Red Cross announces humanitarian award-winners

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Two Islanders will soon receive a very high honour from the Canadian Red Cross.

The Canadian Red Cross  announced yesterday that senator Catherine Callbeck of Central Bedeque will receive its 2012 Humanitarian award for Prince Edward Island. The Red Cross also announced that Scotty Joe Smith of Freeland will receive the Canadian Red Cross Young Humanitarian award.

"The honourable Catherine Callbeck personifies what we seek to highlight with these awards, which is that amid all other demands in people's lives, there are those who make time for volunteerism, advocacy and philanthropy, and whose leadership inspires others to pursue humanitarian goals," said John L. Byrne, director general of the Canadian Red Cross in Atlantic Canada.

Callbeck was elected to the PEI legislature in 1974 and served four years as minister of Health & Social Services, with additional responsibilities for the disabled and for non-status Indians. In January 1993 she was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island, and was sworn in as P.E.I.'s first woman premier. In March 1993 Catherine became the first woman in Canada to be elected as a premier, serving until October 1996. In September 1997 she was appointed to the Senate where she continues to serve on a number of committees.

Callbeck has made humanitarian contributions over the course of many years through her active involvement in the advancement of women, and women in politics, early childhood development, literacy, family resource programs and various charitable and public service groups and organizations at all levels.  She is currently a member of advisory committees or councils for P.E.I. Literary Alliance, Family Resource Programs Canada, and the Child Alliance Advisory Committee of P.E.I.

She is also patron of the P.E.I. Business Women's Association, and a honourary board member of the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada. In 2011 and 2012 Callbeck received honours from two organizations, Equal Voice and Famous 5 Ottawa, which through education, advocacy and recognition events encourage more women to seek political office in Canada and honour women for their leadership roles. Further information on each recipient is available online at

"Since he was a youngster, Scotty Joe Smith has been involved with charitable organizations and youth groups, devoting countless hours volunteering in fundraising activities and events in his community" said Byrne.

Smith has demonstrated commitment to serving others through his involvement with Development and Peace in the Philippines and his current work as a lay missionary with the LAMP program in the Dominican Republic.

He has grown into the role of teacher, educating children in english, math, and science and assisting with daily activities relating to social issues like child labour, women's rights, sex tourism, drug use, and family violence.

Working both locally and nationally within his home country, Smith has helped create a higher sense of awareness of certain issues for social change needed for those most vulnerable globally. He continues to meet and engage partner organizations like La Esperanza, a fair trade coffee association, as well as national youth ministry movements in the Catholic Church to assist wherever he can.

Callbeck and Smith will be honoured on October 25, 2012 at the Humanitarian Award gala dinner held at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel in Charlottetown, sponsored by law firm McInnes Cooper, to raise funds for Canadian Red Cross disaster relief and educational programs in the province.

Other recipients of the Canadian Red Cross’ 2012 Humanitarian Awards in the region include Gerald L. Pond and Lauren Chartrand of New Brunswick, Dr. Martha Jodrey and Samantha Miller of Nova Scotia and Vince Withers and Jillian Peddle of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Organizations: Red Cross, Islanders, Social Services Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island P.E.I. Literary Alliance Family Resource Programs Canada Child Alliance Advisory Committee of P.E.I. Glaucoma Research Society of Canada Dominican Republic Catholic Church Delta Prince Edward Hotel

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Prince Edward Island, P.E.I. Business Women Ottawa Philippines La Esperanza Charlottetown New Brunswick Nova Scotia Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • johnny cash
    August 23, 2012 - 17:31

    to Hey Johnny Cash guess most "red" it like i did,she is hateful ,what has she done for islanders besides what she has already done. Read the comments!

  • voter
    August 23, 2012 - 14:57

    to even show her picture around my family members is an insult to them -- she is about humanitarian as a poison pill or a thief-- she shouls have stayed in her tunnel and not shown her face again instead of sucking more out of taxpayers as another useless senator ---she was very hurtful to many workers and her impact is still being felt by many -- THIS IS JUST AN INSULT TO MANY WHO SHE HARMED

  • Mary mckenna
    August 23, 2012 - 07:12

    Amen to "HMR"s comments! As a victim of ms. Kitty Catacomb of the infamous 7.5% cutback/clawback i was also appalled to think the premier could be so cheicken as to retreat to "safety" through the tunnel just to escape accounting for the money taken from a bona fide contract with the employees of the province at that time. What a display of coardice - or was it lack of knowing how to answer our questions? Indeed why not target some unsung heroes such as volunteers of lower rank - and those who work tirelessly on behalf of unfortunate and needy folk? i would say these people deserve kudos and recognition far more than some politician who continues to swill from the well of public coffers- and just what good does the senate do? They never cross the government and stand up for the taxpayers - why are we even supporting the existance of that body politic?

  • intobed
    August 22, 2012 - 18:30

    Who's next, Robert Ghiz? The real humanitarians are the volunteers with hospice, hospitals, the people who deliver Meals on Wheels, stock the food bank shelves, etc, not some six figure income politician.

  • HMR
    August 22, 2012 - 18:06

    Catherine Clawback was not too humanitarian in 1994, when she introduced her 7.5% rollback. This "tunnel Lady" was too scared to run in the provincial election in 1996, and at the last minute, sneaked into a patronage Senate appointment.Ms. Clawback, along with Robert Ghiz, has to rank among the worst Premiers in Island history!!!!

  • johnny cash
    August 22, 2012 - 15:09

    My question re clawback is,WHY? What has she done for p.e.i.?

    • Hey Johnny Cash
      August 22, 2012 - 19:59

      Red the story. She has done plenty and I am surprised you weren't aware!

  • Have to be anonymous in PEI
    August 22, 2012 - 14:55

    Catherine Cutback gets a humanitarian award, tnice one