Archives for the month of: July, 2014


The Name Explained
What’s behind Lululemon’s name? Company founder Chip Wilson has offered an odd explanation.

“The reason the Japanese liked (my former skateboard brand, ‘Homeless’) was because it had an L in it and a Japanese marketing firm wouldn’t come up with a brand name with an L in it,” he explained to National Post Business Magazine. “L is not in their vocabulary. It’s a tough pronunciation for them. So I thought, next time I have a company, I’ll make a name with three Ls and see if I can get three times the money. It’s kind of exotic for them. I was playing with Ls and I came up with Lululemon. It’s funny to watch them try to say it,” he said.


However, The Globe and Mail notes the company’s site says the name was the result of a survey.

Child Labour Comments
Back in 2005, Wilson’s comments about child labour “went over like a lead balloon” at a Vancouver conference, according to The Tyee.

The site reported:

“Wilson told the delegates third-world children should be allowed to work in factories because it provides them with much-needed wages. They also say he argued that even in Canada there is a place for 12- and 13-year-old street youths to find work in local factories as an alternative to collecting handouts.”

Ayn Rand Totes
Lululemon’s ‘Who Is John Galt?’ tote bags were a nod to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which promotes individualism and capitalism over collectivism. But some customers didn’t appreciate the political message.


“Who is John Galt?” is the opening line of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, described in The Globe as a novel “which rails against government and advocates self-interest as a key ingredient of a better world.” Some Lulu shoppers felt Rand’s philosophy was at odds with their community-minded beliefs. Others, um, shrugged.

The company defended the product on its blog:

“Chip Wilson, first read this book when he was eighteen years old working away from home. Only later, looking back, did he realize the impact the book’s ideology had on his quest to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness (it is not coincidental that this is Lululemon’s company vision).”

Seaweed Slip
In 2007, Lululemon came under scrutiny for its VitaSea clothing, which the company said was made with seaweed that provided health benefits.

A New York Times article challenged the company’s claim and said it found the material showed “no significant difference in mineral levels between the VitaSea fabric and cotton T-shirts.”

Independent testing “confirmed the presence of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in the VitaSea fabric,” a company statement said, but the retailer agreed to remove references to therapeutic benefits of the product.

Sheer Insanity
Lululemon’s too-sheer yoga pants were perhaps the company’s most infamous headache.

The company pulled its defective Luon pants from shelves in March 2013, following customer complaints that the pants were see-through.

Lululemon said it expected to lose as much as $67 million from the blunder. To make matters worse for the retailer, it was hit with three class-action lawsuits related to the recall.

Bend Over?!
Adding insult to injury? Some customers seeking refunds said Lululemon salespeople asked them to demonstrate the sheerness of their pants by bending over.

“I went into my local store to return my Astro pants and Invert crops, both purchased this month. I was asked to BEND OVER in order to determine sheerness. The sales associate then perused my butt in the dim lighting of the change room and deemed them “not sheer.” I felt degraded that this is how the recall is being handled,” according to one customer.

The company responded, saying it would offer returns “no questions asked.”

Pilling Pants
Even more quality complaints plagued the company following the sheer pants recall.

Shoppers weren’t impressed with yoga pants pilling and seams coming apart. And yes, some still complained that the pants were still too sheer.

Lululemon Ignites Outrage With A Sign That Seemed To Mock A Charity For Battered Women

Chip Wilson On Women’s Bodies
Wilson put his foot in his mouth when he told Bloomberg TV that “some women’s bodies just actually don’t work” with their products, which have been known to pill or look too sheer.

“It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time and how much they use it,” he said.

Again With The Thighs
Not long after Wilson’s comment about thighs rubbing together sparked outrage, a Bethesda, Md. shop raised eyebrows when it featured a sign in its window that read: “Cups of chai, apple pies, rubbing thighs?”

The brand apologized for the controversial display, saying “We celebrate that thighs rub together — ours do too.”


