Our original newsletter consisted of a front page that highlighted community initiatives and news. We also had pages on local history, useful homeowner information and insights into the real estate market. Now with a website, we can easily expand the local history aspects and this page will keep you up-to-date on community initiatives.
When we first retired from real estate marketing, Shelia and Joe both began working in a pro bono capacity for the CSSS des Sommets. Joe had been asked to sit on the board as the representative for the English-speaking community and Sheila and IJoe both joined an initiative that Sandra Savery and France Laframboise, two dedicated nurses, had initiated. Funded through the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) with a grant from the federal Ministry of Heritage, hospitals were asked to set up projects to help meet the needs of the English-speaking minorities. Sheila became the president of the committee overseeing the project and, over the years, we have explored how such a committee can help.
Today, the English Communities Committee of the CSSS des Sommets has become a model for use in other CSSS territories in the Laurentians and Sheila still acts as a resource person. As Sheila says, it could not have been done without the good will of the CSSS des Sommets administration.
Joe stayed on the board for five years, working towards the objectives we originally established, and is still involved through an English-language committee that is responsible for the English Access Plan for our region. He also sits on the board and several committees of La Fondation La Traversée, a local initiative mandated through the Quebec ministry of health to build a palliative care home for the CSSS des Sommets region.
Our son David is also involved locally, having been elected as the candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada for our riding, Laurentides--Labelle. David analysed the three major parties years ago and determined that an individual MP would likely have the strongest voice in the Liberal Party. At the time, Jean Chrétien was still prime minister. David's reasoning was that the Liberal Party is based on a pragmatic platform allowing it the flexibility to respond without ideological barriers. David lamented the lack of young people involved in politics and has worked actively to change that. For years he was a technology journalist and editor, volunteering extensively in his free time. He has been credited with helping get the GO train back to Guelph, where he lived at the time, and for having stopped the construction of a highway, encouraging public transit in its place.
David also anticipated publicly that Stéphane Dion would win the Liberal Party leadership if he entered the race in 2006 and he has worked for the Liberal Party in Ottawa for the past five years in the offices of various MPs, doing research, drafting questions, and interpreting data, and his involvement has also seen him in key roles in numerous election campaigns at all levels. He believes that the Conservatives and NDP would prefer a polarised two-party system but that the result of it would be two virtually identical parties jockeying for power as has happened in other democracies. Having a pragmatic party in the centre, he believes, encourages the discussion of ideas on governance.
You can see more on his official site here. His first major challenge is to raise enough money to be able to fight a campaign in Laurentides--Labelle. Even if you're not registered to vote here, you can still donate to the riding association as long as you are a Canadian citizen or resident. Each donor can give a maximum of $1,500 in a single year to a riding association in addition to $1,500 to a national political party. There are significant tax advantages to doing so that can be calculated right on the site.
Our children have given us three beautiful grandchildren. Jonah, who married Tracy Miranda of Nairobi, Kenya, lives in the United Kingdom. They are both software engineers and have established their own consultancy. Their son Jacob is five and their daughter Addison is three. David met Roemishiel Marcelino, from the Philippines, while working in Ottawa and their daughter Ozara is not yet one.
You can share in some of our activities by exploring this site, and while this page is a re-introduction to us, over the next months it will be updated with local good news. If you wish to know when it is updated and receive a link, simply register below.