Your Voice At Queen’s Park, By MPP Goldie Ghamari, Carleton MPP
One of the things I love the most about the Carleton riding is the rich history here, especially in the rural villages and communities.
Manotick celebrated its 150th anniversary back in 2009 with celebrations downtown and at Watson’s Mill, highlighted by a 150th anniversary weekend. In 2018, the Village of Richmond celebrated its 200th anniversary with a large celebration and parade. That celebration took place less than two weeks after I was first elected as the MPP for Carleton.
This weekend, we have yet another big anniversary celebration in Carleton.
The Village of Kars celebrates its 200th anniversary Saturday, and it is an event that I have been looking forward to.
It’s a great opportunity for residents of the area and visitors to celebrate, while also learning about the rich history of the area. You might recognize the names of Roger Stevens, the Burritt family, the Merrick family, the Lindsay family and some of the other early settlers of the area. Most were American Empire Loyalists from Connecticut who came north to our area during the American Revolutionary War.
Over the years, local historian Cora Lindsay, who passed away in 2014, did some outstanding work in detailing the history of the area and bringing the names of the past to life. Cora worked closely with the Kars Women’s Institute and the Rideau Township Archives, and was also very active at Dickinson House in Manotick. It is unfortunate that Cora did not live to see this this year’s celebration, but the work that she passionately dedicated her life to has certainly provided a wonderful link between the early days of Kars, when it was known as Wellington, to the beautiful village of Kars today.
I also want to give some recognition to the tireless work of Pam Little, Ally Little and the team of volunteers with the Kars Community Recreation Association. An event like the Kars 200th anniversary celebration does not just happen. It takes a lot of work from a lot of dedicated workers behind the scenes. Because of their hard work, we will all get to take part in the celebration.
My staff and I will be at the event, so please stop by to say hello and join us!
For more information on the event, please visit www.kars.ca, or visit the Kars Community Recreation Association Facebook page.
Canada Day in Carleton!
Each year, Canada Day is probably the busiest day of the year for me, and for our staff, as we visit communities in the riding to take part in their Canada Day celebrations.
Not only did we get to take part in the annual Osgoode Canada Day Parade, but I was also honoured to be asked to be a judge in the Osgoode Canada Day bike decorating contest, which took place at Vibrations Studio in Osgoode before the parade started.
From there, we visited North Gower for their annual kids’ bike parade through the village, ending up at the Alf Taylor Community Centre. There were activities for the kids, and of course, the singing of O Canada.
The Canada Day road trip continued throughout the day, as there were Canada Day events in the riding in Stittsville, Riverside South, Greely, Metcalfe and Vernon.
In the last issue of the Manotick Messenger, I wrote in this column about what a special day Canada Day is for so many people who have personal or family stories about coming to Canada or how much Canada means to them.
We often overlook the passion that children have for their home country.
On Canada Day, it was wonderful to see the hard work and creativity that the children put into Canada Day and their bike decorations. It’s a direct reflection that the children in Carleton are part of a proud generation of young Canadians.
Last month, students of all ages celebrated the end of another school year. In most cases, graduation ceremonies were held for the first time in three years.
At the college and university level, Algonquin College, University of Ottawa and Carleton University all held convocation ceremonies for graduates from the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The students from colleges and universities, as well as local high schools, had an unparalleled experience of learning in a non-traditional setting due to the historic COVID-19 pandemic.
The graduating students missed out on some of the traditional experiences of high school, college and university life. Classroom learning, social experiences, clubs and extra-curricular activities like sports, theatre and bands, and just the ability to gather and forge strong friendships are things that have always been taken for granted in our school system.
Due to the pandemic, classes were moved online. For some graduates who attended their ceremonies to receive their degrees or diplomas, it was their first time on campus in more than two years. Some students who were in classes that met virtually were excited to meet their classmates in person for the first time at their ceremonies.
The high school experience was also different for graduating students. Graduates did not get the traditional four years of high school, and they missed out on some learning opportunities in the classroom, as well as some of the relationship building with both peers and teachers that last for generations.
But for everything that this year’s graduating class has missed out on, they also move on to the next chapter of their lives with an experience and a level of resiliency that none of us have ever had.
The word that we heard over and over again during the pandemic was pivot, and this year’s graduates were able to pivot and be successful as they endured an unconventional learning experience that caught the education by surprise.
This resilience and ability to adapt will only benefit our graduating classes of 2022. It could not have been easy for anyone to face the challenges they faced in school over the past two years. Because they had to adapt and learn virtually, they will leave school with skills and abilities that are unprecedented. There is no doubt that this year’s graduates will use these skills to become future leaders.
I would also like to extend congratulations to the dedicated teachers and administrators at our local schools in the public, Catholic and French school boards that serve the riding.
We tend to focus on the graduates this time of year, and sometimes the dedication and personal investments made by teachers and staff members at schools can be overlooked. The students had to learn and succeed in an environment that was very different from anything we have ever seen in Ontario. The hard work of the teachers and their ability to keep students focused and engaged while learning in an alternate setting was invaluable.
My office is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. If you require assistance on any matter, please contact me at any time. Even if it’s not a provincial issue, I’ll make sure to connect you with the proper office.
Your voice at Queen’s Park