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Tim Powers

Love letters to Canada Add to ...

Oh Canada - it has been a good celebratory week. The Queen's visit has been a hit and across the country people seemed to embrace Canada Day more vigorously than usual. The whining around the G8 and G20 summits appears to be on the decline despite the best efforts of Liberal MP Mark Holland to keep it going. Generally, if Holland is driving something it is a good sign it really should be in the parking lot.

What a pleasant surprise to come across this story in the Ottawa Citizen. Norm Sheahan, a retired Ottawa school teacher, reinvigorated a project he started in 1967 for our centennial year dubbed by the Citizen "Love Letters to Canada." Sheahan got Canadian political leaders to wax about our country. Sheahan says the letter that touched him most was the one Premier Danny Williams wrote. For those who often think Newfoundlanders are less passionate about Canada than they are their home province, read his words. They provide a helpful road map for those trying to navigate modern federal-provincial relations.

Sheahan's project is equally inspirational because it is a citizen-driven initiative free of the partisan sniping (see above) or regional divides that can limit dialogue about contemporary Canada. No royal commission required here. Just the efforts of an educator who clearly loves his land. I wish I would have had Mr. Sheahan as a teacher.

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