We Will Remember Them

Battle of the Atlantic anniversary tie

My Grandfather’s 50th anniversary Battle of the Atlantic tie, which I wear every Nov. 11

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Today is the day when we pause to reflect on the horrors of war and the benefits of peace. We pause to remember those who put their lives on the line to defend us and serve wherever we send them to stand up for our values. As individuals we may not always agree with the decisions made by governments about how our military personnel are deployed. As a country we can all respect and honour those who stand up for the rest of us.

Today I will remember my Grampy who served in the British Merchant Marine throughout the duration of the second world war and survived several sinkings by u-boats. I will remember my Nanny and her sisters who lived in London, England during the war and most especially survived the blitz, including the destruction by bombing of half of the street where they lived. I think of my cousin in England who is terrified of fireworks because they remind her of the bombs that fell on London when she was a child. I think of my great-uncle who likely went down with his ship and was never found. I think of my wife’s great-uncle who was a fighter pilot and survived as a prisoner-of-war in the camp made famous in the movie “The Great Escape”. He was fortunate to have been too far back in the line to escape and as a result survived the war.

I will think of all the Canadian men and women who have served our country in various wars and peacekeeping missions. I think of the veterans who return home with physical and/or mental injuries. I think of those who die by suicide as a result of the injuries suffered during the course of their service. I think of the military families and the sacrifices that they make on our behalf.

Most years I attend the national remembrance service at the War Memorial in Ottawa. This year I will instead be at the ceremony at my children’s school. Last year I attended and discovered a room of hope for peace. Children from all over the world, some of whom have known war and others who have only experienced peace. Together they will sing and speak about peace. They give me hope. I will think of them too and hope for their future.

I will remember, not just today, but all days.

 

My City Was Attacked Today

Image of Canadian Parliament Buildings at night with a Canadian flag projected on the building

I live in Ottawa. It is our Nation’s Capital and that is important.

More importantly it is the city where my wife and have chosen to raise our family and make our home.

Today someone decided to kill a soldier and attack Parliament Hill – the seat of our democracy. Some are suggesting that he was radicalized and acting at the behest of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq.  Some news outlets are reporting his name and indicating that he was Canadian-born and had converted to Islam. Before I go further I have a few thoughts on that. Continue reading

Mike Duffy’s “Love Child”

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Yesterday Maclean’s Magazine broke a story about a woman claiming to be Senator Mike Duffy’s unacknowledged daughter. Other media outlets are – predictably – referring to this woman as his “love child” and Duffy himself is saying that the story is inaccurate and is a 30 year old story.

First off, let me say that I think “love child” while it is used as a pejorative term is a term that we really should be applying to all children. Who wouldn’t want to be a child of love?  Continue reading

Why I Vote

I kind of can’t believe that I feel the need to write this post.

As some of you know we are having an election in Ontario.

For those of you who don’t know, Ontario is the province with the largest population in Canada.  We have a parliamentary system in Canada so we vote for our local representatives – in this case, Members of Provincial Parliament or MPP’s and the person who controls the majority of the seats in the legislature – typically the leader of the party that wins the majority of the seats – serves as the Premier until the next election. We have a multi-party system in Ontario and Canada, although typically there are only three that secure enough votes to win seats in the legislature, The Progressive Conservatives (Conservatives nationally), Liberals, and the New Democratic Party (NDP).

The outcomes of our current provincial election is a bit of a toss up. Polls are showing a virtual tie and depending on the pollster, the party in the lead varies. I have heard and read comments from a number of people stating that they are considering not voting or declining their ballots this time around because they don’t know who to choose.

This is a lazy position to take.

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Marking an X beside your preferred choice is the easy part. Making the decision about where to put that X requires some thought.
Continue reading