Letters from you: Your favourite Canadian songs, plus opinions on 2011 Canadian Election

Free drink on me if you can name this guitar player.

Free drink on me if you can name this guitar player from a Canadian band.

Thank you for reading — and for contributing! Here are some of your responses to articles about the best Canadian songs that reference the country’s landmarks, as well as a prediction on the 2011 Canadian federal election and some words on the issue of foreign-trained doctors seeking certification in Ontario.

Keep responding with your thoughts and suggestions for coverage.

From James Crandell on the Top 40 Canadian Songs about Canada:

“Hi Adrian:
A great travel Canadian travel song is ‘Canadian Road Trip’ by Kenny Butterill. It is about travelling across the country coast to coast. Butterill is a Canadian songwriter/producer living in Santa Cruz, California who spends about half the year at his Balsam Lake cottage north of Toronto. The ‘Canadian Road Trip’ tune is a JJ Cale/Dire Straits-like shuffle tune that features two Juno award winners — the late great Willie P. Bennett and Ray Bonneville. Butterill’s music is featured on CBC radio — so to listen (for free) to the Canadian Road Trip song. Do a Goggle of ‘Butterill CBC’ which takes you to the CBC radio website. Then click on the green button next to the tune to play it.”

Just listened to the tune. It’s a terrific one! Thanks for pointing it out, James. Here’s the link for everyone.

From Ray Chapeskie up in Eganville, a little town in Renfrew County that I remember from my long-ago days at the Pembroke Observer!

“Although written by an American, I think the classic Blue Canadian Rockies, recorded by countless Canadian and American singers, belongs on this list.”

According to the YouTube page, the song was written by Cindy Walker and first gained recognition when it was recorded by Jim Reeves.

Trish Krause in Toronto says:

Diana Krall – Departure Bay. Great start on the list! Fun to see the diversity.”

Check out the video below. Terrific song from one of our nation’s finest musicians.

Michael Distasi of Toronto is a Lowest of the Low fan (and they should’ve had them on my list for sure). He points out these gems — with some choice lyrics, too!:

“Lowest of the Low – Salesmen, Cheats and Liars (You nearly kissed me blind on Bathurst)
Lowest of the Low – Kinda the Lonely One (met an old friend yesterday, he’s gone to Vancouver)
Swollen Members – Steppin’ Thru (Yonge St to Robson)
The Kings – Switching to Glide (Said to call you up when I was in Toronna)”

Jo Ann Smith-Gibson votes for Murray McLaughlin’s Down by the Henry Moore, which you can listen to here (on vinyl, wow!).

John Wilson wants to know why I left off a Canadian classic:

“How could you miss Ian and Sylvia’s ‘Four Strong Winds’, Canada’s iconic anthem to cold Alberta winters, movin’ west and a young man’s heartbreak?”

Answer: Just a little too twangy for me. Sorry.


R. Geoff Crook of Guelph thinks he might join me on the sidelines when Election Day on May 2 comes around. Of the uninspiring nature of our politics, he writes:

“Good Day Sir,
How do I legally ‘decline a ballot’ to vote on May 2, 2011? Frankly, this time around I agree with you — same old crapola from the same candidates. I just wish that I could vote for my Jack Russell pup — my Jack is more intelligent than Harper & Co., and Iggy & Co.”

No argument here.


Jeffrey George has some concerns about what’s holding up certification of the many internationally trained doctors in our province. In response to the article about the foreign-trained doctors who received residency spots in Ontario this year, he writes:

“The HFO [HealthForce Ontario] may have helped (it was an HFO event!) but according to the HFO themslves, they have over 5,000 doctors registered with them, yet only 220 got in. That means HFO has a very poor record. Those who are registered with HFO but did not get in would have a different take on its services.

Adrian, please become a Champion for the cause and seek out why genuinely well-qualified people are required to repeat their training. Why is the Practice Ready Assessment program, which helped those who were already specialists in their own land, now only a program on paper? Who is the real stumbling block? And who are the those who abet this obstruction?”

Will do my best to get answers from all sides, Jeffrey.

Keep writing, keep contributing.

(And I’m good for that drink if you can identify the guitar player in the above photo, taken by Julia Pelish Photography. We’ll have a Dakota Tavern meetup one night!)


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