When their emotions are
free falling on a rollercoaster, they look calm, cool and collected.
Sutter walks behind the Los
Angeles King bench, rarely ever smiling. He sighs, twirls his tongue in the
side of his mouth, raises his eyebrows, and generally looks like he could care
less about the spirited mayhem in front of him. When the Kings score, he
might smirk. But that’s it.When someone screws up, it’s the Sutter scowl, which
could easily be sold as a Halloween mask and scare anyone.
Perhaps it’s something we
all can learn — to be on an even keel, not getting too high and not getting too
Just zone in on work to be
done. And so we come to today when Sutter wakes up after a 2-1 Game
7 win over the San Jose Sharks to advance to the third round of the Stanley Cup
final.He may crack a smile, but only for a second. Then, it’s back to
work. And that could very well be a trait of success.
Hockey Canada voted Saturday to eliminate body
checking until players reach bantam, at aged 13, and it has sparked much
Don Cherry threw his two cents in recently on Coach’s
Corner and, not surprisingly, he isn’t a fan. Cherry thinks Hockey Canada is
heading down the wrong path. His partner in crime, Ron MacLean, asked an
interesting question: should there be two leagues — one for body checking and
the other without.
Cherry’s response: “House league is perfect.”
I think Hockey Canada has made the right decision and
has a vision for the future of the sport in Canada. Our country and our world
isn’t getting any smaller. Unless the National Hockey League expands — and, I
certainly don’t see that — the number of kids making the NHL will remain the
same: a very small per centage. And that very small number needs to learn the
mechanics of body checking. Absolutely.
But for the mass majority — an increasing number— they could very well be
interested in playing non-contact recreation hockey — without hitting. And we
should be able to have programs in place for hockey in a safe environment. So
is learning to hit really that important?
The game has changed. And we need to move with those
Because the most important question on the way home
from the rink shouldn’t be whether you won or lost. Rather, are you OK?
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The doors to
the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology will open countless times today
just off Kingsway Avenue in Edmonton at the main campus. Students in pursuit of
careers will be going through those doors. They may not realize now, but,
later, they could very well reflect on their time at NAIT as some of the best
times of their lives.
I make these comments, celebrating 50 years ago today
since NAIT's doors first opened. Personally, NAIT was one of the best years of
I was a student of the Radio and Television Arts
program in 1977. My dream: to write for radio first perhaps, writing
commercials, and then, maybe, documentaries. Yet, NAIT gave me an education I
never thought of — how to build and maintain relationships with people. The
Glenrose School Hospital was my junior high and high school because I have
cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair. I found myself in a culture shock my first
few months of NAIT. Clearly, I was a minority. Yet, my fellow classmates slowly
helped me become one of the gang.
They showed me the value of humor to bridge gaps and
so many things not on the curriculum. NAIT gave me lifetime friendships with
people I still am in contact with today: Gary Chomyn, Lance Brown and Pat
Petersen, to name a few. I would not be the person I am without going through
the doors of NAIT.
May they swing mightily for the next 50 years.
Tait Text Twitter @camtait Email firstname.lastname@example.org
the most practical thing to do is send Dave Rutherford an email. Sometimes,
though, practicality goes out the door. This is one of those times.
Rutherford is a talk show host on the Corus Radio
network, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.. On Wednesday, he interviewed
Frank Oberle, associate minister of Services for Persons with
Disabilities about the provincial government’s cutbacks to Persons with
Developmental Disabilities. Rutherford is to be congratulated for bringing the
issue to the air waves. But only to an extent.
Before I go any further I must preface my comments: I
have cerebral palsy, use a wheelchair and began in the news business as a
reporter with the Edmonton Journal in 1979. In covering issues and great human
interest stories about disabilities, I tried to choose my words carefully to
promote inclusion. That’s why I found it hard to hear Rutherford calling people
with developmental disabilities as “these people.”
More concerning is the story itself: the provincial
government is moving towards moving people with developmental disabilities into
living in the community. They are going to go shopping, to movies, to work, to
church and many other activites They are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, aunts
and uncles. Not “these people.” They have hopes and dreams. They fail, too.
