as Nova Scotia, Cornwallis was little more than a privileged brat. He had served in several previous positions, which he seems to have been awarded due to his rich, very influential and titled family not his ability or past performance within the military. 

As a commander, Cornwallis was probably responsible for more fatalities of white army men overseas than the number of Natives and Acadians in Nova Scotia (that number is actually unknown however). 400 British soldiers under the command of Cornwallis lost their lives in one battle alone. He resigned another command before the troops declared mutiny against him. For his military failures he was court-martialed (twice) but was able to defend and save himself but not his reputation in the court of public opinion. His comrade-in-arms Admiral John Byng was not so lucky and was executed. Hardly a war hero. 

Upon arriving in Nova Scotia, Cornwallis decided to establish the colony he was sent to found on what was then Mi'kmaq hunting ground (now Halifax). He was ordered to make peace with the French and the Natives when taking over their land and engage them in a mutually beneficial trade proposal. Cornwallis chose not to, instead he threatened war if they didn't comply with his extradition of their lands. And the natives chose to fight. 

The Mi'kmaq scalped first. This is true. It is also true that Cornwallis issued a bounty for the scalp of each native man, woman or child killed by the settlers. The settlers didn't scramble to profit from this bounty and Cornwallis was forced to increase the monetary prize.

Edward Cornwallis came to the new world as a governor in the spring of 1749 and left in the fall of 1752, some 26 months later. I think there are probably many other people who did more to establish the city of Halifax than Cornwallis did. Maybe he is getting far more credit with monuments and references to his name to maintain his legacy than his legacy is worth?


I think he was generally a failed military man who pouted when his settlement of the province and city of Halifax failed and he left before the entire project imploded, leaving others behind to pick up the pieces and make Halifax a proud city.

But should his statue come down from the park which bears his name? The short answer is no. 

The long answer is that the name of the park should be changed. Some suggestions at the recent protest included "The Halifax Peace and Freedom Park". I like that. The statue itself needs some revisions. A plaque added that includes information about all of history. The good and the bad. 

The fact that the statue is there has opened a dialogue that may have been tucked away in the memory of past generations, with the truth forgotten. Personally, I would have never considered researching the man, he was known as a the founder of the city and nothing more. 

When people go to the park, it would be nice if they could look at the statue and learn why he stands there and why he shouldn't stand there. There isn't enough education about the First Nations struggles in the school system, let's make this a teaching lesson. 

If we are going to erase all the controversial figures from our history, we will not have a history. Even Sir John A. MacDonald referred to First Nations people as savages. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, raised the Chinese head tax from $50 to $500 to dissuade the immigration of Asians. (The tax was banned in 1923 but immigration wasn't permitted until 1947.) Canada was a country and women were not considered persons until October 18, 1929. And it took even longer for the LGBT community to stop being persecuted and punished for their choices. 

And we all still fight for equality. Because there are always things we can improve upon. 

I guess my point is that rather than pretend the bad stuff didn't happen we should try to learn from it to make our world a better place. I will never have much respect for Cornwallis, but like other distasteful figures in our planets history I want to find a way to remember and mourn but never forget. 


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Happy 150th Birthday Canada - Let's Eat and Drink!

In Canada by Chris and Dave Hadfield

Ahh, food! We all eat but the food we eat varies between cultures and even regions where we live. Some of it is based of course on the variety of food available in the region, some on the distinctive tastebuds. Let's celebrate some uniquely (or at least originally) Canadian flavours in food and drink.
To whet your appetite pictures will be posted following the article. 

1. Chocolate Bars: We didn't invent chocolate, but we did create the first bar of chocolate. You can now get these bars of calorie-laden deliciousness everywhere. But some remain only in Canada, like Coffee Crisp, Mr. Big, Caramilk, Crunchie, Aero, Glosettes, Wunderbar and Eat-More.

2. Butter Tarts: A miniaturized pie with a semi-solid filling and may have a crunchy topping. It is sweet and gooey and is believed to have originated in pioneer Canada. There are even festivals, trails, tours and contests to celebrate the tart whose first recipe was believed to have been published in 1900.

3. Poutine: There are many people trying to take credit for the creation of this dish, one thing is for sure, it was created in rural Quebec in the 1950's. Poutine is french fries (of medium thickness) topped with cheese curds and finally showered in a flavourful brown gravy. The key to a good poutine is in the construction - it cannot be made ahead of time as the texture is as important as the taste. The gravy must be added last and cannot be so hot as to melt the cheese curds. 

