Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's Come To This

3 updates at the bottom...

On his blog, Warren Kinsella calmly asks: "WHO WILL SPEAK FOR CANADA, NOW?"

Well, to answer Warren's question, it appears that the man who will speak for Canada is...wait for it...Jimmy K:

However, at least one Liberal, Jim Karygiannis, said he would oppose [Harper's motion].

“Are we going to have a Greek nation within Canada, a Ukrainian nation within Canada, a Chinese nation within Canada? Sorry, Canada is the nation,” Karygiannis asked.

UPDATE: Andrew Coyne, who is shockingly not amused by this, has more reaction, including this piece.

UPDATE 2: Go on and Bleed has some classic quotes.

UPDATE 3 - A United Canada?: The Globe has quotes from some living people:

• Quebec Premier Jean Charest: “The recognition of Quebec as a nation is a way for us to occupy the place that is owed us in Canada and elsewhere in the world. In my view it is a very significant gesture.” (The Globe and Mail)

• Manitoba Premier Gary Doer: “To me, Canada is one nation, one country. I understand Quebec is unique in terms of language, culture and law, but Canada is one country.” (Winnipeg Free Press)

• Alberta Residents League chairman Pat Beauchamp: “Go ahead. If you are a nation within a nation, just go ahead and leave. Leave completely.” (Calgary Herald)

• The Edmonton Sun: “Up until about mid-afternoon yesterday, we thought Prime Minister Stephen Harper was doing a pretty good job in the office he was handed – if only on a trial basis – last January. But some time about halfway between lunchtime and the supper hour yesterday he lost us. And we fear he may have turned off a whole lot of other Canadians in the process.”

• The Globe and Mail: “Mr. Harper has mitigated the damage by removing most of the political sting from the word (nation), while leaving the recognition of Quebeckers as a special community within Canada. Hard to argue with that, even if you belong to a different special community.”

• The National Post: “We must somehow summon up all our will -- and leave well enough alone. We wish Mr. Harper had had the will to do so, rather than starting down a path few in this country want him to take.”

• Winnipeg Free Press editorial: “Mr. Harper had an opportunity to speak for Canada to all Canadians, and he did not.”


  • Mr. Grit, you have always mocked Jimmy K, you have always put him down, attempted to make a mockery of him. But now, now you recognize the truth, Jimmy speaks for Canada. Not just Greeks, or other democrats, but Canada. Jimmy, a nation yearns for leadership at this time of peril.

    Dion is a complete sellout, big surprise

    Rae is waiting to see what the caucus says

    Ignatieff says he "thinks" this is a great day for Canada?? I guess he has to wait until he has lived here for a full year before he can develop a firm opinion about whether it is a good day

    God, I hope Gerard Kennedy stands up a speaks for Canada....

    By Blogger fartcatcher, at 1:31 a.m.  

  • The whole Kinsella post is worth reading as he has been backing Stephane and now calls him out:

    November 22, 2006 - Ten reasons why Stéphane Dion cannot go along with the "nation" resolution:

    His whole career has been about saying "no" to devolution by stealth. Why say "yes" now?

    He above all people knows that it will satisfy no one - and accomplish nothing. Unless you are Duceppe, that is.

    He cannot bash Ignatieff for weeks for "nation," then turn around and embrace it. That is a volte-face of historic proportions.

    He would be helping Harper achieve what he needs most: offset Ontario losses with Quebec seats, Ignatieff (or Rae) as leader, and Dion gone.

    No explanation he conjures up - eg., it doesn't matter, everyone calm down - will work. Everyone else recognizes this is historic, because it is. It is about a constitutional change. It is not just a word.

    It utterly repudiates everything he has stood for. Until now.

    It takes away the one thing, above all else, that distinguished Dion from the other leadership candidates. He will be the same as the rest, if he goes along with it.

    It hurts Canada - because it co-opts the one credible federalist francophone to emerge unscathed from the sponsorship wreckage. When the referendum comes, Dion will no longer be a credible federalist voice, if he is in fact around at all.

    It is the end of his political career, if he stands up for this. Not Ignatieff, not Rae. Him.


    Ken Dryden, time to step up.

    By Blogger polopark, at 1:41 a.m.  

  • Jimmy K...the saviour of Canada?

    Oh...the humanity!!!

    By Blogger herringchoker, at 2:16 a.m.  