Lululemon Chairmen, Chip Wilson’s Apology Called Worst Ever


Lululemon Founder Insults Women




Source: Brand Finance Canada

20: Shoppers Drug Mart
Brand value: $1.97 billion

19: Canadian Tire
Brand value: $2.04 billion

18: BlackBerry
Brand value: $2.04 billion

17: Loblaws
Brand value: $2.06 billion

16: McCain Foods
Brand value: $2.12 billion

15: Brookfield Properties
Brand value: $2.33 billion

14: CN Rail
Brand value: $2.89 billion

13: Shaw
Brand value: $3.06 billion

12: Manulife
Brand value: $3.3 billion

11: Telus
Brand value: $3.65 billion

10: George Weston
Brand value: $3.88 billion

9: Bombardier
Brand value: $3.96 billion

8: Enbridge
Brand value: $4.17 billion

7: Rogers
Brand value: $4.55 billion

Brand value: $4.8 billion

5. Bell
Brand value: $5.54 billion

4. Bank of Montreal (BMO)
Brand value: $6.49 billion

3. Scotiabank
Brand value: $7.03 billion

2: Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
Brand value: $10.28 billion

1. TD Bank
Brand value: $10.4 billion



1) He probably took a BIG pay cut
It is believed that Wright was earning more than $2 million in salary and bonuses at Onex, but made around $300,000 working on Parliament Hill.

2) He’s unmarried
Along with John Baird, Jason Kenney, and James Moore, Wright was one of four “single, white males” profiled in Maclean’s magazine in 2011 as holding immense power in Harper’s inner circle. Moore has since tied the knot.

Harper’s single white males
Paul Wells takes an inside look at where the power really lies in Ottawa

3) He’s a big runner
Wright would apparently run a half-marathon each morning before starting a 14-hour work day at Onex.

He has kept that pace after he began working in Ottawa.

He is said to be fond of telling a story of once being surrounded by several snarling dogs during an early morning run – a perfect metaphor for politics.

4) Harper isn’t the first PM he’s worked for
Wright was a speechwriter and policy adviser to former prime minister Brian Mulroney.

He was also policy co-ordinator for Kim Campbell’s leadership campaign.

5) He almost became a priest
Wright considered joining the Anglican priesthood as a young man. He is currently a subdeacon at St. Thomas’s Anglican Church in Toronto.

6) He was the subject of a conflict of interest probe
The federal ethics watchdog cleared Wright of conflict of interest allegations in January.

Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson investigated Wright after it was reported he was lobbied on three occasions by Barrick Gold Corp, despite deep personal connections to the company’s founding family.

Dawson found there was no violation of the Conflict of Interest Act.

PM’s chief of staff cleared over conflict-of-interest allegations


Why Mike Duffy is facing charges, and Nigel Wright isn’t
Jonathon Gatehouse explains how it might be a criminal act to take that $90,000 cheque — but not to write it



14% of Canadians with debt say it will never happen

>> a number that jumps to 21% for Canadians 65 years of age and up.
>> Another 10% said they don’t know when they’ll be able to completely pay off their debt.
>> Collectively, that means 24% of Canadians holding debt today have no defined timeline to pay it off.

Where Are Canada’s Most Desperately Indebted People?
Take a look at the percentage of Canadians who say they’ll never be debt-free, by region

Alberta — 9%
Quebec — 10%
National average – 14%
Manitoba / Saskatchewan — 15%
Ontario — 15%
Atlantic Canada — 18%
British Columbia – 18%

How Canada’s Debt Burden Compares

Household Debt
Canada hit a record high in the first quarter of 2011, reaching $1.5 trillion in household debt. If spread evenly across Canada, that means every family with two children has $176,461 in debt.

In the U.S., household debt hit $11.5 trillion by the end of March this year. The average household debt in the U.S. for a family of four is $148,000.

U.S. Household Debt Holds Steady in 2011 Q1

Student Debt
Loans owed to Canada Student Loans amount to nearly $14 billion and rising. In the U.S., where tuitions are considerable higher, loans owed exceed $932 billion, including federal and private loans.

