Unity Makes Strength - Macleans.ca

Unity Makes Strength


A note from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“To show solidarity with the people of Haiti, in a small yet special way, starting tonight, the Parliament buildings will be illuminated in Haitian colours.”


Unity Makes Strength

  1. Haitian colours? Do they mean the colours of the Haitian flag? Blue and red, with splashes of white, yellow, green and brown?

    • I was wondering that myself. It turns out Haiti's official colours are blue and red, if wiki is to be believed. And black/red are secondary colours.

  2. Haste makes waste.

    Now if only emergency debate were somehow possible…

    • You mean like the one the Martin government held before deciding what relief to provide Indonesia and other countries affected by the tsunami? I found one on February 4th here, only what, 7 weeks after?

      What is a debate needed for?
      Jack Layton said the NDP wanted the gov't to match private donations. The next day, such a plan was announced. Sounds like he was heard.
      Michael Ignatieff wanted the gov't to fast track visas/immigration for Haitians. The next day, such a plan was announced. Sounds like he was heard, too.

        • Apparently it was for the tsunami, what's different this time?

  3. it's too bad this didn't happen earlier, as a fortunate coincidence could be drawn and parliament could be shut down as a show of respect for Haitian government which is also not functioning (it's a perfectly normal course of events and the Liberals did it too don't you know) and anyone who disagees IS A RACIST WHO HATES HAITI AND HAS NO RESPECT FOR ITS PEOPLE AND DOESN'T SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!

    • Mike T. your displays of anger at the name calling and faux outrage wear a little thin coming from your keyboard given two very simple facts:

      1) Progressives have been doing it longer.
      2) You are happy enough to engage in the same mudslinging and baseless insults when it suits you.

      • Why do you hate the troops, TedTylerEzro?

  4. Yet, we cannot lower the flag on Parliament Hill for our fallen soldiers?

    • A nation that does that sort of thing isn;t mature enough to be fighting wars. You might be happy to live in a country that is in a perpetual state of mourning and anguish, but a lot of us aren't.

      Does stoicism not have any value for you? Toughness? Strength?

      • one can't honour its war dead symbolically and be tough?

      • Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Parliament vote to lower the flag in honour of our fallen soldiers? A vote that passed, just to be clear.

        I'm really hard pressed to see how not honouring our fallen soldiers helps us support the troops. How does not acknowledging their sacrfice make us stronger or tougher?

  5. Kind of overdoing it isn't he?

    But then he really needs a channel change!

    • Overdoing to the point of being maudlin. I think there's a bit too much of the Kickapoo joy juice flowing in some quarters.

      • I agree. These things happen all the time.


        And we always send help when it's needed. This one is particularly bad because Haiti was in a mess to begin with. A mess we contributed to I might add.

        What happens tomorrow when a volcano erupts, or there's another major quake? Do we change the colours?

        Venezuela just had a 5.6 after all.

  6. Well, at least they're doing something towards a great photo op.

  7. Your cynicism is in bad taste in this instance. Get a heart.

      • And then there's that anonymous man behind the curtain in the Brazilian
        embassy in Tegucigalpa.

  8. "Your cynicism is in bad taste in this instance. Get a heart. "

    The PM will respond to your comment at a later date. ;-)

  9. One would think that after seeing what is happening in Haiti this week all the Canada cynics would give it a break. But no, there they are with accusations of photo-ops, maudlin ministers, channel changers.

    This is a beautiful country to spend your life in yet I see bloggers stating that we live in a non-functioning democracy and others toss around words like environmental fossill, war criminal, dictator, etc.

    I wonder what the people coming in from Haiti would think of these chronic complainers if they ever had the luxury of thinking about anything but the basics of life and death.

    • Well Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan are still running disasters, and the question of torture is still with us.

      The world doesn't stop because of one natural disaster. Even tho Harper might wish it did.

      • You just can`t help yourself I guess. Now you`re accusing Harper of wishing the world would end.

        • LOL yes, I'm sure I said that. You're a Harperite, right?

    • 'Tis indeed a beautiful country. And, last I checked, a democracy, too. We have the right to disagree with what and how our country is being run, and desire something more harmonious, more productive, and more honest.

      The natural disaster in Haiti – and the subsequent humanitarian need – are worthy of our care and attention (and funding, and support, and…). But it is in no way a reason for us to forget about what things could be made better in our own country.

      • Exactly.

      • By all means, continue to evaluate the people in gov`t in this country but have some perspective for Cris Sakes. While you may want more harmony and honesty in your Utopia others just want to find the body of a relative for a proper burial.

        And you may be reasonable, but beware of the caliber of your allies, like the one above who was quick to yell Exactly when he thought you were approving of his comments.

    • well said common man : in a way the real sad part of this disaster besides all the lost, dead and injured is the way people reveal their true feelings – I feel so sorry for some of the posters on web forums right now as they honestly don't see their own small mindeness and petty spirit instead projecting their own frustrations onto an imaginary villian that they have created. Many years ago in psychology I seem to remember a disease called ' malignant narcissism – I think it was bought on by a feeling of abondenment from their fathers.

    • If Canada, probably the richest country in the world, can move backwards democratically, what chance does a country like Haiti have; being so mocked by god?

    • Despite what our PM seems to indicate, and your own personal experience, it is possible to hold more than one thought in one's head at a time. So we can, while being extremely sympathetic to the plight of the Haitians, while admiring the actions of our hired and appointed civil servants who are attempting to get assistance into Haiti as rapidly as possible, at the same time deplore the futility of the various symbolic actions of our elected civil servants, and note the inconsistencies in how these shows of sympathy and unity from our government only really seem to come out when Mr. Harper is lower in the polls.

