Canada

Mexico vs. Donald Trump's Wall

Louis E.V. Nevaer

As recently as October 2016, Mexico’s ambassador was confident Donald Trump would not be elected president. “It’s not going to happen,” Miguel Basañez told me at the time. But it did happen — and Mexico’s hope that it could work with Canada to present a united front against the Trump administration came undone when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was informed that Trump would work out “a bilateral agreement” with Canada alone to salvage the mutual benefits both countries derived from NAFTA.

What Will Trump Do About NAFTA?

Louis E.V. Nevaer

Indeed, it is an opportunity to have an American president in the Oval Office who wants to pick up the phone and speak with Mexico’s president to talk about solving problems. It is an opportunity to invite the young, dynamic, and intelligent Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau join that conversation. It is an opportunity to speak honestly and assess, two decades after it was implemented, on what’s good about NAFTA.

Losing the Forest for the Trees in Annie Proulx’s ‘Barkskins’

Lee Polevoi

Well-known for her novel The Shipping News and her masterful short stories (including “Brokeback Mountain”), Proulx has, at age 80, taken a different tack, sailing into the headwinds of a 700-plus-page novel. Barkskins follows the exploits and adventures of multiple generations of the Sel and Duquet (later renamed “Duke”) families. It also charts the progressively more destructive actions taken by the logging and timber industries over the course of the following centuries.

Secrets of Quebec City

Barbara Noe Kennedy

Tucked inside centuries’-old fortress walls high above the St. Lawrence River, the capital of La Belle Province beckons with Old World charm. It’s nearly impossible to miss its most famous sights, including the iconic Château Frontenac hotel rising high above the St. Lawrence River in belle-époque splendor; the historic railroad hotel sparkles after a multimillion restoration. And the neighboring Plains of Abraham is where the British won Québec from the French in a pivotal battle in 1759. 

NAFTA’s Failures Finally Get Air Time

Louis E.V. Nevaer

Bush and Fox were friends, ranchers, businessmen, and came from the same rugged landscape that made their working together a done deal. Both men were determined to take the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the next step by addressing the limitations and flaws in that agreement. The limitations were political (no free movement of people across borders) and economic (no single currency for the United States, Canada, and Mexico).

 

Canada’s Iranian Diaspora Supports Thaw With Tehran

Alireza Ahmadian

Analysts and members of the Iranian-Canadian community say they are optimistic about a thawing of relations between Iran and Canada now that a new government is in power. Despite the fact that a large and dynamic Iranian diaspora calls Canada its home, recent relations between the two countries have been complicated. In 2012, the Harper government put Iran on the list of State Supporters of Terrorism, closed the Canadian embassy in Iran and expelled Iranian diplomats from Canada. 

Exploring Vancouver’s Thriving Culinary Scene

Beth Kaiserman

Lindsay O’Donnell works in marketing for Whole Foods and writes a vegan food blog. She grew up in Vancouver and lives there now. “Everyone’s a total health nut. It’s really multicultural. There’s a lot of Asian fusion everywhere and seafood and poutine and things like that. Vancouver is definitely like a yoga hippie city.” Instead of showing off their Chanel or Nike labels, O’Donnell said people brand themselves with coconut water, a yoga mat, and knowledge of the latest food cleanse.

All That Jazz: A Night in Montreal

Steven J. Chandler

Jazz in a concert hall? It’s a trend and can appear contrived and devoid of the spontaneity that’s the essence of jazz music. This was Redman’s challenge as he and his quartet performed at the Maison Symphonique de Montreal, an acoustically rewarding venue that on most dates is the home of Montreal’s acclaimed Symphony Orchestra. Backed with strings and performing from his latest release, Walking Shadows, Redman’s quartet made use of the acoustics by playing compositions that employed an orchestral landscape. 

Hedley Continues Its Climb Up the Charts With New Smash Hit

Alysia Stern

Hedley is a popular Canadian pop-punk band that has been performing since 2004. They just released their fourth album, Storms. “Through thick and thin we are a band, but we are brothers. If we are not having fun doing this, there is no point in doing this at all.” Their new smash hit “Kiss You Inside Out,” continues to climb the charts. The YouTube video itself has more than 1.7 million hits. Hedley released four consecutive double-platinum albums in Canada and their songs are in demand more today than ever. Guitarist Dave Rosin recently spoke with Highbrow Magazine.

Godspeed You! Emperor and the Art of Survival

John McGovern

When T.S. Eliot wrote, “Mankind cannot bear much reality,” he inadvertently (“post-rock” hadn’t reached Oxford yet) described Montreal-based Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s bombastic sound. The band’s music is classically structured and is often lumped into a genre called “post-rock,” though the band dismisses this as a pretentious term. “Post-rock” is used to describe instrumental groups that include the traditional rock n’ roll instrumentation -- guitar, drums, bass -- but breaks from pop song structures. Instead, post-rock draws from a diverse array of influences, most evidently jazz and classical music. The detached, introspective sound of many “post-rock” bands is nonexistent in Godspeed’s music. 

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