If Canada’s poet laureate did not exist it would not be necessary to invent him. And perhaps not possible either, even for a gimlet-eyed satirist.
Consider that the actual incumbent of this actual position, Fred Wah, was just quoted in the newspapers whining to some Scottish audience that in all his time in office he’s only been asked to produce one “mediocre poem” (his own description) about the Queen, instead of being invited to land one left-wing verse haymaker after another on the Harper administration “about immigration policy, about Idle No More, about Canada’s complicity in the Middle East, the Enbridge pipeline” and so on.
When you consider that his official oeuvre begins “She said looking through the monarchy of pronouns Her halftone face profiles the moment” it is less surprising than he seems to believe that he was not asked for an encore. Besides, what rhymes with Enbridge? Although I gather rhyming is passé in poetry these days.
She was sick of having French stuffed down her throat and paying for Native people who’s ancestors sold out too low.
NDP Leader Adrian Dix had to Kelowna-Mission NDP candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk before lunch on day zero of the campaign for controversial remarks. Lead BC Reporter Bryn Weese joined David Akin to chat about ‘bozo candidates’.
While hailing this historically historic deal where the Northwest Territories gets more control over land and resources, territorial premier Bob McLeod noted that two of the territory’s seven aboriginal governments haven’t yet signed on but he hopes they might. Now hang on. The total population of the Northwest Territories is under 42,000 people. And it has eight governments? And everyone’s hopes for prosperity are that one of these governments is going to get more money that used to go to a different, national government?
Is it just me, or is there too much emphasis on politics as the path to wealth and happiness here?
Well isn’t this nice? Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak (yes, he who in January demanded “an end to 140 years of colonial rule” or Idle No More might ”bring the Canadian economy to its knees”) put out a press release welcoming “the new Minister of Aboriginal And Northern Development Canada”.
Perhaps welcome is too strong a word. The release (not yet on their web site, but distributed through the Parliamentary Press Gallery) said
It would be nice to hear the words or a statement from the new minister opposed to regurgitation from the previous minister. It’s quite apparent from his first ‘statement’ that there is a common thread tying ministers together in a tightly controlled authoritarian Harper regime.
It went on to praise Valcourt’s “strong and accomplished record in Eastern Canada” before again disparaging the “highly contained and controlled Harper regime” and saying
The development of the Canadian idea is also fundamentally different in western Canada because of treaties that opened the west to immigrant settlement. I am uncertain as to whether the minister from eastern Canada can or will fully understand the fundamental differences.
After which it generously went on to “congratulate” and “welcome” Valcourt and demand he study Canada’s “dark colonial history”. Gosh, with a warm, courteous greeting like that, who can doubt that a productive and open relationship will soon flourish?
John Robson, columnist and commentator with Sun Media, is also an Invited Professor at the University of Ottawa and a commentator-at-large with News Talk Radio 580 CFRA in Ottawa. With a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D in American history from the University of Texas at Austin, he has worked in academia, think tanks and politics as well as doing print, radio, TV and online journalism in Canada. He is married to Brigitte Pellerin.
Mark Dunn is senior national reporter with Sun Media. He’s one of the few born and bred Ottawa journalists covering Parliament Hill. And he’s believed to be the only journalist to have worked in senior communication roles in political offices for a sitting government and opposition offices. The former Canadian Press reporter is a huge NFL and NASCAR fan, former ski instructor and member of the Canadian Ski Patrol. Friends will say he has the golden touch when it comes to grilling on the Q. Dunn is also an adventurous traveller who likes reading, music and television crime shows.