Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ron Corbett recalls some of 2013's Ottawa heroes

By ,Ottawa Sun

First posted: | Updated:

Kevin Dooley from the Canal Workers Commutative Group, poses with a new plaque beside the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, On. Thursday, June 20, 2013. The new plaque represents the contributions of the construction workers whose work on the Rideau Canal carried this monumental feat through to completion. Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency
As the year draws to a close, I want to give a last shout out to some unsung heroes in our city.
These people had my favourite stories of 2013. An unofficial, Life in the City, top-three list.

Kevin Dooley -- The retired marine engineer thought it was a no-brainer when in 2008 he asked the federal government to erect an historical plaque in honour of the workers who built the Rideau Canal.

Nearly a thousand workers died while building the canal and Dooley thought it was time they were recognized. Who could oppose such long overdue honour?

Turned out the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada could. This crown agency -- which oversees federal plaques and designations -- turned Dooley down not once, but twice, saying both times the workers were of "no historical importance." Dooley was offended and fought a public campaign to overturn the decisions. He was aided by many Irish groups across Canada, who felt slighted because the vast majority of labourers who died were from Ireland.

The HSMBC started ducking and weaving but even the historian it hired ended up siding with Dooley's take on history. And so, after fielding hundreds of complaints from people across Canada who told the HSMBC it was acting like a conclave of Patrician nabobs, it reversed its decision.

On June 20, a beautiful, early summer day in Ottawa, Kevin Dooley was in attendance to see an historical plaque to the canal workers unveiled at the Ottawa Locks.
Turns out you CAN fight bureaucratic stupidity.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review of Kevin Dooley's novel

The Angira Legacy and The Catalyst

388 pages, $22.95

Kevin Dooley: The Angira Legacy And The Catalyst
A novel that's dangerous to start because its hard to put down.

By Carl Dow

Editor and Publisher

True North Perspective/True North Humanist Perspective

As editor, I receive many books for review. Because of time and energy constraints, I reluctantly ask others to review them; reluctantly, because I’d selfishly prefer to read and review them myself.

Thursday, August 29, 2013




A Message from the Ambassador presented to
the Canal Worker’s Commemorative Group

I extend my best wishes to all those who join in celebrating the
designation of the Rideau Canal Workers. The Rideau Canal is
a monumental achievement realised by the workers, largely
Irish immigrants, who persisted in the face of unimaginable
conditions in order to ensure the completion of this
commanding historical landmark.

As a National Historic and Unesco World Heritage Site, the
canal has played a significant role in Canadian history and will
continue to be a focal point for the community, a draw for
international visitors interested in its story, and particularly in
the winter, for those seeking an authentic cultural experience.
The inclusion of the workers in the existing Rideau Canal
National Historic Site of Canada designation, announced by the
Honourable Peter Kent, Canada‘s Environment Minister and
Minister responsible for Parks Canada on November 2nd,
2012, is a testament to the work of the Canal Workers'
Commemorative Group and a fitting tribute to the legacy of the
workers, many of whom gave up their lives.
This year represents the Centenary of the "Lock-Out" in Dublin
in 1913. My own grandfather was among those who were
locked out. The designation of the canal workers is also a
reminder of the sacrifices that have been made to establish
decent working conditions for workers. It is with great pleasure
that I extend my best wishes to those celebrating and to all
those who have helped to bring about this significant


On June 21, Minister of Environment and Parks Canada, Peter Kent, unveiled a plaque
honouring the National Historical Significance of the Rideau Canal Workers (1826-1832). For
more details by Kevin Dooley of the CWCG please see the following link:

Through the auspices of the Ottawa and District Labour Council, the Rideau Canal Celtic Cross Committee erected a Celtic Cross Memorial by the canal in Ottawa in 2004  

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A commemorative plaque to honour the workers who built the Rideau Canal is a class act on a class question

By Kevin Dooley
Canal Workers Commemorative Group

Photo: Kevin Dooley and ?? with Rideau Canal commemorative plaque
Husband and wife team Onagh and Kevin Dooley share a moment of triumph at the official unveiling of a plaque in honour of the workers who built the Rideau Canal 1826 to 1832. After years of rejection by bureaucrats but with mounting cross-country public support, the plaque will be found at the Rideau Locks where Rideau River waters enter the Ottawa River on the east side of Parliament Hill. The ceremony that included Peter Kent, Minister of Environment and Parks Canada was held under a tent at noon, Thursday 20 June, 2013. A similar plaque will be found at Jones Falls near the Kingston end of the canal. — Image by Catherine MacGregor, Ph.D., Writing, Editing, and Instructional Services. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Canal workers’ ceremony to finally proceed

OTTAWA — Kevin Dooley was ecstatic when Environment Minister Peter Kent announced last November that the workers who built the Rideau Canal in the early 19th century would finally be recognized as historically significant.

Dooley was part of an ad hoc group that pushed for the recognition for six years, overcoming initial rejection by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board, which declared that the work of the 5,000 to 6,000 Irish and French-Canadian labourers was “not unusual, nor was it remarkable.”

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Irish society hosts celebration for Rideau Canal workers Posted Mar 21, 2013 By Michelle Nash

Posted Mar 21, 2013 By Michelle Nash
Ottawa West EMC
Michelle Nash, Metroland
Kevin Dooley plays some traditional Irish music to get the celebration started at the Rideau Canal Workers Designation at St. Brigid's Centre of the Arts on March 14. The event welcomed dignitaries, families and friends to commemorate the Irish immigrant workers who helped build the canal. Two plaques marking the contribution will be placed at both ends of the canal in August by Parks Canada.

EMC news - It was an old-fashion good time as members of the Irish society, family and friends gathered to officially celebrate the designation of the contribution made by Irish workers to the construction of the Rideau Canal. 

St. Brigid's Centre of the Arts was packed on March 14 at a celebration of the official designation from Parks Canada. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kevin Dooley performs Canadian Museum of Civilization

Published on Dec 23, 2012
Kevin Dooley performs Canadian Museum of Civilization

Thank you to David Finkle for the video and upload