Wednesday, 11 May 2011

On a good quote from a decent Prime Minister

In the current issue of Canadian Geographic which is devoted to the centennial of Canada's National Parks, there is a very amusing quote about how one park was created:

1976. While flying over Baffin Island with his wife Aline, an awestruck Jean Chrétien resolves to make a park here for her. Chrétien later explained, "When I returned to my office...I consulted the Minister of Indian Affairs, who was myself, consulted the Minister for Northern Affairs, who was myself, and consulted the minister responsible for parks, who was myself, and they all agreed on the matter." As a result Auyuittuq National Park is created.

One could quibble about too much power being concentrated in one cabinet minister, checks and balances and all that, but on the other hand, national parks are good things on the whole! Then again, Chris once told me about meeting Chrétien by chance much later in what I think was the Yukon and coming to the conclusion there was nothing they could really have a discussion about!

1 comment:

Margo and Chris said...

Yes, we met him at a viewpoint overlooking the Klondike valley, which I pointed out. There was a fantastic view, but he could not respond meaningfully because it was a view of old mine tailings. If he had said it was a good view, then he could have been reported as being pro-mining; if he had said the opposite, he could have been quoted as being anti-mining. So as a Prime Minister, he could only talk to a member of the public about things of no consequence. He asked about where we had come from, and when we told of our canoe trip he asked "did you see any wildlife?". He was being very careful to keep things innocuous!