Back in the hey-day of the Parti Québécois, Claude Charron used to rack up a lot political mileage laughing at federal politicians who waxed syrupy over “Our Rocky Mountains.”
Now Stephen Harper has stepped right back into it. Our beloved prime minister has sent out a personal letter to 400,000 grade 8 boys and girls across Canada inviting them all free of charge for one whole year to Canada’s 27 national parks and 68 historic sites.
When the politicians start sending out gifts to the kids, you can tell an election can’t be too far away. At least it beats kissing babies, which can make a mess of a guy’s clean shirt.
Harper’s letter is a hoot: “I remember the first time I visited Banff National Park in my home province of Alberta. Seeing the mountains, forests, and incredible wildlife left a real impression on me. It was an experience I will never forget.”
Carole Lavalléé, the Bloc Québécois Heritage critic, instead of covering Harper in ridicule, took the whole thing seriously. Lavallée accused Harper of “federalist propaganda” and of meddling in childhood education which she reminded him is under provincial jurisdiction.
At least she could have accused him of advertising aimed at pre-teens. There’s a law against that sort of thing in Canada.
As for the kids, they couldn’t care less who gives them the free pass to the parks, as long as they get one.
“Let’s go see Mister Harper’s mountains, mom!”
You’d never catch the Bloc Québécois aiming advertising at children. The party is much too old for that.
The Harper government won’t say how much the free pass to the park programme is costing Canadians, but you can add it all up – letterhead paper, three color photos of Harper, mail-out to reach 400,000 kids, plus neatly-printed a free pass for each child – somewhere around a couple of million bucks.
Hey, nothing is too good to promote Canada. . . or Harper.