I think Mr. Love is mistaken when he flippantly presumes that the selection committee has overlooked Ralph Klein as being worthy to receive the Order of Canada. This is our highest civilian honour, bestowed on Canadians who we are proud to have represent our way-of-life to our children and the world.
My guess is that the folks in Ottawa still remember when Ralph called them “Eastern bums and creeps” and they have chosen not to elevate a bully to this special rank. As a society, we don’t condone harassment as a means to get one’s way, especially using the strategy of reducing people to one-dimensional cartoon characters and then insulting them. We don’t put up with that behaviour in schoolyards, why would we want to promote a high-profile adult who uses the same childish tactics?
We also pride ourselves on our civil temperament and on being polite, saying ‘I’m sorry’ is a Canadian pastime. We do not waltz into someone else’s home when we are drunk, barely able to walk, and throw around money and verbal abuse. It doesn’t matter if a person lives in a shelter, a condo or a care facility, that is just downright rude. Only people who have a distorted mental picture of their own power – think of all the places where rulers want to step on vulnerable citizens – act like that.
Canadian values are based on respect and empathy, we come from such diverse backgrounds that we have to be patient and understanding to continually build our multicultural society. We model tolerance and compassion to our global neighbours; our acceptance of diversity has made us strong. Once, Ralph made an assumption about a woman’s ability, based on her attachment to nicotine. His snap assessment was totally off-base, an uncalled for judgement, which in light of his own addictions was inconsiderate and two-faced.
Mr. Love, former premier Klein is not being overlooked by the decision makers in Ottawa, they are simply recognizing that King Ralph does not represent the people of Alberta or come anywhere close to being a Canadian icon. He never had enough self-awareness to assume responsibility for his insensitive actions and subsequently apologize, so I’m sure that now he probably doesn’t have the insight to realize it’s payback time.
Ralph, you treated people who were homeless, or struggling with disabilities, or living in poverty, or just different than you, with distain and callousness; now you are the one who has become demented and unable to speak. It might be poetic justice. I can understand why you’re not on the list for the Order of Canada. Thankfully, our standards are high and the Order of Canada designation reflects our national persona.
Lac Des Arcs