Chong chooses not to play games
- Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 29 Nov 2006, p. 6
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As the former information officer for the National Hockey League Players Association and (until Monday) the federal Minister of Sport Michael Chong is not unaccustomed to playing games. However, the Wellington-Halton Hills MP after a , few days of soul-searching, decided the issue of having the "House recognize that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada" was a game he wanted no part in. To his credit, Chong stepped down from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet Monday before the vote on the motion-- a resolution that carries no legal weight and is astounding only in its ambiguity. Make no mistake, this flawed resolution was nothing more than a game of political one-upmanship. The matter was raised by Liberal leadership hopeful Michael Ignatieff (for political advantage) was advanced by Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe (for political advantage) and then hijacked from Duceppe by Harper (for political advantage). Chong simply refused to play the game. Displaying a sense of conviction rarely seen on Parliament Hill, and carrying his principles high, Chong said, "I believe in one nation, undivided, called Canada. I believe that recognizing the Québécois as a nation, even within a united Canada is nothing else than the recognition of an ethnic nationalism and that I cannot support." Bravo! Sadly the issue is not likely to disappear anytime soon as Liberal leadership hopefuls Ken Dryden and Gerard Kennedy also chose not to support the resolution. Undoubtedly Quebec will be on the front burner at this week's convention. While Harper, who felt he had to bring forward the resolution to prevent Duceppe from having the Commons vote on whether Quebec is a nation, called Monday a "historic night" it was nothing of the sort. It was reallly just another night at the rink and the Tories were forced to play shorthanded when one of their rising stars decided this "exhibition" match wasn't worthy playing in.
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- 29 Nov 2006
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- Michael Chong ; Stephen Harper
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