How Canada’s Flag Could Impact the Vote!

It could be political; maybe generational; or it reveals a stark difference in values … between a school teacher, the son of a former Prime Minister, and a 12-year Canadian Defence Forces veteran , son of a former Ontario MLA.

This goes far beyond the differences between Justin Trudeau and Erin O’Toole on the economy, the environment, social policies or Indigenous relations.

And it has received a lot of media play … seen, heard and read about by millions of voters.

It’s about the meaning and respect for our country’s flag … which should fly proudly and at full mast throughout any country: lowered only to half-mast in exceptional circumstances to grieve or totally removed, God forbid, if ever surrendered to a foe.

Canada’s flag (and its predecessors) have a very proud history … admired and respected worldwide.

We wear it on our lapels, our backpacks, our hats, our luggage and find ourselves searching for it in the crowds when we watch any international sport event anywhere in the world … and feel pride whenever we spot it.

The Maple Leaf means something!

It is more than a piece of cloth: it symbolizes who WE are; how WE live; what are OUR values; and, how WE keep trying to get better and meet those standards.

In fact, the Maple Leaf is so well thought of, some American wear it as a lapel pin instead of their own when travelling abroad!

But that does not mean we are perfect. (There I am, a typical Canadian, apologizing again.)

That’s why Canada’s flag was lowered to half mast on all federal buildings across the land on May 30, on orders from Prime Minister Trudeau after hundreds of unmarked children’s graves were discovered at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Canada grieved.

Now, more than three months later, the Maple Leaf is still down … at half mast, on orders of the Prime Minister, who said last week it is going to stay down.

” When we decided to bring down those flags to half-mast, we made the commitment that we would not raise them again until we have worked enough with Indigenous communities and leadership to make a clear determination that it was time to raise them again and continue the hard work of reconciliation,” Trudeau explained.

Now it has become political.

Trudeau will not return the Maple Leaf to full mast without the PERMISSION of the First Nations.

Terrible!

NO group: no racial constituency ; no ethnic population, no religious community …. no one not elected by the Canadian people should have VETO POWER on when the Canadian flag flies at full staff ! EVER!

ONLY the Prime Minister of Canada has the right to order flags on federal properties flown at half mast … and for Trudeau to GIVE AWAY the power to decide when it can be raised again is disgraceful!

Looks like the Canadian flag means more to many other Canadians than it does to our own Prime Minister.

Canada has become the only democratic country in the world where its flag has been flown at half-mast for more than three months … with no indication when it will be raised!

Keeping the Maple Leaf down so long is PANDERING and it DISRESPECTS the sacrifices that so many Canadians have made to keep the Maple Leaf PROUDLY flying high over our land.

I believe it’s a CHEAP VOTE-BUYING attempt by Trudeau … which should be repudiated by all Canadians, including First Nations leaders.

It’s an invitation to blackmail.

If Indigenous leaders REALLY want reconciliation … not more disrespect, more resentment and more resistance from other Canadians … they should reject Trudeau’s shameless patronizing divisiveness and declare they want no part in deciding how/when Canada’s flag flies.

First Nations’ members who are also proud Canadians … including thousands who are veterans … deserve better.

Apparently, Erin O’Toole gets that.

The Conservative Leader has been unequivocal: the Maple Leaf would be restored to full mast after Sept 30, the national day of commemorating Truth and Reconciliation, if he become Prime Minister. 

“I’m very proud of our country, despite the scars from our past,” O’Toole said.

“I do think we should be proud to put our flag back up,” he said while speaking to reporters in Ottawa on August 26. “It’s not a time to tear down Canada — it’s a time to recommit to build it to be the country we know it can be.”

I agree.

What happens if, before the First Nations feel enough of their demands are met and give PERMISSION for our flag to be raised, Canada faces a major tragedy or death of a renowned citizen?

Will Trudeau order the Maple Leaf be lowered to quarter-mast?

He has to go!

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to new topics up for discussion on this blog. No spam … just alerts to new postings.)

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14 Responses to How Canada’s Flag Could Impact the Vote!

  1. D. M. Johnston says:

    The pandering to the first nations is going to backfire and backfire badly on this group.

    The First Nations must begin to address that their free ride with the Canadian taxpayers is coming to an end. The faux historical myth they are creating and used without any thought for the future by the NDP and the Liberals is going to end badly.

    The unmarked graves (which were marked decades or generations ago but the markers slowly returned to the earth), though being a federal matter, should be a church matter, but the NDP and Liberals are far to cowardly to take on the Catholic church. So the flag remains at half mast.

