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 February 2009 - Nr. 2
The edior: Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Dear Reader

January did not bring any surprises in our own community; instead we watched intensely what was going on south of the border. We observed, we debated, and we hoped and speculated, and we were not disappointed. It all played out as we hoped it would. Obama won and was inaugurated in an atmosphere of extreme exhilaration, which is an emotional quality that sweeps along all other lesser ones. Even the cynics and the racists shut up for a while, and I noticed, that most of them still do. The ones that still argue we need to be patient with.

We truly hope that this huge wave of enthusiasm continues and that in its wake many good things can happen, that slowly but surely will eradicate the monumental mistakes of the past.

On our own hill in Ottawa reason prevailed over jealous political posturing, enhancing the chances for a changing of the guards at a later date - hopefully pulled through by national parties only, without separatist help. The decisions that are being made and implemented during the next few months are of great impotence to the survival of the world economy and therefore all our wellbeing.

It will be a time of adjustments and for many a time of learning. So many of our young people have never experienced anything but a horn of plenty. They have no idea how to do without anything or very little. They whine into their blackberry or video phone as soon as someone says NO. And NO it will have to be for a few things, while we adapt to a new economy. I truly hope that this opportunity will be taken to revamp an ailing system that is not equitable and does not play by the rules of fair exchange.

High above the corner of Bloor and YongePlease read Sybille reports. This time it contains some news from the German Consulate General which recently moved to a new address high above the corner of Bloor and Yonge, Toronto. See picture.

I do want to remind you that Bill C51 is still waiting in the wings and that we need to be diligent in protecting our rights to choices in healthcare. A separate charter would be an ideal way of protecting such rights and I urge you again to sign the petition. Go to for your copy of a free charter, print it and distribute it and have people sign the petition. It is vital for our health choices.

In the meantime I recommend you stay warm regardless of what the groundhog Willie and Company and their shadow say, cozy up to your friends and family, celebrate all possible customs with some ingenuity, and be grateful for living in Canada, where we still say "thank you" to the bus driver, something that visiting Europeans always notice instantly with much astonishment.

The picture on the front page is another look out my back door, where Blue Jays and other birds come to be fed together with the squirrels, raccoons and stray cats, while our own cats watch. The grateful creatures come regularly and enhance our lives with their chirping and bright colors or their footsteps in the snow. They wait patiently, knowing that no one goes or flies away hungry from my yard.

And buy the way, when it starts smelling a bit gamy in the yard get a bottle of Febreeze and spray, it handles even the heavy odor of skunk!

I wish you a happy Valentine’s Day!

Until soon

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.

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