      • You say you can hold more than one thought in your head at one time, but i`m not so sure. You along with others including the host of this blog seem to be so consumed by an extreme dislike for Harper and his gov`t that this one thought overrides any rational ideas you may have.

        I`m hopeful the leaders of the opp. parties have more sense of the right thing to do then i see here. Hopefully they will not be asked to judge any little ditties from this most recent juvenile contest that is being promoted at this Blog Central.

        I don`t think we should suspend all partisan thought at a time like this but try to think back to 4 years ago at the time of the devasation in Indonesia; the one complaint from the opp. at the time had to do with the slowness of Canada`s response. The petty complaints now seem to be about who should take credit for the rapid and compassionate response.

        With the capability of our officals, peacekeepers, and GG this should be an opportunity and duty for Canada to be an example to other countries. Try to think positively.

        • No. The complaints are about Harper's increasingly obvious gamesmanship. It's gotten to the point where the man leaves a taint on anything he touches because you simply can't trust that he's doing it for any motive but self-preservation/promotion.

          I tried to think positively when he said that if he were prime minister, he'd deal with the softwood lumber crisis by demanding America live up to its NAFTA obligations. That was before he gave away a billion dollars of our lumber industry's money to their american competitors.

          I tried to think positively when he claimed that he would not tax income trusts which so many seniors were relying on. That was before he turned around and did exactly that.

          I tried to think positively when he claimed he would not appoint an unelected senator. That was before Michael Fortier.

          I tried to think positively when he and his party claimed that the fixed election date law would forever end a Prime Minister calling an election for their political advantage. That was before he did.

          • Please be honest; you haven`t even tried to have a positive thought about Stephen Harper. Your dislike for him still does not allow you to think rationally.

          • Which is why I praised him on his response to China? No, I'm quite rational about it, although I'll admit that knee-pad wearing sycophants like you do try my patience.

            Please be honest; you haven't even tried to have an honest thought about Stephen Harper. Your ideological blinders still do not allow you to think.

          • He gave away one billion dollars and more than a decade of interest on the entire five.

  10. "At dusk this evening, the CN Tower will be bathed in blue and red to show ‘‘solidarity'' with victims of the Haitian earthquake.

    ‘‘It'll be shimmering in the colours of the Haitian flag. The top half will be blue, the bottom half will be red, just like the Haitian flag,'' said Gordon McIvor, vice-president of the Canada Lands Corp., the federal agency that owns the CN Tower (pictured above in a file photo).

    The Peace Tower will also be bathed in the same colours as of this evening; like the CN Tower, it will continue at least a week.

    Canada Lands has also asked the World Federation of Towers to ask the same of all its members, which includes the Eiffel Tower, Shanghai Tower and Seatlle's Space Needle."


    • I'm sure that'll be a great help. No end of lives saved, and all that.

      • More anger, cynicism, and cruelty from the left.

        • This is a "meh" thing for me–unless it costs us even a single penny to do.

          Because I'm very sure the survivors in Haiti would rather have that money, no matter how small, flowing as aid to their country, rather than making our buildings all pretty and colourful of an evening. If there is absolutely no cost to this, then I'm fine with it, but I don't think its some great noble act to raise awareness. I believe we are all too aware, and if there is a Canadian who somehow has missed the story, I doubt they would see the significance of the pretty lighted buildings.

          • Considering the chance of Haitians having access to some sort of media that would report this show of solidarity , in their current state, I'm itching to say this is just an appeal to Canadian Haitians' vote ( or the GG's vote for that matter).


            "At dusk this evening, the CN Tower will be bathed in blue and red"

            Meanwhile the Americans think we've surrendered to them…

          • Try to think of the lighting as a symbol of the compassion of Canadians towards our GG and her Homeland. For the " Fiscal Liberals " I don`t think it will cost too much. If you still can`t think about it without being mean, then don`t think at all.

          • Why is it okay to show a symbol of compassion towards Haitians by putting on a light show on some buildings, yet we can't show a symbol of compassion towards our own soldiers by dropping the flag to half mast?

            Yes, neither one of the above efforts will actually DO anything. But at least with the flag the families of our fallen soldiers will know that Canadians value and respect their sacrifice. With the lights on the buildings, it almost seems like showing off, although I realize that is not the intent. I think a far bigger symbol of our compassion is the matching funds to our donations. Now that makes a difference.

        • "More anger, cynicism, and cruelty from the left. "

          Oh chill out, scold.

          • Don't worry, it wasn't an honest remark.

  11. It'll be very difficult to keep Parliament shut down for much longer. With so many of our troops deployed there and over 1,400 Canadians still missing, the pressure to debate it in the House and to hear from the responsible government officials will become overwhelming.

    I'd think that a return on the 25th would be in Harper's interest, although not necessarily in Iggy's.

    • Won't hurt either one of them.

    • Interesting view.

      Can't see Harper 'stepping down' from his decision to prorogue.

  12. "Solidarity"? Yeah, we conservatives don't use that word, ever. As Coyne says, what have you done with the real Stephen Harper?

    Did we light the Parliament in Chinese colours when they had an even more damaging earthquake? Earthquakes happen every day in this world. I'm seeing conspicuous compassion and soft bigotry here.

  13. Has anyone asked Lisa Raitt how this disaster rates on the sexiness scale?

  14. Making Light of It?