EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, January 23, 2010

CAPP rallies become the national headline as thousands across Canada protest Harper's prorogation of Parliament

A quick check of the online version of major Canadian daily newspapers tonight shows that the Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament rallies which attracted thousands of  protesters across the country is the lead story at all of them.

Thousands of Canadians from all walks of life and demographic groups attended rallies protesting the move by Stephen Harper, the prime  minister, to prorogue Parliament until March 3. The CAPP Facebook group, totally a grassroots movement, founded by Christopher White, a University of  Alberta graduate student, now with more than 212,000 members, called for the rallies for today, two days before Parliament was set to resume.

Despite an effort by Harper to take the headlines with his first news conference in over a year earlier today and flanked by four cabinet ministers, the CAPP rallies are the  major story tonight in Canada's news media.

Newspapers in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Toronto are all playing the rallies as top story.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament facebook group now over 210.000 members as rallies slated for over 60 cities Saturday

Despite standing ovations from his parliamentary caucus today, the momentum opposing Stephen Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament continues to grow as the grassroots group Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament went over 210,000 members at 3:52 p.m. ET. It had 26,000 members on January 5, 2010.

On the eve of his Conservative party's rise to power on January 23, 2006, instead of a celebration, the prime minister and his caucus find themselves doing damage control, even though they won't admit it openly, as anti-prorogation rallies are now scheduled for at least 65 communities in Canada and abroad for Saturday. The Conservatives won the greatest number of seats in the 2006 election and formed a minority government.

Founded by Christopher White, a graduate student at the University of Alberta after Harper phoned Governor General Michaelle Jean to prorogue Pariament until March 3, 2010, the CAPP group on Facebook has taken off with members joining from all regions of Canada and from all demographic groups.

White has become the game changer in how politics is done in Canada as digital democracy brings together citizens in a common cause against a government decision. CAPP members come from all political parties and also include those who have never been interested in politics before.

White is already being called Canada's Newsmaker of the Year for 2010 and it is only January.

Although he  has been available to the media today, White's latest post on Facebook was asking for advice on how to get the water for the hot chocolate hot for the rally in Edmonton Saturday. Really a bottom up movement for sure.

Christopher White deserves a standing ovation for showing: Yes we CAN-ada!

Information on rallies can be found at http://noprorogue.ca/

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chapleau Hockey Moments when "Fife, Fife" became "Fight, Fight" and the 1954 Bantams

Coach Tee Chambers with Harry Pellow and Aldee Martel of Chapleau Bantams in March, 1954, Sudbury Arena
By 1890 likely at the latest, Chapleau had its first outdoor skating rink located on Lorne Street across from the Canadian Pacific Railway shops and the YMCA, and by 1904 it had been enclosed and roofed, which seems to have marked the official start of organized hockey in the community. The earliest photos I could find were dated circa 1905, and by 1911 teams were competing for the McEwen Cup, donated by Robert McEwen, emblematic of hockey supremacy in Chapleau.

The rink on Lorne Street, with many renovations and different ownership over the years served the community and was the focal point for many outstanding winter carnivals until replaced by the Chapleau Memorial Community Arena in 1951, The memorial arena built on the site of the old rink was replaced by the Chapleau Recreation Centre which included the Mrs. A.W. Moore Arena in 1978. Mrs. Moore singelhandedly raised thousands of dollars to put artificial ice in the memorial arena in 1964.

Looking at photos of the earliest hockey teams is a real trip into the history of Chapleau as the players also had other roles in the life of Chapleau, and I remember some of them as "oldtimers" when I was a kid. Some were Ovide Payette, Simon Kruger, Omar Royal, Tommy Thompson, Gordon Sheppard, George Collinson, Herb Merrick, Harry Chartrand, Bill Morrison,Tom Godfrey (sr), and yes, even my grandfather Harry Morris. (As and aside I never knew that my grandfather played hockey in Chapleau. He would tell me stories about playing hockey on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa with "King" Clancy later with the Toronto Maple Leafs though.)

Not too long ago, I was talking with my friend Anita on Facebook about Chapleau hockey but reminded her that I did politics in Chapleau too.

"I know you did politics but really you did hockey." she replied quickly. And, you know, she has a point. I was never a very good ice hockey player (road hockey was a different story) but I started my involvement in hockey in the old rink as a goal judge as a kid for the old town league, played Bantam, became a referee and after returning to Chapleau to teach in 1969, started coaching.

Let me share an anecdote about my coaching debut which was actually with a Chapleau Midget team in Timmins. I can't remember how I ended up filling in for someone but there I was. During the game a fight broke out and upon our return home, within a few days a letter arrived from Jim Aspin, the longtime secretary manager of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association accusing the Chapleau coach (me) of encouraging his players to fight.