    If the average Canadian took the time to deal with the financial abyss the Dept. Aboriginal Affairs has become, the annual federal expenditure is around $11 billion and not one first nations thought a small portion of that should be spent maintaining graves?

    I hate to paraphrase Trump, but it is time to take Canada back, take this country back from the corrupted Liberals and the Orwellian NDP. The Conservatives are the only politcal party that can bring change; real change – well for one electoral term that is.

    I was looking for a quote to end this and what I thought was a mark Twain Quote: “Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed often, and for the same reasons.”, is not!

    Fact is (as far as my fact checking has gone) the quote comes from Tom Blair, a longtime columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune. But the quote was made popular by Robyn Williams movie; “Man of the year”.

    Moral of the story, fact check, if you can!

    (Response: Canadians should remember: NOT A SINGLE BODY has actually been verified, exhumed and examined for cause of death. Tuberculosis? Spanish flu? Measles? Mumps? Health care in the early 1900s, for example, was nothing like we enjoy today! And yet, not only has Trudeau had the Canadian flag at half mast for more than three months, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who supports the flag lowering, has repeatedly said those buried “were killed”! Absolutely irresponsible, inflammatory ..and possibly even totally untrue. Politicians can be despicable … but to use the Canadian flag so long for what I believe are purely political purposes is disgraceful …and I hope Canadians will repudiate both Trudeau and Singh … and back the return of the Maple Leaf to full mast right away. h.o)

  2. HARRY LAWSON says:

    Harvey,

    I remember one of the federal offices I worked in ,our Canadian flag was stuck halfway up the flag pole,. for the 2 days it took to get fixed I had to deal with so many enquiries from all members of the community. It was a sign of significant loss and respect.

    Our prime minister has chosen to use a sacred national gesture . solely for political pandering.

    We truly need a change in national leadership.

    I wonder what those brave principled people who caskets were draped in Canadian flags would think?

    (Response: In just the most recent conflict Canada placed its men and women in uniform in jeopardy, 152 died, more than 2,000 suffered physical injury …and countless others came home with psychological scars that may never heal. They deserve to see the Canadian flag flying on government and community buildings at FULL MAST at all times: the only exceptions being half mast for a day or maybe a week after a national tragedy … not for more than three months …or maybe even a year or more as part of a political vote-buying campaign, with the decision when to raise it left to ANYONE not in office. h.o)

    • NVG says:

      Out of curiousity, did Canada’s flag always sit at the half mast mark during World War One, World War Two and the Korean war?

      Objectives

      The half-masting of national flags is a well-established procedure whereby countries bestow an honour and express a collective sense of sorrow. Given that such flags are recognized as paramount symbols of their nations, the act of half-masting is a dramatic visual statement that speaks to the sense of loss that is shared by all their citizens.

      It is in this context that the Government of Canada wishes to further develop the principles that will determine the half-masting policy relative to the National Flag of Canada as well as the precise arrangements to be put in place and exercised in a consistent and appropriate manner. Therefore, the Government of Canada has adopted the rules hereto attached.

      The Rules, as amended, are effective as of June 2, 2003

      https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/flag-canada-masting-rules.html

      (Response: The Canadian flag was NEVER flown at half mast for the length of any entire conflict. The whole idea behind achieving victory and glory, despite the sacrifice of precious lives, is to RAISE and KEEP our flag flying HIGH and PROUD, wherever we are. That’s why, even in the case of the death of a Monarch or when a horrible tragedy occurs, the flag has only been lowered to half mast for brief periods … a few days or a week or so…. maybe a month, TOPS. Trudeau’s actions (backed by Singh) show me they have no real idea of what our flag means to so many millions of Canadians. In fact, many of us don’t even realize how it stirs us … until we are overseas or in the US somewhere and spot one! It should be honoured not, demeaned and used as a political pawn aimed at attracting votes. h.o)

      • NVG says:

        Did Prime Minister Trudeau seek advice of the Department of Canadian Heritage, and Clerk of the Privy Council, and if so, where is that proof. Where’s the paper trail?

