Sheila Copps is a former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister. She now is a
columnist for the Sun Newspapers and hosts web chats on canoe.ca at http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/SheilaCopps/ .
Today she hosted a chat about why Canada is a GREAT COUNTRY.
Our class sent her this message:
Dear Mrs. Copps:
My grade 4 students would like to know if you
would consider running for Prime Minister again. As Prime Minister, what
would you do to keep Canada great?
Grade 4 Class, Midland, Ontario.
Here was her reply:
I thank the teacher for the question. I myself was just in
a school yesterday in Ottawa and I suspect that if the students have
such a question it must be the result of a teacher who may dabble in
politics. The reason that I am not running for the Liberal leadership is
partly tied to my own family. I now have 4 grandchildren and the 1st was
born on Canada Day so I would like to enjoy more time with them and when
you are in politics it is literally a 24 hour a day job. If I were Prime
Minister, I think the biggest challenge that we face is to be inspired
and to continue to inspire about our country. I see many Canadians who
have a strong attachment to their province or their regions but I fear
the Canadian identity is becoming diminished in the constant bickering
between regions and provinces. Going back to an earlier e-mail, we have
an incredible country and perhaps because we have so few problems we
tend to pick fights with each other. In the long term, the Prime
Minister needs to build and promote a common identity. That does not
mean disavowing regional differences but it does mean that we need to
focus on some common goals and I think one of those goals should be
creating a society where every person, regardless of economic
beginnings, is empowered to succeed. That’s a pretty big task for a
grade 4 class but it basically means having a country where we get rid
of all the bullies. I hope your class has a wonderful summer and I hope
your teacher has a well-deserved rest!
Sheila When I was in Grade 4 I had a very tough year because I
skipped Grade 3. I was extremely stressed because I didn’t know how to
multiply or divide and my teacher made me stay in almost every recess to
practice my multiplication tables. She said that if I did not complete
the work I would have to skip the class picnic. So I thought Grade 4 was
a very tough year but then I had a great summer and ended up with some
wonderful teachers who didn’t worry so much about my poor mathematical
skills. I think in Grade 4, if I remember correctly, I was playing
baseball in a neighbourhood team for the summer and we absolutely loved
it. It started my love of sport which has continued to this day. I hope
you are all getting a chance to watch the World Cup and cheer for your
favourite team and also to play some soccer yourself: it’s good for you!
You can read the whole transcript of her web chat here.