Canada Post honours four outstanding and well-known Canadians in this new stamp series, featuring images of Rick Hansen, Michael J. Fox, Sheila Watt-Cloutier and Louise Arbour.
Young Rick Hansen dreamed of representing Canada at the Olympics someday. But at age 15, he lost the use of his legs in an automobile accident. His positive attitude allowed him to stay involved in sports and he became the first person with a disability to graduate with a degree in Physical Education. He was inspired by Terry Fox, and through his own epic journey on the Man In Motion World Tour years later, he kept a small statue of Fox close, as encouragement. Later, he established the Rick Hansen Foundation, continuing his quest for a cure for spinal cord injury, and for an accessible and inclusive society.
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox’s drama teacher urged him to audition for acting parts. He appeared in numerous TV shows, theatre plays and movies, before getting his big break in 1982, in the hit TV show Family Ties. Fox has also appeared in feature films, including the blockbuster Back to the Future trilogy. In 1990, he was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease, but waited until 1998, while starring in the hit TV series Spin City, to disclose his condition to the public. Committed to campaigning for increased Parkinson’s research, he established the non-profit Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and remains an outspoken supporter of stem cell research.
Champion of Aboriginal and human rights, and a climate-change advocate, Sheila Watt-Cloutier has received the Aboriginal Achievement Award, the UN’s Champion of the Earth Award and the Norwegian Sophie Prize; she is also a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Officer of the Order of Canada. Born in Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec, she spent her first ten years leading a traditional Inuit life. Watt-Cloutier worked as an interpreter at the Ungava Hospital in Nunavik, and a student counselor in Kuujjuaq and Montréal. In 1995, she was named the Canadian president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, a position she held until 2002, when she was named its International Chair.
Following impressive work in the Ontario legal community, in 1996, Montreal-born Louise Arbour became prosecutor of war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and for the Former Yugoslavia. In 1999, she was appointed to the Canadian Supreme Court. She later served as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Arbour is currently President and CEO of the International Crisis Group (ICG). A Companion of the Order of Canada, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a grande officière de l’Ordre national du Québec, she has received countless international awards as well as honourary doctorates from 30 universities.
Title: Difference Makers – Canada
Date of Issue: 22 May 2012
Denominations: permanent x 4