There was a bit of fuss raised late last week when Conservative MP Shelly Glover decided to promote bilingualism in a school in her riding by dropping by with a bunch of water bottles branded with the Conservative logo. When the school refused them, she couldn’t understand why.
“I think it's okay for politicians to be proud to belong to a party,” Glover said. “I am proud to be a Conservative Member of Parliament who is looking to do the right thing to encourage kids to learn both official languages and I'm going to continue to do it.”
Um, bribing kids doing well in French immersion with water bottles that have your name and party logo on them probably isn’t going to help. Just saying…
But Glover does bring up a point – yes, it’s okay for politicians to be proud to belong to a party. But that doesn’t mean that this was necessarily the right venue to express that pride. I do think that it’s important to teach kids about the importance of joining a party and learning about the democratic process from the grassroots – but they need to be able to assess the parties on their own merits, and make their own decisions – not be swayed with cheap party-branded tat. If Glover wants to stop by a civics or social studies class and talk about joining a party, then great. But giving out water bottles for good marks in French Immersion was just a bad idea.
Meanwhile, after a week away, the House is back today for the final stretch before the Christmas break. But with Harper on the road, we’re unlikely to see too much drama, and a whole lot of talking points.
The Canadian Press interviews an expert in stimulus spending, and he pretty much says that it’s difficult to implement, so it’s no surprise most of it is winding up in Conservative ridings with little correlation to local unemployment rates or population. Not to say that it can’t be done better – and that Chrétien’s stimulus plan in the early nineties was probably the best this country has seen.
Prime Minister Harper came away from the APEC Summit in Singapore with no discernable progress on forging a climate change agreement (no surprise there), and is now in Mumbai to stage a series of photo ops to show Canada that he really does care about trade with India – even though he’s not there with business leaders or premiers, or really any kind of delegation that could prove that he’s serious about trade in the region. But hey – photo ops with Bollywood stars count for something, right?
Up today: With critical CRTC hearings coming up with the whole “Save Local TV”/”Stop the TV Tax!” nonsense (and a pox on both their houses), a bunch of big name Canadian actors including Grace Park of Battlestar Galactica and The Border fame will be on the Hill at one this afternoon to demand more Canadian-made drama on Canadian television. I hope some of them will stay for Question Period, because that would be quite awesome.