Flag war erupts again with Quebec

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Just like the old days again


Pauline Marois removed the Canadian flag for the swearing in of her new cabinet this week.

The sudden absence of the maple leaf in the red room in Quebec caused an outcry in English Canada - on open-line shows, in editorials, columns, letters to the editor, blogs, social Media, Twitter, Facebook, you name it - it was endless.

It was like the old "flag wars" between Quebec and Ottawa.

Complaints even came from people who live in provinces where there isn't even a Canadian flag on display in their legislatures, only their provincial flag.

Still it didn't matter. For many in the rest of Canada, it was as if the PQ, just come to power, had already decided Quebec is a sovereign country. And so out went the Canadian flag.

A shiver passed through Canada, from one end to the other.

Yet the protocol tiff started even before Marois came to power.

Earlier this year, Stephen Harper and his Conservatives, anxious to anglicize and "remonarchize" Canada, replaced the famous Alfred Pellan paintings hanging in the entrance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by a huge photograph of Queen Elizabeth, a gesture not appreciated too much in French Canada.

The paintings, the work of an outstanding Canadian painter, who also happened to be a staunch federalist, have been stashed away in a warehouse somewhere.

"Too bad, Frenchies.'

Then Harper changed the name of the former Ottawa City Hall, renaming it the "John Diefenbaker Building. " A nice way to honor an old conservative politician who was not exactly a hero in French Canada.

And last week Harper went after the "Promenade de l'Outaouais," a beautiful drive along the historic Ottawa River through the national capital.

Harper changed the name to "Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway" in honor of our first Canadian prime minister, who just happened to be a good Conservative politician.

What's that again, you say about the red maple leaf flag disappearing in Quebec?



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