7 May

By Evan Zenobia

OTTAWA—The National Capital Commission, which organizes large cultural and recreational events and activities like Winterlude, Mosaika and Canada Day, has been stripped of its power.

Thanks to the Conservative federal budget, the NCC will no longer run Ottawa’s Canada Day celebrations. The event will fall squarely under the thumb of Harper’s Heritage Department.

Why? Because “the feds  refer to the NCC as ‘locally based,’ and said the move was to ensure ‘a broad, national perspective is brought to these celebration.’”

Yes, God forbid Ottawa’s Canada Day celebrations reflect Ottawa’s character! Let’s be clear. This is a Harper Government power grab. The Conservatives want to sink their fangs into everything associated with Canada so that they can mold it in their image. They want to splatter their values all over any expression of Canadian identity. They want to wrap Stephen Harper in the flag, even if they prefer the Union Jack. This way, they can make present themselves as  immutably “Canadian,” and render any opposition to their projects as “anti-Canadian.”

I thought that the tories were supposed to be the great champions of small government, decentralization and devolution. I guess that just means shredding environmental protections and throwing Ontario and Quebec’s taxes at Alberta’s oil barons so that they can dump sludge in the water and ruin Canada’s international reputation.

This is Big Brother government in action. Harper doesn’t trust communities to organize their own events and activities, because he knows that his vision is not in tune with ordinary citizens. He has to shove his propaganda in his face. It wasn’t enough for him to flush millions of dollars with his grossly misrepresented War of 1812 commemorations. No, Lord Stephen needs Canada Day to reflect his crown-humping petro-fundamentalist ideology.

So look forward to Canada Day, Ottawa. Pff, what am I saying? After all, it’s not the Government of Canada anymore, it’s the Harper Government, why not call it Harper Day? And who needs concerts or fireworks, when we can just plop a big screen up on Parliament Hill and play a documentary about how great the tarsands are. Oh, and don’t forget some sickening 19th century loyalist salute to Elizabeth Windsor to top it all off.

So congratulations Ottawa. Harper just stole your 1 of July from you.Image


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