You are currently browsing the archives for the Personal category.

Marc’s Posts

October 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Subscribe to MarcKealey.com

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Walking in the steps of St. Paul

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 @ 12:11 PM

I have always believed that God channels His most treasured Saints through the least obvious of people on earth. Religious scholars teach us that St. Paul is one of the more important Saints in our faith. He was a lecturer, a debater and unafraid of anyone or anything. It was said that St. Paul actually confronted St. Peter to his face about issues affecting the newly found faith and the responsibilities of followers of it. My good friend and cosmic brother Michael Fredric Boland died last week – he was the quintessential and contemporary version of St. Paul – a debater, often raging against injustice and smarter by half than most.

I am compelled to write about Michael because his life was so impactful – for me! Michael was the epitome of what it means to be a lawyer – always inquisitive and always prepared. He loved his Catholic faith, his friends and most of all his family. More often than not, like St. Paul, he was prepped for debate. Michael could feel and exude rage better than anyone alive and was unafraid to let you know it when any injustice presented. He was visceral.

I first met Michael when I worked for the Rt. Hon. John N. Turner. I was living in Whitby at the time and traveling weekly to my office in Ottawa. The Meech Lake Accord had been introduced in the mid 1980’s and like me; Michael believed that the Accord was right in recognizing Quebec as distinct. Many thought otherwise – he railed against that and cited constitutional precedence in his argument. We became instant friends – an enduring friendship lasting 30 years and many events – football games, weddings, baptisms and many, many meals. We shared the same birthday – an occasion we never missed calling or meeting about or around for decades.

In later years he became my lawyer and railed against the injustice of those falsely accused and targeted on the web. Ironically he was the least techno-savvy person, but was so prepared and helped to move the Canada forward with better laws to protect against cyber-attacks.

You are loved Michael and I shall always remember you.

- Marc Kealey
Share

Celebrating Jim Flaherty

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 @ 09:04 AM


Jim’s untimely death has shocked  the country.  For those of  us who  worked with and for him as a politician and knew him well from Whitby, Toronto and Ottawa and were anxious to see how life after politics was going to be for him in years to come it is particularly sad that a life so large was cut so short.

Condolences and expressions of sympathy to Christine his wife and his three boys can never assuage the hurt and loss.  It is painful beyond words to lose a husband and a father.

Words are never enough – Jim was simply a better man!

You are missed.
 

- Marc Kealey
Share

Last year, Canada, along with most of the rest of the world, celebrated the 65th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.  Yom Ha’atzmaut is a modern holiday celebrating the day Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, publicly read Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 17, 1948.

In November 2005, Israel’s then Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, invited the world to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the assassination of its former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  Representing Canada at this event was former Canadian Prime Minister John N. Turner.

Israel1
Accompanying him to Israel, we met with Ariel Sharon at a special event at the Knesset and stared into those expressive eyes and held his hand in a tight shake that seemed interminable.  We attended numerous state events in Jerusalem, visited the Holy City, prayed at the wailing wall, attended a special session at the Knesset and were given a private tour of the National Museum of Art in Tel Aviv.  It was at this event that Ariel Sharon’s invitation to the world made perfect sense to me.  We were met at the front doors of the museum by media and the curator of the museum, a tall blonde perfectly tanned forty-something year old woman.  She immediately embraced Mr. Turner and invited him on a tour.  He asked her, “…wow, you speak such great English and you’re so blonde, are you Jewish?”  Her answer was even more perfect.  “Yes I’m Jewish, Prime Minister, but even more importantly, I’m Israeli?”

For most people, an opportunity to see a special part of the world like Israel conjures up religious and historic significance.  For us it was recognition that Ariel Sharon, the great political tactician and military strategist, wanted the world to remember the melancholy state of tension in Israel – and it’s surrounding neighbours.

He was a special man with a fervent zeal for the state of Israel and its special place in the world.  His invitation to attend the Rabin event saw hundreds of world leader take the opportunity to be there especially the United States who sent James Baker, Condaleeza Rice and Hilary and Bill Clinton.

Israel2

In his official address to attending world leaders and invitees at the Knesset, Sharon described the special condition of Israel and lectured the world that solutions to the easing tensions in Israel are not easy and are certainly not transparent – but peace is necessary.  It was truly one of his better moments to shine for the world’s media.

We left Israel after an extended stay in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv feeling buoyed about meeting Sharon and by the special relationship Canada shared and continues to share with Israel.  Throughout his career, Turner had been to Israel many times, but never with this much intimacy or understanding of her place in the world.

