A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

01 April 2006

Part of my Childhood Died Today

The Quebec Zoo was one of Canada's finest, if not one of the world's. It chose to specialize in birds at a time when other zoos decided to go with grand spectacles and panda sex.

Thank you, Bernard "Dirty" Landry. As stated in the article, M. Landry, the National Chauvinist Bloc Quebecois* premier by accident of history (or as he would prefer it "The Once and Future King") told the federal government in 2001 to take its federalist millions of dollars and get stuffed. This he did in order to avoid having to fly "the red rag" over the polar bear enclosure.

One certainly cannot mis-estimate the political astuteness of this move, coming as it does from the man who attributed the squeaky narrow federalist victory (50.5% of the vote) in the last referendum on Quebec separation to immigrants and allophones.

From the Toronto Globe and Mail, Friday April 4th, 2003, in an article on Quebec chauvinism:
"Mr. Landry himself, late on referendum night in 1995, checked into a Montreal hotel where a woman from the Philippines served him at the reception desk. He launched into a tirade, upbraiding her because she was an immigrant and the immigrants had voted No. She complained to the Human Rights Commission, and Mr. Landry, after early denials, finally apologized when he realized that the exchange had been caught on a security camera."
One is left with a pressing question, one which might set the whole zoo closure in an appropriate political light:

Do polar bears speak English or French?

*A note for non-Canadians. As part of Canada's thriving (or possibly "writhing") political culture, we accept that we have a sometime-official opposition party at the federal level, the Bloc Quebecois, who are trying to win a democratic election in order not to run the country, but to take Quebec out of Canada entirely. The party Bernard Landry led, the Parti Quebecois, is the provincial equivalent. They give us grief, and in best squeaky wheel tradition, we give them more money than we toss at the Newfoundland fishery, an equally iconic and disruptive institution.

Every so often the nationalist poisons must be purged. One way of doing this is by holding intense and bitter referendums that no-one actually wants to the seperatists to win, including the seperatists themselves who would then have to face the first philosophical problem of all new nations: If you squeak in the forest and nobody listens, where's the money coming from?

We hope that this helps put the zoo closure in proper context.


At 9:08 p.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...


At 7:50 a.m., Blogger Hobbes said...

I remember visiting that zoo with you as kids. I haven't been back in years and I honestly can't remember where it is physically located.

I didn't think you even noticed that there were animals there. As I recall, the teacher had to keep looking to make sure you stayed with the group instead of getting lost in the Doctor Who novels you were reading. :)

One good thing you can say about the PQ is that it makes Montreal a very affordable city (political instability keeps the cost of living down).

Speaking of which, you don't have enough Canadian content here.


At 2:46 p.m., Blogger The Nag said...

It died two weeks ago. Get over it and blog, I miss you!


Post a Comment

<< Home