Wilfrid Laurier as Mr. Spock on the five dollar bill

A fitting tribute to Canada’s seventh Prime Minister.  And the similarities to Star Trek’s Mr. Spock are extensive.

Where Laurier said (of English and French Canadians living together):

Two races share today the soil of Canada. These people had not always been friends. But I hasten to say it. There is no longer any family here but the human family. It matters not the language people speak, or the altars at which they kneel.

Mr. Spock said (in ‘City on the Edge of Forever’):

I am endeavoring, ma’am, to construct a mnemonic circuit using stone knives and bearskins.

So, you see, there are a lot of similarities.

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Canadians We Love: Michael J. Fox

Name: Michael J. Fox
Occupation: Actor, Author, Advocate
Date of Birth: June 9, 1961
Place of Birth: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but he was raised in Burnaby, British Columbia

Notable Contributions to the world:

  • Alex P. Keaton – Fox pretty much ruled the 80’s as the capitalist Republican teenager in the sitcom Family Ties, constantly frustrated by his hippie parents and clueless sisters.
  • Marty McFly – Fox’s vest-wearing, skateboarding time-travelling character in the Back to the Future trilogy that made us forgive him for that Teen Wolf fiasco.
  • His Stephanopoous-esque role as White House Chief of Staff to Jack Nicholson’s president in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks.
  • His leading role as the deputy Mayor of New York in the underappreciated Spin City
  • After contracting Parkinson’s Disease, he bowed out of show business in 2000 and devoted his talents to the Michael J. Fox Foundation which is dedicated to “finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.”  To date, his Foundation has funded $176 million in research.

Little Known Facts:

  • His first acting role was on on a CBC sitcom we’ve never heard of called Leo & Me.
  • His actual middle name is Andrew, but there was already a SAG-registered character actor named Michael Fox, so he needed a different stage name.  Not wanting to become a Canadian stereotype with the moniker Michael ‘Eh?’ Fox, he went with a ‘J’ instead.
  • Fox married Tracy Pollan in 1988, who played his girlfriend Ellen in Family Ties for one season, and some bit part in Bright Lights, Big City.

On Canada:

My name is Mike, and I’m a Canadian.  Not only was I born in Canada but I was raised in British Columbia. It’s true, I’ve lived in the States for over thirty years now, but I know I’ll always think of Team Canada as my home team.  And hey – if I’m having a bad hair day, I wear a touque.  If I’m extra hungry I put some back bacon in my poutine.  And if I’m watching the US and Canada play hockey, I’m sorry – I’m wearing a maple leaf on my sweater.

But it doesn’t really matter where you live or where you’re born, Canada is a big tent.  If you’re good at something, we will claim you.  Like you, the Olympic athletes – curlers and cross-countries, bobsledders and biathletes, skiers and skaters.  You’ve come to Vancouver, you’ve spent time among us.  You’ve competed on the world stage in Canada and that means you’re Canadians too.  Yes, Canada is my home and now it’s your home too.
– Michael J. Fox, Closing Ceremony, Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Why we love him:
Because when his trembling pushed him out of show business, he stayed relevant by directing his fame and celebrity to helping rid the world of a terrible central nervous condition.  And he still makes us laugh whenever he pops up on the screen.

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