Sunday, February 22

Activity Update

Wow! What changes over the past couple of weeks!

Though the weather has remained cold, on the political level, attitudes across the country appear to have warmed and changed substantially. Whatever precipitated the change: the economy engaging everyone's attention, the fact that the government heard the wake-up call in the tête-à-tête with opposition parties, or the focus on the preparations for President Obama’s visit, Mr. Harper sure appears much more amenable. Mr. Ignatieff appears to have settled in fast to his role in leading the Opposition and appears totally comfortable with it.

President Obama’s visit, though very brief, is now history and it appeared as if he fulfilled everyone’s expectations. Hopefully he will be back again when he does not have so much demanding his attention at home and hopefully he will be able to remain as persuasive as he has been with respect to the economy, especially on matters that affect trade between Canada and the USA.

On the home-front I keep busy too. I very much enjoyed my involvement with the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki 40th Anniversary celebrations. It was great meeting so many from near and far, as it helped ensure the success of the overall celebration. I also attended the annual dinner of the Lethbridge and District Ethnic Association and the Gala introducing us to the Water Resources Institute at the U of L. In addition to the usual other committee meetings, I had a couple of meetings and contacts regarding the much talked of anticipated change in local fire and ambulance services.

I’ve also been in touch with some of my agricultural contacts to monitor the effects which the changing economy is having on them. It appears that some of the issues noted to me last summer and fall have intensified, while a couple of them appear to have less significance, i.e. oil and fertilizer costs. Nevertheless, they suggest that government and other authorities need to keep working on them. My contacts say the need is greater than ever for changes to facilitate trade in cattle with the USA. I have forwarded the information to Bob Russell, Chair of the Liberal Party Agricultural Committee to help us in our meeting on Saturday with Hon. Wayne Easter, former Liberal Agriculture Minister now Opposition Agriculture shadow-Minister.

Given the winds of change for our American cousins and the worsening economic situation for us too, we should not only to be ready if called upon to form a government, but to ensure that our policies are in tune with people’s needs. With this in mind, a number of us met this week and reviewed the recommendations contained in the Red Ribbon Task Force 2006 Report. We’ll be passing them on to the current ‘Renewal Commission’ preparing for the LPC upcoming Vancouver Convention.

It is high time that everyone, not just Liberals, needs to change their way of thinking and acting in order to change the Conservative grip, especially in Lethbridge area. I believe anything is possible if we put our minds to it. Who would have thought last year that the American people would have changed so fast to the point of electing an African-American to lead them? It restores my faith in the power of good. We too need to believe change can occur. Together we can do it!

Michael Cormican

Wednesday, February 11

Congratulations to Sik-Ooh-Kotoki (Medicine Tree) Friendship Center on your 40th Anniversary

This a copy of my recent letter to the Lethbridge Herald on Friday, Feb. 6, '09.

‘Thank you’ Sik-Ooh-Kotoki staff for the most successful Gala Evening last Saturday, February 1 commencing celebration of the 40th Anniversary of founding in 1969. It made my heart swell with pride for you seeing the huge El Rancho ballroom packed with representations of the community to share in the celebration and recognizing forty years of service to our community. It was also a nice surprise to renew friendships with several that came from across the country.

As we heard and some of us realize it has not been an easy road for you. We commend founders, Leroy Little Bear, Rose Yellowfeet and Rod McLeod for their foresight, dreams and determination as well as current President Roland Cotton, Jim Short and Lydia First Rider for their able leadership over the past ten years. We wish you continuing success.

We hope everyone will take the opportunity to come out and enjoy the many other celebratory events over the next month. There’s something every week; a pow wow this w/e, the following w/e boxing etc., and all funded without government assistance. Way to go! A great demonstration of what can be achieved when we believe in ourselves, reach out to each other and reach for the stars. It bodes well for our future.

Thanks Lethbridge for your continued support the dream of a home and mingling place for all regardless of status or colour. A special thanks to Travis and your team for the terrific emcee job, fun and friendly jibes both politically and with our friendly security colleagues. You guys looked superb!

Special thanks to guest-speaker, Mr. Elijah Harper, for your words of wisdom and encouragement. Many of us indeed remember you years ago speaking out as an MLA and MP. It was a real treat to meet you at last. As you suggested; let’s all soar like the eagle and our community will be the better for it.

It’s great to see the rubber hitting the road and everyone working together at last since it is the best way to achieve our best and human potential. Thanks again all. Keep up the great work. I look forward to the rest of the events and fun. Congratulations again for a job well done. Dream-on and continue to reach out and expand “The Spirit of Bridging Friendships”.

Michael Cormican