        16. Exceptional Circumstances

        In exceptional circumstances, and on the advice of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the recommendation of the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Prime Minister may approve the Half-masting of the Flag on the Peace Tower, and/or on all or some federal buildings and establishments in Canada or abroad, that is not provided for in the Rules.

        https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/half-masting-notices.html
        **************************
        Discretionary Authority of the Prime Minister
        15. Foreign Heads of State or Heads of Government – Half-masting in Canada

        Upon the death of a current foreign head of state or a foreign head of government, and after consideration of his/her stature and the relation of that country with Canada, the Prime Minister may approve the Half-masting of the Flag on the Peace Tower on the advice of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and Canadian Heritage, and the recommendation of the Clerk of the Privy Council.

        https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/flag-canada-masting-rules.html#a5
        ****************************
        The list of current, and past, official half masting of the Canadian Flag: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/half-masting-notices.html

        No mention anywhere, officially!

        (Response: Interesting protocols. I don’t think anyone would be surprised to learn the PM has authority to order lowering the flag on special occasions when warranted, but usually, as I’ve mentioned that for a day or few days etc. What Trudeau has done ..ordering it down and keep it down for months until First Nations chiefs etc say it’s okay to raise it … adds a whole new external decision making process and it has cheapened the pride so many innocent Canadians have in seeing our flag flying proudly at FULL STAFF! h.o)

  3. nonconfidencevote says:

    I didnt realize the “half mast” was indefinite.
    I also am at a loss as to why the media hasn’t run with this story front and center during the election to show everyone what a gutless opportunist Trudeau really is.

    Typical vote buying garbage from a political party that will never , EVER regain my support or vote.
    What a disgusting, pathetic excuse for “leadership” this country of politically correct apologists has created.

    Deeper into the cesspool of rewritten history we wade.

    (Response: The issue was covered briefly when O’Toole said he would have it raised back up after Sept 30 …and Trudeau said he would not. Of course, with so much t cover during an election campaign … the issue got left behind quite quickly. But I think it’s a REALLY important … and it should be front and center. Hopefully someone wil go after Trudeau on this …maybe ask the Legion or veterans directly or just ordinary Canadians outside any federal building in the country where it is still hanging low. h.o)

  4. nonconfidencevote says:

    Perhaps our Prime Minister won’t be truly satisfied until we fly the flag upside down ( international distress signal) and at half mast.

    (Response: Shhh! Don’t give him any ideas!! h.o)

  5. frozentundra says:

    Trudeau is a teflon prime minister, he can do things that are ethically and morally questionable and his party’s popularity goes upward! Jody Wilson Raybould tells in the Globe and Mail that Trudeau told her to lie about SNC Lavelin and his polls go up! Another of his former ministers state that she is so disillusioned with the party she is voting Conservative. The poll numbers go up! Things that would destroy other politicians seem to bump up his support.

    Using the flag to score political points doesnt surprise me. He believes that if he can create divisions in the populace, he has a better chance to win ( much like a person he belittled in the US, Donald Trump). I wonder how long the flag will stay at half mast if he wins a majority?

    (Response: Don’t ask the Prime Minister: ask the chief of the Assembly of First Nations. h.o.)

  6. Gilbert says:

    I completely agree, Harvey. We need to respect our flag. It should be at full mast. Justin Trudeau is truly oblivious to the sacrifices of many Canadians and is desperate for votes.

    (Response: Canadians are too lackadaisical these days or just swamped: this kind of insult the flag and any suggestion that a non-elected community group of people would decide WHEN it can fly high again would have been met with outrage 10 years ago or before. Maybe people will express their rejection of this by rejecting Trudeau/Liberals at the polls? h.o)

  7. e.a.f. says:

    Flying the flag at half mast for a day for this reason is O.,K. by me, but to have it at half mast all the time, not so much. Reconcilliation is fine, but I’m sure people living on reserves would rather have clean running water and houses not filled with mold first. Reconcilliation is a “european” word but what does it really mean. In my opinion we are never going to reconcille. Its too late, too much damage, etc. We need to accept what happened and then move on to build something better and not keep putting that off. All we ever really get is words from politicians.

    As to the comment at the top about “a free ride”, get over your white self. the life a lot of Indigenous people live is “no free ride”. It comes at a huge expense to them.

    “at tax payers expense”, OMG what about at the Indigenous People’s expense. Do you know how many bands have had land taken away when “white people” wanted that land without compensation or regards for their lives?

    “at tax payers expense”, well that is what you get when you sign an agreement, it has to be paid for one way or another. Its not like corporations get to just walk away from contracts or people who sign contracts with cell phone companies. So why do people think the government of Canada can walk away from the contracts they signed, just because it was a long time ago, doesn’t matter.

    So besides all the reasons some people might want to fly the flag at half mast, I’m not in favour of it. Its not going to fix any of the things I mentioned. Flying our country’s flag at full mast on our government buildings is the right thing to do, especially during an election. Flying the flag at full mast during an election demonstrates, we are a country which is resilient and working and moving forward and an e.g. of our democracy. It wouldn’t change my vote, but I’d sure be writing my party leader if they were responsible for it.

