Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Anyone but Canada

It was only a matter of time before ABC morphed in the national media into "Anyone but Canada:"

The National Post story is a retread the Rob Antle's story in the Tely:

As I've pointed out in an earlier post, DW's European Adventure is full of contradictions and inconsistencies:

In this case, it would be understandable if DW's many groupies cried foul. They can point to numerous occasions when DW affirmed that he's a proud Canadian.

What they cannot do, however, is account for public statements like this:
"Canada just struck us over the head."

or this:
"And we have been building up a war chest for when the feds come at us again, quite frankly."

For more examples, see:

The provincial politics of ABC and its impact on federal-provincial relations have received exhaustive coverage and debate. But its impact on how Canadians view NL has received little attention to date.

No one seems interested in discussing how fair-minded Canadians might feel about DW's outbursts. Perhaps few people in NL care about what Mainlanders think.

But plenty of people, especially in Dangovt, care a lot about Canadians' tourists dollars. The same Dangovt that loathes the Globe has an annoying pop-up ad embedded on the newspaper's homepage.

Given everything that DW has said since 2003, it's perhaps not surprising that today the Tely carried this letter to the editor:
"Not visiting this year

We've been watching the pretty tourism ads for Newfoundland in the paper and on television. We were actually thinking that we might come down this summer.

But then we began to think about it a bit. Do we really want to spend our money there? This is the province that the rest of us have been shoveling money to since 1948. Not only have we never been thanked, but apparently we are actively disliked by a majority of you.

Why else would you overwhelmingly support a premier whose main platform seems to be antagonism to the rest of Canada? Up here, we don't like people of his sort - he makes his way by inciting anger between the citizens of this country.

He is the antithesis of what a good Canadian should be and his standing in your province, unfortunately, says a lot about Newfoundlanders in general.

Now, it's separation.

Now we are hearing calls for a separate Newfoundland. Please feel free.

We wonder how long you'd last without the transfer payments for which you apparently have such low regard. So we're not coming this summer ... sorry.

Rob Hammond
Brockville, Ont. "

Maybe this is an exceptional, isolated case. Maybe Mainlanders will flock to see all the blond- and red-haired Celts prancing authentically under the NALCO transmission lines.

Maybe not. The letter writer might be an isolated jerk for all I know (the jab about "shoveling money" was nasty, unfair, and wrong), but perceptions are perceptions. And despite DW's superhero powers, even he cannot control how Mainlanders will respond to what he does and says about Canada.

Before the next DW meltdown, it might be worthwhile to pause for just a minute and consider how people outside Newfoundland may respond to anti-Canadian rhetoric, let alone acts such as pulling down their national flag. It might also be useful to think about how separatism affected financial investment in Quebec. The full consequences of the ABC folly are still unknown, but what we do know is that they will spill well beyond provincial borders and Ottawa knife-fights.

As I've maintained, DW's predictions about getting shafted have had a funny way of turning into self-fulfilling prophecies:

Maybe that's been the plan all along.

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