Happy Canada Day 2016!!
Yes, the prime minister has made another media appearance, this time in comic book form. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on the variant cover of issue No. 5 of Marvel's "Civil War II: Choosing Sides" that will debut on August 31.
The boxing motif that Trudeau is known for is part of the cover, posing in a tank and trunks alongside Puck, Sasquatch, and Aurora, who are members of the Canadian superhero squad Alpha Flight. The cover comes from Toronto-based cartoonist Ramon Perez.
The elder Trudeau, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was in the "Uncanny X-Men" comic book in 1979.
We will have much more next week on Barack Obama's visit to Canada for the Three Amigos summit. The president gave a very relaxed speech about borders and values before the Canadian Parliament. The chant of "4 more years" from the House of Commons after the speech spoke volumes how Canadians and their representatives view the current U.S. president.
Trudeau joked about the bro-mance between the two leaders, preferring the term dude-mocracy. Either way, the leaders of these countries haven't been this comfortable in at least 20 years.
For a transcript of the speech, click here. Hopefully, you saw the speech either through CPAC or C-SPAN; check the Web site in your region to try and watch the speech online.
This was Obama's third trip to Canada in his almost 8 years in office. The February 2009 visit to Ottawa as well as the G8 and G20 summits in Huntsville and Toronto in Ontario preceded this visit. Presidents don't make as many visits as ones did a few generations back. In researching the state dinners story, I discovered that Brian Mulroney and George H.W. Bush spent quite a bit time together in both countries. Bush even went to the All-Star Game in Toronto in 1992.
Obama might have more opportunities to visit Canada once he leaves office in January. Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, is married to a Canadian: Konrad Ng, of Burlington, Ontario. The president and Michelle Obama attended their wedding in Burlington and also visited Toronto and Niagara Falls.
The O Canada English lyrics haven't officially changed. Parliament approved the changes to make the anthem gender-equal. The Senate didn't pass the bill in time but will take up the bill in the fall. If the House had not approved the bill, the discussion would have to start over again.
Since you will likely have a point in the next 3 days to sing O Canada, if you are doing so in English, try out the new words. Substitute "in all of us command" for " in all thy sons command." If you need help, follow along with Hedley lead singer Jacob Hoggard.
Each year, the folks at the Chicago International Film Festival show films from around the world, featuring a Canadian film around Canada Day. This year, My Internship in Canada got the nod. The Canadian political satire was a perfect choice given the Three Amigos summit.
The Stephen Harper lookalike PM reflects what was the federal situation when the film was made versus watching the film in the current political climate. And it's a rare Canadian mainstream film that acknowledges and celebrates the reality of the First Nations people. The politics of inclusion, and the frustrations that occur within that world, was accurately portrayed.
The post-film discussion was led by Kevin Tibbles, NBC News correspondent based in Chicago. Tibbles had covered domestic and foreign beats for NBC after a stint at the CBC. During his time at the CBC, Tibbles covered many stories, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War.
His NBC bio notes his Canadian background:
"As a native Canadian, Kevin's reporting from Vancouver introduced the NBC audience to Canada's passion for hockey featuring interviews with Prime Minister Steven (sic) Harper, commentator Don Cherry and Wayne Gretzky. He also reported on the unique relationship Canada shares with it's (sic) American neighbor to the south; and has told the story of ordinary Canadians honoring their war dead along the 'Highway of Heroes'."
Tibbles did a really nice job explaining the current political climate. He even got a few people to applaud when mentioning that Justin Trudeau had welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees, including greeting some refugees personally and supplying kids with badly needed winter parkas.
The audience was eager to have Tibbles explain how Canadian politics works; he explained that Canada is about "peace, order, and good government."
He even mentioned The Greatest Canadian TV series, Tommy Douglas, and the October Crisis.
CBC viewers can celebrate Canada Day with a 3-hour special starting at 11 am Eastern. The night wraps up with a Canada Day in the Capital 2016 special at 9 pm local time. Or you could watch the CFL on TSN.
MLB Network keeps its tradition going strong of showing the Toronto Blue Jays on Canada Day. Cleveland is in town for the weekend. The Blue Jays are in the hunt for a wild-card spot at this juncture in the season.
As we learned from the 2015 Canada federal election, foreign interference in an election is a frowned upon practice. Sarah Silverman sent out a tweet endorsing a NDP candidate and we all heard about Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act.
U.S. election law seemingly allows just about anything, but soliciting and accepting foreign donations is absolutely illegal. The Donald Trump campaign has solicited foreign donations from politicians from several countries.
We don't know of any specific current Canadian MPs, but former Prime Minister Kim Campbell tweeted that she had received the solicitation e-mail from the Trump campaign.
The U.S. does not have a strong institution such as Elections Canada. The Federal Elections Commission might punish the Trump campaign, and that's a big might, but the punishment, if any, will be light.
"If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.”
Speaking of the Republican presidential nominee, someone clearly mentioned Article 2205 of NAFTA to Trump. While he has ranted against NAFTA in previous speeches, this is one of the few times in the entire campaign where he has been remotely specific. While I can cite chapter and verse as to problems with NAFTA, this mentality of negotiating a better deal parallels the United Kingdom thinking a better deal with the European Union is right around the corner. Neither will happen.
If anything, Canada has much more to complain about NAFTA than the United States.
We try and avoid talking NHL transactions in the off-season, not worrying about them until early October. The Montréal Canadiens had denied shopping around defenceman P.K. Subban. These statements turned out to be false.
The Canadiens traded Subban to Nashville for Shea Weber. Straight up. No other compensation.
In the NHL, you don't trade a 27-year-old for a 31-year-old (Weber turns 31 before the season starts). Older and slower plus more money over a longer period of time. If you think Les Habs is so close to the Stanley Cup, you might justify the trade, but still no.
You also don't trade good guys, on and off the ice. They don't come much better than Subban.
Weber and Subban were Olympic gold-medal teammates for Team Canada. Weber is a very talented player. But 29 NHL GMs would have made that deal from the Nashville standpoint. Las Vegas has no GM and even that team would make that deal. Only Marc Bergevin made that deal. And Canadiens fans will have to live with the one-sided trade for a decade to come.
Edmonton got way too little for Taylor Hall, going to New Jersey Devils for defenceman Adam Larsson. Today launches the NHL free agent period; Steven Stamkos aside, things have to get better … as long as someone takes away Bergevin's phone.
photo credit: The Canadian Press/Ramon Perez; Twitter @AKimCampbell