We recieve here at the Free Press on a weekly basis a Member of Parliament Report, dutifully written by Jay Hill, MP for Prince George – Peace River. It arrives both by e-mail and fax. While the report always contains valuable information it would virtually never be published in these pages “as is.”
Rather it is often a jumping off point for stories the seeds of an idea.
The most recent submission screemed, Read me! The e-mail version was titled “Stupid is as stupid does.” Just try and stop reading at that point.
“Outrageous! Ludicrous! Scandalous and unbelievably insulting…” the words blared from the monitor.
That was Mr. Hill’s reaction to the speech given by Sunera Thobani a former president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, which is, as Mr. Hill points, out funded by taxpayers.
Ms. Thobani recently addressed the Women’s Resistance Conference in Ottawa. An event that, according to Mr. Hill, got $80,000 from the Minister of State for Multiculturlism and Status of Women, the very-popular-in-Prince George Ms. Hedy Fry. Though beyond the fact they attended the same conference we don’t see a connection.
To say Mr. Hill was offended by Ms Thobani’s speech to the conference would be like saying Prince George has been hurt by the softwood lumber duty.
A quote from the speech Mr. Hill draws attention to in his report from the hill that he finds most infuriating is: “the United States is the most dangerous and the most powerful global force, unleashing horrific levels of violence all over the world.” She cotinued “… U. S. foreign policy is soaked in blood.”
It must be stated that we rely here on Mr. Hill’s quote of the statement in his report. But we can’t see one factual error in that statement. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea and Vietnam spring to mind. So do the Middle East and Central America yet he would call it scandalous.
Mr. Hill’s outrage with Ms. Thobani is not limited to this one speech. He finds it “disturbing that young women,” and presumably women of all ages and even men who attend UBC where Ms. Thobani is a professor of women’s studies, “are forced to listen to her irrational rantings on a regular basis.”
The rationale of Mr. Hill’s argument continues: “Because she recieved government funding …the federal government must distance itself from Ms. Thobani. Prime Minister Chretien must send a clear message to our American freinds that she in no way represents our opinions, and that Canadians are offended by her remarks.”
Mr. Hill may have forgotten that neither he, nor his party, represent “our opinion” as Canadians. And that when Jean Chretien uses the phrase “our opinion” he’s rarely including Jay Hill, Alliance MP.
He is right on one point however: We can’t have just anybody wandering the country, spending taxpayers dollars to express any opinion they like.
That’s what MPs are for.