Kitchener Rotary

March 7, 2022

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found here.

President's Comments

President Adrian welcomed all to this special joint meeting with the RC of Kitchener Westmount and Kitchener Grand River.
We were very pleased to have RI President-Elect Jennifer Jones join us for the meeting.  She brought congratulations on our club’s 100th Anniversary and provided an update on Rotary’s Polio Plus campaign.

Guests and Visiting Rotarians

We had over 90 guests and visiting Rotarians at our special meeting tonight.  Of special note are:

Right Honourable Paul Martin, guest speaker
Jennifer Jones, RI President-Elect
Rudy Habesch, District 7080 District Governor
Sandhya Maini, District 7080 District Governor-Elect
Kathi Dick, District 7080 Past District Governor
Lesley Barmania, District 7080 Past District Governor
Michael Goutier, District 7080 Past District Governor
Judy Nairn, President – RC of Kitchener Westmount
Steve Knipping, President – RC of Kitchener Grand River
Chris Snyder, Co-Chair of HIP
John Lomax, Chair of the District 7080 CIRCLE Committee
Elena Shpinel, RC of Moscow International
Graham Gardiner, RC of Kitchener Westmount
Cathie DeCoo, guest of Adrian DeCoo

Program Highlights

Our special guest speaker today was past Canadian Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Paul Martin, who spoke on the topic of Indigenous Education and the Martin Family Initiative.  He was introduced by Shawky Fahel.
The Right Hon. Paul Martin served as Canada’s Prime Minister from 2003 to 2006. As Prime Minister, Mr. Martin succeeded in establishing plans to improve health care, reduce wait times, and nationalize early learning and childcare programs. He also reached a historic consensus with the 2005 Kelowna Accord to eliminate funding gaps in health, education, housing, and clean water for Indigenous people.
During his term as Minister of Finance, from 1993 to 2002, Mr. Martin erased Canada’s deficit and recorded five consecutive budget surpluses while paying down the national debt. He was a Member of Parliament for the riding of Lasalle-Émard from 1988 to 2008.
In 1999, as co-founder of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, he served as its inaugural chair and continued in that position for 3 years.
In 2008, he and his family founded the Martin Family Initiative, a charitable organization focused on bridging gaps by weaving Indigenous knowledge together with the most current research and evidence-informed methods. MFI is committed to improving education, health and the overall well-being of Indigenous children and youth in Canada.
Before entering politics, Mr. Martin had a long career in the private sector. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s St. Michael's College and from the University’s law school. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1966.
In 2012, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada.
He is married to Sheila Ann Cowan, and they have three sons and five grandchildren.
A better future begins with education
The Martin Family Initiative (MFI) works together with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation People to support education, health, and overall well-being for children, youth, and adults. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
MFI Programs
Early Childhood
Through MFI’s work in early childhood, we honour parents as their first and best teachers so that children grow up happy, healthy and ready to learn.
MFI focuses on creating a strong foundation to ensure children not only have the tools necessary to learn, but also to encourage pride in one’s cultural identity, langue and history.  In one of their early test applications of the program the number of children leaving grade 3 who could read at grade level went from 13% to 81% in just two years.
Entrepreneurship & Mentoring
MFI introduces youth and adult students to the world of business and prepares them for the working world, regardless of their career path.
MFI’s programs strengthen education across the spectrum of learning: support for parents and young children in their earliest years of life, literacy in First Nations elementary schools, entrepreneurship at the high school level, and mentorship for students to pursue post-secondary education.
We also provide resources to support Indigenous education more broadly, including a virtual library for educators to explore learning materials and research reports.
We helped create a skills development course for principals, vice-principals, and aspirants working in First Nations schools across Canada.

Our vision is equity of opportunity

MFI sees the potential in every person.
Despite incremental progress, Indigenous People in Canada still face barriers to essential services such as education and healthcare. That is why it is important to support their well-being. Indeed it is critical for all Canadians. 
  • Indigenous peoples account for 4.9% of the national population
  • Indigenous children under 14 represent 7% of all children in Canada
  • Youth represents nearly half of the indigenous population.  They are the youngest and fastest growing segment of Canada’s population.
MFI by the Numbers
  • Active in 9 provinces and 2 territories
  • 100 locations
  • Over 8,000 students since 2008

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Adrian reminded everyone to check on Catch the Ace as the next draw will be on Thursday March 10th. Members were also reminded that the next meeting will be in person on March 14th at the Evolv 1 building in Waterloo. This tour will be for a maximum of 20 members - registration confirmation on a first-come basis
Mar 14, 2022 4:30 PM
IN PERSON - Canada’s first Zero Carbon Building
Mar 21, 2022
Committee Meetings to be Scheduled by Committee Chairs
Mar 28, 2022 7:00 PM
EVENING ZOOM - Peace Building - UofW Faculty of Arts for Palestinian Studies
Apr 04, 2022 12:00 PM
NOON ZOOM - Hear Peter's son talk about his not-for-profit involvement
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Karim Sallaudin Karim
March 1
Tasreen Charania
March 1
Dave Smith
March 6
Kingsley Madu
March 24
Join Date
John Tibbits
March 15, 2003
19 years