Vancouver’s chubby, curly-headed comedian became world famous at the age of 25, starring in the summer hit Knocked Up and cowriting and acting in Superbad— the raunchy cult smash that introduced rail-thin compatriot Michael Cera of Brampton, Ont., who channelled Rogen’s clammy angst to rave reviews.
After an ignominious year for the RCMP, the first civilian commissioner—a nebbishy Ottawa mandarin—is appointed, prompting an outcry from the Mounties. Promotion-from-within has been such a resounding success?
The 31-year-old indie rocker, née Leslie Feist, has been around for a while, but the Torontonian hit the big time with her new album, The Reminder: raves in The New Yorker and just about everywhere else for her quirky, innocent and eternally cheery tunes. Her song 12 34 rocketed up the Billboard chart after being featured in an iPod ad (momentarily making it uncool for trendsetters to admit they had Feist on their iPods).
The Bay Street Wunderkind— okay, he’s 42, but that makes him the second-youngest governor of the Bank of Canada in history-will take over from David Dodge in February, just as oil prices skyrocket and the U.S. mortgage crisis slops over its borders. One concern: the guy was 26 when the last recession hit. Will he know how to handle the inevitable?
So it turns out cancer rates may be lower in warmer nations than in rich northern countries not because of our pollution, cellphones or even Timbits, but possibly because we get less vitamin D. Leading researchers say the vitamin, naturally absorbed by the body from sunlight, may be the answer to reducing the incidence of a variety of different cancers—and might even help curb multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes and so on. The findings are so startling, the Canadian Cancer Society advises popping D pills, pronto.
The Mexican golfer entered the record books, grabbing the No. 1 ranking from Annika Sorenstam. She took eight titles this year and destroyed the old earnings record, raking in US$4.4 million. Guess growing up beside a golf course was a good thing.
Hérouxville told the story, writ small: the Quebec town wrote a code of conduct for immigrants, warning that stoning women isn’t the Canadian way, and signalling a far narrower definition of reasonable accommodation. Elsewhere, 11-year-old Asmahan Mansour of Ottawa was kicked out of a soccer tournament for wearing a hijab, PQ Leader Pauline Marois introduced a chestthumping identity bill in Quebec, and there were multiple instances of “nipper-tipping”— an Ontario redneck pastime that involves shoving unsuspecting Asian fishermen into the water. Suddenly Canada just doesn’t seem as accepting and tolerant as it once did.
The jocular Japanese pitcher wanted to play in the majors, and the Red Sox needed his ferocious right arm. First Boston won a bidding war, anteing up US$51.1 million to his old team, the Seibu Lions, just for the right to sign him. Then they threw him a sixyear US$52-million contract, complete with an interpreter— Matsuzaka didn’t speak a word of English—a massage therapist, and at least 80 flights back to Japan. On Oct. 27, the 27-yearold became the first Japanese pitcher in history to start and win a World Series game, walloping the hapless Colorado Rockies 10 to 5 in game three.
PASSPORTS REQUIRED TO CROSS THE 49TH PARALLEL
Oh, sweet. Thanks, America. Your paranoia about terrorism led you to require passports, rather than the photo ID we’ve been using for years, to fly into your country—next year, you’ll demand passports even if we’re driving, swimming or crawling across the border. Do you have any idea what it’s like trying to get a *@#! passport? It costs $87 and is murderous to lunch breaks. We’re so mad we might actually stay home for a while.
The 26-year-old from Bramalea, Ont., who was told at the age of 13 that she was too big to ride competitively, became the first woman to win the Queen’s Plate in its 148-year history. Riding Mike Fox, the 109-lb. jockey beat 15:1 odds to take the continent’s oldest continuously run horse race. Her response to being the first female winner: “Who cares?” Even more startling, perhaps, is the fact that she’s only been in the game three years.
SO, TWO IMAMS AND A MULLAH WALK INTO A BAR...
Little Mosque on the Prairie, a comedy set in a fictional Saskatchewan town, debuted on the CBC in January and two million viewers tuned in, discovering star-in-the-making Carlo Rota and something equally amazing: Muslims can be hilarious!
THE CAW COMES TO MAGNA
It’s a match made somewhere in Windsor: auto parts giant Magna, long anti-union, signed a deal with the Canadian Auto Workers. But Magna wrung a few concessions from them. No strikes. No picket lines. No making Frank Stronach eat crow.
Price may be the first Montreal Canadiens goaltender to adorn his mask with a bull rider, but he fits nicely into the Habs’ tradition of outstanding netminders. Fresh from leading Canada to the world junior championship, the then 19-year-old from B.C.’s rugged Chilcotin country backstopped the Habs’ AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, to a Calder Cup championship. In September, he cracked the big team, where his stone-cool style of play gives him a .913 save percentage, a 2.7 goals against average and a 5-2 record. All before he can grow a beard.
THE LITE COW
Scientists discover a Kiwi cow named Marge can produce skim milk naturally—way more efficient than removing fat from whole milk. Now her udder has inspired a multi-million-dollar project that will see Marge and her offspring producing the milk for countless fat-free lattes. Marge, meanwhile, complains she hardly has time for herself these days.
The velvet-throated R&B singer has written for Destiny’s Child, among others. But with Seven Day Fool, the Torontonian, who grew up in the city’s tough Jane and Finch neighbourhood, stepped into the limelight and up the charts. Her reworking of an Etta James standard showcases just one of Black’s talents; she’s also appeared on Global’s Da Kink in My Hair and reported for eTalk.
ROYAL 22ND REGIMENT IN AFGHANISTAN
“It’s our turn,” said Maj. François Caron, as around 2,000 troops of Quebec’s legendary Vandoos rotated into Kandahar this summer, replacing Anglo battalions. Although 70 per cent of their province opposed Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, the Vandoos were trained and ready. Like other Canadian soldiers, they have battled the Taliban, their vehicles have been ripped apart by roadside bombs, and they’ve suffered fatalities. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
A CHILD CAN HAVE THREE LEGAL PARENTS
In a landmark case, the Ontario Court of Appeal granted legal parental status to a lesbian couple and the biological father of a five-year-old boy—effectively giving the kid three parents. The ruling, which overturned a 2003 Superior Court decision, is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, if not North America.
In November, the 42-year-old former DJ from Swift Current became the premier of Saskatchewan, booting out Lome Calvert, a former church minister. The NDP has been in power in the province for 16 years, which is six years longer than Wall’s Saskatchewan Party—a union of Liberal and Progressive Conservative MLAs—has existed. Nevertheless, the upstarts managed to form a majority government, successfully arguing that they are better able to manage the province’s rocketing energy boom. And to think that just last year, Wall’s party put out a S TV ad showing the new premier z orating beside the word “Sas0' katchwan,” apparently oblivious 5 of the misspelling. o
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