  • “Are we going to have a Greek nation within Canada, a Ukrainian nation within Canada, a Chinese nation within Canada? Sorry, Canada is the nation,” Karygiannis asked
    what stupid logic.Unlike all of the above Quebec and First Nations are founding nations.
    arguments like Kinsella's is just a red herring meant to stir the pot of emotion rather than logical discourse based on reality and actual historic events,i.e Canada's history.
    my blog:

    By Blogger Dirk Buchholz, at 2:50 a.m.  

  • Anyone who stands up for our values in these challenging times certainly rises a few levels in my books. Takes guts and boldness, right about now.

    By Blogger the Braeden Caley Campaign, at 3:11 a.m.  

  • Kennedy please stand up...

    By Blogger Manley Man, at 3:44 a.m.  

  • Taking it a step further for Dirk... Quebec and First Nations are founding nations? Which First Nations? Are you saying they all together are one nation? What about those who feel they have over 600 individual nations. Or those who feel they are uniquely linked into one large nation. Who decides which is legitimate?

    Why is the government making any declearation or statement on this matter at all? What does it have to do with ANYTHING?

    By Blogger Shawn, at 3:59 a.m.  

  • whose values would those be Braeden, and what values are those?

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8:32 a.m.  

  • One Canada, united by the official promotion and protection of bilingualism, and the practice and official policy of multiculturalism, not multinationalism.

    No Antonio, in many of our minds they are NOT the same thing, and if they were as you sometimes say they are, then of course this recognition wouldn't be necessary, because multiculturalism and bilingualism are already in the constitution.

    By Blogger the Braeden Caley Campaign, at 9:00 a.m.  

  • I'm not best thrilled by this, although I may yet come to support it, reluctantly.

    But before we all sail too far off into the deep end, we should remember that post-referendum in '95, the Chretien government intro'd at least one (maybe more - I honestly can't recall) motions, and I think even the dreaded words "distinct society" were used. (Again, my recollection may be false in that regard, but I'm sure others here can correct me if it is.)

    The motion(s) passed at that time were not of constitutional force, and the Dominion didn't crumble.

    That doesn't turn a bad idea into a good one, but it does mean that we shouldn't go too far into panic mode.

    And yes, hailing Jimmy the K as Canada's saviour is about as "panic mode" as it gets :)

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 9:33 a.m.  

  • Bart:

    Kinsella and Karygiannis will be perfect together. I am sure they will be very happy.

    By Blogger Devin, at 10:08 a.m.  

  • "Vancouver MP Hedy Fry has also signalled that she's torn on the issue."


    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 10:50 a.m.  

  • Y'all still have to kill Iggy's study group to 'officialize'.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 10:59 a.m.  

  • Karygiannis is the smartest guy in Parliament, right now.

    I agree - Canada is the nation. We are not a "nation of nations" or a "community of communities" or any other such nonsense.

    Quebec can stay, or Quebec can go - the choice is to be go it alone, without our subsidizing and support, or it can be a welcome member of the federation, as a province.

    (At least Harper has the sense - which Ignatieff sadly lacks - to aim for the people, and not the actual real estate of the province, as a "nation".)

    (Although the multi-ethnic/linguistic/theistic/cultural people of Quebec are not a nation - the Quebecois may be, and I'd say franco-Canadians (Canadians of French descent) are)

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 11:40 a.m.  

  • It's a sad day when I am forced to agree with Jimmy K.

    By Blogger Zac, at 11:59 a.m.  

  • We can't legitimize Quebec as a civic nation within Canada.

    We can promote and respect the French culture within Canada, as a founding
    people, regardless of geographic location.

    The Conservatives would love to fight an election against Liberals with
    "Stephen Harper lite" as leader.

    Stephane should speak to all Canadians, expressing support in a way that
    all Canadians understand, a typical Liberal inclusive vision.

    Respect Francophones everywhere in Canada. Respect opportunities for
    everyone. I can list dozens of opportunities my children have had because of Pierre
    Trudeau's vision.

    Neither my wife or myself speak French fluently. And I grew up in the
    1960's in ville Brossard, Quebec. My wife is from Halifax.

    But we enrolled our kids in French Immersion education

    Our whole family went to France for 5 weeks when they were in elementary

    All are fluently bilingual. All have had meaningful chances to travel in
    Quebec and in France.

    My oldest daughter is a French Immersion teacher herself and graduated
    from Faculte' St. Jean in Edmonton.