4. Caesar: Also known as a Bloody Caesar, it was created at the Calgary Inn by Walter Chell in 1969. The inspiration for the drink was the Italian dish Spaghetti alle Vongole, spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams. Initially he mashed up clams to for a nectar that he mixed with the other ingredients. Today we can purchase a tomato and clam cocktail - Clamato juice. Ingredients for the alcohol version of the drink includes 1-1.5 ounces of vodka, 2 dashes of hot sauce, 3 dashes salt and pepper, 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce and 4-6 ounces of Caesar mix and poured into an ice-filled glass rimmed with celery salt. And its reportedly a good hangover cure as well. 

5. Tourtiere: A meat pie originating in Quebec is named after the dish it was originally cooked in. The specific ingredients depends on the locally available protein and could include fish. Traditionally, pork and local game are used as in the 1840 recipe. 

6. Persian: No, not the cat! This is a favourite sweet common primarily in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It is an oval-shaped cross between a cinnamon bun and a doughnut topped with strawberry (or raspberry) flavoured pink icing. Conception is generally given to the local Bennett's Bakery company it is based on a bread dough not doughnut batter. 

7. Nanaimo Bar: The origins of this confection are sketchy. The name first appears to be used in a printed cook book in 1953, however recipes using the same ingredients were published under different names the previous year. They all feature the same no-cook 3-layer concoction, a chocolate wafer crumb-based layer topped with custard flavoured butter icing, covered with melted chocolate. These days, variations include peanut butter, mint, coconut and mocha flavours among others.

8. Red River Cereal: This porridge-like hot breakfast cereal was first created in 1924 in Manitoba and named after the Red River Valley in that province. The traditional ingredients include: cracked wheat, cracked rye, cracked and whole brown flaxseeds. 

9. Garlic Fingers: Originating on the Atlantic coast, garlic fingers are made on a pizza dough base. Instead of traditional pizza topping, the dough is topped with garlic butter, parsley and cheese then cooked until the cheese is melted. The finished product is cut into thin strips (fingers) instead of traditional pizza wedges. Often served with donair or marinara sauce. 

10. Maple Syrup: Tradition goes that a chief of the First Nations people yanked his hatchet out of a maple tree and didn't notice the clear liquid dripping out of the gash left behind. The next day a bowl at the base of the tree was filled with the clear liquid. Thinking it was water, his wife used the liquid in the preparation of the venison stew. The sweet stew was a happy accident. Sap is collected from primarily the sugar, black and red maple trees and then boiled down to create a thicker liquid called syrup.

11. Moose Milk: An alcoholic beverage that can really pack a punch. The only thing that historians can agree on is that it is a concoction created by the Canadian Armed Forces, where it was army, navy or air force is hotly debated. Recipes vary greatly but there are 5 essential ingredients. 1) Hard liquor: a combination of Canadian whisky, dark rum and or vodka. 2) Coffee beverage like Kahlua or prepared coffee 3) Dairy could be raw egg yolks, whole milk, cream, eggnog or ice cream. 4) sweetener like sugar or maple syrup and 5) spices like nutmeg or cinnamon. Drink cautiously!

12. Bagged Milk: Milk is not something unique to Canada but selling it in bags is. Technically bagged milk is sold in 3 smaller individual bags packaged in one larger bag. There are several reasons that bagged milk became a thing. As glass milk bottles and home delivery were being phased out, consideration was given to the expense and cost to the environment of the heavy bottles and then jugs and cartons. In order to enjoy bagged milk, one must have a pitcher to hold the bag once the corner is snipped off the bag for pouring.  

13. Peameal Bacon: This type of back bacon is made from lean pork that is wet cured, trimmed and rolled in cornmeal to extend its' shelf life. Prior to World War II it was rolled in ground yellow peas, leading to the name Peameal bacon. Its' creation the idea of a Toronto ham and bacon curer, William Davies who in the early 1900's had built a pork empire. 

