Manny Malhotra, Jason Garrison join You Can Play at Vancouver Pride parade

The Canucks have had a very conservative 2012, and I don’t mean in terms of their transaction history. Between Passion Vancouver praying over Daniel Sedin’s helmet, David Booth bringing that blueberry-hogging bear to justice, and Mark Donnelly singing at the launch of the New Abortion Caravan, the team has been aligned with some very right-wing ideals over the last few months.

Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with any of these ideals (and frankly, praying shouldn’t be considered right-wing, although it is, thanks to bad politics). But they’re often associated, fairly or unfairly, with some uninclusive ways of thinking, and the Canucks organization has always strived to be as inclusive and embracing of the community as possible.

The presence of Manny Malhotra, Jason Garrison, and mascot Fin alongside the Vancouver Cutting Edge and You Can Play at Vancouver’s 34th annual Pride Parade was a great way to remind people of this.

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We poked a little fun yesterday at Dan Hamhuis and Manny Malhotra, who recently showed off their building skills by spearheading the installation of a brand new, state-of-the-art playground for the children of Edmonds Community School. But, when it comes right down to it, the real story is pretty excellent, and admirable too.

Edmonds Community School is located in the poorest postal code in Canada with a school, and has become the home school for the majority of refugee families that come into Vancouver. As a result, over 50 countries are represented within the school population. Needless to say, with so many languages and cultures at play, an excellent playground where the children can learn to work and socialize together is a must, and that’s where Community Man and Community Manny come in.

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