Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Dec.13


 

Posted Dec. 8

Posted Sept. 21

Posted July 20

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



 

 

 



(Posted 9:30 a.m., July 6)
Commentary: In celebration of being Canadian
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

This year, for the first time in 12 years, I spent Canada Day downtown with a couple hundred thousand of my fellow Canadians and a few tourists thrown in for good measure.

What struck me the most milling among the throng was the sheer diversity of the crowd. At a time when racism and xenophobia is on the rise in the United States, and more recently Great Britain, it was refreshing to see thousands of people from over the world, celebrating our country’s birthday as one. It made me even more proud to be Canadian than I was already.

If our flag wasn’t the Maple Leaf, it could just as well be the rainbow banner adopted by the LGBTQ community. Forget Benetton, we are the United Colours of Canada and it’s a beautiful thing

What makes Canada different from our neighbours to the south is our willingness to embrace and celebrate our diversity, rather than use it as a tool for division. Which made me think about our future.

In the week leading up to the Canada Day celebration, thousands of high school graduates attended their graduation ceremonies filled with optimism and hope for the future. This sentiment is usually reinforced by a fellow graduate who delivers a rousing and inspiring convocation speech, which more often than not, touches on their potential and the desire to be successful.

If I was ever chosen to deliver a convocation speech to a group of high school graduates, I wouldn’t talk about making the most of their untapped potential and being more successful than the generation that preceeded them. I would simply ask them to be human. To be kind and caring, and to treat others as they would want to be treated. The rest will take care of it self.

I would remind them about what sets Canadians apart, what makes us special, and to celebrate their diversity. I would ask them to continue to stand guard against bigotry, racism and ignorance. They are the latest stewards of the most precious country in the world, with all the responsibilities that come with it.

There is no question we are heading in the right direction. One of the things I am most proud of as a Canadian, is our government’s decision to take in more then 28,000 Syrian refugees during the past year at a time when the United States closed its doors.

Anyone who doubted our country’s policy needs to watch a CBC video of a young Syrian refugee answering a question about how she felt to be on Parliament Hill celebrating her adopted home’s birthday a year after she was trapped in a refugee camp with little hope for a future.

The young girl was overcome with emotion as she talked about Canada and her family’s sponsors who rescued them from their plight.

As she choked back the tears, the youngster summed up what this country is all about and why we should all be proud to be human and Canadian.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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