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Posts Tagged ‘olympics’

So it’s really hard to resist feeling good about being Canadian.

Especially when as of this post, Canadians are second in gold medals at Sochi. But you know what makes me even happier? Knowing that these great results are due to the success of Canadian women, who happen to also be my favouritest people. Fun fact: did you know I’ve been involved pretty much exclusively in romantic relationships with Canadian women? And now they’re best in the world in the winter Olympics? So that probably means that, by relation, I must be best in the world in something.

But Canada isn’t perfect.

We have a serious problem with government interference in science, we’re in the middle of serious backslides in both environmental and foreign policy, and most worrisome, far too many Canadians are still in the midst of serious epidemics of poverty, disease, and racism.

Canada needs to be better.

I think about this quite a bit. I love Canada, but I’m always angry about things happening in my city, my province, and pretty much every other city and province. I’m angry about how it’s still okay to most people to speak down about First Nations, to be ignorant of just how much privilege most white Canadians have. And I’m angry at myself, for looking at the negative when I should be working for the positive.

Because Canada can be better.

Canada can earn the right to call itself the best nation on earth, not just rest on our laurels because we’re blessed with natural resources, economic stability, and good governance (for the most part). We need to ensure that every Canadian has the opportunities that 90% of Canadians take for granted. And we need to start working on that today, before the final medals are awarded and everyone packs up and goes home.

So here’s what I’m doing:

1. Learning more about the future. There are significant changes coming, from increased automation to environmental degradation. It’s close to impossible to plan for the future if you don’t have any idea of what’s happening next year.

2. Learning more about economics and social programs. I want to be a part of the effort to improve the economic and social health of Canadians, but I’m still not sure of what that means. There are very exciting ideas being talked about, things like Universal Basic Income, and I want to know more about them.

3. Working on my soft skills. I’m a bit of a jerk, and definitely not a political animal. So I definitely need to think about what I do, in my personal and professional life, and how I can improve my behaviour and my results.

4. Planning my eventual “triumphant return” to somethingAm I running for office? Maybe joining an organization that does stuff. Heck, maybe I’ll just run for mayor. Who knows?

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Clara has just finished her Olympic career with a great performance in London, finishing fifth. She and Cindy Klassen, another Winnipegger, are tied for the most Olympic medals by any Canadian, at six each. Clara is also the only Canadian to have won medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics, and the only Olympian in the world to have won multiple medals in both the summer and winter games.

So that makes Clara one of the most successful Olympic Athletes EVER.

And it’s time Winnipeg finally recognized one of its most famous daughters.

Luckily for us, there is a perfect opportunity to do that right now. With style.

Elmwood resident Nelson Sanderson had an idea back in the spring to rename Disraeli Freeway to Olympian Freeway. It’s a good idea, considering that both Clara Hughes and Cindy Klassen have roots in the River East communities that are served by the newly-rebuilt link from downtown.

Now it’s been around twenty years since I liked the use of the word “freeway” to describe Disraeli; when I was a kid I imagined from the south end of it (having never gone over) that it was like one of those huge California highways that led to all sorts of interesting places. (I had the same expectation of Concordia Avenue from the off-ramp on Lagimodière, so you can guess that my teenage years were filled with bitter disappointment.

I’d prefer calling our new link Olympian Way.

And of course, Olympian Way connects to Henderson Hwy, and it’s only a few blocks from there to the new community facility that’s planned for where Kelvin Community Centre once stood. (Oh yeah… I’m a gonna beat that dead horse a little more. Whack! Whack!)

That facility will be administered by Bronx Park Community Centre, but some Elmwood residents aren’t big on the idea of sticking the Bronx Park Bruin up on the wall. And obviously Bronx Park and the City of Winnipeg aren’t about to call it “Kelvin Community Centre”.

As other residents have suggested, Kelvin should be renamed Clara Hughes Centre.

Clara Hughes Centre will include one ice rink, a “skills park”, a basketball court, a playground, athletic fields in the back (one baseball and two soccer), and a modest community building with two change rooms, a lounge area, a canteen, washrooms, and a meeting room.

I can’t think of a reason why this doesn’t make sense. Can you?

 

Note: The facility design images are adapted from the Open House boards created by Scatliff Miller Murray.

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