Gary Cumming shares Canada Day experiences from Parliament Hill

By Stewart Grant

Gary and Margaret Cumming are regulars each year at the Canada Day festivities at Cadzow Park, but considering this was Canada’s 150th Birthday and they had family to stay with in Ottawa, the Cummings decided to enjoy this year’s festivities at Parliament Hill.

Wisely, Gary and Marg arrived at the hill around 8 a.m., just before a huge wave of others arrived behind them in line…“just an enormous crowd,” per Gary. Within about an hour, the Cummings were able to navigate themselves through the huge Disney-like maze through to the security checkpoints.

“Security was just terrible,” said Gary. “I was not very happy to lose my penknife or my selfie stick. They even went through Hector’s wallet…that seemed to be going too far! They had us take everything out of our backpack, pockets, and then put us through the scanners. It was overdone.”

Cumming reported that due to inefficiency of the security line and the wet conditions of the grounds due to the heavy rain, only 25,000 or so people made it onto the hill which isn’t much more people than would normally attend a nearby Ottawa Senators hockey game. “We talked to someone there that day from Stratford who paid $1,000 for a bus trip who didn’t even get to go in,” said Gary.

Aside from the security issues, the Cummings did enjoy a heck of a show once on the hill. Bono and The Edge from U2 performed, Choir Choir Choir did a fantastic rendition of Hallelujah, and Shania Twain took the stage as well. Dignitaries on hand included Justin & Sophie Trudeau, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Governor-General David Johnston and his wife Sharon. During Trudeau’s speech, Gary’s wife Marg was quick to point out that Justin didn’t mention Alberta when listing the provinces.

Although Gary and Marg had a memorable trip to Ottawa and are glad they attended the big event, don’t be surprised to see them back at Cadzow Park for a more relaxing Canada Day experience here in St. Marys.

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