A meeting was called to discuss the matter and we met in the basement of the old Town Hall. The letter alleged that I was yelling from the bench, "FIGHT, FIGHT." Of course I denied it and after much discussion, Earle Freeborn, now the mayor of Chapleau, asked me if I had yelled anything from the bench. I thought for a moment and suddenly it struck me. Bob Fife, now the Ottawa Bureau Chief for CTV News, was on the team and in the midst of the fight. I said, yes I had been yelling for Fife to come to the bench. And I was yelling "FIFE, FIFE" which sounded like "FIGHT, FIGHT".

What a sigh of relief. A letter was sent to the NOHA explaining it all and it was accepted. I survived to coach another day.

As I was looking at Chapleau hockey photos I came across one declaring that the Bantam Huskies had won the Algoma Dairy Trophy in 1954 which was presented by Mrs. Broomhead. I know the players on this team well, and understand that through the years when they meet, winning this trophy counts among their great moments in Chapleau hockey. Basil Collings was their coach, and the players were Michael McMullen, David McMillan, Richard Pilon, Tim Goodwin, Charlie White, Ken Schroeder and Harry "Boo" Hong.

In those days when a team travelled to Sudbury to play hockey, as our entire Bantam team did, the CPR on at least one occasion, gave us our own railway car, attached to one of its transcontinental trains. "Tee" Chambers and L.D. "Don" Card were the coaches, and we stayed in the Coulson Hotel, and as the old saying goes, "a great time was had by all." My only memory of the game is that I actually got on the ice for a couple of shifts, managed not to score on my own goal, and completed a pass to Charlie White, who was the star of the team.

There are so many great moments in Chapleau hockey starring the incredibly great players from "Lowertown", the tournaments at carnival time for the Ernest "Sonny" Bignucolo Trophy, the NOHA playoffs, the Chapleau Huskies and their championship year of 1967 in the International Junior "B" Hockey League, the Intermediate "A" Huskies of the Northland Intermediate Hockey League, and so much more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Christopher White calls CAPP members "vocal majority" as rallies planned for January 23 across Canada

Christopher White, the founder of the Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP) group on Facebook which is changing the way politics is done in Canada refers to his 201,000 plus members as the "vocal majority" as it prepares for rallies across Canada on January 23.

"Now we, the vocal majority, find ourselves to be the new power brokers in Ottawa. With rallies planned across Canada on January 23rd, all eyes will be on us,"  Mr White says in an article he wrote for http://rabble.ca/ today.  "We are not, as the traditional thinking goes, an apathetic people. We care deeply about our country, but for too long the increasing cracks in our political system have made it seem beyond repair, leaving people feeling frustrated and disempowered. Finally, we have an issue that unites us, one that we can wrap our heads around while keeping an eye on the eventual end game."

He explains that after Stephen Harper, the prime minister, prorogued Patliament, he started the Facebook group,  "with the simple idea of getting Canadians to write to their Members of Parliament and asking them to return to the Hill on January 25th, the day the session was set to resume. Honestly, I didn't actually think it would work.. .. My action, however, has snowballed into a movement encompassing Canadians from across the country and the political spectrum."

Referring to the upcoming rallies on January 23, Mr. White says "The upcoming rallies are not the culmination of our efforts, they are the beginning. Let's start with prorogation and use our inevitable success to push for greater reforms, ones that ensure that our government is accountable, transparent, and responsive to the demands of the electorate..."

You can read Mr. White's complete article at http://rabble.ca/
Thanks Chris for permittng  me to use quotes from your article to share with my readers.. mjm
Christopher White is a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He started the Facebook group Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament, which now boasts moire than 201,000  members and is growing by the minute.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

BULLETIN: Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament group on Facebook passes 200,000 members as rallies planned for January 23

The Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP) group on Facebook just passed 200,000 as it prepares  to hold anti-prorogation rallies in communities across Canada on Saturday January 23.

The 200,000 mark was reached at    7:34   p.m Eastern Time

Established by Christopher White, a University of Alberta graduate student, over the past two weeks, the CAPP group has  become the virtual town hall for Canadians from all parts of the country opposed to the decision by Stephen Harper, the prime minister, to prorogue the Canadian Parliament until March 3. It was to resume on January 25.

Just before the mark was reached Mr  White posted: "Seriously...I never would have thought I could get emotional about facebook numbers."

On January 5, when I first starting writing about the group, it had 26,000 members.

Rallies have been scheduled for at least 40 communities across Canada, but the number changes quickly. For information on a rally near you go to http://noprorogue.ca/ for information.

Here are some comments as members waited for the 200,000 mark to be reached:

"Let's go chattering class!!!! 200 000 chatter chatter chatter -- get back to work MPs!"


Come on Canada. YES WE CAN!"

"Canadians are wide awake now "

 Un petit verre de blanc dans la main!"

And here is a quote from Stephen Harper:

"When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it's rapidly losing its moral authority to govern." - Stephen Harper Canadian Press, April 18, 2005

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE