By bribing people to celebrate Canada:
The federal government is spending $17.5 million on community events and a "national musical celebration" to honour Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.
Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly made the announcement in front of a string band at Toronto's Daniels Spectrum Theatre Monday morning.
The federal government is chipping in $10 million to the Community Foundations of Canada for its community fund project, which will give small grants to put on events in communities across the country.
We may love our country but - damn it -we expect to get paid for loving it. In other eras it was understood that the nation might call upon its citizens to make the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield. That was a very long time ago. Now expecting ordinary Canadians to pay for some balloons and an amateur band warbling O Canada is a sacrifice too far.
This is not a partisan complaint. During the bicentennial of the War of 1812 we were treated to similar examples of ersatz subsidized patriotism. Liberal CanCon is admittedly more grating than its Conservative counterpart, though the difference is marginal. The working assumption behind CanCon - whatever party colour is espousing it - is that ordinary Canadians are too stupid to appreciate their own country, therefore the kindly bureaucrat will remind us of how lucky we are to live in Justin Trudeau's Dominion. Or to put it another way: Canada is too important an idea to be left in the hands of actual Canadians.
This was - at least officially - the premise behind Adscam. In the wake of the 1995 referendum near miss the Chretien Liberals marched through out Quebec proclaiming the greatness - or at least the adequateness - of a united Canada. Handing out free flags, cheesy ads and the occasional op-ed piece was more than a gigantic waste of money. Nor was it merely a corrupt waste of money. It was something far, far worse: A blatant insult to the intelligence of the ordinary Quebecker. Either Papa Jean believed that that the Sponsorship Programs were an elaborate vote buying exercise, or he thought his fellow Francophones were stupid enough to be persuade by such childish tactics.
This isn't confined to one province and one Prime Minister. If only. CanCon in all its forms is a sign of arrogance and contempt. Federally approved and financed national celebrations are proof of how little the government thinks of the governed.