Most Canadians outside Quebec might have difficulty naming more than three of the province's political representatives. Premier Jean Charest, BQ leader Gilles Duceppe and his PQ counterpart
All three have raised the ire of Canadians predominently outside Quebec.
From Duceppe and Marois this is routine and to be expected. Their view will always be that of the oppressed (Quebec) attempting to throw off the chains of the oppressor (Canada).
Charest, attempting to create political capital in Quebec, joined his occasional ally of convenience Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty in churlishly identifying Alberta and Saskatchewan as ungreen at the
agenda driven Copenhagen conference on climate.
It's Marois and Duceppe though who predominently stoke the fire of discontent.
Marois would have the provincial government use the nothwithstanding clause of the Constitution to again set aside a Supreme Court of Canada decision on language rights within Quebec and deny parents the
right to send their children to unsubsidized English language schools. Charest is also said to be considering this option.
And then there's Gilles Duceppe. Stung heavily by Lucien Bouchard's declaration that Quebec sovereignty is not achievable in Bouchard's lifetime, Duceppe whose personal appeal in the province doesn't even
begin to approach that of Bouchard, has clearly been seething.
It was likely Bouchard's words which drove the BQ leader to deliver his "resistance" remarks. "The sovereignty of Quebec, no more than the liberation (de la France), is not possible, would not have been
possible, without the work of resistance fighters. Our work is essential to achieving sovereignty".
Duceppe claims he is not comparing Canada to World War II Nazi occupied France. Well, what 'is' he comparing Canada to? What is it his "resistance fighters" are resisting? Clearly it's the Canada which
to Duceppe, Marois and hardline separatists bears the mantle of Ogre in Chief. But does Duceppe consider Ottawa to be the equivalent of Nazi Berlin? Unless the BQ chief has clearly lost all semblence of reason, he doesn't.
Lucien Bouchard was correct. In the absence of an unexpected and significant emotional issue which might connect viscerally with the majority of Quebecers and momentarily cause them to abandon reason, there will be no "yes" vote
to leave Canada in the inevitable BQ/PQ driven Referendum III. Although many Canadians living outside Quebec may at such a time become Quebec separatists themselves.
Gilles Duceppe's intemperate remarks this week are hardly weighty enough to fuel that fire. He's just not that important.
In 1971, speaking in Canada's parliament, then Solicitor General Jean Pierr Goyer spoke these words, "We have decided from now on to stress the rehabilitation of individuals rather than the protection of
Not rehabilitation AND the protection of society. No, rehabilitation RATHER than the protection of society.
This week the rehabilitation of Craig Munroe, convicted of first degree murder in the death of Toronto police Constable Michael Sweet on March 14, 1980, took a giant step forward I'm guessing. Munroe was
deemed a sufficiently manageable risk that the National Parole Board granted him unescorted temporary absence passes from a Correctional Service Canada halfway house in British Columbia.
He joins Harold Smeltzer found guilty of the sexual assault and murder of five year old Kimberley Thompson of Calgary. Smeltzer is similarly deemed a manageable risk (a favourite term of the Canadian corrections
industry) and permitted unescorted passes from a Regina Correctional Service Canada halfway house.
The murderers of a police officer and a five year old child granted unescorted freedom to wander about in Canadian society.
Oh sure, there are conditions, such as no association with children in Smeltzer's case. But who will be there to supervise Munroe and Smeltzer? Exactly!
A Correctional Service Canada psychologist once told me "you must consider the underlying vulnerability of the offender", which underscores a prevailing attitude of adherents to the "we have decided from
now on to stress the rehabilitation of individuals rather than the protection of society" philosophy. Namely, society's shortcomings either created the likes of Munroe and Smeltzer, or contributed to their criminal development.
No! I choose to consider the very real vulnerability and terror of a sexually assaulted and murdered five year old child. I choose to consider the very real agony of a dying police officer gunned down
while doing his duty.
How about you?
As we get this blog up and running, I thought I'd share the philosophy of the Green Show. You may have already formed an opinion of what we do, so let me see if I'm close.
My objective is always to bring the most compelling news, human interest and pop culture events to the program and speak to the people who have a direct role in the story, or a link to it. We'll hear what they have to offer and as often as possible open the phone lines across Canada on the Corus radio network to provide our callers with what I like to call "the Last Word."
Whether it's politicians we're holding to account for performance in federal or provincial legislatures, or assessing improving Canadian mainstays like our national health care program, or tackling pop culture stories like that swirling around Tiger Woods (some would argue that this is anything but pop culture), I can assure you that what we talk about on the Green Show will be what matters to you.
You may not agree with the positions I take, or at times with the grilling I'll give a political leader (particularly if it's from a political party you may support), but you won't be bored with what we put to air Saturdays and Sundays across the Corus radio network.
If there's a story which you think deserves the attention of the show, include your suggestions. I won't promise we'll cover the event, but I will promise we'll look at it.
Tune in and call in on Saturdays and Sundays.