Time Canada News Release / CanadaNewsWire Group

from    http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2006/11/c4135.html   © 2006 CNW Group Ltd.

Attention News Editors:

TIME Magazine celebrates Canada's heroes with third annual list

TORONTO, June 11 /CNW/ - Canadian edition of TIME Magazine (on newsstands tomorrow and online now at www.canada.com/canadianheroes) celebrates Canada's most devoted and determined citizens who have earned their country's pride by changing it for the better. The third annual list contains a look at "everyday people who faced extraordinary situations - from a shipwreck and a war zone to the troubled Arctic and a suffering small town - and rose to the occasion," writes TIME Canada associate editor Rebecca Myers. "They vary in age and are from different walks of life."


OLYMPIC WOMEN: "Clara Hughes, one of four athletes in the world to win medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics, has a theory. 'Canada is not afraid to allow women every single opportunity men have. Compared to most other countries, it's a very forward-thinking attitude,' says Hughes, 33, who won speedskating gold and silver in Torino in February, a bronze in 2002 and two cycling bronzes in 1996. 'Canada isn't afraid to celebrate its women athletes.' With more events for men than for women at the Games - and with many women's events added only during the 1990s - Canada's female athletes have a knack for rising to the Olympic occasion," writes Mary Jollimore for TIME. "In Torino, a woman - Albertan Jennifer Heil - set the tone for Team Canada, uncorking two airborne backflips and bouncing on moguls down the freestyle-skiing course for gold on Day One. Then, as Canada's men's hockey team, a crew of millionaire NHL misfits, fizzled to seventh, the women outscored all comers by a combined 46 goals to 2 to defend their 2002 Olympic gold and salvage national pride at the rink. But Canada's brightest star was Cindy Klassen. A hockey player since age 4, Klassen was devastated after being cut from the national team in 1998. She persevered, took up speedskating and collected five medals in Torino to go with a bronze from 2002. She's now Canada's most decorated Olympian ever." After a look Canada's 2006 female Olympians, Jollimore concludes "that modesty-and a desire to inspire others about what one can achieve in sport-qualifies Canada's 2006 female Olympic champions as heroes."

PAUL FRANKLIN: "Master Corporal Paul Franklin lost both his legs in a suicide bombing in Kandahar earlier this year but doesn't think of himself as a hero. He says the 2,300 Canadian Forces personnel in Afghanistan are doing heroic work every day, and he's proud just to represent them. 'If you call me a hero, what you are really saying is that all of them are heroes. I'll take that,' he says. As debate rages over Canada's mission in Afghanistan, Franklin's story stands out as remarkable. The medical technician, 38, trained the eight men in his patrol company, and it was their bravery and close teamwork that saved the lives of Franklin and two comrades after the attack."

ED BROADBENT: "Few Canadian politicians exert as much influence after leaving their job as they did when they actually held it," writes Stephen Handelman for TIME. "If Canada ever changes its first-past-the-post electoral system, much of the credit will go to political icon Ed Broadbent. On April 4, the Speech from the Throne contained a pledge by Stephen Harper's Tories to 'involve parliamentarians and citizens in examining the challenges faced in Canada's electoral system.' The wording, according to New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton, was 'dictated by Ed to me over the phone, and I took it to Harper' during all-party consultations. Broadbent's passion for electoral reform is well known. But what makes the story remarkable is that Broadbent was no longer in politics when his words made it into the Throne Speech. In May 2005 he announced he was vacating his seat to care for his cancer-stricken wife of 35 years, Lucille."

FRANCINE BOND AND JULIE BERCIER: "The accolades - and the new residents - keep coming to St. Magloire, Quebec. The rural community of 722 people can thank Julie Bercier and Francine Bond, both mothers of four, for saving the village. Their heroics didn't involve a swashbuckling rescue so much as a rethinking of how to reverse the demographic trend that is killing farm communities around Quebec," writes Linda Gyulai, who writes of a town that in 2002 began to see the reality of rural exodus from decades of people heading to the big cities for school and work. "Bercier, 38, whose great-grandfather laid down the family's roots in the village, didn't want to give up that easily... By the spring of 2004, 54 newcomers, 11 of them elementary school students, had moved to the village from the suburbs of Quebec City and other small towns. The school board declared Rayons de Soleil saved until at least 2008, as long as enrollment remains stable."

BRUCE REECE: "On the last voyage of the Queen of the North, rain and wind lashed the ferry as it plowed through the night off the rocky coast of northern British Columbia. Onshore, in the aboriginal village of Hartley Bay (pop. 169), Bruce Reece was jolted out of a sound sleep shortly after midnight on March 21 by the squawk of his VHF radio. It was unthinkable that disaster could befall the 125-m behemoth. Reece, 49, a grandfather, ran to his cabin cruiser at the village dock. Normally he would not dream of taking the 7-m boat out in such rough conditions, but his mind was on the ferry's passengers - who included his niece Leanne and her teenage daughter Sandra. Blinded by black rain, he rammed his boat onto a rocky beach, pulled it off and kept on going. Other villagers joined him, and soon six Hartley Bay boats were rushing at full throttle toward the ferry, 20 minutes away." 99 of the 101 people aboard the Queen of the North survived.

