Connect with us


Five Calgary city councillors talk about their real names




Calgarians might be surprised to learn that five city councillors do not use their real names.

It’s a curious thing, given that in politics your name often becomes part of your brand. 

Are these elected officials not being true to themselves? Or are they just going with what’s practical, comfortable or familiar?

It’s not your everyday question but I recently asked them:  Councillor, what’s your real name?

Without further ado, let’s meet these councillors. 

Councillor Harnirjodh Chahal ​

Coun. George Chahal chose his first name as a child. (CBC)

Chahal said his birth name is one with religious meanings and comes with a lot of history behind it. 

From Punjabi, he said it translates in English as, “God’s immortal warrior.”

But the rookie councillor said, “I like George.”

And he has been George since his pre-school days. 

He recalls how the switch came about as one day, when he was young, he got into trouble for something and he was asked for his name.

“I said my name was George Washington.”


“I loved the name George and we’ve had some amazing people throughout history that were named George so why not?”

From then, he just kept using the name George.

Chahal said nobody calls him by his real name, not even his parents.

“I’ve actually considered legally even using George but I think out of respect to my parents and grandparents and generations before me, the importance of the name was given to me and out of respect for that, we’ll keep it as is.”

And by George, that’s how it will stay. 

Councillor Wen-Hsiang Chu

Coun. Sean Chu chose a name that sounds like part of his real name (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Sean Chu came to Canada in the 1980s from his native Taiwan.

But even before he arrived here, he said he was known as Sean.

Soon after came to his new country, he recalls being at a barbecue with friends. “The daughter said ‘Hey, your nickname is Sean. So why don’t you just use Sean. S-E-A-N.’ And I said ‘I like it.’ So at that time, that was how the idea started.”

When he applied for his first Canadian passport, Chu said he needed an affidavit stating that he’d been using Sean for a number of years and the name was added to Wen-Hsiang Chu in his passport.

Eventually Sean became his first name and Wen-Hsiang his middle name.

Now, he’s just Sean Chu.

He said his mom still calls him Wen-Hsiang but he feels no need to revert to his real name.  

Sean is, “who I am. Not changing it at all.” 

Councillor Prabhjote Gondek 

Coun. Jyoti Gondek goes by her nickname. (CBC)

The rookie councillor said it’s important for her to use her full and legal name whenever she signs documents.

But Prabhjote Gondek says she’s always been better known by a shorter version of her first name.

“Jyoti is the typical abbreviation for Prabhjote in Punjabi or Hindi. It’s very much like William is Bill or Bob is short for Robert,” said Gondek.

As for how that came about in her case, she said her parents started the habit but everyone has called her Jyoti since childhood.

“People who are of Indian origin get it because they’re used to it. People who are not tend to struggle with it,” she said.

“It’s a little bit like being an Indo-Canadian if you will, I find Peggy to be a very strange abbreviation for Margaret. Yet most people who are exposed to that name get it.”

And if you’re wondering about the meaning of Prabhjote, Gondek said it translates from Punjabi as “a little flame” or “light from God.”

“So when I light myself on fire in (council) chambers, now you know why!” 

All joking aside, she said that she hopes everyone known as Jyoti can, “get a little exposure out of people like me getting into positions like this.”

Councillor Eric Jones

Coun. Ray Jones uses a shortened version of his middle name, just like his dad. (CBC)


That’s right. Even the longest-serving member of Calgary city council isn’t known by his real name.

To most, he’s Ray or perhaps even Rundle Ray, his home community in northeast Calgary. But his real name is Eric. 

As for why he’s been known as Ray all his life, it sounds like either his dad’s to blame, or it’s what has become a family tradition.

“My dad was Thomas Alfred and he went by Alf. Second names. My son is Randall Scott and he goes by Scott. We all go by our second name,” said Jones.

“Except my girls. They go by their first names,” he said smiling.

Jones signs documents using his full name (Eric Raymond Jones) and uses Eric in email accounts too.

But does actually anyone call him Eric?

“My doctor. Revenue Canada,” he said laughing.

“Everyone calls me Ray.”

