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April 1, 2010

After reading my colleague’s post from a couple days ago, I feel compelled to submit a response. Not that I disagree with the sentiment expressed in the piece. Having just returned from the wilds of the wider Ontario region, I can fully attest to there being a formidable gulf between… out there and the capital city region here. They are different worlds rather than different provinces. Believe you me.

No, the exception I take to the post is its American tone. Lest anyone forget, the 13 Colonies were not the only political entity to shrug off the heavy shroud of tyranny. Rebellions and discontent bubbled and brewed in both Upper and Lower Canada throughout the 19th-century. While none were as decisive or militarily glorious as the War of Independence south of the border, they were not without their own scruffy charms. Ultimately, like the American uprising, our battles against colonial Britain did lead to the formation of a new, independent country. Arguably, a more pragmatic and peaceful country at that.

More to the point, Tuesday’s riposte and its ripostee share far more in common with a leader of the 1837 uprising, William Lyon Mackenzie, than they do the likes of such Enlightenment types as Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin. Vituperative, impetuous, “intemperate in both word and deed” with a “long-winded, meandering [writing] style” were all descriptors used for Mackenzie that would apply equally well to our friend Cityslikr. Mackenzie’s zealous hatred of the Upper Canadian ruling elite known as the Family Compact is matched, fiber by bitter fiber, by Cityslikr’s loathing of those ruling over the city with similar disregard within the walls of the Pink Palace of Queen’s Park.

Embrace your own history’s rebels is what I’m suggesting, as we begin the slow march to provincedom. The symbolism will resonate that much deeper. Label ourselves the WLMers. Hoist high the flag bearing the likeness of Montgomery’s Tavern. Proclaim the words of proto-Canadians not early Americans. For it was the very first mayor of the newly formed city of Toronto who wrote in the Declaration of the Reformers of the City of Toronto on July 31, 1837:

“Government is founded on the authority, and is instituted for the benefit, of a people; when, therefore, any Government long and systematically ceases to answer the great ends of its foundation, the people have a natural right given them by their Creator to seek after and establish such institutions as will yield the greatest quantity of happiness to the greatest number.”

Not William Lyon Mackenzie. William Lyon Mackenzie King.

So was said some 173 years ago again needs be uttered.

Viva La Province of Toronto!

revolutionarily submitted by Acaphlegmic