14. Figgy Duff: Although there are similar desserts found in England (spotted dick or spotted dog) experts (people who have sampled both) swear that they are not the same. For starters, recipes I came across for Figgy Duff did not include suet. Poutchine au sac (literally, pudding in a bag) is a Metis dish that also includes suet but again is different from the British dish. Figgy Duff is from the Newfoundland and Labrador area of Canada and is a mixture of ingredients that are put in a pudding bag (wrapped in cheesecloth) or stuff into an empty can and then boiled. Traditional ingredients include breadcrumbs, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, butter, flour and spices. 

15. Donair: In 2015 the Nova Scotia Donair was named the official food of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Failing in his attempt to sell traditional Greek gyros in the early 1970's in Halifax, Peter Gamoulakos adapted the dish to local tastes and he had a hit on his hands. He substituted beef for lamb and created a sweet sauce to go with it. The meat is still cooked on a vertical rotisserie like the Arabic shawarmas or Greek gyros, shaved off and served in a pita, it is the sauce that makes them original to King of Donair.

16. Flapper Pie: Although similarities exist between Flapper, Boston Cream, and Banana Cream pies, there are differences - so the cooks insist. Flapper pie came into it's own during the Flapper era which is probably where it got its name (a guess) and is traditionally a cream pie with a graham crust and topped with meringue. 

17. Pemmican: This is a densely nutritious food that was a staple for the indigenous people. Lean meat from game animals such as bison, elk, deer or moose is cut into thin slices and dried until it is hard and brittle. It is then pounded to almost a powder consistency. This is then mixed with melted fat and in some cases dried fruits like berries (also pounded into powder form) was added. Packed into rawhide bags for storage it could be kept for 10 years. It could be eaten raw, boiled in a stew or fried.

18. Spruce Beer: Spruce beer can be found in alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. The beverage was first brewed as a tea by the indigenous people of Canada from the evergreen needles and buds during the winter months when fruits and vegetables weren't available. A natural source of Vitamin C, it was a good prevention for scurvy. The alcoholic version is fermented rather than carbonated and truly an acquired taste but those that like it, like it a lot.

19. Tiger Tail Ice Cream: Tiger Tail is an orange-flavoured ice cream with a black licorice swirl running through it. It had faded from popularity for some time but is making a comeback in recent years, much to the delight of baby-boomers who gobbled it up.

20. Jiggs  Dinner: This meal differs from the New England boiled dinner in that Jiggs Dinner utilises salt beef (or salt riblets) instead of corned beef. The meat is boiled together in one pot along with potatoes, carrots, cabbage, turnip and their greens. Pease pudding and figgy duff are often immersed to cook in the broth that the meat and vegetables create. To complete the meal, mustard pickles, pickled beets, cranberry sauce and a gravy are also included. 

21. Canada Dry: Chemist John J. McLaughlin started off in 1890 manufacturing soda water which he sold as a mixer for fruit juices. It took him 14 years to perfect his formula for Ginger Ale at his carbonated water plant in Toronto. He also developed a bottling line to fill bottles in mass quantities. Canada Dry was very popular and pricey during the prohibition era when its flavour helped hide the awful taste of homemade liquor. Made with real ginger it is a go to for people with upset tummies

22. Cheezies: This crunchy morsels differ from cheese sticks in that they are not puffed and air filled. It was invented after WWII by James Marker and W.T. Hawkins while they were working in Chicago. Through many trials, they discovered a process of extruding cornmeal into finger-like shapes which they deep-fried and then sprinkled with aged cheddar cheese. The recipe was perfected in 1949 after they moved the operation to Ontario where it is still going strong.

23. Chips: Whether they are called Potato Chips, Chips or Crisps, they are nothing new to Canada. But Canada has elevated the flavour to new heights. Only in Canada can you find ketchup, all-dressed, dill pickle, salt and vinegar and even poutine flavoured chips. Some pretty wild flavour combinations have come out of Lays annual pick a flavour winner contest and Presidents Choice own vivid imagination. But the most bizarre has to be Storm Chips "a flurry of flavours" because the first thing to sell out in the store when a winter storm is approaching is the chips. For more of these wacky flavours check out the Buzzfeed post linked below the pictures. 

24. Screech: Newfoundland Screech is a Jamaican dark rum that was exchanged for fish beginning more than 200 years ago. These days it is blended and bottle by the provincial liquor corporation after being imported from Jamaica, fortunately with no change to the high alcohol content (40%). A necessary part of the "Screech-In" ceremony.

