Sunday, September 17, 2006
Mrs. Peeps returned from her brief jaunt with Ms. Firefly Knit to Canada's capital for a joint research and policy conference by the Canadian Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation on Enhancing Access to Post-Secondary Education: Recent Progress and Future Challenges. Don't feel bad if you nodded off while reading that sentence; I did too! Mrs. Peeps assures me that it was a very interesting conference. I dunno...perhaps she and I have a slightly different interpretation of "interesting"?
Nevertheless, it was a very patriotic journey, with a particularly special moment: drinking a "Canadian" beer in the Confederation Room of the West Block of Parliament Hill. It will likely be many years before anyone will be able to duplicate this moment as the West Block is about to be closed for major reconstruction. This conference was one of the last activities to take place before this room and this building are out of commission.
Although the ladies weren't able to poke around too much in the West Block, their trail to this conference room led them past the offices of quite a few Members of Parliament: Hon. Bill Blaikie (an NDP representative from my birth city of Winnipeg!), Hon. Jim Karygiannis (the Liberal representative for Scarborough-Agincourt, Mrs. Peeps's old nightmare-inducing stomping grounds), and Dr. Ruby Dhalla (the Liberal representative for Brampton-Springdale).
The last name was pleasant surprise for Mrs. Peeps, as she hadn't heard this name in about 10 years -- and at that time Ruby was a Student Ambassador in the Office of Enrollment Management at the University of Winnipeg where Mrs. Peeps was a recruitment/liaison officer. Now Ruby Dhalla is one of the youngest women in Parliament and the first Sikh woman to serve in the Canadian House of Commons! She is the appointed Critic for Health and has an incredible track record in the areas of health care, foreign credential recognition for new Canadians, womens' issues, and global humanitarian and trade initiatives. Check out her web site: www.rubydhalla.ca.
Mrs. Peeps has reported a renewed sense of patriotism following her Ottawa jaunt; as if Lukas winning Rock Star Supernova -- the second Canuck to do so -- wasn't enough!