BC Heritage Fairs Alumni

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Cadets — February 26, 2017


Chances are, you probably know someone who is in the Cadet program, whether Air, Army, or Navy. Ask them and they’ll probably love or hate the program. Most can agree Cadets comes with opportunities galore, and those able to adjust to the system also benefit from it. This program is rewarding, especially for the top senior Cadets who are selected to participate in summer camps and represent not only their home squadron, but their region on a national, or even global scale. However, for some, Cadets is tiring, with strict rules of discipline and huge amounts of pressure.

I have been in Air Cadets for three years, feeling both the pressures and joys of the program. I went to Vernon in the summer to participate in a three week Basic Drill and Ceremonial Course, met amazing people, but also had to forego almost half my summer. I also just came back from a field training exercise, or FTX, sleeping overnight in Chilliwack on snow that came halfway up to my knees and got sick. Fun.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I thought it would be interesting just to look at how the Canadian government wants to develop the next generation. In fact, it is one of the largest federally sponsored youth programs, with a $250 million dollar budget. As Cadets, we earn money to go to summer camps, though not a lot. During FTXs, the meals we eat, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are chock full of preservatives, rather gross, and cost more than normal food. Likewise, going gliding and fam flying as Air Cadets cost a significant amount of money.

The most interesting idea I found is that the government chose a military-based program to develop for youth. Canada is known for being a peace-loving country, and it is an image I’m sure the government will work to maintain. The relation between Cadets and the military is an interesting question brought up as the government sees the program as “an important investment in our youth today and a means of safeguarding our future tomorrow.”

The Cadets page on the Canadian government’s website states Cadets are not in the military, but the program is very similar to the military.  Like the military, Cadets address ranks, learn skills such as shooting a rifle, and participate in similar activities. Both the Cadet program and military value a highly-structured, well-organized system, with strict rules and regulations.

The program now focuses less on developing future soldiers and more on building strong citizens, stating that “while they are introduced to Sea, Army and/or Air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces and certain traditions, they are also introduced to many other respectable career choices that are available to them.” However, the program started out as way to develop soldiers, and the system clearly reflects military values like cooperation and discipline.

Veronica Xia

Flight Corporal

Tiger Flight

655 Richmond RCACS

(That’s how to close an email in Cadets!)


Accepting Diversity — February 18, 2017

Accepting Diversity

Given the events happening in the world at this time, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the positive contributions we are making to the community.

In the last few months, Canadians have seen the desperation of people in the midst of war-torn countries, caught in the dishonesty of the government and most importantly, facing the deaths of loved ones. So during difficult times like these, when corruption runs deep and thousands of men, women and children are forced to leave their homes, it is important for citizens in Canada to put aside our judgments, as well as open our doors for those who need it.


Although it is hard to admit, every person in society has the tendency to push away others that are not of the same race, religion, upbringing and even wealth. However, let’s face it; we are all human and diversity plays a large role in our lives.

Having experienced these tragedies from a safe environment, it is up to us to adapt quickly to change. Trust me, it won’t come without sacrifice, but learning to accept these immigrants will allow Canada to gain respect for people living all over the world in conditions that are not ideal.

In addition to this, let me remind you of how at least twenty percent of Canadian citizens were immigrants at some time and had to endure the hardships and challenges that come along with adapting to the customs of a foreign country. Let me also remind you of how in the past, Canadian citizens pushed away Chinese, Asian and Indian immigrants at their most vulnerable stages, all of which became successful and allowed the economy to flourish (by increasing job opportunities).

You see, often times we are hesitant because we are scared or fear the uncertainty that change brings. Despite this fear we hold, change is what allows us to grow as individuals and progress as a society. So my challenge for you is to reach out to someone that you wouldn’t think to, whether it is in the classroom, at work or in your community. Give a compliment, lend a hand, or even make small talk with a stranger; it is often the small gestures we make that brighten up the atmosphere around us. Whether it is being counted for or not, never underestimate a moment of your kindness as it has the power to change lives in ways you may never know.

– Jaia