But putting personal sentiment aside, I do firmly believe Leonard Cohen deserves to be on a stamp. I wish it had happened before his death -- as I have written previously, placing living Canadians on stamps, beginning 11 years ago, was the right thing to do, honouring groups like Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip and individuals like Stompin' Tom Connors, Joni Mitchell and Anne Murray.
The gifts of 2016 weren't sweetly wrapped in chic silver bows beneath a popcorn-trimmed tree. Rather its gifts were hiding under piles of muck, mire, and metaphorical dirty diapers. 2016 made us work for its rewards; an ongoing dichotomy. Low meeting high. Pain meeting beauty. Injustice meeting a renewed fervour for truth.
These are people that believe so strongly in the potential of their city and are doing all they can for the world to understand one thing: "You don't need to leave Hamilton to enjoy the fruits of a growing exciting world. And if you don't live here, please do come and be part of our family to create wonder with us."
Before Gord, Mike Downie and Pearl (Chanie Wenjack's sister) got on stage at WE Day, I knew about the conditions of the indigenous communities, but like most Canadians, we weren't taught what a residential school was and why both the truth and reconciliation is so important to not only the indigenous community.
Everybody knows Trudeau is a brilliant campaigner, inspiring Canadians through a personal brand that emphasizes empathy and fairness, but his inaction on the First Nations file directly contradicts the inspirational sound bites and calls into question his government's integrity. In fact, it isn't a stretch to say that his handling of this file is as bad as the Harper government who backburnered these issues for a decade.
I've had the honour and privilege of treating Mr. Downie over the past few months, and working with his health-care team during this summer's tour. When the band stepped on stage in Victoria, B.C. for the tour's first stop, like many others in the audience, I cried. I've been asked a lot this summer if I'm a Hip fan, and I am. I treat 250 new patients year, and I'm a fan of all of them -- for the strength they show and for the determination they have to make the cancer journey better for those who face it after them.