But they a chance to try again.
Just like everyone else.
The media has a fundamental right to treat citizens
equally. Rutherford missed the point: instead of welcoming new community
members, he built barriers by calling them “these people.” They are, most
certainly, Albertans first. And disability second. I could have emailed him.
But, given his previous comment, he might consider me as “these people.”
In fact, I haven’t got it for 25 years. And as a
person with a disability, it offends me. Let me tell you what “it” is: the
Canadian Paraplegic Association is having Chair Leaders Friday in Edmonton.
Taking a page from the 1970’s — timely, eh? — CPA is asking able-bodied people
to spend a day in a wheelchair. The event is to raise awareness about
accessibility and people with disabilities.
I think it’s nothing more than a circus.
And I have questions:
*why does CPA hold this event in May, rather than
January, when there’s 15 feet of snow, a 87-km wind, a wind chill of minus 38,
when wheeling a wheelchair — trust me — is damn hard. If they want to make it a
*what kind of a message does this send to the people
CPA serves — people with spinal cord injuries? Does it signal people with
disabilities are not really listened to?
•why can’t CPA promote people with disabilities,
doing their own thing, living their daily lives with ease, dignity and
creativity — not to mention blood, sweat and tears? Why are they silenced for
the day, when their story could be so powerful?
•What tangible legislation for accessibility has been
created because of previous years?
•Why not have someone without a disability shadow a
CPA client for a day and learn how to help someone in a wheelchair up curbs,
down steps, in and out of vehicles, threw crowds? Wouldn’t that be a better
method of working together?
•Why is CPA digging into the past for an event rather
than having one to reflect 2013?
I could go on and on. I don’t want to rain on the CPA
Chair Leaders parade. I just hope it snows in Edmonton Friday.
Facebook comment from Braden Hirsch
Very good comments Cam! It is a big leap to think
that awareness and understanding is enhanced by having able bodied persons ride
wheelchairs for a period of time during one day. In my opinion it was
marginally useful 40 years ago-- so why would it work today? I am also
disappointed that CPA is involved with this.
Another comment from Renee Laporte ...
Hear hear! They held this same sort of
"event" at MacEwan a few months ago. As an able-bodied person
supporting a student who uses a wheelchair there, it made me frustrated to see
the participants laughing and having fun wheeling around the campus (though with
the best intentions of getting a glimpse of life in a wheelchair) while my
student and I struggle to reach the automatic door button placed behind garbage
cans and having to walk to the next building to find a washroom we can both
enter. Consulting those who are "living it" would be more meaningful
A Facebook comment from Mel Tauber
here"s my thought: if they really
have to put "able bodied people in wheelchairs, why make it so easy for
them??? tie one of their hands on their back and make them sit on one of their
lower legs (of course opposite one of the tied hand) AND THEN let them wheel
down an ice covered ramp ... give them at least ONE of the challenges
"disabled" people have to go through every day ... let them set up a
DATS pickup, let them ride the ETS all by themselves, let them roam through the
streets without a companion who will nicely open every door for them ... to
just put someone in a wheelchair for a day in a building with people who will
assist them because they know about the event ain't gonna bring change ... try
to walk blind for a day or be deaf, or try to come around only with one leg orm
arm functioning ... for heavens be creative and give us "able bodied"
a challenge and don't cater to us so that we maybe maybe one day would
understand, because the majority never will, because most people in our days
lack one major thing: COMPASSION AND IMAGINATION!
What do you think about this? Please let me know!
Scott’s smile was unquestionably the biggest Tuesday just after 9:30 p.m. when
he was the finalist in The Funniest Person With a Day job at the Comic Strip.
was crowned the winner. He had a giant cardboard cheque for $1,000 and will be
the opening act for a Comic Strip concert series in the fall.
has a great laugh when he is on stage and uses it well. His material, timing
and delivery contributed to his conquer.
has tried winning the competition before. Four times.
year’s contest, which began back on April 9 with 41 enteries, was his.
needed nerves of steel.
contestants in the final Tuesday night didn’t know what order they were appearing.
