My nephew, James Sliter, was recently awarded a Sesquicentennial Medal from the Senate of Canada for his volunteer role in making our community a better place to live. He was nominated by current Senator and former police chief of Ottawa, Vern White.
James has shown dedication and commitment towards the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ottawa organization (BBBSO) for many years. He is a former big brother, a former Board President and currently sits on the business development committee.
Unfortunately, there was controversy swirling around the dispersion of the rest of the medals. These awards were supposed to honor community activists and volunteers or unsung heroes. The Canadian Mint created the medals as part of our 150 birthday celebration. That’s where the word sesquicentennial comes in. Our 93 Canadian Senators were each supposed to nominate 12 deserving individuals to receive the 1500 medals. However, many of the Senators, 47 to be exact, kept the medals for themselves or gave them to former senators. The last time I checked no senators can be termed volunteers or unsung heroes. This is pure greed on their part.
Regardless of the controversy, Vern White got it right with his nomination of James. The rest of my family and I are extremely proud of him!