Canada Day

"The century that lies ahead will be an exciting one as your students become the next generation of leaders and decision makers. And who knows what future heroes are already being modeled under your guidance? They are about to inherit a land whose legacy has long been one of bright hope. With their energy and vision, they will invest themselves wholeheartedly in keeping Canada the world's consistent choice as 'number one nation.' As the Prime Minister said last October, 'Canada belongs to the 21st century. And Canada will be the place to be.' "

Louis-Thomas and Vincent Kelly, July 1, 2003

Canada Day Poster Challenge — Teachers' Activity Guide, Department of Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heroes

"More than ever before, we've come to appreciate Canada as a country with a colourful past, with valiant deeds and vibrant tales worthy of commemoration. Whether we're talking about TV, film, radio or the print media, it would be hard to recall a time when great Canadians have been more front and centre in our lives. Be they past or present spokespersons for values that Canadians cherish, their heroic deeds are beacons guiding us as we shape Canada's future. So let's cast modesty aside and reveal our discovery: Yes, we have heroes worth celebrating! "
"At Home With Our Heroes" in TEACH magazine

"Oscar Peterson... is not just one of the giants of jazz. He is jazz! As a teenager, he played piano in the dance halls of Montréal, a world-class centre for this music. Peterson had his own radio program, formed a jazz trio, and became one of North America's top pianists and composers. His big break came in 1949 at Carnegie Hall, paving the way for five decades of global renown as a performer and recording artist. Peterson has been awarded two Junos, seven Grammys, the Order of Canada, and has acquired millions of admirers through his lyrical travels down the ivory coastline of the jazz piano."

"Smokey Smith, V.C.... In 1944, near Italy's Adriatic coast, three Canadian infantrymen are pinned down by German tanks. One lies wounded, a second is cornered in a field. The third stands guard in a country road and boldly confronts an approaching tank, its machine guns blazing. Firing his anti-tank weapon, he disables the tank and fends off ten enemy soldiers. Eluding fire from a second tank, the young private scatters another wave of attackers. He helps his fallen comrade to safety and medical attention, then resumes his position. It sounds like a scene from a Hollywood classic, but was actually the wartime experience of Private Smokey Smith of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. The Victoria Cross reads 'For Valor.' For Smokey Smith, it was all in a day's work."

"Dr. Lucille Teasdale-Corti... From an early age, Lucille Teasdale had a passion for helping disadvantaged people. In 1955, she became one of the first woman surgeons in Québec. She left for Uganda to work with Dr. Piero Corti, whom she had met previously in Montréal. The colleagues became life partners when they were married in Uganda. This was the beginning of a 35-year odyssey during which their clinic grew into the 463-bed St. Mary's Hospital, where Dr. Teasdale performed 13,000 operations. Sadly, she contracted HIV by accidently cutting herself on bone fragments while operating on wounded soldiers during Idi Amin's expulsions in 1979. Ever devoted to her patients, Dr. Teasdale persevered in her mission for 15 more years, taking precautions not to transfer the virus during medical interventions. This courageous pioneer received the Order of the Italian Republic and the Order of Canada (1991). She died of AIDS in the family home near Milan.

From The Path of Heroes, Department of Canadian Heritage


"Sadly, colonialism spread out of control in recent centuries. Western nations had an insatiable appetite for the natural resources of the East. They channelled these riches into some bottomless pit, leaving many Asian lands scarred and almost stripped clean. Indonesia was no exception. Many of its forests were uprooted, leaving little to build the homes of the future and fuel the economy of generations to come. When the business interests finally moved out, 20th century Indonesia was left with a sad legacy: untillable soil, naked forests, eroded lands and uncontrolled flooding. Out of desperation, or sheer necessity, sustainable development became the modern-day rallying cry and CUSO a primary agent for change."

"A Legacy of Waste" in CUSO newsletter

Foreign Aid

"So much for the promise of every federal government in the past 30 years to aim for 0.7 per cent of GNP for developing countries. What's Canada's reason? Can we possibly cry poor to those who have next to nothing? This isn't just an issue of dollar signs and numbers. It translates into the harsh reality of unfinished water systems, soil eroding while it awaits seed, and village clinics with empty medicine chests. When the last phase of a development project is two years away, and the rug is pulled out from under our feet, we lose the whole works. The water well, village roadway, schoolhouse or agricultural training facility will start to crumble before it can ever be put to use... So the [federal] Budget that doesn't rock the boat for Canadians actually cuts the boat adrift for millions of hungry people around the world."

"Budget Cuts to Third-World Development Plans" in Global Link, Canadian Hunger Foundation

Letters to the Editor (published in the Ottawa Citizen)

Elian Gonzalez: At long last, justice has been granted to Elian Gonzalez. The antics of the mob outside the Miami compound were nothing short of odious. In confusing hatred of Castro with the issue of family ties, the crowds tried to impose their value system on Elian... Until he was liberated from his blood-related hostage takers, there had been no free speech for Elian. And if (according to the mob's shouts) the U.S. is such a free and wonderful place, why weren't they waving American flags instead of hundreds of Cuban banners? I've been to Cuba four times and know Cubans from various walks of life. Some wish to leave. Some wish to stay. After four visits I still don't understand the latter. But you know what? It doesn't matter. It's not my life to live. In the words of Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it." The decision of Elian's father to raise his son in Cuba is his prerogative, not anyone else's.

