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DCE activist arrested in Caledonia, honoured in Ottawa

Published on May 01, 2012

The Sachem

One of the founding members of the Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality, Mark Vandermaas was arrested for prevention of breaching the peace at the group’s latest Truth and Reconciliation rally held in Caledonia on Saturday, April 21.

Two days later, Vandermaas was asked to step forward to be honoured during the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was the first speaker and lit the first candle.

Out of appreciation for Vandermaas' many works to help the Jewish community the Yad Vashem organization paid to bus 50 people to Ottawa where Vandermaas and others were called to step forward to light a candle during the ceremony. Rabbi Hausman of Massachusetts flew into Hamilton so he could ride the bus to Ottawa to show support for and appreciation of Vandermaas.

This year's Remembrance Day theme was "My Brother's Keeper" taken from a passage in the Old Testament. Christians would use the phrase the "Good Samaritan".

“My country flew me 8,000 miles to serve as a Peacekeeper in the Mid-East,” said Vandermaas. “So how can I quietly sit by and do nothing when there is injustice in Caledonia, which is only a 100 miles from my home.”

A few weeks ago, another member of CANACE, Merlyn Kinrade, was honoured by a Jewish group by giving him a Flag of Israel. Kinrade also received a certificate that stated a tree had been planted in his honour in Israel to remember him.