April 12, 2002
Once again, Quebec's politicians have left
the rest of us wondering what planet they're on. Two news items on
the same day have me scratching my head.
First, the Bloc Quebecois in Ottawa refused
to allow Canada to send a unanimous message of condolence to the
Royal Family over the death of the Queen Mother. Apparently the
Bloc-heads objected to a reference that the late Queen Mother had
actually been the sovereign of Canada, which in spite of their best
efforts still includes Quebec. As Quebeckers they objected to being
called "subjects" of the Crown.
Of course the only sovereign Quebec
recognizes is Celine Dion.
I suppose the Bloc will refuse to cash their
House of Commons paycheques since it would mean having to handle
money with the Queen's picture on it.
You have to wonder if there is any nit too
small for the Separatists to pick. Separatism is losing ground in
Quebec as its people grow tired of their snake oil and empty
promises, and realize this actually is a pretty good thing we have
going in Canada. Ironically, there was recently reported a modest
increase in support for the monarchy in Quebec for the first time in
The Bloc did grudgingly recognize that the
Queen Mother had "lived an important life worthy of
praise", but not enough for them to send condolences. Quebec
politicians have no trouble rolling out the red carpet for some
two-bit Third World despot simply because he speaks French and is
part of "la francophonie". They do find it offensive to
send condolences for the death of (whether they like it or not) a
former Queen of Canada, and a woman who devoted her life to public
service and was once described by Hitler as "the most dangerous
woman in Europe."
On the very same day in an unrelated story
it was reported that the Bloc's provincial counterparts, the Parti
Quebecois, declared that a golden puck Maurice "the
Rocket" Richard received from Celine Dion is part of the
irreplaceable cultural heritage of the people of Quebec.
Diane Lemieux, Quebec's Minister of Culture,
signed an order that forbids the gold-plated puck from leaving
Quebec, as it would apparently diminish the province's rich
heritage. She also included 46 other items belonging to the late
Montreal Canadien hockey legend in her order. They were being sold
at auction by the estate of the Rocket to raise money for his heirs.
People can still buy them, but it is now forbidden for them to leave
These bits of Maurice Richard memorabilia
include his sticks, pucks and jerseys. Also for sale is an
autographed seat from the Montreal Forum, his hockey contracts and a
letter to him from Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis. Duplessis was
of course famous for trampling on the civil and religious rights of
anyone who gave him trouble, or he didn't think belonged in his
Oh yes - I almost forgot. One of the things
that the separatist Minister decided had no historical significance
is a letter of congratulations sent to the Rocket from Prince
The separatists may be petty and narrow
minded, but at least they're consistent.
I'm personally not much of a monarchist, but
it seems Quebec's politicians could learn a lot from the Royals,
including a much needed lesson in class and grace.