Archive for Pierre Trudeau

Hello my name is…

Posted in History, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by Jordan

When my older sister Jessica was born, my parents appropriately gave her the middle name Marie, which was the same middle name given to my grandmother.  Years later, it was discover that my sisters middle name was inappropriately given because my grandmother realized (after looking at her birth certificate more closely) that her middle name was actually Mary and not Marie. As a result, my sister Jessica Marie is aptly named after no one in particular.

In 1497, the Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto, who was sponsored by England, discovered parts of North America that had not been visited by Europeans since the Norse Vikings in the eleventh century. Although the actual landing sight of Caboto’s voyage is not 100% agreed upon by historians it is certain that he did land somewhere in the Canadian Maritimes.  Caboto’s financial connection to England saw his name anglicized to John Cabot and thus identified in Canadian history books as such.

The National Congress of Italian-Canadians has recently established momentum in their quest to have Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail renamed the Caboto Trail.  This movement seeks to have the anglicized name of the Cabot Trail renamed to reflect the Italian spelling of Cabot’s last name.  Naturally, the addition of an “o” to the end of Cabot has left many Maritimers up in arms and livid over the proposed name change. The arguments against the name change are valid; after all, Cabot is a simple name, a traditional name, and an English name. However, it is contextually and historically inaccurate.

When you think about it, calling the trail “Cabot” after Giovanni Caboto is the equivalent of calling Montreal’s airport the Peter Elliot Trudeau International Airport because the english pronunciation of Pierre is preferred.  Or, like CBC calling David Suzuki’s show The Nature of Things with David Smith because they felt entitled to give Suzuki an english last name because they pay the bills for his show. It’s ridiculous to think that either of these scenarios would be accepted by the public today, so why is it that this same public is so resistant to changing the name of a highway from Cabot to Caboto even though it is both logical and accurate?

It’s high time peoples’ names are represented accurately and accordingly.  When a baby is born, the only thing they own is their name; consequently, that name should be cherished and respected. There is nothing quite as aggravating as being called by the wrong name or having your named mispronounced. Giovanni Caboto probably moved with excitement in his grave for the first time in 512 years at the mere prospect of English Canadians giving his name the respect it deserves. Consequently, I look forward to driving all 289 km of the Caboto Trail this summer and telling my sister Jessica Mary all about it.

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Terry Fox – The Greatest Canadian

Posted in History, People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2010 by Jordan

On September 2, 1980, Terry Fox was forced to end his courageous Marathon of Hope just outside of Thunder Bay, ON after running for 143 days and covering 5, 373 kilometers across Canada.  Terry’s campaign to raise cancer awareness and overcome the disease came to an end when he died nine months later on June 28, 1981.

Terry’s Marathon of Hope began with little fan fair when he dipped his prosthetic leg into the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s Nfld on April 12, 1980.  By the time he reached the Ontario boarder Terry had reached rock star status as thousands of Ontarian’s lined the streets in support of his efforts.   Among the supporters was Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr who presented Terry with a personal cheque for $25, 000.  Terry considered meeting the great Bruins defenceman as the highlight of his journey of hope.  By the time Terry’s cancer had spread to his lungs and was forced to abandon his efforts, his Marathon of Hope had raised $1.7 million.  One week later CTV held a telethon that raised another $10.5 million in support of Terry and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Terry’s influence around the world was so prominent that as his health worsened and his fait became imminent Pope John Paul II sent Terry a telegram informing Terry he was praying for him.  When Terry died, the Government of Canada ordered all flags across the country lowered to half mast and Prime Minister Trudeau addressed the House of Commons stating, “It occurs very rarely in the life of a nation that the courageous spirit of one person unites all people in the celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death….We do not think of him as one who was defeated by misfortune but as one who inspired us with the example of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.”

Since Terry’s death, the annual Terry Fox Run has become the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research while raising more than $500 million.  Tomorrow is the 30th running of the Terry Fox Run, which coincides with the T.V. premier of Into the Wind on TSN 2 co-directed by British Columbian and NBA star Steve Nash.   This film celebrates the life of Terry Fox while addressing his state of mind and thoughts and reflections throughout his Marathon of Hope.

In 2004 Terry Fox finished second to Tommy Douglas in CBC’s campaign to determine The Greatest Canadian.  With respect to the great efforts of Tommy Douglas and his creation of universal public health care, Terry Fox should have been declared The Greatest Canadian. Terry was everything a good Canadian should be.  Intelligent, driven, dedicated, passionate, humble and inspiring are only a handful of adjectives that consummate the person that was Terry Fox.  His legacy must not and will not ever die for he is The Greatest Canadian.

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