Canada soccer
joe-fortes

Joe Fortes teaching swimming at English Bay, Vancouver, circa 1912. Vancouver Archives

Statistics Canada released its 2011 census information this Wednesday. The National Post has a nifty infographic that visually lays out changes in population growth. Lets take a look at the changing face of our nation, shall we?

  • Canada’s population: 33, 476, 688, making Canada the fastest growing G8 nation, fuelled mostly by immigration
  • Population grew by 5.9% between 2006 and 2011
  • Alberta leads all provinces in population growth, with Calgary and Edmonton outpacing the country’s 31 other metropolitan areas
  • For the first time in Canadian history, the proportion of the population living west of Ontario (30.7%) is greater than the number of people living east (30.6%), an indicator of the “West’s growing importance.”
  • The 10 fastest growing cities are: Calgary; Edmonton; Saskatoon, Kelowna, BC; Moncton, NB; Vancouver; Toronto; Ottawa-Gatineau; St.John’s; Brantford, Ont.
  • Only two urban centres decreased in population: Windsor and Thunder Bay, Ontario

There’s lots more juicy insights from the census. Check it out for yourself! [National Post & more National Post]

The first leg of Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee kicks off this week with the 60th anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI. News outlets around the world take us down memory lane, including the first formal photos of a toddler Queen Elizabeth and photographs from Cecil Beaton, whose collection is now exhibiting at the Victoria and Albert Museum. [BBC, NY Times]

Of course not everyone is delighted with the royal celebrations. Anti-monarchists protest the federal government’s million dollar spending spree on the Queen’s diamond jubilee. “We’re not jubilant, we don’t give a royal damn,” said the head of Montreal’s Societe Saint-Jean Baptiste. Tom Fred, director of Citizens for a Canadian Republic, had a more scathing critique of Canada: “[These celebrations are] something you’d expect from the personality cult dynasties of North Korea or Syria, not Canada.” Ouch! [CBC]

In Afghanistan, a country whose recent history has been filled with war and occupation, educators have found a way to teach Afghan history without setting off fractious arguments between ethnic and political groups – leave out the wars. “Our recent history tears us apart. We’ve created a curriculum based on the older history that brings us together,” said Afghanistan’s education minister. Could this be a good idea? [Washington Post]

In time for Black history month and the 90th anniversary of the death of Vancouver hero Joe Fortes, the Globe & Mail remembers Fortes’ life and legacy as a beloved lifeguard, swimming instructor, and local personality whose name now graces a public library and a ritzy downtown oyster house. [Globe & Mail]

Canada Reads, CBC’s annual “battle of the books,” has crowned its 2012 winner – Vancouver-based Carmen Aguirre for her controversial memoir Something Fierce. The book chronicles Aguirre’s time as an underground revolutionary during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. Whether Aguirre is “a bloody terrorist” or not, what’s certain is that Something Fierce is a must-read book in Canada. [Globe & Mail]

From The Walrus comes a wonderful essay arguing that soccer – not hockey – should be Canada’s national sport. In addition to being thought-provoking, it contains this wonderfully audacious observation: “While hockey is a comic book, football is Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past…Thus for those of us who love [soccer], Canada remains unarticulated.” Soccer > Hockey. Think about it… [The Walrus]