“We have lost a true Canadian original,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper – a hockey fan who is writing a book about the sport – tweeted. “R.I.P. Stompin’ Tom Connors. You played the best game that could be played.”
Charles Thomas Connors was born Feb. 9, 1936, in Saint John, N.B. His childhood was harsh: He was put in a foster home, adopted by a family in Skinner’s Pond, PEI, and left home at 15.
According to legend, his musical career was launched in the 1960s, when he was a nickel short of a beer at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, Ont. The bartender agreed to give him a drink if he would play a few songs. He stuck around for more than a year.
I am returning herewith the six Juno awards that I once felt honoured to have received and which, I am no longer proud to have in my possession. As far as I am concerned you can give them to the border jumpers who didn't receive an award this year and maybe you can have them presented by Charley Pride. I feel that the Junos should be for people who are living in Canada, whose main base of business operations is in Canada, who are working toward the recognition of Canadian talent in this country and who are trying to further the export of such talent from this country to the world with a view to proudly showing off what this country can contribute to the world market.
Until the academy appears to comply more closely with aspirations of this kind, I will no longer stand for any nominations, nor will I accept any award given.