Shortly after our visit to Israel, we were stunned and shocked by news of Ariel Sharon’s stroke in January of 2006, we thought his personal strength would help him get through it, but for years we wondered.  It was sad to hear that he has died, but for John Turner and me, we believe his legacy is as secure as his fight for peace.

- Marc Kealey
Share

A Soldier’s Story

Monday, November 11, 2013 @ 12:11 AM

 

soldierstoryMy grandfather is a war hero. For years I admired his ability to march to the cenotaph every November 11 with members of the Legion in Niagara Falls- even in his 70’s.   Some people, including my own mother, used to say that November 11 was always an excuse for old fogies like Blackie to get drunk – I never thought that and always reveled at his medal festooned chest on November 11. I always wanted to know what he endured on one blustery day in June of 1944.  I had opportunity in the latter part of the 1970’s when he and I drove together for the first time to Ottawa from Niagara Falls to attend the annual reunion to celebrate their regiment’s efforts on D-Day and hear the stories – some good, some troubling. Those stories have stuck with me and struck me awesome to this day.

The soldier’s name was C. Grange Black – all his life he was known as Blackie.  He married his sweetheart, Frances, in 1932 when the world was tense.  Seven years later, as a father of three and a Sergeant in the 43rd Cameron Highlanders Regiment of Ottawa, he kissed his wife and kids good-bye, marched his troop out of Lansdowne Park and onto a ship headed for Iceland.  While in Iceland he and his regiment were deployed for what he called menial military work known as “garrison duty” until he and his mates were deployed to England in 1941.  There he marched on a daily basis, trained with a rifle and kit and, like his mates, yearned to earn his keep by fighting in Europe.  On 6 June 1944, the 43rd was the only Ottawa regiment who had trained to land on D-Day at Juno Beach in what became known as Operation Overlord.

At reunions in Ottawa with Blackie, he recounted to me myriad stories of his departure early in the morning of June 6, 1944 from Portsmouth; he often recalled having no idea of what he would be up against when he landed at that stretch of the beach in Normandy code named Juno.   The trip across the channel was rough, the swells were high and the temperature was cold.  It was early morning – he said that on the trip across, he was joking with his men and singing off-key as he often did with his grand children in later years, but, he’d recount, when he neared the beach and he heard the whizzing of bullets and they smelled the fowl stench of gun powder, he become uncontrollably frightened.  The ramp to his LCA lowered and he at the back ordered his 35 other troops off the vehicle – that was lucky for him because some were cut to shreds by bullets from the German pillboxes at the top of Juno Beach.  Before he died in 1987, he confided to me that he jumped over the side of the LCA, grabbed one his soldier mates whom he thought was having a hard time getting his feet and raced with him to the beach. In fact, his colleague wasn’t struggling, he said, he was already dead and that fact gave Blackie the advantage he needed to advance protected from the hail of bullets using his mates body as a shield. That single act apparently haunted him for years – often making him weep in private.

Once on the beach, he discarded his Enfield rifle for a more effective Bren machine gun, he loaded himself up with ammunition he found and crossed the barbed wire to the advance site – all the while dodging bullets. He had soiled his pants and was wet from seawater, sweat and urine.  He had no idea that the four years previous training would prepare him for a mere 600-metre assault. But it worked!  He and several of his Canadian mates subdued the Germans taking them prisoner. He recounted one story in particular about a German prisoner resplendent in warm wool uniform while Blackie, freezing and wet, decided to beat  him up for his pants, his undergarments and his boots.  He also confided that he had taken a German luger complete with its breechblock – as a souvenir.  I remember seeing and holding it years and years later.

Following the landing on D-Day, Blackie and his regiment fought in almost every battle in the northwestern Europe campaign ending a few months later and until the end of the war he and several of his soldiers ended up in Huemen in the eastern part of Holland to help liberate it from Germany.  He returned there several times since the war ended – marching proudly down its main street to the delight of many grateful Dutch citizens.

Blackie died in 1987 in Niagara Falls leaving at the time, his wife of 55 years, five children, 17 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  Blackie lived in Niagara Falls for almost 17 years and his life there was marked by him being named as Man of the Year one time, he was the biggest booster of the Niagara Falls Flyers hockey team, was a huge fund-raiser for the Legion and the Arthritis Society and never missed a reunion in Ottawa for the 43rd regiment with me.  The year he died, I attended the regiment’s reunion in his honour and, to mark his death, donated his barracks box to the museum at Cartier Drill Square in Ottawa including that German Luger.

He has a brick on the Juno Beach wall in Normandy prominently displaying his name, rank, regiment and years served.  I’ll remember him as a Canadian hero – a war hero!

