Monthly Archive: April 2023

The King and I

When Elizabeth II died last September, I declared in this space that I was a monarchist. My fealty continues to her son and heir, Charles III. I thought that once Her Highness died, there would be a groundswell of acrimonious debate in Canada about ending our links to the Royal Family. But even as Coronation Day approaches next week, on May 6, there has hardly been a peep on the topic until a recent Angus Reid poll showed that 60 percent of Canadians are against recognizing Charles as King. A bare majority, 52 percent, don’t want Canada to continue as...

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The strange silence of songbirds

Think about the number of songs with the names of American cities in the title. I’m sure I could cite one from every state: New York, New York, I Left my Heart in San Francisco, Wichita Lineman, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Tallahassee Lassie, Viva Las Vegas, Streets of Laredo, Hollywood Nights, Philadelphia Freedom, Chicago, Do You Know the Way to San Jose. You get the idea. Even a mere spot on the American map merits a mention. Jackson Browne wrote the first line, “Well, I’m standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona,” Glenn Frey finished the rest,...

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David Johnston, the former governor general, has a new book out called Empathy. Empathy, by his definition, is knowing someone’s need and stepping in to help. The book shines when Johnston reveals personal anecdotes. Early in the book, for example, he talks about his prowess as young hockey player. A Junior A scout came to his house, gave Johnston’s mother his hat, and she planned to make tea. The scout’s opening line was how, if Johnston played Junior A, he would not graduate high school because all his time would be spent on the sport. Johnston’s mother quickly returned the...

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