We hear Education Minister Kelly Lamrock is so incensed at the prospect of students at Belleisle Elementary School not singing O Canada that he is going to pass a law to make it mandatory for New Brunswick children to sing the national anthem in our schools. [Click here to read CBC news report].
Apparently, as it now works, principals can decide if they want to have students sing the anthem or not because it's just a "rule", not a "law". Gee, why does that sound familiar?
If the Minister feels so strongly about New Brunswick students singing the National Anthem, then he should listen to my son Daniel Hains proudly singing O Canada at a Bathurst High School Phantoms hockey game in Bathurst two nights before he was killed in the tragic passenger van collision on January 12, 2008. Look at him and weep. He was proud to be a Canadian, proud to be involved in sports at BHS with his friends. He was alive and young. He didn't have to die!
We can't help but be cynical when we hear Mr. Lamrock jump at the opportunity to create a law that will compel students to sing O Canada when it's easy to score political points by doing so.
Meantime, it has been more than 12 months since our children died in a tragedy that could have been prevented and still, school principals are interpreting the "rules" as they see fit, deciding on their own whether students can travel in bad weather. Vehicles are being driven by teachers and parents who are not professional drivers because it's a "rule" not a "law".
We believe Mr. Lamrock should be more worried about saveing children's lives by passing laws that would prevent them from travelling to extra-curricular events in bad weather than whether or not they are singing O Canada in the classroom. What good is O Canada if the children are dead? All I have is a video of my son singing O Canada now. He was a good boy and would have been an excellent citizen.
We want Kelly Lamrock to pass a "Bad Weather Law" that would be so straightforward and simple even a child could figure it out. If there's bad weather, there's no school. And if there's no school, there's no driving students to extra-curricular events. If the weather changes at the destination and the students have to drive back, then they stay overnight.
And we want Mr. Lamrock to be more concerned about hiring professional drivers with a Class 2 license to transport our children to extra-curricular events than the national anthem. We call it a "Van Angels" law, in memory of our two boys Javier Acevedo and Daniel Hains, who were killed along with six others that fatal night.
So please Mr. Lamrock, when you sing O Canada and you come to the words "Stand On Guard for Thee", we want you to mean it, don't try to score political points with the electorate!!
[Click here to go to YouTube video]