When we announced our merger with AOL, I said that one of the things that most excited me about the deal was how it would allow us to reach our goals -- including the launch of international editions of HuffPost -- much, much faster. Three months later, I'm delighted to be in Toronto for today's launch of our first international version: Welcome to HuffPost Canada.
Canadians are no strangers to The Huffington Post: 1.5 million of them visited us in March. So starting our international expansion north of the border was a natural -- especially after a survey of our Canadian visitors found that 80 percent would be interested in a Canadian news section and 71 percent would visit the site more often if we covered Canadian news, and provided takes on the hot topics of the day from Canadian voices, some well-known and some we're excited to introduce you to.
HuffPost Canada (found at www.huffingtonpost.ca) will provide readers with a turbo-charged, Canada-centric version of the site you already know, featuring our signature blend of news, opinion, entertainment, community, and information -- all delivered with our familiar look and attitude, and tailored to Canadian issues and perspectives.
Canadian politics and business will be at the forefront of our coverage, which will make the site a go-to place both for Canadians and for Americans looking to get some insight into their neighbors to the north.
HuffPost Canada also features a collection of bloggers sharing their opinions on all things Canadian -- everything from the country's new Conservative Party majority to the playoff chances of the Vancouver Canucks, the one remaining Canadian hockey team left in the Stanley Cup hunt.
Today's blog lineup includes posts from actress and author Meg Tilly on how she hopes to use blogging to get closer to her daughter, Carleton University professor Edward Jackson on what steps the New Democratic Party needs to take as it assumes its role as Canada's Official Opposition, legal expert Stephen LeDrew on the Boston Globe's misguided analysis of the recent Canadian election results, and comedian Steven Shehori with an "off-topic" interview with actor Paul Campbell.
One of the joys of working on the launch of HuffPost Canada has been getting to know Graham Moysey, our general manager, and Brad Cressman, our head of content. They have been joined by Kenny Yum and Rashida Jeeva, who come to us from the Globe and Mail, as does Brodie Fenlon who was part of a team that won a 2010 National Newspaper Award in the Multimedia category for a year-long study of a Haitian community after the earthquake. Rounding out the team is senior editor Lisa Yeung.
I'm also personally delighted that my great friend Heather Reisman, the CEO of Indigo Books and Music, will be joining us as HuffPost Canada's editor-at-large.
HuffPost Canada is just the first of many planned international versions (on July 6th we'll be launching HuffPost United Kingdom!), so check it out and use the comment section on this post to let us know what you think -- and what other countries you think should be on our international expansion list.
Update: A number of commenters have requested the ability to easily switch from HuffPost Canada to the U.S. version. You are now able to toggle between the two via a link on our navigation bar at the top of the site. When you mouse over "Front Page" on the navigation bar on either www.huffingtonpost.ca or www.huffingtonpost.com, you can select either the U.S. or Canada front page. Thank you for the feedback -- it is greatly appreciated.
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