25. Canadian Whiskey: Whisky from Canada are blended multi-grain liquors that have a high percentage of corn spirits. They are often lighter and smoother than other whisky styles. Then Canadian distillers began adding small amounts of highly-flavoured rye grains to their formulas and people really took to it. In order to be labelled as Canadian Rye Whisky (or any derivative therein) the whisky must be mashed, distilled and aged for at least 3 years in Canada. 


Butter Tart
Caesar Cocktail
Persian from the Persian Man, Thunder Bay ON
Nanaimo Bars
Red River Cereal
Garlic Fingers and a side of Donair sauce
Maple Syrup 
Moose Milk in a moose mug
Bagged Milk

Peameal Bacon before cooking
Figgy Duff with Rum Butter Sauce
Flapper Pie
Spruce Beer
Tiger Tail Ice Cream
Jiggs Dinner
Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Storm Chips
Screech and "Screech-In"
Canadian Whiskys

Buzzfeed post: 19 pictures that hilariously prove potato chips are no joke in Canada

1. Chocolate Bar:
2. Butter Tart:
3. Poutine:
4. Caesar:
6. Persians:
7. Nanaimo bars:
8. Red River Cereal:
9. Garlic fingers:
10. Maple Syrup:
11. Moose Milk:
12. Bagged Milk:
13. Peameal Bacon:
14. Figgy Duff:
15. Donair:
16. Flapper Pie:
17. Pemmican:
18. Spruce Beer:
19. Tiger Tail:
20. Jiggs Dinner:
21. Canada Dry:
22. Cheezies:
23. Potato Chips:
24. Screech:
25. Canadian Whisky:

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy 150th Birthday Canada - People

I am Canadian Rant by Joe - Molson Canadian Commercial

The people of Canada are a diverse bunch. We are unique and diverse yet we are similar. We come from everywhere and we come from here. The first nations people were here long before Canada became a country, long before the Europeans and settlers claimed the land for their own. But there is room for everyone. 

The Canadians I list here are just a sample of the Canadians who I think help make Canada great. 

1. Lester B. Pearson: A diplomat, soldier and 14th Prime Minister of Canada, he reflected the values of the Canada I love today. It was his vision that a world could exist with peace instead of conflict. He proposed a peacekeeping mission to resolve the Suez Crisis in 1956. It was successful and Canada has been known for peacekeeping ever since. During his tenure as Prime Minister he instituted the Canada Pension Plan, Universal Health Care, and our flag is what it is today because he saw a need for Canadians to be distinguished from the red ensign of the British Empire.

2. Terry Fox: It was 1977 when athletic 18 year old Terry Fox went to the doctor complaining of knee pain. Four days later with a diagnosis of Osteogenic Sarcoma (bone cancer) his right leg was amputated 6 inches above his knee. His survival rate was 50%, just 2 years earlier it would have been 15%, he immediately recognized the profound effect that research could have. 
After several years of training, on April 12, 1980, Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean and began his Marathon of Hope. He wanted to raise $1 for every Canadian to go to cancer research as he ran a marathon a day (42km/26m) each and every day as he made his way across the country. After going through 6 provinces in 143 days and  half-skip/running 5,373 km (3,339 m) Terry was forced to stop just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario on September 1 1980, when his cancer had returned, this time to attack his lungs.
Terry didn't finish his Marathon, but his dream was realized. The national population was 24.1 million, and by February 1981 he had raised $24.17 million. By 2014 that figured had reached $650 million and it is still growing. The odds of survival are up to 80% and amputation is rare. The work continues around the globe!
Terry Fox passed away on June 28, 1981 just one month shy of his 23rd birthday. He made a difference in the life of everyone fighting cancer, including my brother, with his Marathon on HOPE!

3. Leslie Nielsen: "Don't call me Shirley." I can't think of that line without smiling! It came from the Airplane! movie (1980), the beginning of several spoof movies that Leslie began doing that catapulted his career on the Hollywood stage.
Leslie Nielsen
Born in 1926 in Regina Saskatchewan, Leslie had careers in the Royal Canadian Air Force, as a deejay, and as a dramatic actor on both the small and big screen. He was 54 when he reinvented himself as a comedic actor and he never looked back. A mere 6 episodes of Police Squad became a cult favourite and led to the Naked Gun series of movies. Leslie was legally deaf and wore hearing aids most of his life.
Leslie Nielsen died in 2010 leaving a legacy of more than 200 television and film roles for us to enjoy for years to come. Leslie was legally deaf and wore hearing aids most of his life. He was known as a practical joker on and off set. To that end, he carried a portable fart machine with him, as an homage to that (his favourite prank) his epitaph reads "Let 'er rip".

