Canadians Welcome Obama Through New Web Site: WelcomeObama.ca

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Canadians are finding ways to mark Barack Obama's first visit to Canada on February 19th, including using a new web site to post messages to the U.S. president: WelcomeObama.ca. More than five hundred people have submitted messages about such issues as Afghanistan, climate change and the economy to President Obama.

Canadians have clearly been inspired by the potential for the new U.S. president to focus attention on long-standing problems.

Canadians are finding ways to mark Barack Obama's first visit to Canada this week, including using a new web site to post messages to the U.S. president: WelcomeObama.ca

"With tight security and no public appearances planned for President Obama, Canadians are finding it difficult to get their message to the popular U.S. president," said Steven Staples, President of the Rideau Institute, the organization that set up WelcomeObama.ca. "The Internet gives them a chance to overcome the security barricades to express themselves."

WelcomeObama.ca went live last week, and received hundreds of messages from Canadians in its first few hours. Submissions include heartfelt letters, video clips, and songs dedicated to President Obama from Canadians in every part of the country.

"The most commonly used word in the hundreds of messages is 'hope'," said Staples. "Canadians have clearly been inspired by the potential for the new U.S. president to focus attention on long-standing problems."

The Rideau Institute is tracking the most frequently cited issues as the number of Canadians posting to the web site grows. Early results point to peace, the environment and economic reform as being top-of-mind issues for Canadians for this visit.

"While optimistic generally, Canadians are worried about the war in Afghanistan. They want President Obama to work for peace, not pressure Canada for more combat," said Staples.

WelcomeObama.ca was established by the Rideau Institute, an independent research and advocacy group based in Ottawa with a focus on international affairs.

http://www.welcomeobama.ca

Video launch of WelcomeObama.ca:
http://www.welcomeobama.ca/?page_id=2

Video messages for President Obama:
http://www.welcomeobama.ca/?cat=96

For further information:
Steven Staples, President, Rideau Institute, o. (613) 565-9449 ext. 24, c. (613) 290-2695

The Rideau Institute is an independent research, advocacy, and consulting group based in Ottawa.

Renseignements:
Steven Staples, Président, Institut Rideau, b. (613) 565-9449 poste 24, c. (613) 290-2695

L'Institut Rideau est un groupe basé à Ottawa de recherche indépendante, de plaidoirie et de consultation.

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