Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama or the Academy Awards

I had to make a decision. Should I blog about Barack Obama or the Academy Awards? Obama just completed his first visit to Canada on Thursday and the Academy Awards aired Sunday evening. Obama won out for two reasons. First, some ESL students are not familiar with the latest American movies though they often know the major movie stars. Secondly, everyone is a little bit curious about this new president who offers hope to the Americans. Besides doesn't he have that American star quality?

Many Canadians like the fact Obama's first official visit was to Canada. It's well understood that United States (USA) is not just Canada's neighbour. While Canada is larger in size than USA, it has a much smaller population and our economy in many ways depends on USA. There is a common saying here. If USA sneezes, Canada gets a cold. So, when Obama came to lunch with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, many people were watching closely.

What did they talk about? Well, there is always the three Es, economy, environment and energy. Harper was interviewed before Obama's arrival on CBC. He also added international affairs. After all, the Middle East is still a mess. Wouldn't it be great to end those wars?

We'll never know what they talked about but there was some talk about trade. There is a lot of movement of goods between the two countries and there's that ongoing crisis with the struggling car companies. It was a pretty tight schedule according to the Toronto Star. For example, the Governor General Michaelle Jean was given 15 minutes to meet Obama at the airport, and the leader of the liberal party got about half an hour.

Obama did manage to squeeze in some quick shopping at Byword Market,Ottawa where he got some maple treats for the girls. Maple syrup products are always popular with the tourists. I kind of like them myself especially the maple candies. The Canadians came out in big numbers to be a part of Obama's first visit to Canada. However, this was not Obama's first visit to Canada. His brother-in-law is a native of Burlington which is a small city west of Toronto.

Well, Obama has come and gone, but it seems he is trying to develop a workable relationship with the Canadian government. Now we have to wait and see what will develop in North America.

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