John Candy
4. John Candy: Born in Toronto in 1950, John Candy was first and foremost a comedian. He was studying journalism and acting when he got the opportunity to join the Second City troupe in Chicago. He returned to Toronto to help launch SCTV where he created many memorable characters and won awards for his writing. Most of his film roles tended to be that of the comedic relief, and second banana. He made those characters memorable. He did have starring roles as well including a rare opportunity for a dramatic role in Only the Lonely which showcased his softer side. 
An avid sports fan, John Candy co-owned the Toronto Argonauts football team. He also owned a chain of restaurants with fellow funny men Dan Akyroyd and Jim Belushi called House of Blues (the three all starred in the Blues Brothers movie also). 
John Candy passed away at the age of 43 while on the set of the movie Wagons East. 

SCTV cast - early years
5. SCTV: Out of Second City TV came many famous Canadian comedians. So although this isn't a specific person I am going to take this opportunity to recognize some of this amazing talent under one heading. 
SCTV ran from 1976 to 1984 and focused on improvisational sketch comedy. It was universe essentially created by the stars as a place to showcase the many comedic alter-egos they had individually developed to entertain others and each other. SCTV was a fictional station set in Melonville, zany characters would broadcast the news, parody movies, perform commercials and make us laugh while doing it. 
Canadians John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas rose from the ranks of Second City comedy clubs  as well as being founding members and creators. Fellow countrymen Rick Moranis and Martin Short would be added in subsequent years. Born in the United States, Andrea Martin, Harold Ramis and Joe Flaherty (veterans of Second City Chicago) all found their fame with SCTV as well.

Paul Gross as
Constable Benton Fraser
6. Paul Gross: Actor, director, author, producer, screenwriter, singer and songwriter. His talent knows no bounds - except for math. Paul Gross is most recognized for his 6 year run (starting in 1994) as Constable Benton Fraser of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Due South. Interestingly, Gross has been denied roles because he is too handsome and been offered roles that he felt were intellectually beneath him. Beauty and brains in one solid package. 
He solved this by focusing on writing and producing his own projects. First there was Men With Brooms in 2002. From 2003-2006 his focus was on Slings and Arrows. He wrote Passchendaele, then directed, produced and starred in the movie version (2008). In 2015, Hyena Road hit the big screen. Paul wrote, produced, directed and starred in this war flick as well.
Of course there were many side projects as well, including the lesser known stint as singer and songwriter. He released 2 studio albums and they are both really good. I met Paul once and he was genuinely surprised that anyone remembered or considered him a singer! 
My favourite Canadian movie is a little comedic parody of the American wild west called Gunless. Check it out for some laughs and great music! 

Mr Dressup, Casey & Finnegan
at the treehouse
7. Mr Dressup: Ernest Coombs who played Mr. Dressup for 30 years on Canadian television was actually an American citizen. He came up to Canada for the first time as an understudy of Fred Rogers to pitch an early version of Mr Rogers' Neighbourhood, a childrens' educational show to the CBC in 1963. Mr Rogers left to work for the PBS and Coombs stayed on to become Mr Dressup and in 1997 a Canadian citizen. He never left again. 
Mr Dressup was a staple for Canadian children growing up and we still remember his tickle trunk and the treehouse with fondness. His sidekicks were 2 puppets, Casey and Finnegan (a dog). Casey was a gender-neutral character and remained that way for the duration of the show. 

Viola Desmond
8. Viola Desmond: Viola Desmond is going to be the first woman pictured on Canadian money (the $10 bill) so it is important that we understand and remember who she was. Viola was a businesswoman who became a civil rights pioneer. She started with a salon that catered to black women and then moved on to opening a beauty school and launching a beauty products line. She happened to be a woman of colour. 
One day in 1946, Viola Desmond bought a ticket for a main floor seat at a movie theatre. She was sold the ticket despite the fact that it was an unwritten policy that black person were to sit in the balcony. Confronted by an usher she tried to pay the extra penny required to enable her to sit on the main floor. Refusing to sit in the balcony in the segregated theatre, she was arrested and spent the night in jail. She was fined $20 for tax evasion (the difference in the cost of the two seats). All of her subsequent attempts at righting the wrong fell on deaf ears. 
Viola Desmond died at the age of 50 in 1965. In 2010 she was granted a full pardon and issued an apology by the province of Nova Scotia. 

