As you read this on Sunday morning, I am most likely stumbling around in my bathrobe, ice pack on head, recovering from the annual holiday party my husband and I throw for colleagues and friends. It's traditional for us to serve a blue cocktail in celebration of Hanukkah. Why we started this, I don't know, because as my eldest daughter (now of drinking age) notes, blue drinks are unfailingly disgusting. The key ingredient in a blue drink is Curacao liqueur, which is actually a Jewish invention. Curacao on its own is inoffensive, but it hard to mix successfully. Each year we try something different and call it a Maccabee Martini. Truthfully, most years it could have been called Maccabee Mouthwash. This year we mixed the Curacao with vodka and lemonade (following a recipe for a cocktail called a Blue Lagoon). For once, the result wasn't too bad, even if it resembled something you'd be served poolside in Miami. In any case, it doesn't really matter what the cocktail tastes like, I've found. At a party, people will toss back anything if they are having fun. Which makes a somewhat long preamble to the launch of our newest section, HuffPost Canada Style.
Style will show you how to look fabulous even while holding a blue drink. As HuffPost Canada Style editor Sarah Kelsey wrote when the section went live on Thursday:
Our national dialog on fashion has never been better, with local heroes like Joe Fresh and Smythe winning the hearts of international sartorial icons (Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Middleton, for example), homegrown bloggers like Tommy Ton taking the fashion world by storm, and international stores like Top Shop and Intermix blowing past customs and setting up shop in our cities.... We want HuffPost Canada Style to be the place you can find everything you need to embrace and express your personal style. You'll find all the latest news; the best in celebrity style captured on camera; beauty, makeup and hair how-tos from the country's best experts; and home decor ideas and inspirations that'll have you wanting to nest well through the winter.
And because good style is important for so many special occasions in our lives, we'll also cover wedding style and planning, entertaining and etiquette, and much more.
Yeah, like don't slosh that blue drink on your boss. Indeed, readers may have already noticed a new blogger on HuffPost, etiquette expert Julie Blais Comeau. Her weekly column, "Sticky Situations," will deal with very modern, awkward issues (her first dealt with how to approach a colleague with b.o.).
Julie's services might have been needed in the last week of the climate talks at the Durban conference, where a lot of playground finger-pointing and insult-calling took place. Environment minister Peter Kent has (at this writing) still not announced whether or not Canada will exit the Kyoto Protocol, prompting much anger from our bloggers who believe we (the planet) are only six degrees of separation from incineration. Those who have been following us all week have read the anguished criticism of many of our contributors who believe that the developing the tar sands/Keystone pipeline will do its own part to hasten this incineration. And those same readers will also have noticed sympathizers of the pipeline who have also written on our site, notably Kathryn Marshall of Ethical Oil, who argues the need for a Western source for our oil energy; and Andreas Souvaliotis, who accepts the reality of our current need for oil, but argues for corporations to invest in a more responsible future:
The world doesn't want us to stop pumping oil out of the oil sands anytime soon (only a tiny, albeit very loud, minority of unrealistic hard-core environmentalists might be advocating for such radical measures). Quite the opposite, in fact -- the world's nations right now need us to continue producing the stuff so we can feed everyone's thirst for energy. But the vast majority of nations also want us to start playing nicer, to start acknowledging the changed reality, to start supporting their citizens' ambitions for a cleaner, more responsible future -- and we're not doing any of that. We seem to have developed a myopic attitude and an aversion to even acknowledging that change is coming, perhaps out of an irrational fear that any sort of acknowledgment might render our dirty resources worthless. I'll say it again -- nobody seriously wants us to turn off the oil taps today. They just want us to join the vast coalition of the caring and the responsible, instead of poking them all in the eye.
While Durban was taking place, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was meeting in Washington, D.C. with President Obama, where they forged a long-overdue agreement on border security. Well, maybe it was an agreement. Let me pause to welcome to our blog rail, U.S.-Canada expert Christopher Sands, who will continue to provide us with insightful analysis about relations between the two countries. Sands saw many positives in the agreement, but feared in this tumultuous election year it may be squashed by the U.S. Congress. Contributor Maude Barlow, meanwhile, was far more pessimistic, fearing the deal would benefit big business, and big business alone.
The week wrapped up with yet another scoop by our own Althia Raj, HuffPost's Ottawa bureau chief, about the fed's plan to strip some 2,100 "Canadians" of their citizenship, because these citizenships were fraudulently obtained. As Althia wrote:
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney previously announced this June that some 1,800 Canadian applicants would see their citizenship revoked. The government wanted to ensure that Canadians of convenience -- those who sought citizenship but had no plans to live in Canada or contribute to the economy -- would be refused entry....
The Tories have repeatedly said they believe Canadian citizenship is not for sale and those who facilitate access, such as crooked immigration consultants, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go take a few more aspirin...