To the residents of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM):
First and foremost, I want to apologize for my recent comments on CTV’s report about the Sydney Santa Parade. They did not come across how I intended, and I would like to say to all citizens that I do appreciate your opinions. Just because I do not attend parades personally, because my children are now grown, does not mean I do not support the community’s desire for these types of Christmas activities.
I also wanted to explain that my family and I have a long history of supporting parades and Christmas events in our community. My wife and I are the parents of six children, all but one living in other parts of Canada. We have 14 grandchildren and four great grand-children. In my younger years I met Santa Claus many times, as our children were very involved with festivities of Christmas.
I was a member of the United Mission Men’s Club, also the Y Men’s Club of Whitney. Each year the Y Men’s Club of Whitney Pier assisted the Sydney Y’s Men’s Club to deliver Christmas cheer for children of Whitney Pier and area.
The Y’s Men’s Club of Whitney Pier always put a float for the Christmas parade. One that I fondly remember, which took considerable time being built in sections in John Powell’s garage on Franklin Street, was ‘FROSTY,’ a six-foot snowman with a sound system. Our hard work was always worth it when we saw the excited faces of the children. This was a club effort, and everyone understood that volunteering your time was an important part of belonging to the organization. I encourage everyone to get out and help make our parade even bigger and better next year.
My comments were meant to be directed towards the negativity surrounding this issue. I believe this is diminishing the tireless work put into these parades by the many volunteers who sacrifice their time and energy to make sure the children of our communities get to see Santa. Let’s focus more on the amazing events going on around CBRM, like the Air Santa event held in Dominion, where over 3,000 people came out to see Santa.
I do not usually attend parades anymore, and my decision not to attend the Sydney parade was also due to personal medical concerns as a result of a motor vehicle accident in October.
Whether I planned to attend, or not, did not influence my council vote about parades. My decision was made based on the advice and recommendations of CBRM’s insurance provider and CBRM safety officials. I have always fought and will continue to fight to have the Sydney Santa Parade continue into Whitney Pier and I voiced this opinion during the recent council voting as this was a major concern of my citizens.
I do not wish to pass blame or excuse my comments, but merely explain that I do try my best to represent my constituents and a safe community.
Thank you and Merry Christmas.
CBRM Councillor, District 12