David Suzuki
9. David Suzuki: David Suzuki is a respected and passionate scientist, environmentalist, advocate and broadcaster who was born in 1936 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He pursued the love of science through higher education and eventually became a professor. Wanting to share his passion, he embarked on a broadcasting career. Starting in 1970 with a childrens' science show and then 1979 began hosting the Nature of Things which has been airing since 1960. David Suzuki has written over 50 books during his career. His foundation has the main focus of working with Canadians and all levels of government and businesses to conserve and preserve our environment through science based research and education. As stated in the vision statement, "we are all interconnected and interdependent with nature" (from
The Blue Dot Project is asking Canadians to take action and join the "people across the country who want the right to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food legally recognized at all levels of government" (from

Dr. Emily Stowe
10. Dr. Emily Stowe: Emily Stowe was born in 1831 and began a career as a school teacher until her husbands bought with tuberculosis prompted her to study medicine. Unable to enrol in Canadian schools, she graduated from New York college. She set up practice in Toronto in 1867 but was not legally licensed until 1880. Frustrated with the difficulty for women to enter the medical profession, she started the Woman's Medical College in Toronto in 1883 and the Canada's first suffrage group in 1889. Although she died before women were given the right to vote, she did help move the process along. 

Pierre Trudeau
11. Pierre Elliott Trudeau: The 15th Prime Minister of Canada, Trudeau was born in Montreal in 1919 and he held that title for nearly 16 years. He was charismatic and had a youthful vibe that resonated with the people in the 1960's. In his first year in office he reformed the divorce laws and liberalized the laws on abortion and homosexuality. His greatest accomplishments were the the fight to keep Quebec a part of Canada and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter effectively brought Canada into it's own from underneath the wing of Britain and the monarchy. Pierre was in power from 1968-1979 and again 1980-1984. He died in 2000 suffering from both Parkinsons and prostate cancer.

Justin Trudeau
12. Justin Pierre Trudeau: Pierre Trudeaus' oldest son Justin swept to power, becoming the second youngest Prime Minister of Canada in 2015. As charismatic as his father, Justin had a loyal following of a younger generation that had hope in real change when the junior Trudeau won the role of 23rd Prime Minister of Canada. He quickly appointed women to the roles in half his cabinet because "it's 2015". His cabinet is notable in the presence not only of women but also of minorities of every description - because they are the best for the roles, not to fill a mandate. 
No politician (or human) is perfect but there are good things to look forward to from the tenure of Justin Trudeau, starting with some real discussions and actions concerning the indigenous people of this land.

Margaret Atwood
13. Margaret Atwood: This prolific author, poet, critic, educator, feminist, inventor and social campaigner was born in 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario. Atwood began writing plays and poems at the age of 6 but never had regular schooling until two years after that. 
Her most famous work is The Handmaid's Tale which she calls speculative fiction rather than science fiction, because it could happen. It's not just imaginative. In 2004, Margaret had visions of a robotic pen that would allow her to remotely write in ink anywhere in the world via a tablet and the internet - it would allow her to conduct book tours around the world while never leaving home. She called it the LongPen. Still in use today, but primarily in the business market for signing contracts and legal documents. 
Politically active and not afraid to share her views. In her own words, "War is what happens when language fails" 

Dr. Norman Bethune
14. Dr. Norman Bethune: A Canadian physician and medical innovator, Bethune was born in 1890 and died at the age of 49. His forward thinking cured him of tuberculosis he contracted in 1926 but was unable to prevent his early demise from blood poisoning. 
There is no doubt that Norman Bethune was a thinker ahead of his time. He was a proponent of socialized medicine and to that end became a communist supporter. His commitment to the party took him first to Spain and then to China during WWII. During this time (1929-1936) Bethune invented or redesigned 12 medical and surgical instruments, he wrote more than a dozen articles describing his innovations in thoracic surgery.
Norman Bethune was a doctor and a surgeon for the people - not for just those that could pay. Almost unknown in his home country, he is considered a hero in China where he is commemorated with statues and medical buildings bearing his name. But his forward thinking and brilliance has helped us all. 

