Friday, November 13, 2009

Frank McKenna signing copies of "Beyond Politics" by Harvey Sawler at Chapters in Dieppe, NB, earlier this evening

Former New Brunswick premier and Canadian ambassador to the U.S. - and current vice-president of the TD Bank, Frank McKenna, was at Chapters in Dieppe, NB, earlier this evening signing copies of "Beyond Politics" by Harvey Sawler. The book is a look at McKenna's life largely after leaving politics in 1998.

David Logan on tribal leadership

Construction cat calls

Fred Figglehorn - Christmas Cash - Official Music Video

Glad to see Fred is keeping Jesus in the season... not! Ha! Well, he's only six years old, you know. :P

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Help Moncton's Harvest House accomplish their "Mission Possible" by raising $14,000 for winter heating oil

From now until Saturday at 6 p.m., Harvest House is seeking to raise $14,000 to buy winter heating oil for its shelter and residential facilities in Moncton. Moncton winters can be cold and snowy and they need to fill 20 tanks’ worth ($700 per tank) to keep everyone safe and warm.

Volunteers will be living and sleeping in a large cardboard storage container in the Champlain Place parking lot between Sears and Mikes Restaurant near the intersection (Bank of Montreal / A&W / Bulk Barn).

In addition to the $14,000 needed for heating, Harvest House is also asking for donations of food, blankets and clothing -- all of which can be dropped off at the event. Drop off your donations from now until Saturday at 6 p.m. and help keep the heat on at Harvest House this winter! For more information, click here.

This event is part of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce's Mission Possible initiative. Click here for some recent media coverage in the Moncton Times & Transcript.

The above photos were taken earlier today between 5-6 p.m.

Thanking those who've given so much for Canada

Trevor GreeneGreg KruseMichael Pineau Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial page

Today is Remembrance Day, a day to honour and give thanks to those who died and fought for our country.

When I was a kid, 'war' was a long-ago event that only old men and women had worried about. I remember watching the ceremonies on television and the elderly people taking part in the parades. Each year, the number of eligible Silver Cross Mothers -- mothers of those who had died in war -- dwindled due to age. With more than 100 Canadian soldiers killed while serving in Afghanistan -- and many more injured -- there is a new batch of Silver Cross Mothers, family members and friends who have been directly affected by war in today's modern society.

My grandfather -- Michael Pineau -- served in the First World War with the 105th, 104th and 26th Battalions, as well as the 13th Reserve Battalion. He enlisted 94 years ago today on Nov. 11, 1915, in Charlottetown. After boarding the S.S. Empress of Britain in Halifax on July 15, 1916, he arrived in Liverpool, England, on July 25, 1916.

He fought in France and was wounded; shot in the face. He also developed a pronounced limp after developing arthritis from spending so much time in damp foxholes. He limped for the rest of his life. After the war ended, he was shipped back to Canada, leaving Liverpool -- where he had arrived just over two years before -- on Dec. 12, 1918, and arriving in Halifax again in January. He was discharged on Jan. 24, 1919, and returned to P.E.I. and teaching, his career before entering the army.

I'm not sure when the limp took hold -- in France or back home on P.E.I., but it never stopped him from farming, getting around or raising a large family that included my mother. Regardless, the limp was a daily reminder of his having fought in France and it plagued him until the day he died in December 1986 at the ripe old age of 93.

While my grandfather made it through the war alive and able to carry on with his life -- a very long life, in fact -- the war in Afghanistan is hitting this generation of Canadians very hard, although not at the same terrible levels of the First World War (67,000 Canadians killed), Second World War (45,300 Canadians killed), and other conflicts and peacekeeping missions.

As a percentage of population, the number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan pales in comparison to the two World Wars. The First World War, especially, must have been devastating on so many families. It's the sheer impact that is mind-boggling. Many of us don't know someone personally who's been injured or killed in Afghanistan. In comparison to the two great wars, the numbers are small. Can you imagine living in Canada at the end of the First World War with 67,000 casualties out of a population of only 8.1 million? Everyone likely had a friend or relative who perished. It must have been terrible. I can only imagine -- and I hope it stays that way.

With that said, however, I do happen to have connections to two Canadian soldiers who served in Afghanistan -- one who died and one who was severely injured and who has shown an amazing amount of courage and strength.

I went to university with Captain Trevor Greene, who was injured in an axe attack in Afghanistan on March 4, 2006. Through a long and hard struggle, he somehow survived his life-threatening injuries and even gives public speeches now on the need for Canada to continue our commitment to the Afghani people. His courage and determination to walk again can only be seen as a testament to his love of life and his family. If you haven't had the chance to catch it, a documentary on his life after his injury is rerun from time to time on television. In fact, "Peace Warrior" recently won a Gemini Award for best biography documentary. It's truly uplifting.

Another King's classmate, Jill (Little) Kruse, lost her husband Sgt. Greg Kruse last Dec. 27 after a roadside bomb went off. Two days earlier, on Christmas Day, he'd called her to tell her the news that they were being transferred back home to CFB Gagetown near Fredericton. Needless to say, her happiness was short lived: two days.

