By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
Unlike its 100th and 125th anniversaries, the Government of Canada decided not to put out a commemorative medal for the country’s 150th birthday – so Oshawa MP Colin Carrie decided to just do it himself.
“ thought this is something I could do on my own, so that’s what I’m going to do,” Carrie says of the Oshawa’s Canada 150 medal, which is now accepting nominations.
“I, like everybody else, am proud of Canadians, what we’ve done the last century and a half and we have some great people in Oshawa. I think this a great opportunity to acknowledge their service.”
The medals will be awarded for five different categories: community builders, which can include educators, entrepreneurs or anyone demonstrating inclusion; service clubs; good neighbours, which can include first responders, caregivers or someone who’s just a good neighbour; arts, culture and heritage, recognizing the role individuals and groups have played in making Oshawa what it is today; and other.
“The original thought was to give out 150 (medals) for the 150th, but of course, depending on the take up of the program, we can be a little bit flexible on that,” Carrie says.
Last year, it was announced that the federal government decided against issuing a medal to honour the country’s 150th anniversary. Last month, the Senate’s internal economy, budgets and administration committee gave the thumbs up to plan that would see a run of 1,500 bronze medals for senators to award to people in their respective communities.
The Canadian Centennial Medal was established in 1966 and first awarded at centennial celebrations the following year. The medals were given to Canadians based on the recommendations of government officials, as well as from professional, educational and cultural associations for their work for the public good. There were approximately 29,500 of these medals issued, with 8,500 going to military personnel.
A quarter century later in 1992, the federal government established the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal. As was the case with its predecessor 25 years earlier, this medal was awarded to Canadians who made a contribution to their community or to the country. This medal saw a much higher distribution, with approximately 42,000 medals being awarded.
The Canadian government has also released medals to coincide with notable anniversaries for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, with honours being put out for the silver, golden and diamond jubilees in 1977, 2002 and 2012 respectively.
To be eligible for Oshawa’s Canada 150 medal, the recipient must live in the Oshawa riding. Nominators are asked to fill out a one-page form, available on Carrie’s website, as well as provide two letters of recommendation.
Forms are also available at Carrie’s constituency office at 57 Simcoe St. S.
Nominators have until the end of business on June 2 to submit their forms, which can be done either electronically or at the constituency office.
To get a form for nominations, visit colincarriemp.ca.