Anyone who knows how the federal government perceives its role regarding national unity won’t find this article from the Ottawa Sun surprising. Here’s the lede:
The heritage minister is set to scrap or overhaul a federal Canada Day program that has doled out the lion’s share of its cash to Quebec. A breakdown of the “Celebrate Canada” program’s 2004-05 expenditures shows Quebec scooped up $5 million of the $7.3-million pot.
We’re talking, here, about a Heritage ministry that hired the avowedly separatist group Les Bottines Souriantes to play Parliament Hill on Canada Day two years ago. If the separatists weren’t laughing at Canadians before then, they certainly are now. And sure, none of this happened under the watch of Liza Frulla. But Ms. Frulla is doing her best to make Sheila Copps appear competent in retrospect.
Here’s how the above Sun article ends:
Marianne Goodwin, a spokesman for Heritage Minister Liza Frulla, said the federal cash is distributed based on applications, and that Quebec planned more costly concerts and “major” events. The minister has ordered a review that could result in recommendations to cancel or overhaul the program so money is distributed more fairly, she said.
Let’s play spot the bullshit. Does anyone seriously believe that Quebec got five out of every seven Canada Day dollars because — proud Canadians that they are — they organised so many more excellent July 1 activites than the rest of the country as a whole?
Second, note that the floated remedial measures — cancel or overhaul — actually contradict the above explanation. After all, if the explanation were correct, the distribution would, ipso facto, be just, and would not need overhauling to make it “more just”. Which is why the programme will be cancelled. If you’re a Liberal, and are forced to choose between helping your friends, or helping nobody, best to choose nobody.