Kudos to Michael Chong, Canada’s intergovernmental affairs minister for resigning his post. The “Quebec as a nation” retread bill before the house is Canada’s answer to the tired sitcom plots imported from America. Its not very funny and is as predictable as it is tiresome. I also applaud Mr. Kennedy, Liberal leadership hopeful for having the stones to oppose such a sour frosting to an otherwise bland unity cake. Of course, Kennedy has the luxy of speaking from the political wilderness which seems to offer its denizens the ability to speak with unfettered conditions. In case you missed it, here’s the federal problem in Canada, and it has little to do with Quebec nationalism.
Having lived and worked from one end of this country to the other, I feel as though I can speak with some authority on the Canadian experience. And I have uncovered the following: Every part of Canada has distinct needs and solutions to their own problems. These problems can be generalized as the following: increased ability to innovate or in other words, decentralized federal power. Whether its fishing on the east coast, oil wealth in Alberta, agriculture in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, manufacturing in southern Ontario, or the inferiority complex that is the province of Quebec, EVERY part of Canada feels hard done by the federal bargain. The difference in Quebec is that this discontent has been harnessed and the language of that disconnect has been altered and turned into a nationalist discontent and agenda. In fact, its the same discontent that’s to be found Everywhere. Quebec has been hoodwinked into thinking that there is something unique about their discontent.
This is why the Quebec problem gets so little sympathy in the rest of Canada. Because no-one understands how Quebec is more different than anywhere else! After all, how can a pear be more different from an apple than an orange is! Its an absurd comparison without logic or resonance. Of course the argument is presented this way in Quebec because it elevates those who expound it and strokes the egos of Quebecers that support it. Thankfully the whiners in the rest of Canada lack the creativity to present this gripe in the same regional terms.
A story that probably did not escape Calgary this week involved a Calgary doctor that refused to give a prescription for birth control pills on the grounds that she was opposed to birth control! This doctor’s governing body when questioned said that it was her right to do so! Im only assuming that the doctor is Catholic mostly on the grounds that few other institutions have been a greater impediment to rational thought and human dignity. But she may not be catholic. Its possible. Unquestionably, the patient has been betrayed here by a nation that cannot enforce its values. Birth control is legal. Last time I checked. This legality was a decision by the state. This crusading, shitforbrains doctor apparently has elevated herself to the highest law in the land and defied that legality. And I am forced to say things like religion is essentially a socially respectable form of self aggrandizing egomania. Its a sobering ponderance when I wonder what other lapses in judgment this doctor is capable of making. It only goes to show that being a dunce is no obstacle to obtaining a degree that is generally respected by society. It also makes me wonder why buildings don’t crumble, bridges collapse and planes don’t plummet to the ground more often than they do.