Local Man Helps Collect 150 Canadian Stories of Peace for New Book

“Peace comes in many forms,” says Old Ottawa East resident Yves Morneau. He is marking Canada’s 150th birthday by helping to judge submissions for a book about peace. Photo by): John Dance

“Peace comes in many forms,” says Old Ottawa East resident Yves Morneau. He is marking Canada’s 150th birthday by helping to judge submissions for a book about peace. Photo by): John Dance

“Peace comes in many forms,” says Old Ottawa East resident Yves Morneau. He should know, having spent decades living and working in conflict-torn areas around the world. Now retired, he is devoting his time to collecting inspiring stories of peace.

Working with fellow peace activists, Morneau is poring over submissions that will be included in a bilingual book of 150 stories about peace to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial. The stories are written by ordinary Canadians using simple language.

“The first story I read was about finding inner peace. I was struck by that. It was written by a new Canadian who had to fight to be accepted here,” Morneau said.

“Other stories stress that peace comes from speaking from the heart and from better communication between people,” added Morneau. “Many of the stories are written by people who previously lived under tyrannical governments but have found peace in Canada.”

“There’s a story from a nine-year-old boy who had a problem with three bullies in his class. He made friends with one of the boys, which solved part of his problem, but he says he still has to figure out how to deal with the other two bullies,” he said.

He has also contributed his own stories, written in French, from a lifetime of work promoting peace. But Morneau admitted with a smile, that he does not get to evaluate whether those are selected. The other members of the selection committee will do that.

Yves Morneau has lived in Old Ottawa East with his wife Lise since 1980. When he retired from the Canadian International Development Agency in 2004, he obtained a masters’ degree in conflict studies from the University of Saint Paul on Main Street. He became chair of the board of the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution at the university, and is now a certified peace professional with the Civilian Peace Service Canada.

His colleague with the Civilian Peace Service Canada, spoken word poet and author Evelyn Voigt, says the deadline for submitting stories to the print edition of the book has passed, but online contributions are still welcome.

The book, scheduled to be published by the end of this year, is a project of the Civilian Peace Service Canada, Walking for Peace, and Spirit Wrestlers.

Stories must be true, and can be written in French or English. Submissions must not exceed one page and must be typed in Times New Roman 12-point font. The title of the story and the author’s name should be included at the top of the page. Stories should be submitted by email to 150PeaceStories@gmail.com.

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Filed in: Culture, FP, Front Page

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