The New Face of Canada

Written by Harold McNeill on October 20th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Grégoire and their three children, Xavier, 7, Ella-Grace, 5, and five-month-old Hadrien ((Web Photo, October 2014)

This family represents The New Face of  Canada, a country where everyone who becomes a citizen knows they have made the right choice, a country where the mosaic of culture was stitched together in manner that sets us apart and a country were people care about helping others be it on the home front or around the world.

Link to Photo Album

Heading towards a New Era.

As you may have noticed by my comments on Facebook and in this blog, I have regularly chaffed at how our government has, over the past decade, treated minorities – Muslims and Aboriginals in particular, but also the mentally ill and others who have fallen on hard times – as stepping stones to remaining in power.

With the election results now in, 65% of Canadians have said ‘no’ to the politics of fear. We have turned a corner and this happened because Canadians at large were no longer willing to be browbeaten into submission by those who tried to use fear as the main platform in their re-election campaign.

If Conservatives ever again wish to lead Canada, and there are many individual party members and supporters who have excellent qualities, they will need to shed that mean streak which has driven them to enact laws and propose others that diminish our democracy; where wedge issues are used to ridicule minorities and where other leaders are attacked in the most unseemly ways. Why is this no longer acceptable?

Will young people lead the way?

The change began because many educated, well-travelled, motivated young people have now joined the fray in significant numbers and they actively reject this approach and it is they who will soon be to calling the shots. Also, these young people and a good number of older people are now connected by social media that allows a massive exchange of information and ideas outside the control of government and mainstream media. It is a new world of information sharing in which the old ways of controlling the message no longer works.

While many of these young people have a long standing connection to Canada, others have only first or second generation citizenship, but what they all well understand is that freedom – that is “freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association,”  – is the foundation upon which this country was built. They will not readily relinquish that right simply because a a government or government agency tells them it is being done for their own good, for their safety and well being. (Link Charter of Rights and Freedoms)

Why do young people make a difference?

In travels to various parts of the world over the past two decades, Lynn and I found the best way to determine how well a country is doing (outside war zones), is to take the temperature of young people. If young people are excited about the future, if they want to stay in their home country, if they feel there is a future for them – you can pretty much take it as a given the country is doing well. While Canada is certainly one such a country, I think that over the past decade many young people have come to question the direction we have been taking, not only in how easily we let our freedoms erode and how we treat visible minorities, but also how we continue to degrade our environment. It’s time for change.

Scanning Facebook posts and in conversations with the many young people having close connection to our family, I can say with certainty they are becoming more engaged in issues of the day and they want a Canada where immigrants and refugees are made to feel welcome no matter which part of the world they come from and they want a Canada that will work to preserve our environment even if we must lower our high standard of living to accomplish this. They want a living, vibrant, welcoming land for their children and their children’s children.

They also understand that Aboriginals arrived and settled this country thousands of years before any European immigrants and refugees, so consider it patently unfair to suggest that any particular cultural group that arrived after the Aboriginals has a ‘God given” right to be recognized as being more Canadian than groups who arrived later.

Thank you to everyone for getting out the vote, now let’s begin the healing process in order that we can again become a world class cultural mosaic of which we can all be proud.


Take a moment to listen to Trudeau’s Full Acceptance Speech. It will tell you something about the man who is about to become the Prime Minister of Canada.

NOTE: I have not yet figured out how to edit the YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THIS: as it includes links I have not approved.   Cheers,  Harold


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  • Harold McNeill

    January 15, 2021 |

    Wow, Graham, I was taken by surprise (but then again that’s not too hard). Having all you fine folks (my children by other fathers and mothers) would have been great. I’m hopeful that sometime in the not too distant future, we can reprise that trip. Perhaps we’ll just set aside a time for someone else’s landmark day, and we can surprise them. Love to you two. Harold

  • Graham and Nazanin

    January 15, 2021 |

    How could we miss this historic event my friend!!!
    Nazy and I were booked for that cruise Harold, we were looking so forward to it.
    We will be together soon! We both wish that continued unconditional love you receive from everyone to continue as you are that special someone that makes a difference in this world.
    Happy birthday sir, cheers!

  • Harold McNeill

    January 7, 2021 |

    Glad you found the site and that Dorthy enjoyed. I’ve added a lot of school photos in other locations linked to the High School Years stories. Cheers, Harold

  • Shelley Hamaliuk

    January 2, 2021 |

    Hi there, I am Dorothy Marshall’s (nee Hartman) daughter. Mom was quite excited when she discovered this site while surfing the net yesterday, so excited that she told me to have a look! She quite enjoyed taking a trip down memory and seeing old pictures of herself.Keep up the great work!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Rick,
    Great to hear from you and trust all is going well. Our family members are all doing well but it must be pretty tough for a lot of people. I had once heard you were going to do some writing but never heard anything further. I would be most interested, but do you think the OB News have archives back to that time. Any link or information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Did you keep copies? Regards, Harold

  • Rick Gonder

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Harold
    About 22 years ago I spent several weeks going through the OBPD archives. I wrote several stories that were published in the OB News. Feel free to use if they are of value to what you are doing.
    Keep this up, I’m enjoying it and it brings back memories.

  • Harold McNeill

    April 12, 2020 |

    Hi Susan,

    Glad you had a chance to read. I decided to update these stories by proofreading as there were several grammatical errors in many. Hopefully, many of those glaring errors have been removed.

    Many of the stories carry a considerable amount of social comment regarding the way the criminal justice system is selectively applied. Next up involves a young woman from near Cold Lake, Alberta, who was abducted by an older male from Edmonton. Her story is the story of hundreds of young men and woman who have found themselves alone and without help when being prayed upon unscrupulous predators.

    Cheers, Harold

  • Susan

    April 8, 2020 |

    Great read, Harold!…and really not surprising, sad as that may sound.
    Keep the stories coming, it is fascinating to hear them.
    Love from us out here in the “sticks”, and stay safe from this unknown predator called Covid.

  • Harold McNeill

    February 17, 2020 |

    Update:  Times Colonist, February 16, 2020, articles by Louise Dickson, She got her gun back, then she killed herself,” and,  Mounties decision to return gun to PTSD victim haunts her brother. 

    Summary: I don’t know how many read the above articles, but they contained the tragic details about young woman, Krista Carle’, who took her own life after suffering for years with PTSD. While tragedies such as this play out across Canada every week, the reason this story resonates so profoundly is that the final, tragic, conclusion took place here in Victoria. Continued in the article.

  • McNeill Life Stories Index to Police Notebook - McNeill Life Stories

    February 16, 2020 |

    […] Part I, Police solidarity and the push for amalgamation. Part II, Comparing police cultures and implementing change Part III, The past as a guide to the future Part IV The integration of police services […]