Bringing blessings, taking blessings

ABOARD AIR CANADA SPECIAL RELIEF FLIGHT TO PORT-AU-PRINCE – The plane has a belly full of medicines, hospital supplies, construction materials for the Canadian embassy, thousands of litres of bottled water, dozens and dozens of boxes of high-energy food and cartons of diapers. On board are nurses and doctors from Jewish General Hospital in Montreal heading to the clinic established by the Israeli Defence Forces. Additional doctors from the Canadian armed forces will tend to the evacuees we bring home. Accompanying us are private aid agencies who have conjured within days the astonishing materiel needed. Beside them are immigration officials, tents packed, planning to camp outside for six weeks as they assist the work of our Haitian embassy. Overseeing it all are the Air Canada staff — senior managers, pilots, flight crew — volunteering their time for this special relief flight. Among them are the concierges who usually attend to the travel needs of elite frequent flyers; today they will tend to the most precious cargo of the return flight, the Haitian orphans being brought to their adoptive families in Canada. Continue reading

On campus, a symbol of Palestinian paralysis

~ in Bethlehem ~

This past week, the Canadian government announced that it would make a significant change in how it supports the Palestinian Authority (PA). Instead of making contributions directly to the PA operating budget, Canadian funds will be targeted to specific projects.

“We are going to allocate money to training Palestinian prosecutors, and towards the Office of the Attorney-General, and the Public Prosecution Office. If we train people properly we will have the emergence of proper institutions necessary for a state,” said Vic Toews, president of Canada’s Treasury Board, during a visit to the PA on Saturday. Continue reading

How the NHL lost its soul

~ in Winnipeg ~

When Wayne Gretzky was sold to Bruce McNall’s Los Angeles Kings in 1988, it was celebrated here in Winnipeg. The Jets would benefit from not having the Great One tormenting them from Edmonton — better farther away on a weaker club. Little did Winnipeg know that their team would follow Gretzky to the Sunbelt in 1996. Wayne went willingly, notwithstanding the tears at the famous Edmonton press conference, and Winnipeg would lose its NHL team to Phoenix. There would be tears enough for all. Continue reading