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November 6, 2013

“Mr. Canada” Retires

George Springate is a truly unique Canadian, and Encounters finds itself very fortunate to have crossed the path of such an exceptional man. Known across the country as “Mr. Canada,” George has made outstanding contributions to the EWC program, his local community, his province and his country.

George has been a role model to us all. Encounters is very fortunate that this multi-talented man – cop, lawyer, Quebec politician, professional football player and Grey Cup winner, law professor, citizenship judge and senior judge – saw fit to participate in its program.

From September 2009 to May 2013, this fluently bilingual and long-time member of the Order of Canada graciously volunteered to speak to the students first thing on Monday morning to set the tone for the week, as EWC’s Youth Engagement speaker. For those five years, he drove from Montreal to the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre to be there by 8:00 a.m. to deliver an address to the participants on how young Canadians can make a difference. He would tell them the importance of developing a strong and independent voice representing the youth of our nation and for the causes in which they believe.

Said Director General Linda Brunet: “My team and I consider George a mentor for Encounters with Canada. Always present for us, with his unparalleled charisma, natural talent as an orator and as the most authentic human being that you will ever meet, he has made a lasting impression on countless thousands of young Canadians, over a career spanning more than five decades.” Indeed, George and Mrs. Brunet share many of the same beliefs, strongly encouraging youth to become the masters of their own destinies, by constantly acquiring new skills, knowledge, and being connected and actively involved in the world in which they live. “Youth civic engagement is critically important to prepare young people to be active citizens in a democracy,” stated EWC’s DG, “and George’s message always resonated with our participants.”

Encounters with Canada would like to thank George Springate for his many years of dedication, loyalty and support to its program - and wish him the best of luck in his retirement! We are all better for having known him – he has truly made our country a better place to live.