Canada proud

Final frames of Canada 67, the featured film at the Telephone Pavilion, Expo 67.

I stood in what seemed thunderous chaos. Horses galloped to the right of me, to the left of me. Lances appeared to whisk past my ears. The ground felt as if it were trembling beneath my feet. And I grabbed my dad’s arm, fearing if I didn’t I might topple over. Just audible above the din of the rhythmic panting of the horses and the pounding of their hooves, I could hear singing.

“O Canada. Our home and native land…”

A little taste of Canada in London

Canada House on Trafalgar Square - June 2016.
Canada House on Trafalgar Square – June 2016.

It was one of the quickest checkpoint passages I think I’ve ever experienced. Not that the security officer wasn’t thorough. Not at all. First he asked us about the nature of our visit. We said we wanted to visit the Canada Gallery just beyond the checkpoint. Next, he asked to scan my backpack. No problem there. Then, I offered my passport.

“Canadians?” the security guard said.

I nodded and in we went. My wife and I had just gone through the security check at Canada House, in London, England.

Shoe leather and storytelling

CBC News reporter Terry Milewski
CBC News reporter Terry Milewski

The first he knew of the story, came from a phone call early one Sunday morning in 1985. His producers at CBC told him to get on a passenger jet bound for Shannon Airport in Ireland and then to travel south along the Irish coast to where families from India were assembling.

Actually, they were scrambling to the coastline where they hoped they might find their relatives from Canada. CBC reporter Terry Milewski had been assigned to find these families and report on them.

“It was just a bizarre and horrifying situation,” Milewski wrote. “Most of the bodies (of their loved-ones) were never found. Most of the bodies went to the bottom of the sea still strapped in their seats.”

Peace, order and good information, please

Centennial College in Toronto recently asked me to organize a roundtable discussion during several days of lectures, study and debate on human rights. I agreed and have approached several acquaintances of mine in the federal civil service to participate. I was hopeful, in one case, that an expert on federal law might join the roundtable to offer a Canadian perspective.

“I’d love to, Ted,” he said. “But I’ve been told not to speak publicly on anything.”

“Not you too,” I responded. “Not like the scientists.”

Who is on the dark side?

PRESSRELEASE_LTRHEADE
Press releases by the thousands flow daily between public relations people and journalists who use them as research for news stories.

I recently took a call from a Humber College student. She asked if I was a working journalist. When I informed her that I both wrote and taught, she asked if I could help her with an essay she was researching. In her studies, one of her instructors had directed her to answer this question:

“Can public relations people get along with journalists? And conversely, can journalists get along with PR people?”

“It depends,” I told her on the phone.

A claim of security

CHAIN_FENCE2aIt was about 6:15 the other morning. Nothing was stirring outside. I happened to be out giving the dog one last run past the fire hydrant before leaving for the city. My wife had pulled the car into the street. I noticed her staring straight ahead with a look of total surprise on her face. I looked in the same direction.

There, about 20 metres away, a deer (I think it was a doe) dashed across the road, paused on a neighbour’s lawn, then just as quickly bounded several times into a backyard and disappeared over a fence.

“She looked petrified,” my wife commented.