- Marc Kealey
Share

Warrior Football Fundraising Golf Tournament

Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 01:08 PM

Be sure to check out the Warrior Football Summer 2013 Newsletter.

Click to view newsletter

As mentioned in the newsletter, I will be hosting a special fundraising Golf Tournament to support the Waterloo Warrior Football program. This will be held at Markland Woods on Tuesday, September 17.

For more information, contact Marshall Bingeman at mbingema@uwaterloo.ca. Shotgun start, limited to 18 foursomes, dinner and first class treatment!

- Marc Kealey
Share

Earlier this month I was honoured to be part of a wonderful team of alumni, coaching and university staff who hosted the first annual Waterloo Warriors Football Gala.

The event was a huge success and the money raised places the team well on its way to achieving the Renaissance of the Football program and its fundraising goal. The funds raised from the close to 600 people in attendance will go to scholarships, leadership programs and enhanced training tools – all vital elements of a successful football program.

As with all good things, this wasn’t an overnight success. The journey started over a year ago when a core group of supporters, athletes, faculty and alumni committed their time, energy, support and money to bring the football program at the U of Waterloo back to life after having suffered some major blows in the past.

One element of the plan was a call to action of all former football players, alumni, staff and other interested parties to join together to kick off the Renaissance of the program. After much hard work and planning, this was accomplished with resounding success culminating with the First Annual Waterloo Warriors Football Gala raising over $50,000.00.

Guests were enthralled by the evening’s headliner, former CFL and NFL offensive tackle, Chris Schultz whose message was clear – it’s going to be ok! Guest speakers included legendary Coach Tuffy Knight and newly minted UW coach and CFL great Joe Paoapao. Guests were visibly moved by current Warrior Receiver and top 40 under 40 Award Winner, Brandon Eaket whose emotional and motivational talk was a highlight of the evening. Another highlight was the first annual Ring of Honour inductees – outstanding football athletes at Waterloo who exemplify the spirit of the University of Waterloo’s football program. Four former football players from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s decades were inducted to the Ring of Honour.

I am proud of my association with the University of Waterloo and the Warrior football program, my days there in the early 80’s have netted me many friends and a core group of stalwart Warrior fans and former players alike. Even more so I am proud and honoured to be part of the “team” to bring today’s Waterloo Warriors back to glory.

- Marc Kealey
Share

The beginning of change

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 01:03 PM

Global 16 by 9

The Internet is the new Wild West and at end of February Global TV’s award winning public affairs show 16 by 9, hosted by veteran TV correspondent Carolyn Jarvis aired an episode specifically about the scams perpetrated on the internet and as a result, the victimization of innocent individuals including Eric Cunningham, former MPP and businessman.

The show focused on the tactics of former police officer and purported hired “private investigator” Cullen Johnson, who with his also disgraced girlfriend Elaine White an unlicensed private investigator, sought systematically to destroy the character of people like Eric Cunningham by falsely suggesting (during his divorce proceedings with his first wife) that he was a part owner of a multi-million dollar company whose blue-chip Board (which included – also falsely- John N. Turner, Mike Harris and David Peterson among others) was in the business, again falsely, of funneling millions of dollars out of Canada. None of the allegations were/are, in fact, true yet the fact that allegations were written and posted on the internet had the effect, at the time, of creating doubt in public (and among those in the legal system) about his integrity and his reputation. The net result was that the falsehoods created animus all around. Thankfully for Eric Cunningham he is a cool customer and because he has integrity dripping from his pores, he used his own network of supporters and the legal system to go after the perpetrators.

As for the stories by Johnson and White – they didn’t stop at Cunningham! Johnson and White created a web of fantastic and false stories on the Internet hurting so many people along the way that they eventually fled the country when they were charged criminally. They fled Canada to the Caribbean when they were out on bail. The two are now imprisoned in the Caribbean for a fraud they alleged to have perpetrated there and are presently awaiting deportation to Canada. When they return to Canada, they will likely be met on arrival by authorities that will, yet again, charge them with several more counts of fraud and they both may face prison sentences here.