Public Debt
With their debt ceiling raised again, the U.S. has more than $14 trillion in government debt in the first quarter of 2011. Canada has more than $563 billion. That figure works out to 84 per cent of Canada’s GDP, compared to 58.9 per cent for the U.S.

Personal Debt
In the first quarter of 2011, the average Canadian had more than $3,500 in credit card debt, according to TransUnion Canada. In the U.S., the average American consumer owes more than $4,200 in credit card debt.

Home Prices
As of June 2011, the median cost of a home in Canada was $372,000. Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto are some of the most expensive places in the country to buy a house. Prices in the U.S. vary more than they do in Canada. As of June, the median price of a home in the Northeast was $261,000, while the median price in the Midwest was $147,000. The median in the South was $159,100 and in the West, it was $240,400.

The average price of a home in the UK is £232,628 as reported by their first quarter in 2011, which converts to around CAD $371,000.

UK house prices: April to June 2013

Personal Bankruptcy
In 2010, there were more than 1.5 million non-business bankruptcy filings in the U.S. In the same year, there were only 92,694 personal bankruptcies in Canada. That means there were 48 bankruptcies per 10,000 people in the U.S., and 28 bankruptcies per 10,000 in Canada.

Which Parts Of Canada Have The Highest Household Debt?

Canadian Household Debt By Region
Number represents the average among those households that carry debt. Source: Statistics Canada

6. Atlantic Canada: $69,300
5. Quebec: $78,900
4. Manitoba & Saskatchewan: $84,900
3. Ontario: $124,700
2. British Columbia: $155,500
1. Alberta: $157,700



In April 2013, the British Columbia Humanist Association commissioned a poll from Justatson Marketing Intelligence to probe the province’s religiosity and support for secular values. The results show that two-thirds of the province is not religious and one in five do not believe in a “higher power.”



Two-Thirds of British Columbians are non-religious.

Thirty per cent of British Columbians are atheist or agnostic.

Sixty-eight per cent never attend religious services.

Seventy-five per cent of Vancouver is non-religious.

Nearly 67 per cent of men are non-religious.

Almost 62 per cent of women are non-religious.

Most British Columbians want to keep religion and politics separate — despite what Christy Clark says.

Most disagree that schools should practise a specific religion.

Twenty-three per cent think the federal government has gone too far with mixing religion and government.

Most agree schools should teach world religions.

Most think schools should explore spirituality.



#14 Students from the residential school in Moose Factory Island in Ontario attend a service at St. Thomas Anglican Church in 1946.

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#15 Aboriginal children at the Roman Catholic-run Fort Providence Residential Mission School in the Northwest Territories in 1929.

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#16 An undated photo of a dog team carrying a hay load near the residential school at Fort Resolution, N.W.T.

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#17 Undated photo of children cutting logs at the residential school in Fort Resolution, N.W.T.

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#18 Undated photo of boys cutting hay at the residential school in Duck Lake, Sask.

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#19 An undated photos of aboriginal students attending the Metlakatla, B.C., Residential School.

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#20 Two Métis children with an Inuit child at the All Saints Residential School, in Shingle Point, Yukon, in 1930.

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#21 Students at the Onion Lake Catholic Residential School in 1950.

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#22 Adeline Raciette amd Emily Bone study on the lawn of the Assiniboia Residential School in Manitoba in 1958.

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#23 Students share dish-washing chores at Portage La Prairie Residential School in Manitoba in 1950.

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#24 Fort Qu’Appelle Industrial School in Saskatchewan in 1884.

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#25 Children at the Fort Resolution, N.W.T., residential school in 1928.

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#26 The Alert Bay Mission School in British Columbia in 1885.

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  #1   Inuit children who lived too far away and had to stay at school during the summer at the Anglican Mission School in Aklavik, N.W.T. in 1941.