Councillor Biagio Magliocca

Ward 2 Coun. Joe Magliocca chose his name because it’s easier for many to pronounce than his Italian first name. (Mike Symington/CBC)

When he ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2007, his lawn signs said Biagio.

But in 2013 and 2017, the signs just said Joe. 

“Biagio is really a true, traditional Italian name and there’s a lot of Biagios in Italy,” said Magliocca who readily and often talks about his family’s heritage. 

But how he came to be Joe isn’t just a derivation of Biagio. 

Magliocca said many people couldn’t say his first name. “They’d say ‘bee-ah-jo’, ‘badge-jo’ and then they’d just call me ‘joe’ and I’d say ‘Just call me Joe. That’s my middle name. Just call me Joe.'”

He said when he visits Toronto, family members all call him Biagio. But to friends, it’s Joe. 

When he was growing up playing road hockey, one of the other kids on the street was a guy named Paul Coffey, who went on to become an all-star defenceman in the NHL.

“He used to call me Joe the Slasher,” laughs Magliocca, who jokes he’s moved on from shins to budgets.

Any thoughts about going back to the real deal, Biagio?


“I heard a lot of feedback from a lot of people [in the 2007 election], saying I can’t even pronounce your name. How do you pronounce it?’ And I said: Just call me Joe.”


Source link

قالب وردپرس


Tiger-Cats claim victory against the Argos to maintain home record on Labour Day




The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were at their devastating best against the Toronto Argonauts when the two locked horns on Labour Day at the Tim Hortons Field.

Just like with previous Labour Day fixtures, the Ticats produced a stellar performance with Dane Evans throwing two touchdown passes while Frankie Williams scored on a 67-yard punt return as they claimed a 32-19 victory on Monday. With this vital win, the Ticats extended their Labour Day home record to 7-0.

For players and fans of the Tiger-Cats, games on Labour Day are a lot more special and losing is something the Ticats aren’t used to.

“We know the fans are going to be behind us, we know Toronto is going to be chippy, we know it’s going to be sunny; we know it’s going to be windy. Everything that happened (Monday) we prepared for. There is something extremely special about Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day . . . you can feel it in the air, I can’t put it into words,” said Evans.

After the COVID-19 induced hiatus, the CFL is back in full action and fans can now bet on their favourite teams and just like with online slots Canada, real money can be won. Hamilton (2-2) recorded its second straight win to move into a tie atop the CFL East Division standings with Montreal Alouettes (2-2). Also, the Ticats lead the overall Labour Day series with Toronto 36-13-1.

In the sun-drenched gathering of 15,000—the maximum allowed under Ontario government COVID-19 protocols—the fans loved every minute of this feisty game. After all, this was the Ticats first home game in 659 days, since their 36-16 East Division final win over Edmonton in November 2019.

The contest between the Ticats and Argos was certainly not bereft of emotions, typical of a Labour Day fixture, as it ended with an on-field melee. But the Argos often found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions with several penalty calls and most of the game’s explosive plays.

Hamilton quarterback Evans completed 21-of-29 passing for 248 yards and the two touchdowns while Toronto’s make-shift quarterback Arbuckle completed 18-of-32 attempts for 207 yards. Arbuckle also made a touchdown and two interceptions before eventually being substituted by McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Bethel-Thompson made an eight-yard TD pass to wide receiver Eric Rogers late in the final quarter of the game.

“They got after us a bit . . . we didn’t block, or pass protect well,” said Ryan Dinwiddie, rookie head coach of the Argos in a post-match interview. “They just kicked our butts; we’ve got to come back and be a better team next week.”

The Labour Day contest was the first of four fixtures this year between Toronto and Hamilton. The two teams would face off again on Friday at BMO Field. Afterwards, the Tim Hortons Field will play host to the Argonauts again on Oct. 11 with the regular-season finale scheduled for Nov. 12 in Toronto.

Continue Reading


Roughriders looking to bounce back after Labor Day defeat




In what an unusual feeling for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they would now need to dust themselves up after a 23-8 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in what was a Labor Day Classic showdown in front of a full capacity crowd at Mosaic stadium.