This Global TV story is seemingly meant to teach a lesson. It more attempts to highlight the issue of the lack of control on the internet and how the power of words can and do have an affect on any individual’s personal space and an audience the information strives to impact. When people see information on the web, experts say that there is a tendency to actually believe it because it’s written. Couple that with the fact that the “posts” on the web may have a name or a “by-line” attached to it– when, in fact, the real author could be hiding behind an alias from a internet service provider (ISP) in another part of the world, or at a local Starbucks in their home community where the perpetrator of the “post” hides behind Starbuck’s host internet site. As a victim myself of a deliberate attempt to discredit my reputation by “phantoms” claiming to be foreign business people, former colleagues, “private investigators” and other aliases, alleging falsehoods of a libelous and slanderous nature (all of which would be subject to criminal mischief and civil remedies IF a real person alleged same using their true identity on the internet) I believe that change for these kinds of nefarious activities is needed in Canada. I’m fortunate that I have many friends who are helping to “out” these internet predators and that will help more Canadians realize that much of the information on the internet is not as accurate as they would believe. It used to be that we gleaned our information in the “media” through qualified and accurate sources like a newspaper or encyclopedia. Today, anyone can post information on the Internet whether it is accurate or not and hide behind antiquated “broadcast laws” in Canada

Enforcement authorities working with us to identify the “phantoms” posting slanderous and libelous information on the internet using phony names, information and aliases, believe that until and unless Canada as a nation wakes up to the fact that there need to be stiffer laws to protect the public from internet phantoms and predators who use aliases and phony websites, addresses and identities and who maliciously attack and create mayhem for innocent Canadians such as the likes of Johnson and White will continue with impunity. Change has to start now and we have begun the process.

In Canada, like some states in the United States, there needs to be awareness that the Internet is NOT an accurate media to the degree people might believe. That information on “search engines” may not be reliable and the authors, in fact, may not be a real person OR, if they are they may post information that can actually hurt an individual and cause great harm to them (even in some publicized cases cause the victim to end their life). In some southern US states there is pending legislation to amend the criminal code so that law enforcement agencies will charge criminally those who create aliases on the Internet. The intent is to ensure that the address, the name, the posts and the site being used belong to a real person with a real name and real address thereby protecting an individual from cyber-attack from phantoms or phony people. In the United States there seems to be greater protection for reputations of an individual and civil remedies reflect that in past case law – the criminal system is now hoping to catch up.

The days of the internet being the wild west may soon be coming to an end in the US and more and more victims of the kind of malicious and outrageous acts of crime like Eric Cunningham will be vindicated while the spineless internet hacks like the Johnsons and the Whites and others who knowingly perpetrate slander, libel and criminal mischief may find themselves pay heaps of damages in civil courts or wallow in jail – where they belong.

- Marc Kealey
Share
Marc Kealey with China's Buddhist Grand Master Li Ning

Marc Kealey with China's Buddhist Grand Master Li Ning

- Marc Kealey
Share

I’ve had cause throughout my life to meet up with interesting people in politics, entertainment and sports.  As a baseball fan, I had the opportunity in the early 70’s to see Fergie Jenkins pitch for Chicago at, of all places, Jarry Park in Montreal.  In the mid 1980’s I worked on Fergie’s campaign when he ran for the provincial Liberals in Windsor Ontario. Although Fergie lost, his career as a baseball Hall of Famer was secured.

In the latter part of the 70’s my relative, Clem Kealey, a well known sports writer for the Sun, introduced me and many of his nephews, in the Kealey clan to new Jays like  Roy Hartsfield , the controversial first GM who recently died and, Lloyd Moseby one of the original Jays drafted in 1978.

In the early 90’s, like many in Canada, I watched the Jays win. Greats like Dave Stieb, who never got in the Hall of Fame (but should), were superstars. The Jays, it seemed were Canada’s team. I remember being in Yukon on an election campaign and managed several times to watch the Jays on TV up there too.

In the latter part of the 1990’s, I was coaching  AAA junior baseball (17 and 18 year olds) in Mississauga. We had our own version of spring training (10 days in March) in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  At their stadium, home of the Toro’s, we had the unparalleled experience of being coached by Epy Guerrero, legendary scout for the Blue Jays who brought with him Tony Fernandez.  Imagine being coached on how to hold a bat at the plate (like playing a “flute”) by the inimitable Tony Fernandez?  Magic! The boys loved it and cherish that experience to this day!

In the past couple of years, I had the honour of associating with my all-time Jays fave – Roberto Alomar.  He is one of the nicest folks I have ever met and despite his fame, is down to earth and highly attuned to his status as a major contributor to baseball.

Roberto has transitioned his career from baseball to business in a manner much different from other baseball greats.  He has not so much relied on his glory days, as he has concentrated on ensuring that young kids remain active and healthy.  His adherence to physical fitness is manifest in his sculpted frame.  Roberto appears humbled by his induction in the HOF – he remains a gentleman.  Toronto, Canada Jays fans and sports fans should be proud!

- Marc Kealey
Share