By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 0 Comments
QUEBEC – An attempt to remove the Canadian flag from the Quebec legislature appears…
QUEBEC – An attempt to remove the Canadian flag from the Quebec legislature appears poised for defeat in an upcoming vote laden with emotional symbolism.
The provincial assembly has decided that a vote next week will settle an unprecedented situation — one where a minority Parti Quebecois government, one that does not control of the legislature, tries to have the flag removed.
And the PQ may not have the numbers to take down the Maple Leaf.
The pro-Canadian official Opposition, the Liberals, will vote against the request. And it appears that the constitutionally neutral Coalition party is also lined up against the government.
Coalition Leader Francois Legault says that, because his party an alliance of federalists and separatists, it favours the status quo and will vote against the PQ request.
“Why change the balance?” Legault said Wednesday. “We have a balance and there’s a consensus in favour of it within the Coalition.”
The two big opposition parties have 69 seats, combined. They need 63 votes to have a majority in the legislature and win next week’s vote — meaning the PQ attempt would fail unless more than one-third of the Coalition’s 19 MNAs sided with it.
The issue is playing out under a unique political backdrop: a new PQ government has been elected and promises to work toward independence, while polls suggest its cause is relatively unpopular with barely half the support it had in its early 1990s heyday.
The Maple Leaf has, in the past, only had a place in the legislature building when the Liberals were in power. It was added to the committee chamber by Robert Bourassa’s Liberals in the 1980s and ’90s, and again by Jean Charest’s government in 2003.
As it has in the past, the PQ moved to take it down after it won the Sept. 4 election. But the attempt prompted a rare backlash and, with only a minority status, the PQ was forced by the legislature Speaker to hold a vote to decide the issue.
The vote is scheduled for next Wednesday.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to wade into the dispute when asked about it last week during a trip to Quebec City.
Harper stuck to a familiar message, one pitting the PQ’s independence cause as out of touch with the priorities of Quebecers.
“What can I say?” Harper replied, drawing chuckles from an audience.
“What I can say is our priority, for the people of Quebec and for the rest of Canada, is the economy. I think that’s the real priority of Quebecers — not old quarrels. I have no intention of participating in those old debates.”
By Mika Rekai - Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 12:50 PM - 0 Comments
British Columbia…: Vancouverites still haven’t forgiven the Stanley Cup rioters. A recent Angus
British Columbia: Vancouverites still haven’t forgiven the Stanley Cup rioters. A recent Angus Reid poll found 85 per cent of residents believe the police probe into riot-related offences should continue. Not only that, but 56 per cent of people there think the city’s reputation is still tarnished.
Alberta: Albertans love their cars, but an Angus Reid survey suggests they have some poor driving habits. When asked, 76 per cent of respondents have seen drivers multi-tasking (putting on makeup, texting) while driving, and 73 per cent have seen drivers run red lights—the highest rate in the country.
Manitoba: People in Manitoba are the most in love with Canada’s flag. An Ipsos Reid survey found 36 per cent of people there would consider getting a tattoo of the Maple Leaf somewhere on their body, tying only Saskatchewan in their devotion.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 3:56 PM - 51 Comments
Heritage Minister James Moore told reporters on Wednesday that he and his fellow parliamentarians would still have to abide by the rules of the House of Commons that say no flags may be flown in the windows of Parliament Hill offices…
When asked if condo owners should not be required to follow the rules of their building, in the same way that MPs are required to follow the rules of the Parliamentary precinct, the minister turned and walked away.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 12:40 PM - 7 Comments
Mitchel Raphael on who’s bringing high heels to the mountain and prorogation cuts
NO SHOWERS FOR THE LABOUR MINISTER
Labour Minister Rona Ambrose is right now climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. She promised herself she would reach the peak the last time she was in Eastern Africa, which was in 2006 for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Back then, there was no snow on the peak; now, she’s been told, the snow is back. The Kilimanjaro climb takes six days and that means “no showers,” quips Ambrose, who packed and repacked her backpack, trying to be prepared for all sorts of weather conditions. One item she made sure to include was a Canadian flag: she plans to bring it with her to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games as a good luck symbol for when she watches gold medal skier Jennifer Heil compete. Heil is from Spruce Grove, Alta., which is in Ambrose’s riding. Heil won Canada’s first medal at the Turin Games and Ambrose arranged for Stephen Harper to give her a congratulatory call. Ambrose is also bringing a pair of high heels she’ll put on when she reaches the top for a fun personal photo op.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 4:12 PM - 23 Comments
Judging from this footage, the Liberals have taken the important step of acquiring a large Canadian flag to use as a backdrop to Mr. Ignatieff. This, obviously, to counter Stephen Harper’s very large flag.
The onus is now obviously on the NDP to sew together an even larger Canadian flag. And then to convert that flag into a hot-air balloon that Jack Layton can tour the country campaigning in.
By Mitchel Raphael - Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 10:10 AM - 0 Comments
PLUS: Why silent auctions make Michael Ignatieff nervous
WHY SILENT AUCTIONS MAKE IGNATIEFF NERVOUS
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was honorary chair of the Winter Palace Ball fundraiser for Ruskoka Camp, which helps underprivileged Russian-Canadian youth. The evening was called “Dancing with the Tsars.” Ceremonial Russian guards lifted their swords as guests entered the ballroom of the Old Mill Inn in Toronto. After walking under the swords with her husband, Zsuzsanna Zsohar, Ignatieff’s wife, made a beeline for the silent auction. Interested in a cream-coloured hand-knit Orenburg shawl, Zsohar took off one of her rings to test its authenticity. (The cloth should be fine and airy enough to go through, she told Capital Diary.) The scarf passed the test and Zsohar put in a bid. “An occupational hazard of my life,” noted Ignatieff, “is keeping my wife from bankrupting us at silent auctions.” Over on the dance floor was a glass case (loaned by Natasha Bronfman, one of the ball’s organizers) with souvenirs that had been given by Czar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fedorovna to guests at what would be the final Christmas ball at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Paul Ignatieff, the Liberal leader’s grandfather, served as education minister to Nicholas II.
JOHN BAIRD LOVES QUATCHI
Governor General Michaëlle Jean held a special ceremony on the grounds of Rideau Hall to unveil the Olympic torch for the 2010 Vancouver Games. Schoolchildren, including a Grade 3 class from Leslie Park Public School located in Transport Minister John Baird’s Ottawa riding, were brought in to watch. Baird, who was on hand for the ceremony, welcomed the kids. “You have Quatchi on your face,” he told one child, referring to his temporary tattoo of one of the three Olympic mascots (there are also young sea bear Miga and animal spirit Sumi). The third-grader had no idea his tattoo was one of the mascots, but after the minister explained it, Baird was bombarded with “Who’s on my face?” For the record, the young sasquatch Quatchi is Baird’s favourite. After the ceremony, the Governor General took the kids snowshoeing on the grounds of Rideau Hall and had a fun snowball fight with them. Capital Diary feels obligated to report that the GG appeared to throw the first snowball.
BET CHRÉTIEN CAN’T WAIT
Former prime minister Paul Martin spoke at the University of Ottawa about the G8 being obsolete and how the future belongs to the G20. The talk was presented by the university and Library and Archives Canada. At the top of his speech, Martin mentioned how, after he was no longer PM, the archives sat him down for taped interviews and peppered him with questions about his time in office. In the audience was the president of the university, Allan Rock, a minister under Jean Chrétien, and Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale. Martin said he had great things to say about both Rock and Goodale in those interviews but, he added (not too optimistically for his former colleagues), they will never get to hear them because the archives seal the tapes for 30 years. One can only imagine what Martin said about Chrétien.
WE ALMOST HAD A CANNABIS FLAG?
Heritage Minister James Moore presided over a special Flag Day celebration in Speaker Peter Milliken’s Hill reception room. A stunning collection that includes all of Canada’s historical flags (including ones like the white flag of the French navy before Canada was even a country) was created by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney when he was in a prior portfolio. Kenney noted that the Speaker’s reception room was where the parliamentary committee first met to discuss the new flag that resulted in the current Maple Leaf, which first flew on Feb. 15, 1965. A Tory MP noted with a smile that one of the options for the new Canadian flag on display featured a green leaf that, in his opinion, looked a lot like a cannabis leaf.