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Prince William&rsquo;s trout, <br/>the last coffee in Kandahar <br/>and U.S. vengeance denied Add to ...

In between his royal duties – meeting veterans and young Canadians, and attending official events on his tour of Canada – Prince William found time to catch a couple of lake trout. But he didn’t keep them, instead opting to catch and release.

On Friday, he and his new wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, spent the afternoon at Harrington Lake, the Prime Minister’s official country residence in Gatineau Park. The couple went up there after attending the Canada Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill – as did Stephen Harper, his wife, Laureen, and their two children, Ben and Rachel.

While the Harpers entertained guests at a barbecue including Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Governor-General David Johnston and Heritage Minister James Moore and other family friends, the royal couple stayed to themselves.

Prince William and Catherine paddled around the lake in a canoe, enjoying the scenery and the picture-perfect day. (This is in contrast to Jean Chrétien, the former Liberal prime minister who used to bomb around the secluded lake on a Jet Ski.)

As he left Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson asked the Prince about this trip to the lake – their adventure in Gatineau Park had been fairly hush hush.

“I understand you had some time on Harrington Lake,” Mr. Watson said to Prince William, joking that he hoped the couple hadn’t tipped their canoe. The Prince said they didn’t tip but that he had caught two trout and threw them back in.

Clearly, the couple enjoys the outdoors. Perhaps, this is a clue as to how they will spend their so-called “day-off” on Wednesday.

After their day in the north, the royals travel to Alberta. They will be in Calgary on Thursday for the Stampede Parade but their aides are not saying how they will spend Wednesday. A report published Tuesday, however, suggests they may travel to Slave Lake, the Alberta community devastated by fires.

A double-double, compliments of the Maple Leafs

Walt Natynczyk, the Chief of Defence Staff, is just back from a whirlwind couple of days in Kandahar. He was there over the Canada Day weekend to say thank you and goodbye to combat troops as they leave Afghanistan for the last time.

He brought with him a number of celebrities to honour the departing troops, including Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke. And General Natynczyk says Mr. Burke was more than generous with his time – and his money.

On one of the days they were there, Mr. Burke put down $800 on the counter of the Tim Hortons, a popular hang-out on the base. The coffee, Mr. Burke said, was on him and the staff should keep it coming.

So popular is the Tim Hortons at Kandahar that Gen Natynczyk says American and British soldiers have joked they wanted to immigrate to Canada. And with 3,000 of our troops all expected back in Canada by the end of July, Gen. Natynczyk says the Tim Hortons will remain open and operating until October, at least.

Canada vanquishes the Americans (again)

General Walt Natynczyk, and his wife, Leslie, were among about 4,000 guests at the Fourth of July party at U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson’s residence on Monday.

It’s the biggest Independence Day celebration outside of the United States.

Under brilliant skies, the Ambassador talked about the strong relationship between the two countries – and he noted that Laureen Harper, the Prime Minister’s wife, was there, underscoring the closeness of the relationship. Or, he joked, perhaps it was the barbecue that enticed her over for a visit.

She does not usually attend. But she was there this year for the Ambassador’s “grill-off.”

Ambassador Jacobson and his wife, Julie, had arranged for a barbecue competition between American and Canadian grillers. This was his way, he said, of avenging America’s gold medal hockey loss to Canada at last year’s Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.

Sadly – for him – the American grillers lost and he lost his wager, for two cases of beer, with Mrs. Harper.

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