rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Don't expect the Harper Tories to do aught but rag on our Maple Leaf Flag in 2015

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Lester B. Pearson

The Harper Conservatives wrap themselves in the Maple Leaf Flag, but don't expect them to be waving it on Feb. 15, 2015.

By then, on the 50th anniversary of our red and white national ensign, we'll likely be in the midst of a federal election campaign, seemingly the perfect time for flag waving by fake patriots like the ones that populate Prime Minister Stephen Harper's so-called Conservative Party of Canada.

But don't expect to see it happen on that particular day.

After all, the Maple Leaf Flag that Canadians from all parts of the country love was brought to us by a Liberal prime minister, Lester B. Pearson. What's more, the Conservatives of the day distinguished themselves, if that's the correct expression, by bitterly disparaging the banner they derisively called "Pearson’s Pennant." They mounted a filibuster in Parliament in hopes of blocking its adoption.

Moving to the present, the Harper Government is distinguished by its small-mindedness in all matters of this sort.

The revelation yesterday that federal public servants brought forward a proposal for a national party to celebrate the April 30 anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms only to see it kyboshed by Harper's neo-Cons is the perfect example of the lizard-brain hyper-partisan reflexes of this party.

The Globe and Mail reported that the proposed celebration to mark the signing of the Charter and the "patriation" of Canada's Constitution was instantly overruled by Heritage Minister James Moore, in favour of what the report termed "a terse press release."

Moore's press release called the Charter "an important step in the development of Canada's human rights policy," and that was pretty much the end of it.

This ungracious and petty knee-jerk instinct should surprise no one. The Harper Tories despise the Charter for inconveniently bestowing too many rights on ordinary Canadians. Plus, there was no way they were going to celebrate any achievement by a Liberal -- especially one they dislike as much as prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the father of the Charter.

So you can bet on it that if Canadians want 2015 to include a celebration of the adoption of their flag, they'll have to do it themselves.

But if you're a Conservative, don't worry. After all, Canada was involved in a world war in 1915, and Robert Borden, the prime minister of that day, was conveniently a Tory. So Harperites should have an anniversary or two to celebrate in their typically partisan and militaristic fashion.

Just don't rag on our flag!

Support Rabble.ca. Sign up today!

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, Alberta Diary.


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.