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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
All the lonely houses stand like monuments / To thieves
— Neko Case, Tightly
February 16, 2005
40 years of the Canadian Flag

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Canadian flag - a flag I’ve known, and been proud of, for my entire life.

The flag meant something powerful 40 years ago: it meant that Canada was finally, at long last, one nation - sovereign. No longer a mere offshoot of the British Empire, our fate was our own to mould.

It’s been 40 years since then, and the nation is still wrestling with the same issues.

Quebec’s Quiet Revolution - then an emerging phenomenon - has not yet played out its full effect, although we’ve long since moved past the point of the revolution being quiet. The struggle between the single, central Federal government and the 10 separate but equal Provincial governments continues to this day.

This last struggle has come to a head in the last few days, culminating in Prime Minister Paul Martin signing a deal with Newfoundland (for it will always be Newfoundland to me, with Labrador an integral part) and Nova Scotia with respect to off shore resource rights that has the other provinces - particularly Saskatchewan and Ontario - questioning the fairness of the transfer payment system.

They’re right to do so: Prime Minister Martin, by virtue of his attempt to please everyone, is running the serious risk of loosening the ties that bind - making them so tenuous that the Federation itself becomes little more than a figure head; an entity that has so little meaning in their day to day lives that Canadians begin to consider themselves first British Columbians, or Ontarians and only after that Canadians - echoing the sentiment of Rene Levesque in the years when he led the Parti Quebecois.

This flag means a great deal to me - I cherish it, and I never take it for granted. It has given me a very privileged life, and it comes with responsibilities.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Posted by skooter at 6:59 AM This entry is filed under Politics.

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