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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Canadian mosaic

In light of the attack in St. Foy Quebec on the weekend I feel it important to point out that Canadians over the years have taken on the mosaic of its people through inter-marriage. My family is a good example of this wonderful phenomenon. My father was a French Catholic whose first wife died shortly after giving birth to a daughter. He then married the woman who would give birth to me. Her family was French Protestant missionaries. His daughter, while baptized Catholic, was raised in one of the last French Protestant missionary churches in Montreal Quebec.

Our maternal grandparents fostered and adopted, our parents did the same as did my sister and her husband and my wife and I. We will be married 50 years this September and have four adult children our oldest (adopted) has two children and three grandchildren thus making us great grandparents. Our oldest son is married to an agnostic and they have two children. They decided to allow the children to choose their own path religiously and in life.

Our second son came home one evening and informed me that he was considering converting to Islam. I knew he was infatuated with a Muslim woman and therefore was not surprised. Because of my upbringing and my parents and grandparents acceptance of others it was natural to accept his decision. He married in a traditional Muslim ceremony; it was everything we expected and more.

Our youngest daughter, during this same period, was dating a young man of Armenian and East Indian descent, a young man whose parents were living in Iran at the time of his birth and while they were Catholic his Canadian passport reads “Place of Birth Iran”. They married and have 2 children.

We have, so far, six grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren who are all of blended heritage and who all represent what we are as Canadians, warm, accepting and inclusive.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to the relatives and friends of those who died at the hands of this heartless beast it saddens me to know that there are people who cannot enjoy and accept others. We are one.

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