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Do your favourite brands match up with the rest of Canada’s?





This is an encore episode that aired originally on May 31, 2014.

From top coffee brand to favourite car make, the answers may surprise you.

What’s a morning without a cuppa joe?

Canada and the United States differ quite a bit on their coffee preferences.

Eight out of 10 cups of retail coffee sold in Canada are served by Tim Hortons, which puts as much distance between it and the rest of the pack as Secretariat did at Belmont.

In the States, Starbucks sells the most out-of-home coffee.

Interesting to note that 64% of Canadians are daily coffee drinkers, higher than the 58% rate in the U.S.

As for home-brewed coffee, the #1 brand in Canada is… Maxwell House.

In the States, the #1 brand – by far and away – is Folger’s, with a 15.6% market share. It is the Secretariat of coffees, with the nearest competitor clocking in, far behind, at 10%.

Time for a beer.

One of the biggest advertising categories is the beer business.

Having a beer on a client roster is every advertising agency’s dream – like having a big automotive brand or a piece of the fast food business. They are the flagship accounts.

So what do you think is the #1 beer brand in Canada?

The famous “King of Beers” is Canada’s top choice. The answer is a beer that was created in 1876.

And here’s another hint: The brewery was owned by a family.

If you guessed Molson Canadian, you’d be wrong.

But if you guessed Labatt Blue, you’d… also be wrong.

The number one selling beer in Canada is Budweiser.

Long gone are the days when American beer was thought to be inferior. And when Molson Canadian and Labatt Blue fought tooth and bottle-cap for the number one spot.

In 1995, Labatt was sold to a Belgian Brewery called Interbrew, which has since become part of Anheuser-Busch Inbev.

Ten years later, Molson of Canada merged with Coors of the United States to form Molson Coors Brewing Company.

Those mergers have completely changed the beer landscape in Canada.

While taste is important to beer drinkers, most choose beer based on the brand image.

You see this clearly in focus groups – where die-hard beer drinkers claim their beer is the best tasting beer in the world, then when you bring in a tray of beers with the labels removed  – those same die-hard beer drinkers can’t find their brand.

That’s because, in some categories, we smoke the label and drink the advertising. More often then not, we choose a beer based on the image it projects and how that lines up with our self-image.

And in the case of Budweiser, the Great American lager has been working hard to link itself to hockey in this country, and is winning the race with the help of large media budgets.

In the U.S. by the way, the number one selling beer is Bud Light.

Another big advertising category is pharmaceutical drugs.

You see dozens of pharma ads on TV every night, so what do you think is the #1 selling prescribed medicine in Canada?

Viagra? Cialis?

The answer… is Crestor. It’s a prescribed medication that lowers cholesterol, helping prevent coronary artery diseases, as well as heart attacks, stoke and angina.

This is another category where Canada differs greatly from the United States.

The number one prescribed medication in America… is Abilify. It is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, depression and bi-polar disorder.

Viagra and Cialis, by the way, don’t make the top 10 list in either country.

Onto pop culture.

What do you think the #1 best selling vinyl record was last year? Answer: Jack White’s Blunderbuss.

Number two, by the way, was Abbey Road.

Jack White had the vinyl that topped Abbey Road. (Getty Images) Do you know who the #1 best selling novelist of all time is?

She’s sold over two billion books. According to the New York Times, the answer is Agatha Christie.

The #1 most re-tweeted tweet of all time? “Four More Years,” from President Obama on Nov. 6, 2012.

And which company do you think has the most likes on Facebook? That would be… Coca Cola. As of this writing, it has 74 million likes, dwarfing Wal-Mart at 34 million, and Pepsi at 28 million.

Few purchases in life express your personality more than your car.

Even people who buy plain, non-descript cars, because they reject the notion that a car is an extension of their personalities, are in the end, expressing their personality.

The surprisingly popular Honda Civic. (nitinut380/Shutterstock) Therefore, it’s interesting to see which model is the #1 car in Canada.

If you’re listening to this in your car right now, look around and see if you can tell which is the most predominant model in the traffic around you.

Ford Focus perhaps? Chevy Cruze? Volkswagen Jetta?

Nope. The best selling car in Canada… is the Honda Civic.

