Politicians are pigs… Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff, Hilary Clinton…
Well, born in the year of…
Here are some stories about politicians and the Year of the Pig.
Chinese in hog heaven
PM joins Year of the Pig party
By BRIAN GRAY, SUN MEDIA
's Chinese community marked the coming lunar new year last night,
kicking off a festival with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on hand to
extend wishes of good health and good fortune.
several hundred people gathered at the Automotive Building at the CNE
for the Toronto Celebrates the Lunar New Year that he is looking
forward to the Year of the Pig.
“I have a particular reason to
celebrate because I was born during the Year of the Pig,” Harper told
the crowd, remarking that he shared some of the traditional
characteristics — honest, direct and patient — of people born in that
“But I must admit I'm not always a patient man. I have particular frustration with the Opposition in the minority parliament.”
of the people at the festival said they were there to show their
appreciation for Harper's apology last June for the head tax that was
imposed on Chinese immigrants to Canada in the early 20th century.
are very thankful that he said this was wrong,” said Michael Wong, who
brought his two young children just so they could see the prime
minister in person.
“I would really like to thank him personally
for what he has done and I know it would be important to some of the
people in my family who are not alive today,” Wong said. “So I have
brought my son and my daughter instead.”
Harper met with festival organizers and other VIPs before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
along with Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian
Identity Jason Kenny and MP Wajid Khan, participated in the traditional
dotting of the dragon's eye and officially starting the festival.
makes for a very good end to this year and a good start to next year to
have these important people here to celebrate with us,” said Nancy Lam,
visiting from Hong Kong during this festive season.
February 17, 2007
They're all … pigs
Those born in this Chinese zodiac sign are quick-tempered and stubborn, but also lucky
By SHARON LEM, SUN MEDIA
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a pig.
Harper has been called worse by some of his opponents. But if you're a
Liberal supporter, don't get too cocky because star MP Michael
Ignatieff is also a pig.
Both high-profile politicians were born in the Chinese year of the pig, which starts tomorrow.
In fact, politics and pigs seem to have a lot in common.
Canadian prime minister Kim Campbell, U.S. Democratic presidential
candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former U.S. presidents Ronald
Reagan, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson are all pigs.
not sure why politics and pigs seem to mix, but with a possible
election year and with Ignatieff and Harper born as pigs, it should
make for an interesting political scene,” said historian Dora Nip of
the Multicultural History Society of Ontario.
The year of the
pig heralds a year of contentment, security, optimism and signifies
good fortune, kindness, honesty and tolerance, Nip said.
has been courting the Chinese community, making a public apology over a
head tax on Chinese at the turn of the century and appearing at the
opening of Phase 2 of the Chinese Cultural Centre in Scarborough last
year. He has also had a few missteps, including a snub by the Chinese
prime minister over human rights issues.
But this is no ordinary
pig year; it's believed to be the year of the Golden Pig, which only
comes around every 600 years. Babies born this year are thought to be
Pigs are thought to be extremely fortunate animals in China since they tend to eat and sleep all day.
in Canada start in earnest today on New Year's Eve. Toronto 's
400,000-strong Chinese community is one of the largest in North America
Events will range from the ritzy
$500-a-plate Dragon Ball today, attended by a who's who of political
leaders and corporate Canada to festive events in any of the city's
five Chinatowns .
People born in 1911, '23, '35, '47, '59, '71,
'83, '95, and 2007 are born under the zodiac sign of the pig. The
zodiac is based on the five elements of water, fire, wood, metal and
earth, and the traditional calendar's 12-year rotating cycle of
animals: Rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey,
rooster, dog and pig.
Each animal has its own characteristics, believed to define both the year and people born in it.
that case, pigs are quick-tempered and stubborn — which could describe
a lot of politicians, including Harper. But they're also loyal,
trustworthy and kind to their loved ones.
According to the
ancient calendar, 2007 will be year 4705. It begins on the first day of
the new year in the traditional Chinese calendar, starting tomorrow
through Feb. 6, 2008, which is based on both the lunar and solar cycles.
Harper said he's going to be celebrating.
“I have reason to celebrate it too because I was born in 1959, also the year of the pig.
“I'd like to offer my warmest greetings to all Chinese-Canadians as you welcome the year of the pig,” Harper said.
Chinese New Year has become an important part of the Canadian cultural
landscape, which tells us just how big a role this community plays in
modern Canada .
“That role is rooted in a long history — from
your ancestors' involvement in the building of the national railway in
the 19th century, to full participation in every aspect of community
life today,” he said.
“Chinese Canadians have shaped this
wonderful country we all call home. Our shared history was marred by
the injustice of the head tax. I am proud that last year our new
government finally dealt with this issue, so we could all move forward
into the future together and leave the past behind.”
Harper is known as an earth pig.
pigs are kindly in nature and like to please employers and go to great
lengths to secure his or her aims and ambitions and they have a
tendency to eat and drink more than they should,” Nip said.
Ignatieff, one of Harper's biggest rivals in government, said he's looking forward to the new year.
a fire pig, I look forward to what promises to be an exceptional year.
I wish all pigs and non-pigs alike a memorably happy year to come,”
“Fire pigs are energetic, adventurous and
pleasure-seekers. They carry themselves in resolute manners and they
are generous and quick to support a worthy cause, but they can get
carried away by the excitement of the moment and are capable of
outstanding acts of heroism. But when they are determined on an
objective, it is almost impossible to sway them from it,” Nip said.
enough, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is born in the year of the sheep
and sheep are most compatible and become best friends with pigs.
famous Canadians born in the year of the pig include rock star Bryan
Adams, Tom Green, Sandra Oh, Paul Gross, painter Stanley Cosgrove,
Olympic gold medallist Jennifer Heil, Toronto Maple Leafs Mats Sundin
and Matt Stajan, Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza and Formula One
racer Jacques Villeneuve.
Other famous pigs include the Dalai
Lama, leader of the Chinese KMT Chiang-Kai Shek, Ford founder Henry
Ford, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee
Williams, Alfred Hitchcock, David Letterman and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Spezza said his only wish for the new year “is pretty easy — a Stanley Cup.”
year of the pig?” Spezza said with a huge chuckle. “That one comes out
of left field. But, it's nice to be in the company of someone like the
Both Sundin and Stajan were unaware they were members of The Year Of The Pig fraternity.
So what would they like the new year to bring?
“The most important thing is to make the playoffs,” Sundin said. “And to win a championship, that's the ultimate goal.”
want what everyone in Toronto wants to see — a winning team here,” he
said. “We want to make the playoffs and then make a run at (the Stanley
Cup). We're going to do everything we can to see that happen.”
up to New Year's Eve, rituals include family reunions with large
dinners, gifts of money placed in red envelopes, firecrackers to ward
off evil spirits, lion dances and a lantern festival.
's vibrant and thriving Chinese community plays an incredibly important
role in making this city the most diverse and cosmopolitan in the
world,” said Mayor David Miller.
“I'm proud and pleased that so
many Chinese-Canadians call Toronto home and I want to wish everyone
the very best for a safe, healthy and prosperous new year!”