  #2   The blackboard on the left reads: “Thou Shalt Not Tell Lies.” Cree students at the Anglican-run Lac la Ronge Mission School in Saskatchewan in 1945.

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  # 3   Sisters of the Soeurs du Sacré-Coeur d’Ottawa and students on the steps of the school on the Pukatawagan Reserve in Manitoba in 1960.

Residential Schools 2

  #4   La Tuque Residential School’s hockey team at a tournament held during the Quebec Winter Carnival in 1967.

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  #5   Canada’s first and only Indian Air Cadet Unit, “No. 610” in 1956. The boys are from the Roman Catholic-run Williams Lake, B.C., Residential School.

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  #6   Chemistry class at Kamloop’s Residential School in 1959

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  #7   Students play pool at the Norway House Residential School in Manitoba in 1960.

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  #8   Students at a dormitory of the Shingwauk Residential School in Ontario in 1960

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  #9   The carpentry shop at a Kamloops, B.C., residential school in the late 1950s.

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#10   Children hold letters that spell “Goodbye” at the Fort Simpson, N.W.T, Residential School in 1922.

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#11   Undated photo of a group of students and parents from the Saddle Lake Reserve in Alberta en route to the Methodist-operated Red Deer Industrial School.

Residential Schools 10

Residential Schools 11

#13   Shingle Point Residential School & Home For Boys, Mackenzie District, N.W.T. in 1930.

Residential Schools 12


Let’s not forget Thérèse Casgrain!

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Date of issue of stamp: April 17, 1985
The stamp shows the portrait of Mme Casgrain along with a vignette which is symbolic of her work as a feminist .


Thérèse Casgrain

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Thérèse Casgrain and the Voice of Women in Quebec, 1961

Thérèse Casgrain (1896-1981) was born in Montreal, and became a leader in the battle to get Quebec women the right to vote in provincial elections. She was also a notable reformer who sought to achieve world peace and an end to nuclear weapons. In 1961 she founded the Quebec Branch of an organization called the Voice of Women, and was elected president of this branch. Senator Marianna Jodoin became the honorary president. As outlined in the following text about the growth of the VOM, the group wanted to achieve “Construction, not destruction.”

Thérèse Casgrain, feminist icon, quietly shunted by Harper government
Federal award named after feminist icon and heroine of Quebec women’s rights movement eliminated

Feminist Therese Casgrain disappears from public history under Harper

The Therese Casgrain Volunteer Award was first awarded in 1982 by the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau.

It honoured Canadian activists such as June Callwood until it was eliminated — unannounced –by the Harper government in 2010.

An image of Casgrain and her namesake volunteer-award medal also disappeared from Canada’s $50 bank note in 2012, replaced by the image of an icebreaker on a new currency series.

An image of the so-called Famous Five women was removed from the same bank note.

Why do such a stupid thing?

It appears Harper and the majority of his cronies are against female equality as well as denying Climate Change exists or is a problem.


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CBC | Quebec women and the vote



Amid the outrage over the cost of F-35 fighter jets, here’s a list of four of Canada’s largest military purchases :

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
The federal government has wanted to replace the 1980s vintage CF-18 jets since the late 90s.

Canada signed the first phase of the Joint Strike Fighter Program in 1997 and doled out $171 million in 2001 to start the second phase.

The Conservative government has maintained until recently that the total purchase and maintenance costs will be between $14 billion and $16 billion. This would make the F-35 the largest defence purchase in Canadian history.

Even so, the budget officer and critics have challenged the government’s figures, delivering estimates of up to $29.5 billion.

Auditor General Michael Ferguson reported to parliament last week that the government had misled parliament with the cost of the jets, and the project has since been taken away from Department of National Defence (DND) and given to a new secretariat in the Department of Public Works.

CH 148 Cyclone Helicopter
Liberal Defence Minister Bill Graham signed a $3.2 billion deal in 2004 for the purchase of 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters from Sikorsky International in Connecticut, to replace the aging CH-124 Sea King helicopters.

