Rachel's Blog Archive : 2011

December 31, 2011
Happy New Year all the way from El Salvador's capital! I just gave away a bunch of school supplies to a school in the Salvadorian capital. Hope the paper, pencils, crayons, erasers and pencil sharpeners will go a long way.

November 18, 2011
You will see me at the 18th second of the commercial advertisement for the IMMORTAL - Michael Jackson / Cirque du Soleil album to be released next week. To watch the commercial, click here: http://immortal.michaeljackson.com/ROW.

November 17, 2011
I attended the gala in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Official Languages Act in Ontario. It was interesting to watch video clip on the bumpy road to passing the law, which was proposed by then-MPP Bernard Grandmaitre. It turns out the minority government of Liberal David Peterson was supported by a young(er) NDP Party Leader Bob Rae, and that Mr. Rae was then (and still) a champion of French-language rights. Bravo to all who gave birth to this movement which has an ever growing following and reach.

October 30, 2011
Hallowe'en 2011 My Hallowe'en costume: can you guess ?

October 29, 2011
I had the pleasure of giving a talk at the annual NSBE conference in Montreal. If this group is any indication, the future belongs to NSBE members!

October 28, 2011
You can listen to my critique of the cookbook entitled "Créole" tomorrow morning on "In town and out" on CBC Radio. Listen to the podcast : in the "Featured Audio" section in the righthand column.

October 17, 2011
The originator of the Haitian-Canadian community in the national capital, Myrtha Lapierre, is named "Personalité de la semaine" by Radio-Canada. She arrived in Ottawa in August 1956. She is the subject of a full page article in today's Journal Le Droit.

October 15, 2011
Harvest Noir : the classy flash-mob pic-nic of Ottawa-Gatineau. Inaugural edition. A great success! Sign me up for next year!

October 8, 2011
Happy 40th birthday to multiculturalism! It was on Oct. 8, 1971, that Pierre Trudeau announced the policy of multiculturalism. Thanks, Pierre Elliott Trudeau!

October 7, 2011
Glad Dalton McGuinty is still my Premier!

October 6, 2011
I am dropping off 2 business suits at my friend's law office for Dress for Success, a non-profit which gives work clothes to new immigrants and women in need.

October 2, 2011
Very excited to see the world premiere of Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson Immortal" concert tonight in Montreal, along with the Jackson Family!

October 1st, 2011
Going door-to-door with the Yasir Naqvi campaign team in Ottawa-Centre.

September 23, 2011
Lake Louise Three-day trip to Alberta : Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise. What a beautiful province! I even did the cowboy thing at a country music bar in Banff!

September 17, 2011
Going door-to-door with the Phil McNeely campaign team in Ottawa-Orleéans.

August 26, 2011
When I bumped into Senator Meredith today at Rideau Centre, the conversation was about how he and use his position to further the cause of disadvantaged youth. He recently hosted a youth camp from the GTA on Parliament Hill, showing them that their humble beginnings can evolve into earned success through hard work are perseverance. A great message for all children to hear!

August 24, 2011
I just signed the Organ Donor Registration Form that came with my new drivers' license. Have you?

August 23, 2011
MLK statue There is a new monument in Washington, D.C. that commemorates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo: Set in stone This is just the excuse I need to return to WDC for the first time since "The Inauguration". I enjoyed my time in DC and I cannot wait to go back to see both MLK and the statue of Sojourner Truth which have both been unveiled since Obama came to the Whitehouse. It is a testament to what we are capable of when we work TOGETHER, and an inspiration to those in other North American countries which have yet to see their heroes of colour given the tribute they deserve.

August 22, 2011
2011_august_jack_layton (54K) "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." --Jack Layton

August 18, 2011
I helped out at tonight's fundraiser for Minister Meilleur's re-election campaign. Then I attended CAPE's annual fundraiser to send a low income person to university. The video of last year's recipient was quite touching.

August 13, 2011
fidelcastro (44K) Happy 85th birthday Fidel Castro! Feliz compleano El Comandante!

August 10, 2011
Doing translation for the Phil McNeely campaign. Ontario goes to the polls in October!

August 7, 2011
CN Tower? Check. Ottawa? Don't bother, according to tourism travel list. This is puzzling at best.

August 6, 2011
The road less traveled is sometimes paved with fresh corn! Picked up some corn on the cob from a farm South of Orléans (Walkley @ Ramsayville Road).

August 5, 2011
I just love seeing women in positions of power! Thailand's new Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is confirmed as leader today.

August 4, 2011
Happy 110th birthday, Louis Armstrong! What a Wonderful World!

August 4, 2011
Happy 50th birthday, Saint President Obama!

August 2, 2011
I just bumped into Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. Does he work out? He looks quite healthy. He encouraged me to keep working for community initiatives.

August 1, 2011
Know what we celebrate on Aug. 1? You should! It's Emancipation Day: August 1st, 1834. (At least that's the official day that slavery ended in the British Empire. The Brits kept building and selling slave ships and profiting from slavery for decades afterwards). Lest We Forget.

July 28, 2011
Thanks to Carleton University Student Council member Delroy Dyer who gave an eloquent speech to this years BCSF scholarship recipients today. A speech about perseverance, about showing up, about stand up, about counting yourself in. Very inspiring. The attendees clapped, nodded and laughed (in the right places) during the memorable allocation! Well done, DD!

