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Girl Guides of Canada, new leader, new uniform, new directions

The Girls Guides of Canada has a new leader, and is also showing off a brand new uniform for girls aged five to 18.

Sharron Callahan of Newfoundlane and Labrador is the new and recently installed Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada
She has been involved with Canadian Guiding from her own childhood first as a brownie, then later in life in a variety of leadership roles.

To talk about the new uniforms and modern additions to the focus of guiding, RCI's Marc Montgomery spoke to Chief Commissioner Callahan earlier this week

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Ottawa political investigative journalist Stephen Maher writes a seamy political thriller called 'Deadline'

Usually Ottawa journalist Stephen Maher concentrates on investigative political reporting, but in his novel Deadline he writes a political thriller about the seamy side of politics in Canada's capital.

The novel opens with a man floating in the frigid waters of Ottawa's Rideau Canal, a journalist waking up with a hangover and an extra Blackberry, and the news that Canada's prime minister has decided to resign.

RCI's Wojtek Gwiazda talked to Stephen Maher about the novel and the differences between fiction writing and his usual investigative journalism.

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Canada's National Flag Day

This week marks an important national anniversary for Canada.  On February 15th, 1965, the first distinctly Canada official national flag was raised in the cold air on Parliament Hill, in the national capital, Ottawa.

The idea was first proposed, to unappreciative even hostile reception, in the late 1950's.  Remaining fairly quiet at first, the debate began to heat up as the 1960's progressed.  The final design came after a long and often extremely bitter national debate on the political scene between the Liberal Prime Minister, Lester Pearson, seeking a new distinctly Canadian flag, and the Conservative opposition leader John Diefenbaker who staunchly supported the old Canadian Red Ensign of British Naval heritage.  

At the same time, the debate was also raging across all of Canada, and it too was at times very bitter, and yet it was an extremely exciting debate about creating a distinctly Canadian symbol, and to have it in time for Canada’s centennial year, when Canada would host the world at the international world fair, Expo 67.

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Canadian shoppers survey: smartphones and handwritten lists

When you do your grocery shopping what do you look for? 

Do you look for environmental claims, or whether it's a domestic made product?  Do you look for brand names, or simply the lowest price? 

These are the kinds of questions asked by a Canadian-based international marketing firm.

For ten years, Brandspark International, a market research and brand strategy firm, has been conducting consumer surveys in Canada and other countries to find out how consumers shop and why they choose certain products. Its also an adjunct to their “Best New Products” awards.

*(best new product award list here)

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Montreal School Board's Art Treasures For Sale

The English Montreal School Board is saying good-bye to a trove of art treasures collected over the years. Formerly known as the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, it was often the recipient of gifts and donations of art in the past.  As far back as the 1930’s, it was not uncommon for parents, alumni, or indeed artists themselves to honour schools with gifts of art.

Then in the 1960’s, Anne Savage, a well-known painter herself and teacher at Montreal’s Baron Byng High School, helped acquire more works and donated some of her own pieces when she became curator of the collection.  Many of the paintings were hung in schools and on display in the Board’s head office in Montreal  The PSBGM Cultural Heritage Foundation was the non-profit group established to oversee the collection.

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