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November 16, 2007

Putting Pen to Paper

Here is another friendly and informative letter from Kevin Murphy. Kevin has a gift for sounding reasonable, and it is worth noting that the person receiving this missive should have no reason to feel personally threatened in any way. It is always a temptation to be angry, but anger often obscures the message. Kevin is a seeker of justice, and his message is clear. We all need to point out injustices. We can take a leaf from his book.

As Kevin's uncle Tim was keeping his rendezvous with death in April 1917, Canadian John McRae, author of the most famous lines of World War I, was saving lives in a field hospital less than 100 kms away. The irony of Kevin's experience would not be lost on them:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Read Kevin's letter........

Peter Stoffer
Member of Parliament-Sackville Eastern Shore
2900 Highway #2Fall River, Nova ScotiaB2T 1W4

Peter: Happy new year to you and your family. I have been meaning to flip you a note since we attempted to visit the Admiralty House, CFB Halifax Military Museum at CFB Stadacona this past summer. My wife Stephanie and I made a commitment to visit, with our two children, 10 places within Nova Scotia that neither of us have ever been before. We decided that as a family unit, we would make day trips out of these educational visits to local Nova Scotia landmarks and attractions to do our part for the Nova Scotia tourism industry.

Over the past few years, I have taken up genealogy as a hobby, and enjoyed many hours researching my family's history. One of my most intriguing discoveries, was to learn that my Great Great Uncle, Timothy Murphy (from Gold River, Nova Scotia) served our country during World War I, and made the ultimate sacrifice at Vimy Ridge. Although I have always had a keen interest in Canada's military history, and present activities, this discovery of a direct family sacrifice for our country, has furthered my commitment to supporting Canada's proud military heritage.

As you are aware, due to my spinal cord injury obtained in 1985 while playing minor hockey in the Cole Harbour rink, I use a wheelchair for mobility. Despite this obvious challenge, I have never let my physical disability stand in the way of me obtaining any of my personal or professional goals. In the past 23 years I've been involved in many advocacy efforts aimed at leveling the playing field for all persons with disabilities regarding equal access to programs, services, and facilities, of both a public and private nature.

In August 2007, I was at CFB Stadacona for some business in the newer section of the base. During this visit I had decided to do a little reconnaissance work regarding the accessibility of the Admiralty House CFB Stadacona Military Museum, in advance of our planned family visit. Unfortunately, I was to find out that the museum is not wheelchair accessible. The reasons given to me by the front-line staff, was that the museum was located in a heritage building, and was not able to be renovated for accessibility.

Unfortunately for me and my family, we did not get to visit this particular museum. The purpose of my note is not to point out the important role that museums play in maintaining our heritage and educating our present and future generations, but rather to remind our bureaucratic infrastructure, that the demographic of our population is broad and diverse, and includes millions of Canadians with varying levels of physical mobility.

My hope is that this note to you will be forwarded to the appropriate channels, in support of any efforts aimed at making not only this Museum at CFB Stadacona, but every other museum in Canada, accessible to all Canadians regardless of their level of mobility.

Respectfully, Kevin S. Murphy
KSM Freedom Solutions Inc.
20 Deerwood Drive
Mineville, NS B2Z 1J6
(902) 404-7033

Kevin Lamarque, Director-Nova Scotia Office, Canadian Heritage
Murray Mason, Canadian Military Veteran
Warren Reed, Director-James McGregor Stewart Society

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