July 27, 2011
I am very pleased to announce that former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Sheila Copps, is considering a run at the Presidency of the Liberal Party of Canada. Tired of the Ol' Boys Club stranglehold on stupidity in the Party! I say, go for it Sheila Copps !

July 24, 2011
2011_july_sunday_bike (26K) I took the foster child to on a 2 hour bicycle odyssey on Sunday-Bike-Day along the Ottawa River. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning outdoors! We stopped by the Relic Rapids sculptures.

July 23, 2011
I took the foster kids to the Haiti En Fête festival, where we bumped into MP Royal Galipeau! 2011.fhef_galipeau (71K)

July 22, 2011
We have all heard about the aboriginals from Northern Ontario who have had to relocate to Ottawa while forest fires endanger their villages. Many have never left their villages, never taken a plane, never visited the Capital, never encountered the richness of the Haitian culture. In a show of solidarity, the Festival Haiti En Fête is offering FREE ENTRANCE to First Nations evacuees who fled the forest fires in Northern Ontario. I spoke to the good people at Wabano and the Odawa Native Friendship Centre. They are on it!

July 21, 2011
Despite the record heat this summer day, there were no blackouts in Ontario. Thanks Dalton McGuinty for those energy rebates that make have made us more efficient. I'm glad Dalton McGuinty invested in green, reliable energy! Article: Conservation caps hydro use in Ottawa : "Extra energy consumption in the city brought on by extremely hot weather should have pushed the city's hydro usage to the record level, but Hydro Ottawa says energy conservation practices over the past five years have been working so well that it didn't happen."

July 20, 2011
Julius Isaac, Canada's first black chief justice, has passed away.

July 18, 2011
As you already know, I am part of a team which is fundraising to build a school in rural Haiti (www.EcoleCoeurOuvert.net). I just got off the phone with Bob Davisson, Champions of Change Volunteer of the Year who built 56 schools in Haiti. (LifelineHaiti.com) A good man! He is full of good ideas and advice.

July 25, 2011
Has it been a quarter century since Madonna's "True Blue" album hit stores? I'll readily admit this album is a staple in my CD changer. Viva Madonna!

July 17, 2011
Congrats to USA and Japan for making it to the World Cup finals. What an exciting game! All this soccer fever has got me thinking of Brazil 2014. How great would it be to take in a World Cup game in person?

July 15, 2011
There is no other Canadian band I enjoy more than Blue Rodeo. I met Jim Cuddy on Canada Day Eve a few years back. He was dining on Elgin st., with a window seat. I just love his voice and his falsetto is still 100% after all these years.

July 13, 2011
I had the pleasure of watching a living legend, Buddy Guy, at the Ottawa Blues Fest. What an artist!

July 11, 2011
2011_july_minister_matthews (15K) MPP Yasir Naqvi hosted a lunch for women to hear from Minister Deb Matthews and the important role women play in the McGuinty government.

July 1, 2011
I remember the good ol' days when Canada Day was about Canadians, not rich superficially fake foreigners representing a racist, sexist, elitist, colonialist institution.

June 18, 2011
Me and the foster kids are enjoying the CariVibe parade in Orléans! Which float was the best? Hard to pick. 2011_april_justin_reelection (25K)

May 1, 2011
I've spent this past month volunteering for people I believe in : Berchi in Orléans, Scott Bradley in Ottawa-Centre, Bernadette Clement in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, Karine Joizil in Laval and Justin Trudeau in Montreal. Despite the crud that rots the LPC, these are all excellent candidates that can make me proud again. 2011_april_karine_joizil (28K)

March 28, 2011
Mark your calendars : May 2nd is federal Election Day! Here's a nifty electoral compass to judge how your views match with the 5 political parties. Vote Compass uncovers your political stripe: Survey pinpoints party closest to your stand on major issues.

March 21, 2011
"Overcoming racism compels us to address public policies and private attitudes that perpetuate it. On this International Day, I call on Member States, international and non-governmental organizations, the media, civil society and all individuals to engage meaningfully in the promotion of the International Year for People of African descent -- and to work together against racism whenever and wherever it occurs."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2011

Feb 1, 2011
Happy Black History Month! Statement from the Prime Minister:
February is Black History Month and an opportunity to celebrate the values of perseverance and dignity that have defined the black community in Canada. This year, we celebrate four outstanding Canadian icons whose stories characterize the pride, strength and dignity that have driven black Canadians to realize their ambitions in different fields. During Black History Month, I encourage Canadians to learn more about the important contributions of black Canadians to our great nation and to participate in various events celebrating this part of our culture.

January 30, 2011
I got to see the 2 new stamps featuring black Canadians at Black History Ottawa's annual BHM Launch event. At the turn of the 20th Century, Carrie Best broke down barriers and changed mindsets - thriving as a broadcaster, author, human rights activist and the founder of the first black-owned newspaper in Nova Scotia. Ontario's Ferguson Jenkins is the only Canadian player to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

January 12, 2011
Power and Politics. CBC NN (January 2011) On the anniversary of the Haitian earthquake, let us remember the fallen and celebrate the courage of the survivors. I will be discussing it on Power and Politics with Evan Solomon on CBC News Network tonight. Watch the clip @ minute 1h45m.

January 3, 2011
"This International Year offers a unique opportunity to redouble our efforts to fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that affect people of African descent everywhere."
Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations' website about the International Year for People of African Descent.