Not only is the Honda Civic the best selling car in Canada, it has been the best-selling car in Canada for 15 years.

It’s the Secretariat of automobiles.

For the full list of brands, click or tap on the “Listen” tab to hear the entire Under The Influence episode.

You can also find us on the CBC Radio app or subscribe to our Podcast.

Under The Influence is recorded in the Terstream Mobile Recording studio – a 1969 Airstream trailer that’s been restored and transformed into a studio on wheels. So host Terry O’Reilly can record the show wherever he goes.

Follow the journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and search for the hashtag: #Terstream.

(Image Credit: Sidney O’Reilly)


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When Ontario declared a COVID-19 health emergency last spring, the first instinct of Ottawa entrepreneur Peter O’Blenis was to preserve cash.

“We basically stopped our discretionary spending,” said O’Blenis, the co-founder and CEO of Evidence Partners, which makes software for accelerating the review of scientific and medical literature, using artificial intelligence. “We cut investments in things meant to help us grow.”

It was a defensive posture born of experience. O’Blenis had 12 years earlier nearly been crushed by the global financial crisis. Another looked to be on the way.

In 2008, O’Blenis and his colleagues, Jonathan Barker and Ian Stefanison, hit a brick wall with their first venture, TrialStat, which helped hospitals manage patients’ electronic data. While TrialStat had secured $5.5 million in venture financing just a couple of years earlier, the founders had burned through most of it during a rapid expansion. When the financial world collapsed, so did their firm.

The trio played things far more conservatively with Evidence Partners, which has relied almost exclusively on customer revenues to finance expansion.

The caution proved unnecessary. Like so many other businesses, O’Blenis underestimated the government’s willingness to keep the economy afloat with easy money. Nor did he anticipate that COVID-19 would prove a significant catalyst for the firm’s revenues so soon.

Evidence Partners is hardly the only local firm with technology particularly suited for the war against COVID-19. Spartan Bioscience and DNA Genotek adapted existing products to create technology for identifying the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Ottawa-based units of Abbott Laboratories and Siemens Healthineers make portable blood analyzers that diagnose patients afflicted by the virus.

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Shepherds of Good Hope wants to expand ByWard Market operation with eight-storey housing complex





The Shepherds of Good Hope plans to build an eight-storey building near its current shelter for the homeless in the ByWard Market that would include supportive housing for up to 48 people, a soup kitchen and a drop-in centre.

The organization says it wants to be part of the solution to the housing crisis that has fuelled a rise in homelessness in Ottawa.

People would be moved out of the emergency shelters and into their own tiny apartments in the complex, which would include a communal dining hall and staff available to help with mental health, addiction and medical problems, said Caroline Cox, senior manager of communications for the Shepherds.

Some residents in the neighbourhood are opposed, saying services for the homeless and vulnerable should not be concentrated in one area of the city.

“I was flabbergasted,” said homeowner Brian Nolan, who lives one block from the development proposed for 216 Murray St., where currently a one-story building houses offices for the Shepherds of Good Hope.

Nolan said that, in the 15 years he’s lived in the area, it has become increasingly unsafe, with home and car thefts, drug dealing, loitering, aggressive and erratic behaviour, urinating, defecating and vomiting on sidewalks and yards and sexual acts conducted in public on his dead-end street. Before he lets his son play basketball in the yard, he checks the ground for needles and his home security camera to see who is nearby.

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Carleton University Hosts the Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City





evehe Carleton University Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City given by Leslie Kern launches Ottawa Architecture Week. Urban geographer, author and academic, Kern will discuss how the pandemic has highlighted long-standing inequalities in the design, use and inclusivity of urban spaces. The talk will share some of the core principles behind a feminist urban vision to inform a wider vision of justice, equity and sustainability.

: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

About the Speaker

Kern holds a PhD in Women’s Studies from York University. She is currently an associate professor of Geography and Environment and director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Mount Allison University.

Kern is the author of two books on gender and cities, including Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World (Verso). The book discusses how our cities have failed in terms of fear, motherhood, friendship, activism, the joy and perils of being alone, and also imagines what they could become.

Kern argues, “The pandemic has shown us that society can be radically reorganized if necessary. Let’s carry that lesson into creating the non-sexist city.”

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