ORLA LOCKERBIE AND SHARON MAHER: "Necessity is the mother of invention. But in the case of Orla Lockerbie, 73, and Sharon Maher, 68, necessity launched these grandmothers' invention. Last year the two friends read newspaper accounts about the plight of grandmothers in Africa who have been doubly burdened with mourning their adult children who die of AIDS and eking out a life for themselves and their orphaned grandchildren. While having lunch not long afterward, Maher and Lockerbie decided they could make a difference. In May 2005 they founded Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers, a fund-raising nonprofit organization that collects donations to help their African counterparts."

HEATHER CROWE: Crowe "the woman whose Health Canada ad in 2003 made her an unlikely TV star: the blond waitress who tells viewers she has lung cancer but never smoked a cigarette in her life," died May 22, during TIME's reporting of Canada's Hereos. "Typically, TIME honors only heroes who are still living; in Crowe's case, we made an exception. When she received a diagnosis in March 2002, Crowe was given three years to live. She could have been angry. Her inoperable cancer was determined by doctors to be a "smoker's tumor"; Crowe had worked as a waitress in smoke-filled restaurants for 40 years in Ottawa to support herself and her daughter Patricia. After the diagnosis, Crowe hired a lawyer and became the first person to win full workers' compensation for lung cancer caused by workplace exposure to secondhand smoke. Between doses of radiation therapy that left her lungs scarred and with just 25% of their functioning capacity, she zigzagged across Canada visiting politicians, community groups and schools."

SHEILA WATT-CLOUTIER: "As chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), Watt-Cloutier thinks the conversation about global warming must focus not just on abstract ideas like carbon sinks and emission-reduction credits. She believes instead in trying to put a human face on the problem. Global warming, in addition to its threat of increased sea levels and ecosystem breakdown in the future, already presents the Inuit with serious health and safety concerns, she says. Arctic transportation becomes dangerous without predictable ice cover. People get stranded; some drown. Animal-migration patterns change, and food sources become unreliable. Diets have to adapt. 'It's not just an inconvenience,' says Watt-Cloutier, 52. 'This is stuff you worry about every day.'"

HARRY GEFEN AND SUSAN DRUMMOND: "On returning last August from a month- long work-related trip to Israel, Drummond, 46, a law professor at Osgoode Hall at Toronto's York University, opened her phone bill: a shockingly high $12,237.60, up from her usual $75," writes Chris Daniels for TIME. "Drummond and her husband Harry Gefen, 49, a technology journalist, have become unwitting experts on how Canadian consumers can take on corporate giants. They began by researching Rogers' policies and practices. Drummond and Gefen told their tale to the Globe and Mail, which ran a front-page story on them just before Christmas. The morning the article ran, Ted Rogers phoned the couple and said he was "accountable." He told them the bill would be erased. (It was)." The couple are currently seeking $10,000 and punitive damages. "Should Drummond and Gefen succeed, other customers will be thankful the pair didn't capitulate," concludes Daniels.

HETTY VAN GURP: "Fifteen years after the death of her eldest son Ben Adams at the hands of a school bully, Hetty van Gurp struggles to describe it. 'It's just as difficult today as when it happened,' she says, in an interview at her 200-year-old house on the Annapolis River in Granville Ferry, N.S. 'Time does not heal.' But instead of curling into a ball, she began studying antiviolence techniques for schools. 'My choice was to try to make something good come of this,' she says. Since then, van Gurp has traveled the globe with her message, making multiple trips to troubled schools in Serbia and Northern Ireland. Author of three how-to books for educators, she heads Peaceful Schools International, an organization she started in 2001 with no money and donated office space. The group-which still survives without public funding- has more than 200 member schools in North America, Japan, Russia and elsewhere."

JEANELLE SPRATT: "When Governor-General Michaelle Jean returned to her homeland of Haiti in May for the inauguration of the country's President, she used her trip to draw attention to the plight of its most vulnerable citizens."You have children here in Haiti who are slaves," she said. She urged the Caribbean nation's wealthy and powerful to end such injustices. Yet Jeanelle Spratt, a fellow Canadian, was way ahead of her. Spratt contacted former Windsor priest Father John Duarte, who lives in Haiti and helped found HTFH. She asked him if it would be possible to set up homes in which some of the restavec (meaning 'stay with') children could live and be cared for. Duarte liked the idea immediately. Once the HTFH board had approved the proposal for Kay Nou (Our House, in Haitian Creole), Spratt made presentations to the people of Windsor and surrounding communities. Donations came from individuals, the Canadian Auto Workers Union and fund-raising efforts at area schools."

ALLEN TYSICK: "The Rev. Allen Tysick believes that every person deserves respect, no matter how dirty or down and out. It's a conclusion he reached early in life: walking down the street in Ottawa one day before Christmas when he was about 12, he saw a Salvation Army volunteer cross the street to avoid a man sprawled on the sidewalk. The young Tysick walked up to the passed-out man and recognized him. It was Tysick's father, who had been homeless off and on, drunk on the street. The boy was certain then that the church should do more to help the poor, and Tysick, now 59 and a United Church minister, has lived the part ever since. He'll stop to chat with a drug user or a panhandler just as readily as with someone about to donate to the Open Door, the inner-city ministry he has run in Victoria, B.C., since 1992."

Full story is available on www.canada.com/canadianheroes

For further information: please contact: WILLIAM LOPEZ, TEL: (416) 928-4836, william_lopez@timeinc.com or KRIS MENON, TEL: (416) 928-4824, kris_menon@timeinc.com


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