Our post-colonial Governor General

June 15, 2006

Surprisingly, this comes from the National Post and not from The Onion.

G-G No Show at Queen’s 80th Bash

Monarchists say it is “embarrassing” that Michaelle Jean, the Governor-General, will not attend an official celebration of the Queen’s 80th birthday today in London, although her counterparts from Australia and the Bahamas will be there.

The decision not to attend was due to a scheduling conflict, said Randy Mylyk, a spokesman for the Governor-General.

Imagine not showing up to work the day of the big meeting because you had a ‘scheduling conflict’?  This is her job!  This is why she is paid $114,000 a year and gets to live here?

Ms. Jean received the invitation just two weeks ago, Mr. Mylyk said, after she had already agreed to make a number of appearances in Toronto — at a high school in a poor neighbourhood to attend a play about her life, at a centre that helps settle immigrants and at the grand opening of the city’s new opera house.

. . . Mr. Mylyk pointed out that Ms. Jean celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday on April 21 during a visit to Cape Dorset in Canada’s Far North.

“The Governor-General had an opportunity last April to honour Her Majesty, the Queen of Canada, in a uniquely Canadian way,” Mr. Mylyk said.

In the small Nunavut town, the Governor-General shared a giant birthday cake with local children, an act Mr. Mylyk said reportedly “delighted” the Queen when she was told about it.

How exactly is this uniquely Canadian!  I’m sure the Queen would have been ‘delighted’ if her Excellency bothered to show up in London for today’s celebrations too. 

. . . Ms. Jean has been lauded in some circles for her commitment to social issues, for reaching out to underprivileged youth and for speaking her mind on topics such as racism, violence against women and dementia among the elderly.

I think it’s fantastic that she helps out with such worthy causes, but this is not the primary function of her job.  It would be great if anyone of us did this sort of volunteer work, but we wouldn’t not show up at the office because we had other commitments.

Would it be too obvious to note that Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith only turns eighty once? 

Her Excellency, Michaelle Jean a Governor General with truly post-modern, post-colonial priorities.  Welcome to Trudeaupia.



June 11, 2006

Liberal leadership candidates debate in Winnipeg

Eleven Liberal leadership candidates jostled over ethics and Afghanistan in their first debate.

Candidate pool Format limits itself

Organizers had to find a format that allowed the 11 candidates to express their views and also engage each other.  But analysts said it wasn't until they were randomly broken into smaller groups and allowed to face off that the real debate began.

"Generally speaking, the format limits itself," former Liberal cabinet minister Sheila Copps told CTV Newsnet.

"I think the Liberal party is going to have to revisit 11 candidates getting single time slots, and maybe make it more of a debate as we saw towards the end."

Anne McLellan, former Liberal public safety minister, agreed that giving candidates too much time to speak on their own was a mistake. [ed. Finally, something on which Anne and I can agree.]

"I think the party should take this as the first of five debates and see what worked," she said.

The next leadership debate is scheduled for Saturday, June 17 in Moncton, N.B. [ed. Oh, goody!]

BennettBevilacquaBrisonDiondrydenfindlayFryIgnatieffraeraevolpewaldorf and statler

I've said it once and I'll say it again . . . Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Misled by multiculturalism

June 1, 2006

Not a bad piece by Tarek Fatah over at the Red Toronto Star.

 It is time for ethnic minorities to take the next step forward in building a civic society based on respect, dignity and social justice. It is time for Indo-Canadians to interact with Arab Canadians, not only at nomination and leadership bid meetings of prominent white politicians, but to get to know each other as fellow Canadians. It is time for Iranian Canadians to attend the Harry Jerome Awards for black Canadians. That would be a multiculturalism true to the concept's original spirit.

Otherwise, we risk creating a fragmented nation, divided into 21st century tribes, segregated into silos, easily manipulated. While I value diversity, I am tired of celebrating it. What I truly wish to celebrate is our common humanity, not our tribal loyalties and affinities.

When it's Government policy to water down the country's culture and history to the point of creating a vaccum, what can we expect? 

When I was in primary school we were taught that Canada was a 'cultural mosaic' and that the United States was a 'melting pot'.  With those metaphors came detailed explanations of how the 'mosaic' was literally, figuratively and culturally superior.

I was reminded of this mosaic analogy recently while reading The Onion.


PET Ideologies

June 1, 2006

If the revelations in this new biography Young Trudeau: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, 1919-1944 is true . . . wow!

As the Ottawa Citizen reports

A new biography of the former prime minister, whom Canadians have long been taught to regard as a great liberal politician, reveals that as a youth and young man, Mr. Trudeau was an anti-Semite, admired fascist dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini, promoted revolution and longed for an independent and Catholic Quebec that would be home only to francophones.

 . . . "I was astounded and appalled by this lengthy and convincing account of Trudeau's intellectual journey to the age of 25, long past the age when these activities can be dismissed as youthful follies," says the book's publisher, Douglas Gibson, a long-time admirer of Canada's 15th prime minister.

Let's hear it for intellectual growth.  Still, I'm sure that this will do nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the Trudeaupian crowd.

UPDATE: Apparently this is old, and oft-forgotten news.   As the estimable Mark Steyn notes:

 . . .after all, young Pierre was in his twenties; he couldn't be expected to know any better — though those other twentysomethings without benefit of his great intellect, the young Canadians and Englishmen and Scotsmen and Americans scrambling ashore at Normandy, all managed to figure it out.

Including my Grandfather.  This should put 'youthful indiscretion' argument out of its misery.