MC Terry Evans drew names out of a glass vase.
was the sixth and final act of the night, following David Dempsey, Matt Labucki,
Brandon Franson, Brett McCrindle and Dan Taylor.
placed second, while Labucki was named third-place winner.
It was a
great night of comedy, making it especially hard for the judges: Global’s Gord
Steinke and Carol Anne Devaney, CTV’s Joel Gotlib, Comic Strip owner Rick
Bronson and yours truly. Thanks for including me.
probably enjoyed the evening. But he’s back to work: Scott and his infectious
laugh will be appearing at the Comic Strip the week of June 12.
(Ford and CTV reporter story) Mike Duffy and Rob Ford deserve each
other — and, for all we know, they could be hiding out together somewhere in an
should be ashamed of themselves, not only for their recent actions, but
also for wanting to cover them up.
in hot water for the $90,000 cheque he received from, maybe, the prime
minister’s office. Such a spicy situation for a senator.
the embattled mayor of Toronto, is under allegations he was with a few chums
having a puff or two on the crack pipe.
situations deserve questioning on many levels. But perhaps the most compelling
is they are both public servants. Their paycheques come from bank accounts
that get deposits from taxpayers: in Duffy’s case federal taxpayers are paying
the freight; in Ford’s case, it’s the taxpayers of Toronto.
how both men chased reporters when they were seeking election.
won. But now they are being accused of wrongdoing and are avoiding reporters at
all costs. Interestingly, Duffy has been on the other side of the camera many
times chasing subjects who don’t want to talk.
clearly, isn’t fair. And the longer they remain in silent, the more questions
will be raised.
seen it before. We’ll se it again.
somewhere, somehow, we should all learn from the disgrace others.
time Mike Duffy and Rob Ford took the fall. The sooner they stand up and move
forward, they can move on with their lives. And, sadly, ours too.
Stephen Mandel announced just seconds after 11 a.m. Tuesday he will not run for a fourth term. Now, the downtown arena project is set in stone, thanks to last week’s city council
ratifying the agreement, Mandel feels it’s time to retire.
he doesn’t have the strength — physically and mentally — for another monumental
project, namely the downtown arena project.
he’s 67. It’s time, perhaps, for him to share some time with his family. Maybe
travel. Or walk in Edmonton’s river valley, look all around him, and feel the
pride of the city help build.
goes out on top, with many wanting him to run for another term — one he’d
big question now is who will guide Edmonton come fall when the next civic election
let’s not worry about that today.
celebrate and honor a man who has shared his vision with us; a man who has
shown compassion, toughness and boldness.
deserves a parting gift, something that will mirror his work as mayor.
a new road around the downtown arena. Call it Mandel Way.
Maybe, it’s time Hockey Canada
participating in the World Hockey Championships.
The maple leaf hasn’t blown in the
medal round since 2009 when Lindy Ruff was head coach. The magic didn’t
reappear this spring: Ruff, axed from the Buffalo Sabres earlier this season,
guided the Canadians to a fifth-place finish in Stockholm.
Fifth place, eh? Same result as last
But, we’re Canadians. Hockey is our
game. We can do better.
Can we though, really?
The Canadian roster is players from
teams who don’t make the National Hockey League playoffs.
Excuses for a sub-par performance
don’t cut it. But perhaps the condensed NHL season took its toll on the
Not a very strong argument: eight NHL
teams are still fighting tooth and nail in the post-season.
Maybe the World Championships could
to re-scheduled to end of June so the Stanley Cup Champions could ... Fat
We need a new approach. Finding that
right approach is certainly easier said then done.
Canadians should not accept failing
to make the medal round for three
years and counting.
Canadians deserve to celebrate a
major hockey championship when it counts the most — in the spring.
The lone Canadian team left in the
Stanley Cup won a thriller Sunday, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in
The Ottawa Senators won it at home in
the nation’s capital.