The History of Labor Day

Labor Day Stamp USDOL

In North America and Canada, the first Monday in September is Labor Day. The holiday serves as a celebration of workers and commemorates their respective economic and social achievements.

Labor (Labour) Day in Canada has its origins in an 1872 demonstration held by the Toronto Trades Assembly (TTA).  Serving as Canada’s first significant campaign for worker’s rights, the demonstration was created to garner the release of 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union (TTU). During this time, trade unions were illegal and the TTU leaders were imprisoned for striking to campaign for a nine-hour working day.

The TTA held large parades and picnics and received a large public following.  The parades became so empowering that Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald repealed “anti-union” laws and in June of 1874 parliament passed the Trade Unions Act. Contemporary Canadian celebrations of Labor Day consist of picnics, fireworks, trips, and parades.

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Royal Couple learns how to make some traditional Québécois dishes

A cooking class and dinner is a typical date-night activity for a number of young marrieds. But when the couple in question is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the hour-long cooking class takes weeks to prepare, and the dinner gets the full-on chef treatment.

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10 Happiest & Healthiest Countries to Live

Photo from crtourism.com

For my fellow Americans, we did not make the cut.  Forbes has gathered information about both classes of country (here and here), and it’s from these helpful lists, neither of which features the U.S. in the top 10, that this larger one is drawn. Yes, the United States is a wonderful place: freedom of speech, Law & Order reruns, and cheap fuel.  I know the suspense is killing you and that’s not healthy.  Let’s find out where happiness and health abound.

Canada: This one has to upset Americans. Canada, right next door, is happier and healthier than the superpower with which it shares a border. Despite a relatively low number of doctors per capita, the socialized medicine (which sounds awesome right now) and long life expectancies make Canada one of the safest places to live. They’ve also got a high number of financially thriving citizens, boosting their happiness ranking several notches past that of the United States. We’re so close, yet so far.

Costa Rica: Costa Rica’s health is average, but what makes the country so special is how unexpectedly high its happiness rating is. Fully 63 percent of its people are thriving, thanks in many ways to a cultural emphasis on community and togetherness that bonds the citizens to each other in a manner often lost in larger countries. It’s one of the highest ranked countries in the world in terms of environmental performance and human development, too. Glee actor Harry Shum is from Costa Rica.

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Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Mango Maple Glaze

Delicioius and sweet maple is associated with places such as Canada, Vermont and New York.

Ingredients

8 scallops
4 strips bacon
½ cup Pure New York State Maple Syrup
1 cup mango sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. Wrap each scallop with 1/2 strip of bacon. Place in a small baking dish. Mix the maple syrup and mango sauce well. Baste and bake the scallops for 20 minutes until nearly cooked. Re-baste well and then place under broiler for an additional 10 minutes or until bacon begins to crisp.

Yield: 2 servings

*Debbie Pilc, Williamson, NY

For More maple recipes: http://www.nysmaple.com/maple_recipes.html

Olympic Games 2010: The Ultimate Multi-Cultural Event

The excitement of the Olympic Games 2010 is coming soon to Vancouver.  Here are some of the torch highlights.  Featured above is the arrival of the Olympic torch on the traditional first nations canoe.  Torchbearers from Sandspit to Skidegate to Queen Charlotte and on to Whitehorse handed the historic symbol from one Canadian to another.

Shania Twain lights the Torch in Toronto.  The singer  and  proud Canadian carried the Olympic torch the final 400 yards into Hollinger Park, cheered on by thousands of parka-clad fans who turned out in arctic.   Twain said of the moment, “It’s a highlight of my life to be able to carry the flame, to light the cauldron.”

Regional Foods of Canada

Canada is the country with the bragging rights of the 2010 Winter Olympic but Vancouver is the city of the golden opportunity to host the event.  MCCN will provide detailed Olympic Coverage about the City of Vancouver, where and what to eat.  As for the country as a whole, we thought it would help to recognize what food are more common in certain parts of Canada and the cultural influence.

Canadian cuisine varies widely from region to region. Generally, the traditional cuisine of English Canada is closely related to British and American cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders.

The basis of both groups is on seasonal, fresh ingredients and preserves. The cuisine includes a lot of baked foods, wild game, and gathered foods. Prepared foods were still a novelty for recent rural generations, so there are some that are well-loved to the point of obsession[citation needed] — and which have come to dominate suburban diets. However, home-made, warming, and wholesome remain key adjectives in what Canadians consider their cuisine.

The cuisine of the western provinces is heavily influenced by British, German, Ukrainian, Polish, and Scandinavian cuisine. Noteworthy is the cuisine of the Doukhobors, Russian-descended vegetarians.

Waterloo Region, Ontario has a tradition of Mennonite and Germanic cookery.

Canadian Chinese cuisine is widespread across the country, with variation from place to place. The Chinese smorgasbord, although found in the U.S. and other parts of Canada, had its origins in early Gastown, Vancouver, c.1870 and came out of the practice of the many Scandinavians‘ working in the woods and mills around the shantytown getting the Chinese cook to put out a steam table on a sideboard, so they could “load up” and leave room on the dining table (presumably for “drink”). Ginger beef is a popular Chinese food originating from Western Canada. (Ginger Beef in photo)

 

The traditional cuisine of The Arctic and the Canadian Territories is based on wild game and Inuit and First Nations cooking methods; conversely bannock, which is popular across First Nations and Native American communities throughout the continent, is a method for making pan-fried bread introduced to their culture by Scottish fur traders. The cuisines of Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces derive mainly from British and Irish cooking, with a preference for salt-cured fish, beef, and pork. Ontario, Manitoba & British Columbia also maintain strong British cuisine traditions.