    (Response: I believe in REAL reconciliation … but that requires BOTH sides to deal with their own lousy history and failures. What many Canadians feel we have seen so far, however, is just one-sided pandering from the left and liberal intellectuals … and politicians shelling out billions of taxpayers’ money to buy votes from people who live tax free. And that, I’m afraid, will not resolve differences. In fact, I now hearing MORE (quiet) anti First Nations remarks in private company than before … about people being against any project that might require work and just wanting to sit on their asses and get supported by the rest of us. It saddens and worries me … but that is out there and growing…. even if the media don’t know it or don’t dare report it. h.o)

  8. D. M. Johnston says:

    In reply to a free ride.

    In my 66 years, I knew many people in logging, etc. that worked with first nations and in short, they are hard workers, an asset to any company. But…..

    When it comes to the tribal councils and their lawyers the wheels begin to fall off. There is a mind set, that it is never enough and they want more and more and there is a general feeling that they are being cheated at every move and demand more compensation, sweeteners etc..

    The one specific I could mention is still in a legal limbo and caused so much angst, the chap who’s company was involved, sold off at a fire sale price, just to get the hell out of it.

    My son is half Asian and has a darker complexion, looks first nations, is another example. He is very good at a certain sport and a provincial competition, was courted by UBC, U-Vic, and SFU coaches who told him of scholarships, free transportation, free study assistance, free campus housing and a host of other freebies if he were to attend their university.

    When I informed them that he was not first nations, they all took a powder and they treated my son as some sort of social leper during the competition. It was more than an eyeopener.

    There is coming a time when the taxpayer will demand better accounting of money being spent on Aboriginal Affairs and when all the perks start being made public, all hell is going to break lose.

    (Response: You are absolutely correct. There MANY First Nations people and bands and businesses that have contributed greatly to our province and our nation. And I believe other Canadians genuinely want to see problems/issues resolved. But that is not helped by what many Canadians see as wholesale rejection of development/resource projects, accompanied by blockades, blackmail … as well as violence and vandalism carried out by agitators and anarchists. There has to be a middle road … and we’re not seeing it yet. especially with the Canadian flag being disrespected and held hostage. h.o)

  9. Richard Skelly says:

    Amen, Harv.

    Long past time to raise the flag again outside all federal buildings.

  10. e.a.f. says:

    Interesting comments about First Nations councils, etc. always wanting more, always feeling they’re going to be “screwed”, etc. We ought not to be surprised by their “negotiating” style. That is the style used on them for over a hundred years. Almost anything Indigenous people wanted was rejected, if it conflicted with what Indian Affairs, federal, provincial, corporations, etc. wanted. the “white” guys got what they wanted and the Indigenous got nothing. What some may consider the Indigenous always wanting “more” maybe simply wanting what they are entitled to, however, when one side gets what they are entitled to another side may have to do with less and the Euro descent population aren’t willing to give up much of anything. Its human nature. When I refer to “entitled Euro descent or entitled white priviledge, etc .some may feel insulted but as they say in a global sense most Canadians are part of the 1%ers in this world.

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      Sooooo, we “white guys” just keep giving , giving , giving forever?
      Seems the billions in tax dollars shovelled into Indian Affairs has done a bang up job so far.
      Lets dump 10’s….. no, no….. HUNDREDS of billions into I.A.
      What the hell. If it doesnt achieve anything we’ll feel better about ourselves.
      We “eurocentric 1% are to blame for everything wrong on the planet.
      Gotcha.
      I think you should just cut to the chase e.a.f. and brand all white guys as racist genocidaires and send us all to prison.
      (One could only imagine the outrage if I suggested that all white women were racists and misandrists responsible for all the evil in the world…..?)
      But back to “your world ” where the Eurotrash 1% are to blame for everything and they are now all in prison.
      I’m sure the world will be a much better place….for about 15 minutes…….. until you perpetual , politically correct apologists find someone else to blame for all of history’s wrongs or….. when you stub your toe….

  11. Elo McMillan says:

    Trudeau is a low life bum and exploits every opportunity to make headlines. Pearson was Liberal Prime Minister when the flag was brought out and it was liberal red. It should have been Green which is the colour of a Maple Leaf.

    (Response: I always liked the red maple leaf with blue bars at each end, but no matter, the colour it should be flying at FULL staff!! h.o)

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