Craig Dickenson, head coach of the Riders, witnessed his team with an unbeaten record get utterly dominated by a more superior team from Winnipeg. Now, he has got a lot of work on his hands getting his team back to winning ways as they visit the Banjo Bowl next.

“We’re going to see what we’re made of now…the jury’s out,” said Dickenson.

Dan Clark, who played centre for the Riders expressed his disappointment in losing what was “the biggest game of the year”.

 “If you lose every other game, you don’t want to lose that one. We’ve just got to take the next step,” said Clark in a report. “There are 12 steps to the Grey Cup left and it’s just about taking that next step and focusing on what Saturday will bring.”

With their first defeat to Winnipeg, the Riders (3-1) now rank second place in the CFL’s West Division, trailing the Bombers by one victory (4-1). However, the Riders will have the chance to even the season series during their trip to Winnipeg this Saturday. With the CFL heating up, fans can now enjoy online sports betting Canada as they look forward to their team’s victory.

The Rider’s offensive line will once again have a busy time dealing with the Blue Bombers’ defence.

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who played one of the best games of his career two weeks earlier, had quite a stinker against the Bombers in the Labour Day Classic—which is the most anticipated game for Rider fans.

Fajardo had a 59 per cent completion percentage which wasn’t quite indicative of what the actual figure was considering he was at 50 per cent before going on a late drive in the final quarter with the Bombers already becoming laid back just to protect the win.

Fajardo also registered a personal worst when he threw three interceptions, but in all fairness, he was always swarmed by the Bomber’s defence.

While Fajardo has claimed responsibility for the loss and letting his teammates down, many would be curious to see how the team fares in their next game and with less than a week of preparation.

Dickenson is confident that his team would improve during their rematch in the 17th edition of the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg. The only challenge now would be the loss of home advantage and dealing with the noisy home crowd, he added.

Continue Reading


Canadian report reveals spike in food-related litter during pandemic




TORONTO — Restaurants’ inability to offer their usual dine-in service during much of 2020 may explain why an unusually high amount of food-related litter was found across the country, a new report says.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) is an annual program in which volunteers are encouraged to clean up green spaces and other natural areas.

Last year, single-use food and beverage containers made up 26.6 per cent of waste collected through the program – nearly twice as high a percentage as in 2019, before the pandemic.

“We suspect the change may be one of the many implications of COVID-19, including more people ordering restaurant takeaway and consuming more individually packaged foods,” GCSC spokesperson Julia Wakeling said in a press release.

While food- and beverage-related litter accounted for a greater percentage of waste uncovered by GCSC than in the past, it wasn’t the single largest category of items picked up through the program last year.

That dubious honour goes to cigarette butts and other smoking-related paraphernalia, which comprised nearly 29 per cent of all items collected. There were more than 83,000 cigarette butts among the 42,000 kilograms of waste found and clean up last year.

So-called “tiny trash” – little pieces of plastic and foam – also accounted for a sizeable share of the waste, making up 26.8 per cent of the total haul.

In addition to smoking-related items and tiny trash, the main pieces of litter removed by GCSC volunteers last year included nearly 22,000 food wrappers, more than 17,500 pieces of paper, more than 13,000 bottle caps and more than 10,000 beverage cans.

Discarded face masks and other forms of personal protective equipment were also detected and cleaned up, although not tallied in their own category.  PPE waste has been repeatedly cited as a concern by environmental advocates during the pandemic; a robin in Chilliwack, B.C. is the earliest known example of an animal that died due to coronavirus-related litter.

The GCSC is an annual program organized by Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Its operations were disrupted by the pandemic as well; only 15,000 volunteers took part in the program last year, versus 85,000 in 2019, due to delays and public health restrictions making large group clean-ups impossible.

Still, there was GCSC participation from every province and the Northwest Territories in 2020. Nearly half of the volunteers who took part were based in B.C., where the program began in 1994.

Data from past GCSC reports was used as part of the research backing Canada’s ban on certain single-use plastic items, which is scheduled to take effect by the end of 2021.

Continue Reading