Remembering a Soldier of Peace: Dr Lotta Hitschmanova

A wonderful new book has just been published: 150 Canadian Stories of Peace.

I am honoured that my story about Lotta Hitschmanova – “Remembering a Soldier of Peace“- has been included in this anthology, which was compiled by Gordon Breedyk, Mony Dojeiji, Koozma J. Tarasoff and Evelyn Voigt.

Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990) was a World War II refugee who made a lasting impact on her adopted country and acted as a Canadian ambassador for peace around the world.

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How to save Sparks Street – Lotta may offer the answer

A recent Ottawa Citizen column re-ignited a debate about what to do with Canada’s first pedestrian mall on Sparks Street. Here is my response:

As someone who worked on Sparks Street for two decades, I have followed with some interest the debate on whether this street can be “saved” or not. Continue reading

What do Céline Dion, Oscar Peterson, Jean Béliveau and Lotta Hitschmanova all have in common?

What could possibly link together such a diverse group of beloved Canadians: a singer, a pianist, a hockey player and a humanitarian?

Could it be that each became household names far beyond the borders of Canada? That starting from very humble beginnings, each has made an enduring mark in their respective professions? Or might it be the uniforms that both Lotta and Jean Béliveau wore? Continue reading

CANADA’S HISTORY includes Lotta in its list of 36 great women

In 2016, the respected journal Canada’s History published a list of 30 great Canadian women. Along with many others, this writer suggested that a celebrated refugee to Canada, Dr Lotta Hitschmanova, might also be included in such a list.

Last week, on International Women’s Day (March 8), Canada’s History has responded by publishing a list of 36 more great women, including Lotta!

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A tale of two surveys: Lotta has made us proud to be Canadians

When I came across a recent article in the Ottawa Citizen, I noticed that research firm Abacus Data had conducted a survey asking Canadians what made them proud of their country.

The top two responses were: freedom to live as we see fit and Terry Fox.

Given the recent publicity around the 12 women (including Lotta Hitschmanova) nominated to appear on a Canadian banknote, I was curious to see how they ranked in this survey.

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Breaking News: Lotta Hitschmanova was inspirational – Bank of Canada survey

It seems that Lotta scored very high indeed, in the recent Bank of Canada survey. She didn’t make it onto the Bank’s five woman short list, but the indicators are very strong indeed for some future recognition (another bill, a stamp perhaps?) for this Canadian social justice pioneer.

“The nominees included most frequently in a respondent’s top list were Elsie MacGill, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, Viola Desmond and Nellie McClung…. Continue reading