Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Affirms his Thanks to Wise Leadership and Outlines Details of Returning to Workplaces    Prosthetics Center Project in Marib, Yemen, Continues to Provide Medical Services with KSrelief's Support    Swedish Economy on Track for 7% Contraction this Year - Fin Min    Russia Reports 8915 COVID-19 New Infections    Japan Reports 21 Coronavirus New Cases    India Reports 6535 Coronavirus New Cases    Japanese Stock Indices Rise in Morning Trading    Weather Forecast for Tuesday    Ministry of Interior: Change Times of Allowed Period during Curfew in All Regions of Saudi Arabia, Except Makkah, Start from Thursday May 28 to Saturday May 30, 2020    CFKC Convenes Webinar to Discuss Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Future of Investment in Saudi Arabia    Bahrain Bourse rises    Bahrain Bourse Rises    Gamers Without Borders Championship continues its competitions for world professional video gamers    Three Saudi Female Athletes Review their Experiences    Saudi Taekwondo wins gold medal in virtual world championship    Saudi Surgeon Managed to Remove Kuwaiti Girl's Brain Tumor, as French Physician Declined, in the last Moments    KSA Ministry of Health Leads Advance Clinical Studies, on 4 Innovative Techniques for Coronavirus Treatment    SPIMACO Addwaeih Localizes Technology for Biological Drugs in Alliance with Amgen US Company within its Initiatives to Achieve Drug Security    Saudi Arabia Inaugurates USD10 Million Global Charity Tournament    Bangladesh reports first coronavirus death    Senior Scholars Council Issues Decision No. 246 Regarding Attendance of Friday Prayer and Prayers at Mosques in a Case of Spread of Epidemic or Fear of its Spread    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Addresses Citizens and Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr    Custodian of Two Holy Mosques addresses Citizens and Muslims on the Advent of Holy Month of Ramadan    Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Launches Awareness Message on Sacrifice Day    Newcastle Beat West Ham 3-0 for their first Win of the Season    Mourinho insists Ibrahimovic must be good enough for Manchester United    Reforms have saved the economy from possible recession, say analysts    The King and Crown Prince congratulates Moldova's President    More than 1,5 million pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia, so far    MWL allocates SR 7 million for Eid sacrifice project in 47 countries    Saudi Campaign provides educational and training services for Syrians in Al-Za'tari camp    Saudi student goes missing in Kentucky, US    Harvey lashes Texas US coast with high wind, torrential rain    North Korea tests short-range missiles as South Korea, US conduct drills    Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee given five-year jail sentence for bribery    Known days    "MODON" Signs MoU with Chinese Goldwind Company for wind-turbines manufacturing in the Kingdom    Flyadeal, Saudi Arabia's new low-cost airline, scheduled to launch on September 23, reports    Mastercard launches Masterpass in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia    Honda among 27 Japan players named for World Cup qualifiers    Joker, Harley Quinn movie in works with 'Crazy Stupid Love' filmmakers    Madhuri Dixit to venture into Marathi films as a producer    Consumers warned against using some brands of face powder, hair products    How 'GOT' makers made the frozen lake in 'Beyond the Wall'    Shraddha Kapoor wants people to help the needy    Neymar targets improvement after phenomenal home debut    Politicizing the pilgrimage    Rakhi 2017: "Bond of Love" between a brother and his sister    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Canadians celebrate compassion and strength
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 07 - 2014


Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan
In Ottawa on Canada Day, tens of thousands of Canadians and foreign tourists jammed Parliament Hill to sing, laugh, hear speeches, wave the flag and holler in delight as artists performed, planes flew overhead, the RCMP changed guards, music blared and entire families frolicked in the festivities.
They heard Governor General David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper laud the country's achievements and values. But their biggest applause went to a citizen whose achievements are phenomenal and whose passion is helping fellow Canadians.
Clara Hughes entered the stage on Parliament Hill, where Governor General Johnston was waiting, on a bicycle. The crowd erupted with thunderous applause. She is a six-time Olympic medalist in cycling and speed staking and the only athlete ever to have won medals in both summer and winter Olympics.
What makes her a Canadian icon is also that she cares for people. In 2006 after she won a gold medal, she donated $10,000 to the Right to Play programs. This led to Canadians raising half a million dollars for an international organization that uses sports to promote development. Four years later, she gave her $10,000 winning money to the Vancouver City school program to help youth.
Helping the mentally ill remains Hughes' foremost concern. She speaks out and works relentlessly for the cause. She has received the Order of Canada, the country's highest award, and the Order of Manitoba, the top award of that province. She has also won honorary degrees from several universities, has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame and was the Canadian flag bearer for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
She plods on relentlessly. She undertook a 12,000-kilometer, 110-day bicycle trip to draw attention to the one in every five Canadians who suffers from mental illness.
As the Governor General welcomed her, and tens of thousands clapped, she told Canadians on Canada Day that they must work together to help the mentally ill and to remove the stigma that haunts mentally ill Canadians. Her ride had begun in Toronto in March and it ended at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1. She rode through every province and territory through snow, ice, rain and sun. Throughout her trip she met people and spoke at 235 community events encouraging people to reject the darkness of depression and embrace hope.
Still, she was not the only center of attraction. The celebrations took place throughout Canada and culminated in fireworks that lit up the night sky. Forty-five special Canada Day citizenship ceremonies were held across Canada. In Ottawa, 50 new Canadians took their oath of citizenship on July 1. They had migrated from 22 countries. Usually it requires two to three years to be granted citizenship after the application. Applicants have to reside in Canada for 1,095 days in the four years leading up to citizenship application. In 2013, 128,936 immigrants received Canadian citizenship.
It is pretty routine for immigrants to get their citizenship after they have applied, provided they have broken no laws. Citizenship judge Michel Drapeau told the new Canadians: “People come here from all corners of the world. They rise to occupy the highest positions in Canada. They bring their customs, their language, their dress, their food, their traditions.” But he advised them “to be as accepting of others as you want them to be accepting of you.”
Anita Biguzs, the deputy minister of citizenship and immigration, told them that her parents were immigrants too who worked very hard, starting off with very little, to establish roots in the country.
Canada's Parliament includes 40 people who came to Canada as immigrants. Emmanuel Dubourg, 55, who came in 1974 from Haiti, carries his late mother's ring all the time to remind him of her sacrifices for her children. He told the Ottawa Citizen: “When my father died, I was three months old, and my mother with seven kids never remarried. At the time none of the kids worked. She, with her sewing machine, allowed all the kids to go to school. She had to leave school to allow us to go to school.”
On Canada Day most roads downtown were closed to cars. Buses offered free rides to enable families to participate. All the museums admitted people free of charge. The Governor General's House opened its door for Canadians and foreigners alike. The Governor General's House's grounds also have a cricket field where cricket lovers play matches free of cost.
This is a part of an ever-changing Canada. Early in this century most of the population was of British, French, Irish and Aboriginal descent.
In 2011, visible minorities constituted 19.1 percent of the population. By 2031, that number is expected to rise to 30.6 percent, with Asian immigrants fueling that growth. Canada's low birth rate makes immigration a necessity and many qualified people come from developing countries. Canada also accepts asylum seekers fleeing the fear of persecution.
Many of them find Canada to be harsh and cold. But they live on hope and most eventually thrive. Canada is not perfect but Canadians see it as the best country in the world.
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan is a retired Canadian journalist, civil servant and refugee judge.


Clic here to read the story from its source.