After university, Jill and I lost touch for several years, however we reconnected recently thanks to Facebook. I remember reading about her anguish of his leaving for Afghanistan. I only knew the name of one Canadian soldier serving in Afghanistan -- Sgt. Greg Kruse -- and on the morning of Sunday, Dec. 28, when my radio alarm went off, I heard on the national news that "Sgt. Greg Kruse" had been killed. I bolted awake instantly and ran to my computer to check Facebook to see if it was true. Jill's Facebook page was already filled with messages of condolences and grief.

I've followed her on Facebook ever since, of course. She's moved back to the Fredericton area and is trying to move on with her three young daughters. There are good days and bad days. This is the year of firsts: the first birthdays without Greg, the first wedding anniversary without him, the first Christmas without him, the first anniversary of his death. I admire her strength. Remembrance Day this year will be particularly poignant for Jill, her daughters, and the rest of the family.

Today is Remembrance Day. I wear my poppy proudly. I hope you do, too. I remember my grandfather who somehow miraculously made it out alive and lived a long life. I remember Captain Trevor Greene who hopes to walk again someday. I remember Sgt. Greg Kruse who never made it home. Thank you all.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day 2009

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada - a day for honouring our veterans and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Click here for more details about Remembrance Day 2009 in Canada.

For the past few weeks throughout the country, Canadians have been wearing a poppy in honour of our veterans. According to Veterans Affairs Canada, "the Poppy Campaign is one of the Royal Canadian Legion's most important programs. The money raised from poppy sales provides direct assistance for ex-service people in financial distress, as well as funding for medical appliances and research, home services, care facilities, and numerous other purposes."

Pittance of Time by Terry Kelly. Click on the song title for the remarkable story behind this song.

In Flanders Fields.

Green Fields of France by John McDermott - an absolutely breathtaking song.

And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda by the Clancy Brothers.

At 11 a.m. today, please bow your heads for two minutes of silence in remembrance.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Plan for a safe ride home this holiday season

Plan for a safe ride home this holiday season
Operation Red Nose - Call us, we'll drive you in your own car for free

FREDERICTON, NB, Nov. 10 /CNW/ - Again this holiday season, Operation Red Nose (ORN) and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) - supported by hundreds of dedicated volunteers - are making sure partygoers and their cars get home safely.

During the holidays, plan your safe ride home. Operation Red Nose encourages partygoers to celebrate responsibly by designating a sober driver, staying overnight or calling a relative, a cab or ORN for a ride.

ORN will get partygoers home safely in their own vehicles for free. In New Brunswick, the service will be offered on weekends from November 27 to December 31 in five communities: Moncton, Oromocto-Burton, Péninsule Acadienne, Saint John and - new this year - Fredericton.

The ORN program is recognized in the province as an excellent and practical way for communities to fight impaired driving during the holiday season. During the 2008 season, campaigns throughout New Brunswick also raised $32,800 for community groups and initiatives province-wide.

"Operation Red Nose increases public awareness about making responsible choices, while enjoying the season," said Bill Adams, IBC's Vice-President, Atlantic. "Our goal is to keep the festive season festive by preventing the needless tragedies that result from impaired driving. Operation Red Nose is a natural extension of our industry's long-term commitment to road safety, and we are delighted to be a part of this important program for another year in New Brunswick."

Operation Red Nose is proud to be able to count on the support of Alcool NB Liquor for a third consecutive campaign. In addition to supporting the program financially, the provincial partner also hosts an awareness campaign in its stores throughout New Brunswick. Soon, ANBL stores will be decorated with posters bearing the Operation Red Nose trademark encouraging their customers to plan a safe ride home ahead of time. In the communities where Operation Red Nose is present, clients will also be able to get Operation Red Nose business cards to remind them of the dates of operation and the phone number to dial in order to get the service.

Operation Red Nose and volunteers

Operation Red Nose would not be able to provide its safe-ride-home service in New Brunswick without the help of hundreds of volunteers who donate their time as drivers, phone operators and coordinators during one of the busiest times of the year.

"Volunteering for Operation Red Nose is certainly a tangible way to serve your community while having a great time during the holidays," said Jean-Marie De Koninck, Founding President of ORN.

ORN invites everyone in Fredericton, Moncton, Oromocto-Burton, Péninsule Acadienne and Saint John to experience this service as a volunteer for one night - or more! Anyone interested in volunteering can download an application form at or

Operation Red Nose in Canada

The famous Operation Red Nose service will be bringing its program to a total of eight provinces this holiday season: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and for the first time, Saskatchewan. All together, more than 100 communities across Canada will be offering the ORN service this holiday season.

Since 1984, no less than 787,940 Operation Red Nose volunteers have provided a total of 1,506,421 rides in Canada. In New Brunswick, 1,997 volunteers took part in the 2008 campaign, providing 2,786 rides to partygoers in the province. The ORN service is free, but donations are accepted and will be given to local youth or amateur sport organizations.

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $38 billion.

For further information: For Insurance Bureau of Canada, please contact: Amanda Dean, IBC Atlantic, (902) 429-2730 ext 225,; For Operation Red Nose, please contact: Aurélie Levy, Director of Communications & Marketing, Operation Red Nose,, (418) 653-1492

Today in history...

Sesame Street debuted on television 40 years ago today.

Monday, November 09, 2009