While some people may be booking campsites or planning their summer vacation, Prince Albert’s Conrad Burns is planning something much bigger.
He plans to walk from St John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, B.C. this summer to raise awareness about violence towards women and men.
“I’ve always wanted to do something extravagant and epic as walking across Canada so the stars lined up, and there was an opportunity that had to be done,” Burns said.
Burns will fly out to St. John’s on March 30 and plans to begin the walk on April 1.
“Our trip is 7,300 kilometres and our goal is to do 60 km a day,” Burns said confidently.
Last summer Burns walked from Prince Albert to Regina for the same cause (Rise Up Against Violence). He knows this walk will require a lot more effort.
“Last weekend I jogged from MacDowall and this weekend I’m planning a trip from Shellbrook to Prince Albert. It’s been four months getting ready for it, trying to lose weight,” he said.
The issue of violence is a personal one for Burns. He was involved in an abusive relationship and even after it ended he tried for a long time to help his ex-girlfriend.
To this day he doesn’t blame her for what happened.
“She was brought up in an abusive situation where she was abused by family, sexually molested, hurt (and) neglected. As she grew older it became a defense mechanism and she became the abuser.”
Over time Burns learned that he could not help his ex-girlfriend but he could help others like her.
“It starts with kids bullying other kids and if we don’t stop it an early stage, it eventually evolves into abuse,” he said.
Burns plans to sleep in the back of a truck during his journey and then walk during the day. He is hoping other people will join him along the way, whether they want to walk or even ride on horseback.
A Gofundme page has been created to help with costs such as food and supplies.
This October, Burns is running for mayor in Prince Albert. He plans to begin his campaign door knocking when he returns in August.