Celebrating our volunteers in the North

Leader's Ledger - Hon. Bob Nault MP

Bob Nault MP

KENORA – Last week was National Volunteer Week; a time to celebrate and acknowledge individuals, not-for-profit organizations, and social enterprises and businesses that make positive change happen in our communities. Canada’s Volunteer Awards help to celebrate the amazing contributions of individuals and organizations that make a difference in the lives of others. The call for nominations is now open and will run until June 21, 2019.

This is the chance for all Northerners to nominate exceptional individuals, a not-for-profit organization who look for innovative solutions to help address social challenges, or a business or social enterprise that demonstrates social responsibility in its community.

Canada’s Volunteer Awards highlights best practices in community leadership and encourage partnerships across all sectors. The awards aim to inspire Canadians from all walks of life to find new ways of making a difference in their communities and develop solutions to tackle social challenges. Recipients can be individual volunteers, or groups of volunteers, socially responsible businesses, social enterprises, or not-for-profit organizations.

There are 21 awards in total at the regional and national levels:

  • one national award – Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award for individuals who have volunteered for at least 20 years;
  • five regional awards – Emerging Leader – for young volunteers aged 18 to 30;
  • five regional awards – Community Leader – for individuals or groups of volunteers;
  • five regional awards – Business Leader – to recognize businesses that demonstrate social responsibility in their practices, including promoting and facilitating volunteerism locally, regionally, and nationally, as well as for-profit and not-for-profit social enterprises that are dedicated to creating social, cultural or environmental benefits for their communities.
  • five regional awards – Social Innovator – to recognize not-for-profit organizations, including not-for-profit social enterprises that find and use innovative approaches that address social challenges in their communities.

Each of the award recipients will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in April 2020, where they will be recognized by the Government of Canada. In addition, each regional award recipient gets to choose a not-for-profit organization to receive a $5,000 grant. The national award recipient gets to choose a not-for-profit organization to receive a $10,000 grant.

It’s a fact that more than 15,000 volunteers share their time and skills to help others every day across Canada. Annually, almost 13 million Canadians aged 15 years and older give of their time, and almost twice as many give money to a charitable or not-for-profit organization. I encourage you to look in your community and nominate a volunteer who has contributed their time to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

For more information on how to nominate someone in your community, visit canada.ca/volunteer-awards.

 Bob Nault MP

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Bob Nault is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Kenora, where he serves 53 communities, including 42 First Nations. As one of the largest geographical ridings in the country, Kenora encompasses one third of Ontario’s land mass, and is approximately the same size as France. Bob was first elected in 1988 and ran successfully afterwards in 1993, 1997, and 2000, furthermore serving as the Member of Parliament for Kenora-Rainy River for over sixteen years. He was the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development from 1999-2003, and is a former Kenora City Councillor.