Friday, July 08, 2005

To Replace Ahenakew, How 'Bout a Blogger for the Order of Canada?

So, David Ahenakew has been stripped of the Order of Canada:

The Governor General's office has confirmed its plans to strip Ahenakew of his membership in the prestigious Order of Canada after many Canadians called for the honour to be revoked.

In the news conference later, Ahenakew said authorities decided to strip him of the Order of Canada before the court reached its verdict.

"This, of course, was the direct result of the pressure put on the (Governor General's) advisory committee by some of the Jewish community, including a letter-writing campaign and the lobbying by the Canadian Jewish Congress,'' he said at a news conference.

Lucie Brosseau, a spokeswoman in the Governor General's office, says a letter was sent to Ahenakew on June 30 informing him he is being removed from the Order.

Since the Order of Canada was created in 1967, only one other person has ever been stripped of the honour.

Alan Eagleson, former hockey agent and executive director of the NHL Players Association, had his membership revoked after having been found guilty of fraud.

So how did David get the Order, exactly? From the Governor-General's web site:

Member of a United Nations committee and of the World Indigenous Peoples Council. His many years of service to Indians and M├ętis in Saskatchewan culminated in his election as Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, which has revolutionized Indian education in his province.

In other words, he got the award because he put in a few years of public service. Doesn't sound like much, does it?

As a matter of fact, you don't really need all that much to get one:

Any person or group is welcome to nominate a deserving individual as candidate for appointment to the Order of Canada.

Nominations should be accompanied by biographical notes detailing the career and achievements of the nominee. It is helpful to include the names of persons who would support the nomination and who could provide information about why the individual deserves the honour.

Take, for example, the late Stu Hart:

As patriarch of Canada's first family of professional wrestling, he has made an important contribution to the sport for more than five decades. Founder of Stampede Wrestling and an icon of the golden era of wrestling, he has been coach and mentor to countless young athletes, imparting the highest standards of athleticism and personal conduct. A generous supporter of community life in Calgary, he is a loyal benefactor to more than thirty charitable and civic organizations including the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children and the Alberta Firefighters Toy Fund.

So, Stu got the award because of his work in pro wrestling. (Hey, I'm not objecting; I'm a WWE fan myself.)

Y'know, I'm beginning to wonder if we shouldn't start a campaign to nominate a blogger for the Order. I mean, look at the nomination form. All that seems to be required is a name, a resume for that guy, a nominator and three others who can vouch for the nomination.

Let's see, the nominee ... how 'about Brian Neale of NealeNews? He seems to be a favorite link among Canadian bloggers. How do other people feel about the idea?