Thank you!

To everyone that made the Rally for Canada rallies a success, I want to say a sincere thank you. In Ottawa, we braved -10C weather and managed to turn out between 2000-4000 (RCMP said 3000, Ottawa Citizen reports 3500!!). In Toronto, about 1500 turned out to the rally there. Calgary had reports of up to 5000 people in the city core rallying. We rallied people in cities from Halifax to Victoria and places like London, Kitchener, Saskatoon, and Kelowna in BC. In total, over 20 cities held rallies today. Looks like we have a real grassroots movement on our hands here. We’re having the debate that they didn’t want us to have. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.

It’s been a busy day, and I expect a busy couple of days wrapping up this event. Please pass on your stories from the day and I’ll post them here!

UPDATE: Winnipeg had 600 people in about -25C weather (with windchill). The rally was bigger than the coalition rally which was held in a warm hotel ballroom.

We get letters: In response to Jeffrey Simpson

The following comes from a good friend who read Jeffery Simpson’s Globe and Mail column today and found himself a bit perturbed at the lacking quality of Simpson’s arguments for the National Portrait Gallery to be located in Ottawa. My friend doesn’t get to do a lot of this sort of creative writing in his job, so I’m glad to post it here with his permission.

Mr. Simpson makes the quite excellent point that the private sector really shouldn’t house our portrait gallery and that the portrait gallery shouldn’t leave the capital because, after all, no other country does it that way.

No! Its not about the potential beauty of some new facility in some new city. After all, what could be more arrestingly beautiful than the status quo? It’s certainly not about the efficient use of tax dollars. How crass to worry about how we spend other peoples money when the issue is the arts. I mean….just look at the CBC. Who but a philistine would begrudge those tax dollars given the artistic sitcoms that the CBC produces. The new Portrait Gallery could even model itself after the CBC except the CBC has moved to Toronto which is impossible because it should be in Ottawa where all the other art stuff is, except for the other art stuff like Telefilm that moved to Montreal.

And of course it’s certainly not about putting the Portrait Gallery where whole new swaths of the country could appreciate it. What kind of ugly ideology would support that? I’ll tell you what kind, a very, very ugly one.

Anyway….if anyone has an ideology that is worth following it is Jeff Simpson who is easily Canada’s most articulate proponent of the ideology of sameness. We should do it the same way as we always have, because that’s the way we’ve always done it. We should do it the same as the Americans because its the only thing that they’ve ever done right.

I see now where Jeff is leading us. He’s saying that we can lead the world if we do everything the same way, but do it with even more vigour and enthusiasm than we have in the past, except we do it the same way, because that’s the way we’ve always done it. You know….I feel exactly the same way.