The first helicopter was to be delivered in November 2008, but there have been numerous delays and cost overruns. Former Auditor General Sheila Fraser said the cost of the program had grown to about $5.7 billion, up from an initial estimates of $5.1 billion.

In 2003, Paul Martin pegged the program at $2.8 billion, including long-term maintenance. But maintaining the old Sea Kings in order to keep them flying longer than originally planned has cost the Canadian government $500 million, bringing the total of the project to $6.2 billion.

Victoria Class Submarines
In 1998 the Canadian government purchased four submarines from the Royal Navy for $750 million. The UK decommissioned the subs in October 1994 and they sat mothballed in salt water for four years before Canada bought them. The submarines have had a number of problems, including a fire on HMCS Chicoutimi’s maiden voyage, which killed one sailor and injured others. It has not returned to service since.

There have been serious electrical problems on all three submarines, as well as rust and general deterioration.

Only one of the submarines purchased is currently fully operational, HMCS Victoria, which successfully fired torpedoes last month. The Windsor started a series of sea trials on April 11, with plans to put it into service within a year.

The bill for retrofits and repairs to the old subs has reached more than $1 billion.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay has said it will likely be another couple of years before all four submarines are fully operational.

Leopard 2A6 Tanks
Citing safety concerns as the war in Afghanistan intensified, Canada purchased 100 slightly used Leopard 2A6 battle tanks in March 2007 to replace its aging fleet of Leopard 1 tanks, built in the 1970s.

Combined with a contract for support and maintenance, the bill came to $1.3 billion, which was double the Conservative government’s estimate.

While waiting for the new Leopard 2A6 tanks to arrive from the Netherlands, the Canadian government borrowed 20 of the same tanks from Germany.

Auditor General Sheila Fraser reported in 2009 that the military failed to order adequate spare parts for the borrowed vehicles, which forced the Canadian military to take parts from some tanks in order to keep others running.

The Leopard 2A6 was also unable to accommodate mine-clearing equipment and bulldozer blades needed for some missions in Afghanistan, forcing the military to keep some Leopard 1s in service.

Fraser said at the time that the military broke its own purchasing rules, but added that it was acceptable given the urgent nature of the military’s requirements.



33,476,688 People
As of May 2011, 33,476,688 people were enumerated in Canada, nearly twice as many as in 1961 and 10 times the number in 1861.

Population Growth Speeds Up
Canada’s population grew by 5.9 per cent between 2006 and 2011, up slightly from 5.4 per cent during the previous five years.

Go West
For the first time, more people in Canada live west of Ontario (30.7 per cent) than in Quebec and Atlantic Canada combined (30.6 per cent).

We’re Number One
Canada’s population growth between 2006 and 2011 was the highest among G8 countries.

Exceptions To The Rule
Every province and most territories saw their population increase between 2006 and 2011; the rate of growth increased everywhere except in Ontario, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Ontario Falters
The growth rate in Ontario declined to 5.7 per cent, its lowest level since the early 1980s.

Saskatchewan Out Of The Red
Population growth in Saskatchewan hit 6.7 per cent, compared with a negative growth rate of 1.1 per cent between 2001 and 2006; the province welcomed more than 28,000 immigrants during the latest census period, nearly three times the number of the previous five-year period.

Yukon And Manitoba Take Off
The rate of growth in both Yukon (11.6 per cent) and Manitoba (5.2 per cent) has doubled since 2006

The East Is Growing Too
The rate of growth in Prince Edward Island (3.2 per cent), New Brunswick (2.9 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1.8 per cent) has increased substantially between 2006 and 2011.

Cities Rule …
Nearly seven of every 10 Canadians lived in one of Canada’s 33 main urban centres in 2011.

.. Except Not In Ontario…
The rate of population growth in almost all census metropolitan areas located in Ontario slowed between 2006 and 2011

Maybe Because Everyone Moved To Alberta
Of the 15 Canadian communities with the highest rates of growth, 10 were located in Alberta.