By Mike Archer. What on earth for? That’s all I could come up with when I read the announcement in the minutes for Monday’s council meeting.
Mayor Bruce Banman, who has barely been in the job more than a year, is being recognized by Ed Fast for significant contributions to Canada …
How little do you actually have to do to receive one of these things?
There are an enormous number of Canadians whose contributions to their country, their community and the world around them have been appropriately recognized by the awarding of a Governor General’s Queen’s Jubilee Medal. This is what the medals were supposed to achieve – the recognition of outstanding Canadians regardless of their position in society.
They were not designed to be handed out by politicians to other politicians, all of whom already make a living at the public trough.
Without any disrespect for those community members who have been recognized for their contributions, appointments like the one being made to Mayor Banman prove the point, being argued by many across the country, that, in handing these things out like Smarties from a bowl and a children’s party, our politicians are demeaning the medals and all those who have received them.
The handing out of such honours (some 60,000 now) has been ruined by the political class who have seen fit, in an orgy of self gratification, to tarnish the medals by handing them out to one another.
Most prominent on the national stage has been the case of the City of London, Ontario where councillors honoured themselves.
According to MacLeans Magazine, “After the city’s scandal-plagued Mayor Joe Fontana nominated all 14 council members for the award, the councillors voted in an in-camera session late last year to give the medals to themselves.”
Then came news from the Huffington Post that “Two Ottawa Valley mayors have sent back their Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals, disagreeing with the way they were awarded.”
Said Huff Po, “Raye-Anne Briscoe of Admaston/Bromley and Peter Emon of Greater Madawaska Township said they felt they were given medals simply for being a mayor, diminishing the accomplishments of other winners in their communities.
“The Diamond Jubilee Medal was awarded to about 60,000 Canadians over the past year as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. The award was meant to recognize the achievements of Canadians and their dedication to service.”
Then of course came the announcement that Radio India Manager Maninder Gill received the medal from MP Jinny Sims while facing weapons charges.
Here are the eligibility criteria for the medal.
Eligible candidates must meet the following criteria:
- have made significant contributions to Canada or to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or for an outstanding achievement abroad that has brought great credit to Canada;
- be citizens or permanent residents of Canada;
- be alive on February 6, 2012. The award can be made posthumously, as long as the candidate was alive on that date.
Other than being alive and a resident, what on earth has Mayor Bruce Banman done to deserve such as honour?