Tommy Douglas
15. Tommy Douglas: Tommy Douglas (1904-1986) was the premier of Saskatchewan, a Baptist minister, leader of the New Democratic Party and the father of socialized medicine in Canada. 
Tommy's family immigrated from Scotland to Winnipeg in 1910, but returned to Scotland before coming back to Canada for good in 1918. As an ordained minister, Tommy Douglas moved to Saskatchewan where he witnessed the hardship of drought and a failing economy. He came to know many families that simply could not afford medical care. He vowed to change this and embarked on a political career to see it through. In 1959 he unveils his Medicare Plan, ensuring every person in Saskatchewan has access to publicly administered health care. There was plenty of opposition at first but by 1962 it is implemented. Four years later the principles would become national policy for all Canadians.
Publically owned Saskatchewan power, insurance, legalization of unions, and the Saskatchewan bill of rights all came to be during Tommy Douglas' tenure as provincial premier. A visionary for sure, and aptly named "Greatest Canadian" during a 2004 TV show by online voters. 

Lucy Maud Montgomery
16. Lucy Maud Montgomery: Born in Clifton, PEI in 1874 in a house known as Green Gables. Montgomery spent almost her entire life writing, not necessarily for publication but in the form of journals and diaries. Actually she wrote more than 500 short stories, 20 novels plus 2 poetry compilations. When her mother died (she was 2), Lucy Maud found herself living with her maternal grandparents. Her father moved to Saskatchewan and although she tried to be with him, her heart was with the Island and she returned to Cavendish. She had a lot of extended relatives but was always lonesome and devoid of affection. Her characters became her friends.  
LM Montgomery (intentionally gender neutral) is best known for Anne of Green Gables which was her first novel. Originally rejected for publication it was pick up on re-submission 2 years later in 1907 and was an instant hit selling 19,000 copies in less than 6 months. Since then, more than 50 millions copies have been sold and been reproduced in more than 30 languages. The character Anne Shirley is an icon in Japan and required reading in school, thousands make the trek every year to the National Historic Site of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. A musical based on the novel has been running on the Island for the past 50 years (a Guinness World Record for longest running musical).
Montgomery left the island when her minister husband had taken a position in Ontario (Leaksdale and then Norval). In death, Lucy Maud Montgomery returned to her island home, where she knew love. 

Louis Riel
17. Louis Riel: Born in 1844 in Red River Settlement (now Manitoba), he was hanged for treason on November 16, 1885 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Riel was the founding father of Manitoba and a Metis leader to his people. He led 2 separate rebellions against the European settlers in his attempt to preserve the rights and culture of the Metis and indigenous people. 
The intent of the Red River Rebellion in 1869 was to ensure a temporary government body was established to ensure the rights of the native people would not be ignored when the Canadian Government purchased Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company. During the rebellion, Riel's government arrested, convicted and executed Thomas Scott for threatening to murder Riel. The Rebellion came to an end when the province of Manitoba was created, fearing for his life Riel fled to the US.
By 1884 the Metis people had been pushed westward into Saskatchewan and were becoming increasingly concerned that the federal government had failed to protect their rights, their land and their very survival as a distinct people. With no clear title to their land, Riel was called in to try to mediate with the government. Riel began with peaceful agitation and drafting a petition outlining grievances. Canada's response was to send 500 soldiers. Two months of fighting ended with eventual surrender of Riel.
During his trial for treason, Louis Riel continued to defend the actions of the Metis people. He was none-the-less found guilty and was hanged at the North West Mounted Police barracks in Regina. Today he is recognized as a Father of Confederations, a defender of his people and pioneer in the protection of minority rights - a pioneer. 

Samuel Cunard
18. Samuel Cunard: By his 40's (1830's) Samuel Cunard had amassed a substantial personal fortune as a shipping magnate and businessman. He followed his father in the timber industry but had visions beyond lumber. He proposed a regular mail service between Liverpool, England and Halifax and Boston in the New World. Thus in 1839 the predecessor to the Cunard Line, The British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was born. Competition forced him to drop Halifax as the port of call in favour of New York City. But it started here. 
The Cunard Line is still prosperous today as over time the company absorbed many others such as the White Star Lines (owners of the Titanic) and owning such famous liners as RMS Queen Mary and is now a part of the Carnival Cruise Lines.

