Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jean Chretien's Order of Merit

So our Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, has decided to make former Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, a member of the Order of Merit.

This is the highest honour the ruling monarch can give to anyone. It has been given to various luminaries like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. It is considered a personal gift from the monarch. Only 24 living people can be a member of the Order of Merit.

I think I share the feelings of many Canadians when I say:

"What the hell?!?"

Normally I have a lot of respect for our Queen, but her nomination of Jean Chretien to this Order of Merit tells me that she didn't have very much of a clue of what happened here in her Dominion between 1993-2003.

Let me refresh her memory.

In 1995, if it hadn't been for the votes of some English-speaking neighbourhoods in Montreal, this country would have split in two, his non-leadership being a major cause.

His government's response to this led to one of the biggest scandals and misuse of taxpayer's money in Canadian history.

His government signed onto the Kyoto Protocol, conveniently exempting Ontario, but expecting oil-rich Alberta to abide by it no matter how much it would have hurt Alberta economically.

All this while keeping the grand Liberal tradition of alienating almost everyone west of Manitoba, and souring relations with our largest trading partner.

I understand she and Mr. Chretien quite liked each other as friends. I do also respect the fact the Mr. Chretien spent the majority of his adult life serving his country. In my opinion, however, Mr. Chretien as Prime Minister was, too much of the time, dangerously inept. So to elevate him to such a high level of esteem is quite disproportionate.

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