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.


David J. Climenhaga

David J. Climenhaga

David Climenhaga is a journalist and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with the Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. He left journalism after the strike...