Maurice Richard: I watched the televised funeral of a legend whose legacy can only assume even more lustre with time. Our nation's heart is heavy as we witness Maurice Richard depart for his final game on the road. He was a giant who played for the sheer love of The Game. This hero graced the sport by giving the best of himself for his teammates, fans, hometown, nation and family. How sad that stories about him must share headlines with the petulant antics of the comparative pipsqueak, Alexei Yashin.
Mr. Richard played with his eyes on the net; Mr. Yashin plays with his eyes on net worth. Rocket Richard gave his heart and soul to The Game; Mr. Yashin has no heart and soul. The fans be damned. Rocket Richard's blades now rest in peace. Mr. Yashin's simply rust. The Game doesn't need him. The Game is bigger than he is. Send him home.


There was a tall beauty named Gina
Whose statuesque form was divina
    When compared with cuisine
    ‘Twas like Lamb Aubergine
And not just a Maple Leaf weina.
There once was a fellow named Vaughn
Who by girls every day was turned aughn
    He'd break into a drool
    The libidinous fool
And chase them from dusk until daughn.

I tried to make one rhyme for a friend whose family name was Marciniak. I managed to get her married off to a kleptominiak, but then stalled. Only Cole Porter or Noël Coward could have finished that one!


"Because of low literacy levels, Canada already loses billions of dollars a year in the form of lost production time, industrial accidents, and poor communications. This is a punishing waste for a country that prides itself on excellence in so many professions. An investment today will better equip our work force for the knowledge-based global economy in the coming decade. It is a vote of confidence that Canadians have the desire and tools at hand to enter the new electronic age and excel at every level. With renewed federal support for hundreds of projects, hope lies ahead for a literacy-rich Canada ready to maintain its status as the finest nation in the world in which to live... and learn."

From the Budget 1997 media kit of the National Literacy Secretariat


"Under our system of Constitutional Monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II is our Head of State in that she represents the people as citizens (as opposed to a head of government, who is accountable to the people as voters). She is in turn represented by 11 democratic institutions — the offices of the Governor General (in federal matters) and the ten provincial Lieutenant Governors. Her Majesty's constitutional duty is to be always informed and, whenever necessary, advise."

"The Queen of Canada plays a pivotal role in the life of our nation, with more of an underlying influence than any outward sign of authority. Although the government of the day uses power to govern, it does not legally possess the power. The force for legislation lies with the Crown, the name for the high office held by the Sovereign. Since it expresses no

personal political affiliation, the Crown is in the ideal position to protect the rights of all Canadians regardless of their political persuasion. The Crown rises above the partisanship sometimes seen in republican forms of governance, such as uncertain election results or conflicts between Prime Minister and President. The latent influence of the office has long been a constant aspect of Canadian identity and is a cornerstone of our democracy. It can be invaluable at times of Consitutional crisis, parliamentary impasse, the defeat of a minority government, or the sudden death of a prime minister."

For The Queen's Jubilee: A Canadian Celebration Guide, Department of Canadian Heritage, 2002


"As Governor General of Canada, I take special pleasure in offering best wishes to all who have worked so hard to set the stage for this year's Esther Honens Calgary International Piano Competition and Festival.

"When she laid the foundation for the first competition named in her honour, Esther Honens could scarcely have imagined that the 1992 launch would lead to global recognition so quickly. With each passing year, the name 'Calgary' and the pursuit of excellence among pianists the world over have become synonymous. The thrill of competition has lit up the concert hall for musicians and audiences alike, with promising careers taking root at every annual gathering.

"Esther Honens once wrote of creating a competition 'held in the highest international esteem.' She already had the manuscript in hand for a success story that would reflect the finest elements of friendly competition, joy through music-making, and the shaping of opportunities for an emerging generation of talent. Thanks to her guidance and enduring legacy, young pianists assemble not to compete against each other, but to play as an ensemble of firsts among equals."

Print message for Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, 2000

Sustainable Development

"CUSO has a distinguished record of achievement in Cuba, dating back to the first decade after the Revolution. We've had many cooperants placed there, in both Havana and in rural areas. Thanks to their work alongside Cuban technicians, media specialists, teachers and agricultural workers, Cuba has made many encouraging steps in the march towards self-sufficiency. Any profile of the island's progress in technology, farming, industry or health reflects a welcomed Canadian presence — one that recognizes neither borders nor bureaucrats. Our efforts focus on ordinary workers, farmers and their families. Their need for good health, adequate schooling and basic housing is all that concerns us. A plate of food, a book in hand, and four walls to call home are the seeds of human rights, not the pillars of political platforms."

"The Human Side of Development" in CUSO newsletter


"Great ideas stem from innovation. They lie in the hands of people with boundless talent. They come to life when dedicated specialists work as a team to reach the common goal of excellence. When such ideas originate with Corel, they take their place on the global stage. With the Millennium of Technology on the horizon, most of the world has set its eyes on the year 2000. Corel Corporation looks beyond."

Print ad for Corel Corporation, 1999


"Choose a classic play and cast the roles with Canadian figures and locales: Our Town set in rural Ontario with Stephen Leacock as the narrator; Cyrano de Bergerac in Vieux Montréal with Gilles Vigneault; or Waiting for Godot staged on the rocky shores of Labrador with a cast of codfishermen."

Teachers' activity guide on Canadian heroes, TEACH magazine

"On the occasion of this welcomed tour, I offer my best wishes to Mr. Barry Morse for a successful journey across Canada. During a distinguished career, he has brought respect to his profession in a variety of capacities. Now, as he again prepares to grace the stage, he assumes a new and noble role — that of patron of colleagues who will be under the care of Performing Arts Lodges of Canada. As the proud father of an actor myself, I admire his devotion to the veterans of the performing world.

"To quote Shakespeare, 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and entrances...' May your entrance, Mr. Morse, be met with warm applause, and every exit bring promise of your return."

Print message for the Hon. David Crombie, former Secretary
of State of Canada

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