News Seeking: Habitat for Honduras

October 26, 2009

Check out my new post at News Seeking. It’s basically part of a profile piece I wanted to write this summer, but never got the chance.

Dave Hubert’s an interesting guy. As I go on to say in the post:

“The former teacher and government employee has helped start many things: the Edmonton chapter of Habitat for Humanity, the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, the Edmonton recycle program, as well as a variety of education programs at Norquest and Portage colleges, where he spent several years as principal.”

A search through the Edmonton Journal archives revealed a few pieces on the latest thing he was up to through the years, as well as a series of letters to the editor regarding Canadian foreign policy.

Untitled-2You see, Dave likes to take on the belief that unblinking support for the Canadian military is a good thing. When I met with him, he had his latest letter ready to go. He was upset the Canadian army had promoted a former Col., Serge Labbé, to Brigadier General in 2009 (with retroactive pay). Labbé was found exercising poor and inappropriate leadership in the Somalia affair in 1993, where Canadian soldiers tortured and beat a Somali teen to death. While Labbé was not deemed personally responsible, he was excoriated for failing to uphold the rules of engagement.

Hubert’s open letter says the promotion is an attempt to rewrite history, without addressing the causes of the Somali incident:

“The large number of complaints of enlisted personnel indicates that the social pathology that characterized the military at the time of the Somalia debacle persists. Instead of trying to learn from their mistakes and the pathologies that the Somalia Inquiry would have identified had it been permitted to conclude its investigation, the generals stonewalled the Inquiry at every turn. They never learned anything and they never forgot anything. And so the social pathologies persist and the number of complaints of the brave enlisted men and women in uniform multiply.”

Understandably, the archival search for “Dave Hubert” also revealed a series of retorts by Edmontonians perturbed by his unpatriotic words.

But whether you agree with him or not, it’s hard to fault Hubert. His incredible humanitarian achievements are matched by a gentle demeanor and an eagerness to live out his faith with integrity and passion.


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