    My oldest son worked for a summer in Bordeaux, France.

    My youngest daughter works as an actress in Musical theatre at Oh Canada
    in Canmore. It is a dinner theatre so she both acts and serves tables. There is a pan
    Canadian theme to the show because it is intended to provide tourists with a flavour of

    She is usually assigned the tables with French speaking guests.

    All my kids have learned some Spanish as well and seem successful at doing
    so because they already have confidence in speaking a second language.

    Learning another does not intimidate them and of course there are similarities between the two.

    And they enjoy experiencing other cultures.

    The Liberal vision of Canada will always promote understanding and will
    not encourage and promote the two solitudes.

    Who Speaks for Canada indeed? Liberals need to step up today.

    Now is the time for a statesman.

    What an opportunity for someone who wants to become the leader of the Liberal party !!!

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 12:22 p.m.  

  • Dion agrees with Harper (or Harper agrees with Dion):

    "Quebec is a nation in the sociological sense within Canada, so the solution is that Quebeckers are a nation within a united Canada... not Quebec as a legal entity."

    By Blogger anonymous, at 12:27 p.m.  

  • Canada has NOT been redefined here, Quebecs own definition of it's 'people' was accepted.
    No powers were handed over, the province of Quebec was not called a Nation(as would have been with the Bloc & Iggy's motion) so the West will be ok about this, eventually.

    Will it be enough to satisfy the 2/3 of Quebecers that do not want to separate?
    Canada is heading for another referendum (when, now, if Federalists get booted out in the Prov. election).
    The Bloc motion handed Canada a say in Quebec spearation. Stupid, arrogant Gilles, he underestimated PMSH. And so did the Libs.

    By Blogger wilson61, at 12:31 p.m.  

  • spearation.? should be separation

    By Blogger wilson61, at 12:32 p.m.  

  • I love Bo Green as much as anyone, but I have to disagree a little bit.

    The idea of "Quebec can stay or go"

    is a separatist indulgence worse than Quebec is a nation - which, by the way - is not what the resolution states.

    Quebec has decided. Twice. Would you ask a girl out whose twice said, "no thank you?"

    The idea that Quebec hasn't decided until it decides to separate - which is the separatist line - is utterly ridiculous.

    We've decided. End Story. We don't run 1,000,000,000 referendums until the seppies get the result they want. They may like to argue that, but we certainly have to remind them: you've lost twice. Twice. Twice.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 12:45 p.m.  

  • CG:

    I appreciate the link.

    By Blogger goonandbleed, at 12:56 p.m.  

  • what stupid logic.Unlike all of the above Quebec and First Nations are founding nations.

    What about recognition of a British Canada? They are 'the' founding people. Canada, the country, is a creation of a British civilization.

    The Chinese, Greeks, Italians, Sikhs, Tamils et al are clustered in like groups mostly in Toronto and Vancouver. Segregation in Canada is de facto, let's make it de jure.

    By Blogger Desmond Jones, at 4:13 p.m.  

  • I'm not surprised that Quebec is issue number one. The nationalists-separatists are masters at distracting Canada from issues of greater importance, and the papers eat it up because all Canadians start nattering about the problem like the country is going to break up. Wake up Canada - there are 9 other provinces to give more equal time to. Saskatchewan alone has $800,000,000 missing from it, which Harper promised in January to send to us promptly.

    By Blogger Saskboy, at 4:50 p.m.  

  • What's that? Harper doesn't keep his promises? (where's that open, accountable government?)

    Back to the issue at hand...

    Canada is, after all, "the houses, the village" and if the residents of a particular house want to be recognized because they do things somewhat differently from everyone else, then that's just fine. But if they expect to be given special privileges in the village or they act like they're not part of the village - part of the community - then, well, we have a problem.

    Having stretched that metaphor as far as it will go, I will simply say that symbolic gestures which recognize the aspirations of people is okay, but ascribing ambiguous definitions/powers to legal entities is a recipe for disaster.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 8:58 p.m.  

  • I'm very disappointed in both Stephane Dion and Gerard Kennedy right now...

    By Blogger Clear Grit, at 2:08 a.m.  

  • I would support the party that ignores the symantics of the issue and simply sells Quebec to Disney. It would make a great theme park, we wouldn't have to make any further transfer payments and "the never-ending trip to the dentist" would cease.

    By Blogger W.E. Sterner, at 6:31 a.m.  

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