Twelve years ago, in 1994, a year before the last Quebec referendum, during a speech to the National Citizens Coalition, Stephen Harper said the following:
"Whether Canada ends up with one national government or two governments or 10 governments, the Canadian people will require less government no matter what the constitutional status or arrangement of any future country may be."
Why is the furor around his statement in Parliament yesterday so...so... furious?
It's never been a secret that his committment to the Canadian federation is wobbly at best and malevolent at worst. More recently than 12 years ago he recommended to Ralph Klein to essentially separate Alberta from the rest of Canada.
Was no one paying attention to what the man believed? Did they think he was just funnin' them, just joshin', just doin' the lip tango?
An awful lot of the people making loud unhappy noises today are the same people who shrieked at me and others that we were "fear mongers", "demonizers", "liars" and worse when we tried to bring up instances of Harper's historical utterances that indicated his soft support for the survival of Canada as a unified, independent nation.
I have nothing to say to you today. You've decided that opening wide the door to the breakup of the country is just a fine idea.
Harper continues to work toward achieving what he has always said he wants to achieve, that being the elimination of the federal government's presence in the lives of citizens.
He's just starting with Quebecers.