Toronto Star’s 2010 “Darts & Laurels” Targets Kingstonians

Published on: 2011/01/05 - in News

Perusing their list of “darts & laurels” for Canadians who made the news in 2010, it quickly becomes apparent that Kingston was well represented in many of the Toronto Star’s picks for the year.

Fully 25% of the twenty individuals or groups named for criticism and praise were either born or educated in Kingston, including two of the darts and at least three of the laurels.

The two individuals commended by the newspaper were Munir Sheikh, an appointee to the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies, for integrity in resigning from his job as head of Stats Canada, and astronaut Chris Hadfield, who earned his batchelor degree at RMC, for being the first Canadian appointed to command the International Space Station on his upcoming 6-month tour. Hadfield was also the first Canadian to walk in space.

Long time Kingston & the Islands federal member of parliament and Speaker of the House of Commons, Peter Milliken, received a laurel for affirming Parliament’s right to access secret Afghan detainee files.

And credited for “doing us proud” were Canada’s Olympic athletes, which include Kingston-born Jayna Hefford –  instrumental in bringing home the gold in Women’s Ice Hockey.

Other Winter Olympic Kingston (area) connections include the likewise Kingston-born Tanith Belbin, who represented the U.S. in the Figure Skating competition, and Napanee’s Avril Lavigne who sang at the closing ceremonies.

Kingstonians criticized by The Star were legendary hockey coach and announcer Don Cherry, due to his controversial speech at the inaugural meeting of Toronto’s new city council, and Kingston and the Islands MPP John Gerretsen, for the then provincial environment minister’s “eco-fee” debacle last summer.

Kingston can also be included in the laurel sent out to all Canadians for their “generousity”; in particular the $200 million in donations raised for earthquake relief in Haiti – an impoverished country where Kingston was already well represented by YMCA Peace Medal recipient Tammy Babcock of the “Help Tammy Help Haiti” registered charity.

For more details and other laurel & dart recipients, read the Toronto Star article.

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Image sources:  laurel wreath & dart (Oliver Delgado)