Cirque Du Soliel performers
19. Cirque du Soleil: Conceived in 1979 by 3 street-performing friends in suburbs of Quebec City, it was like no other circus out there. There were no animal acts and the show is theatrical and more of a story or live play with acts that stuns and amazes the audience. The performers are the stage hands and crew. 
With nothing more than an idea, co-founder Gilles Ste. Croix walked 56 miles (90km) to Quebec City as a publicity stunt to convince the Quebec government to help fund his project. It worked and Ste. Croix along with his partners Guy Laliberte and Daniel Gauthier used the money to create their first show Les Echassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul in 1980. 
From these modest beginnings, Cirque du Soliel has gone on to entertain more than 15 million people worldwide. They have released DVD's, CD's, a collection of clothing and accessories and an extension for Google Chrome to bring some of their imagination to browsing. The company has become a corporate citizen with its foundations set up to improve life for youth at risk and it's One Drop Foundation is dedicated to ensuring clean drinking water. 

Colonel Chris Hadfield
20. Chris Hadfield: Sarnia, Ontario in 1959 is the birthplace of this man who would the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, someone to look up to (he spent a lot of time in space). Now retired, Colonel Hadfield has become an author, recording artist, teacher and public speaker.
It started at 10 years of age, the desire to go space, and to achieve his goals, Chris enrolled in the Air Cadets. He graduated to the Royal Canadian Air Force and became an experimental test pilot and flying over 70 different aircraft. His father was an Air Canada pilot and 2 of his brothers followed in those footsteps, Chris took a bigger leap.
In 1995 Chris left earth in his first rocket. The mission was to dock with the Mir and transfer over supplies to the cosmonauts. Hadfield became the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in orbit and the only Canadian to ever board Mir space station.
In 2001, Hadfield was part of the team that installed Canadaarm2. He performed 2 spacewalks which made him the first Canadian to leave a spacecraft and float freely in space. In fact he travelled 10 times around the world during his 14 hours, 50 minutes hanging around in space.
On December 19, 2012 Hadfield was launched aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, upon his arrival at the International Space Station, he became the first Canadian commander on March 13, 2013. He became a social media sensation, he shared pictures, songs, and stories and educational videos. He made people on earth feel a part of the journey. He posted the first ever video on YouTube shot in space, his rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity". After almost 100 million kms of travel, 146 days in space and 2,336 obits of the earth, Colonel Hadfield returned to earth on May 13, 2013. 

Other notable Canadians:
1. Chief Dan George: poet, actor, activist and Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation
2. Don Cherry and Ron MacLean: sports commentators and icons of Hockey Night in Canada.
3. Group of Seven: Artists showcasing this country with a paintbrush
4. Mary Pickford: trailblazer for women during the silent film era
5. Greenpeace: Not a person but an idea working to change attitudes and preserve the environment
6. Wayne Gretzky: Hockey player often considered the greatest of all time. Other great hockey players include: Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Jean Beliveau, Maurice (Rocket) Richard, Tim Horton, Ray Borque, Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, David Gilmour and Bobby Hull.
7. James Cameron: movie director, filmmaker, producer, screenwriter, inventor, engineer, and deep-sea explorer.
8. Musicians: Every soloist or band from coast to coast to coast that has sung the praises of this great country in the smallest of communities to the largest venues. Those who have made a mark internationally and those who have left their mark on land known as Canada. 
9. Immigrants: Every immigrant who passed through the gates of Pier 21 in Halifax or made their way to this land by air or any other means. They all help make Canada great.
10. Every Indigenous Person past and present who are doing their part to preserve this land, and have been doing so for centuries before any settlers or immigrants came to change things. I acknowledge the sacrifices that the First Nations people made as they struggled to maintain their distinctiveness. 

I am Canadian eh

1. Lester B. Pearson:
2. Terry Fox:
3. Leslie Nielsen:
4. John Candy:
5. SCTV:
6. Paul Gross:
7. Mr Dressup:
8. Viola Desmond:
9. David Suzuki:
10. Emily Stowe:
11. Pierre Trudeau:
12. Justin Trudeau:
13. Margaret Atwood:
14. Norman Bethune:
15. Tommy Douglas:
16. Lucy Maud Montgomery:
17. Louis Riel:
18.Samuel Cunard:
19. Cirque Du Soliel:
20. Chris Hadfield: