You Can't Pay For Pride

St. Boniface - Thursday, May 30, 2002 - by: Mike Reilly


Ralph Goodlale, this year's most recent Public Works Minister, made a welcome announcement this week that he was suspending all future sponsorship contracts pending a review. This is a good start but begs the question,
"Why does the Government of Canada feel the need to advertize itself."
  This is the nation to which we all belong and, to the best of my knowledge, is not threatened by competition for my allegiance. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Stephan Dion recently confessed he knew of no separatists who became federalists because of government sponsorship.




The United States, often considered to be the most patriotic nation in the world, has no office or department of National Heritage, Federal Sponsorship or any official government agency for raising the "Stars and Stripes" throughout the land. Americans love to display the red, white and blue on everything, and corporations fall all over themselves to be associated with some portion of American iconography. This lack of government involvement in the national identity has worked so well, no states have tried to secede since the 1860's. And we all know how that turned out.




Assuming there is a need to raise Canada's profile to those who were unaware in which country they reside, why would it cost money to erect a banner at an event with the word "Canada" and the flag boldly printed. Surely there can be no local bylaws preventing the display of our national identity. I fly a Canadian flag at my home and did not send a bill to Ottawa for the space. You can't pay for pride.




Mike Reilly